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    Showing posts tagged Poverty

    No More Food Stamps for Children of Illegal Immigrants and Low-Income Households in Kansas

    On a whim, I decided to interrupt my football game and take a look at the KC Star, and I really wish I hadn’t. I saw this atrocious gem:

    At a time when Gov. Sam Brownback has vowed to reduce child poverty, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services — a state agency the governor controls — made a policy change that eliminated food stamps for hundreds of low-income U.S. children whose parents are illegal immigrants. For more households, benefits were reduced.

    This is why you so-called ‘Pro-Life’ people do not deserve to call yourselves pro-life. 

    Do you really think it’s cool for Republicans to give handouts to their golf buddies and literally take food out of the mouths of kids?

    I don’t care if someone’s parents jumped the border.  That is their crime.  Their children have committed no crime, and deserve the full benefits that US citizen should receive, including food stamps.  Their parents’ crimes do not give the state a license to starve them into relocating. What’s even worse is Brownback didn’t stop there, though, he’s unilaterally reducing benefits for all low-income households.

    The moral of the story is… if they call themselves ‘pro-life’, Christian, and ‘fiscal conservative’ in Kansas, they are fucking lying to you.

    11 01.22.12
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    "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever." —Psalm 136:1

    To the verse above, I say: horseshit.

    And here, I thought I had all of the people who mindlessly repeat such drivel on my Facebook hide list.  (Hopefully now I do.)

    Alas.

    While I’ve been working out at night, I’ve been watching the evening news.  These days, it is a singularly depressing prospect, largely because of daily reports on the famine in Somalia, the war in Libya (Which despite Obama’s chest-thumping, is far from won.), and the unrest in Syria.  But what really saddens me is the poor Somali kids suffering from these circumstances.  The greatest of their sins was simply being born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many are so weak that they can’t even fight off the flies that crowd around them, and it breaks my heart. I don’t know exactly how many die each day, but such losses are considerable.

    If I were an omnipotent God, something like that would make me say ‘fuck the rules’, and I’d do something about it.  In my own life, I’ve lent thousands of dollars of my own funds to people I love when they didn’t have anywhere else to turn, which strikes me as the Christian thing to do, if their platitudes are to be believed.

    However, with the political climate since November 2010, it’s clear that charity is a virtue that is sadly disappearing in America. (Except for the months of December and, maybe, the first two weeks of January.) ‘Sucks to be you’, is not just catchy saying, it’s the platform of the Republican Party. Everyone wants to live in America, but no one wants to pay the taxes necessary to keep it livable, and too few people find it easier and easier to ignore the folks who need our help. 

    The bottom line in my book is this: If Christians truly practiced what they preached, food, clean water, and health care would be considered basic human rights.  The fact that they’re not demonstrates that the 76% of Americans believe and promote this shit are, in fact, hypocrites.

    9 08.25.11
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    The Fourth of July - What Does It Really Mean?

    It’s been a long time since I really enjoyed a fourth of July.  After September 11, 2001 it became borderline treasonous to abstain from overt (and I’d argue, vulgar) displays of ones so-called patriotism.  Now, our country is so afraid of its own shadow that most of us accept without question the outrageous actions that Homeland Security, the FBI, and TSA take against our fellow countrymen every day.  Such thinking makes my skin crawl, whether it originates from someone draped in red, white, and blue or Nazi red and black.

    I consider myself a citizen of the world, and do not believe that the value of humanity ends at the borders of the United States.  Revelations from Wikileaks have solidified in fact that the United States is not the boy scout that people like to think it is.  We’ve covered up massive oil spills that occurred in other countries, child prostitution in Afghanistan, overt attacks on civilians in Iraq, illegal business practices with the oil industry in Nigeria, and the fact that the DEA is, in fact, an arm of the US intelligence community. (Among other things…)

    CEO pay went up 23% in 2010. Meanwhile, we watched our leaders quibble over 38 billion dollars in cuts to education, health care, WIC, early childhood programs, and other things.  They then raised the so-called defense budget by almost 70 billion dollars, while at the same time vetoing bills that would have cut free tax subsidies for NASCAR and energy companies. (Oil companies made 30 billion dollars in profit in 2010.) And, they preserved the Bush/Obama tax cuts for their golf buddies, cuts which got us into the mess we’re currently in financially.

    And, in case you forgot, we’re still fighting three simultaneous wars.  (This has basically dropped out of the news cycle.)

    America is not what the sanitized state-curriculum say it is.  We are a nation that worships beauty, wealth, and greed.  We demonize the poor and are currently in the process of cutting out even the meager government spending that goes to help these people, all to preserve tax cuts for the most affluent people in this country, despite the fact that social services already accounts for one of the smallest portions of the federal budget.

    If we wanted to be truly honest about what America stands for, we’d be hoisting dollar signs up the flag pole, not red, white, and blue flags.  Blowing shit up, however, is a sadly appropriate way to honor America, where the truth is only what you can feasibly manufacture.

    11 07.04.11
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    cheguevaraslovechild:

Doncha just hate it when the poor get all whiney ? ..

The  United States of America - Where there’s only one job opening for every  ten unemployed Americans (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics),  and we still hear politicians calling people lazy and advocating for  cuts in so-called ‘costly’ aid programs that account for substantially  less than the tax giveaways going to their golf buddies. 
Change we can  believe in, folks!

    cheguevaraslovechild:

    Doncha just hate it when the poor get all whiney ? ..

    The United States of America - Where there’s only one job opening for every ten unemployed Americans (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), and we still hear politicians calling people lazy and advocating for cuts in so-called ‘costly’ aid programs that account for substantially less than the tax giveaways going to their golf buddies.
    Change we can believe in, folks!
    208 06.26.11
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    House Republicans vote to cut funds to implement food safety law.

    wilwheaton:

    Arguing that the U.S. food supply is 99 percent safe, House Republicans cut millions of dollars Thursday from the Food and Drug Administration’s budget, denying the agency money to implement landmark food safety laws approved by the last Congress.

    Saying the cuts were needed to lower the national deficit, the House also reduced funding to the Agriculture Department’s food safety inspection service, which oversees meat, poultry and some egg products.

    And lawmakers chopped $832 million from an emergency feeding program for poor mothers, infants and children. Hunger groups said that change would deny emergency nutrition to about 325,000 mothers and children.


    But, you know, tax cuts for multi-millionaires are totally awesome.

    And, they just voted recently to raise war spending by 60 billion.  Folks, you really… really need to start voting third party.

    210 06.17.11
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    HR3 - Letter To My Congressman

    May 5, 2011


    Dear Congressman Graves,

    I can’t begin to express my disappointment at the news of your vote in support of H.R. 3.  As you are no doubt aware, the bill would restrict access to abortion services even in cases of rape, sexual assault, and incest. (Yes, I am aware that the specific rape language was removed from the bill, however, the statement of intent makes the goal of your party’s legislation clear and would attempt to direct the judgments that would potentially result from the legislation.)

    This is, to say the least, an extreme attack on the rights of women and the views of mainstream America.  In our culture, it is universally accepted that victims of sexual assault have the right to prevent or end a pregnancy given the mental distress resulting from the attack on their person.  Furthermore, at a time when there are 30,000 unemployed people in our state and 25 million nationwide, with only two and a half million available jobs (according to the Dept. of Labor), it offends me that you would use the platform you have to restrict peoples’ rights when you were elected to work towards the creation of jobs. Gas prices, even in Missouri, are now near the $4.00 per gallon mark, job growth is slow in improving, and your party is trying to pass a tax plan that would punish wage earners in favor of the richest class.  State Republicans just filibustered an extension of unemployment benefits that will keep those 30,000 unemployed from being able to feed their families.

    And while all of this is occurring, you are ignoring the problem and pursuing a bill that has no hope of passing the Senate or the President’s desk. Congressman Graves, I’m kindly asking that you focus on the priorities that you were elected to fix, instead of shamelessly campaigning while cashing checks financed by the taxpayers.

    Thank you for listening.

    Sincerely,


    Ryan Stevens

    ——

    I’m Ryan Stevens… defender of the uteri!!!

    36 05.05.11
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    Wal-Mart: Our Shoppers Are Running Out of Money - CNNMoney

    Now THIS is something our scumbag legislators might listen to.

    Wal-Mart is seriously complaining about its shoppers’ spending power. 

    Per CNNMoney:

    Wal-Mart’s core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.

    "We’re seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There’s no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact."

    Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.

    Lately, they’re “running out of money” at a faster clip, he said.

    "Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year," Duke said. "This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.

    11 04.28.11
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    Thanksgiving always makes me sad, knowing that the holiday is built around a Christian-generated myth of brotherhood and sharing, in a country where few consider anyone outside of their immediate circle to be of any value, and too many cringe to see their pennies gifted to people in need.  Even more sad, is the knowledge of what our ancestors did to a peaceful people that welcomed them with open arms, gifts, and unconditional friendship. 

    Thanksgiving always makes me sad, knowing that the holiday is built around a Christian-generated myth of brotherhood and sharing, in a country where few consider anyone outside of their immediate circle to be of any value, and too many cringe to see their pennies gifted to people in need.  Even more sad, is the knowledge of what our ancestors did to a peaceful people that welcomed them with open arms, gifts, and unconditional friendship. 

    8 04.25.11
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    We’ve Got Ours… Sucks To Be You - My Take On The Budget Fight

    If you haven’t discovered Mother Jones, I recommend checking them out for their political commentary. This morning, I was reading their most recent take on the budget fight and became more than a little frustrated.

    The Republicans have adopted their talking point: “We just want to cut spending”, and the people in our country are just ignorant enough to buy it.  However, as usual, it’s a bit disingenuous. This budget is about changing the ideological landscape of this country on the backs of taxpayers.  It would defund Planned Parenthood and NPR, even though we give more money to the far-right Liberty University and NASCAR.  It contains no cuts to war spending and lowers the corporate tax rate, even though several major corporations are already paying zero taxes to begin with, and follows the red-state trend of targeting discretionary (welfare) spending.  Translation = we’d rather raise the poverty level in the middle class than pull funding from fucking NASCAR.

    On top of this, we’re still reeling from the effects of the Goopers 30-year tax reduction effort, and reducing taxes further while starving the middle class is not going to fix our fiscal problems in Washington. We just passed 900 billion in tax cuts four months ago, for the purpose of winning extensions of unemployment benefits to the millions who’ve been thrown on the street these past two years, even while corporations record record profits.

    Republicans do not have a plan, and never had a plan, which is why they’re so intent on re-fighting long-settled culture wars. Their economic plan can be summed up in one sentence: “We’ve got ours… sucks to be you”.

    I encourage everyone to write or call their senators and urge them to vote against the Republicans’ unconscionable budget proposals.  If you’re not sure who your senator is, you can look them up here.

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    Child Poverty Hits 25 Percent In Texas, But Gov. Perry Still Proposing Deep Cuts To Child Services - Think Progress

    Perhaps this is an unpopular opinion these days, but having had experience with impoverished, starving foster children, I truly believe that preserving tax rates and tax cuts is not worth allowing 25% of children in your state to go hungry.  I’d gladly pay an extra percentage in taxes if I knew these kids were getting their needs fulfilled.

    How is it we can afford billions for our friends in Israel and throughout the Middle East, oil and energy companies, Wall Street, as well as Haiti, and can’t even provide food for our own kids here?

    111 02.05.11
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