Soup Kitchens versus Food Stamps

I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning, but I still visualize pictures from the Great Depression of the thirties. The most striking images are those of destitute, out of work men lined up to get a cup of soup and a piece of bread. Thankfully, I never lived in those lines, neither did my parents. Mom and Dad were too frugal and conservative to allow themselves to get into a situation where they could not feed their kids. The tiny yard behind the house served as the City Farm. She did not waste a single square inch of soil. We had vegetables all summer and through most of the winter. Mom’s canning skills were excellent and she canned the surplus perishables. Root vegetables like potatoes, parsley, and carrots went into in a cold bed under the porch. Her chicken coops yielded eggs, fresh chicken, and pigeons; yes pigeons. I write a lot about the experiences under the category of Biography. You can go there and experience some of these times through my short stories.

Candidate Newt Gingrich has labeled Obama the Food Stamp president. Today, I saw a response from the president where he calls Bush the Food Stamp president. Yes, the number of people who went on food stamps during the Bush administration was real, as they were for Clinton, and presidents before him. The simple fact remains that the slope of the food stamp growth curve takes a painful turn up under Obama. It correlates with his spending curve too.

Gingrich makes his point that Obama has not done anything to help these people get off food stamps and to get a job. He is correct in his accusations. Obama should argue that he is being compassionate and keeping the jobless from starving. Blaming Bush is getting old and tired. The error of giving the jobless food stamps and extended unemployment benefits is that the jobless take advantage of the system and fake looking for work. To many of them, the benefit period becomes a paid vacation.

I have only seen one vegetable garden in my neighborhood besides my feeble plot. It belongs to an immigrant Italian who still believes in growing and canning food. He makes his own wine too, mmmn.

My cartoon depicts a typical soup line during the thirties, with a modern twist. The people standing in this line are waiting for a food stamp handout. The reality is that you no longer have to wait in line as my picture shows. Just for fun, I went online and Googled food stamps. The search turned up a government site (SNAP). This page reads like the IRS booklet one uses to complete his tax form. I went further and clicked on a prescreening page, and completed a fictitious application. I failed to meet three qualifying requirements. I went back to the beginning and completed another application. This time, I listed only my Social Security income and not Peggy’s, success. I qualified for $347.00 per month. I didn’t wait in line, and the money would come to me in the form of a debit card.

The amount $347 doesn’t sound like that much, but compare that to a single cup of soup and a piece of bread everyday after standing in line for hours. This is exactly the reason we don’t feel like the “Even Greater Depression of 2008” is no where close to the “Great Depression of the 1930’s” at all.

Do I sound like a liberal? Not at all, I believe with Newt that the dignity of a man with a job is far more valuable than a debit card. Add that 347 to an unemployment check, and we are beginning to talk some serious money here.

Why would anyone in the USA want to work when the tax payers give us such wonderful benefits?

TAXERY = SLAVERY

A Suitable Green Job For POTUS

There are a number of green jobs that Obama left off  his list of high paying positions which would make an investment in the country.  Instead, he insists on promoting ridiculous electric cars, windmills, and solar power as the answer. Yes, these are definitely ways to “green.” The problem lies in the fact that none of these technologies are even remotely close to being capable of meeting even the least of our energy demands.  A few days ago, I published a graph showing where the gallons go in the transportation scheme. Hitting on cars does not make any sense at all.  The single largest opportunity for saving oil and reducing green house gases is in shipping by boat. My calculations did not include the boats used for shipping “stuff” from China to the rest of the world. My graph only includes the oil burned in shipping oil to the U.S. The graph is below for reference.

Chart by Grumpa Joe May 18, 2011, Data from various Internet sources

This week, I learned from a very reliable source that the cursed “green” nemesis of the liberal world is in trouble. The Alaskan pipeline is running at only thirty percent capacity. Why? Because the oil field it serves is running dry.  In a short time the cost of operating the line will exceed the value of oil coming through. When it finally shuts down, conservationists will dismantle it. Once that happens, any chance of drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), only seventy-five miles away from the pipeline, will be slim to none.

The Alaskan pipeline began operation in 1977, and the greenies have been bitching about the negative effect it has on the environment ever since. The opposite is true, wildlife has adapted to the pipeline and the countryside remains pristine. Conservationists should concentrate on picking up liter in trashy U.S. cities before they hit on the pipeline.

It is clear to me that Obama wants to sink the country with his “green ” policy. He does not have a single rational concept for keeping the country moving while making  it more green except to increase the cost of energy to the point of bankruptcy. He doesn’t want to bankrupt the government, he wants to bankrupt the citizenry. He lovingly refers to it as “redistribution of wealth.”  I call it white slavery. He wants the working stiffs to feed his poor. If you have a job, you are also feeding a shadow family the size of your own.

If Obama is serious about anything, he will work a compromise and allow drilling in ANWR immediately. He will encourage a short pipeline be built to connect ANWR to the Alaskan line. If he knew anything at all, he would want to light a fire under the economy to increase the flow of taxes into the coffers. The increases could then fuel his dream to power the world with windmills. What is his problem? His dreams are too large for one term as president. His capability lacks the leadership required for the job of transforming America into socialized medicine, green energy, and a muslim nation. The job is too large. It will take a hundred years to make all that happen. In order to fulfill that dream he must eliminate every conservative from the face of the planet. Don’t get me wrong, he is working on that too. His fantastic ability to multi-task is turning him into the huge failure he is.

The trillion dollars he wasted went to buy votes, to shore up state governments,  payback unions, take over banks, buy car companies, and to nationalize student loans. During the Great Depression of the nineteen thirties, FDR at least got us some infrastructure for the money he spent. The projects didn’t have any effect on ending the Depression, but they did yield benefits. Have you ever visited a National Park to see brass plaques designating features within the park as a CCC effort? Have you wondered where Hoover dam came from, or the TVA? What is Obama’s lasting legacy: Obamacare, General Motors, Chrysler, Student Loans, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac? I’ve included Obamacare even though it is not bearing fruit for you and me. It needs a four-year head start to collect money to get is jump started. Once it gets started, the money it took four years to collect will run out, and the system will be bankrupt in eight years. Meanwhile, Medicare, a system invented in the sixties, will also be run out of money.

Big government as seen by liberals and Obama only feeds off itself. Systems get fatter, efficiency of systems drop, and we the people suffer more. Meanwhile the Fat Cat Bureaucrats continue to whip the white slaves to extract more.

City Farm

 

    I want this post to bring nostalgia to old timers, and to serve as a primer for young people. The current recession is not letting up. There are signs of economic recovery, but the news from Europe is not very good. The result may be another recession even deeper than the one we have now. The story below is from my childhood. My parents lived through the Great Depression. They knew how to survive. I was born at the end of the depression. My parents lived as though tomorrow would bring another depression. It took seventy-one years to happen, but it has finally arrived. We are on the edge of another Great Depression.

     We lived in a small two-story frame house situated on a 25 ft. wide lot in Chicago.  The house had a porch with steps leading to the city sidewalk.  Between the porch and the side walk there was room for a strip of flowers and a patch of grass.  The parkway had grass and occasionally a tree

     The space between our house and the neighbor’s was a gangway just wide enough to walk through. The back yard is what I want to describe in detail because it saved my family from starving. Immediately behind the house, dad had a postage stamp size lawn bordered on two sides by a flowerbed.  The third side was the sidewalk leading back to the alley; and the fourth side was the house. 

            At the end of the lot, dad built a one-car garage built directly on the ground.  He added a chicken coop to the side with a fenced open space for the birds.

            The plot of ground in between the garage-chicken-coop complex and the flowers along the edge of the lawn was mom’s veggie garden.  The lot was 120 feet long.  In that precious space, mom and dad managed to have a front lawn and flowerbed, a three-bedroom house, a back lawn and flowerbed, a vegetable garden, a chicken ranch and a garage.

            Mom had most of what she needed to feed the family growing right in the backyard.   She planted tomatoes, onions, kohlrabi, cabbage, corn, carrots, parsley, beans, peas, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini and more.  What we could not use immediately, she preserved by canning (no freezers).  The chickens provided us with eggs and meat for Sunday dinners. When we did not have chickens, she switched to raising pigeons, and even rabbits.

    When mom could not grow enough in our backyard, she found an empty lot a block away and started another garden.

     Are you ready to begin farming the backyard to feed your family, or are you going to line up to get food stamps?

New Business Ventures

     Do not underestimate the creativity and industriousness of the American people.  With a new great depression looming on the horizon, many out of work people are starting their own small businesses.  It is awe-inspiring.

     Here are eleven examples of start-ups to show you how to survive Change You Can Believe In.

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The Big Hoax

 

     Every day our lawmakers and pundits bombard us with BS.  They say, “we are a nation of laws,” but are we?  Sure, we employ sixty Senators and  four hundred and thirty-five representatives to write and pass laws, and they do write laws by the hundreds every year. When some poor slob has a problem, he writes to his Congressman to fix his problem so it never happens again. The Congressman, eager to keep his job for a lifetime drafts a law. He lobbies his friends in congress to vote for it. Together, they vote the law in. The rest of us who do not have the same problem  don’t really give a rats hoot about it. The law stays on the books, and congress forgets about it. Someone finds a loophole in the old law, and applies it inappropriately. Time passes, and some genius Congressman decides to be creative by working around the silly house rules requiring that congress debate it first, then vote on it.  A recent example of this is the reconciliation bill. The Senate adopted the reconciliation bill to fix differences between the house, and the senate versions of the health care bill. Originally, the bill reconciled differences in the budget. 

     How many laws do we have that lurk in the books with hidden time bombs like the reconciliation bill? Today, I tried researching what it takes for a person coming into this country to come in legally.  Try to Google that one. I got thousands of hits on what an American needs to get into Mexico, but very little on what a Mexican needs to get into the USA. There are stories of overcrowded border crossings and border patrol people at the gates who do a poor job at checking the credentials of those coming across.

     I was able to glean that several presidents were involved in opening the gates to the USA. Remember when, Jimmy Carter tried to make the country bi-lingual? He wanted to post all the signs in the country in Spanish as well as English. I bet that is where “dial one for English,” crept into the vocabulary. Bill Clinton made the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) part of his agenda. He also began looking the other way when the Mexicans began flooding across the border to jobs in border towns.  George Bush was no better. He wanted the country to have low-cost labor to pick lettuce, wash dishes, and mow lawns. He is highly regarded by the Latino population in Texas.

     I spent considerable time looking for the requirements for a Mexican to enter legally. I found one reference to a form that day workers use. Another actually mentioned a passport. A visa is not required. I’m sure the State Department knows what the rules are for entry, but I sure as hell don’t.

     So, what is the hoax? The hoax is we are a nation of laws. We have books filled with laws on immigration to the USA. Most of them worked very well until the 1980’s. (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)). Ever since then, we have forgotten what the laws are, and disregard them. We fail to enforce immigration laws. Presidents encourage the border patrols to look the other way. Federal Immigration laws are in such poor regard that big cities pass “sanctuary” laws. A sanctuary law prohibits the police from determining if arrestees are in the country legally.  We do have many immigration laws, but hypocritically, we pass laws to say we don’t have to follow the laws. What is that all about?

The next big push by our president is to reform immigration. I have some recommendations:

  1.  Start by enforcing the laws we already have on the books.
  2. Several presidents have chosen to clean house by deporting all illegal aliens.    
    1. During the Great Depression, President Herbert H. Hoover,  (R) ordered the
      deportation of all illegal aliens in order to make jobs available  to  American
      citizens that desperately needed  work.
    2. Harry S. Truman, (D) deported over one million Illegal aliens after WWII to create jobs for veterans.
    3. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower,  (R) deported 1.3 million Mexican Nationals during ‘Operation Wetback’. He did it to give returning WWII, and Korean Veteran’s  a better chance at jobs. It took two years, but the illegal aliens went home by deportation!

These three Presidents deported illegal aliens to help the country.  Obama can do it too. He has both justifications, i.e. a poor economy and returning veterans.

  1. After we clean house, I recommend we use the laws we already have to allow these people to return legally. This is a tough action. We must take it if we are to live up to the claim that “we are a nation of laws.” If we don’t, we are perpetrating the HOAX and spreading hypocrisy across the world.

Obama will not do it because he is part of the HOAX.

“Kill the Republic”

 

      Three cheers! The Democrats created a moment of history. They saved the first black president of the USA from the pits of disgrace: or did they?  I congratulate the five hundred and thirty five for their blatant disregard for the voices of 180 million constituents.  It is clear to me that this group of Congressman does not give a damn about the people who hired them. They have chosen to listen to a higher authority, the president. In this win-lose situation, they flexed muscles they forgot they owned.  They did exercise democrat political tricks learned on the battlefield from the likes of Alinsky, Kennedy, and Daley.  The ends justify the means, and the means is anything that works at the time. Bribery, lies, deceit, airplane rides, all fit the bill.

     With the current economic situation, and a new Great Depression still looming before us, I predict that this new bill will bankrupt the country before Obama Care will take care of a single newly insured person. Do we really think that after collecting a huge pile of money for four years that the 535 will fail temptation to spend it on something else? History is on my side on this point. They will spend it, but not on health care.

     Even if we were to vote them all out of office today, it will take a hundred years to undo the damage perpetrated on us by this act. By that time, the culture of the USA will evolve into a godless social state of twenty first century slaves serving the 535. Will you care?  Will living in the nanny state fill you with rapture? Will you accept the loss of liberty and a life of servitude?

     Congratulations America, you got the change you want to believe in. You will have an opportunity to debate the point with me in the soup lines soon.

     In the near future, a group of people from the United Socialist States of America will draft a new Declaration of Independence. It will begin something like this. . .

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. . .

Extracted from the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

Tsunami

     In the year I was born unemployment was at 19% down from 25% a few years earlier. FDR was frantic with anxiety over people going hungry in his socialist world. He spent, spent, and spent. Nothing worked. Then the British became involved with Hitler. Britain was broke, and Churchill needed armaments.  FDR invented the Lend Lease program to help the Brits fight Hitler. We built the guns, tanks, jeeps, etc. and loaned them to Churchill. Suddenly, people were working in the USA. Suddenly, people had money. The real reason the first Great Depression ended was our participation in WWII, not the New Deal, CCC, WPA, or any other spending program FDR came up with..

     With a new Great Depression coming to a neighborhood near you, what will end it this time? How long will it take, and which soup line will you be standing in? On a brighter note, the soup line may be the answer to national obesity.

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