There is indeed widespread abuse of the Food Stamps (SNAP) program, but we mustn't overlook the fact that it still helps a lot of people in genuine need and who don't abuse it.
Here's a suggestion for reducing the number of recipients by at least 20-30% practically overnight: Increase the minimum wage! If Walmart and the other big box stores and the fast food franchises paid their employees at least $10/hr., that would go a long way towards getting a lot of people off the government dole. Republicans want to whine about the large number of people on food stamps and welfare and how wrong it is for government to sustain them, but they apparently have no problem with government subsidizing these extremely successful businesses that refuse to pay their employees a decent living wage.
And you conservatives...don't even think about dragging out your worn-out old excuse that raising the minimum wage creates more unemployment and brings down the economy. There has been no historical evidence whatsoever that supports that theory. In fact, in states where the minimum wage has been raised substantially over the current federal level, their economy is doing better than the states that have not.
"The tools used by police departments today are critical to the safety of all the citizens and should not be threatened. If they are used improperly, there is a process to follow to hold the people using them accountable." - Robert Funderburk
Please enlighten us as to what that process is, sir. Seems to me that practically every cop we've witnessed misusing their "tools" does so with impunity, or at the most gets a mere slap on the wrist.
It used to be that cops showed up to protests in their regular attire and equipped with their regular tools, and if the crowds got unruly the National Guard was called in. Nowadays, if there's even the slightest whisper of a protest, cops show up looking like an army of Robocops and their menacing and militaristic demeanor is enough to bring out the worst in any crowd.
"I well remember the haughty jingos among us yakking about how we were "going to Afghanistan to re-arrange the rubble" and pasting cartoons on the wall showing F-18s attacking tribesmen with captions like "I'd fly 10,000 miles to smoke a Camel." - librul
During the Vietnam war era I lost track of the number of times I heard young guys bragging about their eagerness to join up. The saying I heard most often was "I can't wait to get over there and kill me some g##ks" - I can't write the actual word out (it rhymes with spooks); it is one of those words that the TFP automatically censors. They didn't even care to differentiate between the North Vietnamese and the South Vietnamese. It seemed that, in their eyes, they were all vermin and deserved to be eradicated. Such was the "patriotic" attitude of many young American men at the time.
For a lot of enlistees, war serves as a rite of passage into manhood, and they couldn't care less about the morality of it. They seem to be glad for any excuse to don soldier's gear and do the "manly" thing of testing their mettle in combat.
Oh wait...I forgot that Republicans and conservatives actually do have an idea for a health plan that would take care of the millions of uninsured Americans: It's called LET THEM DIE.
"One of many questions I have for Ms. Sohn and other like minded Liberals is why are they not criticizing Owebama and the Demoncrats for giving the insurance companies, which they loathe, so much power in the ACA." - conservative
If you had been paying attention, you would know that that is exactly what many liberals have complained about. It has been the biggest complaint of most libs - that Obama took single payer off the table even before the bill made it to Congress for a vote. The insurance companies still have way too much power and control and that is precisely why we are having so many problems with Obamacare and health insurance in general now.
It was certainly a step in the right direction, especially considering the fact that Republicans had NO IDEAS or PLANS of their own (and they still don't), but Medicare-for-all is the only way to go, so that everybody has access to good, comprehensive health care at an affordable price. Health insurance is not a luxury and should not be treated as a commodity. At some point in our lives it becomes an absolute necessity, and one should not have to be rich enough to afford it to be able to get it. As long as companies are in the business of making a profit from it we are going to see steady increases in premiums and rates that are too expensive for many Americans.
This incident at the shooting range is indicative of just how over-the-top insane our gun culture in this country is. In the first place, automatic machine guns (and now grenade launchers?!) should never have been allowed into the public domain. These are weapons of war and have no place whatsoever in the hands of anyone other than the military or perhaps SWAT team members. But now it is too late to even think about outlawing them because the gun nuts whine and holler about how the second amendment supposedly gives them the "right" to own weapons of war such as these. So many wannabe Rambos and backwoods militia crazies have made them part of their everyday life and to even suggest taking them away would be grounds for revolution as far as they are concerned.
But no matter what side of the fence one stands on guns and gun rights, who in his right mind thinks that a 9 yr.-old girl is capable of handling such an unwieldy, dangerous weapon, no matter how responsible or mature that 9 yr.-old might be for her age? The recoil factor alone is enough to make any halfway sensible person realize that the frame of a 9 yr.-old is not big enough or strong enough to withstand it. The stupid (yes, stupid) parents should be charged with negligence and the firing range ought to be forced to change its asinine policy of even allowing children on to the range, let alone allowing them to fire such dangerous weapons.
What does it say about this country that we have federal laws banning toys that pose the slightest threat or possibility of threat from the marketplace, but it's perfectly legal to put an Uzi machine gun into the hands of a 9 yr.-old?
An afterthought: how can any American look at the photos we saw of how our troops were treating the prisoners at Abu Ghraib and not feel thoroughly ashamed?
Those people in Vietnam, who were "bent on our destruction," were only "bent" that way because we were there in the first place, bombing the hell out of their country and killing innocent men, women, and children by the tens of thousands. Just like in Iraq and Afghanistan, we were the invading terrorists, occupying their land and blowing it to smithereens.
As for stooping to the level of our enemies, no, we should not. We should not stoop to torture and barbarism, unless we want to become barbarians ourselves. And many Americans seem to be fine with that...even proud of that! If you think torture works, you watched too many episodes of "24."
Timbo, you continue to display your mind-boggling ignorance. At the time your father was a teacher education was not in the dire straits it is now. Most schools were well funded, with adequate teachers and supplies to serve their needs. But for the past couple of decades schools have faced severe, constant budget cuts and layoffs, to the point that most teachers have to spend a large portion of their paychecks for basic supplies. And they have had to work increasingly long hours.
I seriously doubt that most teachers think of themselves as superior or that they expect to be thanked and called out for special attention for what they do; and most of them do not expect to be paid the wages of a neuro-surgeon or corporate lawyer. But the point is that they have been given the shaft for so long now that many of us believe they do need to have a little praise heaped upon them.
While teaching is certainly not a calling for every teacher, for those who thrive in their profession and stick it out in spite of the many hardships (especially for those teachers in the inner cities), it is indeed a calling, as it takes a very special person to not only tough it out but excel at what they do. School is the surrogate home to kids from pre-K all the way through college, and teachers are their surrogate parents. I would think that any parent wouldn't have to think twice about how important a teacher is in the life of their child.
Nobody is saying that ISIS isn't dangerous or that all we have to do is talk nice to them and they'll sing kumbaya with us around the campfire. Some sort of action or stategy will be needed to deal with them. But at some point we have to wake up to the fact that we bear responsibility for their very existence. We have reaped what we have sown by invading Iraq in such knee-jerk fashion and overstaying our presence in Afghanistan, to the point of decimating their country and annihilating thousands upon thousands of innocent people. Actions have consequences...and wrongful actions reap terrible consequences! We cannot keep thinking that just because we have the mightiest military in the world all we have to do is flex our military muscle and the rest of the world will stand in awe. We do not instill awe. We just create more terrorists and more reasons for more people to hate us.
As bad as Hussein was, he was a mere puppy compared to the likes of ISIS. You can thank Bush and Cheney for giving a terrorist group like ISIS room to grow and prosper. Or else we could have kept tens of thousands of American troops on the ground indefinitely in both Iraq and Afghanistan.