Solutions for Children in Poverty?

From the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University:

  • Over 15 million American children live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level, which is $22,050 a year for a family of four.
  • The number of children living in poverty increased by 33 percent between 2000 and 2009.
  • There are 3.8 million more children living in poverty today than in 2000.
  • Research consistently shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice the federal poverty level to make ends meet.
  • Children living in families with incomes below this level – for 2010, $44,100 for a family of four – are referred to as low income.
  • Forty-two percent of the nation’s children – more than 31 million in 2009 – live in low-income families.
  • Twenty-one percent of children live in families that are considered officially poor (15.3 million children).
  • Nine percent of children live in extreme poor families (6.8 million)
  • Twenty-four percent of children younger than age 6 live in poor families; 19 percent of children age 6 or older live in poor families.
  • Twenty-one percent of households with children experience food insecurity.
  • In the 10 most populated states, the percentage of poor children who lack health insurance ranges from 12 percent in New York to 38 percent in Texas.

These are some sobering statistics.  What is the solution?  Well, I can tell you what it is not the answer:

Where are our priorities?

Credit:  Daily Kos

Pro-Eugenics State Legislator Meets Kettle

Here’s one way to save the government some serious dough – kill off anyone with a disability or chronic disease, mental health condition, or a substance abuse problem.  Seriously folks – this could be the key to balancing the budget!

We could save a heck of a lot on SSDI payments, on substance abuse programs, on court expenses for criminal cases as well as guardianships, on prisons and the entire criminal system, on building adaptations for wheelchairs, on funding for special education in public schools, on all medical care for the disabled and mentally ill poor…the list goes on and on.

Just think – about 40% of the homeless are mentally ill and a large percentage have substance abuse problems; if we eliminated them all, our homeless problem would be reduced by at least 50% immediately! Oh, and those brave veterans returning from combat? If we humanely euthanized anyone who suffered from serious permanent physical or mental trauma while doing their patriotic duty, the cost of Veterans’ benefits would be slashed to a very nominal level.  I don’t know why no one thought of this before.

Credit where credit is due:  this practical suggestion comes to you from New Hampshire state representative Martin Harty (R).  Specifically, Representative Harty told a constituent that “the world is too populated” and there are “too many defective people.”

Harty clarified, “You know the mentally ill, the retarded, people with physical disabilities and drug addictions – the defective people society would be better off without.”

Harty then stated, “I wish we had a Siberia so we could ship them all off to freeze to death and die and clean up the population.”

In Harty’s defense, he is 91 years old and seems to be somewhat confused about a) what sort of job he was actually elected to do and b) what sort of not Nazi Germany country we are currently living in.

Colleagues say he is hard of hearing and has appeared confused in recent House sessions.

“He’s shown signs of great confusion in committee in terms of House process and content,” said Rep. Marilinda Garcia

I feel badly for Mr. Harty – it must be horrifying to be that confused and misguided all of the time.  Not nearly as horrified as I am right now realizing that people actually, consciously, purposely, voted for this guy, but horrifying nonetheless.  Hmmm….if only there was a way to end his mental defectiveness.  Something humane.  Would anyone else like to contribute to a one way ticket to Siberia for him?

Gov. Perry and Texas GOP are Short-Changing Children’s Future

I’ve been wanting to write on the state of education in Texas, but it’s very frustrating me, given recent events, so I’ve avoided it thus far.  I found a fine blog post on the subject, however, so I’m going to use this space to pimp Woodgatesview’s recent analysis:   Gov. Perry and Texas GOP are Short-Changing Children’s Future


Righty Radio Hosts Hire Scripted “Callers”

If you are a radio host who can’t find anyone to agree with your inane ranting, apparently you can just pay professional actors to appear to call in to the show and provide moral support and anecdotal evidence supporting the legitimacy of said inane ranting.

I’m not sure why one would even need this service unless your message is so illegitimate that non-actors calling into these shows to agree with you are clearly either off their rockers or so obscenely hateful or ignorant (or both) that they would make the host sound even more irrational than they already are.  Some hosts may spout nonsensical gibberish, but at least it’s done in a bold, confident, tone so it sounds good to anyone too lazy to pay attention to pesky things like facts.  Or perhaps real listeners calling in to offer their opinion might bring to light actual facts that cloud The Message too much?

Enter Premiere On Call, a service offered by Premiere Radio Networks,  a subsidiary of media giant Clear Channel Communications.  For a mere $40 an hour, Premiere On Call will supply your callers/drones for you:

We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we’ll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity* of your programming for avid listeners.

Premiere syndicates some of the more sterling names in radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity.

It’s curious that politicians like Sarah Palin bash liberals for not being “real Americans,” while the “real Americans” conservative pundits are putting on the air may well be paid actors willing to trade their ethics for rent money.

Add this media fraud to Sean Hannity using fake footage to hugely inflate the number of Tea Party protesters at a rally,  Fox News playing the wrong footage to possibly benefit Mitt Romney, Bill O’Reilly substituting unrelated footage of angry protesters for the peaceful Wisconsin protests, and the innumerable instances of similar manipulation and outright falsehoods that no one has noticed – or been able to prove and you have what?

A propaganda machine.

But does it work?

Why, yes.  It does.  According to a recent study, regular Fox News viewers are much more likely than others to believe false information about American politics.

Those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe that most economists estimate the stimulus caused job losses (12 points more likely), most economists have estimated the health care law will worsen the deficit (31 points), the economy is getting worse (26 points), most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring (30 points), the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (14 points), their own income taxes have gone up (14 points), the auto bailout only occurred under Obama (13 points), when TARP came up for a vote most Republicans opposed it (12 points) and that it is not clear that Obama was born in the United States (31 points). The effect was also not simply a function of partisan bias, as people who voted Democratic and watched Fox News were also more likely to have such misinformation than those who did not watch it–though by a lesser margin than those who voted Republican.

In fact, it is their legal right (or Right, as the case may be) to misinform, to manipulate, and to even purposefully lie and pass these lies off as the truth – as “news.”

The attorneys for Fox, owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, successfully argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves.

In its six-page written decision, the Court of Appeals held that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a “policy,” not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation.

The bottom line is that many conservative voters are getting their information from a source often ethically and factually no better than THIS.

To those conservatives who watch these programs – are you just gullible or do you enjoy being lied to?  Is it somehow reassuring to listen to “information” sources that tell you what you want to hear rather than telling you the truth?  Don’t you ever wonder what the true motive is behind these propaganda efforts?  Do you enjoy being a pawn?




An Anti-Union Union

Author Adele M. Stan details how Rupert Murdoch, David Koch, and Wisconsin Republicans have come together to eliminate one of the most terrifying evils facing the US today:  American workers.

In the week-long battle taking place in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights, you’d expect Fox News to be doing what it’s done: misreporting the story, mistakenly characterizing a poll supporting public workers to mean its opposite, featuring Glenn Beck painting the protests of union workers as something cooked up by Stalinists. And you might be tempted to think, well, that’s just Fox playing to its base of frightened Tea Partiers who prefer a fact-free zone to the more challenging territory of actual news, where the answers are never pat, and the world is a bit more complicated than it seems in the realm of Fox Nation. READ MORE

It is unacceptable that we, as a nation, allow ourselves to be manipulated as the article describes.  It is nothing short of incredible that we allow these propagandists to drill into our heads that we need to be acting against our own best interests.  It is baffling that so many voters blindly accept being manipulated, willingly repeating their inane talking points over and over without actually considering the facts.  We need to recognize their true motives, their methods, and take a stand – this is not good for our people, our children, or our nation.

Meet Your Owners

“… Politicians have traditionally hidden behind 3 things: the flag, the bible, and children – no child left behind, no child left behind. Oh, really well it wasn’t too long ago you were talking about giving children a head start. Head start – left behind, someone’s losing ground here, but there’s a reason. There’s a reason for this. There’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason it’ll never ever ever be fixed – it’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you got, because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now. The wealthy big business interests that controls things, and makes all the important decisions.

Forget the politicians, they’re irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice – you don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own, and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets, and they own all the big media, so they control just about all the news and information you get. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying – lobbying, to get what they want.

Well we know what they want. They want more for themselves, and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want – they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that – that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people that are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table, and think about how badly they’re getting screwed by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? Obedient workers – Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines, and do that paper work. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and vanishing pension that disappear the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your social security money. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it – they’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this place. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. You, and I are not in The Big Club.

By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think, and what to buy.

The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard working people: white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard working people continue (these are people of modest being) – continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you – they don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t care about you at all – at all – at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care.

– George Carlin

Pessimistic, wasn’t he?  And a more than a tad crude (sorry Dad!).  But is there truth in it?  According to this summary of facts at MotherJones, probably a lot more than the average American would like to believe:

A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244


“The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.”   — Theodore Roosevelt (R), September 7, 1903

Gov. Scott Walker is a Marionette

If there was any doubt that the Koch brothers were pulling strings in the Wisconsin protests, this should end it.

Part I

Part II

I wonder how many other elected officials are Koch puppets?  In the current political climate, I wonder more who isn’t.

Here’s a list of things we’ve learned from Gov. Walker.

And for your amusement:

Like a doll, like a puppet with no will at all
And somebody taught me how to talk, how to walk, how to fall

Can’t complain, I’ve got no-one but myself to blame
Something’s happening I can’t control, lost my hold, it’s insane

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