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Monday, July 27, 2015

Drug testing of welfare applicants yields few positives

I just had a  "random" drug test today at work. If you fail you lose your job after two I think. So when I see this it doesn't bother me a bit to have welfare applicants tested. Why should anyone get a free ride on the taxpayer dime getting their fix, when they could be working or productive in life.

Six months after the rollout of a controversial law to drug-test people applying for public benefits, only a small fraction of low-income Tennesseans seeking financial assistance have tested positive for illegal drugs.
Thirty-seven of 16,017 applicants for the Families First cash assistance program between July and December tested positive for illegal substances, according to the Department of Human Services.
Another 81 lost their chance to receive benefits because they discontinued the application process at some point between the time they were required to fill out a three-item drug screening questionnaire and completing their application.
Opponents of the new rules say that they single out poor people for drug testing over other recipients of federal benefits — such as veterans, college students getting low interest loans or farmers with crop subsidies.
“You are requiring more than 16,000 people to be screened for drug use based on the assumption that people who receive public assistance are more likely to use illegal drugs,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee. “There’s no evidence to indicate that’s true.
“We support the need to combat drug addiction, but if the state truly wants to combat addiction, they should use their resources to fund drug treatment programs rather than blocking access to public benefit applicants, because we’re talking about providing for families,” said Weinberg, noting the ACLU plans to challenge the law in court.
Backers of the law, however, said they are pleased with the results so far.
“That’s 37 people who should not be receiving taxpayer subsidies, because they are not behaving as they are supposed to,” said state Rep. Glen Casada, a Republican from Franklin. “If the taxpayers are going to support you there are certain criteria you need to adhere to. This is a good use of taxpayer money.”
Tennessee is one of 12 states that have enacted laws requiring drug screening and testing of welfare applicants, but it’s a trend picking up steam elsewhere. Similar bills have been introduced in at least 10 other states so far this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The proposals have emerged after a federal court ruled Florida’s drug testing law unconstitutional because it required drug testing of every applicant for public assistance, violating protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Most of the new proposals are written to withstand a similar legal challenge and require testing only of individuals suspected of drug abuse. Such “suspicion-based” models rely on initial screenings, similar to the written test required of Tennessee applicants.
In the first six months of the program, the state spent $5,295 to administer the program, including $4,215 to pay for the drug tests.
Under the rules, all applicants for Families First, which provides a small monthly stipend for qualifying families with children, must answer a three-question written drug screening test.
Applicants who answer “yes” to any of the questions — if they have used illegal drugs, lost or been denied a job because of drug use or had any scheduled court appearances related to drug use in the prior three months — are asked to take a drug test.
Applicants who refuse to take the written test are disqualified from receiving benefits. Eight have been disqualified to date.
Of the 37 who tested positive, 25 were referred to a drug treatment program.
One of the stated intents of the new law was to encourage people with substance abuse problems to enter treatment. Ben Middleton, chief operating office for Centerstone Tennessee, which operates more than 50 facilities offering substance abuse treatment, said he is skeptical that it will achieve that goal.
“The law was written with another purpose, to save money,” Middleton said. “I don't think it’s going to scratch the surface” in treating addiction.
Officials with the Department of Human Services will review the program after its first full year, spokeswoman Devin Stone said.
Reach Anita Wadhwani at 615-259-8092 and on Twitter @AnitaWadhwani.
WHAT TENNESSEE ASKS
Tennessee's drug testing questionnaire for applicants for cash assistance has three questions:
1. In the past three months have you used any of the following drugs?
2. In the past three months have you lost or been denied a job due to use of any of the following drugs?
3. In the past three months have you had any scheduled court appearances due to use or possession of any of the following drugs?
Marijuana (cannabis, pot, weed, etc.)
Cocaine (coke, blow, crack, rock, etc.)
Methamphetamine/amphetamine type stimulants (speed, meth, ecstasy, X, ice, etc.)
Opioids (heroin, morphine, methadone, opium, buprenorphine, codeine, etc.)
Source: Tennessee Department of Human Services
BY THE NUMBERS
From July 1 to Dec. 31, 2014
16,017 people applied for Families First
279 drug tests were administered
37 drug tests were positive
25 were referrred for a substance abuse evaluation
5 enrolled in drug treatment or support group programs
8 refused to take the questionnaire and were disqualified
81 were denied benefits because they dropped out of the application process
$4,215 spent on drug tests
Source: Tennessee Department of Human Services
http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2015/02/08/drug-testing-tennessee-welfare-applicants-yields-positives/23085301/

The Ideologue

In the fall of 2009, a new book captured the attention of President Obama’s national security staff.
Lessons in Disaster, an account of Lyndon Johnson’s decision-making during the Vietnam War as seen through the experiences of McGeorge Bundy, his national security adviser, became the “must-read book for Obama’s war team,” wroteGeorge Stephanopoulos. Obama’s aides were enmeshed in a debate about how to fulfill their boss’ campaign pledge of winning the “good war” in Afghanistan, and they found Lessons—authored by scholar Gordon Goldstein—particularly instructive.
Goldstein’s key insight was that Johnson’s military advisers had led him astray. Gen. William Westmoreland, U.S. commander in Vietnam, urged Johnson to bolster the U.S. presence to crush North Vietnam, a strategy that resulted in a protracted and costly war of attrition.
Already suspicious of the military, the Obama team seized on a narrative that suited its interests. The president proceeded to overrule his generals and defense advisers by sending a smaller surge force of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and pledging to withdraw them in eighteen months—just before the president’s 2012 reelection campaign. Critics argued that the Taliban and al Qaeda would simply wait out the eventual exit of U.S. forces. Robert Gates, defense secretary at the time and a senior official for eight presidents, wrote in his memoir that “this major national security debate had been driven more by the White House staff and by domestic politics than any other in my entire experience.”
Goldstein’s history, giddily consumed by White House staff and applied to contemporary debates, was in fact “highly deficient,” writes Mark Moyar, a historian of the Vietnam War and consultant to the U.S. military, in Strategic Failure:
Johnson’s generals had recommended intensified bombing of North Vietnam and insertion of U.S. ground forces into Laos to cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail in order to avoid protracted bloodletting, but civilian leaders had rejected those options based on doubts about their strategic risks and returns. Postwar disclosures from North Vietnamese sources would prove those doubts to have been unwarranted; North Vietnamese leaders believed that the actions recommended by the U.S. military would indeed have crippled North Vietnam. […]
The lesson the White House should have drawn from this historical episode was that civilian leaders would do well to listen closely to military experts before making decisions.
The significance of the Goldstein book for the ensuing Afghanistan debate encapsulates Moyar’s critique of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Obama and his team misunderstood U.S. military history, harbored an ideological distrust toward leaders of the armed forces—and, in addition, dramatically reduced the defense budget. The administration also favored the “subordination of policy to politics” in national security decision-making and relied on “light footprint” and “smart power” strategies that harmed U.S. interests overseas, he writes. He principally focuses on decisions in Obama’s first term that helped produce a regional maelstrom in the Middle East.
Moyar gives careful attention to Iraq, where Obama said the Bush administration had waged a “dumb war.” After a largely successful surge of American troops that Obama had opposed, U.S. forces had remained in Iraq to provide stability and prevent a fragile democracy from splintering along sectarian lines. U.S. military pressure convinced Nouri al-Maliki, the Shiite prime minister, to refrain from jailing Sunni political opponents and engaging in battles against the Kurds. But the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that permitted the U.S. troop presence was set to expire in 2011. The Obama administration decided to back Maliki in the 2010 parliamentary election—despite his factional tendencies and close ties with neighboring Iran—against a more secular and nationalist candidate, in the hope that he would continue a close partnership. “I’ll bet you my vice presidency Maliki will extend the SOFA,” Joe Biden said at the time.
The problem, it turned out, was not Maliki, but Obama. Obama first insisted that the Iraqi parliament approve an extension of the SOFA and later requested that it grant immunity from prosecution to U.S. troops. Maliki stressed to the White House that any type of parliamentary assent was unlikely, and other analysts said it was legally unnecessary. But Obama held firm, and the SOFA expired in 2011. Whereas Gen. Lloyd Austin had initially recommended keeping as many as 24,000 troops in Iraq to preserve security and governance gains, the president ensured that none would remain.
A senior administration official later admitted to a New York Times reporter that the White House was “not eager to have 10,000 troops in Iraq” and had determined that “stability in Iraq did not depend on the presence of U.S. forces.” Obama, for his part, repeatedly touted the realization of his promise to “end the war in Iraq” on the campaign trail in 2012.
Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), a group that Obama had downplayed in 2008, capitalized on the chaos of the civil war in neighboring Syria to reconstitute itself as the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL). IS would triumphantly return to Iraq in 2014, seizing the key cities of Fallujah and Mosul while garnering the support of Sunnis alienated by Maliki’s sectarian rule. Obama responded by sending hundreds of U.S. military advisers back to the country—this time, without waiting for a parliamentary guarantee of legal immunity. The consensus among defense analysts is that a residual U.S. troop presence in Iraq could have helped prevent the rise of IS, a sentiment recently expressed by Gen. Ray Odierno, outgoing Army chief of staff and former top U.S. commander in Iraq. “When the Obama administration lifted the U.S. military footprint off the country,” Moyar writes, “it removed the political and military clamps that had held Iraq in place while the glue of liberal democratic culture was drying.”
Moyar also discusses other failures of the White House’s “small-footprint approaches,” a term used in the Obama administration’s Defense Strategic Guidance in 2012. In Libya, the United States played a minimal role in helping NATO to depose strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Ben Rhodes, a speechwriter and deputy national security adviser for Obama, argued that “the light U.S. footprint” ensured that there would be “less potential for an insurgency because there aren’t foreign forces present.” He made those comments to reporters before the Benghazi attack on the night of September 11, 2012, when a mob of about 60 Islamist and al Qaeda-linked militants overran the U.S. diplomatic compound, set it ablaze, and killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Libya has since become a failed state, a breeding ground for extremist groups, a hub for weapons trafficking in the Middle East, and a new haven for the Islamic State.
Conservative critics of Obama’s foreign policy generally offer two explanations for what they view as his manifold failures: that he is simply incompetent, or that he has employed a grand design to fundamentally transform the traditional U.S. role abroad. Moyar’s book, an excellent work overall that is rich in detail and brimming with historical insight, errs somewhat in that it gives too much weight to the former critique. While he rightly notes that Obama has been over-reliant on inexperienced political aides such as Rhodes and Denis McDonough to conduct foreign policy, his assertion that Obama is “a novice at organizational management and decision making” might be selling the president short. What if what appears to conservatives to be chaos actually has order to it? Can Obama’s “foreign policy of ad hoc reaction,” as Moyar describes it, be more usefully interpreted as consistent with a comprehensive strategy?
Colin Dueck, an international affairs professor at George Mason University, offers one answer in The Obama Doctrine. According to Dueck, that doctrine is strikingly simple, yet compelling: “overarching American retrenchment and accommodation internationally, in large part to allow the president to focus on securing liberal policy legacies at home.”
At the heart of Dueck’s appraisal of Obama’s strategy is a paradox. Judged from an international standpoint, Dueck bluntly states that, “the strategy did not work.” The Obama administration “allowed numerous threats to germinate internationally” by withdrawing forces abroad and primarily focusing on domestic issues, and its pursuit of increased engagement with adversaries did not appear to benefit U.S. interests.
In response to the U.S. proposal of a “reset” in relations, Russia “offered strictly limited cooperation in ways that suit its own interests in any case” on issues such as cuts to both countries’ nuclear forces. Mostly, the Kremlin answered U.S. entreaties with new provocations—including the alarming invasion of its neighbor, Ukraine. With respect to China, Dueck writes that, “Beijing offered little cooperation to the United States and in some cases outright hostility.” Chinese cyber-attacks on U.S. companies and government agencies continued unabated—most recently against more than 22 million Americans with records stored by the Office of Personnel Management. Beijing has also escalated regional tensions with its aggressive construction of military facilities in the South China Sea.
The Obama team appeared to believe that the president’s “unprecedented autobiography and personal qualities might help unlock benign transformations not only in U.S. foreign policy but in international relations more generally,” Dueck writes. This view, coupled with the president’s preference for accommodating adversaries, was misguided from the start. “It is simply narcissistic to assume that a conciliatory gesture or a well-intentioned reassurance will necessarily alter the basic intentions and perceptions of international actors pursuing long-term goals.”
Yet it must be said that from Obama’s perspective, his doctrine might have succeeded. He helped enact the most sweeping changes to healthcare and financial regulations in decades and won a second term in the White House, without becoming so entangled in foreign conflicts that his domestic political coalition would be at risk. Some liberal foreign affairs commentators have suggested that even if his security policies are disastrous, his domestic victories still might make him a good president.
But if this is true, the notion that Obama is a pragmatist—a portrayal carefully cultivated by his aides and eagerly consumed by the media—must be discarded. He might be “calm, flexible, and pragmatic” in his personal mannerisms and style, as Dueck notes, but he is really a progressive ideologue. “For the forty-fourth U.S. president, the policy specifics are negotiable, but the core priorities, progressive convictions, and soaring ambitions are not.”
In an important sense, Dueck’s description of the Obama Doctrine does not go far enough. Obama is not only an ideologue when it comes to domestic policy, but also in foreign affairs. Shaped by hisparticipation in the nuclear-freeze movement while he was a student at Columbia University in the early 1980s, Obama spent his formative intellectual years wedded to an ideology that held most of America’s actions in the Cold War to have been destructive and provocative toward U.S. adversaries. If U.S. enemies could just be reassured about America’s benign intentions, the president seems to believe, peaceful resolutions to international disputes could be possible.
This belief is the basis of the recently completed nuclear deal with Iran, which Rhodes has compared to the Obama administration’s foreign-policy version of Obamacare. Take the U.S. boot off Tehran’s neck and integrate it into the international system and a regional balance of power, and you can moderate its behavior better than economic and military pressure ever could.
There is a problem, however, with this strategy. What if Tehran doesn’t think closer international cooperation is in its interest? In effect, the West has made Iran, the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, a nuclear threshold power and granted it access to more than $100 billion in once-frozen assets with which it can continue its regional designs, few of which appear to tend towards peaceful conflict resolution.
Even without knowing the outcome of Congress’ review of the Iran deal, it must be said that by holding steadfast to his ideology, Obama has secured for himself a legacy. Now America—and its allies overseas—must grapple with the deadly consequences.
http://freebeacon.com/culture/the-ideologue/

Cuomo’s Big Labor Handout

Liberals think the wage hike is great. Others say it will hurt business.  We will see what happens.  Seattle had a un-expected response to the hike.  Some people were complaining because they were losing their government support in one way or another. If the hike is such a good thing the Liberals should do it all at once. Why don't they? Maybe it will hurt business.  Looks like Liberal talking points.



$15 wage threatens to close hundreds of small businesses

Critics are blasting a New York Wage Board decision to hike the minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast food establishments that threatens to close hundreds of businesses.
The International Franchise Association, which represents tens of thousands of major chain restaurants and their franchisees, said that the decision could lead to massive job losses and closed stores.
The “New York wage board decision to discriminate against the quick service food industry will cost jobs and potentially cause small businesses to close,” IFA president & CEO Steve Caldeira said in a statement. “Applying a new mandatory minimum wage increase to a narrow group of businesses creates an un-level playing field for owners that provide important entry-level jobs and valuable experience for millions of workers across the state of New York.”
A wage board consisting of two labor friendly appointees and one entrepreneur voted to hike the starting wage to $15—more than double the $7.25 federal level and a 70 percent increase from the $8.75 statewide wage—after several weeks of hearings. The board convened after a years-long pressure campaign by labor giant Service Employees International Union (SEIU) targeting McDonalds and other fast food establishments. SEIU spent more than $20 million on front groups that sponsored protests at McDonalds locations across the country in 2014.
The wage hike could have an immediate effect on small businesses. The franchise model relies on entrepreneurs paying licensing fees to parent companies in order to operate under the company umbrella; the typical franchisee takes home about $50,000 each year with one-in-three restaurant owners earning less than $25,000 per year. The new $15 minimum wage would give the average full-time fast food workers a starting salary of more than $30,000.
The move will likely lead to higher prices for customers, hiring freezes, and hour cuts for workers, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 franchise owners conducted in the run-up to the wage board decision. The Employment Policies Institute, a free market think tank that is critical of minimum wage increases, found that the $15 wage could force one out of every five franchise businesses to close. The survey also found that only 5 percent of businesses said the wage was “unlikely” to lead to price hikes, while 70 percent called the odds of price increases “very likely.”
“This outlandish recommendation should be seen for what it is: A big favor to Big Labor. While Gov. Cuomo burnishes his political credentials, hundreds of small businesses and the thousands of people they employ will bear the consequences of this bad policy,” EPI research director Michael Saltsman said in a statement. “New York is the first state to push a $15 minimum wage specific for the fast food industry, and it will soon be the first to find out why that’s a bad idea.”
Caldeira said IFA is committed to fighting the targeted wage increase, just as the organization has done to a similar $15 wage bill passed in Seattle.
“If Governor Cuomo wishes to advance a wage increase, it should cover all of New York’s businesses, not just a select few. IFA, along with the Coalition to Save New York Restaurants, will aggressively fight Governor Cuomo’s politically-motivated decision to discriminate against local franchise small business simply to satisfy the request of his allies at the Service Employees International Union,” he said in a statement.





http://freebeacon.com/issues/cuomos-big-labor-handout/

Clinton Backs Massive Wage Hike that Threatens Small Business

http://freebeacon.com/issues/clinton-backs-massive-wage-hike-that-threatens-small-business/

Illegal Immigrants Outnumber Unemployed Americans

As an American how can we Respect this Clown in the White House. This guy cares more for Illegals and Muslims?


The number of illegal immigrants in the United States totaled 11.3 million in 2014, outnumbering the 9.6 million Americans who were unemployed in the same year, according to data from Pew Research Center and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
“An estimated 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2014,” says a Pew report. “The new unauthorized immigrant total includes people who cross the border illegally as well as those who arrive with legal visas and remain in the U.S. after their visas expire.”
Of those 11.3 illegal immigrants, 8.1 million are participating in the labor force. “Unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1% of the U.S. labor force,” Pew says. “In the U.S. labor force, there were 8.1 million unauthorized immigrants either working or looking for work in 2012.”
In 2014, there were 1.7 million more illegal immigrants living in the United States than there were unemployed Americans. According to the BLS, the average number of unemployed Americans in 2014 was 9.6 million. The BLS defines an unemployed individual as someone who did not have a job but actively sought one in the past four weeks.
The executive action on immigration President Obama put in place in November of 2014 is set to help more illegal aliens become active in the labor force.
“Last year, President Barack Obama took executive action to expand an existing program and establish a new one that would offer work permits and deportation relief to an estimated 5 million unauthorized immigrants,” according to Pew. “The actions—which are on hold because of a lawsuit by 26 states—would be open to unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, who are parents with a child who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, as long as they meet certain requirements.”


http://freebeacon.com/issues/illegal-immigrants-outnumber-unemployed-americans/

Beware, The Disappearing Retirement Fund

As a general principle, I’ve always tended to avoid entrusting others with my money. I’ve avoided funds, as they are often based upon investments that are peaking or close to peaking. I’ve avoided pension funds, as they’re often structured in a similar manner.
And whenever by law I’ve been required to be invested in such funds, they’ve rarely been successful over the long term. In the end, I would invariably have made more money by pursuing those investments that had great promise but at the time were unpopular (and therefore underpriced).
As dubious as I tend to be of conventional investment schemes (and those who broker them),I am doubly dubious of any government-run scheme. Governments, historically, have proved to be poor money managers, and politicians tend to place more value on big promises that garner votes than on delivering on those promises.
And so, I’m predictably biased as to the likelihood of any form of fund that any government may be involved in. Even if it’s structured well, which it may well not be, governments, if they have the power to do so, will tap into the fund, draining it of the intended recipient’s contributions, leaving the fund exposed, should a crisis occur.
And, periodically, crises do occur. Presently, the First World is facing an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions.
As someone who advises on internationalisation (the practice of spreading one’s self both physically and economically over several jurisdictions in order to avoid being victimised by any one jurisdiction), I’m regularly asked what the optimum level of diversification might be for an individual in a given situation.
Whilst many of these individuals can unquestionably benefit from such diversification, there are quite a large number of people who are in the age sixty-and-over category who state that they’re hoping to get by solely on their Social Security and their pension. (If the investor is an American citizen, this often means a 401(k) or similar fund.)
For these individuals, I’m afraid it’s difficult to provide encouraging advice, as their retirement is rooted in what I consider to be dead-end investments that will diminish drastically, or disappear, long before the individual reaches his own demise.

Social Security

The Social Security fund of virtually every country that has one is woefully underfunded. Typically, these funds have relied on the next generation’s contributions to pay for the benefits to those presently retired or retiring.
Unfortunately, the original premise, back when Social Security was introduced, was that the population would always increase. During the baby-boomer years, benefits were ramped up dramatically, as there were so many younger workers per retiree.
But now, that relationship has reversed. The baby-boom generation lasted for 18 years, so each year, for 18 years, the ratio of working people will diminish against those who have retired.
Ergo, each year, those working will need to be taxed more heavily if the system is to continue. Unfortunately, at some point, we reach the tipping point and the concept itself is no longer viable. After that point, benefits will be reduced and, possibly, eliminated altogether.
When retirees first hear this, their reaction is usually, “But that’s not fair. I paid in, all my life. They can’t do this to me.” Unfortunately, it is not a question of “fair”. It’s a question of arithmetic. The promised benefits will decline. As a result, those who are counting on Social Security to sustain them in their retirement will find themselves short.

Pension

Similarly, pensions are at risk. Most pensions are invested, to a greater or lesser degree, in the stock market. Most funds pride themselves on being “diversified”, by which they mean that they are invested in a variety of stocks.
Unfortunately, when a stock market crashes, good stocks often head south along with failing stocks, as brokers seek to save their skin by unloading portfolios. (This does not mean that some potentially solid stocks will not experience a recovery in time, but few will ride out a crash unaffected.)
At present, the stock market is being propped up artificially and is overdue for a crash. Although it would be impossible to predict a date, a crash, if it occurs, would have a major and permanent effect on a pension scheme.
But, wait… there’s more.
As if these threats to planned retirement were not enough, there’s a further threat. As previously stated, many governments are financially on the ropes, and historically, when governments find themselves on the verge of insolvency, they invariably react the same way: go back to the cash cow for a final milking. Each of the jurisdictions that is in trouble at present, has, in its playbook, the same collection of milking techniques.
One of those will have a major impact on pensions: the requirement that pension plans must contain a percentage of government Treasuries.
Political leaders have already announced that there’s uncertainty in the economic system and pensioners may be at risk. Therefore, whatever else happens to their plans, it’s essential that a portion of them be guaranteed against failure. Therefore, legislation will be created to ensure that a percentage be in Treasuries, which are “guaranteed”.
Sounds good. And people will be grateful. Unfortunately, the body that is providing the guarantee is the same body that has created the economic crisis. And if the government is insolvent, the “guarantee” will become just one more empty promise.
Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that employers have a duty to protect workers invested in their 401(k) plans from mutual funds that perform poorly or are too expensive. By passing this ruling, the US government has the power to seize private pension funds “to protect pensioners”. It also has the authority to dictate how funds may be invested.
The way is now paved for the requirement that 401(k)s be invested heavily in US Treasuries. (Some are already voluntarily invested, as much as 80%.)

Game Over

And so, those who hope to fund their retirements primarily with Social Security and 401(k)s, may well find themselves virtually without retirement income.
The question is whether this means “Game Over” for millions of Americans (and since similar developments are taking place in many other countries in the world, millions more in the EU, Canada, etc.)
And, yes, it does mean “Game Over” for many, unless they choose to exit a system that is set to collapse like an old mine shaft, trapping its occupants.
Still, there remains a brief window of opportunity, and that opportunity is to pay the penalty for exiting the system and internationalising whatever level of wealth can be salvaged.
Ideally, this means physically moving to a jurisdiction where such conditions do not exist, but a more limited escape may be created by removing as much money as possible from the retirement fund, moving it to a less risky jurisdiction and converting it to those forms of wealth storage that are least likely to be targeted by rapacious governments and corrupt banks.
Accepting the realization that the piggy bank will be less full is a painful one but is far less painful than to face the day when the piggy bank is all but empty.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-27/beware-disappearing-retirement-fund

Redefining Virtue in the Bizarro World Order

In 1958, writer Alvin Schwartz introduced a character named “Bizarro” to jazz up the Superman comic franchise. “I was striving, you might say,” Schwartz noted, “for that mirror-image, that opposite. And out of a machine which would reveal the negative Superman, came the mirror image.”
By his very nature, Bizarro did everything the exact opposite of the way a rational person would. On at least one occasion he explained why, “Me unhappy! Me don't belong in world of living people! Me don't know difference between right and wrong -- good and evil!” If there is a difference between Bizarro and the preening progressives of the Obama era, it is largely in self-awareness -- advantage Bizarro.
The world has been spinning in Bizarro’s direction from about the time he was introduced. Since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, that spin has been dizzying. Resident "Duck Dynasty" philosopher Phil Robertson got it right when he described the progressive worldview as “constantly changing and evolving” and eventually “morphing into a dark maze of nonsense.” If old school “liberals” can content themselves with honoring a fixed set of principles, progressives, like sharks, have to move forward. At the risk of tautology, progressives “progress.” Alas, too many of us are redefining our basic values to keep pace.
The new president started redefining “justice” right out of the chute. On Election Day 2008, two New Black Panthers in paramilitary gear intimidated would-be voters at a Philadelphia polling place. One carried a nightstick. Both were abusive. "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker!" one of them yelled at a white voter.
Before Obama was sworn in, the Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party for violating the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The attorneys had never seen a clearer violation. Shortly after Eric Holder was confirmed as Attorney General, however, the DOJ dropped the suit and let the Panthers walk away unchastened. Said Christopher Coates, the DOJ attorney who filed the case, "I had people who told me point-blank that [they] didn't come to the voting rights section to sue African American people."
This same New Black Panther Party openly offered a $10,000 bounty for the capture of this “child killer” George Zimmerman and passed out “Wanted Dead or Alive” posters. The DOJ spent three years investigating a possible civil rights violation. In their eagerness to redefine “civil rights,” the attorneys pursued not the Panthers, but Zimmerman. To make their case, the DOJ and its media allies redefined this dark-skinned Latino as a white man or “white Hispanic” and transformed his tall, vicious assailant into a small, innocent victim, a “little boy” with Skittles and iced tea. As Zimmerman learned the hard way, people who looked like Obama got a different brand of justice from those who did not.
Anti-bullying guru Dan Savage redefined bullying much in the way Holder redefined justice. He turned it on its head. At the 2012 National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle, Savage viciously bullied an audience of well-mannered teens with a rant so crazily hateful it would make a Jeremiah Wright homily sound like the Sermon on the Mount.
“We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people,” Savage instructed the captive teens. He mockingly compared the Bible’s sanctions on homosexuality to those on masturbation, menstruation, and eating shellfish. When several of the students bravely walked out in protest, Savage showed them how an anti-bullying Bizarro might have reacted. "It's funny, as someone who's on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible,” he said with undisguised contempt, “how pansy-assed some people react when you push back.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Obama both recorded videos endorsing Savage and his anti-bullying organization. Savage’s bully-boy performance should have troubled Obama who was still on record as professing that marriage was “a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
Troubled he was not. Obama was about to squeeze God out of the mix and to redefine Christianity in time for the 2012 election. He had to give his airhead supporters -- living testament to what Jonathan Gruber called “the stupidity of the American voter”--something new to get excited about.
And excited they were, particularly after the Supreme Court giddily redefined marriage. To show he shared that excitement Obama bathed the White House in rainbow colored lights just hours after the decision. A month later, it took that same president five days and a ton of grief to lower the White House flags to half-mast in honor of the Marines killed in Chattanooga. This time, Even the media were not willing to redefine Islamic terrorism as “workplace violence.”
“War is peace,” wrote George Orwell in 1984. “Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” An Obama-era version might have added, “Intolerance is tolerance.” If there is any unifying theme among the various subcults of the progressive cabal it is the enthusiasm for accusing others of “hatred” and purging the symbols thereof.
As I speak, protestors are digging up the bodies of Confederate soldiers. Democratic clubs are scrubbing the names of Jefferson and Jackson off their annual celebrations. Media pundits are shaming Donald Trump for telling the truth about the Mexican border, and the righteous everywhere are huffily unfriending relatives on Facebook for calling Bruce Jenner “Bruce.”
To be sure, Bizarro World is a special place. It is the only place I know where the inhabitants consider it more sinful to honor tradition and respect history than to dismember a baby and sell her body parts. “Me unhappy!” our progressive friends are telling us. “Me don't belong in world of living people! Me don't know difference between right and wrong -- good and evil!”
Don’t abandon them. Give them the good word. “I judge no person and condemn no one,” said Phil Robertson. “I only want America’s culture to change for the better.” That change will come when many others do what Robertson did -- tell the truth, tell it loudly, and refuse to submit.


Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/07/redefining_virtue_in_the_bizarro_world_order.html#ixzz3h8yJTiMy
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http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/07/whats_the_difference.html

http://freebeacon.com/issues/feds-gave-low-income-housing-to-millionaires/

They all lied…and this one picture* is the proof

Re posted from a couple years ago again reminding us of the Disgusting Lies from this "Regime"


As new information is finally starting to leak out about what really happened in Benghazi on that fateful night of September 11, 2012, NOTHING is more telling than this one single photograph…for this photographproves that Ambassador Christopher Stevens did NOT die of smoke inhalation in the embassy compound as was claimed by the Obama administration, but was taken alive, raped, sodomized, and God only knows what else…and Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Hillary Clinton, and all those in their vile orbit knew this from day one and all bold-faced lied.
They all willfully, deliberately, and with malice LIED to Ambassador Stevens’ family and to ‘We the People’. And while we all know that some claim that Stevens was the middle-man in Obama’s gun and weapons running operation to the Syrian rebels, or that he was actually kidnapped to trade for the Blind Sheik and mistakenly killed, I believe that what I will tell you about this picture coupled with Obama’s cover-up and LIES, gives credence to my belief (one that I’ve had since day one) that Ambassador Steven’s found out Obama was running guns and weapons under the table to the al-Qaeda supported Syrian rebels, and was silenced before he could expose what Obama was doing.
Before I get to the photograph we must let the lead-up facts speak for themselves.
First, we all know there was NO spontaneous mob protest outside the consulate as Obama claimed for the first two weeks after the attack. Mob violence that got out of control because of an anti-islamic YouTube video he said, but a video that few had actually seen, that is until he went on Pakistani TV bloviating and apologizing for it after the fact. And with both former CIA Director David H. Petreaus and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that NO video was involved, they both bold-faced lied to Congress when first questioned, claiming that it was the video and thevideo alone that caused the attack. But I hate to tell them …NO I’m happy to tell them…lying under oath is a felony…an arrestable offense.
Second, Obama and crew still continue to claim there was NO warning of an impending attack issued by our Benghazi consulate. LIARS…there were many calls fearing an attack was imminent sent out by NOT only the Benghazi consulate and Ambassador Stevens himself, but also by our Tripoli embassy. Stevens sent out numerous pleas for help in the days and hours before the attack, because he knew of and feared the significant number of well-armed militias, all with ties to al-Qaeda, that were roaming the area around Benghazi. Also, remember that just a few months before, in June of the same year, a terrorist attack on the British Ambassador to Libya was attempted (thankfully it failed) causing both Britain and the International Red Cross to close their Benghazi offices…and the Red Cross just does NOT pick up and run without justification.
Those events in June alone should have served as a warning to Washington that our consulate and our people were in danger.
Third, fast forward to September 10th, when al-Qaeda head honcho Ayman al-Zawahrin publicly called on Libyans to seek revenge for the killing of a Libyan al-Qaeda leader, and that the next morning, September 11th, Libyan so-called ‘police officers’ who were supposed to be helping guard the compound were seen taking pictures of the inside of the compound. In fact, Ambassador Stevens sent an e-mail to DC that morning stating that he found this picture taking “troubling” and received NO reply. Now add in that on the afternoon of September 11th, the Blue Mountain Security manager, whose company also provided some of the guards for the Benghazi compound, sensed something was wrong and put out an alert via radio and cellphone, and according to media reports, there were roadblocks and check points set up well in advance of the attack because of his alert.
Fourth, our response to all this was to send up an unarmed surveillance drone over the consulate compound about 90 minutes AFTER the attack started…the very drone through which Barack HUSSEIN Obama watched our people being slaughtered…which of course he claimed he NEVER did. And if you believe that I’ve got some swamp land to sell you, because (and this is my belief alone) this man had to make sure Stevens was killed one way or the other so his ‘secret’ would be safe…so rest assured he saw it all.
And now remember all the conflicting reports of orders being issued or orders NOT being issued to ‘stand down’. I say ordering forces that were prepared to assist during an on-going attack to ‘stand down’ or NOT giving go orders at all to units ready, willing, and able to assist is NOT an act of negligence as some are trying to claim, but borders on…if NOT is…an act of treason.
And so, General Carter Ham, then commander of AFRICOM whose jurisdiction took in Benghazi, testified last week about that fateful night during a closed door hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, but isn’t it odd that NO reports of his testimony have been reported on…NONE whatsoever by any of the news media…just reports on the testimony of underlings…hmmm…
What we do know at this point is that two Marine anti-terrorist teams based in Rota, Spain, were ready to go assist in Benghazi, but reports claimed that it would have taken the first team 23 hours to get to Tripoli (which is an out and out LIE for while the twolocations are 1,553 miles apart they’re only 3 hours 5 minutes apart in flight time), and that the second team was NEVER deployed because they were told that US personnel had been evacuated from Benghazi…another LIE because NO one had been evacuated and NO one was sent in to evacuate anyone. And isn’t it also odd that NOT one of these supposed ‘evacuees’… survivors actually…eye witnesses to the day’s events…has been seen or talked to by any media outlet…convenient huh. Also, there was a 130-man, fully armed Marine Force-Recon unit on the ground in Sigonella, Sicily, that could have been in Benghazi in 1 hour and 14 minutes, for the two locations are only 610 miles apart, but was NEVER called to do so.
So, with General Ham testifying in a closed-door session with the House Armed ServicesCommittee, we still CANNOT get word of what his testimony entailed, but underling Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson said his commanders…and who pray tell were those commanders…told him to remain in the capital of Tripoli to defend Americans in case of additional attacks, and to help survivors being evacuated from Benghazi…but at that time NO one was being evacuated as the consulate was under heavy attack with NO help coming to either aid or rescue them.
And even with this testimony, even if the actual words ‘stand down’ were NOT uttered, the bottom line remains that with NO help forthcoming…with all parties involved making excuses for why help couldn’t be sent…this proves there was a total lack of military response to Ambassador Stevens’ pleas for help even with what the drone overhead was showing, and that in and of itself is an order to ‘stand down’ as far as I’m concerned.
stevens-being-carried
Now to the photograph itself and remember this is NOT a newly released photograph but aphotograph now seen differently, because one main point in this photograph has been overlooked by all…until now that is. Remember reports by a Libyan doctor claimed Stevens died ‘at the consulate’ of “severe asphyxia,” sometimes known as smoke inhalation, but results of an autopsy done on Stevens’ body after it was returned to the US have NOT been made public to either prove or disprove that. And then known al-Qaeda terrorist Abdallah Dhu-al-Bajadin piped in claiming Stevens was killed by lethal injection ‘at the consulate’, and while some do NOT discard that as a possible cause of death that too has NOT been proven or disproved, again because our government has NOT released our US done autopsy results. But no matter as neither of those scenarios is the truth because Ambassador Stevens did NOT die at the Benghazi consulate…he died…NO he was MURDERED… after being taken very much ALIVE from the consulate and at the direct hands of the enemy…an enemy aided by our president…and here’s the proof…
Notice Ambassador Stevens being carried by the barbarians…notice his right arm hanging down limp…now notice his bent left arm up by his face trying to either protect his face, cover his eyes, or even wipe tears from his eyes, but guess what…dead men do NOT wipe tears from their eyes nor do they try to cover their faces…NO…AMBASSADOR STEVENS WAS ALIVE NOT DEAD FROM SMOKE INHALATION and NO crap that he died at the hospital…and NO nonsense that maybe rigor-mortise had set in to bend his arm because that takes hours to happen and the time frame for that just isn’t here. This man was NOT being taken to a hospital after death as claimed but was dragged ALIVE through the streets, raped, sodomized, brutalized, and murdered by these muslim bast*rds, and this is why NO official US autopsy reports have been released. This fact had and still has to be hidden at all costs for Stevens being alive at this point could very well blow Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s cover-ups of why that night in Benghai happened.
Bottom line…our miserable muslim sympathizing president and his equally miserable former Secretary of State both NOT only LIED to us all about the reason for Benghazi, but also covered-up the cause of Ambassador Stevens’ death and everything relating to Benghazi. And that, I believe, is grounds for immediate arrest for treason.

www.dcclothesline.com/2013/07/01/they-all-liedand-this-one-picture-is-the-proof/

http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/27/obamas-kenyan-brother-barack-is-not-an-honest-man/