Friday, September 7, 2012

this is what separates us #RNC #DNC

The Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To
- DNC 2012 commercial video

We own this country
- RNC speech 2012 - Clint Eastwood

Democrats want everyone to "belong" to something "bigger than yourself." Hive mentality.
"Together, we can do anything."

Republicans take "ownership" and have "responsibility." Individualism.
"You can be anything you want to be if you work for it."

Thursday, September 6, 2012

before the cock crow

thou shalt deny me thrice.
and deny God and Jerusalem, they did...
GOPICYMI YouTube Channel

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The First Four Years Are The Hardest… « mikeroweWORKS

Dear Governor Romney,

My name is Mike Rowe and I own a small company in California called mikeroweWORKS. Currently, mikeroweWORKS is trying to close the country’s skills gap by changing the way Americans feel about Work.  (I know, right? Ambitious.)

Anyway, this Labor Day is our 4th anniversary, and I’m commemorating the occasion with an open letter to you. If you read the whole thing, I’ll vote for you in November.

First things first. mikeroweWORKS grew out of a TV show called Dirty Jobs. If by some chance you are not glued to The Discovery Channel every Wednesday at 10pm, allow me to visually introduce myself. That’s me on the right, preparing to do something dirty.

When Dirty Jobs premiered back in 2003, critics called the show “a calamity of exploding toilets and misadventures in animal husbandry.” They weren’t exactly wrong. But mostly, Dirty Jobs was an unscripted celebration of hard work and skilled labor. It still is. Every week, we highlight regular people who do the kind of jobs most people go out of their way to avoid. My role on the show is that of a “perpetual apprentice.” In that capacity I have completed over three hundred different jobs, visited all fifty states, and worked in every major industry.

Though schizophrenic and void of any actual qualifications, my resume looks pretty impressive, and when our economy officially crapped the bed in 2008, I was perfectly positioned to weigh in on a variety of serious topics. A reporter from The Wall Street Journal called to ask what I thought about the “counter-intuitive correlation between rising unemployment and the growing shortage of skilled labor.” CNBC wanted my take on outsourcing. Fox News wanted my opinions on manufacturing and infrastructure. And CNN wanted to chat about currency valuations, free trade, and just about every other work-related problem under the sun.

In each case, I shared my theory that most of these “problems” were in fact symptoms of something more fundamental – a change in the way Americans viewed hard work and skilled labor. That’s the essence of what I’ve heard from the hundreds of men and women I’ve worked with on Dirty Jobs. Pig farmers, electricians, plumbers, bridge painters, jam makers, blacksmiths, brewers, coal miners, carpenters, crab fisherman, oil drillers…they all tell me the same thing over and over, again and again – our country has become emotionally disconnected from an essential part of our workforce.  We are no longer impressed with cheap electricity, paved roads, and indoor plumbing. We take our infrastructure for granted, and the people who build it.

Today, we can see the consequences of this disconnect in any number of areas, but none is more obvious than the growing skills gap. Even as unemployment remains sky high, a whole category of vital occupations has fallen out of favor, and companies struggle to find workers with the necessary skills. The causes seem clear. We have embraced a ridiculously narrow view of education. Any kind of training or study that does not come with a four-year degree is now deemed “alternative.” Many viable careers once aspired to are now seen as “vocational consolation prizes,” and many of the jobs this current administration has tried to “create” over the last four years are the same jobs that parents and teachers actively discourage kids from pursuing. (I always thought there something ill-fated about the promise of three million “shovel ready jobs” made to a society that no longer encourages people to pick up a shovel.)

Which brings me to my purpose in writing. On Labor Day of 2008, the fans of Dirty Jobs helped me launch this website. began as a Trade Resource Center designed to connect kids with careers in the skilled trades. It has since evolved into a non-profit foundation – a kind of PR Campaign for hard work and skilled labor. Thanks to a number of strategic partnerships, I have been able to promote a dialogue around these issues with a bit more credibility than my previous resume allowed. I’ve spoken to Congress (twice) about the need to confront the underlying stigmas and stereotypes that surround these kinds of jobs. Alabama and Georgia have both used mikeroweWORKS to launch their own statewide technical recruitment campaigns, and I’m proud to be the spokesman for both initiatives. I also work closely with Caterpillar, Ford, Kimberly-Clark, and Master Lock, as well as The Boy Scouts of America and The Future Farmers of America. To date, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation has raised over a million dollars for trade scholarships. It’s modest by many standards, but I think we’re making a difference.

Certainly, we need more jobs, and you were clear about that in Tampa. But the Skills Gap proves that we need something else too.  We need people who see opportunity where opportunity exists. We need enthusiasm for careers that have been overlooked and underappreciated by society at large. We need to have a really big national conversation about what we value in the workforce, and if I can be of help to you in that regard, I am at your service – assuming of course, you find yourself in a new address early next year.

To be clear, mikeroweWORKS has no political agenda. I am not an apologist for Organized Labor or for Management. mikeroweWORKS is concerned only with encouraging a larger appreciation for skilled labor, and supporting those kids who are willing to learn a skill.

Good luck in November. And thanks for your time.


Mike Rowe

PS. In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I wrote a similar letter to President Obama. Of course, that was four years ago, and since I never heard back, I believe proper etiquette allows me to extend the same offer to you now. I figure if I post it here, the odds are better that someone you know might send it along to your attention.

The First Four Years Are The Hardest… « mikeroweWORKS

please sir, i want some more

i'm sorry, but we don't want more of the same, do we?... it baffles me that the big picture isn't seen by some very intelligent people... they sure think those trees look pretty, but there's a forest out there, too.

Mike Huckabee recently posted the following:
[T]he Daily Caller revealed some previously unpublished court information about a landmark case that many consider the fuse that set off the sub-prime mortgage boom and eventually, the economic meltdown. It was a 1995 discrimination lawsuit against Citibank, on behalf of a group of African-Americans who claimed they couldn’t get loans because of their race. It was part of a coordinated effort at the time by progressive groups. The banks didn’t want to be sued or accused of racism, so they loosened requirements for credit history and down payments.
at one point, the Daily Caller (and Huckabee, by proxy) attempt to tie a young Barack Obama to the sub-prime mortgage disaster... it's a stretch, by any reasonable person... but there's a bigger truth that the DC and Huck don't emphasise... it isn't that Obama was involved... it's the idea of forcing sub-prime mortgages on banks that don't want them.

so, what is a bank to do with toxic loans?... well, sell them, of course.
but who would buy them?... investors, of course.
and why would they buy them?... because they can be traded on the market, speculated against, even short-sales... they were high risk, so they could be bought inexpensively... and if mortgages were (mostly) paid on time, investors made big money... but if they weren't paid, investors were out only a fraction of their investment.
better still, you could bet on them failing, drive the price down, buy low, and get bigger returns... Stock Market 101 = "Buy Low; Sell High".

now, back the banks with federal insurance, and there is no risk should it collapse... great idea... idiots.

and the final nail, offer "No Documentation" and "Stated Income" loans... or "Interest Only" loans... someone with poor credit and slight income can get a loan without any repercussion against them... it's not like they paid a down payment, anyways!... the loans go belly-up, the banks foreclose, they're left holding property when no one is buying, they lose money... well, that is until the government bails them out.

the people who put this all in motion, from deregulating the banking industry to backing toxic assets to requiring loosened standards on housing mortgages... these are the people in the White House and have control of the Senate.

they believe that everyone has the right to own a home... everyone has a right to go to college... everyone has a right to everything.

and they believe it's the government's place to provide all of the above.

THIS is who they are... THIS is who is running things... THESE are the people want four more years.

Mike Huckabee's Facebook post
Obama’s African-American clients got coupons, not cash - 09/03/2012 - The Daily Caller
Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hysteria Over The "Risk" Of Being Poor

Please stand back.  I’ve been waiting all weekend to write this particular section for Nealz Nuze.  Seldom have I heard a more idiotic statement from someone in a position to know better … I mean this is so magnificently ignorant – even stupid – that if this woman’s ignorance were radioactive Democrats could build the mother of all nuclear brain bombs.  Just one could wipe out all intelligent life on Earth.
The woman we’re talking about is Melissa Harris-Perry.  Apparently she has a weekend show on MSNBC.  No surprise there.  At last check MSNBC had about 2,200 centrifuges at work 24/7 trying to purify stupid.  They’ve done quite well with Melissa Harris Hyphen Perry.
Melissa Harris Hyphen Perry is also political science professor at Tulane.  Read a bit further and you’ll pity her poor students.
Melissa’s meltdown (Can I just call her Melissa?  The Harris Hyphen Perry is tiring) occurred on her show over this past weekend.  The topic had turned to welfare and income mobility.  Melissa apparently lost it when a guest on her show suggested that people move from lower to higher income brackets by taking risks.  Oh my!  Now THAT yanked Melissa’s chain.  She actually started screaming and thrashing about on the air like a beached barracuda.  Here’s a section from the transcript of her hysterical fit, provided by Hot Air:
“What is riskier than living poor in America?   Seriously! What in the world is riskier than being a poor person in America? I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won’t. I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky. No. There is a huge safety net that whenever you fail will catch you and catch you and catch you. Being poor is what is risky. We have to create a safety net for poor people. And when we won’t, because they happen to look different from us, it is the pervasive ugliness.”
Where to start?  This is like hunting over a baited field.  So many targets standing completely still with stupid expressions on their faces that you scarcely know where to shoot first.  (OMG!  A gun methaphor!)
Let’s start with the poor.  The poor, poor, pitiful poor.  Just how risky is it to be poor in America?  Lose your job?  You’re on unemployment.  No job? You’re on welfare!  Can’t find something to eat?  Food banks and numerous feeding programs.  Just tell me when was the last time you heard of someone dying from hunger in this country.  You have to hide somewhere to do that.  No roof over your head?  Check in to a shelter.  Fact is, most people who sleep outside make that choice after rejecting a bed in a shelter because they don’t want to abide by the rules.  For every story of some poor person who died on a freezing night outdoors, there is a story of a bed in a shelter rejected.  Get sick?  Medicaid.  Nobody is denied basic life-saving medical care in this country because they can’t afford to pay for it.
What’s it like to be poor in America?  Dare I say it?  Not all that horrible, actually.  First – in a general sense – the average poor person in America has a higher standard of living than the average European.  Read that sentence again – you need to understand what I’m saying there.  Read it until it sinks in.  Take the average POOR person in America and tell them they’re going to have to live like the AVERAGE EUROPEAN .. and they’ll start screaming racism, discrimination, oppression, and every other leftist trigger word they can remember.  Tell a poor person in America that they’re going to have to lower their living standard to that of the average European, and the proggies will tell you that you be “hatin’” on the poor.
Specifics?  Yeah .. I have some specifics.
First .. let me go back to a story and picture that appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this year.  The story is re-written for use every winter --- it’s about pitiful po’ folks having to wait in line to get their home heating assistance dollars from the government to heat their homes in the winter.  This past winter the AJC showed a picture of some pitiful poor person bemoaning the fact that she might not get her heating dollars.  Right there in her living room we saw her big-screen television (at least 50”) and the PlayStation video game.  There was also a space heater in the background.  The AJC writer told us that sadly this woman can only afford to heat the room she is occupying.  Well … guess what the hell what?  That’s the way the average European does it!  In Europe many think it’s just plain silly to heat a room you are not using.  That’s also the way your parents or grandparents probably lived in this country.  You wouldn’t expect this AJC reporter to know that though.  The purpose of the story was to make your heart bleed for this pitiful poor woman, not to give you any actual facts.
Pretty risky stuff, right Melissa?
More specifics?  Here you go.  This is from a two-year old study from The Heritage Foundation. 
  • The typical “poor” household in America has a car
  • 78% of “poor” households in America have air conditioning
  • 64% of “poor” households in America have cable or satellite TV .. most have two TVs, along with a DVD player and  VCR
  • Most “poor” households in America with children have a gaming system such as an Xbox or PlayStation
  • 38% of “poor” households in America have a personal computer
  • Most “poor” households in America have a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave. They also have other household appliances such as a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.
  • The typical “poor” American has more living space than the average European.
  • The typical “poor” American family is able to obtain medical care when needed.
  • The average “poor” household in America claims to have sufficient funds to meet all essential needs.
One can only assume that in light of the growth of Obama’s entitlement society these numbers are even better now.
But wait!  (As they say.)  There’s more!
I’m about to show you that you have more disposable income in America as a single mother with three children – from God knows how many different fathers – than does a traditional two-parent middle class family.  Hold on.
Let’s consider the head of a household of four making minimum wage in America.  More specifically – a one-parent household of four.  The mom – making minimum wage – and three children.  Compare this to a two-parent household with two children making $60,000 a year.  Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current ran the numbers on these two families and discovered that the single-mom with three kids,  and no job marketable job skills that she could use to earn more than minimum wage,  actually has --- now get this --- actually has more disposable income than the family making $60,000.  How does that work?  Well .. you throw in the various government income redistribution programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, the school lunch program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, CHIP, Section 8 rent subsidies, and the heating assistance program and you have little Miss Minimum Wage – earning $14,500 a year – actually walking away with $37,777 in disposable income.  Meanwhile, the family earning $60,000, after taxes and childcare costs, brings home about $34,366. 
There, Melissa.  There’s your risky lifestyle.  Really?  Just where IS the risk you speak of?  Frankly, I don’t see that much at all.  It’s a life in thrall .. the government provides you with the security you so ardently desire in exchange for one simple little thing every two or four years … you’re vote. 
Do you want me to tell you about poor people and risk-taking?  Here you go:
  • Having unprotected sex so that your boyfriend can knock you up, and then having a child you absolutely cannot afford to raise … that’s risky.
  • Ignoring your education and job training opportunities to the point that you can’t qualify for a job that earns more than minimum wage … that’s risky.
  • Getting hooked on drugs … that’s risky
  • Spending your spare money on lottery tickets and at your local Tresses and Talons shop … that’s risky.
  • Taking money you could use to buy your kids a book .. and spending it instead on a cool tattoo.  Risky.
  • Getting a job --- and then making a habit of not showing up for work on Monday’s and Fridays … that’s risky. 
  • Refusing to move out of a crime-ridden inner city environment and relocating, by whatever means necessary, to an area with better schools, less drugs and crime, and some basic job opportunities … that’s risky.  And don’t give me this “can’t afford it” crap.  Our ancestors did that walking alongside covered wagons with a few tables and chairs and maybe a bed inside.  They had to dig holes in the ground to drop a deuce along the way.  You have a car.  There’s rest areas on the expressways.  Load it and use it.
  • Embracing the “no snitching” culture so that the police can’t do an effective job of ridding your neighborhood of the thugs that shoot your friends on street corners … risky. 
Now … dear, sweet, mindless Melissa.  You say that there’s no risk-taking in being wealthy?  Oh .. and that there’s a “huge safety net that will catch you whenever you fail over and over?”  Really?  Well .. you’re a political science professor .. so we’ll just assume you don’t know what in the hell you’re talking about.  Pretty safe assumption, I’d say. 
CNN’s tells us that households have lost a total of $16 trillion plus in household wealth since the recession.  Now this wasn’t wealth held by the pitiful poor.  By definition, they have no net wealth.  So where was the safety net for this $16 trillion in lost net wealth, Melissa?  Is the government out there making these people whole again?  Is the government restoring lost savings accounts?  How about depleted IRAs and 401Ks?  Being rich is risk-free? 
What of all the businessmen who have had to close down their businesses – their life’s dreams – as a result of the recession?  Where was that government safety net that catches them over and over and over?  Can you tell me one business lost to a small businessman that has been restored by government?  Can you tell me how the government stepped in and gave this businessman back the cash and time he invested in his business?  Isn’t it great that this guy wasn’t taking any risks? 
What about the stock losses in failed corporations?  What about the dividends no longer being paid by corporations on the financial brink?  Tell me, Melissa, how is the government stepping in to stretch a safety net under these investors?  Even The Huffington Post reports that wealth lost during the recession hit middle and upper income people the hardest.  Tell me what the government safety net did for them, Melissa?
Do you want to know what the safety net for the rich is?  It’s the exact same safety net your wonderful poor people have:  SNAP, Section 8, EITC, Child care tax credits, food banks, TANF and the rest of the social welfare programs that prop up your neighbors in that violent neighborhood you can’t bring yourself to leave. 
Don’t move, Melissa.  Trust me .. you’re right where you belong.  It’s nice they let you work in the house sometimes.  

Hysteria Over The "Risk" Of Being Poor