Monday, June 29, 2015


It was brought to my attention that some of the folks in Appalachia are tangled up in relief programs: EBT, WIC, SS Disability, and Unemployment benefits. It's hard to be free while on the dole.

There are several programs started by the Federal Government decades ago that had good intentions. "Good intentions" cannot fix the potholes in the roads but they certainly can pave the way to Hell. In following posts I will discuss other help programs that started out good but soon turned sour.

The theme will be  Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Much trouble has issued from this program. The trouble started with Democrats decades ago and it has been perpetuated by both parties. My theory concerning the political parties is that you could move them over from one side of the aisle to the other and the result would be the same.

 Social Security has many problems today, starting with - the fund is running out of money.

How can this happen?

The short answer is: the greed of politicians and the efforts by Socialists, or Commies, or as they are known today - Democrats - to gain and hold control of this country and its citizens.

Blow wise to this: all politicians are only in it for themselves. A sort of universal survival instinct manifested regardless of what colors they wear on the field.
The money that you pay through taxes is not the same money that you will receive when you collect benefits. Instead, it's primarily a pay-as-you-go system where the money you and your employer contribute now is used to fund payments to people who currently receive benefits, including people who have retired or disabled, survivors of workers who have died, and dependents and beneficiaries.
Americans are having fewer children and living longer, both of which contribute to an aging population. Baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are retiring at a record pace: 14% of the population is age 65 and over, and by 2080, it will be 23%. At the same time, the working-age population is getting smaller, from about 60% today to 54% in 2080. These trends result in declining worker-to-beneficiary ratios: as we move forward, there will be fewer people putting money into the Social Security system and more people taking money out. Because of these factors, it has been estimated that all the money in the Social Security "bank account" will be exhausted in 2033, when it will have only about 77% of what it should pay out that year. That means that without any changes to the system, if you're in your forties or fifties today, you may not have access to the Social Security benefits during retirement, even though you're paying into it now. Increased taxes, benefit cuts, and upping the age at which people can start collecting benefits (or a combination of these) are changes that could be implemented to make up any future shortfalls.

The original Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935. At that time, the US was just beginning to recover from the Great Depression..

Millions of people were still out of work, and there was alarming concern for the elderly and retired Americans who had lost everything. The Social Security program was intended to be -and essentially still is today – a social insurance program. It’s a government-run program providing economic security to our citizens.

The 1935 Act provided for “old age” or retirement benefits, aid to dependent children, disability insurance, and unemployment insurance. Payments were made in lump sums until 1940 when a monthly payment system was put into place. And, it was paid for by workers. Workers made contributions to a trust fund (“Fund”) from their paychecks to pay for the retirement and other benefits they’d need in the following years.
History Lesson on Your Social Security Card

borrowed from Dick Kantenberger

Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn't know this. It's easy to check out, if you don't believe it. Be sure and show it to your family and friends. They need a little history lesson on what's what and it doesn't matter whether you are Democrat or Republican. Facts are Facts.

Social Security Cards up until the 1980s expressly stated the number and card were not to be used for identification purposes. Since nearly everyone in the United States now has a number, it became convenient to use it anyway and the message, NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION, was removed.

Old Social Security card
with the "NOT FOR IDENTIFICATION" message



Our Social Security
Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program.

He promised:

1) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary;

No longer Voluntary

2) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the program;

Now 7.65% on the first $90,000

3) That the money the participants elected to put into the program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year;

No longer tax deductible

4) That the money the participants put into the independent 'Trust Fund' rather than into the general operating fund would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program and no other Government program;

Under Johnson the money was moved to The General Fund and spent

5) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

Under Clinton& Gore up to 85% of your Social Security can be taxed

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month and we find that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the Federal government to 'put away', you may be interested in the following:

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent 'Trust Fund' and put it into the general fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratically controlled House and Senate.

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the 'tie-breaking' deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the US

Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?

A: That's right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.

Immigrants moving into this country at age 65 begin to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it. With the recent flood of immigrants, mostly illegal, the Democrats are buying votes.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Everybody is wondering, what do we do now? Economy dumping, politicians creeping, social fabric unravelling, God being shoved out of the way, brother turning against brother, death wish just below the surface.

"Now is the time for better men to make a difference in this world. It is time for better men to speak up. It is time for better men to take a strong hand in the everyday affairs of the world. It is time for better men to show up in every aspect of daily life. It is time for better men to lead by example. It is time for better men to be the strong and positive influence in the daily outcomes of the people they meet. It is time for better men to live out "square dealing" in their affairs with all mankind."

 I spent some time reading and reflecting, getting centered and balanced again. Here's something I came across, taken from a Masonic Grand Lodge newsletter: 

"Every day, the world requires spiritual and moral regeneration. As a Mason, I have no doubt that Freemasonry plays a very important part in this vital need. Freemasonry is now, as in days past, a force focused on making good men better.
"How is it that we, as Masons, do it? The direct answer is Freemasonry's rituals and obligations, which align the way we deal with the world and the people in it. Becoming familiar with these guidelines allows us the opportunity to be particular about the outcomes in our life. These things allow us to choose right-minded, sound thinking to better ourselves.
"Better lives depend on getting the "good stuff' put into the recipe of our everyday living. That takes planning. It takes thinking. It takes knowledge about how to think - that is, problem solving. In a simple sense, problem solving means getting from where you are to where you need to be. Functionally, it means creatively discovering what is missing and producing a sound solution - that's where the "good stuff" is.
"It has long been observed that wisdom is love and knowledge combined. Masonic wisdom is a sound, long-standing approach used to choose good morals and develop a sound spiritual life. Wisdom determines positive outcomes in human progress as a consequence of human thought. Wisdom drives our consciences to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. The "good stuff" of Masonry is in its rituals, obligations, principles, and lectures.
"It has also long been said, that "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he," A man is literally what he thinks; his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. Our conscience, as a collective humanity, must continually deal with the presence of unsound thoughts. Love and knowledge produce wisdom, or what Freemasonry openly recognizes as right-minded, sound thinking.

"Sound thinking is usually at direct odds with emotion-based thinking. Facetious thinking lacks serious intent, being basically frivolous. Cynical thinking is the disbelief of another individual's integrity and sincerity. These approaches tear at the moral and spiritual fabric of society in general and the individual in particular. Facetiousness and cynicism are the symptoms of a hopeless humanity, lacking an enlightened point of view.
"Freemasonry has always been a source of enlightenment in the moral and spiritual life of men; it is needed now more than ever. Knowing right from wrong, compassion from neglect, and generosity from greed - these are the simple distinctions Masons use to choose well and wisely. That makes them the “better” men.
"Defining moments, strength and inspiration, mentors, role models, the wisest person you ever met, what you value in friends, what makes you laugh, your greatest fear and how you overcame it, where you're going from here, all these things comprise what it means to be a better man today. Better husbands, fathers, sons, family men, citizens, and leaders
- we are sorely needed to make a difference for the better.

That's what does it for me, folks, my Masonic teachings. Oh, and reading the Bible.


Saturday, June 27, 2015


Remember the Guy who Wouldn't take the Flag down?

You might remember a news story a couple years ago, about a crotchety old man who defied his homeowners association and refused to take down the flagpole on his property and the large flag that flew on it. Now you can find out who, exactly, that old man was.  

On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg -- probably didn't make much news back then.

Twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano , Italy , Van T. Barfoot, who had enlisted in the US Army in 1940, set out to flank German machine gun positions from which fire was coming down on his fellow soldiers. He advanced through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned with 17 prisoners of war.

If that wasn't enough for a day's work, he later took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.

That probably didn't make much news either, given the scope of the war, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a colonel after also serving in Korea and Vietnam, a Congressional Medal of Honor.


What did make news was a neighborhood association's quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban
Virginia home.

Seems the rules said a flag could be flown on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot's 21-foot flagpole were unsuitable.

He had been denied a permit for the pole, erected it anyway and was facing court action if he didn't take it down. Since the story made national TV, the neighborhood association has rethought its position and agreed to indulge this old hero who dwells among them.

"In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference," Barfoot told The Associated Press.

As well he should.
And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they might want to read his Medal of Honor citation.  It indicates he's not real good at backing down.


Van T. Barfoot's Medal of Honor citation:

This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano , Italy .
With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machine gun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers.

Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17.

Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks. From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his
Platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety.

Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of point blank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers."

Rhetorical question. Anybody that tries to give me an actual answer should go away. You are wasting my oxygen.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Been reading the Woodpile Report.

Got me to thinking. Character counts for a lot within each of us (the Inside Job, eh?) and also the folks with whom we associate. That's why in these uncertain soon to be troubled times we have to find like-minded people that we want to be around. People that we can trust.

Churches do it for some, cops and soldiers have their own groups; I am a Christian and a Freemason so I look within the Fraternity.

People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.

We cannot make it alone. Neighbors, family, community associations, strength in numbers. BTW be a giver, not a taker. Offer as much or more than you expect from such a group.

The times are certainly changing. For the worse.

Thanks to Remus, a look at character:
As Remus told you in Woodpile Report 8, nobody really judges a person solely by the color of their skin, at least nobody he'd wanna know.

Martin Luther King was right when he said we should judge people by the content of their character.
So let's do some judging. We form entirely reasonable opinions by observing ordinary things about other people.

 For instance:
  • Are they considerate, courteous and pleasant or are they obnoxious, confrontational and crude?
  • Do they dress to an acceptable standard, or wear offensive costumes?
  • Are they thought well of, or are they habitual troublemakers?
  • Are they dependable and honest, or untrustworthy and criminal?
  • Are they reasonably intelligent and inquisitive, or ignorant and incurious but deviously clever?
  • Are they sociable and cooperative, or consumed with self interest?
  • Do they speak intelligibly, or use gang slang?
  • Can they disagree without insults, threats or violence?
  • Are their kids well behaved, or foul-mouthed junior street thugs?
  • Do they value education, or are schools just their free day care?
  • Are they self-reliant, or does the world owe them a living? Do they take personal responsibility, or is somebody else always to blame?
  • Do they give others the benefit of the doubt, or do they see others as cunning victimizers?
  • Are they truthful about their personal history, or is it a pastiche of self-serving fantasy?
  • Do they plan for the future, or lunge at short-term payoffs?
  • Do they earn respect, or demand it?
  • Do they believe race is irrelevant, or do they use race to extort preferences?
King had it right; judging people by the content of their character is reasonable and just. We should do more of it.

Start with honesty.

My father used to say "Lie to no one. If it’s somebody close to you, you’re gonna ruin it with a lie. If it’s a stranger, who the heck are they, you gotta lie to them?"


My pals claim that my blog has no serious content. No relevance, no, uh, perspective. Hmph, I will show them.

Here is a Lesson in Life as learned from our little friends in the animal world and stunningly presented in mixed-media-narrative format. There will be a musical intro followed by the fable, and a musical conclusion. Note-taking is encouraged.

An introductory piece of music will do to calm the anticipations and focus the attention.
Warning: closely watching the revolving disc can cause anaphasic reactions in the weak and infirm.

Here comes the lesson.

The killer instinct is not dependent on size. This little fella has the DPJK mentality from snout to tail. His victory howl says it all:

The conclusory music will help the viewers absorb and apply the lessons as they shift from the abstract to the real.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


In the oral tradition of the Spillers of Soup, my father told this to me and I have passed it down to my sons:

It is better to love a woman and be disappointed than to eat your soup alone.

I have to agree. I've done both a number of times.

I'm a slow learner and many things he said I didn't understand until years or decades later.

He told me: Never lay down with a woman that has more troubles than you.

I have done that too, and I learned why I shouldn'ta.

shoulda quit choo long time ago

I thought I was treatin' my baby square ...

Baby, I'm troo wit choo

I left her standin' in the corner ...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


I have posted this before but it still is interesting. 

Note the date of the article. He got most of the predictions right.  

Foolish Thoughts

By Ben Stein on 4.1.11 @ 10:02AM

Herewith a few no doubt foolish thoughts about President Barack H. Obama's Middle East policy:

1.) First, it doesn't make any sense. President Barack H. Obama's close friend and apologist, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts (D) wrote a week ago in the Wall Street Journal to the effect that one of our main goals in helping to oust our longtime ally, Hosni Mubarak, in Egypt, and our nutty "friend," Moammar Gaddafi in Libya was to get the Egyptian and Libyan people good jobs.

Yes. I am not making this up. Surely, this must be the first time in human history that one nation bombed the hell out of a much smaller, weaker nation to get the people there jobs. And anyway, how are we going to get those poor people jobs? How can a cruise missile get people good jobs (except maybe cleaning up the rubble)? And if Mr. Barack H. Obama and Senator Kerry know how to get "good jobs" for the people of Libya , maybe they could use that knowhow to get jobs for the roughly 15.5 million Americans who are unemployed.
When I think that we have gone to war with rationales like that one, I really want to just find a cave and hide in it until Mr. Obama goes away.

2.) It is now cruelly apparent that the Egyptian Revolution has not gone as well as we might have hoped. Islamic law, enforced by the military, is taking hold in Egypt . The poor beleaguered Copts, who made a show of solidarity with the demonstrators, are an endangered species. Businessmen are put on trial just for being successful.

Protest itself is now illegal. Women who protest are raped or hauled off for involuntary virginity testing. (I am not making this up. It was in Nick Kristof's column in the New York Times. He has a wicked sense of humor, but this does not sound like a gag.) Professors who do not endorse the Moslem Brotherhood are threatened with summary killing. (By the way, this does not bother Mr. Kristof much, if I read him right. It's "messy" and no more.)
And this was supposed to be a revolution that ushered in a rule of democracy and human rights.

The Moslem Brotherhood of Egypt, sworn to destroy Israel , hand in glove with Hamas, proponent of Shariah law worldwide, is poised to take over the whole country and put it on a war footing with Israel .

This Revolution (as I respectfully predicted) is turning into exactly the kind of nightmare that the Iranian "Revolution" against the Shah became: the replacement of a fairly mild tyranny with a brutal, violently reactionary Moslem terror state. The amazing part is that this was coming as plainly as a freight train barreling down the track.

Mr. Barack H. Obama ignored it, and pushed for Mubarak's ouster. Now, instead of a friend in Egypt , we have a bitter enemy -- armed with superb U.S. made weapons.

3.) The exact same thing is happening in Libya . Certainly Col. Gaddafi is a wild man. But we don't even know who the rebels are. The Israelis, who have a life or death interest in knowing these things, say the al Qaeda is a big part of the rebellion. The Moslem Brotherhood is another big part.

So, we are attacking Col. Gadafhi -- again, a crazy man -- on behalf of people who may well be far more dangerous to us than Gaddafi was in the last ten years. Surely this must be the first time we have ever gone to war for total strangers.

Of course, Libya will end up dominated by the Islamists, because that's how all Moslem countries in the Middle East wind up when there is a rebellion. That's as predictable as gravity. They are organized, smart, and fearless. Our present leadership is confused, confused, and confused. They are run by patient, cunning tough guys. We are run by Hillary Clinton. You get the picture?

4.) Interestingly enough, while we literally go to war to oust Col. Gaddafi, who is no threat to anyone outside Libya , we do not lift one finger to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons or to change the regime in Syria which is unremittingly hostile to us and always has been. If we have all these great, accurate Tomahawk missiles, why don't we blow up the Iranian nuclear bomb making sites? Why are the evil allies, Iran and Syria , immune to our righteous anger as they slaughter their own people, while crazy clown-like Gaddafi gets hammered? Could it be that Mr. Barack H. Obama is afraid of Syria and Iran ? And if he's terrified of Ahmadinejad now, what's it going to be like when Iran is a nuclear power?

Or is Mr. Barack H. Obama secretly sympathetic to Iran and Syria ? Is there some wicked connection between the Assad/Ahmadinejad axis and the Minister Farrakhan/ black Muslims of Chicago world? And from them to the President? One hears such things, but they are too upsetting to be believed.


And yet, and yet. Why will Mr. Obama act to save the citizens of Libya (or so he says) and do nothing for the people of Iran -- who actually like us?

5.) As far as I can tell, the Islamists now basically have a heck of a lot more than they did on 9/11. They have a giant new pal, Egypt . They may soon have Afghanistan again. They will probably soon have Libya . The war in Iraq is far from over. And now there are rumbles from Algeria and Morocco . Gaza used to be Israel . Now, it's Hamasland. The Moslem radicals have figured us out: if they pretend to be democrats, we stand back and let them take over -- and even help them. Then when they show their true colors, it's too late. They are on the march in Saudi Arabia and Yemen and Bahrain , all extremely important to us.

If Saudi Arabia is taken over by the Islamic radicals, it's a world class catastrophe and yet every sign is that Mr. Obama will not help our pals there when push comes to shove. This is getting truly terrifying.

Two questions:
Whose side is Mr. Obama on?

Where is Richard Nixon when we need him?

This man, as our POTUS, didn't bow down to anybody. He mighta been a crook, but he was our crook.