Welfare Queens: Who Really Wears the Crown

Numbers have a liberal bias, which is why the Right has taken to simply inventing numbers. The issue of who is on Welfare, and who is actually lying about what Welfare actually entails is a case in point. The number currently being floated by the Rightwing of Americans on Welfare is an astounding 109, 631,000 number. That’s a lot of lazy and out of work people helping to make the case as to why you are paying too much in taxes. Just one problem, the number isn’t accurate. Well, it is and it isn’t. Here’s what I mean.

As of the 2012 census there were 320 million Americans total. An astounding 35.4%, or just under 110 million were on welfare, according to a, dare I say, very liberal use of the word by the right. A quick definition of the word, however, reveals that “welfare” encompasses everything from SNAP, or food stamps, Tax Credits for Working Families, Housing assistance, SSI for severely disabled Americans, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Women Infants and Children (WIC) assistance, Head Start and Family Energy assistance, because it looks really really embarrassing if too many Americans succumb to cold or heat due to poverty, unless we are competing directly with Bangladesh these days.

Incidentally, according to the CDC, between 2006 and 2010 some 2000 Americans died because of heat cold and other weather related events. While many of those are not attributable to poverty, the rise from previous years is so precipitous that contributions due to poverty cannot be overlooked or under estimated. That sharp rise coincides with both an aging population, cuts in benefits, rising medical costs and the great recession.

But in this election cycle the right would also have us believe that Blacks, immigrants and Latinos are voting for democrats because the democrats will give them welfare. The numbers prove otherwise and instead lend more evidence that the right intends to frighten, radicalize and anger white voters to the poles out of the realization that they cannot carry in any meaningful way Black and minority votes.

They portray the myth of the welfare queen, the Black woman on drugs popping out babies and collecting big checks bled from hard working white taxpayers, Tennessee began testing welfare recipients for narcotics in July 2014 and found only 1 in 800 tested positive, hardly more than 1/10 of 1%. Florida, which also tests, found the rate to be at 2.6%, while the non welfare, taxpaying population’s rate was near 8%. So why the hype? Testing dollars are a big ticket give away to testing companies. Each test nets the company $30-40 on average, a mandatory cash payment by the person being tested. Testing companies are pouring millions through lobbyists into campaigns and media. Carly Fiorina, Republican presidential candidate was recently caught in a lie about a stepdaughter, whom she led people to believe died of a drug overdose, when in fact the person had died from complications due to Bulimia.

Children are the primary beneficiaries of Welfare. Even still, only 5.2% of so-called welfare recipients get more than half of their total income from the government. Nationally the amount spent on social welfare programs is 59 Billion, against more than $100 billion given to already profitable corporations. That number is exponentially higher is state and local corporate giveaways are tallied. People who attend college re far less likely to need or ask for any type of public assistance, adding weight to the long term cost benefits of free collage educations. that isn’t about welfare, but rather investment.

The same could be said for law enforcement and the prison industry. If the country prioritized quality public education over law enforcement and security the cost benefit to the country would be staggering. It cost roughly $5000 more to incarcerate a young person for a year than it would cost to send him/her to a Big 10 school with housing and board for an entire year. For profit prisons spent $45 million in lobbying just in 2011 alone, and made more than $5 billion just in immigration detentions alone. The cost for each detainee was $166 dollars per day. The Holiday Inn in Port Washington Wisconsin, with a stunning view of the quaint harbor costs $94 a night, with private showers, a pool, sauna, breakfast and clean towels. There is a nice Italian place within walking distance where for about $20 bucks you can get dinner and have some left to take back to the room. $52 dollars cheaper than for-profit=prisons.

Blacks are 13% of the population. While the white middle class benefitted over hundreds of billions in VA loans and scholarships the Black community was barred from those benefits, allowing one community an unfair advantage. That community, in large part because of that has historically remained the most vulnerable. Almost 42% of Blacks are on or require some sort of public assistance. That equals about 17 million people. The number is virtually identical in the Hispanic and Latino communities. Together they still do not add up to the number of white Americans using some time of Welfare. or about 41 million White Americans. That begs the question; why then do so many poor whites vote republican?


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Shaming Jesus

We hear all the time from the right how they speak for Jesus when again and again it becomes a do as I say not as I do scenario. At some point you must ask yourself if they are simply invoking the name to keep you under control, that is, shaming you into compliance with crafted and concealed deals and policies, cloaked in religion that are meant simply to provide a few with greater power, privilege and security at the expense of the rest of us. The refugee catastrophe, which Revolution and Beer has chronicled and followed for several years now, is a case in terribly stark and tragic point.

The crisis now in Europe’s heart reached a current peak this week when Hungary closed its border to tens of thousands of refugees(Migrants is an insult to the desperate plight of these people) were driven back with truncheons, water cannons and tear gas as they tried to cross the border. Note, that none of these people have food, water or shelter or any understanding of how they and their families will survive day to day. Hungary was refused barbed-wire by a German anti-capitalist company-Sarcasm Alert here.

Interestingly Serbia, not known over the last two decades for a particular love of Muslims was gloriously receptive and merciful to these poor people. Many thousands flooded across the border into neighboring Croatia where there was an outpouring of support, love and help from average people. In talking with people from the Balkans, many of whom survived the cascade of wars in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia it seems the crisis awakened memories for Croats and Serbs of their own nation’s recent struggles. Where religion once seemed to define untold horrific and barbaric acts there is now a common humanity and the understanding of the necessity, the moral imperative to help someone in need.

Renata Ivosh, mother and grandmother, survivor of the siege of Sarajevo and a refugee from Bosnia went with her daughter to the train station in Zagreb with cookies and juice for Syrian refugees. The family, living in a tiny basement apartment makes less than $10,000 a year for a family of 4. A farmer who survived the destruction of Vukovar in 1991 hoped his farm to hundreds of passing refugees, feeding and sheltering them. Contrast that to former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh, with a net worth estimated at well over a million dollars decried on his radio show that there is no money to help even a few thousand refugees headed to this nation of nearly 400 million. He rebuked the Pope’s suggestions that catholic parishes open their doors, saying it is what Jesus would do. Last week Walsh actually said that in that case “Jesus was wrong!”

So the question is, is it the words or the deeds? Who claims to speak for Jesus and who is actually doing the work he described in help the least of his brethren? The answer may shock you. The answer speaks directly to much of the ills our nation faces. The answer might empower you more than you ever thought possible, to the detriment of frauds and used car salesmen like Walsh, Trump and Hillary.


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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The ISIS Overreaction. No strategy may be part of the strategy. A new rant from the FILTHY PUNDIT(He ought to have his mouth washed out with soap) Politics, way over the %$#@ing top!………………..

Do something! Why doesn’t Obama have a strategy? Just go bomb ISIS back to the stone-a…okay, pre-stone-age. I am not an Obama apologist, and I advocate a robust reaction to ISIS, but people, PLEEAASSEE! The just-do-something syndrome is as dangerous in this instance as the don’t-do-nothing paralysis. For all of the experts who either can compel us that war is never the answer and we should just ignore ISIS like a petulant child until they realize their erroneous ways to the war pornographers who want to ride, or ride someone’s kid over the hill in some Yee-ha, cheap beer swillin,’ flag waving sporting event, where are the real questions for all these self-infatuated experts? Jumping in with both feet on this one just cuz ya gotta have a strategy to satisfy most people in this country who would struggle to find Syria on a map, let alone bomb it is dangerous.

But FOX and the Republicans are hysterical over Muslims, Muslims, Muslims everywhere! So we jump in hard. Does that become a giant lightening rod for Jihadists, a tipping point for moderates, a call to arms out of sympathy? And then what? A bombing campaign must be backed up with a longer term strategy on the ground and internationally. What does the US-led bombing of Sunnis in Iraq mean for the ethnic divisions strained to the breaking point in Iraq? Those opposing ISIS on the ground are fractured, factionalized and often beleaguered.

ISIS has drawn thousands to their ranks amid porous borders that would make the Mexican/American border look like the Berlin Wall by comparison. What happens to those people? Who polices them up? Who restores order without turning genocidal or vengeful against otherwise peaceful and victimized Sunnis caught in the middle of the Sunni fanatics of ISIS? What is they scatter and export violence in an ill-conceived war? What stabilizes the region in the longer term that prevents this from flaring again? Because those answers are difficult doesn’t mean we do nothing, by the way.

As for Syria, Assad is not suddenly our pal, but there is a semblance of stability across extremist Sunni and Shia lines, but there is also legitimacy to the original rebellion which was co-opted, and from which sprang this extremism. Here’s the deal. The world isn’t a cartoon. It is complex, which is not a call for inaction, but rather caution, planning, perspective and wisdom. After the major fuck ups of foreign policy the past 40 years by this country, we ought to be wise as old owls! If you absolutely have to stick something into the wall socket, you’d better damn well turn off the breakers feeding the current, or at the very least make sure you are grounded. Jamming something in the wall, otherwise, will likely bring a world of unexpected surprises…and none of them are good.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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The Living Constitution and the Amendment that dare not speak its name!

WARNING: After this you may never view the constitution the same ever again.

It is a matter of perspective, it would seem, dividing the Left and the Right on which constitutional amendments are the most important. To the paranoid, frightened or dangerously immature, the second amendment would pretend to be the most important. Fear not, however, this is not just another gun-grabbing Liberal dirge I actually see value in responsible gun ownership, with reasonable oversight. And if I may for a moment, the perverse every man, woman and child packin’ 24/7 culture is the mark of idiots not patriots. By that measure child porn should be legal, or screaming the N-word in church should carry no repercussions because they are the ultimate fulfillment of the First Amendment.

Too much? The NRA has fought even the most “liberal” gun restraints, advocating for guns to be carried everywhere, and that people should own machineguns, and that there should be no restrictions at gun shows- shown as the primary source of guns that end up on the killing streets of this nation. Rep. Joe Walsh on his nightly gun porn-propaganda program argues for guns everywhere and screamed his paid for outrage by advocating a boycott of Starbucks simply because the CEO requested-requested-requested that patrons not bring weapons into their coffee shops.

The promise of the constitution has always been hard-fought and won through non-violent action. Photo courtesy of Jerry Boyle and Occupy Chicago

The promise of the constitution has always been hard-fought and won through non-violent action. Photo courtesy of Jerry Boyle and Occupy Chicago

Walsh, the NRA, Beck and other gun pornographers attest that the right to bear arms at church, while shopping, during sex is a God-given right. Simply because someone writes the words down as a God-given right doesn’t…does anyone believe that god appeared to the so-called founding fathers to proclaim that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”? Seriously?

True to the letter of the law, I should be able to keep a bazooka in the car, or own a rocket launcher or be able to lay landmines around my property. They are all “arms” after all. But we don’t allow such arm-aments of warfare in civil society in America, do we? Reasonable people understand that Thomas Jefferson likely did not anticipate a Predator drone or even the Thompson submachine gun, which was responsible for unprecedented carnage, even by today’s standards, on the streets of this nation before being banned during the 1920s and 30s.

On the other hand are primarily Progressives, Liberals and centrists who believe that the First and the Fourth amendments are the most sacrosanct. And there is a substantial case to be made that no other freedoms are possible without the right of free speech or the prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure remaining strong. Many would argue that the current masturbatory-schoolyard impassion over guns points to a notion that the constitution is a historic document in need of constant scrutiny, oversight and evolution. That argument is supported by the fact that women and blacks can vote, and that prohibition went into effect banning liquor, and then was repealed by reasoned souls.

In defense, a bit, of the gun-pervs, no change should ever be made lightly, and must always be viewed in context of the past, present and most especially the potential for future abuse. But the constitution is very definitely a living document. The all but forgotten 3rd amendment that protects all of us from soldiers quartering in our homes is a shining example. It is an example that neither the Left nor the Right seem to refer to much. The Left simply ignores it as a relic of the past, while the Right just hopes that it remains safely in the shadows where it won’t be used again their flimsy as toilet paper arguments for gun proliferation. The 3rd amendment truly is the amendment that dare not speak its name

Many will find this shocking, some a heresy and others outrageous, but despite pretense, the constitution and these United States is a deeply flawed document, only curtailed from being a document of oppression by the diligence and sacrifice of citizen activists. Every defense-every defense and expansion of civil rights for the truly common citizen has been hard fought, not by gun slinging Tea Party types, and definitely not the cottage-cheese assed playground bravado of talk radio hosts, but by the stalwart, unflinching activism and organizing of citizens compelling change through non-violence. That the state and status quo media have always tacitly and often explicitly encouraged or supported violence against those activists underscores the oppressive tendency a static or unchanging constitution would protect.

Need more evidence? Everything is, as we have seen, in the perspective, and perspectives by their nature inform interpretation. The very first line of the constitution may be interpreted to completely negate all of the amendments to the constitution. Through that interpretation every American may be stripped of their “God-given” rights: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

It is this that becomes the most dangerous threat to the freedom of Americans, “… insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare…” First of all, they spelled “defense” wrong, at least by contemporary standards-part of that living document thing. But “insure domestic tranquility?” That is a dangerously broad and interpretive phrase. What becomes the bulwark against its abuse is the weight of the citizenry, not with guns. That has never worked, but with true pressure by an active and engaged citizenry…

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