Thursday, March 27, 2014

Food desert? How about brain desert

State social services officials in Louisiana have decided to enact new limits for welfare recipients. No longer will you be able to use your welfare card at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons, jewelry stores, video arcades, bail bond companies, cruise ships, psychics, adult-entertainment businesses, nightclubs or bars. Which begs the question, why in the world were you ever able to use your welfare card at these places?

The Louisiana legislature is trying to codify the changes into law. How many other states are allowing our tax dollars to pay for a cruise for some deadbeat? It’s absolutely infuriating.
State officials say there’s only so much they can do about the abuse because the cards can be used at ATMs to get cash. Hello! This is the easiest thing to fix I have ever seen.

The leftists think tanks and advocacy groups do their level best to shroud the obvious but there’s no denying that poor people in this country are the fattest. The liberals claim all sorts of nonsense like “food deserts” and “food insecurity.” The fact of the matter is there’s no excuse for anyone to be food insecure. They hand out EBT cards like candy, especially if you have children. And food deserts? Please. The poorest people live in the cities and there are grocery stores all over the place.

So what’s the answer to why so many poor people are obese? This is the obvious answer the liberals try to keep hidden. People getting free food make poor choices. Now, in all fairness, junk food is generally cheaper because it’s subsidized through the farm bill. Oh, yeah. A lot of the junk food consumed in this country comes from corn, soybeans and wheat, three crops that get huge subsidies from the federal government. Your vegetable farmer gets virtually nothing from the government.

The answer is not to subsidize the vegetable farmer but to stop subsidizing everyone else. If lettuce and carrots were cheaper then, perhaps, more people would buy them but don’t bank on it. A large part of it is taste. Poor people seem to be suckers for junk food. They love it. Heck, I love it but I know it’s not good for me so I limit my intake of it.

And now we’re getting to the crux of the problem. How do you solve obesity among the poor and save the taxpayers a ton of money? 

First, no more cash advances from your welfare or food stamp card. That’ll keep welfare recipients from buying things they don’t need to be buying like beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets. Anything you need to purchase can be bought at stores with the card. 

Second, items need to be coded so that you can only by essentials with the cards. No lobster. No steak. No chips and cookies and soft drinks. You buy hamburger and chicken and fruits and veggies. Did you know that Papa Murphy’s Pizza now accepts EBT cards? And you wonder why poor folks are fat.

If Michelle Obama really cared about the obesity problem she’d be all over this idea but you’ll never hear her advocate limiting the food you can buy with an EBT card. Why? Because that’s how Democrats get re-elected. Why do think the food stamp rolls have exploded since Barack Obama got into office? Yeah, it’s all about keeping that base constituency satisfied. You talk about a riot, take away the junk food from the food stamp crowd and see what happens.

Fat and happy means one thing: Democrat votes. And they’re buying elections with your money.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Understanding the Crimea mess

Have you ever watched one of those soap operas where a woman is married to this guy but she never really loved him and she’s had a thing for the next-door-neighbor who mows the grass with his shirt off? Then the husband gets tied up in his work and she feels neglected and the next thing you know she’s in the sack with the lawn-mowing neighbor. The husband walks in and finds them together and she wants a divorce but her husband won’t give her one so she just runs off with the neighbor.

That, in a nutshell, is the Ukraine/Crimea/Russia love triangle.

This has been a complicated relationship from the beginning and Crimea’s relationship with Ukraine has been shaky at best. Many people look at Crimea as a part of Ukraine like we
look at Kansas as a part of the United States but it’s not like that at all. Even before the fall of the Soviet Union, Crimea considered itself autonomous. In fact, after the fall, Crimea’s official name was, and is, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. They are made up of nearly 60 percent Russian ethnics, about 25 percent Ukrainians and the rest Crimean Tatars, who are Sunni Muslims.

From Russia’s standpoint, Ukraine ceased to be a legitimate country when they overthrew Viktor Yanukovych in February. Yanukovych had been elected president in 2010 and was deposed in a coup. Russia, which has always felt like Crimea was more a part of Russia than Ukraine, moved to either protect Crimea or take advantage of the situation, depending on how you look at it. But there’s no denying that the Autonomous Republic of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to become a part of Russia.

This is the part that’s confounding to those of us who have watched President Obama foment an Arab Spring in the Middle East. One by one, the countries of the Middle East were encouraged and aided by the United States in shucking their governments in exchange for free elections. It seems Crimea has done just that and now we’re all bent out of shape over it.

I guess unless you’re installing the terrorists of the Muslim Brotherhood this administration doesn’t recognize your referendum.

The divorce of Crimea and Ukraine has been a long time coming and it was inevitable that she would run to the waiting arms of Russia. How this is any concern to the United States is beyond me. There are some conflicts around the world into which we could possibly insert ourselves and make it make sense but we have absolutely no interest in this squabble.

The president is talking about arming Ukraine so they can take Crimea back. Crimea doesn’t want to come back. Didn’t we learn this lesson in Vietnam? You can’t force people to fight a war they have no interest in fighting. In fact, this situation is even worse. Crimea would surely fight to stay with Russia.

The American people are not the least bit interested in getting involved in this whole mess. Putin, of all people, understands this. Obama continues to make veiled threats that everyone knows are hollow. Stop it, already. Crimea is joining Russia. The American people don’t give a rat’s rump and there will be no U.S. military intervention to stop it.

This is just a diversion from more important issues like the IRS harassment of those who oppose the president politically, the NSA spying on its own citizens and activist federal judges overturning the will of the states. 

Ironically, we’re more afraid of the United States government than Putin is.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Green hypocrisy on display in all-night talkathon

Senate Democrats kept the lights burning late at the U.S. Capitol to call attention to global warming. They held an all-night talkathon to call attention to the horrendous problem of global warming. I know you’re probably wondering what the heck they’re talking about given the unusually cold winter. So was I.

Aside from the obvious absurdity of doing business in the middle of the night, these so-called environmentalists needlessly burned untold amounts of energy at a building that is powered
by coal, the very essence of evil in their eyes.

It’s doubtful that many people stayed up to watch the proceedings, unless, of course, they were looking for a cure for their insomnia. If they did, they surely burned more energy than they otherwise would have by keeping their televisions running. Not to mention the countless coffee pots that were purring just to keep the viewers awake.

Majority Leader Harry Reid kicked off the marathon by listing a litany of natural disasters supposedly caused by we humans. Among those listed were droughts in the Midwest, wildfires in the West, lower-than-normal water levels in the Mississippi River, low temps in Georgia and mild weather in Alaska.

So, let me see if I have this right. If it rains it’s global warming. If it doesn’t rain it’s global warming. If it’s hot it’s global warming. If it’s cold it’s global warming. If the forest is on fire it’s global warming. What, no heartbreak of psoriasis? 

Understand one thing. All of this is garbage. No serious scientist believes this junk. Wildfires caused by global warming? Are the forests just spontaneously combusting? No. The National Park Service says 90 percent of wildfires are caused by humans, either through campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, negligently discarding cigarettes and intentional acts of arson. The other 10 percent are started by lightning or lava.

It is an insult to any intelligent person to say that global warming is causing high temperatures and low temperatures. I understand the greenhouse theory. Supposedly, according to the hysterics, we are pumping too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere causing a “greenhouse effect.” The theory goes that everything underneath heats up, as in a greenhouse. There’s absolutely nothing in the theory that points to record low temperatures. That’s something the proponents of this theory simply made up when the weather didn’t suit their cause.

There’s also no scientific evidence that global warming is causing more severe weather. In fact, we’re in the quietest period for hurricanes since the Civil War. In other words, none of this rot-gut is true yet these senators waste time, money and energy preaching to the rest of us about a subject of which they know absolutely nothing

These global warming types fall into two categories. The first is the sinister person who knows he or she is lying but continues the lie to perpetuate an agenda. That agenda can be personal or political. Al Gore is known for this. 
The second category is the group of people who have been lied to and believe the lie. Fortunately or unfortunately, most of the senators who attended the all night gab-athon fall into the latter.

Four Democrat senators facing tough re-elections were conspicuously absent from the spectacle. They were Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). If this were such a popular issue with the people, as the rest of the senate Democrats claim, why did these senators stay away?

Because the American people, blessedly, are beginning to wake up.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Mega-polluter Apple doesn't want you unless you're green

If you don’t believe we’re destroying the planet through global warming then Apple doesn’t want your money. That was the message from CEO Tim Cook at a recent shareholders meeting. Cook told so-called climate denier investors that if they didn’t like the company wasting money on “green” initiatives they “should get out of this stock.”

Cook said Apple does many things that have nothing to do with return on investment because, “We want to leave the world better than we found it.” Really? Apple has been repeatedly singled out by environmental groups as being a huge polluter in China. And not
of CO2, which is not a pollutant, but of real pollution. Apple suppliers throughout China often “fail to properly dispose of hazardous waste,” according to the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing. 

At one factory that makes iPhone screens, 137 workers were seriously injured by toxic chemicals used to make the product. Apple has been urged to move its factories back to the United States but it’s doubtful many of these factories could pass EPA standards.

One iPhone supplier, Pegatron, has been criticized for all sorts of problems including improper disposal of waste, poor working conditions and excessive hours for its employees as well as crowded living conditions. One Apple supplier had to put netting around the top of its plant because workers were jumping to their deaths to escape the horrid working conditions.

Oh, yeah, Tim. You’re leaving the world better than you found it.

I had an Apple “genius” at the Apple store inform me sometime back that Apple was bigger than Exxon Mobil. I thought big corporations were evil. That’s what Occupy Wall Street folks were telling us through Twitter tweets and postings on Facebook on their Apple computers while sipping their lattes from Starbucks. These occupiers are walking advertisements for big corporations. I’m sure they Googled how evil Big Business is.

So, somehow Apple is “green” because it wastes money on green energy projects that lose money. It’s the carbon offsets mentality. Put your money in some so-called green venture and you get to pollute all you want. It’s time we called them on it.

I love Apple products. I’m bringing you this column courtesy of the MacBook Pro. I have an iPhone as do my kids. Hypocritical? Perhaps, but Samsung is just as bad. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find any phone that’s not made in China. Now, I could join the Amish and give up electronics altogether (which, quite frankly, sounds very appealing sometimes) or I can continue to rail on China as I have been for the last 20 years.

China is the common denominator in all of this. There is no EPA in China. There’s no Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act. The communist Chinese don’t give a damn about the people or the environment and corporations have taken the path of least resistance. It’s time they took the path of coexistence, as they’ve been preaching with those annoying bumper stickers. It’s time the electronics industry cleaned up its act and Apple is in a perfect position to lead the way. They made almost $42 billion last year. We hear liberals all the time saying corporations don’t need to make that much. They chastise McDonald’s for not raising the minimum wage, asking how much does one company really need to make. McDonald’s made $5.4 billion. Apple made 7 times the profit of McDonald’s and McDonald’s is the villain?

The last time I checked people weren’t throwing themselves from the rooftops of McDonald’s.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning, nationally syndicated talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Show.