EBT Abuse: The Cash-for-Drunkards Program

From New York to New Mexico and across the dependent plains, welfare recipients are getting sauced on the public dime. Drunk, besotted, bombed. But while politicians pay lip service to cutting government waste, fraud and abuse, they’re doing very little in practice to stop the EBT party excesses. Where’s the compassion for taxpayers?

 

You see the signs everywhere: “We accept EBT.” Fast-food restaurants do. Clothing retailers do. Auto repair shops, liquor stores and even sushi joints are joining the club. “EBT” stands for the federal government’s electronic benefits transfer card, which is intended to provide poor people with food stamps and cash assistance for basic necessities. The two separate programs were combined into one ATM-like card designed to reduce the “stigma” attached to Nanny State dependency, and — voila! — an entirely new method of mooching was born.

If the idea was to eliminate the embarrassment of life on the dole, the social justice crowd succeeded phenomenally. Last weekend, the New York Post blew the lid off scammers who brazenly swiped their EBT cards “inside Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn; the Blue Door Video porn shop in the East Village; The Anchor, a sleek SoHo lounge; the Patriot Saloon in TriBeCa; and Drinks Galore, a liquor distributor in The Bronx.” Out: Cash for clunkers. In: Cash for drunkards!

My home state of Colorado has seen similar abuse. Last year, local TV station 9NEWS reported that more than $40,000 was withdrawn from ATMs in metro-area liquor stores despite prohibitions against such spending. Colorado EBT users also splurged at Denver’s Elitch Gardens amusement part, Disneyland, Universal Studios in Los Angeles and on the Las Vegas strip.

In New Mexico, Jim Scarantino of Watchdog.org reported that in just a three-month period, EBT cards were used at multiple liquor stores, girly bars, smoke shops and casinos both inside and outside the state. Californians are notorious EBT fraud artists; some $70 million in EBT funds were withdrawn from outside the state’s borders over the past several years, including nearly $12 million taken out in Las Vegas. Watchdog.org kept tabs on government workers in Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin nabbed in EBT fraud rings and schemes.

Several state legislatures have barred EBT spending on these vices, along with tattoo parlors, lottery tickets and cigarettes. Last February, President Obama signed GOP-backed welfare reform measures into law aimed at closing the so-called “strip club loophole” and preventing welfare recipients from blowing their cash benefits on booze, porn and gambling. But that law doesn’t go into effect until next year. And many politicians are just shrugging their shoulders, muttering “Whaddya gonna do?”

Here’s a radical idea: How about making taxpayer protection a priority for once and, yes, getting serious about strengthening the stigma on bottomless entitlement dependency and entitlement abuse?

According to the Department of Agriculture, illegal food stamp use costs the public upward of $750 million a year. A report by the Government Accountability Institute last fall revealed that “few security measures are in place to monitor EBT card fraud. … Nationwide, the USDA has approximately 100 investigators policing over 200,000 authorized EBT retailers.” In Florida, the report noted, 63 investigators carry the burden of policing more than three million EBT users.

Excuse-makers for the welfare-takers emphasize that both eligibility fraud and EBT card trafficking fraud are minuscule. But a bottle here, a case there, a pole dance here, a lap dance there, and soon it all starts to add up. With food stamp rolls exploding under both Republican and Democratic administrations while enforcement resources shrink nationwide, EBT has taken on a whole new meaning: Exploitation of Broke Taxpayers. Shame.

Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010).

http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2013/01/11/ebt-abuse-the-cashfordrunkards-program-n1486679/page/full/

Protocol

Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. —James 1:6

If you were invited to a meeting at the White House with the President of the United States, regardless of your opinion of him or her, you would probably go. Upon entering the White House, a protocol officer would meet you and outline the proper procedures for meeting the President. Suffice it to say, it would be unacceptable to let loose with a burst of undignified familiarity or negative criticism as you shook hands.

So it should come as no surprise that God’s Word makes it clear that there is a protocol for entering the presence of God. Hebrews 11:6 outlines one aspect of appropriate interaction: “He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” God wants us to be fully devoted to Him—and He takes it personally when our hearts are filled with criticism, unbelief, and doubt.

James tells us that when we ask God for wisdom, the key to His response is whether or not we are asking “in faith” (1:6). God is pleased when we approach Him with unwavering faith.

So leave your doubt at the door and follow the protocol: Approach God with a heart of faith, and He will be pleased to provide all the wisdom you need.

God, give me the faith of a little child! A faith that will look to Thee— That never will falter and never fail, But follow Thee trustingly. —Showerman

Exchange the dissatisfaction of doubt for the fulfillment of faith in God.

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/protocol/

What My Obedience to God Costs Other People

As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon . . . , and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after JesusLuke 23:26

If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything— it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it will mean that other people’s plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, “You call this Christianity?” We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.

When our obedience begins to cost others, our human pride entrenches itself and we say, “I will never accept anything from anyone.” But we must, or disobey God. We have no right to think that the type of relationships we have with others should be any different from those the Lord Himself had (see Luke 8:1-3).

A lack of progress in our spiritual life results when we try to bear all the costs ourselves. And actually, we cannot. Because we are so involved in the universal purposes of God, others are immediately affected by our obedience to Him. Will we remain faithful in our obedience to God and be willing to suffer the humiliation of refusing to be independent? Or will we do just the opposite and say, “I will not cause other people to suffer”? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but it will grieve our Lord. If, however, we obey God, He will care for those who have suffered the consequences of our obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the consequences with Him.

Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him.

http://utmost.org/what-my-obedience-to-god-costs-other-people/

We are Believers

“When they grasped you with their hands, you splintered and you tore open their shoulders; when they leaned on you, you broke and their backs were wrenched.”—Ezekiel 29:7

This Torah portion for this week, Vaeira, is from Exodus 6:2—9:35 and Ezekiel 28:25–29:12.

While this week’s Torah portion described the downfall of Egypt during the time of Moses, the Haftorah is taken from the book of Ezekiel that described the downfall of Egypt in his time. It is also a powerful message for us today.

Let’s put this story into context. During the time of Ezekiel’s prophecy, Israel was about to be captured by the Babylonians. Israel had already become a vassal state to the emerging Babylonian empire and was obligated to pay taxes to the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. Egypt was in a similar position. It had lost many territories to the Babylonians and the enemy showed no sign of letting up.

Egypt and Israel shared a common enemy and that led them to form an alliance. However, when the Babylonians came to attack Israel, Egypt looked the other way. Egypt deserted Israel in her time of need. The prophet Ezekiel described it this way: “When they [Israel] grasped you with their hands, you splintered and you tore open their shoulders; when they leaned on you, you broke and their backs were wrenched” (Ezekiel 29:7).

Ezekiel came to scold the Jewish people for placing their trust exclusively in the Egyptians and not in God. At the same time, he lashed out at the Egyptians for deserting Israel and prophesied their decline. This was both a punishment for Egypt and a reminder for Israel: “Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help” (Ezekiel 29:16). Egypt’s weakened state served as a lasting reminder to the Jews that it was foolish to trust in lowly man; only God Almighty was deserving of their trust — and ours as well.

Today, Israel continues to struggle between trusting alliances with countries and having faith in God. But a video posted during Israel’s latest offensive – Operation Pillar of Defense — shows that we are definitely learning. In it, soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces are dancing and singing as they waited at the entrance to Gaza. The words that they sing are the following: “We are believers and the sons of believers, that there is no one on whom to rely, except for our Father – our Father in heaven!”

Friends, let us learn what some of Israel’s greatest soldiers already know. When it comes to the uncertainties in life, there is only one source of strength and one source of security: the Lord our God. Let us trust in Him and rejoice in our faith. For He will do miracles for us – just as He did in Egypt long ago.

http://www.holylandmoments.org/devotionals/we-are-believers

Keep the pressure on the sponsors of The New Normal!

Keep the pressure on the sponsors of The New Normal!
Another episode of “The New Normal” aired this week.

Sponsors include:  Campbell’s soup, Burger King, McDonald’s, Oscar Mayer (Kraft Foods), Crest (Procter & Gamble), Chili’s restaurant, Mazda, Walt Disney.

Take Action!  Click here to send a message to the sponsors empowering “The New Normal.”

Another push by NBC and creator Ryan Murphy to gain approval and acceptance of gay marriage and gay parenting.  “The New Normal” is supposedly championing the cause of “tolerance and acceptance” with the show’s premise of two gay men and their quest to have a baby via a surrogate mother.  However, there is nothing new or normal about it.  Since the first bite of forbidden fruit, mankind has been trying to “normalize” sin.  As Proverbs 12:15a states:  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.”

But call evil “good” often enough and people will begin to believe it.  As Eve, they’ll believe the whispers of “Hath God actually said…” and “Ye shall not surely die.”  So when NBC shows two men in bed kissing, caressing, planning for a baby as any other “married” couple would do, viewers hear the whisper of evil telling them “love is love, how can it be an abomination?”

And that is what “The New Normal” repeatedly does – portrays this gay couple as a normal, loving couple.  While of course the conservative, Christian grandmother is portrayed as intolerant and hateful.

But the concerning content doesn’t end there.  Interspersed with the repulsive gay kissing scenes was a reference to sex with a corpse.

Also in Tuesday’s episode, a child makes reference to the S&M book “50 Shades of Gray” – a pornographic book currently popular with many female readers promoting bondage sex.

As we state in our “take action” letter, “The New Normal,” not only crosses the line with offensive and racist verbiage, but also pushes the gay agenda, while it offensively labels those who hold traditional values as bigoted homophobes.

Join us in asking the show’s sponsors if they really want their company name associated with a show that mocks and offends millions of potential customers.

Take Action!  Click here to send a message to the sponsors of “The New Normal.”

http://www.americandecency.org/full_article.php?article_no=1653

A Shepherd Boy Who Was Called To Lead A Nation

After this David asked of Jehovah, “Shall I go up into one of the towns of Judah?” Jehovah answered, “Go up.” When David asked, “To which shall I go?” he said, “To Hebron.” So David went up with his two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail. And David brought the men who were with him, each with his family, and they lived in the towns about Hebron. Then the men of Judah came there and made David ruler over the people of Judah.

When they told David about the men of Jabesh in Gilead who had buried Saul, David sent messengers to them and said, “May you be blessed by Jehovah because you have shown this kindness to your master Saul and have buried him. Even so may Jehovah show kindness and faithfulness to you. I also will repay you for this kind deed which you have done. Therefore be brave and courageous; for Saul your master is dead, and the people of Judah have made me ruler over them.”

Now Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ishbaal the son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim and made him ruler over Gilead and all Israel. But the people of Judah remained loyal to David.

There was constant war between the followers of Saul and those of David. But David kept growing stronger while the followers of Saul grew weaker.

Then Rechab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon, went about midday to the palace of Ishbaal, as he was taking his rest at noon. The doorkeeper of the palace was cleaning wheat, but he grew drowsy and slept. So Rechab and Baanah his brother slipped in and, attacking Ishbaal, they killed him and cut off his head.

Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “See, we are your relatives. When Saul was ruler over us, it was you who led the Israelites, and Jehovah has said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall become the leader of Israel.'” So all the leading men of Israel came to David, and he made an agreement with them in Hebron in the presence of Jehovah, and they made David ruler over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to rule and he ruled forty years.

When the Philistines heard that they had made David ruler over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David; but when he heard of this he went down to the fortress.

Three of David’s thirty warriors went down to him to the top of the rock, to the fortress of Adullam, while a force of the Philistines was camped in the Valley of Rephaim. David was at that time in the fortress, and a company of the Philistines was in Bethlehem. And David said, longingly, “O that some one would bring me a drink of water from the well of Bethlehem which is near the gate!” Then the three famous warriors broke through the line of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem which was near the gate and brought it to David. He would not drink of it, however, but poured it out as an offering to Jehovah and said, “Jehovah forbid that I should drink it. This is the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives.” Therefore he would not drink it.

When the Philistines came and spread out over the Valley of Rephaim, David asked of Jehovah: “Shall I go out against the Philistines? Wilt thou give them into my hand?” Jehovah said to David, “Go; for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” So David went to Baal-perazim, and defeated them there; and he said, “Jehovah has broken down my enemies before me, like waters which break through their banks.”

Then the Philistines came up again and spread out over the Valley of Rephaim. When David asked of Jehovah, he said, “You shall not make a direct attack. Go around behind them and attack them opposite the balsam-trees. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsams, act quickly, for then Jehovah will have gone out before you to overthrow the army of the Philistines.” David did as Jehovah commanded him and drove the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer.

http://kids.ochristian.com/Childrens-Bible/A-Shepherd-Boy-Who-Was-Called-To-Lead-A-Nation.shtml