Tuesday, October 1, 2013

EBT News

In the news today, the US Government shut down, due to lack of funding.  Or, at least, parts of the government shut down.  Certain parts, like the military, are still running.

Personally, I had no idea this was going to happen.  When it comes to government finances, my attention was fixed on the food stamps program, also called EBT.  The government starts a new fiscal year today, and with it comes a partial cut in the funding for the food stamps program.

The poverty line in Portland, OR is $1,771 a month.  Half the time, I make more than the poverty limit, and half of the time, I don't.  For example, last month, I made $1784.13.  I'm sure when taxes are removed from that, I'll be well under the poverty line.

For the entire summer, I made around $1,959 per month.  I think that puts me above the poverty line.  I don't know, because taxes haven't been removed yet.  But I was fairly confident I was above the poverty line this summer.

Therefore, I was surprised last month, when I learned that I was given regular food stamps during the summer.  Now my account has over $700 on the card, and there is no way I can eat that much food by myself.  I don't know what went wrong, because the government received notice of my paychecks during those months, and it should have known I was out of poverty during that quarter.  I mean, I personally visited the government offices twice over the summer and gave them my full budget information.

...Maybe there's a reason the government shut down, due to lack of funding today.


Anonymous said...

People who want/need to understand what this government shutdown means can look at this link. It breaks things down into plain language that's easy to read:

Anonymous said...

The United States is the laughing stock of the world. You can't feed your own people, you have a higher rate of an imprisoned populace then China, you can't even keep your own government functioning, but you try to tell the rest of the world what to do.

Excuse me if I have no sympathy for the US right now, but you people voted your officals in. You have the power to change the US, but you don't. You vote for the same people and for the same party system time after time and then wonder what with wrong. Stop being so ignorant!

H.R. Jafael said...

Oh--trust me! I am very very angry at my elected officials. If they ever pass a budget, those officials will feel the hurt from the people they represent. In other words, alot of them will reconsider their chances of reelection after this fiasco. There's no way they could put a good spin to this in their re-election campaign because I most certainly will not be voting them in again.

Anonymous said...

Thank heavens the American military is still running. What would the world do if they couldn't drone eight year old Pakastini children in remote villages anymore?

H.R. Jafael said...

I see what you did there you sneaky you ;)

Bridget said...

Anon 11:01: It's the result of a 2-party system in a gigantic county. Change doesn't happen overnight. Or can your tiny brain not process that? Geez, you don't even have the guts to give your name. Please though, tell us where you're from.

Anonymous said...

Americans may be okay with giving away their personal information, (and apparently okay with spying on others, even non-Americans, given the lukewarm American reaction to the illegal activities of the NSA), but don’t demand the rest of us to be that naïve. Call me whatever names you want, but I’m not giving out my personal information.

And didn’t your Washington warn against the two part system in his farewell address? So what happens? Americans set up a two party system. It was a choice, and it wasn’t based on a large population. Ireland has a quarter the population that America has, and they have around 11 parties. Do you know why Washington gave you that warning? Because a two party system is a classic, 101 technique to divide and control a population. It’s the “Us vs. Them” mentality, the “look at the right hand so you don’t notice what the left hand is doing.” It takes away your power of choice. It’s done a wonderful of dividing America, and keeping her people distracted from the real problems. During 2003, Republicans were all for war in Iraq, because their Republican President was in power, while the Democrats were not. Now, the Democrats are all for war in Syria, because their Democrat President is in power, while Republicans are not. The only difference is the party in power. Suddenly, Republicans are anti-war because the idea for war is not coming from their party this time. Meanwhile, the normally anti-war Democrats are now pro-war because their leader wants one. They follow their party and their leaders, not what the people who voted for them want.

The two-party has ALWAYS caused problems, so don’t give me that “change doesn’t happen overnight.” You’re right, it doesn’t, but you have had over 200 years to change. The system was a problem in the early 1800s with Hamilton and Jefferson--didn’t do anything to change it. The system was a problem in the mid 1800s, leading to the ultimate impeachment of Andrew Jackson, purely based on party lines. They system was a problem in the 1900s between Regan, (AKA, the Republicans), the Democrats, and Oliver North. The system was a problem between Clinton (AKA, the Democrats), and the Republicans, during which both parties resorted to lying, slander, and falsifying evidence in order to get the opposing party out of power.It has ALWAYS been a problem, and yet Americans have done nothing to even try and change it since their two party system was founded, even though you have the power to do so. There are some countries where people have no right to protest, no freedom of speech, no right to assemble, and for them, my sympathies lie. Americans though DO have the power to change, but they are too complacent to do so.

GameOverTown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bridget said...

^ I wasn't asking you for your full name and address or anything. Going into this as a hate-drivn anon just seems cowardly. You can even give a fake name if you want. I wouldn't know the difference and it would make it easier for other commenters to address you. Or did you not expect anyone to disagree with your oh-so-insightful claim? Anyway, I seriously hope you aren't implying that the US Government is the only one that keeps and eye on its people in some way.

So. Thank you for that reiteration of American History, because these totally aren't topics I've studied since, say, third grade. I just want to point something out though - there are many independent parties that never get elected into offices at any level. Know why? It's not because Americans as a whole are stupid and incompetent. Most of them are realists. Until there is a certainly that a third party representative will be elected (meaning, they will for certain receive more votes than the democratic and republican candidate), it's not going to happen. Many people vote one way when they really wanted to vote for a lesser-known party. A vote to them is a vote for the person they're against, in their eyes.

The reason why the two-party system has lasted so long in this country is because both parties are ever-changing. During the 2012 presidential election, President Obama represented a party that was not the same as it was in 2008, and the same held true for Romney. In this particular case, both parties are becoming more and more extreme. For example, former President Lincoln was known for being a republican, but the views that that party held at that time were in line with the (more) moder-day democrat. Things haven't been black and white for the past 200-some years. And I would like to add that Americans do protest their government, just not by burning torches on the steps of Washington. There are organizations at local, state, and federal levels that aim to alleviate those problems.

I would still like to know where you hail from. It seems that you think the United States is the only country filled with ignorant, complacent twats. I'm not turning a blind eye to this issue. I realize there are a truckloads of people who are completely ignorant of or apathetic to the workings of the government. There are flat-out stupid people in this country. But I am not going to stand by while your elitists slanders get spewed about on here. The a United States is still one of the most powerful countries in the world whether you like it or not. There are plenty of hard-working, passionate, and faithful citizens, and your ignorant ass is just dumb enough to categorize over 313.9 million under one vague adjective. Nice.

Anonymous said...

Congressional Republicans are terrorists holding the government hostage. Or to put it more nicely, congressional Republicans are acting like 5-year-olds who lost at monopoly and get revenge by eating the pieces.

This republican "crusade" isn't noble. It isn't brave, and it definitely isn't smart. It's crazy as heck.

Bridget said...

Just to add so you're aware, I am not defending my country's government. I am not defending the 2-party system either. I'm defending its constituents. The current government does NOT represent the majority of this country, and you should know that before you start throwing out idiotic insults.

Stephanie Braddock said...

Anon @ 1:15: you're right. America can be stupid. And insanely hypocritical. But you're likening all americans here. You need to take into account that some people WANT change; I sure as hell do. But the majority is too comfortable with life and afraid of change. Idiots. The problem isn't the two party system. It's the people that run these two parties. That can't fucking agree on anything. If I ran the country, we'd have had gay rights and equality for women and other races a long time ago. But, news flash, I DON'T RUN THE COUNTRY. There's only so much I can do with the options I'm given. We're not all the same, and a lot of us ARE the way you descibed, but just know that some of us are trying to change things. But there's only so loud you can shout before you scream yourself hoarse, and no one pays attention anymore.

Nancy said...

I don’t see how being anonymous is cowardly, unless you just want to resort to ad hominem attacks. Thomas Paine wrote under fake and anonymous names, as did Jefferson and Franklin when they wrote against the British government. I guess they were cowards to you? But if it pleases your ego, fine, I’ll use a fake name.

I never said Americans were stupid or incompetent. I said they were ignorant, as in “unaware,” and complacent, as in, “comfortable.” The 2 party system gobbles up any 3rd party when it comes too powerful and threatens to take away votes from them (Green PartyDemocratic, Tea PartyRepublican) As long as people vote for a two party system, it will continue to happen. They may want a 3rd party, so vote for them! Support them! They may not win this time around, but they get a little bit more powerful each time. Of course you run into the risk of being gobbled up, but be aware of it and stop it from happening.

I’m glad Americans protest their government. They need to--everyone does. But it’s hardly effective. The OWS yielded very little results and was demonized in the media. The Iraq War continued for 8 years, despite protests by Americans. Code Pink was arguably the most effective group, but they were essentially labeled a terrorist organization and arrested whenever they approached Congressional members. I’m glad they protest, but the government doesn’t take them seriously. They took them seriously in the 1970s when they protested against Vietnam, but the government treats protesters now like noisy houseflies.

Of course the US is not alone. If you have read any of the documents released by Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, the US spies on the Russians, the British, the Chinese, the Brazilians, etc. The Russians spy on the Chinese, the British, the Americans, etc. The British spy on the Americans, the Chinese, etc. Everyone is spying on everyone else, but just because everybody does it, that doesn’t mean it’s right. And if you have read any of the documents Bradley Manning has released on the US military, you find out about all the murders, rapes, and torture the US military has committed overseas and tried to cover up.

Ironic YOU call ME an elitist. I don’t like the American government (which IS elitist), not necessarily the American people. A government and its people are not necessarily the same thing, but they also cannot be separated.
The US government has committed atrocity after atrocity, hypocrisy after hypocrisy, and tries to be the world’s police, the “moral” cop. How many Iraqis were killed by the US government? How many left maimed, orphaned, and homeless? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, a proven fact, and yet they still invaded. They invaded, destroyed, and left Iraq on the cusp of a civil war. The US government had no right to do that, yet they did it anyway because they think they are the world’s police. If any other country did that, ANY, they would be in front of the ICC in a heartbeat. But the US destroys an entire nation on false premises, and Bush gets re-elected and gets to spend his time on ranches and golf courses.

What about Libya? Sending drones to bomb “terrorist” groups, killing civilians in the process? What about Afghanistan, Vietnam, Pakistan, Yemen, Korea, and maybe Syria? The US government tries to police the world, claiming it has a moral duty to protect those who can’t defend themselves. But they don’t: they’re only protecting their own self-interests. If they REALLY were in it for the greater good, why not help the 2 decade long civil war in the Congo? Stop Syria’s civil war, but ignore the Congo’s? Why not stop the Rwanda genocide in the 1990s? Stop Germany’s genocide, but not Rwanda’s? Why not stop Pol Pot’s massacre in Cambodia in the 1970s? Because helping those people gets the US nothing, so they don’t intervene. The Middle East on the other hand has oil, money, and strategic military bases for them to gain.

Nancy said...

I’m sorry if you can’t handle the truth about your government, but being honest about facts is not elitist. Thinking you are the greatest country on the planet, that you have the right to invade any country you want, and that you have the right to tell other countries what to do, what their laws should be, and what system of government they should have, IS elitist. The American GOVERNMENT does this. The PEOPLE may not, but they shoulder some responsibility for voting in the government, and then by not stopping them when they abuse their power.

I have no home—the American government saw to that. I live in Scandinavia now, because the so called “moral” police carpet bombed my land. I am not Scandinavia, and my native culture has been destroyed. Call me bitter, or an ass as you have eloquently put it, but if Canada decided to invade America on a lie, launched a decade long war that destroyed your home, your economy, your general way of life, killed your family and friends, left what remained of your society in a civil war, and the international community held no responsibility on them, I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t like the Canadian government either.

The American government cannot continue to act like bullies, like they own the world and are entitled to do whatever they want, and expect the rest of us to live happily under their thumb. The US has been in constant war since the 40s (Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Nicaragua, the Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and maybe Syria now), because they think they have a right to invade countries, take resources, and destroy lives. Meanwhile, Americans are sitting in their warm, 72 degree homes, eating their abundances of food, and playing on their iPhones, completely ignorant to the destruction their government, the government they voted in and granted power to, is causing around the world. Maybe the government doesn’t reflect the will of the American people, but when you’re staring at the rubble of the home you grew up in, the yard you used to play ball in, because your family is a civilian causality of the American’s government’s crusade against the “axis of evil,” you begin to wonder what kind of system lets people grant power tp beings like that.

That’s not hate, and that’s not slander. It’s the truth.

James said...

Well said, Nancy. However, the US was not the only country at that time that decided it had the right to invade countries. On behalf of the English, I apologize for all the descruction we helped cause with the Americans. Looking back, maybe I could have tried harder to stop Blair and his war mongering party. But I didn't. I didn't, and because of that, innocent people like you were caught up in their lies. I'm sure my apology rings hollow, but I'm sorry the English people and Blair went along with Bush's war without concrete evidence.

Stephanie Braddock said...

No, you're right. The world sucks; there's really no other way to put it. I wanted action taken in places like north Korea, where people are starving and imprisoned and NEED help, but I got a pointless invasion of Afghanistan instead. I wanted us to step in where many unfair dictatorships existed, not because I think the US will gain something, but because I think sitting here and doing nothing while we call ourselves the "crusaders of freedom" is awful. But the majority of the world is selfish. Not just the US; not any certain country, in fact. Just the world. I do the best I can, I support the people I think can best help the country, but it will never be good enough. But at the same time, you can't pretend the US hasn't helped just as much, if not more, as it's hurt.

Nancy said...


Of course I acknowledge that the world isn’t fair and mostly selfish. I'm not trying to single out just America in that regard. That has always been the way of the world, since the time of the Roman Empire and back. America itself was gained, in my opinion, through the invasion and genocide of the native populace of that land. No different than the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 80s, and the Iraq-Iran conflict partly over oil resources and land in the 90s. The US has some of the world’s leading scientists, and helped corner worldwide interest in space exploration. On the other hand, Britain also has some very good physicists, and the Russians are just as interested in space exploration as the Americans and built satellites before they could. But that’s kind of my point. America is no better or worse than the rest of the world. It’s the air of American moral superiorly, that they ARE better than everyone else, (even though they employ the exact same tactics), that’s extremely hypocritical. America has done some very good things, and some very bad things, as has every single country on the planet that exists now and once existed in the past. I'm sorry, but I don’t know where they get the idea that they are special and must act independently of the rest of the world, but they are not, and they shouldn’t.

Nancy said...


Well, I’ll be honest. It is a little hallow as it doesn’t change what happened, but I also have great respect for someone who admits there was a wrong made, and at least tries to fix it. However, you really can’t physically fix all the damages of an ill-gotten war, so apologizing is all you can do, and for that, I appreciate your candor

James said...

Thank you for your forgiveness and compassion, even when it was not shown to you and your people

Lavinia said...

War has been a part of history since the beginning of recorded time. Every country has been through their own muck of shit. Instead of blaming who is currently in "power" and who goes and destroys your home, etc. blame human nature itself. There will never be a true world peace so get used to political officials running a government and following their own agendas that benefit only a select few. And yes, those not in power will whine and complain that they're not part of the world police club, but I assure you-- had the odds fallen in their favor they would be doing their own good job of controlling and fighting for more power amongst themselves and those who happen to oppose them or threaten their riches.

But then again, without a seemingly stable government we might as well all be savages with no type of laws to dictate right from wrong. No one is willing to give up their riches and revert back into living in a cave without plumbing. In fact, the US has millions of people immigrating here all the time (and has since it gained freedom from England), regardless of whether they know of politics and what goes on here. Why? They're here for the food that their native country couldn't provide. The poverty that they wanted to escape, war, disease, etc. The US represents hope for a better future. Do these people get what they want? Nah, probably not in a couple of generations. But they still feel safer here amidst the stupid laws and hope for a brighter future for their children (even with the American schooling system). It's by far not a perfect country, and I personally am not a fan of politics or the decisions made by the few, but at least I feel safe, educated, and not on the cusp of poverty (which I definitely would be in my native birth country of Estonia).

Also instead of complaining how the US has wronged you personally on a blog, why not suggest how we can improve leadership and government for the entirety of the world (not specific to the US, because I can bet that you'd be complaining about any other country if they happened to destroy something precious to you? I don't see you contributing any bright ideas on how to make things better. In fact, all those history lessons you wrote out, can be reiterated for any other country that either is a world power or was (or if you want to talk about civil wars and genocide in "third world" countries). Since you seem so knowledgable about US government and politics, come on over and DO something, or from wherever you are. Your criticism is appreciated, but fails to provide any realistic alternative (third parties will not get elected any time soon, and I will not waste my vote).

Ryan said...

Personally, I am indifferent to this whole shutdown thing. Though if we have to choose a side, I'd say I'm glad it happened.
And I'm not trying to just pass off those people who are actually damaged by this, I do pray for them.
But at the same time, if nothing drastic happens it seems like nothing would really happen at all.
(And for what it's worth, neither side is showing much maturity with the situation whatsoever.)

Anonymous said...

maybe they wanted to give u money.