No More Welfare Junkies

I saw this picture on facebook today.

I agree with what it says.

If you are on welfare, then you should be able to prove that you are living according to a set list of standards.

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I have personally seen so many people that live successfully off the system. Need more money? Have another kid. Pretend to look for a job and just let the checks roll in.

Take the benefits and buy crap.

Take the money and buy smokes, booze, and drugs.

I serve in the military and I am required to meet stringent requirements just so that those who don’t want to work can get a free ride and live however they want. Now, I know that I do what I do voluntarily. But this irks me that my money is paying for things that it shouldn’t be buying.

Well, I thought “Why doesn’t someone do something about this”.  Everyone wants to talk on facebook about how it needs fixed but no one does anything about it. Well, I wondered how hard it would be to actually DO something.

So, I looked up the basics of submitting an idea to become law. I found the following article.

Building a Bill in Congress
As soon as you start working with the United States Congress, you begin hearing about this bill or that bill. It’s as if someone named Bill is everywhere in Washington. In the congressional context, a bill is simply a proposal, an idea, that’s written up in legislation and presented to the Congress.

Starting with an idea
It all starts with an idea, a simple concept. You take that idea to your representative or senator because you see a need, you have a cause, and you want it to become a law.

Remember that only members of Congress can propose resolutions that are considered by the entire body. Your task comes down to convincing a member to actually want to introduce your idea.

Anyone can write up, or draft a bill, but only a member of Congress can introduce it. However, the more work that you do for members, the easier it is for them to work on your behalf. When you have a bill that you want Congress to consider, writing it up in legal language and presenting it to your representative or senator as a draft is a good idea. Lobbyists routinely draft legislative proposals.

Figuring out how to write a bill is easy. Just look up an existing bill on the congressional Web site and follow that format to compose your proposal. Although your representative may make a few changes, he and the staff won’t have to do as much work creating the bill by themselves.

Looking at the types of legislation
Several kinds of bills can be introduced and each one has a special designation.

The bill is the most common form of legislation. It’s an idea, a proposal, and in the House it receives the designation H.R. for House of Representatives (not House Resolution as many people think). In the Senate it gets S. for Senate. A bill becomes law when it’s approved by both the House and Senate and reaches the president’s desk for signature. After it’s signed by the president, it’s no longer called a bill, but becomes an “Act.”

A resolution is much the same as a bill, except that it’s usually concerned with the operation of the House or Senate. In other words, it’s about something that concerns only the institution and doesn’t need to be signed by the president. In the House, such a resolution is designated H. Res. and gets a number, and in the Senate, it becomes S. Res.

Joint resolution
A joint resolution is virtually identical to a bill. Contrary to what one would expect given the name, it can be proposed in either the House or the Senate and it goes through the same procedures as a bill and must be signed into law by the president.

One slight difference between a bill and a joint resolution is that a joint resolution frequently has a preamble, a paragraph explaining the justification for the bill with all the “Whereas” resolving clauses that are a feature of legislative language. Joint resolutions are also used to amend bills already under consideration. A joint resolution gets the designation H.J.Res. in the House and S.J.Res. in the Senate.

The only time a joint resolution differs in its procedure for consideration is when it’s an amendment to the Constitution. Then it has to be approved by two-thirds of both houses to pass, and it’s also sent to the states for ratification rather than being signed (or not) by the president.

So, all I have to do is write up what change I want to see. Submit it to a congressman, and ask that it be presented for legislation. Possibly get 10,000 signatures. And push it to people in the communities. It can’t be that difficult.

With the recent rise of the Tea Party and the strong pushes for general conservitism, people might actually get behind a few of these ideas.

The big one that I would want to push is Mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. After that, maybe move on to the term limits for elected officials. George Washington, our greatest leader of all time, knew that leaching off of the system was a bad thing. He stressed against it. Be it welfare, career politicians, or any general sort of government sponsored tyrany.

Could I write a bill to weed out the druggies? Sure. Will I? Possibly. I’m actually looking in to it now.

The government is by the people and for the people. They aren’t our protectors or our parents.

Last I checked, each of us reading this are one of the people. There is no reason we can’t try and make positive change.


Gimme the goods.











The list goes on and on.

I would spend about 8 hours writing e-mails. I would word them very carefully. Each syllable was important. The place? The hours? The food to be enjoyed? The number of people? What each played? Our proximity to the nearest Taco Bell? Down to the finest letter I would define my event. And then I would ask, ever so politely, for some sort of corporate sponsorship.

Sometimes it didn’t work.

Sometimes it did. I didn’t have to buy shirts for almost 6 years because of it.

Sometimes it was a poster, others it was hardware, software, and vouchers for games.

Between the ages of 15 and 19 were the glory years for the LAN party.

I threw quite a few of them. Sometimes, it was 4 people, sometimes it was 32. It really depended on what was taking place. Where I lived. Where I worked. And what kind of budget I was working with.

The extent of this post is memories that I have in regards to those potent years as a teenager where I considered myself to be the ringmaster of my gaming life. However, before I get too far in to the meat and potatoes of the stories, I figure I’ll explain why I’m writing on this topic today.

Being in the Coast Guard, I spend time underway away from home, family, friends, and life in general. Being out here, I work with people, some of whom game. Most of us have stories of LAN parties or playing games at home. Well, we were playing Counter-Strike recently and after a few hours, and a half dozen people playing, we were reveling in how we haven’t had this much fun since se were teenagers. It was a small revival that reeked of nostalgia. We told stories of troubleshooting, gaming, being amped up on caffeine, being hopped up on tacos, and the heartbreak of  power outages and broken CD’s. Because of the nostalgia that I experienced, it caused me to reflect on what we were doing, what I had done, and some of the experiences that I had that forged who I am today as a gamer. Sure, I played World of Warcraft for 7 and a half years, but really, that wasn’t gaming. That was an addictive lifestyle that required way to many number crunches, DPS races, and socialization in a world that attempted to replace the one I live in. I enjoyed it, but it really can’t hold a candle to what I used to play and do.

So, let me share some stories of my gaming life and maybe you can smile, smirk, laugh, facepalm, or even just stare blankly asking what the hell I was thinking. Because there are a few of those.

Here we go.

I opened with talking about sponsors. Well, part of the LAN party experience is having the ability to say you are sponsored by someone. The ability to hand out prizes, gifts, and general garb  is a big selling point to your event. And thankfully, I had more than one opportunity to do that. One time, I petitioned Heat.Net to sponsor us, and they did. They sent me 25 t-shirts. That party was AWESOME! There were 12 of us in attendance, we each got a shirt, and I was able to hand a few out to friends, family, and have 4 left over for myself. That was what opened the sponsorship grab bag for me. I wound up writing 3DfX after a few weeks and asked for the same thing. Just a simple sponsorship for our hometown event, nothing huge. They complied. We received two joysticks, a soundcard, a mouse, three games, a stack of posters, t-shirts, hats, and stickers. A mother-lode as far as I was concerned. By far, that was the best haul we had ever had and it still stands as being the epitome of such. We never got more than that. But honestly, it’s okay. It gave us the idea of what sponsors could do for us. I still have one of the shirts. My brother still has the sound card. And I still have the pictures from the event. It was amazing. Held in a dusty basement of my best friend at the time Rocky Howell. Rocky, if you are reading this, hit me up, we can share some stories some time.

Getting free garb was always awesome.

While thinking about this, it leads me to remember my very first party. The party wasn’t the important part though. It was what took place about 4 days prior to the party. Thinking back on this 14 years later, I can’t help by hang my head, cover my face with my palm, and swear at the floor because I was a fool.

Let me paint the scene, my younger brother and I were sitting at home.  For some unholy reason, my saint of a mother opted to give us both permission to have our respective girlfriends over to the house that night. A movie you say? With a girl you say? Hells yeah… I’m in!

Well, the girls showed up, the popcorn was popped, and the Lion King was put in to the VCR. (For those who don’t know because you are a young whipper-snapper, a VCR played TAPES. It was what we used before DVD’s.) Suddenly, my saint of a mother whips out the most disconcerting line I can remember her ever saying. (At the time, it wasn’t a big deal, right now?.?.? I realize the significance of it). What did she say? She put on her coat, grabbed my dads hand and said “We’re going out for a while, be good, and have fun”. She turned out the lights and walked out the door.  With a creaking swing and a click, suddenly it was two boys, two girls, two bowls of popped corn, and a movie… In the DARK!…….UNDER BLANKETS!


Why did she do this?
Now, I was a bit of an innocent buffoon at the time, and I tried to sell the girls on the idea of the LAN party. I even set up a few computers so they could see what I was talking about.  At the time, I couldn’t figure out why, but my brother and his girlfriend were pissed.

Looking back, I think I finally figured out why.

Yeah… not my most shining moment right there.


I really didn’t think that one through at the time.

I’ll give you a moment to sit back and let that story set in.

Alright… we good?


I figure this post has gone on for a while, so you get one more. Then I’ll wrap it up. So, I’ll try to make it a good one.

Leading up to a party that I helped throw at my friend Greg’s house, we were getting ready to make Root Beer. I know, I can hear you saying it already… “Home made root beer? That sounds DELICIOUS!”. Well, reader, it is. It is AMAZINGLY delicious. And we were going to make 20 gallons of the stuff. Sugar, water, flavor, and dry ice. Toss it in to the keg, put the bung in to the hole, and wait 24 hours. Tap it, and pour. DELICIOUS!

Well, the story takes an interesting twist. But it requires some back story. You see, Greg’s parents didn’t really keep the cleanest kitchen. It was clean, just really cluttered with lots of papers, dishes, tupperware, and carpet (carpet was on the floor, weird, I know. My grandma had that too. Hmmm… anyways.) . Now, there was a drop ceiling in this house. So it looked kinda like an office. Well, we had mixed in all the ingredients and we had just started to drop in the dry ice. A little bubbling was expected. After two pounds went in to the keg (A guess really, we didn’t know how much was actually needed), we put the bung in to the hole, grabbed a mallet and started beating it in. Done. Only 24 hours till the party and fresh home made root beer. No sooner than we had turned away from the keg, there was a loud BANG. The bung had popped out of the keg. There was a geyser of delicious root bear spewing from the keg. Straight up in to the air. Now, I know what you are thinking… A root beer geyser? That sounds AMAZING! And let me tell you, it was. But, there was enough force that it had blown out about 6 ceiling tiles, and there was root beer raining down EVERYWHERE in the kitchen.

I looked at Greg and I asked, “Greg, when does your mom get home?” We both eyed the clock. 20 minutes.

So, as any good child would do, we decided to cover it up!

We spend the next 19 minutes cleaning the kitchen. Dishes were in the dishwasher, papers were filed, stacked, or tossed. Windows washed. Ceiling tiles wiped down. Towels all over the carpet to soak up the mess. It was wild. We finished and had thrown the last of the towels in to the washer when the door opened. His mom walked in and saw the clean kitchen. Thinking we were sly, we said “Tuh-duh, we cleaned your kitchen”. She humored us for a moment and said thank you. But then stopped… looked around, and then looked at us both square in the eys and said “The keg exploded… didn’t it?”.

CRAP! How did she figure it out?

We said it did. She laughed, and then walked away. She was laughing the rest of the night at us. Not because it was funny, but because we were apparently retards. I don’t know really.

But, we salvaged about 5 gallons of delicious root beer. And we savored it the next night. It was mightily good.

Friends, readers, whomever…. I love gaming. I love the LAN parties. And I love the memories that are associated with those parts of my youth. I wouldn’t go back to live it again, because I’m happy as I am, but those were some mighty good days. I’m glad I got to live them.

Oh, and Adam and Jennifer… sorry about that.