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Living on Food Stamps, a la CNN

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AllieGator

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This is an interesting article. Sean Callebs, a CNN reporter, decides to try living on Food stamps. For a month, he''s living on $176 worth of food stamps. Given the recent thread regarding going from living a normal, middle class existence to living in poverty, I thought this was relevant and an interesting read.



CNN Food Stamps Blog
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date:
2/5/2009 9:08:06 AM
Author:AllieGator

This is an interesting article. Sean Callebs, a CNN reporter, decides to try living on Food stamps. For a month, he's living on $176 worth of food stamps. Given the recent thread regarding going from living a normal, middle class existence to living in poverty, I thought this was relevant and an interesting read.



CNN Food Stamps Blog
Thanks for posting about this issue, Allie. It's getting worse. I heard on the radio that many senior citizens who are homebound will no longer be able to get Meals on Wheels because donations to the program have dried up in hard times. The idea of old, homebound people going hungry does things to me that I don't even want to describe.

Have people followed the story of the 93 year-old man in Michigan who froze to death in his own home when the power company cut off his heat due to an unpaid bill? He had money, too, and was leaving some of it, at least to charity-to a hospital-in his will! Something went very, very wrong. We cannot afford to be so heartless. As a country. We have to be responsible to feed and shelter and care for our people.

Deborah



Originally published in, "The Washington Times".


Originally published 11:06 p.m., May 15, 2007, updated 12:00 a.m., May 16, 2007

Lawmakers live on food-stamp budget
This week, four members of Congress will skip Starbucks lattes and turn down chilled shrimp at swank receptions.

It's not a diet -- the politicians are trying to spend seven days in the life of someone living on food stamps to highlight the difficulties of eating healthy while stretching resources.



The bipartisan group started the Food Stamp Challenge, and they are urging their colleagues to join in and feed themselves until Monday for $21.



"It's a way of saying that as Americans we need to do more to eliminate poverty and hunger in our country," said Rep. Jim McGovern, Massachusetts Democrat, who had consumed nothing but a banana, lentils and tap water as of 1 p.m. yesterday.



The lawmakers are pushing a $20 billion bill to increase the benefits provided in the food stamp program over five years and want the issue addressed in the upcoming farm bill. The average monthly benefit in 2005 was $94.05, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which estimates 25 million people nationwide live on food stamps.



Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, Missouri Republican, bought six chicken breasts and boiled four to make chicken salad to last the week -- complete with one stick of celery. She aims to increase participation in the program by making it easier to enroll and noted that only 60 percent of those eligible now get food stamps.



On a typical day on Capitol Hill, Mr. McGovern would be eating lunch with the Democratic caucus, enjoying a sandwich, a soda, some chips and even a "nice dessert" like a brownie. When he dines tonight at a sit-down fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, he'll be bringing a sandwich.



For lunch, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Democrat, had tuna fish -- no mayonnaise -- on white bread bought for 89 cents a loaf.



"I couldn't afford the mayo," she said, adding that she sliced tomatoes she bought razor-thin to make them last but "splurged on some broccoli."



The lawmakers joked they would save the one onion or the 23-cent clove of garlic they bought for later in the week when they really needed some variety and lamented there would be no coffee or snacks.



"I'm grumpy already," Rep. Tim Ryan, Ohio Democrat, complained after doing his shopping, during which he spent $20.66 on groceries for the week. That purchased two loaves of bread, two jars of strawberry preserves, angel-hair pasta, sauce, cottage cheese and one bag of cornmeal to make polenta. He'll stretch 12 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches over seven days, he said.



"On a dollar per meal, a person can't buy fresh fruit and vegetables. The kids across the country who go to bed hungry on nights when the budget is stretched too thin deal with the reality of poverty every day, and I want them to know they aren't forgotten," he said.



The four members -- some rank-and-file, some holding minor positions in leadership -- said they want to pressure their leaders to take action quickly.



"There's an urgency to this issue, and it needs to be front and center as we talk about the farm bill," Mr. McGovern said. "It's not enough to say there is no money. You've got to find money. People should not be hungry in the United States."






 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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ABGF,
That is so incredibly sad. At my workplace, we donate food regularly to the old folks and they are just so happy to receive a loaf of bread and some meat.
 

beebrisk

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Date: 2/5/2009 11:06:39 AM
Author: AGBF








Date:
2/5/2009 9:08:06 AM

Author:AllieGator


This is an interesting article. Sean Callebs, a CNN reporter, decides to try living on Food stamps. For a month, he''s living on $176 worth of food stamps. Given the recent thread regarding going from living a normal, middle class existence to living in poverty, I thought this was relevant and an interesting read.




CNN Food Stamps Blog

Thanks for posting about this issue, Allie. It''s getting worse. I heard on the radio that many senior citizens who are homebound will no longer be able to get Meals on Wheels because donations to the program have dried up in hard times. The idea of old, homebound people going hungry does things to me that I don''t even want to describe.


Have people followed the story of the 93 year-old man in Michigan who froze to death in his own home when the power company cut off his heat due to an unpaid bill? He had money, too, and was leaving some of it, at least to charity-to a hospital-in his will! Something went very, very wrong. We cannot afford to be so heartless. As a country. We have to be responsible to feed and shelter and care for our people.


Deborah

Not really sure what food stamps have to do with that pitiful man who died from the cold. He had money. The blame here should be placed squarely on the utility company...if in fact they even knew (and maybe they did, I just don''t know the details).

Now, nobody...NOBODY wants to see people go hungry. Never. However, now that there''s a proposal to add 30 or so million to the Food Stamp program via the proposed stimulus package, shouldn''t we also be looking at abuses in the system??

Case in point. I work in the South Bronx. A few weeks ago I witnessed a young girl, maybe 12, with a new video iPod in one hand and a cell phone in the other. She brought to the counter a quart of milk, 2 candy bars and some gum. The clerk rang her up and she proceeded to pay for all of it with food stamps. This is minor compared to what goes on when it comes to the real cheating of the system.

Perhaps if the abuses stopped, perhaps if we spent a little bit of effort trying to end fraud in the welfare system, as opposed to putting a band-aid on it with even MORE money, the country would be in a wee bit less trouble than it''s in now.

I fear the the money being proposed for food stamps in this stimulus bill will just amount to another few million in fraud and abuse and not actually HELP those who honestly need it.





 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Are we going to let the fact that a little girl in the Bronx had an iPod; a cell phone; and food stamps allow us to let all our senior citizens be hungry and cold? Are we going to worry so much about the "abuses" (which we can try to fix) that this winter, which will be the last for many senior citizens, we allow many of our senior citizens to go without meals?

Are we going to allow any utility company to shut off the heat on an elderly man for any reason whether or not he has money? Whether he is confused or whether he is poor?

Who are we and what are we made of?

Deborah
 

beebrisk

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Date: 2/5/2009 3:26:17 PM
Author: AGBF




Are we going to let the fact that a little girl in the Bronx had an iPod; a cell phone; and food stamps allow us to let all our senior citizens be hungry and cold? Are we going to worry so much about the ''abuses'' (which we can try to fix) that this winter, which will be the last for many senior citizens, we allow many of our senior citizens to go without meals?


Are we going to allow any utility company to shut off the heat on an elderly man for any reason whether or not he has money? Whether he is confused or whether he is poor?


Who are we and what are we made of?


Deborah

Huh???

Again I ask. What do food stamps have to do with that poor man whose heat was cut off?? He had money! The utility company is to blame. It''s a horrible tragedy and should NEVER happen in this country. But where do food stamps come in to play here???

And as for that little girl with the iPod, it''s just an example of the fraud and abuse that comes with our welfare system. Many experts believe the problem is rampant.

So really, I''m not interested in throwing another $30 million at the program if it''s not going to HELP anyone. Please do not infer that I am heartless, because it''s dishonest and unfair.

Direct contributions can be made to Meals on Wheels and other local, grassroots charities. I think everyone should examine their own conscience and give what they can to whatever charity they wish.

Again, NO ONE wants to see ANYONE go hungry. But to continue to increase funding for a system where those that really need it are left behind for people that are smarter and craftier about working the system is NOT the answer. Besides, even if we added FIFTY million to the pot right now, do you actually think hungry seniors are going to benefit from it? This winter? It''s naive to think so. Best to help your neighbors, give what you can and demand greater accountability from our government..
 

movie zombie

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Date: 2/5/2009 4:20:05 PM
Author: beebrisk


Huh???

Again I ask. What do food stamps have to do with that poor man whose heat was cut off?? He had money! The utility company is to blame. It''s a horrible tragedy and should NEVER happen in this country. But where do food stamps come in to play here???

And as for that little girl with the iPod, it''s just an example of the fraud and abuse that comes with our welfare system. Many experts believe the problem is rampant.

So really, I''m not interested in throwing another $30 million at the program if it''s not going to HELP anyone. Please do not infer that I am heartless, because it''s dishonest and unfair.

Direct contributions can be made to Meals on Wheels and other local, grassroots charities. I think everyone should examine their own conscience and give what they can to whatever charity they wish.

Again, NO ONE wants to see ANYONE go hungry. But to continue to increase funding for a system where those that really need it are left behind for people that are smarter and craftier about working the system is NOT the answer. Besides, even if we added FIFTY million to the pot right now, do you actually think hungry seniors are going to benefit from it? This winter? It''s naive to think so. Best to help your neighbors, give what you can and demand greater accountability from our government..
do you have sources for these experts and do they quote their sources?

mz
 

beebrisk

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Date: 2/5/2009 4:30:36 PM
Author: movie zombie
Date: 2/5/2009 4:20:05 PM

Author: beebrisk



Huh???


Again I ask. What do food stamps have to do with that poor man whose heat was cut off?? He had money! The utility company is to blame. It''s a horrible tragedy and should NEVER happen in this country. But where do food stamps come in to play here???


And as for that little girl with the iPod, it''s just an example of the fraud and abuse that comes with our welfare system. Many experts believe the problem is rampant.


So really, I''m not interested in throwing another $30 million at the program if it''s not going to HELP anyone. Please do not infer that I am heartless, because it''s dishonest and unfair.


Direct contributions can be made to Meals on Wheels and other local, grassroots charities. I think everyone should examine their own conscience and give what they can to whatever charity they wish.


Again, NO ONE wants to see ANYONE go hungry. But to continue to increase funding for a system where those that really need it are left behind for people that are smarter and craftier about working the system is NOT the answer. Besides, even if we added FIFTY million to the pot right now, do you actually think hungry seniors are going to benefit from it? This winter? It''s naive to think so. Best to help your neighbors, give what you can and demand greater accountability from our government..
do you have sources for these experts and do they quote their sources?


mz
I would suggest Googling "Food Stamp Abuse", "Food Stamp Fraud" and "Welfare Fraud" to do your own research...I''m not in the mood to go link hunting at the moment. But actually, you don''t need to be an "expert" to know what''s going on. Just read the plethora of information out there.
 

Diamond Confused

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Date: 2/5/2009 4:30:36 PM
Author: movie zombie



Date: 2/5/2009 4:20:05 PM
Author: beebrisk


Huh???

Again I ask. What do food stamps have to do with that poor man whose heat was cut off?? He had money! The utility company is to blame. It's a horrible tragedy and should NEVER happen in this country. But where do food stamps come in to play here???

And as for that little girl with the iPod, it's just an example of the fraud and abuse that comes with our welfare system. Many experts believe the problem is rampant.

So really, I'm not interested in throwing another $30 million at the program if it's not going to HELP anyone. Please do not infer that I am heartless, because it's dishonest and unfair.

Direct contributions can be made to Meals on Wheels and other local, grassroots charities. I think everyone should examine their own conscience and give what they can to whatever charity they wish.

Again, NO ONE wants to see ANYONE go hungry. But to continue to increase funding for a system where those that really need it are left behind for people that are smarter and craftier about working the system is NOT the answer. Besides, even if we added FIFTY million to the pot right now, do you actually think hungry seniors are going to benefit from it? This winter? It's naive to think so. Best to help your neighbors, give what you can and demand greater accountability from our government..
do you have sources for these experts and do they quote their sources?

mz


You need only go to a welfare office to see this. I work at a free clinic as a volunteer and I can attest to the fact that a majority of the people there are walking around with cell phones and ipods and new shiny shoes. Oh and their kids have them too. Maybe instead of buying electronics, they should be paying for their own healthcare. A doctor's office visit cost around $90, a cell phone bill is only a bit cheaper than that.

I agree that no more money should be pumped in to a system that is so poorly regulated. It seems like the less money you put into social security the more you'll get back. I know so many mothers on welfare who have contributed sh*t to social security but have free health care, food stamps and susidized housing. On the other hand people who work or have worked their whole lives get a cold shoulder from the government when they really need help. All the people who have been laid off are the ones that deserve the money, not the ones that are too lazy to work.
 

strmrdr

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Date: 2/5/2009 12:57:29 PM
Author: beebrisk
Case in point. I work in the South Bronx. A few weeks ago I witnessed a young girl, maybe 12, with a new video iPod in one hand and a cell phone in the other. She brought to the counter a quart of milk, 2 candy bars and some gum. The clerk rang her up and she proceeded to pay for all of it with food stamps. This is minor compared to what goes on when it comes to the real cheating of the system.
You just assumed that she got the ipod and cell phone with welfare money eh?
There are a lot of other explanations.
Case in point a deadbeat dad I used to know...
Every year he would buy his kids an expensive toy for Christmas and birthday but hadn't paid a dime of child support he was supposed to pay.
Her grandma made sure they had clothes to wear.
So did the girl you saw have a deadbeat dad and a kind grandma or was she abusing welfare?
 

elle_chris

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Joined
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Messages
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I don''t believe that the elderly man who died from lack of heat and foodstamp/ welfare abuse have anything to do with eachother.


As far as abusing the system, yes it exits. But I think we''re confusing two things. I do think more than 90% of the people on the system should be on it. The problem is the very same people it''s supposed to be helping are not being what we think is responsible with the funds they receive. Does the young, single momther need assistance, most likey yes. Will she spend it on cell phones, and other things we don''t believe a person on public funds should be buying, most likely yes.


I think it’s a very strange cultural phenomenon that even in poorer communities, people feel they need to keep up with the joneses. These kids that go to school with name brand hoodies, and $150 sneakers while their families are receiving public funds(and need those funds) think it’s normal. So I have to ask, what are we teaching our kids?


Public assistance has turned into it''s own subculture in so many ways. So what are we doing to help these people understand that this isn’t the norm?


It all boils down to education and I don’t necessarily mean formal. Be it teaching people basic life skills like how to make dinner for 6 on less than 30 dollars (said this due to the "the poor need to get better at being poor topic), or teaching people parenting skills so their own kids have a better chance at the future.
Pointing a finger at them and going “tsk tsk” doesn’t help them one bit, nor does it help me in the sense that poverty leads to welfare, subsidized healthcare (Medicaid), and increased crime- which in turn, increases taxes. In the end, we all wind up paying for it.
 

Diamond Confused

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Date: 2/5/2009 5:24:24 PM
Author: strmrdr

Date: 2/5/2009 12:57:29 PM
Author: beebrisk
Case in point. I work in the South Bronx. A few weeks ago I witnessed a young girl, maybe 12, with a new video iPod in one hand and a cell phone in the other. She brought to the counter a quart of milk, 2 candy bars and some gum. The clerk rang her up and she proceeded to pay for all of it with food stamps. This is minor compared to what goes on when it comes to the real cheating of the system.
You just assumed that she got the ipod and cell phone with welfare money eh?
There are a lot of other explanations.
Case in point a deadbeat dad I used to know...
Every year he would buy his kids an expensive toy for Christmas and birthday but hadn''t paid a dime of child support he was supposed to pay.
Her grandma made sure they had clothes to wear.
So did the girl you saw have a deadbeat dad and a kind grandma or was she abusing welfare?
As I said, I work in a place that caters to induviduals on welfare. I can assure you that most of them buy these things with their own money... I mean taxpayer money. I overhear their conversations all the time. They have no shame in admitting they are cheating the system.
 

E B

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Messages
9,488
I was thinking the same thing, strm. While I understand the argument for reform, it's dangerous to assume you (in the general sense) know *anything* about a person's financial status based on what they're carrying.

Date: 2/5/2009 5:30:33 PM
Author: luckystar112
YAY! Another lobster discussion.
Just what we need!
 

strmrdr

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Date: 2/5/2009 5:33:23 PM
Author: Diamond Confused


As I said, I work in a place that caters to induviduals on welfare. I can assure you that most of them buy these things with their own money... I mean taxpayer money. I overhear their conversations all the time. They have no shame in admitting they are cheating the system.
Tell us how you would fix the system?
Complaining does not fix the problem just adds to it.
 

MaggieB

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Messages
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I don''t know anyone liberal or conservative that thinks that the current welfare program works. I tried to read through most of the posts - did anyone make a suggestion for how to fix it?

Also - the current gun control system doesn''t work either. If we abolish welfare can we abolish guns too?
 

strmrdr

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Date: 2/5/2009 5:57:03 PM
Author: MaggieB
If we abolish welfare can we abolish guns too?
Only if you want to get shot trying to take em :}
You can have mine one bullet at a time.
 

MoonWater

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Date: 2/5/2009 5:57:03 PM
Author: MaggieB
I don''t know anyone liberal or conservative that thinks that the current welfare program works. I tried to read through most of the posts - did anyone make a suggestion for how to fix it?

Also - the current gun control system doesn''t work either. If we abolish welfare can we abolish guns too?
Excellent question.
 

MaggieB

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Date: 2/5/2009 6:02:29 PM
Author: strmrdr

Date: 2/5/2009 5:57:03 PM
Author: MaggieB
If we abolish welfare can we abolish guns too?
Only if you want to get shot trying to take em :}
You can have mine one bullet at a time.
Good grief.
 

elle_chris

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Date: 2/5/2009 5:54:54 PM
Author: strmrdr

Date: 2/5/2009 5:33:23 PM
Author: Diamond Confused


As I said, I work in a place that caters to induviduals on welfare. I can assure you that most of them buy these things with their own money... I mean taxpayer money. I overhear their conversations all the time. They have no shame in admitting they are cheating the system.
Tell us how you would fix the system?
Complaining does not fix the problem just adds to it.
Education, Storm. In NYC more than half the population on public assistance are young moms. When they come into the office and apply for funding, we should also have programs in place that teach them how to live with the money they receive. How do you give hundreds/thousands a month to a young person that''s never had much money and expect them to be responsible? That you really can''t afford to spend this money on keeping up with the joneses.
That you can feed a family of 6 a healthy meal on less than 30 bucks.
We have nothing in place now that teaches people life skills.
Most of the people (again this is in nyc) that are on Welfare today grew up being on it. Their moms, and grandmothers were on it. Their neighbors are on it. In their world, this is the norm. How do we break cycle after cycle of this?

Only education breaks these cycles.
If you''re going to put more money into the broken system, put it into that.
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/5/2009 6:04:11 PM
Author: MaggieB
Date: 2/5/2009 6:02:29 PM

Author: strmrdr


Date: 2/5/2009 5:57:03 PM

Author: MaggieB

If we abolish welfare can we abolish guns too?
Only if you want to get shot trying to take em :}

You can have mine one bullet at a time.
Good grief.
Doesn''t feel so good trying to take em now does it?
Some people take the second seriously.
There are over a 80 million gun owners (some put it at 120million) if just 1% fight back and take out an average of 2.. that''s 1.6 million gun grabbers dead.
You want to volenteer?
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
23,295
Date: 2/5/2009 6:09:16 PM
Author: elle_chris
Date: 2/5/2009 5:54:54 PM

Author: strmrdr


Date: 2/5/2009 5:33:23 PM

Author: Diamond Confused



As I said, I work in a place that caters to induviduals on welfare. I can assure you that most of them buy these things with their own money... I mean taxpayer money. I overhear their conversations all the time. They have no shame in admitting they are cheating the system.
Tell us how you would fix the system?

Complaining does not fix the problem just adds to it.
Education, Storm. In NYC more than half the population on public assistance are young moms. When they come into the office and apply for funding, we should also have programs in place that teach them how to live with the money they receive. How do you give hundreds/thousands a month to a young person that''s never had much money and expect them to be responsible? That you really can''t afford to spend this money on keeping up with the joneses.

That you can feed a family of 6 a healthy meal on less than 30 bucks.

We have nothing in place now that teaches people life skills.

Most of the people (again this is in nyc) that are on Welfare today grew up being on it. Their moms, and grandmothers were on it. Their neighbors are on it. In their world, this is the norm. How do we break cycle after cycle of this?


Only education breaks these cycles.

If you''re going to put more money into the broken system, put it into that.
That is a good start.
Combined with time limits might help.
Nationwide the % that are on it long term are small, well below 90%.

My fix would be 6 months welfare which includes a mandatory health and mental health eval. Those that fail either are tracked into a long term program.
Everyone else moves on to a 1 year work and school program.
Require 30 hours a week school and work combined. If going for a degree it can be extended as long as they are in school and getting good grades.
Then a 1 year coverage for health care only.
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/5/2009 6:12:50 PM
Author: strmrdr

You want to volenteer?
I have the stealth of a ninja. I could creep into your place while you''re sleeping and slink out, guns in hand, without making so much as a peep.

MWAHAHAHA.
 

MaggieB

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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Date: 2/5/2009 6:12:50 PM
Author: strmrdr

Date: 2/5/2009 6:04:11 PM
Author: MaggieB

Date: 2/5/2009 6:02:29 PM

Author: strmrdr



Date: 2/5/2009 5:57:03 PM

Author: MaggieB

If we abolish welfare can we abolish guns too?
Only if you want to get shot trying to take em :}

You can have mine one bullet at a time.
Good grief.
Doesn''t feel so good trying to take em now does it?
Some people take the second seriously.
There are over a 80 million gun owners (some put it at 120million) if just 1% fight back and take out an average of 2.. that''s 1.6 million gun grabbers dead.
You want to volenteer?
You really aren''t helping your cause Karl.

Tread carefully . . . you are venturing over into threatening.
 

MoonWater

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Joined
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Messages
3,158
Date: 2/5/2009 6:22:25 PM
Author: EBree

Date: 2/5/2009 6:12:50 PM
Author: strmrdr

You want to volenteer?
I have the stealth of a ninja. I could creep into your place while you''re sleeping and slink out, guns in hand, without making so much as a peep.

MWAHAHAHA.
innarestin
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
23,295
Date: 2/5/2009 6:22:25 PM
Author: EBree
Date: 2/5/2009 6:12:50 PM

Author: strmrdr


You want to volenteer?

I have the stealth of a ninja. I could creep into your place while you''re sleeping and slink out, guns in hand, without making so much as a peep.


MWAHAHAHA.
lol
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
23,295
Date: 2/5/2009 6:23:45 PM
Author: MaggieB


You really aren''t helping your cause Karl.


Tread carefully . . . you are venturing over into threatening.
nope, no threat to anyone except someone who ventures through my door uninvited.
Everyone else is perfectly safe from my guns :}
Including you :}

At the worst if we met I might drool on your bling if you were kind enough to let me look at it.
 

MoonWater

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Joined
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Messages
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Date: 2/5/2009 6:32:54 PM
Author: strmrdr

Date: 2/5/2009 6:23:45 PM
Author: MaggieB


You really aren''t helping your cause Karl.


Tread carefully . . . you are venturing over into threatening.
nope, no threat to anyone except someone who ventures through my door uninvited.
Everyone else is perfectly safe from my guns :}
Including you :}

At the worst if we met I might drool on your bling if you were kind enough to let me look at it.
I dunno Karl, this sounds like a threat to me!
 

strmrdr

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
23,295
te:[/b] 2/5/2009 6:34:18 PM
Author: MoonWater

At the worst if we met I might drool on your bling if you were kind enough to let me look at it.






I dunno Karl, this sounds like a threat to me!
[/quote]

I will bring along some bling cleaner.
 
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    Horses for Courses: Polo Match Jewelry
    Horses for Courses: Polo Match Jewelry
    An Excellent K Color Graded Diamond
    An Excellent K Color Graded Diamond
    Astounding AVR
    Astounding AVR

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Diamond Eye Candy

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