Brian T Shirley

Brian T Shirley
Jokers Wild, Atlantis Resort

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Welfare, The Rich & The Economy!

After a very heated debate on the "Pros & Cons" segment on Will Robert's Weekly Telegram a little over a week ago, I wrote this column a few days later. It had been in my head and I had to get it out. I wrote most of it, then waited a day before sending it in, I wanted to calm down. I'm glad I waited, there were some things I changed. This post is very personal as it describes some very tough times in my life and I do not take these issues lightly!

                                                 Welfare, The Rich & The Economy!
 Let me first qualify myself for those of you who may have missed the latest segment of "Pro's and Con's" on Will's Weekly Telegram Radio Program or my last "Truth be Told" column " A New Tone out of Washington ?".
 I grew up in a broken home, we were on food stamps from time to time and always seemed to be moving. I went to at least 3 different elementary schools and lived in my Grandparents basement for a short time. My mother struggled to keep a roof over our heads and I never saw my father until I was eighteen, he left when I was five and a half. We finally stayed in the same place when I was about thirteen and I wound up leaving to try college, only to come back until I went into the USAF. I escaped poverty for a while in the military, only to come back to it once I got out. I've struggled myself over the years, but I've also enjoyed my career and have traveled all across the USA, Canada, performed on Cruise Ships and at the World famous Atlantis resort, twice so far.
The reason I qualify myself is because I mystified as to why people on the left are so quick to berate me for slamming the people who live on welfare with no plans of ever getting off it. I have seen first hand the people who use it to help them get out of  their situation and people who have no shame in making a career out of it. I'm not backing down anymore to these folks who get angry at me for daring to say these people exist and "where do people on the right get the notion that this stuff goes on?" . Then they bring up the rich!! Hey man, let's stay with the poor discussion for now. The rich could care less about this crap. We in the lower and middle class should be outraged! We work our guts out to get ourselves off of welfare and I tell you there should not be ONE person in this country who rides the system like a wave into the grave!!! You people who want to get angry when I bring up facts and quotes about people who abuse the system are yelling at the wrong person. I never have said that unemployment insurance should be cut, as a matter of fact, I have written that I believe some Republicans don't want to help the people who try to help themselves. We must be able to have a dialogue in this country about what's going on in the welfare system ( BTW some IDIOT elected official out west wants to change to the name of "welfare" to "transitional" something or other. Does changing the name change the reality?) without changing the name or the subject. I guess some of these folks want to wait until the percentage of welfare abusers is high enough for them to feel comfortable about even paying it some attention. If people are cheating the system, it's a black eye on the people who really need and APPRECIATE the help. Let's get rid of the "I'm gonna sit around , have babies and watch my big screen TV" idiots who take funds that should go to people who want to work but are having a tough time in this economy! We also need to increase the minimum wage and  do it NOW!  On to the EVIL rich!
Yes, there are some rich jerks who do not pay their fare share. They also make sure that certain people, or certain types of people, don't get a break. There's a big boy club in this country, I'm sorry, hundreds if not thousands of these clubs. If you don't know the right people, you have to jump through the hoops to get a "fair" shot. We as a society can go a long way to correcting some of these injustices. HOW, you ask! Do a little research, adjust your spending habits and see what happens. We do have the power to get rid of the rich folks who are greedy, arrogant, horrible people. If the buying public would look a little more into the practices of some of these big business's and stick to their guns when it came to not buying certain products, you would see a lot of change. If people who stepped on the backs of others to get to the top were ratted out and gotten rid of professionally, we would have an ethics revolution. One good thing that came out of the ignorant and disastrous "occupy Wall Street" movement, was we saw that A LOT of people are angry about this way things are going in this country. When we go though a terrible financial storm as we have and are still recovering from, with business's still having record profits, big bonuses, but laying people off , there's something wrong. WE can correct it folks, we don't need BIG Brother. WE are more powerful than the government, OH YEAH!! What's worse to a business, a fine from Uncle Sam or NO CUSTOMERS? If a company is firing people left and right, while the CEO gets a huge bonus and the board or directors has extravagant parties, conventions, etc, DON"T BUY THEIR PRODUCT!!!
I do believe it's time to change the types of people who get the gig. I've seen it in my industry. I couldn't get past a 30 second audition for "Last Comic Standing" when I tried out for the first season and I had been doing comedy at that point for around ten years. However, the girl behind me in line got accepted to the next level and she had never done comedy!! She had "a look", that's why she got picked, which begs the question "Why the hell is "Comic" in the title of the show? This happens in the entertainment business and I also believe a certain form of this is practiced in other industries as well. We, as consumers and big business buy into  "style over substance". WE can correct this as well buy choosing folks who have true talent to support, instead of just someone who has a "look". These are not the only ways to fix the economy, but every little bit helps. I refuse to listen to the folks who say, "Well, that program only wastes a couple of hundred thousand dollars". I guess they can't do simple math and don't realize that if we have several thousand such programs this stuff adds up! ALL waste and fraud needs to go, no matter the amount of money wasted. Truth Be Told, an honest days work for an honest days pay still makes sense!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A New Tone out of Washington?

I'm not sure if  Will Roberts starting tweeting more or if this post I did for his Weekly Telegram resonated with a lot of people. Either way, this post has been re tweeted every day this week. I look forward to any and all comments!

                                                  A New Tone out of Washington?
 In the spirit of "Hope & Change", I'm hoping that some things change in the coming year concerning this country's leadership. This I mean for ALL sides of the equation. Both or our major political parties need to wake up, stop the bickering and the pandering!
 The RepubliCANS need to look at the fact that the middle class is shrinking along with the American dream. The rich are getting richer off the back of the poor and this party just sits, collects money and watches. SHAME on them!! We do need an increase in the minimum wage and it's been to long that it's been put off. This will not hurt the economy, it will help it! Also, how can they put themselves in bed politically with CEO's who make big bonuses while their company goes bankrupt and people lose their jobs? Corporate welfare sucks and if a company goes out of business while the CEO's are buying an island to park their yacht, something needs to be looked into, let's get real people! They also need to quit being judgmental about people's sex lives. I'm a Christian, but I don't want to vote for someone who thinks their better than me because they go to the right church or have the perfect life. I don't believe in Gay marriage, but I also believe that this issue is between God and the people who chose to practice same sex marriage vows. The government should not be involved as far as saying it's the law one way or the other. If there's an official church that will do the ceremony, the government must honor the paperwork. Can't both sides understand that we are giving the government to much power in these decisions? DAMN!  If you're going to be the party of smaller government, practice what you preach!! Pun intended!
The Democrats have got to stop pandering to the lazy, "the world owes me", leeches of our society. Yes, people need a helping hand, I understand that. My mom was on welfare, collecting food stamps, for a little while when I was growing up, but guess what? She used the system until she got a job and got back on her feet and could take care of me and my brother. She did not lay around all day, have more kids that she could not afford and cry "Who's gonna feed my babies? Somebodies got to pay for this!". The Dems have no shame in reaching out to these wastes of oxygen, getting their vote and making sure they stay where they are at. They could care less about a segment of our society that breeds fatherless children that in turn grow up to be ignorant sperm donors who can't even talk or wear pants properly. No, these facts need to be kept in the dark. As long as they can  be kept on the plantation, these people can make it to the bus that takes them to the voting booth and we know who they're voting for. A race of people once stood together and faced down armed guards to get an education.Now a big percentage of that same race could care less about going to school, and their so called leaders  along with their political party, the Democrats, are strangely silent on this. Why? Because they don't really care, they just want the power and don't want to upset the gravy train. If they start speaking the truth, the real issues will come out and spark growth in that community. If these people grow as humans and educate themselves, some of them may not vote Democrat anymore, there's your answer. SHAME on them as well.
I'm not saying these things will happen, but they would help our country to grow and prosper. I just don't think the current leadership of certain segments of our society will ever deal in truth when it comes to their own responsibilities, it's always someone else's fault. You can never grow if you don't look at you own decision making. Will we ever hear a tone from Washington that says " We are here to help and protect, but there's some things you must do for yourselves." . The Dems will not say that to their voting block and I'm not sure the Reps. are ready to help the common man help himself. Truth Be Told, there is a common ground, it's called common sense!

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 A Year for Growth and Success!

                                   2014 A Year for Growth and Success!
First of all, Happy New Year to everyone and here's making 2014 the best it can be!
After a year of complete depression coupled with downhill movement personally and professionally in 2012, I was glad to see 2013 making it's way into the scene. I did not have a huge amount of hope going into last year, but I did have enough to keep myself moving forward. I kept my non-smoking resolution from 2012 and will celebrate 2 years smoke free this February. I started changing spending habits and worked almost non-stop 2013 in four different ventures. I started digging out of the hole I and the economy dug for myself. AS I look back, it seems as though I was not only digging as hole, but climbing in and shoveling the dirt on top of myself.  
 2013 to me was a year of rebuilding. I was rebuilding personally by making changes in the way I saw life, the way I reacted to the outside world and how I treated others. That was the start that I'm still and will always be working on. I also worked hard at getting back on my feet financially after a terrible fall in that area.  My profession as a comedian took a hit in 2011-2012 because of the economy and I shoulder some of the blame as well for retreating into the darkness called depression. I still managed to get some work, but I did not try as hard as I should, which was compounded by losing gigs due to clubs closing.
These things I tell you because coming into 2014 I took some time to reflect on 2013 and I saw it was a year of building. I talked with others about this and found there were a lot of parallels in their lives as well.  Kinetic HiFi, the station where my radio program The BTS Radio Show originates, has moved into a new studio and my show was the first one on air. Jan. 1 2014. I say this not to brag but to show the parallel and we discussed this on the show as well. I saw this happening with my father and his profession as well. His industry , insurance, has taken a hit and he's had to adjust to massive changes as well.
 I also saw this growth on a national level. This country went through economic, racial and foreign policy strife a lot of 2013. I will not cast blame, I will not point fingers. I think we should look at the country and ourselves overall. I believe we grew as a country in 2013 and we will see the results of that growth soon. Growth can be painful, yet rewarding. It takes time to make changes and even more time to see the results of those changes. This process can take longer when we're talking about something as large as The USA, but I am hopeful. I have and will always say onstage that I believe my success relies on me, not the government. I also believe the success of our country relies on our citizens and not our government. I am determined to stay on the path I'm paving personally and I see those around me maintaining the roads they are building. I believe we as a country can do the same. We can keep each other motivated, keep ourselves moving forward and take the country to new heights. Truth Be Told, we can make 2014 a year for continued growth and overall success!