Old Media is Losing its Influence, What Can You Do To Help

Old Media – ABC, CBS, NBC, Reuters, UPI, NY Times – is  losing its influence, and that makes me happy. Let us turn that observation into a CALL TO ACTION – become a Broadcaster. [Hint: you already are one]

Ed Pluck shared a post in the Consevative Union referencing this article in the Federalist about how the Right is fiinding its way around the Leftists in Old Media. In that article at the Federalist, Mark Tapscott provides a couple of recent examples of terrific investigative reporting by right-leaning journalists, displacing the (non)work done by the lefties in old media.

Mark’s premise is an important one for we conservatives to understand. Liberal media is conquered NOT by changing them in any way. It is done by diluting their influence, providing better alternatives, rendering them irrelevant. We are largely successful in doing so, and have been greatly aided by the internet.

This contemporary transformation parallels momentous changes in what was once America’s dominant news source, the liberal mainstream media. That dominance is diluted now, thanks to newsroom insularity and market entry and business model changes sparked mainly by the Internet.

The break with Old Media started in the rise of Talk Radio, continued with the explosion of blogging. The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 lowered the barrier to entry for conservative talk radio – and we got Rush. Then the internet lowered the barrier to entry for publishing. We can compete, and are doing so, and the success of conservative websites speaks to the success of the free market.

We got great conservative opinion sites first, and now, we’re getting the conservative news sites. We’ve solved a problem not by changing the other guy, but by figuring a way around it.

Hurrah, and SO WHAT?

The internet and smartphones have lowered to barriers to entry for news gathering, reporting, and publishing. But what about broadcasting? Getting the news to the eyeballs of those who need the information? Gosh darn it, the networks are still just too strong – one episode of network nightly news is seen by millions, we just can’t compete.

WRONG.

In the old days, the “broadcasting” of news to millions of people so as to inform and shape opinions was done by CBS, NBC and ABC. The formula was one person to millions of people. And there were about 20 people broadcasting.

Now the job of broadcasting is done by your friends, acquaintances, and the people you follow on social media. It’s done by YOU. You are a broadcaster. Did you realize that? It’s just different math.

Instead of ONE (or a few) outlets choosing the stories and sharing with millions each, we have millions of outlets choosing the stories and sharing with tens, hundreds, or…I suppose thousands each.

But truly it’s not that – I may have thousands of followers, but a story I share is really only going to reach maybe a hundred or so. Because regardless the numbers on the social media, humans are human and our ACTUAL sphere of real INFLUENCE is only ever a couple hundred in any meaningful way. And really only a couple dozen on a regular basis. But that’s ok, that’s enough.

Once I recognize that I am a broadcaster, my actions change a bit.

I take a bit more care with what I share, because I’m doing so with a different purpose. It’s not just to make friends or shoot the bull around the water cooler. I’m asking others to give up some of their time to read and think about what I shared with them. They deserve a bit more consideration from me than just “Wow! Thoughts?” I can excerpt a paragraph or two, I can add a sentence or two of my own impressions.

Most folks won’t click the link and read the article. If all I share IS the link, that they won’t click, I have just spammed them. If all I did was add some silly comment or snarky hashtag that doesn’t add meaning, I’ve spammed them with a colorful envelope. Maybe it makes me feel good about myself because I’m sharing and “doing something” but I could do better.

Most folks don’t devote much of their day to news of the world. If they are following you on social media – you have an opportunity to BE part of that time, but you have to respect them and use your power responsibly. That means be aware of what you are.

You’re a broadcaster – realize it, take advantage of it. BE PART OF THE SOLUTION to the Liberal Dominance of Old Media and the minimal amount of time that people have to devote to news of the world.

Now….get out there and CHANGE THE WORLD!

Texas Primary – Early Voting Starts Today! Here’s a Bit of Assistance

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The Texas Primary – it happens early, election day is March 4, early voting starts today. Get out there and vote! In SO many of the races, the district is so heavily one party or another that the Primary IS the election. If you wait until November to let your voice be heard, and think that just voting straight GOP ticket is enough – you’ve let someone else make your decision for you. Don’t like the current state of the GOP? It’s the PRIMARY where you can have some say in the matter.early-voting

It’s the Primary where you choose your party officials, the guys or gals who will REALLY pull the levers of power for the next few years. It’s the PRIMARY where you can upgrade from a moderate to a conservative GOP candidate. If your district is run by a moderate who

has been in office forever and who seems to go his own way, go vote for the guy running against him. That incumbent will probably still win, but if he sees his margin of victory is narrower, and that there’s a groundswell of opposition, he might change his behavior. Don’t ever stop fighting, don’t ever stop letting your voice be heard. Make sure you are speaking in a language they understand – VOTES.

Here are a few sources to help you out with the voting:
Vote Texas – the official site of the TX Secretary of State
Republican Party of Texas – find out who is running
Michael Berry’s Commentary and recommendations – I believe you can trust this guy to shoot straight with you. You may disagree with him, sure, but I think you can trust his integrity.
Empower Texans warns about some of the conservative slate mailers you’ve received
Bryan Preston of the PJ Tatler has interviews with the 4 Lt.Gov candidates, and a bunch of VERY useful links

vote-2012_11If you’ve got some other good resources, I’d love to know, and I’ll update this post. It’s RIDICULOUSLY hard to figure out who to vote for in the primaries. SO many races!

And I took to G+ to remind you to take your photo ID, and let you know that Eric Holder still thinks you’re a racist. Mostly because you’re Texan and have the audacity to think you don’t need him and his dumb Washington control freaks. Go vote, it’s like poking your finger in Eric Holder’s eye!

You’ll notice that the Comptroller race doesn’t have a recommendation on the HRBC slate mentioned by Michael Berry. I admit to not having researched this one myself, either. However, and it’s a BIG however, my friend Felicia Cravens is working for the Debra Medina campaign. Felicia founded the Houston Tea Party, substitute hosts on Houston AM Radio sometimes, is Editor-in-Chief at Free Radical Network, and if SHE supprorts Debra Medina for Comptroller, that’s really good enough for me!

No, “THIS” is Not the Thing That Will Finally Kill Obamacare

Government Health CareWhy do I discount/ignore every story that says “This is what will kill Obamacare?”

Because, as one of my commenters just said:

by years end the ACA will be so entrenched that it won’t be able to be removed.

The goal of the left is simply to keep Obamacare, even if it is just in name, as a part of the Federal Government, providing “healthcare” to one or more people who can be claimed to be victims. They only need to hang on, just barely, and they will have a permanent huge bureaucracy that, like every federal government program, will grow over time. Success does not matter, only survival.

NOTHING will kill Obamacare other than full legislative repeal and dismantling of every supporting organization, which requires a LOT of people becoming unemployed. You and I know how impossible that actually is. Thus, Obamacare will remain, at best, only mostly dead. tumblr_m7ixmdxISg1qdmk7to4_400[1]

No “bad result” or horrifying statistic will ever persuade any legislators or lobbyists on the left to do anything other than KEEP MOVING FORWARD. They will not be persuaded by failure at all. The delays are merely to make it more palatable and inevitable. The facts do not matter. The CBO report does not matter. Actual costs do not matter. Not to the leftists. Not to the people in the federal government.

So, do we simply give up and accept that America will be like the UK, with our NHS zombie medical system? Of course not. We’re America, dammit, we don’t do things like everybody else, that’s why we are the best! Obamacare will never die, and that’s ok. Here’s why:

Obamacare’s huge mistake is that it was too much too fast. Too much change, too much that violated the laws of human nature, too much cronyism, corruption, and stupidity. It could not and did not just happen smoothly to a passive and compliant populace.

The delays and exemptions (illegal though they are) are actually the left doing what they need to do to keep the dream alive, keep the departments in place, keep the funding, keep the rules-making bodies, keep the conversation going – to hang on by their fingernails. There are plenty of true believers out there to help them. They comment on my G+ posts all the time. Ignore them all.

The end result of Obamacare is that it will be, as all socialized medicine is, the lower tier of medical care. Go ahead, look around, ALL socialized medicine results in a two tier system, those who participate in it, and those who can afford to NOT participate in it. The only difference is the income level at which people are able to opt out, and that is kind of related to the homgeneity and general level of compliance of the population.

I remain quite optimistic about America’s future, and our ability to find a way around this disastrous legislation. That’s because I have faith in the American people, the American dream, and the brilliance of the individual.

Individuals will do what they need to do in order to retain control over their own lives, and to make choices for themselves. Americans do not simply lay back and take it, we just don’t. Never have, never will.

We have the seeds, and actually, quite healthy sprouts, of the worlds best Free Market Health Care system already in place. Consumerism and the profit motive will ensure that here in America, our two-tier health system has a dividing line far lower than in most other nations. In some countries, nearly everyone uses government doctors, and only the super-rich use the cash system. For Canadians, even the middle class can use the cash system by coming over to America. I believe that here in America, we’ll have a two-tier system with a dividing line not much above the poverty level. Yes, we are THAT good.

I live in a city with a very large population of illegal aliens, and a very large service economy. That’s a lot of people who were really never in the 20th century employer-provided health insurance market. We have TONS of quick care clinics, all over the place. They compete against one another to provide fast, effective, low cost health care on a cash basis, and some of them take insurance as well. The drugstores will provide you with their own brand of “prescription insurance” if you don’t have your own, so that you can get your medicines there.

I know, I was a cash patient for several years, needing biannual blood tests and montly prescriptions. I never had to make an appointment, paying cash was fast, cheap. My medical care was great. The free market has already taken over the “everyday basic” stuff, quite effectively. The free market also handles cosmetic surgery quite well – costs keep coming down and technology improves – just the same way things work in other industries.

Once insurance companies give up on Obamacare and come up with un-insurance plans, and clinics and doctors figure out a way around Obamacare – they will be competing for the business of all 300 million of us.

It will be chaos for a few years, and legislatively we have to keep fighting to get as much of Obamacare overturned as we can. However, American ingenuity will figure out how to work around all of it. Obamacare’s extreme overreach means that profit-minded organizations will figure out workarounds very quickly.

Obamacare will NOT result in “single payer for America”, it will bring back Individual Choice and Control over our own bodies. And it’s gonna be fun to watch. Just don’t get sidetracked by the true believers. Just as we have to work around the bad laws, walk around the true believers, just walk on by, pay them no mind. Don’t let them slow you down.

Action in 2014: Priorities and Partnerships

hands[1]Every election is touted as important, no hyperbole here – there’s an election in November, it’s as important as all the others have been and will be. It’s an obvious “calendar point target” for those of us dedicated to growing the conservative movement. Everyone has limited time and limited attention to dedicate to politics – so we focus on elections, and we focus on the national ones. Why? Because it’s easier, it’s what we all have in common, and there’s so much info out there about the big elections we can just Like and Reshare, sometimes commenting, and consider ourselves to have done something.

That’s definitely important, but it’s not enough, not for me. We need to do more for state races, general public education about conservatism, party involvement at the local level (if the GOP can be saved, it can only be saved from the ground up).

This blog supports the activities of The Conservative Union, a community of Google Plus users dedicated to growing the conservative movement. That’s a group of thousands of people all across the nation and around the world. We have brilliant friends outside of Google Plus who want the same things we do, and have their own audiences which overlap and extends our own. They have skills and specific objectives that are complementary to ours. How about we work together? So, we’re gonna.

Felicia Cravens explains what we’re doing in her post at Free Radical Network (for the record – I also HATE meetings, HATE them, but they, like politicians, are a necessary evil)

There are three main priorities that came out of the discussion: the 2014 Senate races, learning how to better communicate our ideas to apolitical people, and helping activists in their local areas learn to vet candidates.  Between us, we had quite a few resources and ideas about how to proceed.

 

A couple of things we definitely agreed on unanimously: it’s going to take all of us, working together, to achieve some victories in 2014; and 2014 and 2016 are just the START of the effort we’ll ultimately need to make.  I’ve been saying for a long while now that we need a win, and a big one, to keep the momentum going.  But that doesn’t happen if we merely sit back and watch events and rant and complain about them.  There’s a place in the Freedom Army for everyone, a task for each soldier.  And no matter how high- or low-profile the job is, each one is vital to the overall effort if we’re going to turn things around in this country and take control back from the progressives who have worked so long to achieve their goals.

Go read Felicia’s article, see what we have planned, make suggestions, join the team, come along for the ride!!!!

IT’S A SCANDAL!!!!! Or maybe just a diversion.

Scandal!There’s something for us to learn from the Chris Christie bridge scandal, but it may not be what you think. John Hayward has done an excellent job over at Breitbart outlining the whole thing. You’ll note in his article he doesn’t really talk about the facts of the case, they’re truly irrelevant. The important part is the speed and intensity of this thing.

The speed and intensity of the media response is what creates the sort of narrative that reaches Low Information Voters, and lingers in their minds for years afterward.

I didn’t pay attention to any news yesterday afternoon or most of this morning. The whole thing happened in that time frame. THAT fast – a story crept up, grabbed everyone’s attention, became massive headlines, and results in a press conference by the “candidate”. That right there tells me it is almost certainly media hype, and partisan media hype at that, rather than any important policy matter that I need to worry about.

I’m effectively a low information voter on this issue,  What I’ve been told to “know” is that Christie is finished. But for the real truth: you don’t need to pay any attention to this thing. If you don’t live in NJ, and don’t drive on whatever bridge they’re talking about, the facts of the story do not matter. Don’t waste your time on it. As Pradheep Shanker has written here scandals distract us from the conservative cause.

The outcome will be – media wants to take Chris Christie down a notch, media wants to make GOP look bad, politicians did stuff that could be interpreted many ways, maybe bad, maybe good, most likely egotistical and self serving – that’s what politicians are. Duh. None of this is news. None of this is worth diverting your attention.

Read Hayward’s article, he really covers it. And then…move on. What matters now, in 2014, is NOT the Presidential race. Not Hilary, not Christie, not anything Presidential. While you are having the easy conversations and posts about this or that national politician…the Democrats are targeting your state.

Obama is creating “Promise Zones” – do you know what those are? Have you considered participating in whatever that stuff is, or do you plan to let the Democrats staff and run those things like they always do?

Focus on your county, your school board, your water district, your state Attorney General.

This nationwide stuff is fun to talk about I suppose, but it can all wait until 2015. We’ve got a lot of hard work to do this year. Quit falling for the stories that the media wants to you care about.

White House Staff Don’t Understand They Work for ALL Americans, Not Just the Democrats

Today’s minor pundit upset is over the President’s choice to NOT attend the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Sesquicentennials are important milestones. The Gettysburg Address is one of the few speeches that the everyday American knows at least a part of. It was a rather important moment.
Gettysburg Memorial
As stated in Wikipedia:

Abraham Lincoln’s carefully crafted address, secondary to other presentations that day, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history. In just over two minutes, Lincoln reiterated the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and proclaimed the Civil War as a struggle for the preservation of the Union sundered by the secession crisis, with “a new birth of freedom,” that would bring true equality to all of its citizens] Lincoln also redefined the Civil War as a struggle not just for the Union, but also for the principle of human equality

Lincoln was from Illinois, as is Obama. Obama has many times tried to cloak himself with the mantle of greatness that is Lincoln’s legacy. He likes to compare himself to Lincoln as often as he can. Also, Obama is known to favor attending big events and making speeches, and if he can make the event “about Obama” all the more wonderful that would be! Why the heck WOULDN’T he go? It just seems an odd choice.

IRS-Political-Groups[1]So, a few pundits asked that very question, via twitter. They chose to ask the President’s advisor, Dan Pfeiffer.

The question: Serious question: What is on his schedule that is more important than Gettysburg anniversary?

The reply: Oh, I don’t know, there’s this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the Dem Party

Note that…the reply is snarky rather than respectful, juvenile rather than adult. Does he really mean to imply that Obama is coding on the website? Really??? And note that his concern is for the Democrat Party, he mentions the harm that the damaged website would do to a political party, rather than any kind of effect on the American people.

Dan Pfeiffer is not a paid Democrat Party official. He is Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor. He is on the staff of the White House. Paid $172,200 of our tax dollars every year. He is supposed to represent the White House, as the Executive Branch of the Government of the ENTIRE United States.

His boss, Barack Obama, has behaved for many years as if he is only concerned about himself, and secondarily the Democrat Party. This attitude is clearly widely held in all of his staff. Republicans and Libertarians have long complained that we are not represented as Americans, that the nation has been further polarized along political party lines at every turn.

I have seen nothing to contradict that complaint.

These casual off-the-cuff remarks from the Senior Advisor in fact CONFIRM my opinion that they see themselves as representing only the Democrats.

Monday Evening Podcast: Focus First! Then Restore, Renew, Rebuild.

CUTalks-Avatar-1400x1400Tonight, 8pm Central, listen live at Blog Talk Radio or subscribe to the podcast and download it after the show. Subscription option is in the sidebar on the right. You can also come back here to the blog in the morning and get the show wrap up, links to stories we discuss, and of course the show itself streaming over the internet – like a miracle!

The topic this evening is: FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS. Sort of like the real estate agent’s mantra of Location, Location, Location. Up until November of 2014 we really should focus on two things, and two things only: Overcoming Obamacare, and Restoring, Renewing, and Rebuilding  the GOP. After a brief discussion of the need for focus and the distractions to expect, I want to begin the discussion of Restoring the GOP. My co-blogger Krewe Maynard has coined the phrasing

Restore. Renew. Rebuild.
Restore our freedoms.
Renew our spirit.
Rebuild our country.

I love it, and I think before we can apply it to the nation, we need to apply it in our party. We can, we must. I have some ideas (well, I’ll share the ideas I got from other people, that’s close enough, right?)

Hey Texans! Go Vote!!!

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Early voting ends Friday, election day is Tuesday

Turnout will be low – your vote will REALLY count. The tax money you save may be your own!!!!

Unions, incumbents, and those who stand to benefit from cronyism and corporatism will go vote – they have an incentive.

Do YOU have as much incentive to go save money?

It won’t take much of your time. It really is about the very least you can do and still call yourself a responsible Texan.

This is what’s up for a vote:

  • 9 Constitutional Amendments
  • City and School District Races

Off year voting is weird. There’s not much news about it, there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. But EVERY election counts. There are “bond issues” every time, because there is ALWAYS some group or another who just HAS to borrow a big wad of money to build some fancy thing or other. And they’ll get all of their potential partners and friends to go vote for it, while you stay home, thinking nothing important is going on. Then you wonder – hey, I thought Texas was doing so well, and such a conservative place, how did all this stupid stuff happen?

Go vote – stop the stupid stuff.

But I don’t have TIME!!! Seriously? You’re gonna whine to me about that? You have exactly the same amount of time as every other person on the planet. And voting in an off year election will take next to ZERO time. Just go do it – it will take less time than you’d spend in the Whataburger Drive Thru.

But I haven’t researched the ISSUES!!! OK, that’s a valid one, but here’s the deal, if you’re reading this post, you’re already more informed and better able to make a snap judgment about politics than most of the people who will also be voting, so…just go do it, but first, here are the guidelines I use, I call it my…

Lazy-person’s voting strategy

If you don’t have time to research anything…

  • VOTE NO. Read the wording carefully enough that you catch it if they messed with it so that “no is yes”. but for the most part…just say no
    (Some stuff seems “nice” to vote for – like special treatment for veterans and stuff, but carveouts and special classes of people are anathema to equal justice, so…say no)
  • Bond issues – always vote no, even if you research it
  • Non-party races and primaries – vote against the incumbent unless you have researched and found the challenger to be a terrorist or something
  • Party races – vote for the GOP guy unless you’re sure that the Dem can’t win, then it’s safe to vote for the libertarian as a signal to the gop guy to not get cocky

Harris County Voting Plan

So for me, in Harris County, outside the city limits, what does this mean? Well, I don’t vote for Mayor or City Council or any of the Houston stuff, so that’s easy, I ignore it.

State Constitutional Amendments

YES to #2, NO to everything else

Harris County Bonds

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, HELL NO, YOU DON’T NEED TO BORROW ANY MORE DAMN MONEY JUST MAKE DO LIKE THE REST OF US, NO

Cy-Fair ISD

Only one race is even contested, and I’m just voting for the one who isn’t the incumbent, so I’m voting for Shaik Ahmed

Let’s foil the plans of the cronies and corporatists and union thugs, and go vote, and get our family members, coworkers, friends, and dead relatives neighbors to vote.

Here are some sites to look at to find out what you’re voting on:
http://www.kingwoodteaparty.com/
http://www.clearlaketeaparty.com/voter_s_guide_to_texas_constitutional_amendment_election_nov_5
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/3080596/posts
http://www.examiner.com/article/texas-constitutional-amendments-2013-libertarian-party-releases-voting-guide
http://www.lwvtexas.org/
http://www.hardhatters.com/2013/10/2013-voters-guide-texas-constitutional-amendments/
http://www.chron.com/opinion/recommendations/article/Our-take-on-the-proposed-constitutional-amendments-4898399.php
http://progresstexas.org/blog/progress-texas-2013-constitutional-ballot-guide
Texas GOP has NOTHING about this election, NOTHING – bunch of LOSERS!
http://www.harriscountygop.com/ElectionsNov13.asp

Get Voting info from the TX Secretary of State site: VoteTexas.gov - Make Your Mark on Texas

Mike Lee: What’s Next For Conservatives

Utah Senator Mike Lee spoke to the Heritage Foundation recently, and his remarks are well worth watching and reading. Real Clear Politics has the video and transcript.

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What do we do next, not only to stop Obamacare… but to advance a larger, positive vision of America, and craft a practical plan to get us there? What’s next for conservatives?

That is the question I would like to try to answer today.

I expect that we will cover this speech in detail over at the Conservative Union community, perhaps as a “Topic of the Day” later in the week.

It’s important for us to not only HAVE ideas for what we want to do once we take power, but to discuss these ideas, and then to figure out how to communicate them efffectively. This speech is a terrific step towards getting that process kicked off. I see it that the Defund Obamacare campaign woke up and engaged the troops, helped us identify one another and declare our intention to keep fighting – to not just roll over and accept the world of Big Government.

Now it’s time for the next step, which involves some hard work, thinking, research, discussing, etc.

Read and watch this speech, form your own opinions about what he says before reading the opinions of others, and then…let’s talk.

How Can Good Things Happen Without Government?

shutdown-closedMuch of the “concern” about government shutdown is that without the federal government, good things stop happening. At least, that’s what the Big Government fear mongers are trying to convince us.

“Shutdown Theater” is all about immediate cessation of the good stuff, making us feel the pain of a government shutdown, so that we will clamor for someone to help us, save us, protect us, care for us! And then…Big Gov’t steps in and saves the day. And then, the most important part…we meekly go back to our lives of drudgery continuing to give Gov’t big piles of our money so that they can live fancy lives “taking care of us”.

Guess what? It’s a lie!!!

Sams Club Fayetteville, ArkansasCostcoThe Feds shutdown the military commissaries so that poor veterans and soldiers lost the savings that many of them depend on. Sam’s Club and Costco immediately stepped in. They didn’t have to discuss or pass any laws or hire consultants, the free market was able to move quickly and make that decision. I suspect that one of the two came out with the message first, and the other, wanting to compete, followed suit. That’s the free market.

FisherHouse1The Feds stopped the immediate payout to families of fallen soldiers, which has allowed them to travel overseas to accompany their loved ones home. The story hit the news yesterday. Fisher House steps in with a solution today.

That’s two different solutions to “problems” that the Big Gov’t folks wanted you to feel the pain about. One solution is free market competition, the other is individual charity. Both solutions were implemented quickly, can be adjusted quickly to meet demand, and are implemented voluntarily by all parties – no confiscation of money involved.

This is how smaller government works.

And it TERRIIFIES the Big Gov’t folks for you to discover this, and understand it in this way.

Because it makes you think….hey,. maybe I don’t have to be a dependent child of the government, maybe I can be a free and independent adult.

Spread this story – make sure to explain it to people in these terms, so that they understand.

References:

Fisher House Steps in: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/10/09/nonprofit-steps-up-to-help-families-of-fallen-soldiers-after-government-shutdown-blocks-death-benefits

Sam’s Club Free Passes to Military: http://www3.samsclub.com/newsroom/Press/1513

Costco Free Membership to Military: http://www.examiner.com/article/costco-welcomes-military-id-card-holders-u-s-a-a-gives-loans-to-service-members