Hungry Kids & Other Observations

Sorry to carry on the Thanksgiving buzzkill here, but this was another story from CNN this morning that’s both depressing and kind of uplifting at the same time, concerning Sherrie Gahn, a school principal in Las Vegas who is making an effort in that capacity to feed and clothe homeless kids attending the Whitney Elementary School.

But hang on… there’s no poverty in America! Kathy Shaidle has said so, and even if there are a few thousand genuinely poor people (according to her course reckoning from the far side of Jupiter), it’s their own damn fault anyway:

The so-called poor have cars and cable tv and free medical. They live in America in the 21st century, where school is free and libraries are free and a bus ticket to a better town costs less than a bag of crack. If they’re “poor” it’s because they were too lazy and stupid to a) finish high school and/or b) keep their pants on. Jesus had something to say about folks who didn’t properly manage their money or other people’s, and who squandered free gifts and good will. He told the adulteress to sin no more, not to find herself another baby daddy.

And there’s more “conservative compassion” from that classic rant:

No one I know uses food banks. No one THEY know uses food banks. It is a common feature of human nature to think that invisible “other people” must be suffering even though my neighbours and I are pretty much cool. The people I’ve heard about who do spend all their government cheque money on beer then go to the food bank, or dress up as poor people to scam the Daily Bread.

Well goody for her. I must travel in different circles, because I know a number of folks that rely on food banks and they’re far from invisible “other people” — one of them happens to be a very dear friend who’s unable to work and now lives on a modest disability pension. I guess that leaves him out of the privileged group that’s “pretty much cool.”

And, at the risk of testing your patience (or raising your blood-pressure) there’s this gem from the same post:

That’s why I don’t care about the poor. They’re no more real than Bigfoot. Those we and these lefty Christians call “poor” are “poor” because they’ve made a series of stupid choices; spend all their (actually, my) money on lottery tickets, beer, tattoos and manicures; are suffering from undiagnosed but easily treated mental illnesses; had too many kids too young; smoked behind the gym while I spent recess in the library, etc etc etc.

I grew up with them. They were jerks and losers. (Believe me, innocent Lefty Christians: you haven’t met real “racists” and “sexists” and “homephobes” until you’ve spent time with the “poor.”)

Jesus said “the poor will always be with you” and all the crooked exegesis on earth can’t make that line read “you are ordered by Me to eliminate poverty forever using dubious economic theories and your own stubborn yet puny human will power.”

Good grief, what a sanctimonious cunt that woman is. Note how she claims that the poor don’t exist (any more than the mythological Bigfoot), but then immediately declares that she grew up with them, before proceeding to demonize such people (who don’t really exist) as nothing more than useless slackers and immoral reprobates.

Sorry for dredging up Shaidle’s reprehensible old screed, but I couldn’t help bring it to mind when I watched this story, as I do whenever the issue of poverty raises its head in our discourse. Sadly, Shaidle’s morally superior disdain for the “ungrateful poor people” that “are a corrosive on the average heart” is quite typical of the despicable attitude held by the extreme fringe of so-called “conservatives” who presume to instruct us in matters of charity and compassion based on the callous teachings of von Hayek, Friedman and Rand.



Filed under Political Ideology

19 responses to “Hungry Kids & Other Observations

  1. She needs to visit some of the communities in rural Arkansas, West Virginia, along the Rio Grande and the Native reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. You don’t see much cable TV there. In fact, my sister was a visiting nurse in Phoenix whilst working on her Master’s at ASU and she went to places that still had dirt floors.

    And she’s taking Jesus’ quote out of context, of course. He was quoting a passage from Deuteronomy 15:11 which reads: “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

  2. And actually the whole passage is:

    ” 7 If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8 Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs… 10 Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.”

    But what do I know? I am one of those lefty Christians.

  3. CWTF

    But Neo-Con Canadians sure are good with photoshop…

  4. EM

    I SO remember her and her fellow-conservatives comments just before Christmas last year on this subject at the dead animals site. They’re spiritless, souless gits.

  5. CWTF — Another pathetic attempt at humour by Stephen Taylor; a completely witless sack of hammers if ever there was one.

  6. Great Aunty Bertha

    You made me cry. All this money being blown on the owelympics and a half billion dollar roof on BC Place and paying over a million dollars in compensation to a few executives that oversee a 40km stretch of railway track that doesn’t even have trains running on it, and a million dollars to the guy who is runnin our ferry system into the ground, it’s no wonder we have the highest number of impoverished kids in the entire country.

    I feel so damned impotent. So much could be improved with money heading in the right directions rather than into the pockets of Campbell’s already rich friends.

    It makes me so sad and angry that I am almost at a point where I need to completely unplug myself from the outside world.


  7. Dan —Even though I’m an atheist and therefore cannot accept the concept of supernatural wonders or other such miracle-making wizardry, I’m quite thankful for the fact there are “lefty Christians” such as yourself to help bring some degree of reason and philosophical enlightenment back to the teachings of Jesus, et. al.

  8. GAB — Sorry for making you cry. Our so-called “Liberal” government here is really a piece work, is it not? I’m kind of agnostic about the forthcoming Olympics, but suspect the outcome won’t be positive — certainly that’s been the experience of most cities that have hosted these events in the past. I couldn’t help but mordantly laugh at the torch relay that passed by here a few weeks ago, especially when the big red truck decked out in the Coca-Cola® branding was at the lead of the mini-parade followed by countless numbers of police vehicles… It was all a bit too creepy and Orwellian for my liking.

    Solving the problem of homelessness isn’t really terribly difficult. All the government need do is buy up foreclosed properties from the banks and then accommodate dispossessed people willing to make affordable repayments. They might also consider reinstituting asylums for those unable to cope with life for whatever reason.

  9. jkg

    Solving the problem of homelessness isn’t really terribly difficult. All the government need do is buy up foreclosed properties from the banks and then accommodate dispossessed people willing to make affordable repayments.

    It would be a good idea, but when you get talking heads like Ottawa’s own Lowell Green complaining how affordable housing is the epicenter of crime and lawlessness that threaten the peaceful yet drug consuming ‘normal’ community, the local citizens turtle into rampant NIMBYism. Couple that with the fact that Ottawa city council is always under fire and criticism, oscillating between our dear Lex Luthor (Larry O’Brien) and the council, you pretty much get the nothing done.

  10. We have the same NIMBY problem here. There was an initiative a while back by some local group wanted to purchase a disused farm in the rural community of Central Saanich where destitute people trying to sober up and get their lives back on track could recover and do some useful labour at the same time that got the locals in that area all freaked out about the potential threat to their peaceful existence to the point where they killed the project by getting together and purchasing the land in question — apparently, they’d rather have it be fallow than have it put to some good purpose.

    What a selfish bunch of fucking assholes.

  11. jkg

    What a selfish bunch of fucking assholes

    Yes, they are. We tried putting a bike trail in our small town, so children who wanted to bike from village to village wouldn’t have to contend with the highway traffic that ran upwards of about 100 kph (it is country after all) and the opposition kept on citing “liability reasons” because it ran along the edge of their farmland. Rural communities are just as known for their NIMBYism as some others, but I found that they tend to couch their selfishness in “property rights” and being a “victim of government.” While in some cases, they are well within their right, it is an automatic response to just about any public initiative no matter how necessary and sensible it is (there was a huge hoopla about farmers having to change their waste disposal near the town drinking wells). It doesn’t stop them though from protesting for getting greater subsidies from said “government.”

  12. I love how many of our remaining farmers (who personally despise “government” and embrace free market ideology) are at the same time, generally all gung-ho in favour of marketing boards that unfairly protect them from competition and artificial subsidization programs that are tantamount to a form of public welfare.

  13. Note that Taylor’s Iggy has what may be an unregistered long gun in that picture.

    And, Geez: poor parents = poor kids. Why do they little ones deserve a crappy life even if the parents were stupid?

  14. MF — Quite so.

    It would be interesting to hear the rationale defending the opposite position. I suspect the “sins of the father” might figure into the equation.

  15. CK

    Toujours Dan: Thanks for sharing. It seems us Lefty Christians are more numerous than I thought. Maybe we just don’t flaunt it the way Neo-Cons do.

    There are plenty of other passages from the bible to suggest that Jesus (and God) wanted to help the poor (Sorry Red Tory: I know religion isn’t your thing).

    Those who saw Michael Moore’s last movie would remember segments when he’s talking to the priests and the bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit regarding capitalism. We also remember (what I thought to be quite touching) the priest giving mass to the workers sitting in at the factory.

    I guess Neo-Cons will twist anything to justify their own greed and ignorance.

    More proof positive is that weirdo Andy Schlafly of Conservapedia planning to rewrite the bible, because it’s just too Liberal.

  16. CK — My atheism is simply the result of having no faith in the supernatural. I’d actually quite like to be a believer because I always enjoyed the rituals and symbolism involved as well as the compassionate aspects of it, but I just can’t do it honestly in good conscience. That said, I still donate to the church when able and even enjoy dropping in from time to time…

  17. ugirl

    No one she knows uses food banks? It’s much more likely that no one she knows will admit to her that they use food banks. People who know her probably realise that there are things that are simply not told to Kathy, unless one is prepared for an avalanche of shaming and abuse.

  18. Good point. The last thing in the world anyone would want is to be hectored by that insufferable midget.

  19. “My atheism is simply the result of having no faith in the supernatural. I’d actually quite like to be a believer because I always enjoyed the rituals and symbolism involved as well as the compassionate aspects of it, but I just can’t do it honestly in good conscience.”
    Preach it, brother!

    I grew up a good Catholic in a household best described as loosely liberation-theology, and I left for the same reasons.

    Mum was an economist and Dad a practical physicist, and I get exercised every time I hear someone talking about the alleged soft-headedness of “lefty Christians.”

    In a perfect world, ol’ Five Feet of Bezoar could be prosecuted for sheer malicious, mendacious, stupidity.

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