Whose Ox Is Getting Gored Today?

Bullfighter Jose Tomas With some folks, freedom and all that fuzzy patriotic stuff can be, shall we say, relative. Much like fundamentalists and their rather astute manner in taking what they like in the Bible quite literally (even when that is not the actual meaning) and ignoring that which they don’t agree with, it seems that our more loudmouthed extremists on the right do the same thing.

You don’t have to watch it. Suffice it to say that our Hannity of Faux News is busy calling Mayor Bloomberg a nanny for his efforts to help his constituents stop ingesting such awful fake food into their bodies.

Now you can agree or not agree with Bloomberg on this. I tend to agree, but I also recognize that it’s very hard to impose such things on people who are addicted to the high sugar, high fat, no nutrient value of a lot of fast food and drink. And there is this other thing–it is an impingement in a sense on one’s right to kill themselves if they so choose.

Note we are not talking about school lunches and the right of school officials to help children develop good eating habits in the first place. That is a laudable goal, and schools provide the opportunity for some children to get the only decent meal they get all day.

But juxtapose Hannity’s silly outrage at Bloomberg’s behavior with that of Nikki Halley’s attempt to limit food stamp usage in her state to only “healthy” food items, meaning that you can’t use them to buy chips and soda and stuff like that I presume. Is she now to be called “nanny” Halley? I’m sure Republicans support her efforts to reduce “obesity” in her state, or is it just possible there is some other motive involved?

I recently had a conversation with a man who hates government programs like food stamps, precisely because he has “stood behind people in line who had food stamps and they weren’t buying good food, but stuff that was unhealthy, and “stuff I wouldn’t be buying if I was allegedly that poor” The real motive being–I want to control charity to others so I can make sure it goes to the “right” people and is used in the “right” way. He had early objected when he offered some leftover pizza to a man who asked for a couple of bucks. When the man reiterated that he’s just like the two bucks, the guy grew incensed, since “he wanted the money, obviously for something other than hunger relief.”

This raises the ugly specter of folks that think they have the right to control those people who they deign to give help to. I you think I’m assuming a bit too much here, I invite you to the case of Florida and Governor Scott’s attempt to impose drug testing on welfare applicants. 

A federal district court ruled Scott’s attempt blatantly unconstitutional, and a Federal appellate court agreed, finding unanimously that the attempt to monitor citizens in this fashion violated their 4th Amendment rights. Note the assumption made here by Scott and Republicans: that welfare recipients necessarily pose a significantly higher threat of drug usage than other citizens. Such is neither warranted by the facts or commons sense, and bespeaks a racist overtone that is apparent to at least me.

Now, I’m told that the conservative seeks to remove government from interfering in the lives of individuals. These examples, serve I think to suggest that that is nothing but balderdash to use a quaint conservative term. It all depends it seems on whose freedoms are at stake–the tiny minority of fellow-traveling extremists, or all those “others” who we don’t really like simply because they ain’t like us.

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What to know the ugly truth of why health care costs are so high? It’s because they charge ten times more for stuff and you get stuck with it. They give you a Tylenol and the charge is more than a whole bottle would be at the drugstore. There is a major exposé in Time this week and you can read it here. Thanks to Squatlo Rant for the link up.

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Best news of the day? Oh by far it’s that Tom Latham, (R-IA) has determined not to run for Tom Harkin’s senate seat. Latham is a true conservative, but he’s not insane. This leaves the pathway wide open for the one and only truly insane candidate on the extremity of the Republican Right little toe—-our favorite idiot Steve King.

And that means that Bruce Braley, an excellent Democratic candidate who is already “in” for running, is sure to win this seat.

I cannot wait to watch this one. King, who is so famous for not debating his opponent, won’t get away with it this time. It should be fun.

Dear Karl of course was threatening to send in his money against King, which hopefully only will make him want it all the more, and that is all she wrote, said the spider to the fly.

 

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10 thoughts on “Whose Ox Is Getting Gored Today?

  1. I have mixed emotions on the food stamp issue. On one hand, I see your point that if we forbid food stamps to be used for, say, soda, that we are trying to control charity – but the government already does this in other programs. For instance, in the WIC (Women Infants & Children) program, only certain cereals are allowed to be supplemented by WIC funding. They have minimum levels for fiber and maximum levels for sugar. Personally, to me this makes sense. Why do we want to use taxes to supplement the profits of manufacturers of soda and junk food? The SNAP (food stamp) program doesn’t cover all of a family’s food needs as it is – I see people using their SNAP card for some of their groceries and money for the rest. Let them buy the soda out of their own money, if they must. To me the idea of these programs is to provide families with nutrition if they don’t have enough money to afford it. Coke and Pepsi and other forms of junky food are not nutrition. They are empty calories that lead to obesity and diabetes. And yes, I am find with Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts as well. The public sometimes needs to be saved from itself! :-)

    • I have some sympathy with the argument too Maui, I just put it forth as an example of what I think may really be behind the decision, and also that the GOP is never straightforward when it comes to their claims that they don’t like “nanny” rules. That was really my point. I tend to agree, that it’s worth looking at to make sure that nutritious food is perchased rather than junk.

  2. BTW, of course I am against the drug testing thing for welfare recipients – that is clearly designed to make people less likely to try to apply for benefits and to feel demeaned. I think of the food stamp thing as closer to how cigarettes are handled – no one would allow anyone to buy cigarettes with food stamps and yet sugary soda is equally useless to the body. (Maybe diet soda would be OK).

  3. I’m not so sure soda can be purchased with food stamps. You can’t buy TP or cat food with food stamps. I went looking for WA state info and found this summary: “When you get approved for food stamps, your benefits come in the form of an electronic benefits (EBT) card, which you may use to buy food at any grocery store, supermarket or farmer’s market that accepts it. You can only use the EBT card to buy specific food items; for example, breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; dairy products; meat, fish, poultry and eggs; and seeds and plants to grow your own food at home, according to DSHS. You are not allowed to use food stamps to buy prepared hot foods, household supplies, vitamins, medicines, alcohol or cigarettes.”

    I don’t see soda EXcluded, but there are other things not covered.

    • Thanks Shannon I appreciate your input. I can see some sense in making sure that decent food is purchased. What I dislike is the, I think, real desire to monitor people. I’m not sure where the line should be drawn. If you have an idea I’d really like to hear. I find a certain indignity in telling people what they can use their food allotment for. Food I agree, what kind? I’m not as sure of. !END

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