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Paul Ryan holds up a copy of his
Does Paul Ryan dream of objectivist sheep?
"Paul wants people to dream again. You don't dream when you've got food stamps."
—Bishop Shirley Holloway, on Rep. Paul Ryan
I know that it's only personal experience, and that personal experience is worthless in the face of the pure reason of objectivism. And yet, my experience has informed me that those who are on food stamps dream of a life where they can buy the types of food they can't afford on food stamps.

It's a defining symbol of the contrast between the leaders of our two political parties and the values that they hold. While President Obama launched a salvo this week to stem the growing tide of economic inequality that threatens the stability of our economy, Paul Ryan and company are busy advocating to take away what little comforts the less fortunate do enjoy. Not satisfied with gutting nutrition assistance for America's poorest, Republicans are also busy blocking any extension of long-term unemployment benefits as part of the very conservative Ryan-Murray budget agreement being considered at the time of this writing.

Even though the Right's rabid base would have no problem starving the poor on the grounds that they are the useless, drug-addicted parasites of objectivist fame, the movement's intellectual leaders know that hurting the poor merely for its own sake is not a popular end to itself, politically speaking. They couch their actions in far different terms.

Please see below the fold for more.

For this more cerebral and articulate wing of conservatism, dependency is the watchword of choice. Far from wanting to hurt the poor, they say, the effort to take away food stamps and unemployment benefits from those who are most down on their luck is for the ultimate good of the disadvantaged. Government programs, the theory goes, lessen the urgency to ameliorate one's own situation and provide artificial comfort. Users of these programs will then come to rely on them, and to paraphase Bishop Holloway above, cease to dream about a better life. In this logical line, the only solution that will allow the poor to become more than they would otherwise is to take away their food stamps to force former beneficiaries to basically find income somehow or watch their children starve.

Otherwise known as dreaming.

There's certainly room to debate the morality of forcing children to go hungry just to instill some fear into their parents about finding low-wage jobs that are already impossible to get. But surely the Republicans are onto something here, right? A few hundred thousand starving kids might surely be worth the price of ending dependency on the government for food among America's poor, right? Republicans could make that horrific argument if it were true. But the truth is, food stamps don't create dependence, they lessen it instead:

... access to food stamps in utero and in early childhood leads to significant reductions in metabolic syndrome conditions (obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes) in adulthood and, for women, increases in economic self-sufficiency (increases in educational attainment, earnings, income, and decreases in welfare participation).
Stop the presses here. It turns out that a child who actually has access to healthy food will be healthier as an adult and more able to achieve a long and fulfilling career! Food stamps are in fact a strategic investment in reducing how much future generations will depend on the government for both financial support and medical care.  But if food stamps are not just a moral thing to do, but also help the economy, increase social mobility, decrease welfare participation and keep future generations from chronic illnesses that cost taxpayer dollars, how could the conservative movement be so vehemently opposed to them?

It makes perfect sense for those whose actual priority isn't the elevation of the economy or the uplifting of the less fortunate. It makes perfect sense as a strategy for reducing social mobility while maximizing the wealth of the investor class. It makes perfect sense as a weapon to get the shrinking and squeezed middle class to resent the impoverished and blame them for their own condition. It makes perfect sense as yet another tool to guarantee that the supremacy of the wealthy remains unchallenged by those not yet desperate enough to work for scraps in a service economy dedicated to providing for the needs of the affluent.

In other words, it makes sense for those who wish to create a permanent underclass whose opportunities in life are dictated far more by circumstances of birth than by ambition, intellect or desire for achievement. It just doesn't make sense for those interested in a functional democracy. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said in his 1936 acceptance speech:

An old English judge once said: "Necessitous men are not free men." Liberty requires opportunity to make a living—a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.
Food stamps and unemployment benefits provide the opportunity to make a living, and give their recipients something to live for. There is no argument left standing that eliminating them will ultimately increase the general welfare. At this point, the push to do so is one small part of the relentless drive toward inequality and plutocracy.
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Comment Preferences

  •  absolutely nothing (21+ / 0-)

    Ryan touches or involved with is ok ever; he is a sadist with a 'cover' rationale (ayn rand and neocon) !

    Republican logic: Everyone having a gun will make us safer; everyone having health care will destroy us!

    by anyname on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:03:25 PM PST

  •  Perhaps not, but he is a Dick (Philip K.) (5+ / 0-)
    Does Paul Ryan dream of objectivist sheep?

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:06:30 PM PST

    •  sheep getting sheared then slaughtered perhaps (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, happymisanthropy, a2nite

      Then getting fed to him by starving slaves dressed in filthy rags while he lounges in Merino wool robes on a pile of pillows.

      And that's assuming there even are other people in Paul Ryan's dreams.  The man might be too full of himself even for that, and thinks that stuff just happens because he's awesome.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:11:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If Ryan was President Snow, (5+ / 0-)

      he'd be saying that people in the Districts couldn't dream if they didn't have to send tributes into the Arena to fight for their lives.

      Freedom's just another word for not enough to eat. --Paul Krugman's characterization of conservative attitudes.

      by Judge Moonbox on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:33:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems the "Conservatives" have taken a page (8+ / 0-)

    from Dickens. "Are there no prisons, no work houses?"

    "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth." Buddha

    by Grandson named me Papa on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:07:11 PM PST

  •  Let the ACA work or there is an alternative. (8+ / 0-)

    Many of the 1.3 million unemployed will now be desperately searching for jobs.  How will our nation fill the void?  

    Having been unable to find work in their skilled field, these unemployed workers may need training in order to find sufficient employment.  I would suggest training more MD's, DO's, RN's, PA's, and LPN's.  

    Train more to clean up the messes they make.  Let the Affordable Care Act work.

    Health care is not a privilege, it is a necessity to live in today's corporate polluted world.  We cannot have people being afraid to go to the doctor for fear of the cost, because many of the cancers can be caught earlier with better results.  

    An alternative to the ACA would be to have a class action of every person in our nation, sue the corporate polluters who have compromised the integrity of our biosphere, causing a vital need for medical care.  

    Let the polluters pay because they have damaged our health.  Each and every one of us require preventative care because of them.

    •  many, many were already searching (0+ / 0-)

      This doesn't get said enough around here;
      For most of the unemployed, a work search is a requirement to receive weekly benefits. In my state, you have to show three verifiable employer contacts every week or you are denied benefits for that week.
      The lie that those receiving unemployment checks are lying on the couch all day needs shutting down.

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:30:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had a mom call me Friday, desperate for help (29+ / 0-)

    for food for her daughter. Her mother and grandmother have moved in with her, so there are 4 generations there. Her food stamps were just cut to $150. How do you feed 4 people on $150 for a month?!

    Thanks to the local Food Bank, I am able to start sending her daughter a small sack of food every Friday. That is very minimal -- a small can of pasta, a single serve macaroni and cheese you microwave, a single serving box of cereal, a juice box, milk box, some fruit roll-ups and a couple granola bars.

    And a local church has offered to give us 15 Christmas food baskets, and I've promised her I'll squeeze her on that list.

    The food stamp cuts are coming down now.

    Yea, this lady is dreaming. Nightmares!

  •  This will keep happening until we confront the GOP (16+ / 0-)

    Paul Ryan wants to cut government spending? Push to cut the farm subsidies in his district! Ryan's FAMILY gets THOUSANDS of federal dollars, for pete's sake! Put that in the news and hammer on it till it is removed!

    This is the reason the Dems keep getting steamrolled. No cojones.

  •  Fuck Paul Ryan. --sincerely, Santa (11+ / 0-)

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:27:19 PM PST

  •  it infuriates me (10+ / 0-)

    that these classless thugs from the rw con gop who have been sucking off the govt teat most of their lives and whom most are people of means don't have an once of empathy in their black hearts for those that are really in need and deserve the help they are seeking.

    all the social programs america has were promoted by the left and opposed by the right but just as with the aca these programs were gladly used for their benefit by the right and their heartless supporters.

    the republicans in congress say govt healthcare isn't as good as private insurance but they never fail to take advantage of the perks they get by just getting elected to congress even though their work performance does not justify those advantages.

    i say until all citizens have access to healthcare the members of congress shouldn't have the right to any health insurance not available to every citizen regardless of standing, this is a democracy not a kingdom and we the people are the govt and the members of congress work at our behest not the other way around.

    its time we fought back against the anti democratic movement in america and returned our govt to individuals who know the meaning of the words citizen, sister, & brother.

    ps- defeat all republicans.

    •  Congress passed a law that says that they have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OrdinaryIowan, avamontez

      to participate in the ACA. They are no longer eligible for the government subsidies they were getting prior to passing that law. What they really need is to be forced to starve, or go to a food bank or starve, or go through the process of applying for SNAP or starve. Or be forced to tell their families there isn't enough food for all of them to eat for a week or two. Or be forced to work and live on minimum wage for a year. How many times do they pass laws that are directly related to an issue they are personally experiencing? Often. So make them see how motivated they are when there's no food in their stomachs.

      •  I disagree; they just need to listen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite

        Franklin D. Roosevelt never went hungry in his life. But he and especially Eleanor Roosevelt listened hard to those who had. She travelled in Appalachia, in mining camps, in veterans' hospitals, and she listened and listened. And people knew it -- I'm remembering some song that goes "My father met Eleanor Roosevelt. . . ." And she reported to her husband what was really going on out there, and he listened.

        It's like the Pope going out in the streets at night (as has been reported) to meet homeless people.

        Or our own Lefty Coaster, going to the Philippines (with, I presume, a tent to sleep in, and food and water) and entering into the lives and communities of those affected by the typhoon, and writing eloquently about it.

        You don't need to personally experience every sort of hardship or oppression. You just need to be able to listen empathetically to those who live there, and take that into account in your thinking and policy-making. (And spend less time with slick K Street lobbyists and fat cats who pollute your brain with their own narrow interests.)

  •  If they want to save money on food stamps (12+ / 0-)

    Then let's increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by all means!

    •  I agree (9+ / 0-)

      The best way to cut safety net programs is to insist that the country's richest employers pay their workers a living wage. Then instead of subsidizing fast food places and big box stores, the money can go where it's needed - into the economy, through the pockets of the workers.

      Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

      by ramara on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:03:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But the Republicans must be kept from (7+ / 0-)

        slashing the SNAP budget even when the minimum wage is raised.  Those recipients who can't work - children, seniors, the disabled, the unemployed - can't be punished because those who do have jobs are receiving something closer to a living wage.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:40:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I need to renew this month (3+ / 0-)

          and I can't get myself to do it. I started at 54 dollars; in November 2012 it got cut 20, which I think was the result of some previous blackmail deal, then another 7 to offset my COLA, then recently another 11, leaving me with $20. And with this year's COLA, that would be cut another few dollars.

          My COLA is $15. It's so demoralizing, I just can't bring myself to deal with renewing...

          Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

          by ramara on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:16:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  If they keep trying to lower the glass ceiling (4+ / 0-)

    and push everyone into a crushed underclass, that ceiling may eventually break.

    •  Ah...the glass floor. I know all about that one. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, greengemini, kamarvt

      As someone who has many disabilities, I can tell you that for us, it's almost impossible to be economically mobile. We often never have any opportunities available and even when we do, it's all temporary or shit-wage work. Big business is taking advantage of this situation en masse.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:19:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the glass ceiling is too thick to break (4+ / 0-)

      Societies, like corporations, always shrink from the bottom, not the top.  As far as the people at the top are concerned, that shrinking process is exactly the way things should work in response to financial troubles.  When you have a surplus of labor, liquidate it.

      When most of the people in the world's largest prison population are there on trespassing for looking for a place to sleep at night and petty theft of food and when more Americans than that are dying in the streets of starvation and/or hypothermia, there won't be a revolution, there'll be a race war.  The mobs with pitchforks and torches will be marching on the trailer parks and housing projects, not Manhattan ... and not all of the marchers will be white.

      Because Americans love rich people and I truly believe that most Americans would gladly die and watch their children die ... not for the rich personally, but for the dream of success they represent.  Because I think that Ryan is right; Americans do have a dream, they always have, and it's a dream of big money, big churches, and tiny, tiny hearts.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:31:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hungry people and people with hungry children (6+ / 0-)

    do not dream - not even in the fevered, self righteous definition of "dream" the Republicans hold.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:45:45 PM PST

  •  Best way to get people off government help? (7+ / 0-)

    Raise the damn minimum wage - and all the wages right above it. Stop starving the middle class to enrich the few at the top. Spend government money to create jobs, because the private sector sure isn't, at least not the part that's sitting on all the money.

    And you know what? Once that government money is out there, the economy doesn't care where it came from; it just keeps circulating, feeding demand, helping the whole economy go, just like jump-starting a stalled engine.

    To the rich who complain the poor don't pay enough in taxes - pay them enough money for a living wage and they won't need government help - and they'll be able to pay taxes. Unlike you, they'd be happy to have enough money to be able to pay taxes, and they'd appreciate what they've gotten in exchange for them.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:46:59 PM PST

  •  I am waiting to see video clips of farmers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elginblt, JeffW, happymisanthropy

    protesting price supports less than their expectations and dumping milk and other farm goods down sewers as restive hungry folk are held back behind police lines.

    Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

    by triplepoint on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:47:28 PM PST

    •  documentary footage from the Great Depression? (0+ / 0-)

      I read that the reason Russian farms were collectivized by the Soviet Union was that the farmers saw no reason to feed the towns and cities.  The revolution gave them their land, and they turned around and said to hell with everyone else.  

      All that Jeffersonian bullshit could well make American farmers react the same way.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:48:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can you explain (6+ / 0-)

    how they are able to sell this crap to their base. The same base that live in some of the poorest states in the country and benefit greatly from these programs. It just boggles the mind. It can't all be religion can it? How will the Catholic conservatives react to what the new pope is saying? It has to blow back on them soon. At least that's my hope.

    •  I think I can explain it. (7+ / 0-)

      Part of the answer is brilliantly put in this diary:

      It makes perfect sense as a weapon to get the shrinking and squeezed middle class to resent the impoverished and blame them for their own condition.
      They create fantasy "takers"--lazy, dependent, dishonest and greedy, and constantly convince their base that these moochers are taking away their hard-earned money.  Add to that the all-important element of racism: they convince their base, in defiance of fact, that those takers are African American or foreign.  They create a scenario whereby any suffering their constituents feel is caused by these "others" who are to blame for all the problems they encounter.

      Fox News and hate radio pound the message over and over again, and it keeps those voters in line.

      "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

      by SottoVoce on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:08:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But (6+ / 0-)

        These people are part of the takers. Don't they realize that? The Red states are also the biggest welfare states. They all can't be as dense as this one toothless good ole boy I saw in an interview. When it was pointed out he was on welfare and food stamps he claimed his case was different. I guess because he was a white christian. Sounded like my ex-wife. It's always different.

        •  that's it: (6+ / 0-)
          he claimed his case was different. I guess because he was a white christian
          It isn't just stupidity.  It's a kind of moral blindness.  It's easy to starve people, throw them out in the street, deny them healthcare, and so forth, when they are nameless, faceless "others."  That's why the powers-that-be in the GOP continue to create this false narrative.  As soon as it's a person's neighbor, or daughter or mother, it becomes personal, but they rationalize it as being different, because that only an individual case.

          "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

          by SottoVoce on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:38:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  A: Their base doesn't give a shit about others. (6+ / 0-)

      The USA and the rest of the world face a dangerous enemy that not only threatens our freedom but our very existence. This enemy is deeply embedded within society and is actively working towards our annihilation. That enemy is ignorance.

      by Ex Con on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:15:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Their base is ignorant and stupid. I said it. (7+ / 0-)

      And that's just the kind of shit that they count on. Thing is, this culture of apathy and 'me me me!' bullshit didn't happen overnight. Self help morons and prosperity gospel snake oil salesmen preached their crap day and night that you can have it all right now if you just say 'fuck it' to the rest of the world.

      This mentality spread far and wide in the mainstream in television, especially in the 2000s with the advent of reality TV.

      This culture of apathy is everywhere, and it's quite sad.

      I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

      by Homer177 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:15:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  starts with 'N', rhymes with naggers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jakedog42, greengemini
      Can you explain how they are able to sell this crap to their base.
      In wingnut Bizzaroworld, government assistance doesn't go to hard workin' God fearin' Real Murrican folk like them.  Instead, it comes from them and goes to you know who.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:55:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This article must be part of their propaganda: (0+ / 0-)

      Search at Google News for "eating well on $4.30 a day Wall Street Journal". The link seems too long to work. Column by Brett Arends. Granted, some of the comments point out he did not count his transportation to and from the places he sought out that were offering discounts for buying in bulk. We've cut out meat, we grow and freeze half of the vegetables we eat, and we bake our own whole grain bread. Still, it cannot be done.

  •  Hasn't this gone on long enough? (8+ / 0-)

    Back in 1904, Robert Hunter wrote his landmark book, Poverty.  There, he argued that in order for social mobility to take place, poor children must be provided with food, clothing and shelter.

    A hungry child, he insisted, could not learn, thus making universal education pointless and social mobility impossible.

    It is utter folly, from the point of view of learning, to have a compulsory school law which compels children, in that weak physical and mental state which results from poverty, to drag themselves to school and to sit at their desks, day in and day out, for several years, learning little or nothing. If it is a matter of principle in democratic America that every child shall be given a certain amount of instruction, let us render it possible for them to receive it, as monarchial countries have done, by making full and adequate provision for the physical needs of the children who come from the homes of poverty.
    The fight against hunger started out by providing "penny lunches" in schools; this was gradually taken over by government and is now seen in both food stamps and in subsidized breakfasts and lunches for poor children.

    Does Paul Ryan really want to get rid of all of these things?  Does he really want to argue against over 100 years of progress?  Does he really want to say that he's willing to give up on democracy just so that hungry children can dream of things that he will make impossible for them to attain?

    That is, assuming that they can sleep on empty stomachs in the first place.

    Fox's Brian Kilmeade on Starbucks' decision to ban guns in stores: "Real simple - if you have a gun, go to Dunkin Donuts."

    by NCJan on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:52:43 PM PST

    •  yes, he does want to get rid of these things (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, a2nite
      Does Paul Ryan really want to get rid of all of these things?  Does he really want to argue against over 100 years of progress?  Does he really want to say that he's willing to give up on democracy just so that hungry children can dream of things that he will make impossible for them to attain?

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:51:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  peeling the onion (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, NCJan

        we're getting down to it, here.
        The conservative mindset has some enormous blind spots, and the insistence on seeing every situation (except climate change) as a zero-sum is one of the most destructive to the social order. For the Paul Ryans of the world, nothing gained by anyone anywhere is without cost to mememememe.
        Another major blind spot is the inability to self reflect and/or admit error.
        Therefore, anything gained by anyone anywhere is at my expense, is a deprivation of the deserving, steals the resources I was gonna use for good (as defined by mememememe) and wastes them on slackers.
        The cruelty inherent in this thinking is not accidental. It's a feature, a central feature. the same one that gave us torture as a sadistic national  policy.

        this mindset is sociopathic, and it is embraced by a shocking percentage of the population.

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:45:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Whether they dream or not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, greengemini

    is irrelevant; what matters is that they eat.

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 05:58:58 PM PST

  •  Paul Ryan Is A Wicked Man (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ex Con, JeffW, greengemini, Calamity Jean

    There's no two ways about it. The level of callousness that is evidenced by Ryan and his ilk towards the needy and destitute is hard to fathom. I have no doubt he considers himself a good Christian but he is the exact opposite.

    Starting with him, people across the country should fill his regular and email boxes with invective laden recriminations. His kind deserve nothing less than to be spit at, derided and run out of town.

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:03:35 PM PST

  •  They want people off food stamps? Fine... (6+ / 0-)

    Pay a fucking living wage and full benefits to any workers who work full time. They can afford to do this and still have lots of money to burn.

    I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

    by Homer177 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:03:56 PM PST

    •  what they can't afford; (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Homer177

      a vibrant middle class, with its yearning for more education, its growing understanding of the dynamics at play in the economy, and its collective desire to build a better world for everyone.
      It can't afford a greased path from poverty to economic freedom, because that drains the low wage labor pool of people willing to work themselves to death for a pittance.
      It can't afford a political reawakening of the masses which inevitably comes from increased awareness of economic injustice, because that could mean curbs on everything from labor abuses to finacial swindles to environmental destruction.

      Put all these bogeymen together and you actually have something the 1% can't afford; a world where their hegemony is eroded to a point where control of the social order is very difficult, if not impossible.

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:52:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Must have been tough on Ryan (4+ / 0-)

    not dreaming all those years he got social security survivors' benefits.

  •  Let me whip this out one more time (12+ / 0-)

    The USA and the rest of the world face a dangerous enemy that not only threatens our freedom but our very existence. This enemy is deeply embedded within society and is actively working towards our annihilation. That enemy is ignorance.

    by Ex Con on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:10:37 PM PST

  •  Charlie Pierce was right on point (6+ / 0-)

    when he began calling Paul Ryan the "zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin" back when the faux economic genius came up with his first disastrous budget.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:21:58 PM PST

  •  Paul Ryan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    I tried to write to Paul about his disgusting selfish policies, but unless you live in his district, you cannot access his government email. Why do the people of Wisconsin keep sending this loser back to Washington? I thought we got rid of him when he was the runner up to the vice-president's race.

  •  In something called the "Scriptures" we read (6+ / 0-)

    that Jesus said, as follows:
    1.   "Feed the hungry.
    2.   "Clothe the Naked.
    3.   "Heal the sick.
    4.   "Bury the dead."
    And these are supposed to be "commandments" for those wishing to live a Christian life.

    Today's Teabaghead/Republiklan Party tells us to:
    1.   Get rid of food stamps altogether.
    2.   Slash all Social Security and purge the Welfare rolls.
    3.   Repeal, or "defund" the ACA; and keep the costs of actual Health Care as high as possible.
    4.   If people cannot afford to PAY - at the highest gouges possible - let them DIE OFF quickly, and get to hell out of the way.
    And these are today's "commandments" for THE purest and holiest of Christians in America.

    Who do you follow, Pilgrim?

  •  Do these guys ever talk to people on Food Stamps? (5+ / 0-)

    'Cause I do every day.  You know what it's like to have to explain to a 12 year old why it is people want to take away their food stamps so they can't eat?

    •  I grew up in privilege, but... (3+ / 0-)

      My mother explained it very simply, in 1988, when I asked her why Reagan wanted to take help away from those who needed it.

      "President Reagan is a bad man," she said.

      Children understand the idea of bullies who prey on others, not because they need to, but because it makes them feel good.

      Note to self: compose diary detailing the ways I see my corporate employer taking advantage of me and my coworkers.

      by Shaviv on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:23:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Food Stamps don't exist anymore (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Can we move on from right wing dog whistle terms and call it what it is now: food assistance?

    "In text, use only a single word space after all sentence punctuation." - Oxford Style Manual, Oxford University Press, 2003.

    by shaggies2009 on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:52:49 PM PST

  •  These assholes are becoming unbearable (3+ / 0-)

    I'm a libertarian. There I said it. But I read Atlas Shrugged and it sounded to me like Rand was pretty much a bitter old cunt.

    I always equated Libertarianism with freedom, freedom to love who you want, smoke what you want, worship the god of your choice (or no god at all, as in my own case). They always needed some platform changes, after all anyone with a brain could see that there were places the free market failed: defense (too late to buy an army once youve been invaded) environment (too late to do anything once the pollution has happened) schooling (really? what sort of brainless dipshit wants to do away with public schooling?) But the basic message was pretty sound I thought. Live your life without harming others, and you are free to do so without government intervention.

    But these republican assholes have hijacked that message into some twisted dickensian apologia for starving kids, nay, whole families, so someone can get a better interest rate on their private jet payment. While conveniently forgetting to espouse ACTUAL freedom...ya know love, life, liberty, speech, religion, all those inconvenient non-profitable freedoms.

    That aint libertarian. That aint even republican. Thats just assholery.

    It's time for some torch and pitchfork action. For realz.

    Left Coast Libertarian

    by pacspeed on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 06:58:21 PM PST

  •  You don't starve, either, Paul Ryan! (0+ / 0-)
  •  It's Not "Racism" It's Sadism Towards The Weak (7+ / 0-)

    The same people who squeal about being called 'racists" also want to cut nutrition assistance to pregnant white women.  It's a mistake to put their hatred in a little box and call it "racism" and kid ourselves that it can be solved.  it's about sadism towards the weak, and if minorities aren't available to beat up, the sadists will attack children, the blind, pregnant women, and the long-term unemployed.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:05:16 PM PST

    •  It's a combination (0+ / 0-)

      Many of them are not thinking about white pregnant women; they are thinking of SNAP recipients are people of color. That's why Reagan's "welfare queen" narrative took hold, because the details of the narrative dog-whistled "black welfare queen." The fact that some white women are affected is off the radar screen -- or is sexism overlaying the racism, as in, "If she couldn't afford to feed a baby, why did she get herself knocked up? Slut!"

  •  A man who demands that your children... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Calamity Jean, a2nite

    ... starve so that the privileged can feast, is the enemy.

    He is not a leader of the community, he is not your friend, he is not "concerned". He is the enemy, and he should be regarded as such at all times.  

    •  that's the thing; they can still feast. (0+ / 0-)

      your children starving is merely the theater portion of the dinner theater.
       They'll feast regardless, but it's so much more satisfying when there's a hungry waif (or a thousand) to taunt while feasting.

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 03:57:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  47% (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Calamity Jean

    I go back to the campaign.  Way back.  When the disgustingly rich man was fretting about the "benefits" of men who can't eat enough to dream when he, himself, was and is so rich he could give away wealth steadily all his life and never be poor.

    Republicans of this ilk sicken me.

  •  I lived with an ultra-conservative (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, mahytabel, Calamity Jean

    and he'd go on and on about how he'd never have survived as a kid without Food Stamps, how him mom was destitute and they never would have eaten if not for the assistance. Then, as if his soul would leave his body and be replaced by Ayn Rand's (OK, she likely lacked one, but just for the sake of my analogy please humor me), he would remonstrate that Food Stamps should be taken away from the kids of today and they should be allowed to starve because their parents were "deadbeats" and "losers". Needless to say after 8 months of this I had had more than enough of his mental illness and I moved. The more I am personally exposed to "conservatism, the more I see it as a physiological disorder, some sort of deficiency in the brain that causes the empathy center of the brain to not develop.

    Personally it's difficult not to want to see the Paul Ryans of this world wake up one day in the Paris of 1791, but that's just me. Maybe if he keeps talking, that's where he'll end up.

    "Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the Freedom that I will provide!"

    by emperor nobody on Sun Dec 15, 2013 at 07:47:11 PM PST

    •  I agree. I've said for years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emperor nobody, bryduck

      how Washington has gotten to look more and more like Versailles. I've also said repeatedly that some day, probably in my lifetime, we'll have a second revolution in this country that would look much more like France's than our first one did.

      If the GOP and the TPer's continue on the path they're on, it may be within the next decade. When there are no more social programs to feed, house, and educate the poor, and we have children and the elderly dying by the thousands daily from hunger and/or cold, with bodies lying in the streets for lack of money to bury them, a majority of Americans will be pulling out those guns they have and heading to Washington.

      When you force people to watch as their loved ones die from starvation, you're literally slitting your own throat, because it will be your name they'll be screaming as they're chasing you with the knife that does the deed.

      Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast. -Douglas Adams

      by mahytabel on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 12:15:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  right now they're sitting 'round the big pig table (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Santa Susanna Kid, Van Buren

        deciding exactly how far they can push it to precisely the point juuuuussssssst before people react with pitchforks, torches and the Big Bad Blade, rest assured.

        Actually I take that back... that reaction is exactly what they desire, and the reason for the hyper-militarization of the police forces nationwide. The truth is they have figured out, in the post-manufacturing "economy," how to make billions upon billions in filthy, phony lucre from betting on the exact day granny will lose her home and what prison she will be warehoused in, so the profits can continue unabated and supply the future largesse needed for even more exotically conceived and implemented patterns of exploitation and outright enslavement of the willing, Stockholm Syndromed population. Who will gleefully work for 3 cents an hour, seeing as how management no longer has to pay them enough to buy any of its products.

        It won't end happily either way... I don't have one single iota of faith that it will be as in Thailand recently and the cops will stand down when they are ordered to exterminate the population. I think in the US the majority of police signed up for the job WISHING that they'd merely get the opportunity for mass extermination, and will enthusiastically do it. And the saddest part is that once we're all gone, they'll be slaughtered too.

        This country isn't even a country anymore. It's just 300 million lost and mentally ill people, all coincidentally gathered on the same continent and chasing the same, totally worthless paper they in their imbecilic delusion think is somehow "money". The social construct we thought we knew is long gone and it is as Orwell said, the future is just a boot stomping on your face forever. All so the system can remain beyond critique or exposure as the surreal, atavistic Death Fantasy Suicide Cult it most observably is.

        As the great Leonard Cohen said, I've seen the future, baby, and it is MURDER.

        "Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the Freedom that I will provide!"

        by emperor nobody on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 01:13:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP "Path to Prosperity" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Santa Susanna Kid

    unfortunately takes a slight detour through the Poorhouse for middle class Americans; remainder of path is minefield guarded by Tea Party acting on orders from Koch brothers.

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