Thursday, November 23, 2006

LOOKING LEFT ON THANKSGIVING

I’m reading the Huffington Post –its blogs, specifically – so you don’t have to…

You’re welcome…

Arianna Huffington leads off, cackling briefly about the election, and then going after the Orwellians in the Bush administration “(who) have decided to no longer use the word "hunger" to describe the 35 million Americans -- that's 12 percent of the population -- who aren't always sure where their next meal is coming from. Instead, the poor people formerly known as the hungry will now be referred to as people experiencing "very low food security."”

The old lady has a point… The kind of doublespeak she quotes herein is pretty hard to take:

“Hunger, you see, is actually the byproduct of being "food insecure" and thus harder to precisely measure. In the words of a USDA advisory panel, hunger "should refer to a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness, or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation."”

Arianna admits “Just writing that gives me an "uneasy sensation."” It triggers my slap reflex – I want to slap the clinical fool who originally penned it… But at least she goes on to admit that this isn’t just a Republican problem…

******************************************************************************

Arianna ends - more or less - saying “chang(ing) the reality of hunger in America … will take a national commitment to overcoming poverty from our leaders -- and from all of us. Something to think about as we sit down to our Thanksgiving feasts.”

Guilt… Jews invented it; Catholics perfected it… Manipulators use it as a weapon. The strict, true conservative that still hides deep within me peers out and asks, when and where has “a national commitment to overcoming poverty from our leaders” ever worked? Don’t tell me it hasn’t been tried. Churches, philanthropic organizations, Great – and lesser – societies, governments of all kinds in many lands and times have tried. The closest anyone has came to “success” that I can recall are the relatively socialized societies of Western Europe – Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Low Countries, and Scandinavia. And that success has been fraught with – hopefully – unintended consequences, creating “entitled” groups notoriously smug and more than willing to aggressively protest and even riot in order to maintain their status.

Ungrateful, if you are into the guilt shtick…

It is a poison of the spirit to give a man everything he needs to survive except hope. Hope cannot be found in a stipend. Poor men have poor ways. Enrich their path.

Arianna, worry less about the poverty of hunger and more about the poverty of hope. Then you may have a chance of success.


Moving right along, John Ridley gives thanks “for the political center.”

“I'm thankful for The Political Center. The hard-core, radical middle that's finally taking control of discourse in this country. I am thankful that Republican, Democrat, Red and Blue are fading obelisks on the cultural landscape. Irrelevant, and replaced by the only ideology that is of any substance: pragmatism.”

My knees jerk, each in its own direction… I started blogging just over a year ago, billing myself as a moderate – a designation I have since changed to, by chance, pragmatist. So I should give John bravos… Except I really don’t know what he means. The more I do this the less I know what “liberal,” “conservative,” “left,” right,” or “center” mean.
Mostly, it means someone is calling someone else a name, and likely with derogatory intent…

But I agree with John on some specifics. While I think he overstates the case “the left has found a path” I agree the midterms were won “by backing the likes of small d Democrats (such as) Bob Casey, Jr. and Jim Webb”… I also agree “That Joe Lieberman’s win as an independent indicates how badly the far left … underestimated the Middle's ability to look beyond a single issue and pull votes from all sides.”

The war, of course, being that “single issue”…

I’ll take a line here to again plug an excellent WSJ Op-Ed by Senator-elect Webb: “Class Struggle.” I think he makes good points…

The American political conversation, from “a more perfect union” to “a chicken in every pot” to “it’s the economy stupid” has always been partly about prosperity… And Joe Rustbelt is nervous. His dad retired from the old factory with a good pension. He’s doing OK, which is more than can be said for his neighbor, who lost his pension in a corporate collapse. And they’re both better off than Joe, who has never even been offered anything like the sweet deals his parents’ generation got. At that, he’s lucky – he has a “family wage job.” Joe III is stuck shoveling shit for a hopelessly inadequate minimum wage. He’s considered college, but his college-educated friends don’t find their degrees help them much in the restaurant or mattress superstore, and those student loan payments suck… He’d like to break into construction, but Mexicans have taken that over, and no habla Espanol, se?... Besides, the contractors have all the applicants they need, waiting in Tijuana… Well, there is always the army…

Meanwhile, the corporate hacks who sold out Joe Sr., his neighbor, and their kids are doing fine, floating down on their golden parachutes…

The conversation has been about prosperity, but it has been about equity as well. Now, I posit Americans generally have an instinctive apprehension to equality of outcome, but very much support equity in opportunity. It’s bred into us; a product of wide-open capitalism and a frontier mentality. Well, the frontier is – temporarily, at least – closed to the average man, and capitalism has become its own worst enemy.

Joe is voting with his feet. He’s walking away from a system that seems to have turned on him. Let’s hope he doesn’t walk into something worse…


Moving on down the evolutionary tree to the domain of the lizard brain, John Seery thanks nobody in particular for the infinite superiority the dysfunctional California Yuppie lifestyle he lives today enjoys over the dysfunction of his traditional Iowa upbringing… If you like the kind of piece that sends Rush Limbaugh into spittle emitting, paper crunching tirades, you’ll love this one…


And finally, arriving at the very bottom of the evolutionary slime, we find Tony Hendra, ranting back at us… Tony offers a heartfelt prayer to whatever god he worships, first entreating the almighty? to bless Dick Cheney with another heart attack and then giving thanks that, among other things, “Thy glorious sun is finally breaking through the viscous, vomit-colored cloud-cover of Republican bigotry, repression, fear-mongering, greed and graft. A blighted carapace of despair and depression that has blotted out the clear blue sky from horizon to horizon for six long years, O Lord, like a billion pairs of enormous morbidly obese buttocks sitting on our heads.” It goes sub-slime thereafter…

Really, this is just the thing, if you’re a Republican who enjoys a good bout of holiday indigestion.

You might even want to save it… You never know when you may need a good example of far-left liberal “compassion”…

Comments:
The lead quote implies the poll asked, “Do you know where your next meal is coming from?”

That doesn’t equate to hunger in my book. It equates to extremely poor polling.

For example: I don’t know where my next meal is coming from. I have no idea if I will cook it, or if I will go out to eat or if someone else will cook it. This is not the same as saying I will miss that meal.. It is also not saying I suffer from mal nutrition.

The idea that lack of knowledge of where ones next meal will be coming from is the same as saying that person is hungry is quite a leap. I am frankly surprised you give it much credence at all.

In a nation where we are constantly told we are obese, the only double speak going on here is to also say 12 percent of the population is “hungry”.
 
Ho ho ho merry Christmas Possum!
 
It's been a while since you've posted here...

Anyway, you've been tagged for the Christmas Meme. For details, go to http://perrinelson.com/viewpost.aspx?postid=328
 
Arianna, worry less about the poverty of hunger and more about the poverty of hope. Then you may have a chance of success.

Good point. The nanny state folks are all too good at removing hope and replacing it with handouts.
 
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