We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, April 1. 2008
I'm being silly, of course. The feckless Stilton scarfers are actually looking down their aquiline bluenoses at us. The Independent, which is a sort of digital newspaper for wrapping your crappy online fish and chips, says in the Headline: USA 2008 The Great Depression. They've even got the requisite breadline picture:
Woe is us, huh? Here's the accompanying text. Warning! Englishmen don't know how to pluralize things properly. You know, not like Americans, who are important people, and not doily-fetished tea-slurpers.
Dismal projections by the Congressional Budget Office in Washington suggest that in the fiscal year starting in October, 28 million people in the US will be using government food stamps to buy essential groceries, the highest level since the food assistance programme was introduced in the 1960s.
Yes, and after all, "telling a story" is exactly what you're attempting to do. You're just not very good at it.
But I want to be kind to our friends on that miserable pile of rocks and coal across the pond. I think it's swell that they've taken time from their busy schedule of crushing each other to death against fences at soccer games, throwing up on themselves in the gutter outside pubs, and surrendering to imams to pay any attention to our festering hive of poverty and depravity here in the States. I especially like the fellow that's the centerpiece of their pieta of poverty there in the picture. Let's zoom in on him, shall we?
You see, in the thumbnail view of the picture, the noble Bob Cratchit figure is holding his poverty-numbed fingers in the universal sign for "Please sir, can I have some more porridge?" It's a shame to ruin it by showing him in closeup, fiddling with his MP3 player to get just the right mix, and shod in elaborate, new, expensive footwear and clothes. Because what we're looking at here, is indeed a line of people who are willing to stand in a line to get free stuff. You're right there, Percival. Unfortunately for you Someone at the National Review Online read the caption on the image you used, and it reads:
But your point is made, even if fraudulently. Very truthy, Cedric. People are lining up virtually, if not physically, for free food coupons, which you inartfully mention later in your article can be illegally sold to unscrupulous people for seventy cents on the dollar to buy drugs and booze and... well... I don't know, maybe MP3 players.
I might mention that this isn't much of a line in a big, strapping adult country like the United States. It might impress you over there in that little dollop of dirt you live on, the remaining wreckage of your "Empire." Do you guys even get to lord it over Scotland anymore? You guys shed power and influence like dandruff, I can't keep up. But let me assure you that if that was a line to get free Hannah Montana tickets, that line would reach to New Jersey. You remember New Jersey, don't you? We beat your inbred monarch-ass-kissing fruity wig-wearing generals like a drum there in the 1700s. With guns we used to shoot squirrels with.
But I digress. After all, it's not fair to compare Hannah Montana tickets to Food Stamps, as Hannah Montana is more important than food to a teenage girl. And Hannah Montana is bigger than the Gross Domestic Product of Great Britain. But then again, what isn't around here?
In the article, those Malvinas-pestering cold-water-flat-loving hollow-chested Britishers refer to everybody in the picture as "disadvantaged Americans." Fair enough. I'll use their criteria: that queuing citizens trying to get free stuff from the government is a sign of an apocalyptic breakdown of a whole society.
Hey, Alfies: 100% of the population of Great Britain gets in line to get their chit to see a doctor. So by your reckoning, your entire country has collapsed. And it's been collapsed since 1948, if you go by the National Health Service. You know, right after we saved you the trouble and expense of German lessons.
I was always enchanted when I was a lad to read compelling news stories of daring Britishers swimming the English Channel. Shame you just end up in France, though. Nothing to do there but warm your hands over the burning cars. So I have some advice, you crumpet nibblers. Swim west from now on. You might like it here. I bet the NHS doesn't hand out MP3 players with the calendar you get to plot your wait times for your medical care.
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I want to know who the hell is feeding this crowd of strapping young men while they should be out working, oh wait, that's us.
You should see the former Russians round here que up for Section 8 housing. Now THAT'S a line. Those folks have had years of practice.
"doing the work, uh, waiting that Americans don't want to do..."
Roger, quit with the obfuscations, and tell us how you really feel.
James Taranto comments in today's column:
But neither the Dispatch nor the Independent notes that the Farm Bill of 2002 substantially expanded the food-stamp program. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture Web site notes, that legislation made legal immigrants eligible for food stamps, increased benefits for larger households, and expanded food-stamp eligibility for people leaving the TANF (welfare) rolls.
In other words, the government has made a conscious effort to expand the number of people on food stamps. Accordingly, the number of people on food stamps has expanded. And journalists are misconstruing government largesse as a sign of economic distress.
Precisely, Dr. Mercury. It is a goalpost that can be moved at will.
Have laughed the hardest ever at a couple of British blogs that make The Onion droll. They make fun of everything British, so I have to give them that.... and thank them for the laugh.
I watched Brit tonight and he did a long piece - with guests who knew what they were talking about - on the jobs that Americans refuse to do. Many, many places need workers, have the jobs, and Americans will not even apply. What horrible economic distress! It sounds more as if America has economic attitude.
Yes... the smarter Brits are and have been masters at self deprecation of their country's fulsome follies, and they should have credit for that.
'economic attitude'... yes. I think that may spring from the idea of many that because they 'exist', they must be worth at least 60K a year... no matter their lack of skill, knowledge or abilities.
ha! Think that was a fisking Roger. The Independent is home to Robert Fisk too.
"Independent Online Edition - Robert Fisk read the latest Fobert Fisk articles & reports. the independent's award-winning middle east correspondent."
The term Fisking, or to Fisk, is blogosphere slang describing detailed point-by-point criticism that highlights perceived errors, disputes the analysis of presented facts, or highlights other problems in a statement, article, or essay. Eric S. Raymond, in the Jargon File, defined the term as:
A point-by-point refutation of a blog entry or (especially) news story. A really stylish fisking is witty, logical, sarcastic and ruthlessly factual; flaming or handwaving is considered poor form. Named after Robert Fisk, a British journalist who was a frequent (and deserving) early target of such treatment.
also from Wiki..
Fisking" in its current meaning was coined by bloggers in December 2001, following a trenchant three-paragraph attack by Andrew Sullivan in response to a The Sunday Independent article written by Fisk earlier that month that recounted Fisk's beating at the hands of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Though the term was not coined by Sullivan at that time, it appeared soon after on Instapundit and Sullivan's weblog.
Gateway Pundit has fact checked them and found the pic is from 2005 in New York:
You mean people would stand in line to get FREE stuff?!
Who'd a thunk it.
Try those food stamp numbers adjusted for population growth:
Its just more of the same, and less as a % of US population than several times in teh 80's and 90's...
The anti English invective may be heartfelt but, it's actually totally uneccessary to the main point of your post. Keep to the facts and your point will will be made more elegantly. The total % of the UK population on welfare handouts is identical to the US at 9%. Welfare expenditure in the US is 15% of GDP but, it's a whopping 22% of GDP in the UK. So for the "Independent" to point the finger at the U.S. is typical of current UK media coverage....far too cosy with the current Brown Government.
A Once Proud Englishman
Cannot recall Roger showing much interest in elegance. Could be wrong but am guessing he does not worry too much about doing things elegantly. He might run a chainsaw with a certain panache though.
Hi Mr. Leatherhead.
Actually, I'm a terrible Anglophile. But then again, I might be "philing" a thing that is fading from view. I just think it's fun to kid around.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Nice article (ht A&LDaily) on those 'moving goalposts'.
I find the worst thing about the breadlines is finding a parking spot for your SUV.