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Heritage Foundation on Hunger...Poor people aren't hungry; they're fat

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
Ah, compassionate Conservatism for the Holidays brings a tear to my eye! This is just sick!

Heritage Foundation on Hunger...Poor people aren't hungry; they're fat.

While most Americans were planning for the annual ritual of overconsumption known as Thanksgiving, the good folks at the Heritage Foundation, America’s leading architects of conservative thought for at least three decades, were doing their part to add to the holiday cheer. According to a November 13 Heritage article, well-off revelers could stuff their faces unhampered by guilt about the less fortunate, because there are no longer any hungry people in the United States.

You have to hand it to Heritage for always being first out of the gate to exploit the latest event or finding to advance its aims—this is the same think tank that issued a comprehensive strategy, two weeks after Katrina hit shore, for using the hurricane as an excuse to slash federal social programs. This time, its thinkers found inspiration in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual report on Household Food Security in the United States, which is as close as the federal government comes to providing statistics on hunger among the nation’s poor. The latest report states that 11 percent of Americans were "food insecure" for some part of 2006, and 4 percent—11.1 million people—experienced "very low food security."

These Orwellian euphemisms are a triumph for the conservative agenda; the USDA altered its terminology last year on the recommendations of an "expert panel" convened back in 2003. "Very low food security," for example, used to be "food insecurity with hunger." The experts asked the department to eliminate "hunger," which, they argued, "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." To some, that might better describe starvation, but the panel's reasoning wouldn't be a stretch for the Bush administration, which claims "torture" must entail pain "equivalent in intensity" to the pain of "serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."

But the Heritage folks are looking beyond semantic tweaks: Far from having too little to eat, they argue, poor people are eating too much. By the time the USDA report went public, Heritage had readied its own salvo, titled "Hunger Hysteria: Examining Food Security and Obesity in America." In recent years, the U.S. media and public have become increasingly obsessed with the "obesity epidemic." And what better way to attack the idea of deprivation among the poor than to note that they are getting fatter? Rightly or not, people still associate obesity with the sins of gluttony and sloth, which jibes nicely with the concept that welfare recipients are lazy people who would rather feed at the public trough than get an honest job

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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
After my parents pass away I might just load up some ammo and go hunting for obnoxious fundies, neocons, and Richistanis.

It would probably be the most beneficial thing I could do in my lifetime for general society.

The way things have gone recently the idea of changing via the vote isn't very convincing anymore.