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Archive for the ‘war on poor people’ Category

Researchers find that 40% or more of residents of a neighborhood in Lowndes County, Alabama, have or have had hookworm.

This is a disease of extreme poverty that results in anemia, confusion, extreme lethargy on the part of its sufferers. The end result was generations of Southerners stereotyped as lazy and dim-witted. It was eradicated, people thought, by septic systems and shoes. But now it’s back.

And don’t think this is just a disease of poor blacks. Some of my white relatives in Louisiana are living under similar conditions where they regularly come into contact with raw sewage pouring out from underneath their decrepit trailer homes. Really, they were living under more sanitary conditions before they got indoor plumbing — outhouses, at least, didn’t drizzle raw sewage onto the ground. But the Public Health Service that eradicated hookworm by building twenty million outhouses in the 1920’s and 1930’s is long gone. As are the outhouses, and people for some reason don’t want to go back to using outhouses, they insist on using the toilets that deposit raw poop straight onto the ground outside their decrepit trailer homes.

There are two other alternatives that at least sort of resemble a toilet in that you don’t have to go outside your house in the middle of winter and sit on a cold outhouse toilet seat — composting toilets, and the Incinolet. The wiring in many of these homes won’t support an Incinolet, and nobody is pushing or subsidizing composting toilets as a solution. Not to mention that composting toilets are rabidly opposed by the poor people who would use them, “we want to just sit down on our toilet and flush like you rich people, we don’t want to have to mess with throwing dirt in with our shit and turning a handle and such.” That’s if they even know composting toilets exist — most don’t, because we no longer have a Public Health Service that is focused on sanitation, and county health departments only fine people, they don’t educate people, so nobody contacts the county health department asking what they should do.

And the result of this Libertopia, where nobody enforces sanitation laws or helps poor people comply with sanitation laws, is the return of a parasite that plagued the South for centuries and led to all the stereotypes of lazy stupid Southerners… yay, Libertopia! But maybe that’s the point. If you keep them lethargic they won’t rise up in rebellion. If you keep them dazed and confused, they won’t vote for the Democrats who could help them. Why, if you’re a Republican, a hookworm epidemic or a brain-invading parasite epidemic is exactly what you want! Yay!

– Badtux the “Libertopians are idiots” Penguin

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A spoon, you say? A spoon with spaghetti sauce residue on it? What’s that got to do with the drug war, you say?

Ask Ashley Gabrielle Huff about that.

After a spoon was found on her during a traffic stop, a spoon she insisted was last used to eat Spaghetti-O’s at the office for lunch, Ashley Gabrielle Huff was kept in jail awaiting trial on bogus meth charges due to astonishingly high bail despite the fact that she had no criminal record, was married, had children in the schools, and otherwise was no flight risk. She was ready to plead guilty and forever give up her voting rights just to get out of jail if they gave her time served. Then the lab results came back, months after the spoon had been submitted to the state crime lab: Spaghetti sauce.

Just as she’d insisted from the beginning.

Our drug war is ridiculous. A spoon? That was all they had, a spoon, and purported residue on said spoon? Yet that was all it took to deprive her of her rights and put her in a cage for months.

The reason I bring this up is because there is now a widespread movement amongst progressives to reform the bail system to do away with injustices like that. Bail bondsmen in the state of California are outraged about it, but the fact of the matter is that most people in jail are not there because they’ve been sentenced for a crime. They’re there because they can’t afford bail. And while they’re in jail, they’ve lost their job, their children may be in foster care, their home was repossessed or they were evicted with no ability to retrieve their belongings, their college kicked them out for non-attendance and kept their tuition money, and otherwise had their lives destroyed.

It’s one of the few things that the progressive Left and the libertarian Right agree on: the bail system is broken, it enriches bail bondsmen and local sheriffs who run jails at the expense of poor people and taxpayers, and needs to be fixed so that people who aren’t a flight risk have bail set according to their income, not according to some fixed schedule writ in stone.

Which means: entrenched people who benefit from the current system are keeping it from happening.

For now.

— Badtux the Criminal Injustice Penguin

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Paul Krugmen explains:

Back in the 60s and 70s — which I, sad to say, actually remember — there was much talk about the disintegration of the black family and of African-American values more generally, and how that was the root cause of America’s poverty problem. And the social dysfunction was clearly real. But was it cause or effect? William Julius Wilson, in When Work Disappears, famously argued that it was a symptom: good jobs in inner cities, where African-American men could take them, went away, and the cultural changes followed.

So, how could you test that hypothesis? Well, here’s an experiment: change the structure of the economy in such a way that a large class of white men — say, white men without a college degree — similarly lose access to good jobs. If Wilson was right, we’d expect to see a sharp decline in stable marriages, a rise in unwed births, growing drug use, and other forms of social disruption.

Which, uhm, is what we’re seeing amongst poor whites today.

Seems like all the bigots who said poor blacks’ values were the cause of their social dysfunction were just that — bigots. Otherwise they’d be talking about how poor whites’ values are the cause of their social dysfunctions today — the decline in stable marriage amongst poor whites, the rise in unwed births, growing drug use, etc.

Reality: It’s tough being poor. It grinds people down. Communities made up primarily of poor people become dysfunctional in many, many ways. Claiming it’s their values making them poor was a cheap shot then, and it’s a cheap shot now, though it’s a cheap shot that I occasionally make because the parents of these same poor whites whose society is disintegrating were the same bigots who claimed that it was black cultural values that were the cause of social dysfunction in the black community.

But our lizard overlords are great at making us fight each other rather than unite to fight our lizard overlords, so I guess guillotine time is going to be a while. If ever.

– Badtux the Poverty Penguin

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We should be grateful, I suppose. They could kill more, after all. It’s what cold-blooded lizard people from planet Sociopath do — come up with new and better ways to kill human beings, who they view as prey, not as fellow travelers in life.

So, the Congressional Budget Office has now scored the new Republican health care plan. Here’s what they conclude:

  1. Massive tax cuts for billionaires
  2. Massive tax hikes for non-billionaires (the “healthcare tax”, which may not be taken out of your paycheck by government, but it’s taken out of your paycheck nevertheless).
  3. 1/6th of the population uninsured as the individual health insurance marketplace goes into a *literal* death spiral and
    those on Medicaid lose their coverage.

    But hey, I’m sure all that money that the billionaires get as tax cuts will trickle down to the rest of us, just like it has during the past 30 years of stagnant or declining real salaries for white males… i.e., just like a two-story outhouse.

    Alrighty, then!

    – Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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In the aftermath of Trump revealing highly sensitive and classified information to the Russian Foreign Minister, Russia Today oops RT.com has a puff piece with Vladimir Putin playing a piano entitled “Putin trying to decide on song to play for Trump during Trump visit next month.” I have a suggestion.

On a more serious note: It’s no longer a secret that white people are killing themselves at increasingly high rates. Opiate addiction and suicide are cutting short the lives of increasing numbers of white people — especially poor white people.

Yet — this isn’t happening to black people, or to Hispanic people. Just to white people.

Why? Some researchers think they’ve found the answer:

Q: When you looked into inequality and hope, you found some really interesting differences between poor whites, blacks and Hispanics, right?

A:Yes. One of the things we find is that there is really low optimism for the future among poor whites, and desperation and suicide. Even though Hispanics and blacks are equally poor and probably more disadvantaged on many fronts, they maintain much higher levels of optimism about the future, and they’re not suffering from the same levels of suicide and depression.

Now, I don’t know about Hispanics, but I taught plenty of poor whites and poor blacks back during my teaching days. So I think about the poor white people that I taught, and the poor black people that I taught, and what was the biggest difference between them, and what it boils down to is respect. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Specifically, the black kids damn well respected learning and professionalism. The black boys in particular might put on some attitude, but you go in there wearing a suit and tie and shiny black shoes instead of dressed like some high school kid and you’re strong and professional, and they respect the fuck outta that — and the girls especially responded. As did the parents. Now, there’s problems in the black community, I won’t deny that. But lack of respect for learning isn’t one of them, and neither is lack of respect for professionals. In fact, black women are on track to become the most educated group in America. A larger percentage of black women are in college than is true of any other group. Even Asians, the supposed “model minority”, send a smaller percentage of their population to college.

The poor whites, on the other hand… they didn’t respect learning. That was “egghead stuff”. “Why do I need to learn this?” was the constant plaint of their kids. They had no respect for intellectuals or professionals of any kind, who they viewed as “disrespecting them” by using all them thare big words with, like, more than four letters ‘n’ stuff, y’know. Education was treated with suspicion and professionals were as well.

Needless to say this completely limited their options when things didn’t go well. Meanwhile, blacks know why they haven’t gotten their slice of the American pie — white people been keeping them down. But not out. They have 150 years of survival experience dealing with what white people been dishing out and white people still ain’t managed to knock’em out. And now that their women folk at least are getting educated, and white people seem to be killing themselves off… fuck, why *shouldn’t* they have hope that their future may be better than their past. I mean, 160 years ago they were fucking slaves, and now a black woman is the billionaire owner of a television network! So yeah, things might suck — especially for black men, who have their own issues — but hope ain’t dead for them.

But for the poor white trash class that despises education and “desk jobs”? Whose sole aspiration was to be a truck driver or a factory worker or a miner, and never had any dreams beyond that? Well, their dream jobs are going away — even truck drivers are going to be an extinct species within the next forty years as self-driving trucks become the norm — and shit, what more do they have to hope for? They despise education and “desk jobs”, but that’s all that the economy is producing other than McJobs, so they end up sayin’ “will there be fries with that order sir?” at the local McFood joint and taking the proceeds and shooting up heroin and killing themselves.

So yeah, I ain’t surprised by this study that looked at “hope” showing that poor whites have less hope for their future than blacks and Hispanics. When you’ve systematically shut off all avenues for entering the professional classes by disdaining education and “desk job” people… well fuck. You might as well just go out in the cow pasture and shoot yourself in the head, already. Poor white trash culture is a sick culture, even sicker than black culture (where there is a lot of despair on the part of a large minority of black males, but that’s offset by the fact that black women are pulling above their weight class), and I suspect we’re going to see a lot more dead bodies — and not a helluva lot of good coming out of white trash America, where the politics of spite are still the rule. Where if they’re underneath a highway bridge living in a cardboard box cooking a dead pigeon over a hobo stove, they’ll gladly vote for someone who’ll take their hobo stove away if it means that the black guy the next bridge over don’t even have a cardboard box.

Well thing is, they done this already, and the black guy the next bridge over, he asked his woman for another cardboard box and she gave him one. So now what?

Well, you know the answer to that one. They be killing themselves with opioids and despair. How dare that black man get a free cardboard box from his baby momma!

And so they kill themselves.

– Badtux the Hope Penguin

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Remember this asshole?

Thumbs up, y’all!


What an asshole. Hundreds of thousands died because of this asshole and his posturing. Now, let’s look at another group of assholes:

House Republican sociopaths on parade


They were high-fiving each other and shouting “Mission Accomplished!” because they, too, have condemned hundreds of thousands to die by depriving them of healthcare. More particularly: By removing the requirement that insurers offer insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.

Who has a pre-existing condition? Pretty damn well all of us who are past age 40, people. It’s called “living life”. Everybody gets there eventually. I know I’m personally uninsurable if insurers are allowed to deny coverage. Too much wear and tear over the years, plus chronic allergies, genetic in nature, not because I lived wrong. Thing is, anybody who is of a certain age has this wear and tear. It’s just how human bodies age. And there’s millions of people in my boat, any of whom will die if they have a heart attack or get cancer and they don’t have health insurance.

Sociopaths. We are ruled by sociopaths. By cold-blooded lizard people who view human beings as prey, not as fellow travellers in the human race. And people will die if this bill makes it through the Senate, guaranteed.

– Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

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Every morning, I open up my web browser wondering if today is going to be the day I don’t say “What the fuck?” about something that His Fraudulency Donald the Trump or one of his lizard people officials said or did. Today, once again, was not that day. Because a) the Orange Racist Pussy Grabber released his proposed budget for next year, a budget that predominantly eliminates programs that help Trump voters such as Meals for Wheels and the Appalachian Regional Commission (and what kind of heartless sociopath could ever advocate zeroing out the budget for Meals for Wheels and Sesame Street, for crying out loud!), but he also proposed spending $4.1 billion on his wall next year. Because people might die due to eliminating the Chemical Safety Board, but by god it won’t be done by one of them Messicans!

Talking about which, the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court has demanded that ICE stop stalking California courts, claiming that ICE is intimidating Hispanic witnesses in ongoing criminal trials and causing a public safety hazard. ICE of course says basically “up yours, Ms. Judge, you’re not the boss of me!”. Just as Customs and Border Protection says to they don’t have to obey the NAFTA treaty that says registered nurses qualify for a TN visa and thus can keep out much-needed Canadian nurses because, well, they can. Even though NAFTA is still the law until officially repealed or renegotiated. But God-Emperor Donald the Trump’s administration doesn’t care about no steenkin’ law, it’s all defiant juvenile “you’re not the boss of me! I don’t have to follow your rules!”. Because Cheeto Mussolini says they can. So they do it.

Then there is the ongoing Nazi saga of Sebastian Gorka, who has been dodging allegations that he is a Nazi for weeks now. Well, today a Jewish news magazine published what they purport is evidence that he really is a genuine bona fide Nazi, forcing him to explicitly deny that he’s a Nazi. Except that if he was ever a member of that Hungarian Nazi Party, he is ineligible for immigration to the United States, and could be stripped of his citizenship and deported, just like that sad sack Nazi who’s about to be deported to Poland. Oops!

And on to the Russia front. No wonder Michael Flynn resigned — he was up to his ears in Russian dough.

Finally, I think we’ve found Donald Trump’s next Peace Corps head — a Mormon missionary who beat the crap out of two people who tried to hold him up in Brazil. Because Trump is defunding the Institute for Peace while giving the military more money because the only peace he believes in is the peace of the grave, and this is exactly the right man to enforce that peace.

And that’s this day’s dispatch from the Imperial States of America, where God-Emperor Donald the Trump’s regime of lawlessness and incompetence continues as it has for the past 56 days.

– Badtux the News Penguin

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