Linda Tirado and the Politicization of Poverty

Like millions of Americans, Linda Tirado will overcome temporary poverty. Unlike most of them, much of her success comes from a message that perpetuates the poverty trap.

Linda TiradoLinda Tirado/YouTubeThe issue of poverty and responsibility starkly divides leftists and liberals from conservatives and libertarians. Is poverty caused by conditions beyond individual control, or by bad personal choices? Can the poor help themselves, or is it a social responsibility? In recent days, this debate has been dramatized by the saga of Linda Walther Tirado (pictured at right), the woman who (depending on which side you take) either perpetrated a brazen hoax by offering “poverty porn” to the gullible left, or told a brave, honest tale of American poverty only to be savaged by the heartless right.

As is often the case with conflicting politicized narratives, neither one quite matches the facts. Tirado’s story is not quite a hoax; but there is nothing honest about it. It is a combination of partial truths and dramatic embellishments spun into a false narrative with a political agenda.

On October 22, Tirado, known as “KillerMartinis” in the forums of the Gawker website and its feminist sister site, Jezebel.com, weighed in on a discussion of why poor people often make seemingly irresponsible and self-defeating choices. Tirado’s essay, titled “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, poverty thoughts,” offered a wrenching description of her life as an exhausted mother of two small children working two jobs and taking college classes, regularly getting by on three hours of sleep with the help of coffee and cigarettes. And there were lurid details like trying to battle a cockroach infestation by impaling dead roaches on toothpicks to scare off the living ones.

The central theme of Tirado’s “thoughts” was that the poor make bad decisions (smoking, having kids they can’t support, buying junk food) because they have no incentive to make good ones: they’re stuck no matter what. “[W]e will never not feel tired,” she declared, in a much-quoted passage. “We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn't give us much reason to improve ourselves.” According to Tirado, not only are the poor too overworked to have the mental energy for forward planning, but they know there’s no point. Besides, they “can't afford to look nice enough” for decent jobs—in her case, because of bad skin and missing teeth that keep her from working as anything but a chain restaurant cook “hidden away in the kitchen.”

Despite a few skeptical commenters, Tirado received overwhelmingly positive feedback; eventually, she wrote to the editor of Jezebel suggesting that her post be promoted on the site’s front page. From there, it made the leap to The Huffington Post and to fame (including a mention on Touré’s MSNBC show). Moved by Tirado’s plight, people began to send her money via PayPal and then a GoFundMe account she set up; in late November, she stopped her fundraising at $62,000—to be used not only for dental work but to write a book on her experience of poverty.

In a November 14 note on her GoFundMe page (which later became the second and, so far, the last entry on her Huffington Post blog, under the title, “Meet the Woman Who Accidentally Explained Poverty to the Nation”), Tirado told her story in more detail—and admitted that her tale of living in desperate poverty wasn’t, strictly speaking, true. Or rather: “Well, it is and it isn't. … I never meant to say that all of these things were happening to me right now, or that I was still quite so abject.” She revealed that her history included a middle-class upbringing, a great deal of family turmoil, and teenage rebellion. She explained that her teeth were damaged in a car accident caused by a drunk driver when she was 19, then deteriorated because she couldn’t pay for dental care. She also mentioned that she now had “family resources,” having reconciled with her parents (actually her grandparents, who had raised her since infancy) when she was pregnant with her first child.

A few days later, the backlash hit. Houston Press blogger Angelica Leicht dug around Tirado’s extensive digital trail and declared her an out-and-out fake—a “privileged” woman with a boarding school education, a homeowner, a political consultant, and a military wife posing as a poor person. On National Review’s blog, The Corner, David French cited Leicht’s exposé and labeled Tirado’s story a “poverty hoax” eagerly lapped up by the left; he was echoed by Mediaite’s right-of-center columnist Noah Rothman. then, CNN and The New York Times included the Tirado tale in their roundups of recent online hoaxes and fibs.

Meanwhile, The Huffington Post stood by Tirado (notoriously featuring a video clip in which she removed her partial denture and displayed her ruined teeth as proof of her authenticity). The Nation has come to Tirado’s defense as well: in a new post on the magazine’s blog, Michelle Goldberg accuses the media of relying on error-riddled “debunkings” to paint her as “a middle-class fabulist preying on naïve and guilty liberals.”

Goldberg, who interviewed Tirado and one of her former employers, makes some valid points. Dismissing Tirado’s story of poverty as “fiction” is a stretch, and some claims about her alleged affluence are either inaccurate or exaggerated.

Thus, Leicht suggests that Tirado went to the Cranbrook prep school in Michigan, whose alums include Mitt Romney; in fact, Tirado has written that she got a partial scholarship to Cranbrook but her family couldn’t afford the rest of the tuition. (She attended a private religious school.) Leicht also points to Tirado’s profile on the LinkedIn networking site as proof of a flourishing career: “She's been a freelance writer and political consultant since 2010, and has worked in politics since 2004, a claim backed by 27 decent connections.” But Tirado’s resume on LinkedIn shows only sporadic work in political organizing: nine months in 2004, five months in 2006, two months each in 2007 and 2009. (Her short-lived political blog shows that she also worked on a campaign in 2011.) And 27 connections on LinkedIn is hardly evidence of professional success.

In her autobiographical note, Tirado, now 31, says that she dropped out of college to embrace a nomadic life of political activism and “was poor in the way that most people who do not have resources are when they are young and idealistic”—only to slide into real poverty in her late twenties while expecting her first child. By her account, the downward spiral was partly bad luck: her husband’s benefits as an Iraq war veteran were delayed due to an administrative screw-up, and while waiting for the payments to come through the couple lost everything they owned when their basement apartment got flooded. For a while, in 2010, their situation seems to have been genuinely dire; Goldberg provides documents indicating that they relied on public assistance and fought eviction notices. The next year, Tirado’s grandparents, from whom she had been estranged (they are devout Mormon converts, she had come out as a lesbian in her late teens), persuaded her and her husband to move to Utah and set them up in a trailer. After she gave birth to her second child earlier this year, they helped her buy a foreclosed house.

Tirado has acknowledged that her initial essay gave the wrong impression that she was still extremely poor. Her defenders assert that she took the initiative in setting the record straight. But while Tirado’s subsequent post telling her life story came two weeks before the “debunking” began, she was already under pressure from Internet commenters who felt things didn’t quite add up. And even the autobiographical note is not entirely candid about Tirado’s present non-poverty: thus, she mentions that her grandparents “helped us find a house to live in”—but not that the house is her mortgage-free property. (In a discussion of her college plans on Jezebel’s GroupThink forum last August, she says that she’d “hate to mortgage the house.”)

“KillerMartinis’” pre-fame forum posts make enough mention of financial difficulties to dispel the notion that her claims of hardship are simply fabricated. But they also clash, disconcertingly, with Tirado’s current self-presentation. For instance, less than two weeks before “Poverty Thoughts,” she was asking for input on “turning my kids' room into a forest” (“I want them to want to play in their own spaces and leave my china cabinet alone”) and discussing “awesome tutorials on making tree stump and mushroom stools.” In a follow-up post, she wrote, “I don't want them spoiled, so I don't want more toys, but I would like them to wake up thinking that life is really cool.”

Gibes about the forest room infuriate Tirado’s supporters, who angrily accuse critics of begrudging nice things to the poor. But that’s not the point. The point is that this Linda Tirado—the one who hangs out on Internet forums a lot, ponders the design of forest rooms, and seeks advice on having extramarital affairs because her marriage has grown sexually and emotionally unsatisfying—does not exactly sound like a struggling mom/student/worker too busy to sleep and too tired to think. The disconnect between the two personas is even more jarring in light of Tirado’s more recent claims of suffering near-constant pain and low-grade fever from infections caused by her untreated dental problems.

Tirado may not be a “scam artist” or a “fraud,” but her online history does suggest that she is prone to shading the truth. In 2008, during the controversy over the Mormon Church’s involvement in the campaign for California’s same-sex marriage ban, she made a post on a website for Mormon dissenters in which she repeatedly described herself as gay—when, in fact, she was married to a man with whom she had been together for about five years. Sexual identity is a complex issue, and some people continue to identify as gay even when in a long-term relationship with an opposite-sex partner; nonetheless, Tirado was clearly presenting an image of herself that didn’t quite match the reality of her life. And, while her “should I cheat?” post asserts that her husband was “the first empenised person I’ve ever been attracted to,” I stumbled on a Reddit comment in which she mentions an ex-boyfriend.

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  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    That was weird.

  • DarrenM||

    It sounds like capitalism at work. Tirado produced a product and liberals bought it.

  • PapayaSF||

    LOL

  • SweatingGin||

    Came for the roaches on toothpicks, was not disappointed.

  • SQRLSY One||

    “…trying to battle a cockroach infestation by impaling dead roaches on toothpicks to scare off the living ones.” … By Government Almighty, this woman knows NOTHING of TRUE poverty! When I was young, wee was SOOO poor, wee ate coach-roach stew and wore rat-fur coats! On special occasions, when there WAS one tiny bit of actual red meat to be had in the house, each of us youngsters would go up on the stack of old crates, swallow the meat that was tied to a string to the rafters of our leaky roof, then jump off of the crates, ripping the meat out of our tummies, & then it was the next youngster’s turn!

  • Fatty Bolger||

    You left out eating lead paint chips when there was nothing else to eat.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yeah, man, you are right, thanks! So then... "As a special treat, our mamma would gather up roaches, cigarette butts, and used condoms, smash them in the toilet with an old bone, mortar-and-pestle-style, to make us some dip, & then we'd eat the resulting "dip", chips-and-dip-style, with old lead-based-paint, paint chips." Yer right... I had forgotten that old fond memory of mine!

  • ||

  • Milton Friesman||

    Luxury.

    In MY day...!

  • BLEEDINELL||

    "...wore rat-fur coats"

    But, you're a squirrel.

  • OldMexican||

    According to Tirado, not only are the poor too overworked to have the mental energy for forward planning, but they know there’s no point.


    This statement is obvious bullshit. It would seem like the author (Tirado) expects people to think that the poor in the U.S. all work in quarries, picking stone with their bare hands.

    in fact, Tirado has written that she got a partial scholarship to Cranbrook but her family couldn’t afford the rest of the tuition. (She attended a private religious school.)


    That makes a whole lot of difference. Poor people who cannot afford Canbrook are stuck irremediably with private religious schools which, we all know, are veritable cesspools where children are taught inside drafty shacks, sitting on rickety desks and writing on old stone slates.

    Tirado may not be a "scam artist" or a "fraud," but her online history does suggest that she is prone to shading the truth.


    Scam artists and frauds routinely shade the truth to present a completely different image of whatever they want to peddle, so I don't see the distinction.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    every good lie has some shade of truth

  • PapayaSF||

    Wife: Have you got anything without scam?

    Waitress: Well, there's scam egg sausage and scam, that's not got much scam in it.

    Wife: I don't want ANY scam!

    Man: Why can't she have egg bacon scam and sausage?

    Wife: THAT'S got scam in it!

  • Marc F Cheney||

    On the one hand, this post was reasonably interesting.

    On the other hand, it follows the same pattern as every Cathy Young post.

  • ||

    must...not...judge...

  • PapayaSF||

    I see nothing wrong with her even-handedness. But then, I've been a fan for a long time. I even read her autobiography Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Jesus. MSNBC continues melodramatic GUNZ!GUNZ!GUNZ! circlejerk.

    Buy stock in Kimberly Clark.

  • fish||

    Why do you subject yourself to that on a lovely Sunday morning?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Brooks and I have a bet to see which of us is MSNBC very last viewer.

  • fish_remote||

    What does the loser get?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    A padded room and straight jacket.

  • juris imprudent||

    I figure the winner commits seppuku.

  • fish_remote||

    I figure the winner commits seppuku.

    Way too dignified for the MSNBC viewer.

  • juris imprudent||

    Auto-erotic self-asphyxiation then?

  • fish_remote||

    Okay...I can see that....

  • OldMexican||

    [Back in 2008] she made a post on a website for Mormon dissenters in which she repeatedly described herself as gay — when, in fact, she was married to a man with whom she had been together for about five years. Sexual identity is a complex issue[...]


    Quite possibly true, but Occam's Razor suggests that she was simply bullshitting here and that her sexual identity was perfectly simple, as in vagina + penis = bliss.

  • lap83||

    Liberals often have the worst attitude towards the poor because they refuse to see them as autonomous adults. Sure, country club republicans can be insensitive and simplistic but at least they tend to view poor people as capable and having some control over their destiny.

  • Sevo||

    lap83|12.15.13 @ 11:16AM|#
    "Liberals often have the worst attitude towards the poor because they refuse to see them as autonomous adults."

    There was a link yesterday to some sniveling gun-grabber who swore the 'fantasy of gun ownership robbed people of moral agency'.
    I think to a lefty just about any excuse will do to claim people cannot act as moral agents.

  • Mike M.||

    It's all about control. Independent people can't be controlled by the lefties.

  • PapayaSF||

    That's part of it, but not all. A core "progressive" belief is that the poor are victims of forces beyond their control, and are not responsible for their plight. This belief took hold about a century ago in reaction to the conservative view that poverty was (often) due to laziness or immorality. I think it's a mix of all of the above, and public policy entirely based on the "it's not their fault" theory is clearly a bad idea.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    CNN was running a story last night about Bobby who worked 4 jobs and made under $20K a year.

    I jumped in with my morality shtick and I had a guy claim not giving Bobby a "living wage" was murder. I shit you not, that is the extent they're willing to stoop.

  • wareagle||

    if only there was some way where Bobby could improve his skills and make himself viable for better-paying jobs. I'm not buying that someone willing to work four jobs is not willing to do something to improve himself.

  • Sevo||

    In the pity-party for burger-flippers, there was a self-reported case where they guy had gone to school for pharmacy-tech (I think), but couldn't raise the C-note for the license.
    I missed it, but somebody called BS in a hurry.

  • SusanM||

    and no one wondered why you have to pay the government to work?

  • TheZeitgeist||

    I remember working at Burger King (I was young, I needed the money) and being taken aback by the regional manager. The dude was a BK robot, knew to the ounce the amount of lettuce on a Whopper vs. a Whopper Jr. etc. I pitied the guy in a way just being a Burger Drone.

    And he had started as a flipper at age sixteen, liked to tell his story, worked his way up the ladder. He was about twenty-six when I met him - already ten years serving the King, yikes!

    Then I remember watching him drive away to the next Burger King - in his Benz SL600 with all the fixings - and I realized that day there was money even in burger flipping if you just tried.

  • Jon Lester||

    I'm not really willing to follow the link to CNN, but I'm well trained in living on much less than $20k/year; in fact, I'm doing it again now, but my credit repair is coming along, and I can have a beer or six most nights, too.

  • AdamJ||

    Same for me in grad school. $1200/month stipend was easy to live off. What you can't do, is support kids off that $$. But the answer is to not have kids.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    He's a loser. He's a loser for giving up and basically asking for society to subsidize him. This notion that 'it's good' for all of us if he's earning a living wage is such bull shit if it comes by way of government action.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    That is, he'd be an indirect drain on society since they have to carry his sorry ass.

  • Dweebston||

    Not only a loser but a loser who's desperately trying to price himself out of work.

  • Carolynp||

    Mmmm...I would assume he's a dumbass, not a loser. Anyone who has any job experience knows there are precious few people willing to work four jobs. That, in itself, is a lovely selling point in an interview. The basic story idea suggests to me that probably all four of his employers would just love it if he went away entirely, thus sparing them the paperwork.

  • DarrenM||

    Too many people have an exagerated concept of what a 'living wage' (and what it should buy) is. I tend to think of a living wage as enough to , you know, live on.

  • PapayaSF||

    The idea now seems to be that it has to be enough for your own apartment, and maybe enough to support a family.

  • OneOut||

    Since Romney was accused of murdering the wife of a man who didn't work for him why does this surprise you ?

  • Rwanda Sykes||

    "Sure, country club republicans can be insensitive and simplistic" you should have stopped there.

  • Dweebston||

    American? Seems too obvious.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Tirado’s story is not a quite hoax; but there is nothing honest about it. It is a combination of partial truths and dramatic embellishments spun into a false narrative with a political agenda.

    IOW a steaming pile of bullshit, but calling it such would destroy the career viability of any cosmo foolish enough to do so.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Yeah, some 'cosmo's' career really hangs in the balance here.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So tell me why a certain type of media libertarian can never bring themselves to call a left wing meme flat out bullshit, when they have no problem doing so to bullshit right wing memes.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    you want me to prove some made-up narrative you made up so you can fight your own private war against...I dunno, libertarians who wear glasses or something?

    Just get a life, man.

  • ||

    BUT COSMO, MAN! COSMO!!!

    Jesus Christ the cosmo-hystericals are pathetic. And they keep. On. Saying. It.

  • shut the fuck up mary||

    Don't you have people who whine to whine about?

    Or did you get that all out of your system shitting all over yesterday's thread?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Dance for me monkey, dance.

  • ||

    Your butthurt is so yummy and sweet, TEAM RED KULTUR WAR douchebags. Please, give me more. I feed on it. I love it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    We know the truth, Epi. This is you, isn't it?

  • ||

    I'm out there, Jerry...I'm really out there!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yep, self identified Cosmos luvs them some kultur war.

  • Mike M.||

    You're correct of course. There's no logical reason for Young to make excuses for this loathsome woman other than to appease the liberals. She's a hoaxter, plain and simple.

  • Mike M.||

    Also, nowhere in this long piece on poverty in America does Young even suggest that our government itself might play any kind of role in perpetuating the poverty trap. What the hell kind of libertarian is this woman?

  • PapayaSF||

    Well, in this case, it doesn't seem to be "flat-out bullshit." Some aspects are true. She's not a millionaire with perfect teeth. That makes her mostly a liar, yes, and that makes her a liar, but there's no reason to go overboard.

    I don't recall Cathy Young being hypocritical about right-wing memes.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I'm trying to figure out how that description does not qualify as a hoax.

  • shut the fuck up mary||

    Thank you.

  • wareagle||

    there is another word for "false narrative"...it's called a lie.

  • Sevo||

    No, no! The President just mis-spoke when he said you could keep your policy!

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Well, to his credit, who could have foreseen such an outcome?

  • juris imprudent||

    The federal govt is really big and complex and not well designed - and it's only taken him 5 years as President to grasp that.

  • ||

    Have you ever met a writer that just came out and said something in plain language?

    Neither have I. So maybe it's just that and not done retarded "cosmotarianism".

  • PapayaSF||

    They do often get paid by the word.

    Seriously, though, this is a fairly complex story. There's evidence for both sides, which is what makes it interesting and contentious. My sense from this piece is that it would be fair to call her story mostly bullshit. Young's even-handedness just makes that conclusion more damning, and less open to counter-attack by Tirado or her defenders.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Indeed, on some websites, left-wing commenters have openly taken the “fake but accurate” attitude toward Tirado’s veracity. As one poster put it, “her powerfully accurate message goes beyond the stunted perceptions of those who refuse to understand how writers often combine their experiences with that of others to drive home a point.”

    Fiction; more real than reality, more truer than truth itself.

    If you believe your calling is to save people from themselves, any narrative of people as feckless sheep without any sort of agency is just what you're looking for. Self-fulfilling prophesies are appealing.

  • ||

    I am thinking I could make off with a cool pile of cash if I just write some clap-trap that confirms the lefty narrative and inspire lots of pity for me.

  • ||

    Oh, and then when all the bleeding hearts ask me what I did with the money I will say " I paid of the mortgage and bought a bunch of new guns. What did you expect me to do with it?"

  • optimusratiostultum||

    yeah but you have to be one of the "protected classes" IOW one of the "victim classes" to pull it off

  • optimusratiostultum||

    I guess you could always say you're gay, better yet trans.

  • PapayaSF||

    Claiming Native American ethnicity is also popular.

  • ||

    I am thinking I could make off with a cool pile of cash if I just write some clap-trap that confirms the lefty narrative and inspire lots of pity for me.

    Ahem.

    Wanna get high?

  • wareagle||

  • juris imprudent||

    I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • Fluffy||

    Basically this girl just ripped off Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London and changed the places and names.

    The argument is total crap.

    Most poor people aren't working at all. How can you be too tired to plan for the future when you literally have nothing to do all day? Maybe there are some people working 60 hour weeks for low pay who "lack mental energy" as a result, but what about the completely idle ones? What's their excuse?

    And all her claims that poor people are unable to stop smoking cigarettes or fucking random dudes because of their "despair" are also total crap. They were better written when Orwell made what amount to the same claims.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I've worked 60 hour weeks for months on end without losing the ability to think clearly. Now, that might happen with 80-90 hour work weeks, but not 60.

    And 2 people each working 60 hours a week at minimum wage jobs would be earning $930 /wk - $48,400 / year - which is close to median household income.

  • Tejicano||

    Yeah, I don't get it.

    It seems to me that anybody who claims that working 60 hours a week can rob you of the ability to think straight has never worked a 60 hour week. It's not fun but it isn't debilitating.

  • blcartwright||

    I've had stretches where unlimited OT was available. I was able to do 75 or 80 hours for maybe two weeks, but I could never sustain more than 70, closer to 65. I still do a lot of 60's, and frequently in 4 day weeks, but I have 3 day weekends to recover.

  • OldMexican||

    I haven't read all of Mrs. Tirado's writings, mostly because of my instinct for preserving my wits, but it looks to me clearly that the woman intended to generalize about the poor in this country by taking her example and turn it into the typical.

    It is evident, based on her history, that the reason she's poor is not because she's overworked or has a time deficit that precludes her from engaging in long-term planning, but because she's both unproductive and unintelligent. She made a lot of really stupid choices in her life despite the great send-off from her parents, the first of which being turning into a leftard.

  • Sevo||

    ..."the first of which being turning into a leftard."

    I'm not sure if this is a symptom of arrested development or an excuse adopted by those too damn lazy to grow up and take responsibility for their actions.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    She's a flat out liar.

    And yeah, she chose to drop out of college and become a political activist vagabond in her early twenties.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    oh so you don't think that the poor should be allowed freedom of speech?

  • Dweebston||

    Allowed it, hell, we should mandate it. The woman robbed a bunch of progressives and they thank her for it. It's terribly entertaining.

  • ||

    They should all use their free speech to swindle retarded liberals out of their money.

  • Fluffy||

    Sorry, I got the cite wrong. She actually ripped off The Road to Wigan Pier.

    Would it not be better if they spent more money on wholesome things like oranges and wholemeal bread or if they even, like the writer of the letter to the New Statesman, saved on fuel and ate their carrots raw? Yes, it would, but the point is that no ordinary human being is ever going to do such a thing...A
    millionaire may enjoy breakfasting off orange juice and Ryvita biscuits; an unemployed man doesn't...When you are unemployed, which is to say when you are underfed, harassed, bored, and miserable, you don't want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit 'tasty'. There is always some cheaply pleasant thing to tempt you. Let's have three pennorth of chips! Run out and buy us a twopenny ice-cream! Put the kettle on and we'll all have a nice cup of tea! That is how your mind works when you are at the P.A.C. level. White bread-and-marg and sugared tea don't nourish you
    to any extent, but they are nicer (at least most people think so) than
    brown bread-and-dripping and cold water.

    You know how I know this is crap?

    Because when I was flat broke at 22, I ate cheap food and thought nothing of it. People buy "a twopenny ice cream" because they think they can do so and still eke by. They aren't planning for the future because they're primarily interested in having a twopenny ice cream, and will deal with the future when it comes.

  • Dweebston||

    Ramen remains a staple of my diet. I lose weight on this stuff; it's a terrific disincentive to eat. And the money I save by eating thirty cent meals is money I put to much more important uses: cheap spirits and mixers.

  • fish_remote||

    .... I put to much more important uses: cheap spirits and mixers.

    Dweebston you serve as an inspiration to us all!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The most egregious lie in Tirado's fantasy is:

    The central theme of Tirado’s “thoughts” was that the poor make bad decisions (smoking, having kids they can’t support, buying junk food) because they have no incentive to make good ones: they’re stuck no matter what. “[W]e will never not feel tired,” she declared, in a much-quoted passage. “We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn't give us much reason to improve ourselves.”

    Which directly contradicts her self reported life story:

    For a while, in 2010, their situation seems to have been genuinely dire; Goldberg provides documents indicating that they relied on public assistance and fought eviction notices. The next year, Tirado’s grandparents, from whom she had been estranged (they are devout Mormon converts, she had come out as a lesbian in her late teens), persuaded her and her husband to move to Utah and set them up in a trailer. After she gave birth to her second child earlier this year, they helped her buy a foreclosed house.

    She wasn't running on a treadmill with no hope of improvement. It sound like her life improved dramatically in a few years. And I have little doubt that she'll somehow fuck it up again.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I would be fascinated to hear what she has to say about debt.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Speaking of pathetic losers with no self control:

    The FCC voted along party lines for Wheeler’s plan, with Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel criticizing it while agreeing to back her fellow Democrat. The proposal needs a second vote, after a public comment period, to take effect.

    Before the FCC vote, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said he would use his authority over airline consumer affairs to decide whether voice calls are fair. In a statement, Foxx said his agency heard from “travelers, flight attendants, members of Congress and others who are all troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight –- and I am concerned about this possibility as well.”

    FAIR? What the fuck?

    "I despise and fear other people, so they should be forced to cater to my every prejudice."

  • ||

    Fuck you Anthony Foxx.

  • Dweebston||

    Theaters of all stripes deal with this problem using a light touch and public shaming. Sometimes the privilege is abused, but it doesn't require an act of Congress to keep those disruptions to a minimum.

  • ||

    "Tirado’s story is not a quite hoax; but there is nothing honest about it. It is a combination of partial truths and dramatic embellishments spun into a false narrative with a political agenda."

    "Tirado may not be a “scam artist” or a “fraud,” but her online history does suggest that she is prone to shading the truth. In 2008, during the controversy over the Mormon Church’s involvement in the campaign for California’s same-sex marriage ban, she made a post on a website for Mormon dissenters in which she repeatedly described herself as gay—when, in fact, she was married to a man with whom she had been together for about five years. .........Tirado was clearly presenting an image of herself that didn’t quite match the reality of her life."

    Cathy - Everything you describe there is spot on for fraud, hoax, and scam artist. Take Vaclav Havel's advice; call things by the proper names.

    Linda Tirado is a scam artist. If she is not then neither is Rigoberta Menchu or Margaret Mead. For that matter, neither is the gypsy woman who tells your future.

  • ||

    Yep. If all this is merely "shading the truth" then what fits her definition of lying?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    A rethuglican accurately describing Obamacare.

  • ||

    Linda Tirado is a scam artist. If she is not then neither is Rigoberta Menchu or Margaret Mead. For that matter, neither is the gypsy woman who tells your future.

    What they all need is a sign with the disclaimer on it:

    For Entertainment Purposes Only.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Suthenboy,

    Cathy - Everything you describe there is spot on for fraud, hoax, and scam artist. Take Vaclav Havel's advice; call things by the proper names.


    Exactly. This metaphorical walk on eggshells by some writers is what ticks me off. Be honest and brave and call things by their name.

    For instace, I am 100% sure that Houston Press' blogger Angelica Leicht was not interested in mincing words or coming up with ad hoc justifications when describing who is Linda Tirado exactly, which is: a private school-educated daughter of privilege, married to the military, who owns a house. And from what one can gather from Young's piece, that is a 100% accurate depiction of her. So why use all this space to explain the "nuances", the different circumnstances? How in any way makes those facts any different? Call it what it is: a fraud. A hoax. An attempt to mislead, or propagandize.

  • PapayaSF||

    As I said above, being even-handed has the added benefit of pre-emptively disarming the other side. Tirado and her defenders can't claim Young left out important supporting details, because she didn't. That makes her conclusion that Tirado is mostly a fake all the more damning.

  • amelia||

    As I thought when I read your previous comment, you make a very good point.

  • wareagle||

    the poor make bad decisions (smoking, having kids they can’t support, buying junk food) because they have no incentive to make good ones

    let's just tell the truth and say that the welfare state gives them every incentive to continue making bad decisions. When your bad choices are subsidized, hard not to predict what will follow.

  • Muzzle of Bees||

    Summed it up perfectly.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The Association of Flight Attendants, the nation’s largest union for cabin crews, is beginning a campaign to reverse the FCC decision, it said in an e-mailed release.

    “Flight attendants and passengers are united on this issue –- there should be no voice calls in flight,” Veda Shook, the union’s president, said in the release. Allowing phone use “would have negative effects on aviation safety and security.”

    Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai voted against the measure, citing an e-mail from a person who he said feared reacting badly if stuck next to a “gabber” during a long flight.

    “Although I’m pretty sure that I could resist the urge to stab a fellow passenger, I understand these sentiments and share these concerns,” Pai said.

    He said Wheeler’s proposal may jeopardize safety by making it easier for terrorists to coordinate hijackings or detonate bombs.

    The measure “does not adequately address public safety and national security,” Pai said.

    Fucking Plebs; you can't trust 'em.

    If only the FAA would let the waitresses put hoods and manacles on the passengers, being a flight attendant would be the best job ever.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Bottom line. They don't want to listen to others gab on the phone, so they are literally "inventing" scenarios related to safety as an excuse to regulate it.

    And I think their fears are largely bullshit. I'd argue most people would have a problem carrying on a personal conversation around strangers. Sure, some do, but that's the vast minority. Nothing is preventing a passenger from bursting into song either, but they don't do it because doing so is rude and embarrassing. Nothing is stopping people from farting on a plane, but the vast majority do not.

    I despise the notion that we need enforceable rules to elicit desired behavior.

  • optimusratiostultum||

    I certainly do fart on planes.

  • DarrenM||

    Into your cell phone?

  • db||

    If you fart on an airliner outside of the lavatory and you're not the pilot of first officer, you, sir, are a cretin.

  • blcartwright||

    absolutely - and that didn't take a federal law to state it was so

  • Muzzle of Bees||

    The food choices are limited at the airport so I'll probably get McD's.

    McD's gives me gas.

    I go up in the plane where the pressure is lower (despite the pressurized cabin).

    The flatus churning in my gut gets painful.

    Hell yes I fart on planes.

  • Dweebston||

    There otter be a law.

  • blcartwright||

    In Phoenix they have a nice Tex-Mex bar with delicious fajitas. Of course, those included onions & peppers as a main ingredient, which can quickly turn to gas inside one's body.

  • RightofCenter||

    I've done some flights of the hood and manacle variety. All I can say is EW. At the end the plastic covering the floor is running with the filth intentionally stored up and released in flight. It wouldn't make the stews nearly as happy as they think it would.

  • Michael||

    ...and seeks advice on having extramarital affairs because her marriage has grown sexually and emotionally unsatisfying...

    I can't even begin to wrangle all of the appropriate cuss words necessary to describe just what a abhorrent, selfish piece of trash this woman is. Basically, her husband is struggling to reestablish some semblance of normalcy in his life after returning from war, and her biggest concern is that he isn't slipping her enough dick to keep her satisfied.

  • ||

    She's a dime-a-dozen dependazilla. They pretty much all have this exact same sense of entitlement. Nothing surprising here.

  • prolefeed||

    I can't even begin to wrangle all of the appropriate cuss words necessary to describe just what a abhorrent, selfish piece of trash this woman is. Basically, her husband is struggling to reestablish some semblance of normalcy in his life after returning from war, and her biggest concern is that he isn't slipping her enough dick to keep her satisfied.

    To be fair, her husband, after taking stock of her character as a whiny liar, might be uninterested in fucking her much except when really horny, in cuddling with her afterwards, or talking to her in general.

    So their relationship might be unsatisfying.

  • blcartwright||

    and she's a lesbian, so how much dick does she need? (In one piece her husband is the only enpenised person she was ever attracted to, but in another she is desperate to get laid, even if it requires going outside her marriage.)

  • The Late P Brooks||

    And yeah, she chose to drop out of college and become a political activist vagabond in her early twenties.

    If only she had stayed in school, she'd be a tenured professor with her own show on MSNBC.

  • Sevo||

    On topic:
    Even AP admits that people can become prosperous:
    "Rising riches: 1 in 5 in US reaches affluence"
    http://www.sfgate.com/default/.....047261.php

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding outsized influence on America's economy and politics. And this little-known group may pose the biggest barrier to reducing the nation's income inequality.

    People improving their lives block the implementation of socialist fantasies.

  • wareagle||

    Bastards. Daring to become affluent; I'm sure Tony will be along to tell us how their rise to wealth meant someone else was conscripted to poverty.

  • Sevo||

    Well, there's only so many pennies and if you get some, someone else must have given them up!

  • blcartwright||

    Yes! The people who bought was I was selling. The more people you make the more happy, the more you get in return.

  • PapayaSF||

    That is revealingly phrased.

  • blcartwright||

    The only way for the income gap to become smaller is for the people at the bottom to have a larger rate of increase than those at the top, which if you think about it, is pretty damn hard. Those who are not poor most often accomplish that with skills (education, hard work). The long term poor most often lack skills - but the President lectures us that the only just society is that in which those who lack skills increase their wealth faster than those who do. It will only happen in a recession. A widening gap is a sign of an expanding economy.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    "For many in this group, the American dream is not dead. They have reached affluence for parts of their lives and see it as very attainable, even if the dream has become more elusive for everyone else,"

    The simple truth of the matter is, that being this 1 in 5 isn't really that mystical. You just do the shit that everyone needs to do to be successful. Get a decent education in a desired field, work hard and be good at your job (don't be the shitbag employee), live below your means and recognize and accept opportunities when they present themselves. It really ain't rocket surgery.

    Most who are unsuccessful didn't do some or all of those things. They want it now and they are unwilling to work hard to achieve it. Going to school is too much work. Picking a real major is too hard and will take time away from partying. I'd rather hit snooze again than get to work on time. The extra effort it takes to be good at my job is too much to bother. There's a promotion opportunity, but I'm safe and comfortable where I'm at and change is scary...

    It ain't magic.

  • ||

    This may be an appropriate article for me to reveal this never before heard of truth;

    The left never argues in good faith. EVER.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I am thinking I could make off with a cool pile of cash if I just write some clap-trap that confirms the lefty narrative and inspire lots of pity for me.

    "Schoolyard bullies and sneering cheerleaders drove me to a life of prostitution, addiction and despair. If only I had had access to government provided preschool, I might have learned about numbers and colors before it was too late!"

  • ||

    Nice.

  • David Wall||

    Here we go again...

    This article demonstrates the acceptance of some Libertarian's and most conservative's acceptance of the left's altruist arguments and why both will fail in any effort to fight the moral fight for individual rights. The whole article tries to determine veracity Linda Tirado's "need". Presumably if her "need" is "real" that justifies the moral duty and obligation of everyone else to take care of her.

    In a free, moral society, the sanctity of each individual's life is respected. Let's put it this way--it's my life, god damn it--leave me alone. How can anyone say otherwise. Someone's else's need does not give them a moral blank check on my life. If I can afford it, and I decided someone else is deserving--they are have difficulties through no fault of their own--then I MAY decided to help them. But it is not a moral obligation.

    Once you concede to the premises altruism, you give up the principle of individual rights and you automatically lose the argument. If Libertarians do not come to realize this they will fail just like the conservatives have.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Dave, that was well put. I couldn't agree more. Once you cede that need trumps individual rights, the battle is lost. Arguing it above that basic level gives the opponent credibility.

    Argue your point from the moral premise that it's NOT acceptable to steal for the greater good (yes, my morality shtick)and you don't need to give an inch.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "If I can afford it, and I decided someone else is deserving--they are have difficulties through no fault of their own--then I MAY decided to help them. But it is not a moral obligation."

    But what would make you decide to help them, if not some feeling of moral obligation (or, if obligation is the stumbling block word, some feeling that it would be a good thing to do)?

    I actually think people have a moral obligation to prevent other people's misery when they can. But that does not mean that anyone can force someone to follow that obligation. I think people should generally help their parents out for all they have done for them, but I think forcing someone to do it would be wrong. I think that is as far as libertarianism must draw a line in order to have a distinct position.

  • Irish||

    I actually think people have a moral obligation to prevent other people's misery when they can. But that does not mean that anyone can force someone to follow that obligation.

    If you don't have to do something then it isn't an obligation.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    There is a difference between a legal and a moral obligation.

    A person could feel, for example, that as a Christian they had a moral duty to tend to the poor and yet still not buy the idea that anyone should be made to do so (Jesus himself advocated the first but never the second).

  • David Wall||

    Your morality is based upon what? Jesus' say so. A proper morality is based upon reality & reality (man's requirements for survival, flourishing and happiness). A religious figure who is a symbol of altruism & self-sacrifice will not cut it for defending individual rights or capitalism.

    Presumably you are a conservative. Your morality and your inability to defend capitalism on moral grounds has been part of the problem for 100 years. Please face this.

  • Dweebston||

    Bob and weave, bob and weave. You understand Bo is distinguishing moral obligations from those imposed by fiat, right? You'll find only a handful of overtly religious types here, and mostly only when certain topics arise. To the extent we've a need to "defend capitalism," as if it ("it") needs defending, we do so by recourse to freedom of conscience, of association, and from coercion, so long as those freedoms don't interfere with the freedoms of others. Our philosophy is one of self-determination.

    But there is no "it" to capitalism. There are no institutions of capitalism, no high priests, no holy texts, no churches, no embodiment whatsoever. Unlike socialism and communism, which have very flagrant historical embodiments, capitalism merely marks certain checks against authoritarians. It's the preservation of property rights and the rule of law, the sanctity of contract, and the freedoms I enumerated above, from which springs general prosperity. Capitalism isn't a system, it's the absence of system. Thus our moral imperatives have nothing to do with defending capitalism as such, but defending liberty and preserving the sovereignty of individuals.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do not think it is right because Jesus said it, I think he said it because it was right.

  • David Wall||

    Are you morally obligated to help the needy. I am asking YOU why?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Yes, because I should alleviate their suffering if I can.

  • David Wall||

    Why?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is a foundational thing. What do you think we are morally obligated to do? And why?

  • David Wall||

    There is not enough room on this post to give anything like a complete answer. But just to give you a flavor: we need morality for guidance to live a life that will achieve happiness, to get the most out of our life ON EARTH possible. I am not speaking of hedonism, I am speaking of a full, happy long range life.

    Virtues such a rationality honesty, integrity, productiveness, pride, independence, & justice can be shown to logically enhance a life of reason and achieve happiness.

    In the unlikely event you want a fuller answer, start here:

    http://www.theobjectivestandar.....ds-ethics/

  • ||

    You know people help other people just because it makes them feel good and they wanted to right? They're trading their time/money/talents because those feelings have value to them.

    Plus what Irish said.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Why do those feelings have value to them? I bet it has something to do with them feeling it is the right thing to do, and doing right is a good thing that feels rewarding to them.

  • Dweebston||

    I've had this thrown in my face by an irritatingly bright semi-socialist British friend who, despite acknowledging that he chooses to contribute to charity, nonetheless argues that involuntary wealth transfers are morally imperative. He not only expressly denies that he buys himself gratification by donating to charities, but uses those contributions to demonstrate his progressive bona fides to better explain why everyone should pay. I call that double-dipping.

  • ||

    Why do those feelings have value to them?

    Why does anything have value to anyone? It's subjective. There is no universal standard of value for feelings anymore than there is for anything else. If it makes you feel good about yourself to help other people then you should pursue that value the same way you would anything else that makes you feel good about yourself, so long as you don't violate anyone else's rights in the process.

  • Edwin||

    if poverty in entrenched in this country, then it's only the fault of liberals, who
    -insist on the superiority of our proven-to-be-shitty college system. College does not teach any skills and costs oodles of money, and the system is set up that YOU have to go there and pay for it yourself, and THEN you're "hirable". The European countries have apprenticeship systems; no doubt liberals would spin such as corporate greed.
    -insist on our crappy public schools, which could easily be reformed with privatization (which wouldn't entail removing its subsidization)
    -endless environmental regulation, which stifles factory jobs
    -insisting on our crappy mixed scoialist/private medical system, which makes hiring people expensive
    -all the other crap that makes hiring workers expensive, and destroyed manufacturing in America
    -endless taxes that kick in only AS SOON AS YOU START TO ACTUALLY PRODUCE SOMETHING. They're so focused on the direct tax RATE, they've never actually raised taxes on the RICH because of all the weird exceptions in the tax codes. So the middle class actually pay the most for their work. If the second I start actually doing something to move into the middle class, I'm taxed back out of it, why would I ever try to be productive to get into it in the first place?

    the problem is liberals want to give everyone handouts, but never actual OPPORTUNITIES. They claim to be altruistic but they don't give a shit about people having OPPORTUNITIES

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "liberals want to give everyone handouts, but never actual OPPORTUNITIES"

    While I will not take a back seat to anyone on noting the many problems that some liberal supported programs that amount to handouts have caused, I do not think your overall generalization is true. Quite a few liberal programs, especially those that garner significant public support, seem more like 'opportunities' than just handouts. College grants and loans, public schools and things like Head Start come to mind.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    College grants and loans, public schools and things like Head Start come to mind

    I think you misunderstand who is really getting the handout in those situations.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course college employees benefit from it, and I would add further that the subsidies ultimately get swamped by the tuition increases they trigger, my point was only that they ostensibly are not intended to be handouts by the program's supporters, who see them as more in the 'teach a man to fish' than the 'give a man a fish' category.

  • Dweebston||

    Well, if the intentions are good.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The comment I replied to referred to what liberals want.

  • Dweebston||

    I was agreeing with you.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    OK, I see.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Sure, they seem like hand-ups, not hand-outs. Funny, though, how they always want more funding, more loans, and stronger support for teachers unions, even when the evidence points to these things having the opposite of their "intended" effects.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I will argue that most liberals, like most anybody, are not evil and are basically are well intentioned, but I will agree they are wrong about what will carry out those intentions, and that their wrongness often brings real harm to many.

  • Dweebston||

    I'm doubtless guilty of being a bit melodramatic in putting it this way, but I wonder whether the left will have its moment asking The Question of its movement. At what point does a diehard progressive drop the hardline anti-capitalist stuff and acknowledge that their policies, far from lifting anyone out of poverty, have done more to mire them there than recessions, world wars, slowing economies, and aging pensioner societies? That the West has grown prosperous despite these things, and the rest of the world grows too only when it apes us, but meanwhile the petri dishes tended by the progressive left stagnate? If they truly live by their intentions, when will they begin asking the hard questions?

  • ||

    Never. If leftists actually cared whether their policies actually helped rather than harmed, they would have examined them long ago and found them wanting, considering the magnitude and scope of their failures and crimes.

    The very fact that they haven't is absolute concrete evidence that they just do not care. They cannot claim to be well intentioned, because if they were, they would have looked at their lack of results and changed tactics...if they truly had good intentions.

    If your doctor kept prescribing you medicines that made you sicker and sicker, would you just assume he/she had good intentions and keep taking them, or would you assume they were utterly, dangerously incompetent at best and potentially malicious at worst? The left cannot claim "good intentions" after their track record. It's absurd to even claim that they can try. You see, as much as the left doesn't care, results and actions do matter in the real world.

  • Dweebston||

    In fairness, those leftists who do look critically on their works and despair won't stay leftists for long. The selection bias is strong in that group.

  • PapayaSF||

    Episiarch, you are too harsh. Most leftists do care, but self-congratulation and selection bias prevents them from clearly seeing the results of their policies.

    They "know" they are well-intentioned, and that causes a degree of blindness about results. Then they will trumpet someone helped by one of their policies, and for many, that ends the discussion. The fact that one person was helped out of good intentions means that they can ignore vast costs, wasted money, and negative side effects.

  • Dweebston||

    Well, the point of Genoves' essay was that at some point supporters of a disastrous idea can't help but share in the blame for its perpetuation. The weight of culpability falls on their shoulders after spending years maintaining a blasé attitude toward the crimes of the people whom they so fervently supported. Willful ignorance and misdirection is no defense, and they deserve every bit of scorn heaped on them.

  • Edwin||

    Did it ever occur to you that their ideology is solely FOR the intention of self-congratulation, particularly via demonizing other people?

    Have you ever seen leftists speak (and/or write)? It really is loony

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    They "know" they are well-intentioned, and that causes a degree of blindness about results. Then they will trumpet someone helped by one of their policies, and for many, that ends the discussion. The fact that one person was helped out of good intentions means that they can ignore vast costs, wasted money, and negative side effects.

    That describes ideologues of every stripe. Iraq War cheerleaders such as yourself come to mind as another example.

    EVERYONE has to reality-check their beliefs and perceptions of the world to remain intellectually honest. Otherwise you start believing your own bullshit.

  • PapayaSF||

    That describes ideologues of every stripe.

    To a certain extent, yes. What makes leftists distinct is the emphasis on good intentions, centralized reform, and a disregard for costs. ("If it saves just one life!" is very much a rallying cry of the left.) Conservatives and libertarians usually care what things cost, and seem less likely to excuse the failures of their favored policies by saying "But we meant well!"

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    At what point does a diehard progressive drop

    Putting your thumb on the scale a bit there. By definition "diehard" members of any ideology are going to almost never change their minds against the ideology.

    There were some pretty strong economic leftists during the 1970s/80s who came around to market capitalism (albeit with more regulation than a libertarian would like) in the 1990s after the fall of the USSR and the economic boom that followed it. It wasn't a Republican conservative (or libertarian) who proclaimed that the era of big government was over.

  • Dweebston||

    That's fair. I do tend to be a little rhetorically unfair (*ahem* "inaccurate") with my descriptors.

  • ||

    It wasn't a Republican conservative (or libertarian) who proclaimed that the era of big government was over.

    But the era of big government never was, in point of fact, over. So it doesn't really matter who said it, seeing as it was a total crock of shit.

  • wwhorton||

    Apologies for being late to the dance, here, but I felt I had to comment.

    ...most liberals, like most anybody, are not evil and are basically are well intentioned, but I will agree they are wrong about what will carry out those intentions, and that their wrongness often brings real harm to many.

    This is a dilemma that I've wrestled with for years, and I find that the only logical resolution to it has propelled me into what I have to admit is a fairly radical political position.

    See, I used to buy the compromise position that Progressives specifically and statists generally can both mean well AND advocate the forcible transfer of wealth, because they're simply performing a moral calculus where individual rights are not as important as the needs of the vulnerable or unfortunate. And there are all sorts of permutations you can push that through depending on your ideological preferences. At the end of the day, however, if you embrace the idea that the forcible redistribution of wealth is morally acceptable, you're saying that property rights (and by extension rights to one's own labor, and, ultimately, life) can be arbitrarily disregarded if a particular favored group or individual has enough of a need. (cont.)

  • wwhorton||

    ...You're saying that it's permissible to imprison someone for not giving money to people that person has never met simply because he has something those people don't have. Perhaps worse, you're saying that the state itself has the absolute right to ignore fundamental rights of individuals, which effectively means that the state (or society, or whatever), an artificial construct, is a superior entity.

    At a certain point, I let go of the dilemma and started to admit to myself that the position of a person who believes, under any conditions, that it is morally acceptable to use the force of the state to rob and/or possibly kill another person or class of people in order to benefit a favored group or person is not a morally upstanding one. Theft, assault, and murder don't become morally acceptable just because they're carried out by the state, or because they're being perpetrated for "the right reasons."

  • Edwin||

    yeah, but they also MANDATE that those be the only kinds of credentials. They've made aptitude tests illegal for employers to hand out via the civil rights act (even though it explicitly says that they're NOT barred by it), monopolized all government money and the student-loan laws into that system.

    What happens if you're bad at college? What if you have actual, you know, skills? And can't stand the bullshit of college.

    It WOULD be possible for employers to try people out to see if they'll work well in the company, but liberals bared that too

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    There are plenty of technical degree programs and certifications out there for non-academic skills.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    College grants and loans, public schools and things like Head Start come to mind.

    That would be an excellent point if public school advocates didn't strangle in the crib every program giving poor people the opportunity to send their kids to non-public schools.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    During the Massa. debates between the Indian and Scott Brown and student asked if there was any job opportunities for him and his poli. sci degree. A dumb question but Warren was up to the task.

    She answered that the solution for him was for the government to invest in infrastructure. She basically said "we have a nice construction job for you."

    I was floored.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    'a student asked.'

  • Dweebston||

    Jobs for jobs' sake has been eclipsed by jobs for votes' sake. Except the jobs never materialize after the votes have been cast. The money's spent, campaign contributors are enriched, triumphal declarations of superlative government conduct made, ground is broken, concrete poured, photos shot, and after the media vans peel away what's left is a vacant parking lot.

  • SQRLSY One||

    “It’s too bad that the key to her success will have been a message that perpetuates the poverty trap.” … Look no further than Government Almighty, to serve as THE Most Powerful Force in the Local Galactic Cluster, to perpetuate the poverty trap! March on, Oh Ye Brave Soldiers for “Charity Choices Made by the Hive”!

  • Sevo||

    Lefties must love poor people; they really try to make a lot of 'em.

  • Agreenweed||

    This was one bizarre batch of stupidity. I couldn't finish it.

  • ||

    The important thing is this woman fit the SWPL narrative, private school educated, reasonably photogenic, reasonably literate, white, etc. This isn't about altruism, this was SWPLs thinking, "See, this could happen to one of us! Life is sure hard thanks to the trickle-down right, even with a MS in sociology!"

    Had it been a true example of a poor person with truly bad teeth and the typical lack of literate skill, plus the time and inclination to spend hours blogging, this would never have gained any liberal traction.

  • Sevo||

    There's a columnist in the local rag who is forever flogging the 'we're all just one paycheck away from homelessness' fantasy.
    Bullshit. Maybe he is, and if so, he deserves it.

  • ||

    For real?!? The columnist must be the shittiest manager of their own money imaginable. If they really are one paycheck from homelessness, I hope they get fired and can prove it.

  • blcartwright||

    Back one weekend in October Obama was serving food at a Baltimore food bank, and the news mentioned that some of those in line to be fed were government workers furloughed during the shutdown - which at the time was less than a week long and the workers had yet to miss a paycheck!

  • David Wall||

    This woman hates her life, doesn't think she has any control over it and wants someone else to take care of her. Yeah, she is foisted onto the public because she is more like a lot of the people that the leftist are trying to make feel guilty. "She is just like us, so we feel for her and everyone must be forced to help her." It is still altruism, though. The most manipulative and nasty sort.

  • GPZsug||

    Can the poor help themselves, or is it a social responsibility?

    False dilemma.

  • Dweebston||

    This, especially considering "social responsibility" always and inevitably elides all forms of social intervention except forcible redistribution. "Social responsibility" as the left envisions it gives the shaft to charity, family, churches, mutual societies, and above all a mobile workforce guaranteed by unfettered labor markets.

  • ||

    To collectivists, "social responsibility" means "do it or else", with "or else" meaning force. They really, really like to force people to do what they want them to do. They really like it.

  • Dweebston||

    An ex of mine is a former OFA employee, small-time political consultant, and current law-student who aspires to national politics. The gleam of delight she gets in her eyes when discussing the laws she's helped draft and the lives she's saved because she funneled money from some slush fund to some group somewhere is a terror to behold. It's like watching the birth of a future Feinstein or Boxer.

  • PapayaSF||

    Oh, great, another lefty lawyer in politics. We always need more of those!

  • blcartwright||

    or, "social responsibility" is what someone else has to do, not me!

  • Killaz||

    OT, but this is a bit fucked. In Woodward's criticism of Obama, he just had to throw this in there:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/n.....gotiations

    And it is indeed small, but it’s a step forward. And what it does is it strengthens Ryan, but it also strengthens Boehner in a very, very significant way. He got way over 300 votes for this, and he said I, you know, he castigated the ultra-right-wing and the outsiders.

    All they asked for was to not gut the sequester. Just a few years ago a bunch of two party centrist establishment types came out with a report that made the sequester look pretty milquetoast in comparison, but now the sequester is the demand of only the 'ultra-right.' Fuck Washington DC and every cockroach in a human body that lives there.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It also ignores that the 'ultra-right' does not support the sequester because it is what they would have if they could have whatever they want, but they are willing to accept it because they do not think any other cuts are possible in the political climate. Far from being the obstinate uncompromising pie-in-the-sky people they are painted as they are in fact consistently fighting to keep something they know as not perfect, but not the enemy of the good.

  • PapayaSF||

    And it ignores the fact that the sequester was Obama's idea of a negotiation tool: "Ha, they'll be frightened of this!"

  • Jon Lester||

    I'm sure many of the people who sent her money are well-educated and relatively affluent, yet their insular lifestyles kept them from noticing that Tirado obviously is a very skilled writer, as opposed to so many real poor people who have to struggle to express themselves in any medium.

  • PapayaSF||

    Lefties love it when one of the oppressed, who they are always speaking for, seems to be able to speak for themselves, and says the right things. This accounts for a good deal of Obama's initial popularity. "Finally! An articulate leftist Negro who isn't obviously sleazy!"

  • Dasein||

    What I find the most disgusting regarding the tendentious use that the Big Brother's defenders make with other people's tragedies, despite whether it is fake or not, is how they focus on people with issues in systems that at least some respect is preserved for individual initiative to work, produce, create and innovate. I've never seen that deserve their care all these people living with no hope under totalitarian systems, who are facing a quite real desperate situation of which they are not guilty at all. Their double moral standard get exposed by the desperate situation of these people languishing in systems where "the invisible hand" has been completely replaced by that other "state hand" that they put so much strain in defending under all the possible cunning arguments. I was born in Cuba, I'm hanging around the forties and just five years ago I managed to leave the country. Hence, I know exactly what I'm talking about. I propose we stop calling them "liberals" and start calling them hypocrites directly.

  • Dweebston||

    It's naive to the point of mendacious that such people focus on the losers in society (many of whom may not even be losers, but merely act like it) as though society only produces losers. The quiet majorities of fairly successful, solidly middle-class citizens don't warrant their attention unless they're making pleas to preserve some aspect or another of the welfare state they deem indispensable to the survival of the middle class. Otherwise we're a country of half-starved mongrels tyrannized by absentee landlords.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Tirado’s story is not a quite hoax; but there is nothing honest about it. It is a combination of partial truths and dramatic embellishments spun into a false narrative with a political agenda.

    What the hell? It's clearly a hoax, and she's a fraud who used her lies for personal gain. Why say otherwise?

    hoax

    Full Definition of HOAX: to trick into believing or accepting as genuine something false and often preposterous

    Huh, that's exactly what Tirado did. Hoax.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I'm going to have to join with the fake but accurate folks to some extent... Tirado is basically describing the phenomenon of learned helplessness, which absolutely exists, proven by experimental psychology, and is responsible for a lot of the destructive behavior of the poor. Whether she herself experiences it is irrelevant to the larger point.

    That said, LH is actually aggravated by the leftist attitude that the poor have no means available to escape poverty. And the culture of dependency that the welfare state creates doesn't help either. So their diagnosis is largely correct, but their treatment is poison.

  • ||

    I'm going to have to join with the fake but accurate folks to some extent

    Boy, I'm stunned.

  • blcartwright||

    In my spare time I've been working on a piece of fiction. About 95% of the events actually happened, but I've combined characters, rearranged events, etc, so that the resulting story describes something which absolutely never occurred (revisionist fantasy!)

  • DarrenM||

    Is poverty caused by conditions beyond individual control, or by bad personal choices?

    Yes.

  • Irish||

    Well, left wing economic policies result in poverty and those are certainly outside individual control.

    Oh. That's not what liberals were talking about, was it?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Dude, Where's My War? Neo-Con Podhertz Calls (again) For Strikes on Iran

    http://online.wsj.com/news/art.....MjExNDIyWj

  • Irish||

    Norman Podhoretz was scum, is scum, and will always be scum.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Perhaps I am being unfair, but I think if Podhertz lived in Israel he would be one of those ultra-orthodox who pushes for his nation to take a hard military line and then demands a religious exemption from service for Torah study.

  • Irish||

    He also is the primary driving force behind the sheer insanity of Commentary Magazine's foreign policy preferences.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is a shame, because they have some decent articles on other subjects.

  • Irish||

    I stumbled on this essay from Gore Vidal that was published in The Nation way back in 1986. It is one of the funniest things I've ever read, and a great example of how the left completely forgets its own past stupidities in order to maintain the illusion of competence.

    Here's the first two paragraphs:

    Recently, Norman Mailer and I chatted together at the Royale Theatre in New York, under the auspices of PEN American Center. Part of what I said was reprinted in these pages on January 11, under the title, not mine, “Requiem for the American Empire.” I gave a bit of a history lesson about our empire’s genesis, and I brooded on its terminus last fall, when Tokyo took over from New York as the world’s economic center.

    My conclusion: for America to survive economically in the coming Sino-Japanese world, an alliance with the Soviet Union is a necessity. After all, the white race is a minority race with many well deserved enemies, and if the two great powers of the Northern Hemisphere don’t band together, we are going to end up as farmers–or, worse, mere entertainment–for the more than one billion grimly efficient Asiatics. In principle, Mailer agreed.

    Two lions of the left get together and have a vaguely racist conversation in which they are wrong about everything.

  • ||

    Don't worry, that will never stop them from completely ignoring/forgetting how wrong they were and doing it again. Well, not Vidal and Mailer, seeing as they're both dead, but you know what I mean.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The racism is all excused by the 'many well deserved' comment. The first was a -5 for yellow peril, but the latter was a +10 white guilt acknowledgement.

  • Sevo||

    Boy! How prescient can anyone be?
    This guy could make a living picking stocks.

  • ||

    Wait, I thought those guys hated each other? Or was that mostly theatre.

  • ||

    Come to think of it, Vidal pretty much hated everyone, especially as he got older.

  • Jon Lester||

    Remember his essay "Drugs," which began with, "I have tried all drugs, and liked none?" I wouldn't blame anyone if they stopped reading after that first sentence.

  • Calidissident||

    What sort of idiot thought that China and Japan were going to unite to take over the world? Were these guys completely ignorant of the history of these two countries?

  • GILMORE||

    Uh, in the 1980s, there was a bit of a Japan-Panic as their economy expanded and they started investing abroad. China I assume was seen as the breadbasket/labor pool for the crafty and industrious Japanese.

    Don't ask me to try and explain their idiocy further, that's about as far as I get.

  • BonitaDave||

    Facts do not support liberal policies so liberals make up their own facts. Whether it is the war on poverty, global warming, the fiscal cliff, its all the same. They will not engage in an honest debate because if facts were presented in a fair and honest fashion, their policies would be disproven. I think they base their beliefs around a world they would like to see, instead what is achievable.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    If your doctor kept prescribing you medicines that made you sicker and sicker, would you just assume he/she had good intentions and keep taking them, or would you assume they were utterly, dangerously incompetent at best and potentially malicious at worst? The left cannot claim "good intentions" after their track record. It's absurd to even claim that they can try. You see, as much as the left doesn't care, results and actions do matter in the real world.

    NEEDZ MOAR LEECHES

  • LIFE.time.opertunity||

  • C.A.Hendon||

    "fake but accurate" betrays the reason the left gives Obama a pass on his deception regarding one's ability to keep pre-PPACA health insurance policies. They don't care how their idea of what is right permeates the socio-political system, just so long as it does.

  • DrAwkward||

    Boy, do I know the type. Parents on the wealthy side, but kid rebels against their bourgeois values to seek a "nomad lifestyle", then plead poverty when they are 30 and haven't produced anything of value. Eat cockroaches, loser.

  • Sevo||

    DrAwkward|12.15.13 @ 8:19PM|#
    "Boy, do I know the type"...

    My parents figured a way to prevent such foolishness. At age 18 (me), they said 'if you want to live here, you will pay room and board'.
    It wasn't a lot, but it was sufficient to impress upon me that living ain't 'free'.

  • ibcbet||

    you think that was good?

  • hotsy totsy||

    She's MARRIED? Then what's her husband doing? He's not so disabled as to not make more kids with her. And if you lost your teeth in a car accident, was there no insurance or settlement? Or were you just driving like an asshole?

    Fred Sanford's advice to Lamont: "Son, life is hard. But it's a whole lot harder when you're stupid."

  • GILMORE||

    Nothing says, "Marry me" like a toothless lesbian egomaniac. Kudos to the Bachelor that took that one for the team. Well done sir. (slow clap) Now, if you can just get the crazy bitch off the internet, the possibility for domestic bliss awaits you.

  • VicRattlehead||

    What a stupid bitch, your poor because you don't give a shit so i'm not only supposed to feel bad, but give you money? Pfft... I was poor, homeless, and addicted to alcohol then I joined the Navy, learned electronics, and eventually alcoholism started catching up with me and rather than crash in fire after all i had accomplished I resigned early. Now un-employed with a brand new kid and a girlfriend i continued my self-destruction even after finding employment as an electrician. the only thing that changed my circumstances was a return to God and as a direct result the subsequent recovery from my seemingly helpless state. I am still what you would call poor but we have enough to scrape by, if I was capable of turning my life around with such a simple answer anyone is, its just a matter of desire to change and if you want to be helpless no one will be able to help you no matter how much money you make. pisses me off when people cry poverty and do nothing- it's what I hated most about myself and the way I was as a die hard liberal.

  • PRX||

    a friend I flipped burgers with in high school now owns several McDonalds. he started at minimum wage and worked his ass off to crew chief, floor supervisor, asst manager, manager, regional manager, owner.

  • KRoyall||

    It sounds like the "right wingers" had her pegged, this writer's equivocations notwithstanding. This is another unfortunate tick Libertarian journalists have, discrediting everyone but themselves.

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