Welfare for the Wealthy


Welfare Millionaire

Seattle's KING 5 News has uncovered a novel use of welfare dollars: $1,200 a month in housing vouchers for a woman living in a $1.2 million, 2,500 square foot house:

Records show she has received welfare benefits while living in the plush home since 2003. Records also show she truthfully provided her address when she applied for benefits.

How could the government allow housing subsidy dollars to someone who openly lives in one of Seattle's most desirable neighborhoods?

A federal official spoke to KING 5 News on condition of anonymity. He says the housing voucher program provides coupons that help low-income people pay their rent. He says it allows people to get out of housing projects and move into the place of their choosing. However, he says a "flaw" is that the program doesn't analyze where people are living, even if it is at a ritzy address that should raise a red flag.

The woman also receives disability checks and food stamps. Her husband, a chiropractor, drives a Jaguar. Officials suspect he posed as the woman's landlord when she applied for the benefits. KING 5 is not naming the couple as they have yet to be criminally charged, though federal agents have raided the house.

Reason on welfare.

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  1. You mean there’s fraud in welfare? Really?

    1. Also, I am gigantically fat.

      I cry about it daily, and am very sensitive about it.

    2. No, no, no you’ve got it all wrong. This was due to a “flaw” in the housing vouchers. It’s highly unlikely we’ll find similar flaws in other federal programs.

    3. The fraud part pissed me off, but the “federal agents have raided the house” part really pissed me off. Jackbooted thugs!

      1. Eh. If they executed a warrant to impound documents that might be of interest to a criminal fraud case (income statements, financial documents, etc), I have no problem with it.

        1. Your antisocial behavior is unacceptable.
          Pigs are pigs.
          Hand in your membership card and board the cattle car.

      2. What fraud are you talking about? She applied for the vouchers truthfully, and then she was given vouchers. That’s not fraud.

        1. The fraud would appear to be the misrepresentation of the woman’s financial situation in order to receive public assistance, for one. Another would be her Jaguar-driving, chiropractor husband posing as her “landlord.”

          1. I’d wager it’s only because they’re married and thus treated as a financial unit there’d be any fraud. If the woman has no income of her own, and is legitimately disabled (legitimately for government purposes being defined as getting a doctor to sign off, who is she to dispute his opinion?) then she seemingly meets the criteria for all the programs she was in.

            As far as the husband, imagine for a second they aren’t married and aren’t presumed to share finances. He owns the house. He allows her to live there. As long as she’s giving him the voucher money (or does it go directly to him?), where is the fraud?

            Get divorced, get the basement in-law suite certified by the county as a 1-br rental unit and you’re good to go.

            1. Clearly my propaganda skills need work.

              imagine for a second they aren’t married

              But they are married.
              Tell you what: let’s imagine for a second that they are Martians…

              1. Look, let’s leave illegal aliens out of this.

                My point was more they came *so* close to having all this be legal. A couple grand to a good lawyer to get the paperwork in order and they could have gone on collecting those government checks indefinitely, just like the diaper disability guy.

          2. “The fraud would appear to be the misrepresentation of the woman’s financial situation in order to receive public assistance, for one. “

            Where do you see proof of that?

            “Another would be her Jaguar-driving, chiropractor husband posing as her “landlord.”

            Again, where’s proof of that. At this point, they’re suspected of it.

            There’s a big difference between the government being “defrauded” and someone legally qualifying for a government program not intended for that purpose.

            1. As to where the proof of various possible frauds are, I suspect that’s what the raid was for. To see if there was any.

              And, yes, if she submitted an application for welfare and conveniently omitted her husband’s earnings and assets, that’s fraud.

              1. Nitpicker.

              2. Assets don’t necessarily have any relevance. An awful lot of assistance programs are based purely on income nowadays — So a retired person, whose lifetime investments aren’t generating much cash flow in the current near-zero interest rate environment, might well qualify for many such programs even if they own a mansion, Jag, and yacht outright.

              3. No, if the application for said vouchers specifically asked for family gross income, then yes. If not, and it only asked for her own personal income, no.

                Why does it take raiding a house to do this, when you could look this shit up online..oh wait.

                1. Umbriel, you’re exactly right. They don’t ask you what you own, they ask you what you earn, for the most part.

                  I think this is right up there with the right screaming for mandated drug-testing for welfare recipients; they want to know where the person’s money is going.

                2. Hey Sy, don’t let that chip on your shoulder get in the way of common sense.

                  1. Hey anony-fag, don’t let logic stand in the way of your wealth envy.

                    1. “Anony-fag!”


        2. The blog post doesn’t have all the details. Yes, there was fraud.

          From the Seattle PI article:

          In court documents, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harold Malkin and Kayla Stahman contended Shimonova told HUD officials that only she and her two children lived on the property, and that her total assets were less than $5,000. Agents watching the property noted that Silverstein’s Jaguar sedan was often parked at the home, and that his purported home address was actually his chiropractic clinic…

          “It appears that (they) are actually husband and wife, a material fact Shimonova has failed repeatedly to disclose on annual submissions…to maintain her eligibility for (housing) subsidies,” the prosecutors told the court.

          If they’re not married, it seems Silverstein has some explaining to do ? he describes himself as “happily married with two children” on his business website.

          Since 1995, Shimonova has also been receiving disability payments meant to assist Americans with monthly incomes of less than $675…Shimonova…failed to disclose several savings accounts, holding tens of thousands of dollars…

          At the same time, Shimonova was drawing food stamps and support checks from a program meant to keep poor families from starving…also alleged to have received medical care through Medicaid.

          1. Oops anyway.
            Boy, is my face red.

            1. “Again, where’s proof of that. At this point, they’re suspected of it.”

              Now there’s proof. Now they should prosecute.


          2. The details certainly make it sound more outright fraudulent. If the aid is means-tested, and she neglected to report personal bank account assets, then that sounds like fraud.

            If, on the other hand, the Dr. is actually married to and living with someone else, then she may not have technically been lying with regard to the income.

            1. It’s highly unlikely that the doctor is married to someone else.

              According to court documents, agents seized financial documents, Nordstrom receipts and framed photos of the couple…In a search warrant affidavit, the HUD special agent noted Silverstein and Shimonova took numerous international trips together while Shimonova was collecting substantial amounts of money in government assistance. Among their destinations were the Dominican Republic, Moscow and Paris.

              1. Wouldn’t the county clerk have this info readily available? Why would it be any huge feat for them verify this? Fuck a PI could do this in about 5 minutes.

                1. Keep digging, Sy.

  2. Hey, I emailed this to Lucy & Riggs yesterday! I demand my hat-tip!

    Or failing that, a tulip from Holland!

    1. The tulip bubble burst, man! Just like 17th century Ron Paul in wooden shoes predicted[citation needed].

      And clearly the savvy Seth found it on his own. My apologies, sir.

      1. Speaking of Ron Paul, here’s how Gawker describes his new commercial: “Ron Paul’s Just Gonna Blow Up Everything.” Do they receive money directly from the Democrats, or is it more subtle?

        Don’t read the comments.

        1. I should have heeded your sage advice but noooooo, I had to go and read the comments. The really head-‘asploding part is they often aren’t even making arguments about him that you could refute, they’re just saying ‘I don’t like him… for some reason!’ and agreeing with each other. When that fails, fall back on making everything about abortion. Or start screaming RACIST. It’s like there are a set of guidelines.

          1. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

            1. Do they think that their cries of racism will be accorded any credibility?

              Folks are losing their jobs, their homes and their precious amerikan dream; they are in no mood for the same old same old from the race hustling crowd and their totalitarian toadies within the realm of policital correctnes.

              More and more people recognize that racism is the brown bolzhevik in the white house who does not have the decency to release his academic records including whether, as the evidence suggests, he was a beneficiary of racist affirmative action policies.

              Racism is any black person insisting that they be given goodies from the state upon the basis of their negroness.

              Racism is insisting that public schools dedicate february as negro histroy month.

              1. I’ve been pushing Paul on family members, who are concerned that he’d be weak on foreign policy. I counter with the point that this much intervention isn’t necessary or productive, and I also note that without fixing the spending and economic problems here, we’ll be too poor to maintain military hegemony, anyway.

                1. Do they really care about whether a particular candidate will be weak on foreign policy? Really? How does that factor into putting food on their table, paying for the roof over their heads, affording their prescriptions and having a few bucks leftover to catch a Bucs game?

                  1. It’s the way we think these days. Really, most Americans put our position on the world stage at least equal with our economic health, unless we’re in a major recession or worse. I think we’re in worse, but it’s not immediately apparent to most.

                    The reality is that we’ve had the luxury of assuming a boom economy. Now we don’t.

                    1. My father is the same way. He literally believes that it’s useless to save the economy unless we remain the world’s greatest super-power, so his position is that the Empire must be maintained and expanded, even if it means beggering ourselves.

                      Pride is more important than solvency to a huge number of people. And those people vote.

                    2. Your father actually thinks that way?

                      What would he prefer?

                      (A) The Empire dissolves but he becomes wealthy


                      (B) THe Empire expands but he gets much poorer?

                    3. The problem is that virtually all voters think we can have massive socialism, a huge and active military, out of control spending to support the first two, and burdensome regulations that exist as barriers to entry as much as for any other reason, and maintain the strongest economy on Earth.

                    4. “What would he prefer?

                      (A) The Empire dissolves but he becomes wealthy


                      (B) THe Empire expands but he gets much poorer?”

                      I believe the answer to that is “yes”

                    5. Bingo, Sy.

                      Like everyone else, we’ve borrowed for so long it seems like the norm, so the expectation is that we can pay for everything.

                      Of course, he hates welfare, and anytime I bring up scaling back the military, he just retorts that if we weren’t paying poor people to be poor we’d be able to double DHS and DoD funding while still cutting the deficit.

                      Remember, to them, National Greatness is more important than anything. Think of it the way a fanatical sports fan supports his team. It’s the same way with the Lee Greenwood set.

                    6. So, apparently we are brothers…

                    7. Luckily, my family tends to be small-gov type conservatives.. but as goes with living in North Tx, any mention of scaling back military expenditures warrants immediate cries of “obama-lover”

                    8. I’m in Plano, and that’s it exactly. The exchange usually goes something like this:

                      “Well I don’t believe we should have bases in a majority of the nations on earth.”

                      “You crypto-muslim blame-America-first flag-hating Obama supporter!”

                    9. Yep. I live on the Carrolton side of Plano. I guess what pisses me off about the “greatest nation” rhetoric is that I generally have to hear it from the late-20 early-30 something yuppies.

                    10. Plano, ugh. I dated a girl from Plano once. Never enjoyed my visits. But then, I’m a Houston boy, and there’s something in the water that prevents us from liking anything Dallasian.

                    11. You dated a girl from Plano? Oh god, why?

        2. Why must you people keep giving Gawker attention?

          1. I actually thought about not posting the link for that exact reason. I usually don’t read it, but I clicked from io9. Which also offends me, but for different reasons.

            1. I haven’t read io9 in forever, does it still suck?

              1. Not if you love Dr. Who and the softest of science fiction.

                1. Dr. Who is a phenomena I just don’t understand.

                  1. All true Scotsmen love the Doctor.

              2. It still sucks.

                1. Isn’t that what I said?

                  I briefly sort of liked some aspects of Dr. Who when Dr. Who was played by Tom Baker.

                2. I think it actually sucks more now. They’ve given up on actual science fiction and just link to stories that have the barest hint of being science-y and outlandish. And weird. It has to be weird and of no consequence to anything but the vaguest of sub-sub-cultures.

                  1. I would only briefly read it, but I was fully done when I saw some “best 10 something something” list, and it was fucking retarded. The author clearly knew almost nothing about the scifi genre.

                    1. Too much focus on TV science fiction, which is not exactly the pinnacle of the genre.

          2. In the Gawker commenter bizarro universe, states cannot have different laws because Americans have no ability to move due to being underwater on their mortgages.

            Or you might only be able to find a job in South Carolina. But South Carolinans are inbred idiots, thus Californians forced to move to S.C. must be able to live in the kind of society they want courtesy of federal law.

            (The fact S.C. has jobs and California doesn’t due to differences in state legislation is completely lost on these people.)

        3. Jesus, the people of gawker honestly believe that the sun rises and sets because of the almighty government.

          1. It’s amazing how much time they spend on political issues, especially given that they’re not overtly a political site. And their arrow points exactly one direction–left.

            1. I think it has something to do with two of their editors being gay men. Also, a lot of websites lean left, like the AV Club(I talk tv there). It is very easy to live in a liberal bubble in America- get your gossip on gawker, talk media on the av club, get your news from the almost certainly liberal big city daily etc.

              1. It shocks me how political seemingly non-political sites can be.

      2. Better not talk to Jimbo. You’ll only encourage him.

        1. They let you out on bail already? I linked a story about you in the Hinkle “Conservatives” thread.

          1. Told you that wasn’t Warty. No mere taser is going to stop him.

          2. You think i’m a bodybuilder??? I’ve never been so insulted. I would never shave my beloved pelt to flex onstage.

            1. While the bodybuilder shaved-ape look is far from attractive, I can understand that they think it makes their muscles more visible. But nothing can justify that horrid fluorescent orange they paint themselves.

              1. For that matter, dieting down to <10% body fat is much too unpleasant to contemplate.

                1. Arnold the statist told Johnny Carson that he ate ice cream every night while training for the Olympia.

                  1. I’m sure he did until a few weeks out when he had to cut. Don’t forget that Dianabol does wonderful things, too.

                    1. warty, iyo, was the Arnold who lit up the joint in Pumping Iron after winning the 75′ Olympia the same Arnold who became the governator?

            2. I didn’t know if you were a bodybuilder or not, but you have to admit, the crime kind of fits your MO (naked, beating the elderly, requiring multiple cops and tasers to be stopped, etc.)

                1. “Now my pants are chafing me” is a pretty smooth line, I must admit.

                  1. Aha! Big mistake, pal! I knew you’d slip up sooner or later!

              1. But when I beat the elderly, I prefer to use this.

                1. “I don’t always beat the elderly, but when I do, I prefer ridiculous 1920s dumbbells. Stay roid-raged my friends.”

                  1. You sound like the most interesting poster on this thread.

      3. You know what has to be done. Kill Seth, repost the story under your byline, and give me my fucking hat-tip.

        /eliminationist rhetoric

  3. u noes dat bitch be whites

  4. All that being said, why did the house need to be raided again???

    1. Fraudulent documents on premises?

      1. Needle in a garbage dump? The original “fraudulent document” probably got thrown out ages ago, or lost in one of the piles of papers and junk mail in the kitchen, bedroom, spare room, or basement. Unless welfare recipients have a reputation for keeping excellent filing systems in their home, rich or poor. Shouldn’t the welfare office have the original documents?

        1. Maybe. The article is making a case that some documentation may have been falsified. If she claimed to be single, a marriage certificate helps establish fraud. Usually there is an assets cap along with an income cap. If they can find accounts with her name on them that weren’t reported, etc.

          1. why did the house need to be raided?

            Lots of reasons. Just one: the raid could easily turn up evidence of a lavish lifestyle, laying bare the woman’s claims of poverty.

            1. I think the problem is the use of the word “raid”. I search warrant can be issued and a search done without “raiding” the house.

              You knock politely and then serve the warrant, then search.

              1. How do you know they didn’t? This is Reason, after all. If there had been the usual 4 a.m. no-knock, shot-dog fiasco, you can be sure McKelvey would have been all over it like Episiarch on Futurama quotes.

              2. robc:

                I agree that the use of the word raid covers a lot of ground, but the rest of the context in the article seems to indicate that this is exactly how the “raid” went down.

    2. Every house needs a good raiding occasionally. Two birds, one stone…

  5. But everybody knows three quarters of the population lives in poverty!

    If it weren’t for this pathetic pittance, that poor woman would be turning tricks at the Hilton, you merciless fiends!

  6. Slow down.

    One Thousand, Two Hundred and no/100 Dollars ($1,200.00) per month housing allowance?

    Does that seem a little high to anyone else?

    1. That’s the starting point for non-hood housing in central Jersey. I couldn’t even make a profit off of that payment where I live.

    2. It’s a tad high, but the Seattle rental market is pretty damn expensive. If you don’t want an hour commute into the city about $500 per person per month base rent plus utilities is about the best you can do with roommates. If you’re all uppity about living in your own place, having a parking spot, washer and dryer, or want to live in a place that is not borderline uninhabitable due to mold, expect to pay a little more.

      1. A little more? I have my own place in Belltown, 1 bedroom plus an “office”, my own parking spot in the underground garage, washer and dryer, etc., and I pay over three times that. Of course, I am uppity about having my own place, having a parking spot, and being in the middle of the city.

        1. You got me, you do need to pay a lot more to live without roommates.

          So can you explain the attraction of Belltown to me? Aside from occasional burlesque shows at the Rendezvous Belltown generally strikes me as a constant douche bag convention.

          1. I like the proximity to downtown and Pike Place; I can walk to Safeco Field for a baseball game if I want; and I am right on 99, making certain commutes extremely convenient.

            I like a more…urban experience, anyway. I lived on the Upper East Side for 7 years and got used to it.

            I must admit, though, that Upper Queen Anne is really nice, and that huge fucking hill on the Counterbalance is complete hobo repellent. They just don’t go up there.

            1. I “lived” in Seattle fairly close to there for six weeks. I liked it fine, but I wouldn’t want to be there permanently.

      2. Meh. When I was in college I lived in Beacon Hill and paid $500 a month which I split with another person. Sure, it was a little ghetto but not horrible. I was pretty much the only white person in the neighborhood at the time (it’s since been gentrified a bit) and I could never figure out why since it was reasonably close to downtown and really kind of a nice community. I learned a lot of Spanish living there.

        1. Epi, you are the best; however, if you weren’t uppity, we’d all be a little disappointed.

        2. I had a friend in law school who rented a large closet. I’m not kidding. It was in Chicago in Lincoln Park, so I imagine he paid at least $500 for that room. He had access to a bathroom, kitchen, and living room, so it wasn’t totally bad.

          1. Fry does the same from Bender. Works out pretty well for him.

            1. I saw that one and didn’t think of the guy I’m talking about. Maybe he writes for Futurama now?

          2. Living within your means is a pretty radical idea, I know, but it is possible. That kind of wacky thinking allowed me to graduate debt-free.

            1. What’s hilarious is that Epi pays nearly three times what I do on a fucking mortgage (including full escrow) for an 1800 sq ft house in Texas. And I’ll take Dallas over Seattle any day of the week, both in sports, weather, frequency of gun shows, and general lack of Seattle hipsters (and yes, I have experience there; I was stationed at Ft. Lewis for a time).

              1. And you live in Dallas.

                I just went to a gun show Sunday, dope.

                And Dallas doesn’t have the second best startup culture in the country, if not the world. Seattle does.

                1. And you live in Dallas

                  Is that supposed to be insulting? I’ve lived both places, and will take Dallas 100 times out of 100. I hated the entire SeaTac area. So…many…hipsters.

                  We have gun shows somewhere in the D/FW metroplex like twice a week. I know Seattle isn’t competing with that.

                  I’ll have to conceed the start-up culture angle. But if you’re into banking or oil & gas, come on down!

                2. Seattle can’t compete with the Dallas hottie ratio either. Plus it doesn’t rain 280 days out of the year.

                  1. I like the rain!

              2. If WA ever does anything stupid like institute a state sales tax, Texas is pretty much at the top of my list. I’ve only been to Dallas once and very much enjoyed the high rate of hot men who… dressed like men. The fact that was so refreshing is proof I’ve been in Seattle too long.

                1. But 50 consecutive days of 100 degrees plus?

                  Besides, its not like Dallas is a Super Bowl friendly weather venue or a guaranteed warm weather in the winter destination like Naples, Palm Beach or San Diego.

                  1. The heat stops bothering you after awhile. I prefer it to being rained on every day.

                    It’s just different strokes for different folks. As long as Epi’s happy I’m happy. I’m just not one for “urban” culture.

                    My wife’s family still lives in Queens, and the thing I hate most in life is having to visit them for any length of time. I hate the crowds, the constant noise, etc. Not knocking on anybody, but all the “urban culture” people I’ve personally met are self-important elitist left-wing douchebags who need to live in a city center so they can ride fixed-gear bikes and talk about how they reduced their carbon footprints and how they only eat at locally owned gluten-free cafes and shop for ironic vintage clothing at used record stores while they yammer incessantly on their smart phones while signing global warming petitions on their ipads. Total OWS types. I…hate…them with a passion.

                    I like being able to let my dogs out into the yard in the morning and not see a single car on the street, or another living soul. I like being able to shoot at possums or rabbits in my yard without any legal repercussions. Like I said, just different strokes for different folks.

                    1. There are many down sides to Seattle. There are a number of upsides (excellent food, for instance), too. But I am a software developer who likes to work for startups. That means two possible locations for me: Silicon Valley or Seattle. Silicon Valley is retarded expensive and it’s in CA, which is super retarded in its own right.

                      Seattle wins.

                    2. You’re absolutely right about that. I never spent more than a few months in Cali, at Ft. Irwin, but if my options for allowing me to pursue my passions in life were limited to Seattle and Silicon Valley…well then, Seattle here I come.

                    3. You could do that in Austin too, Epi. Just sayin. Not advocating.

                    4. Austin isnt an option?

                    5. I really enjoy an urban living experience. It has nothing to do with reducing carbon footprint, hipsterism, etc. I don’t even own a bike. I just like being able to walk home drunk from places, and see lots of interesting people. The main reason I moved off of capitol hill was I wanted to reduce my rent expense so I could save more.

                    6. …and see lots of interesting people.

                      Ah, see, I purposefully go out of my way to not see interesting people. Or people at all, for that matter, be they interesting or mundane. I even work 2nd shift on purpose so that my schedule is off from the majority of the rest of humanity.

                    7. Well, when I say see interesting people, the unstated subtext is seeing gothy, punky, or metal girls smiling at me when I walk by. That is the part I miss the most about the urban neighborhood experience.

                    8. …the unstated subtext is seeing gothy, punky, or metal girls smiling at me when I walk by.

                      I’ll grant you that. There’s one main goth club in Dallas that I’ll go to a few times a year for their Fetish Ball, Halloween party, etc. to remind myself that I’m married, not dead.

                    9. “I even work 2nd shift on purpose so that my schedule is off from the majority of the rest of humanity.”

                      Nothing beats having GBT/DNT all to yourself at 2am on a Wednesday.

                    10. You probably wanted to be able to find a parking spot once in a while too.

                      Where did you move to?

                    11. Maple leaf neighborhood. It kinda sucks as far as things to do goes, but we have a basement, and one of my roommates has a band that practices there, so it worked out pretty well. Also, my car now gets to live in a garage, the way Odin intended it to be.

      3. OK, Seattle housing is expensive.

        So why do we pay people to live there? Why is that any different than giving somebody a thousand a month in food stamps because they are a foodie and want organic free range everything flown in fresh?

        Sure, the affordable housing is outside of Seattle. So what? Its not like they would have a commute or anything; they don’t freaking have jobs.

        Can’t afford to live in Seattle? Then don’t live there.

    3. That’ll get you a really nice two-bedroom in a nice neighborhood in Cleveland. Shit, that’ll pay the mortgage for a nice house.

      1. That would buy the Ponderosa in the city of Detroit.

  7. How disgusting. I want to see pictures of these pieces of trash so we can cruelly mock their physical appearances as well as their lack of moral character. As with all forms of welfare, “deserved” or not, there should absolutely be an element of public shaming involved. If you are a charity case and have the decency to be ashamed of being a charity case, maybe it will motivate you to do something about it.

    1. I agree. Name and shame.

    2. I want to see pictures of these pieces of trash so we can cruelly mock their physical appearances as well as their lack of moral character.

      So YOU’RE the one behind “People of Walmart.”

    3. That should include medicare, medicaid and SS recipients.

    4. Shouldn’t somebody be able to find that house (it looks pretty unique) on Bing, look it up on King County property appraisal, and give their name?

    5. rewild.info/anthropik/author/jason/index.html is what you’re looking for

  8. Her husband, a chiropractor, drives a Jaguar.

    No wonder they’re broke.

    1. Her husband, a chiropractor

      No wonder they’re unable to diagnose the real underlying problems.

    2. From the practice or the Jag repair bills?

    3. During a low-point in my life immediately after college, I sold used cars for a few months to make ends meet.

      Nothing made us laugh harder than the older-middle-aged gentlemen, you know the type, early 50s, near retirement age and already “checked out, pulling up in his jag to look for a new car.

      We’d appraise it, and give him the trade-in value, and he’d hit the roof. And then we’d tell him, “Well sir, if your car wasn’t a complete piece of shit, you wouldn’t be here looking at the lexus or acura, now would you?”

      Even Stephen King knew in the early 80s. Having a jag break down was a key story component in Cujo.

      1. Bah, I owned a ’76 Triumph TR7, the “shape of things to come”. Of course, I’d been well prepared for the experience by driving a ’73 Plymouth Valiant.

        1. My first car was a ’79 MG Midget. Taught me a lot about fixing cars.

          1. My first car was a horse.

            1. And now you’re dead, so how’d THAT work out for you!

              1. Reports of my death are greatly…

                Never mind.

              2. Correlation or causation? Discuss.

        2. Back when I was earning my first monocle in college, had an ’80 TR7 convertible. Great car. Only thing that ever went wrong with it was the EGR valve broke. And thanks to the EPA, it was covered under warranty … Woo Hoo! My tophat would blow off occasionally when I had the top down, tho …

          And yes, the parts shop at the dealer had the ubiquitous British Leyland Joke on the parts list:
          Why do the English drink warm beer? Because Lucas makes the refrigerators.

    1. Darwin’s Law?

    2. The pilot in command is responsible for the safety of his passengers, while in the air and on the ground. Props are a major safety hazard, and non-aviation people often do not realize this. A competent pilot should always be very cognizant of this fact. I may be jumping to conclusions here because of the lack of detail in the story, but it definitely sounds to me like the pilot did not exercise due diligence and control of his passengers.

      1. I’m amazed that he let her get out while the prop was spinning, yeah.

        1. I’m not.

          1. Most of the time when you exit its set up so that moving to the terminal is also away from the props.

          2. Its pretty damn hard to miss a spinning prop. The engine is running, making a godawful noise and the prop is making noise and *BLURRY* so that should give you a clue.

          Its hard to not miss, you look for where the blurry part ends and then give that a wide berth of several feet. Also, if you want to thank the pilot, you can do that inside the plane at the cockpit.

          1. PROFESSOR! LAVA! HOT!

          2. http:/

            It was dark and we’re thinking that Lauren came back to thank the pilot, and she didn’t see that the propeller was winding down


            Much harder to see a spinning prop at night. It sounds like this was a 4 seater type airplane. Yes, she could have used common sense on hearing the engine noise, but if the pilot had stopped the engine completely before allowing her to exit this would not have happened at all.

            1. Apologies for the split link there. URL should be : http://www.khou.com/news/Texas…..04128.html

            2. Problem is, it doesn’t even take complete darkness to tell if the props are spinning or not. Yes, engine noise should be a good indicator, but I don’t think people would put two and two together unless they’re around it all the time like I am.

              That said, this sounds like a case of an idiot pilot or an even more idiotic passenger.

      2. Witnessed an airline employee at a certain airport near many large federal government buildings walk into a spinning prop. It wasn’t going very fast, but those things are heavy enough to pick you up and throw you high enough to kill you. The staff at the airport were still shaken up about it a few days later (most prop plane operators are smaller outfits and the employees tend to all know each other).

        The saddest part was that she’d just been promoted and transferred to this airport and had recently been awarded high marks for her safety record.

        Ever since then I stay the heck away from the prop zone, although the ground crew is usually making sure you don’t wander into the danger zone as well.

        1. You should never trust someone else to keep you from killing yourself, if you can help it. Did the airline employee in question live?

  9. I’m going to laugh and laugh if it turns out that there are no charges to be pressed. That these people did everything by the book and aboveboard.
    It will be funny to listen to the departments doling out this shit trying to justify how the rules aren’t too lenient and loophole were exploited and that they don’t just give out money willy-nilly to bolster their numbers and justify a larger budget.

    It would be even more hillarious if it turns out they took the advice of that weird guy with the question marks on his suit (not the Riddler) hawking his book on how to scam government programs.

    I might even go ahead and buy that guy’s book.

    1. Oh, we can always find something to charge them with. Make it stick, too.

      1. Well, there’s always a 1001 charge.

  10. Since there is strength-training related commentary in this thread, bad news for those of you who may not be aware.

    Vasily Alekseyev died recently.


    1. I saw that. He made it to almost 70, though, which is awesome for a giant.

  11. Thanks, whoever found the real identity of WI and started posting as Jason Godesky. Even if Godesky isn’t WI, he’s a good enough surrogate for our scorn.

    Also, from his wikipedia profile, this gem:

    “Civilization has no monopoly on medicine.”

    Right. Show me a gambol-powered MRI machine.

    1. The Crystal Skull!

    2. So what is consensus on probability that we have an accurate ID on this jackass?

    3. And the link goes to a dead URL. Rad. Can anyone offer evidence that Jason Godesky is in fact the White Idiot?

      1. Apparently he has come out on the H&R threads:


  12. He [the federal official] says it [the program] allows people to get out of housing projects and move into the place of their choosing. However, he says a “flaw” is that the program doesn’t analyze where people are living, even if it is at a ritzy address that should raise a red flag.

    Why would it raise a red flag if the intention of the program was precisely to let people live a shithole for a place “of their own choosing”?

    The problem is the existence of the program itself, not just the provisions and safeguards. You can’t safeguard from every possible scheme an ingenious person can come up with – NOBODY has such power of foresight.

    Officials suspect he [the husband] posed as the woman’s landlord when she applied for the benefits.

    Well, she is paying for rent in specie, technically…. wink, wink!

    1. Well then, the question becomes is the specie adequate consideration?

  13. Yeah! Look over there while our friends in Congress take care of us. Remember who the Real Criminals are – the ones who are taking the vouchers.

    Forget about the Fed and 700 Trillion they “loaned” us. I bet there will be no Pre-dawn raids on the Fed or any of us anytime soon.


    1. Those douche nozzles are every bit as guilty as the douche nozzles that took bailout money. Just because one is small fries and the other isn’t doesn’t mean they aren’t BOTH morally reprehensible.

      Also, are you fucking retarded? Libertarians were completely against TARP and the bailouts.

      1. Are you fucking retarded?

        Are you?

      2. My comment wasn’t to bash libertarians – It’s this – when we, the little poeple, break laws, game the system, default on our mortgages, etc – moral panic ensues, swat teams raid homes, and our dear leaders sweep into action.

        Yet, when the Fed “loans” 700 trillion to various other elites – well, it is just the market correction. GOSH gOLLY THEY GOT US AGAIN111 No raids, perp walks, etc. NOTHING.

        These stories are done so that we look away from the big thefts that are never prosecuted. But hey, we’ll get Barry Bonds for roids or maybe Clemens for lying, or someone for obscenity.

        Quit taking the bait that they throw at us.

      3. Um no I disagree that they are “all” equally guilty.

        When I was young I stole a pack of gum. Value 50 cents.

        I didn’t steal the billions that the people that caused the collapse or those that gave or took the (stolen) tarp money.

        In your world, we are all thieves. In mine, I see a distinction.

        1. When I was young, my parents (as did the parents of my friends) gave us a sound thrashing when we got caught stealing anything. Like stealing toys from our friends.

          This taught us not to become thieves who steal $700 billion when we grow up.

          So, no, I don’t see a distinction.

          1. Look. My point – we are being raped by our “betters” on a daily basis in this country. I wish the free market existed here – it is dead. We have a unique socialism here now – the elite protect each other and are insulated by their flunkies in Govt. Their large scale thefts are ignored, condoned, celebrated, protected or forgotten.

            Our misdeeds, on the otherhand, are met with the boot to the throat, and JAIL.

            Despite what most leaders and americans think, We have limited resources available to devote to prosecution – are we going to spend it on obscenity, pot use, prostitution, etc. Or will we go after the real criminals? When I see stories like this, I react the same way as I do when they go after Bonds, Clemens, Stewart, the pot clinics, obscenity, sexting or any other foolish pursuit. I reserve the GET’EM mentality for the real criminals – rapists, murderers, large scale theives.

            60 minutes (yawn) did a story on the people strategically defaulting on their mortgages. Riddled with moral panic, the host podeered – had we lost our way? That same week, a large company “downsized” by defaulting on its mortgage – yet, no moral outrage? Funny how that host had that perspective.

            So yes -you are right – they are the same. Let’s send in swat for the gum thief – but hey, the bailed out bankers get their bonuses – because, well, they are irreplaceable.


  14. Federal agents have raided the house.

    Nothing else happened.

  15. They got raided because they basically exposed the system’s bullshit. The government clearly is the party that fucked up. Just cut off their benefits/entitlements.

    1. That’s right! The hapless couple living in the million-dollar house are the victims here! Stupid government. It’s entrapment!

      1. I find myself curious about any programs that I could qualify for. My actual take-home income isn’t all that great (excluding housing allowance and factoring in alimony expenses) I’m sure I could get my income down to the point where I could qualify for some form of assistance. I’m sure with a little bit of jiggering I could make the numbers look bad enough to qualify, and without anything that would be clearly fraud.

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