The problem with poor people is quite simple…

lifted from Stop Me Before I Vote Again [[/]] …

They don’t have enough money.

My dear (and long-suffering) spouse was on some kind of a panel the other day, where a number of kind good-hearted liberal folks were trying to figure out how to encourage literacy among the poor.

Of course this wouldn’t be a problem if there weren’t any poor. You’d then just have rampant illiteracy among the ‘middle class’, which doesn’t seem to cost anybody any sleep. As long as you have a BA and a white-collar job, it doesn’t matter how pig-ignorant you are.

So dear spouse suggested that maybe poor people would be better off if they had more money. Shock and dismay all round.

Now really, isn’t this the very heart and soul of liberalism? Leave all the core institutions of the society alone — including that most ancient and hallowed of institutions, poor people — but think, think very hard, about clever ways to improve the lot of those… poor… people. Everything is on the table. Sky’s the limit. Think. Think! Think outside the box!

Except the one unthinkable idea: abolish the poor. Which is to say, give ‘em money.

Oh, no doubt they’d all buy big flat-screen TVs, and nice new sneakers, and SUVs. But then, that’s what their ‘middle-class’ fellow-citizens do too. Doesn’t that mythical but indispensable beast, ‘the Economy’, feed itself on just such folly? So the Teevee tells me, anyway. Not to mention NPR.

Now you may say that an unearned income is bad for peoples’ moral character. And maybe it is, in some cases. But I know a bunch of people who have enjoyed unearned incomes for the last four or five generations. Some of them are pricks, of course. But most are very decent people — hardworking, if there’s any virtue in that; conscientious; polite; respectful of books and pictures and 18th-century music; attentive to their spouses and devoted to their children.

From what little I’ve seen of life — if you want to elevate the cultural tone of the poor, you need to give ‘em a trust fund.

And you have to stay the course. A presidential term won’t do it. A generation won’t do it. No, if you want to eradicate the lingering traces of the Culture Of Poverty(*), you’ve got to take the long view. Three generations at least.

(*) Do I correctly recall that we owe this loathesome phrase to the unspeakable Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who I hope gets to Heaven some day, but spends several millennia frying in Purgatory first?

If it’s good enough for the banks, it’s good enough for students… Liz Warren…


On July 1st, the interest rate on new, federally subsidized student loans is set to double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent.

The government plans to charge students 6.8%, but they lend money out every day for a whole lot less. They just don’t do it for everyone.

Right now, a big bank can get a loan through the Federal Reserve discount window at a rate of about 0.75%. Those are the same big banks that destroyed millions of jobs and nearly broke our economy.

That isn’t right. And that’s why I introduced legislation to give students the same deal we give to the big banks. This was my very first bill in the U.S. Senate, and I’m going to fight for its passage.

And we’re already starting to move: Rep. John Tierney just introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House. We’re ready to go!

Become a citizen co-sponsor of the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act now.

The Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act would allow students who are eligible for federally subsidized Stafford loans to borrow at 0.75% — the same rate that big banks get.

For one year, the Federal Reserve would make funds available to the Department of Education to cover the loans and give students relief from high interest rates while giving Congress time to find a long-term solution.

If the government can float huge sums of money to large financial institutions at low interest rates to grow the economy, surely it can float the money necessary to fund our students, keep us competitive, and grow our middle class.

I need your help building the public support to get my first bill through the House and Senate. Become a citizen co-sponsor of the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act now.

I met a young man at a campaign event last year. He held his hand out, looked me straight in the eye, and he said to me:

I did everything you all told me to do. I worked hard, I got good grades, and I got into college. I borrowed money, I worked hard, and I graduated. Now I have $54,000 in student loans. The best I can find is a part-time job. I’ve moved back in with my mom and dad And I’m getting scared about whether there’s a future out there for me.

The worst part of that young man’s story is that he’s not alone — He’s part of a whole generation drowning in student loans. Today’s students carry more than $1 trillion in debt — more than all the outstanding credit card debt in the whole country.

That young man said to me, “I’m here because I’m looking for a fighter.”

I’m ready to fight.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth Warren

P.S. Students don’t have an army of lobbyists, but they do have us. Don’t forget to show your support for the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act now.


I was pleased when legislators added the word civil to the gay marriage bill recently approved by the Minnesota legislature and governor. Marriage has a long history of being on the rocks, so it could use a little civility.<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O />

Those strongly against gay marriage are hard to argue with, in part because their opinion has hardened into heart-felt belief. Ive heard opponents of gay civil marriages claim that their version of marriagea union between one female and one malehas been sanctioned by their version of God for over two thousand years. Bumper stickers proclaim this version as gospel truth all over town.

So I decided to go to the original source, Genesis and other early books of the Bible, to see how marriage fared before it became a part of new old time religion. What I found in these early books of the Bible is that its easy to conclude that God had little interest in having His own wife and family. One thing is certain: He was a committed bachelor forever. He was not married to any queen of heaven. Nor did God take a traditional view of marriages made in heaven. A proper conjugal relationship between one male and one female married to each other is not how family life got its start. When God got around to creating Adam, his first-born, he preferred red claysome call it dirt or dustrather than a female as his medium. From Adams rib (in one version) He then fashioned Eve, freed from the obligation to have an actual heavenly wife. A free lance artist He indeed is; a husband He is not.

Marriage as a divinely sanctioned union between one human male and one human female also did not seem to be part of Gods original plan. Were Adam and Even really ever married? Were they husband and wife, or brother and sister? More likely the latter, it seems, since Eve (in one version) was engineered from Adams rib. And if they are our first parents are we all offspring of an incestuous marriage that it would be hard to conceive as traditional? And after Cain and Abel grew up whose childrentheir sisters?did they make into wives with whom they could exchange the vows requiring them to honor and obey? Continue reading

Only Elitists Oppose Monsanto’s Global Domination Plan, Says CEO

GAWKER: Monsanto is a $58 billion multinational Pesticide-‘n-Frankenfood corporation that has moved on from selling Agent Orange to its new business of patenting actual seed genomes and then suing farmers who try to grow crops without paying the Monsanto corporation. Who could be opposed to such a thing. Only the elites, clearly.

Nobody really knows what sort of social and environmental consequences might result from the widespread use of genetically engineered Monsanto seeds that are resistant to Monsanto pesticides. I mean, what kind of weirdo would question whether that system has a downside? Latte-swilling, Mark Bittman-worshipping elitists, according to Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant:

There is this strange kind of reverse elitism: If Im going to do this [meaning “not bombard the world with genetically modified seeds and
pesticides and also destroy any farmer who attempts to buck the system”
], then everything else shouldnt exist, Grant said at Monsantos St. Louis headquarters yesterday. There is space in the supermarket shelf for all of us….

And the sad piece of this is, it ends up either or, Grant said. So you get conventional agriculture or broad scale or however you define it, and organic. I think were going to look back on this period and say, How on earth did that ever become the fight that it became.

Alternately, we might look back on this period and say “Yes, May of 2013 is the date to which we need to send our Terminators back in time in order to stop the Monsanto people from distributing their Frankenseeds which will eventually decimate life on earth.” I know, I know typical elitist reaction.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS STORY FOR THE BUSY EXECUTIVE: Only elitists care about small farmers; Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant (2012 compensation: $14.4 million) is the voice of the common man.