Free Garbage is Still…Garbage.

And, I would remind them, most people on assistance are children, people with health issues, and the elderly.

The people who complain that people on public assistance have “more” than they do, or “more than they deserve” are woefully ignorant on how anyone like this lives.

The “scam factor” that exists regarding public assistance is about 2.6% (“How Much Welfare Fraud is There Really?”, article on the Quora website, 11/2014).  I chose to cite this page because it also explains where the term “welfare queen” came from, and it references all the Dept. of Labor sites you need in order to see that welfare fraud is quite low.

If you decide you don’t want to buy quinoa and other “health foods” because it cuts into your entertainment budget, car payment, or vacation fund, that’s perfectly fine – but don’t then look askance at people with EBT cards who buy food like this.

On the flip side, going back to the Nixon-era days of food stamps, and having strict rules as to what you can buy (only staples like flour, butter, milk) and what you cannot buy (no birthday cakes from the in-store bakery), and where (no club stores, no health food stores), is just mean-spirited.  Period.

While I am all for cooking from scratch, of course, I also realize that not everyone can (or should have to) bake their own bread, or only eat “government” cheese (which was this Velveeta-type loaf junk).  Think about it: in order to bake bread, you need, at minimum, a loaf pan and mixing bowls.

Food stamps do not pay for loaf pans or mixing bowls.  I have neither, by the way, and my budget generally does not allow for buying “extras” like that.  Then you need bags to store it in. And a knife to cut it with.  And that’s just bread!

Think about the “welfare people shouldn’t be able to buy birthday cakes” thing, too.  Minimum for cake baking?  Pans, bowls, decorating tips, icing spreaders, cooling rack, cardboard cake round (to put cake on), candles.  Food stamps, under that scheme, wouldn’t buy you icing or sprinkles or anything extra, so the money for that comes from your pocket, too.

Buying a cake in an in-store bakery is cheaper than making your own, plus they throw in free candles if you ask.  Or, I guess, your child or your grandma could just go without a cake. Because poor people should never have anything even remotely nice or normal.

When you look at it that way, doesn’t it seem kind of mean to go back to Nixon-era food stamp regulations?

If the reason is, as many state, to motivate people to get off food stamps and get a job, then tell me: how many people over 55 can even get a job?  How about people with disabilities?  How about children, should they get jobs too?

Should mothers, who do not have access to decent daycare (or, like me, who didn’t want their children raised by other people, and had a special needs child who wouldn’t get decent care with others), have to go to work so their children can eat?

You say they ought to not have had kids?  What if the man they had kids with just left them? Are women and children supposed to pay for the crappy things the other parent did?

They should rely on family?  But what if they don’t have family members like grandparents, or have grandparents who either don’t want to, or can’t, help raise kids?

You see, it’s all quite a bit more complicated than just whether or not someone can buy a birthday cake with food stamps.  And most people don’t even want to think about everything that’s involved, or how other people live, they just assume if someone doesn’t have a life like theirs that it must have been something they did (drugs) or didn’t do (laziness).

So I hope I made you think a little bit today.

You know, it’s getting harder and harder for me to find “weird news” stories, because I look at many stories and think, “That’s not weird at all.”  Which says something about me, I guess.  At any rate, here’s what I came up with for this week:

From “The Week in Weird”, which used to be called “Who Forted?”:

Someone took a picture of their kid in a children’s museum, and when they developed the film they saw what they describe as “an old hag” in the background (“The Old Hag: Terrifying ‘Ghost Photo’ Captured at Texas’ Fort Worth Museum”, Dana Matthews, 10/0/2015).

Before you get all creeped out, I think this picture is a great example of how people jump to conclusions about “entities”, when there is clearly a more mundane explanation for what they’re seeing.  And I just bet that one of my readers can provide that mundane explanation, since he is a photographer, right, Charlie?

I am considering removing the link to this site in my “Weird and Wonderful Websites” section, because they have gone from a “here’s something odd, what do you make of it?” approach to a “we have artifacts from the Amityville Horror!” stupidity (if you don’t know, that whole Amityville thing was made up, as the people responsible admitted later).  If a site cannot – or will not – differentiate between “wtf was that?” and “I don’t know what it was so it has to be demons”, I am pretty much done with them.

Speaking of the paranormal, my apartment has been extremely quiet for quite some time (with the exception of that whole “remote control moving” bit).  For October, that is very unusual. October is usually a fairly active month for whomever it is.  I’ll post if something happens.

Recommendations for the week?  From the Grommet, it’s Hickies!  These are shoe ties that replace your shoelaces, so you can just slip your shoes on and off.  I think these would be great when flying, as it’s a huge hassle to untie and then retie your sneakers when going through airport security.  I haven’t bought any but I plan to.

Be good.  Be kind.  As the holidays approach, think of others.


5 thoughts on “Free Garbage is Still…Garbage.

  1. charlies5169

    Ha ha! There could be any number of things that cause that photo image… Including the Jesus in a tortilla syndrome. People see what they want to see, or fall victim to the power of suggestion. Could be the light, could be staged, could be a large piece of dust on the lens, or (gasp!!!) photoshopped. Funny things can happen with digital media, no doubt.

    On the other hand, I will say that in my brief career as a local “rock photographer”, I have experienced more than a few strange results that were not in the picture when I originally shot it. But then again, when you are dealing with musicians…

    However, I think the real question is… what is an old hag doing in a Children’s Museum? With a shopping cart? Hansel and Gretel redux?

    Or even worse, why would you put children on display in a museum in the first place? Isn’t that just a tad gruesome?


  2. charlies5169

    In all seriousness, rarity for me, great post. You always give a lot of insight into areas that most people feel are strictly black and white, if they consider the at all.

    I spent a number of years volunteering in a homeless shelter, and so much of what you write about is familiar to me after talking to so many of those people. No one that I met there wanted to be poor, and just the daily struggles that they to deal with are something that most “normal” people chose not to acknowledge. It’s much easier to blame the victim, probably because it somehow makes them feel better about themselves. People seem to have a need to feel superior to someone else, for whatever reason.

    “At least we’re not Ohio!”

    Keep it up.


  3. Victoria Post author

    Thanks for your feedback. On my generous days, I think that people just don’t think about things that deeply; on my worse days, I think people are shallow, selfish creatures – the truth is probably somewhere in between.

    Regarding the hag pic, one thing that was pointed out was the position of the ‘hag’ was similar to the child’s, as were the color of the clothes and the items in the shopping basket, leading some to believe that the child moved fast and was “caught” between shots. Not sure how that works but I’ve seen it before.

    Looked creepy, though!


  4. SusanU

    Victoria, thank you so much for your heartfelt look into struggles others may never see in others or begin to understand. Each one of us can lose our job and have little or no money at some time in our lives. Those experiences can and do happen to anyone!



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