Brought To You By The Letters “F” And “U”, Apparently

National Review’s Julie Gunlock takes great umbrage with the notion of the latest puppet character on Sesame Street: Lily, a little girl who sometimes goes hungry.

Although Lily is just the latest politically charged plot to come out of Sesame Street, the problem with this storyline is that it is absolutely false. In fact, Lily’s lucky to be “poor” in this country. Sesame Street would be wiser to educate America’s children about the real poor and hungry — the 98 percent of the world population who live outside the United States.

The truth is, 94.3 percent of American households are able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families. And despite the grim “facts” and figures thrown around by children’s television programs, celebrity spokespersons, and the mainstream media, the vast majority of children living in America are healthy and well fed.

The facts about hunger in America really aren’t that alarming — certainly not alarming enough to warrant a whole new Sesame Street character!

In fact, American kids have it pretty good. As I wrote on NRO back in January, the idiom “food insecure” — a term created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — means one has either “reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet” or “disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.”

So, far from hungry or starving, Lily suffers from a much less dramatic condition — unpleasant to be sure, but at its core, just a somewhat boring, irregular, and occasionally reduced diet.

Of course, what will likely be absent from Sesame Street’s lessons on “food insecurity” are the various federal, state, and local welfare programs for which Lily’s parents qualify: food stamps, WIC, free school meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner!) as well as all the charitable services provided to families in need, such as food banks and church-run food assistance.

Yes, how dare Sesame Street lie and lead anyone to believe that there are kids going hungry in a singularly exceptional country like America, the commie pinko (and actually pink) bastards.  There’s no such thing as poverty here, only brave Real Americans supporting millions of parasites out of the goodness of our hearts (and we really should cut funding for the programs that do that so the moochers and looters will pull their fair share dammit.)  Besides, God will fix it.

We have fat people with cell phones and shoes and ethnic hairstyles.  Nobody’s actually poor in America the greatest country ever!  Why, food insecurity is just an evil liberal myth.

The shoes belonging to Skyler, 10, and Zachery, 12, are falling apart. Their sister, Jordan, 14, wears the varsity coach’s shoes when she plays on her school’s volleyball team. Less visible is hunger. The children and their parents, Tonya and Ed McKee, of Dowagiac, Michigan, sometimes went without food this summer when Ed’s unemployment insurance ran out and the family was not yet receiving food stamps. Skyler told Cass he gave the birthday money he got at church to his mom for groceries, “and I told her she didn’t have to pay me back.” Skyler confided that sometimes his stomach has growled. “It’s hard, not easy like it was before where we had money and could do stuff. Now we don’t go anywhere… Sometimes we don’t have food and we just don’t eat.”

“Damn kids could stand to skip a meal once in a while, the little lardasses are lucky they’re not in Zimbabwe or Mongolia or Costa Rica or something.  And hell, we send them food all the time.  Ungrateful, all of them!  Maybe if we got rid of these safety net programs or piled on condescending shame, they’d spontaneously create entrepreneurship and join the job creators.”  Right?

Hungry people in America?  They don’t exist.  Not like food insecurity actually affects people if it doesn’t affect NRO writers.  It’s always good to hear what “poverty is really like” from people who reduce missing meals to an exercise in statistics.  The Math Demands It(tm).  Conservatives:  people who think the war on poverty means getting rid of the people dragging the national average down.

166 replies
  1. 1
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    If they meant anything, they’d have money. Economic Calvinism bitches. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the LAW.*

    *Disclaimer: Only de facto, not de jure.

  2. 2
    Joel says:

    5.7 percent of Americans can’t put enough food on the table? That’s like 15+ million people.

  3. 3
    geg6 says:

    I hate these fucking people. I don’t want to hate anyone, but they make it impossible NOT to hate them.

    Grrrrrrrrr.

  4. 4
    Zifnab says:

    “Someone somewhere is in some way more miserable than you, so STFU!” Truly the words of an insufferable and entitled asshole.

  5. 5
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    The truth is, 94.3 percent of American households are able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families.

    The level of cold-hearted Scrooge mindset it takes to type that sentence is gobsmacking.

  6. 6
    lacp says:

    This NRO creature needs to live on SNAP benefits for about six months. Made-up silly-ass bullshit, when about 30 seconds with teh Google will lead her to Feeding America, FRAC, AARP, and a gazillion other sources of information on just how much of a problem hunger is in this country. I work for a food bank, and she can FOADIAF.

  7. 7
    harlana says:

    um, i wonder how this person would feel if she had to visit a food bank to stay alive? point being, as always, if you’re poor, you deserve to be poor and stay there, and God pretty much hates you.

    oh wait, i get it! these starving kids are not poor enough to suit her tastes. i think the natural progression here would be to disenfranchise the poor even further, to the point they resemble emaciated Somalian refugees. Got it.

  8. 8
    Butch says:

    I think if you restrict the statistic to only kids who are hungry, the actual number is something like one in four.

  9. 9
    kdaug says:

    Were I an evil genius, I’d orchestrate a way to not only get this woman fired from her job, but to ensure that she would be unemployable anywhere in the US.

    Think the end of “Trading Places”, on steroids.

  10. 10
    A Mom Anon says:

    Karma,she does not work fast enough much of the time. As someone who has skipped meals so her kids could eat,I sincerely and succinctly would like to tell this Gunlock creature to very politely go fuck herself and then throw herself into oncoming traffic.Politely.

    I hate these people.

  11. 11
    Bruuuuce says:

    Hey, Herman, gonna say it or should I? Okay, I will, in your voice: “Don’t blame it on the banksters. If you’re not well-fed and don’t have food, it’s your own fault!”

    This is why I keep donating to WhyHunger (used to be World Hunger Year) and City Harvest (which is NYC’s segment of the national food rescue movement).

  12. 12
    Mark S. says:

    The truth is, 94.3 percent of American households are able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families.

    Even if that’s true, what is that, 20 million people who aren’t getting enough to eat? I’m supposed to break out the violins when one or two million people might get a 3% tax raise, but I’m supposed to scoff at 20 million people not getting enough to eat.

    Jesus must be happy that he died for these assholes.

  13. 13
    jim filyaw says:

    amen!

  14. 14
    Svensker says:

    Well, see they can eat most of the time, even if it’s crappy food. And just because their shoes are old, worn out and don’t fit, at least they have shoes. These people aren’t suffering at all (enough) until I can see their kids’ ribs and they’re living on the street bare-assed naked. That’s poverty, whiners, not this wimpy kinda sorta not enough food shit. Also, too, it was good enough for Charles Dickens. And it’s their own fault. Also. Too.

  15. 15
    Social Outcast says:

    I’m surprised she didn’t go the route of, “It’s good that kids go hungry, because this country has a problem with obesity and a little starvation will keep the kids thin.”

  16. 16
    Mark S. says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    The level of cold-hearted Scrooge mindset it takes to type that sentence is gobsmacking.

    Right? Dickens would reject a character like Julie Gunlock because he’d think she was too unrealistic.

  17. 17
    Emma says:

    @geg6: Ditto. I used to try to see what was wrong with them, and understand them, but I’m fast moving past “misguided” and “stupid” and “ignorant” to just “plain evil.” Every time they say something so incredibly uncaring, I feel my hatred growing.

  18. 18

    The truth is, 94.3 percent of American households are able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families.

    Assuming the number is that high, it’s still shameful that 5.7% of American households are not able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families.

  19. 19
    henrythefifth says:

    @Mark S.:

    Right? Dickens would reject a character like Julie Gunlock because he’d think she was too unrealistic.

    Seriously. This woman is sick.

  20. 20
    ChrisNYC says:

    She relies on food stamps to prove the point! It’s a win. It’s a concession. Would that Sesame Street did have the character having a sandwich and saying, “I got this from a fantastic and efficient federal program! Thank you Government!”

    Slightly O/T — here in NY, Bloomberg started a fruit and veg program for lower income neighborhoods. It’s great and a total win-win. Local people get the license to run the stands and there’s good, cheap, convenient green stuff available. Fills a real hole. Guy down the street from me has one, which he runs on the corner.

  21. 21
    Scott says:

    I don’t want Julie Gunlock to die poor and starving. But she deserves to.

  22. 22
    gelfling545 says:

    @Mark S.: Well, if he really died for their sins, he had a lot to die for.

  23. 23
    jibeaux says:

    When you’re talking about how children having a “reduced diet” is boring, you’ve lost a large part of your soul.

  24. 24

    @Joel:

    5.7 percent of Americans can’t put enough food on the table? That’s like 15+ million people.

    “So?”
    — the GOP

  25. 25
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mark S.: He’d also have given the character a better name, like ‘Primella Poncywood’.

    ‘Gunlock’ is another of those stupid faux macho names the jerks have, like ‘Dick Armey’ or ‘Krauthammer’.

  26. 26
    Seth says:

    Shorter Julie Gunlock: “Why is Sesame Street teaching kids empathy? Americans have no empathy for each other!”

  27. 27
    prufrock says:

    A couple of days ago, I commented on Pandagon that people like Gunlock wouldn’t consider somebody to be poor unless they were wearing potato sacks and living under a bridge. And heaven help them if they have a curtain rod to cook a pigeon on.

    Republicans never disappoint me.

  28. 28
    R. Porrofatto says:

    Shorter NRO POS: That Lily muppet character better be fat, ‘cuz that’s what kids who have an “occasionally reduced diet” are in this great land of ours.

  29. 29
    Culture of Truth says:

    the charitable services provided to families in need, such as food banks and church-run food assistance.

    Well, which is it?

  30. 30
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Seth:

    Empathy is a communist plot. Americans shouldn’t ever have empathy, only contempt and self-interest. That’s how you succeed, goddammit! Fuck everyone else, it’s ME ME ME ME MEEEEEE!!!!!

    ….god, we are ruled by fucking sociopaths.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    Although Lily is just the latest politically charged plot to come out of Sesame Street, the problem with this storyline is that it is absolutely false. In fact, Lily’s lucky to be “poor” in this country. Sesame Street would be wiser to educate America’s children about the real poor and hungry — the 98 percent of the world population who live outside the United States.

    WHY? So you can ignore them too? How many times do we hear “no more foreign aid, these people all hate us, we don’t owe them anything”? NOW they’re going to pretend to give a rat’s ass about starving foreigners? Yeah, sure.

  32. 32
    Chyron HR says:

    [C]ertainly not alarming enough to warrant a whole new Sesame Street character!

    Yes, clearly the creation of a whole new Sesame Street character exclamation mark should be reserved for much grover issues.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    Hungry people in America? They don’t exist. Not like food insecurity actually affects people if it doesn’t affect NRO writers.

    “We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.”
    Ronald Reagan, demonstrating the brand of compassionate conservatism he became famous for.

  34. 34
    Mark S. says:

    Oh, c’mon people. David Brooks already proved that empathy doesn’t work.

  35. 35
    R. Porrofatto says:

    By the way, this particular NRO POS also likes to complain about soup kitchens. She’s just chock full of good ol’ Christian love.

  36. 36
    harlana says:

    growing up, we may not have had a lot materially, but we always had plenty to eat. i can not imagine what it must be like to feel like you cannot even feed your own kids. and i cannot imagine how anyone could be so callous and heartless as to make these kinds of statements. you’d think if she despises the poor that much (come on, defenseless children? really?), she could at least keep it to herself.

  37. 37
    beltane says:

    Snarling, vicious creatures like Julie Gunlock need the poor to be scab-covered, half-naked and with protruding ribs so that they do not have to be regarded as human at all. The irony is that this piece of degenerate scum, who does not contribute a single thing of value to our society, is paid handsomely to spread this filth.

    Yesterday, I read a heartbreaking story in our local paper about the county sheriff’s (a Republican mind you) efforts to get people on food stamps because he has lately been seeing signs of malnutrition in children and the elderly. Doctors in our area are also seeing this and have begun giving food assistance information to parents of children who they suspect are malnourished. When heating oil prices are as high as they are now, people have no choice but to cut back on food, because no heat=frozen pipes=no water.

    Julie Gunstock needs to be paid minimum wage for her “work” and then plunked down in a freezing trailer for a winter. Let’s watch her b*tch about the undeserving poor then.

  38. 38
    Culture of Truth says:

    All people in Canada, Europe, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, South America, Arabia the rest of Asia and Africa are poor and starving.* It’s a true fact you can look up.

    * except Israel

  39. 39
    beltane says:

    @R. Porrofatto: I don’t know who this person’s parent were but it would have been nice if they had spent some money on contraception.

  40. 40
    Scott P. says:

    We lived on food stamps when I was a kid, and I can assure you that at the end of the month we sometimes ran out. I always had something to eat, but I was very scrawny until well into my teens. Welfare benefits aren’t any more generous now than they were then — quite the opposite.

  41. 41
    Culture of Truth says:

    Clearly, Sesame Street should introduce a starving British muppet, perhaps based on Prince William or Kate Middleton.

  42. 42
    jon says:

    That’s what happens when 99% of the cookies are eaten by 1% of the monsters.

    I love this intertubes thing.

  43. 43
    Culture of Truth says:

    They live on a steet made of sesame! How can she possibly be hungry?!?

  44. 44
    Senyordave says:

    A lot you could say about the article from National Review and Julie Gunlock (is that really her name!), but as my brother once said, “sometimes fucking asshole says it all”.

  45. 45

    so what is the threshold of alarm needed for there to be an issue large enough to be talked about by the esteemed sesame street panel?

    i mean, i get that they are heavy hitters, and they only have time to tackle the real big ones, and you don’t want to just go off firing your muppets at every dick and jane issue.

    i just wonder if there should be an austerity monster, or maybe a snuffleupentitlementagus? i know a count military spending is out of question, but seriously, even if you take her point half way past all reasonable data, what is a big enough issue for sesame street?

  46. 46
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    In fact, Lily’s lucky to be “poor” in this country.

    Lucky Duckies!

    So lessee, summarized that would be: “Since a lot of the rest of the world has even poorer people who starve, the richest country on Earth should allow some twenty million of its citizens to go hungry. It’s only logical!”

  47. 47
    Svensker says:

    @R. Porrofatto:

    By the way, this particular NRO POS also likes to complain about soup kitchens. She’s just chock full of good ol’ Christian love.

    She’s also a stay-at-home mom. Good for her. Nice that her husband makes enough to support everyone and she has the option to do that, isn’t it?

  48. 48
    MattF says:

    OK, but here’s the question: How do you get the news about right-wing heartlessness out there, so people can see it for themselves? It’s a neat chewtoy for us bleeding hearts, but we’re already convinced.

  49. 49
    amk says:

    rw assholes will be always assholes.

  50. 50
    cleek says:

    it seems odd that there could be such a thing as a conservative food writer. and yet, that’s apparently all Julie Gunlock writes about on NRO.

  51. 51
    J says:

    @Mark S.: Surely we should save our sympathy for this nation’s oppressed plutocracy, groaning under the weight of the lowest taxes in living memory.!

  52. 52
    MomSense says:

    I’m going to walk around the corner at lunchtime and yell “fakers” to the families in line at the soup kitchen. I bet they have refrigerators and microwaves at home too. Poseurs.

  53. 53
    LosGatosCA says:

    Lucky duckies.

    Even the Wall Street Journal envies the poor and the starving and especially the underage malnourished children who don’t have to share their ill gotten gains with the gubbermint.

  54. 54
    Svensker says:

    @J:

    Don’t forget Southern white men — they’re very oppressed, too.

  55. 55

    I can’t help but wonder if Julie Gunlock realizes that there is a fair amount of hunger out where the Real American live:

    14.7% of rural households are food insecure, an estimated 3 million households .

    Compared to all regions, the South continues to have the highest poverty rate (under 100 percent of poverty) among people in families with related children under 18 years living in rural areas (24.5 percent) and living in cities and suburbs (19.7 percent) .

    Source: Feeding America

  56. 56
    nancydarling says:

    Please, may I have another, Julie?

  57. 57
    Speedy says:

    When you’re talking about how children having a “reduced diet” is boring, you’ve lost a large part of your soul.

    That would only be true if the hag had a soul to lose in the first place

  58. 58
    Chris says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    All people in Canada, Europe, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, South America, Arabia the rest of Asia and Africa are poor and starving.* It’s a true fact you can look up.

    Yeah, I like that one too. The flip side of American exceptionalism is the way they uniformize the rest of the world into a vague, fuzzy great big “Everywhere Else.”

    Makes it a lot easier for the “OMFG people are dying in the streets waiting for health care in Britain! It’s TOTALLY LIKE NORTH KOREA!” bullshit to spread.

  59. 59
    Nemesis says:

    Well, if you kids think you’ve got it bad, how about those kids in China who….oh, that doesnt really work anymore.

    The logic at work here is fail. Bush could have been a worse president, Wall Street could have wrecked the economy worse and poor people in the US could really be far poorer.

    Seem to remember fox entertainment doing a segment about how many US households have modern conveniences, so the whole poor thingy is just librul claptrap, just like global climate change.

  60. 60
    Zandar says:

    We’re the best country ever, but we’re bankrupt and can’t afford to help people!

  61. 61
    Nemesis says:

    @Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal: An issue big enough to tackle you ask?

    Well, look no further than voter intimidation and vote fraud.

  62. 62
    Amir Khalid says:

    The US has all those programs, and American kids still go hungry. How does Julie Gunlock find it in herself to flaunt such heartlessness? One family in every 20 not having enough to eat is something to be ashamed of for any society, let alone one as supposedly affluent as the US.

    Maybe Gunlock’s concerned that Sesame Street will turn this into a political statement, maybe by having Lily the Muppet will say, “I am the 99%.” It would ring true.

  63. 63
    quizboy says:

    Get a job, Grouch. You only have yourself to blame for being the poorest motherfucker on Sesame Street.

  64. 64
    lacp says:

    @MomSense: Granite countertops. You forgot the countertops. Also too, Poland.

  65. 65
    Butch says:

    Suggestion: go over to the NRO site and let this person know how you feel.

  66. 66
    Felanius Kootea says:

    I guess she’d prefer that Sesane Street add a Union Thug puppet who gets his ass soundly kicked by a Republican Governor puppet every episode. I’m sure she’d be down with the Vote Fraud Count puppet too.

  67. 67
    Culture of Truth says:

    You don’t see the Count whining, do you? No – the man is hungry, he finds someone and drinks their blood. Now there’s a muppet the National Review can support!

  68. 68
    DKF says:

    Only a right-wing sociopath could cite a disgraceful figure like that as if it were something to be proud of. What percentage of French families does she suppose can’t afford to put sufficient food on the table every day?

  69. 69
    Cacti says:

    Competing against writers like Julie Gunlock, The Onion is really going to have to dig deep to find satire.

  70. 70
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    Really, isn’t this the modern equivalent of, “Let them eat cake”? Why don’t all these so-called ‘food insecure’ people head to the local food pantry that only lets you come once a month? You know, the one that’s so crowded that you have to show up hours early?

    I’m willing to bet that Julie Gunlock has never had to go to bed hungry or choose between gas to get to work or a loaf of bread. She probably looks back at college and considers herself tough for a diet heavy in ramen noodles.

  71. 71
    David Hunt says:

    @Mark S.:

    Right? Dickens would reject a character like Julie Gunlock because he’d think she was too unrealistic.

    I disagree. I think that he would consider her to be perfect for one of his villains.

  72. 72
    nancydarling says:

    @MattF: Matt, if you don’t participate already, find your local and statewide blogs and put this info out there. The quality of the trolls is very bad, but lot’s of people read them.

  73. 73
    RSA says:

    @Joel:

    5.7 percent of Americans can’t put enough food on the table? That’s like 15+ million people.

    Gunlock is also using the most innocuous version of the statistics:

    The truth is, 94.3 percent of American households are able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families.

    The USDA has it that “14.5 percent of households were food insecure at least some time during that year.” That is, the 15+ million people aren’t the same people throughout the year. The number of households that have problems getting good-quality or sufficient food over the course of a year is almost triple the number on any given day.

  74. 74
    Cacti says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    The US has all those programs, and American kids still go hungry. How does Julie Gunlock find it in herself to flaunt such heartlessness?

    Easy. No one Julie Gunlock knows ever has to go hungry. So truly hungry people essentially don’t exist in her world.

    Julie probably also thinks her gated community would keep her safe if everything fell apart.

  75. 75
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Isn’t the point of Sesame Street that it’s, like, a typical city street? Why would it be better for Sesame Street to discuss global poverty and food insecurity than what’s going on right here at home… on a typical city street? I know that Julie Morlock doesn’t _really_ care about global poverty either, but it’s a bullshit hand-waving Real Problem move from the start.

  76. 76
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Culture of Truth: When I was a kid I didn’t like how Cookie Monster would scatter food everywhere. Maybe, for Julie Gunlock, that’s the Real Muppet Problem: Cookie Monster’s scraps should go to the hungry character — voluntarily, of course — rather than involving the cold, heavy, redistributionist, oppressive hand of the Sesame State.

  77. 77
    Betsy says:

    “Why, I wish that I had a little food insecurity! It would be so much easier to keep my girlish figure if I weren’t constantly tempted by these darn regular meals. Lily should be counting her blessings.”

  78. 78
    Gilles de Rais says:

    5.7 percent of people in this country go hungry?

    5.7% in America? In the country I’ve got my ass parked in? The fucking so-called beacon of liberty and life?

    Fucking disgraceful. This POS is trying to pass that off as something acceptable?

    Fuck her with a chainsaw.

  79. 79
    Nutella says:

    OMG, has anyone seen this? They’re trying to make sure nobody can get out from under, ever.

    via Book of Cletis

  80. 80
    iriedc says:

    Apparently NRO wants America to trade in the “War on Poverty” for a “War on the Impoverished.” Children and women first, of course.

  81. 81
    PGE says:

    Assuming the number is that high, it’s still shameful that 5.7% of American households are not able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families

    You’re missing her point: what’s shameful is that those 5.7% aren’t invisible.

  82. 82
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    I hope she reads the comments, because most of them at the moment are ripping into her. I especially liked this:

    If you want your kids not to care about the hungry or poor, you can always give them the large-print illustrated Atlas Shrugged Children’s Edition. It’s just like the adult edition, and will turn your kids off to reading even more so than the television ever could.

  83. 83
    rikryah says:

    they are all sociopaths

  84. 84
    Sour Kraut says:

    Why are cancer patients always whining about being sick? They should be grateful they’re not also on fire.

    /Julie Gunlock

  85. 85
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Is Julie Gunlock a real person? Are we sure it is not some male blogger posing as a woman. The name Gunlock makes me a bit suspicious.

  86. 86
    khead says:

    @PGE:

    They are invisible until the leaves fall off the trees. At least where I grew up….

    Someone should drop her ass in southern WV along US 52.

  87. 87
    Rafer Janders says:

    The truth is, 94.3 percent of American households are able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families.

    Wait, so the truth is that in the fucking UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN THE YEAR 2011, 5.7 percent of households can’t put enough food on the table to feed their families every day? In the richest, most prosperous, most advanced country on Earth, the land of the free and the home of the brave? That’s over 17 million people! 17 MILLION Americans can’t get enough to eat every day, in, once again THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN THE YEAR 2011?

    And this loon thinks that’s an argument for HER side?

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I left a couple. As tame as I could possibly make them to get past moderator and still display disgust.

  89. 89
    R. Porrofatto says:

    Holy shit. The NY Times finds unemployed people opposed to unemployment benefits. How does the Onion stay in business these days?

  90. 90
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Julie Gunlock better pray that America never gets into a revolution or a civil war. She may end up before a tribunal in a large indoor arena in front of a raving mob trying to beg for mercy, like what happened to certain members of the Cuban Government when Castro first took over.

  91. 91
    wonkie says:

    Animals go hungry too. There is a grwoing problem of abandoned starving horses i rural areas where people have lost their homes or simply can’t feed their livestock. Many many families are havig trouble fededing pets. Sometimes its selfishness ad neglect but often its just alck of money. I routinely buy cat and dog food for the local food back because many elderly people have a beloved companion aimal that they can’t afford to feed.

  92. 92
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    How come no one talks about the 270 million+ people who DO have food? Huh??

  93. 93
    PurpleGirl says:

    @A Mom Anon: throw herself into oncoming traffic.Politely.

    I like the old saying “Take a long walk off a short pier” myself as advice for people like her.

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @R. Porrofatto: The lead guy in that article, though, is a hopeless ideologue whose last paying job was professional anti-income-tax zealot. He’s not typical. I hope.

  95. 95
    Emily says:

    The comments at the NRO are remarkable similar to those here. The majority of the comments point out that even if 94.3% of US households put food on the table every day, that leave quite a few houesholds that don’t.

  96. 96
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    Another good one is “Walk east until your hat floats”.

  97. 97
    Rafer Janders says:

    The facts about hunger in America really aren’t that alarming — certainly not alarming enough to warrant a whole new Sesame Street character!

    As we all know, the creation of new Sesame Street characters is reserved for matters of the most urgent national importance. Big Bird, as we recall, was created in 1969 as a commentary on the Vietnam War, while Mr. Snuffleupagus was created due to 1970s America’s dire national security problem with childrens’ imaginary friends.

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    @R. Porrofatto:

    Make no mistake — Mr. Tolleson, 54, has collected unemployment checks, saying he had little choice.

    Oh well then. That’s different.

  99. 99
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    “What you do to the least of these, you do to me.” If I could afford a billboard, I’d shove Jesus in these Christian’s faces. My new t-shirt idea is “I’m glad Jesus isn’t here to see what we do in his name.”

  100. 100
    ruemara says:

    May she discover the same compassion she has showed when her time of need comes up.

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:

    Preston Venzant, 47, who lost his job in Houston repairing commercial kitchen equipment, said he had decided not to apply for unemployment benefits over the objections of his wife.
    __
    “I don’t want the federal government giving me an incentive not to work, period,” he said. “My personal opinion is, you’re supposed to go find work, and if you can’t find it in the business that you were once in, be it a C.E.O. or a street sweeper, you have to find employment and your lifestyle has to change, so be it.”
    __
    After months of looking, Mr. Venzant said, he has gotten an offer that will give him two years of work, with free room and board and five weeks’ vacation. All he has to do is move to Russia.

    These are the kinds of idiots I am surrounded by.

  102. 102
    Rafer Janders says:

    Of course, what will likely be absent from Sesame Street’s lessons on “food insecurity” are the various federal, state, and local welfare programs for which Lily’s parents qualify: food stamps, WIC, free school meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner!) as well as all the charitable services provided to families in need, such as food banks and church-run food assistance.

    Oooh, scare quotes on food insecurity!

    Yes, the fact that we have so many, many federal, state, local and private programs all devoted to combating food insecurity means we don’t have a real problem with it! The fact that her parents are so very poor that they qualify for these programs means that they…uh…aren’t really poor? Wait, I’m sure this will make sense if I just think about it a bit more…

  103. 103
    eric says:

    @Chyron HR: golf clap

  104. 104
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Svensker: That means she works at home… so how much time does she take out of her day to write this tripe? Of course, she continues to work a bit so that she can keep her Social Security up to date. Who does she think she’s kidding?

    Yes, sometimes Karma is way too slow.

  105. 105
    eric says:

    @Felanius Kootea: you get a Win Muppet for that post

  106. 106
    Rafer Janders says:

    Make no mistake — Mr. Tolleson, 54, has collected unemployment checks, saying he had little choice.

    “I didn’t want to, I swear! But those ACORN thugs, they held a gun to my head, they told me they’d kill me and my family too if I didn’t apply online, fill in the forms, proivde my bank direct deposit information, and then spend the money sent to me! They MADE ME DO IT!”

  107. 107
    Amir Khalid says:

    @PurpleGirl:

    so how much time does she take out of her day to write this tripe?

    I suspect that this is Julie Gunlock’s work, as a freelance writer.

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @Rafer Janders: What’s even better is when he says his Church wouldn’t help him until he applied for UI benefits.
    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  109. 109
    Sour Kraut says:

    @Corner Stone:

    In Soviet Russia, job gets YOU!

  110. 110
    Rafer Janders says:

    OK, I’ll say it: after reading the comments to her piece over at NRO, I’m a little bit more impressed with their readers. Here’s a great one:

    I don’t know where your 94.3% number comes from, so for purposes of argument let’s work with it. You’re saying that things are okay because only 5.7% of the nation doesn’t have enough food to eat? Are those 5.7% lucky to be malnourished or starving here, instead of malnourished or starving in some other country? And the real outrage is a Sesame Street character, not the fact that your statistic isn’t 0.0%? And if the statistic is not 0.0%, how is Sesame Street even fibbing? How many American children have to go hungry before Sesame Street has your permission to depict hungry American children?

  111. 111
    eric says:

    Ms. Gunlock needs these starving Americans to lower the average weight in America to deny Lady Obama her cause celeb.
    Nevermind those children, they are not hungry, just patriots. Wolverines.

    Seriously, as a nation, we mock the moral folly of our prior epochs at our own peril. That this woman is not chased from polite society says something about America, even if we, here, see the evil lurking therein.

  112. 112
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Jay in Oregon: I like that. Thanks for posting it.

  113. 113
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: Amir, I saw an ad on TV over here that was set in Malaysia! Something about this dude on a scooter & how he likes it when his honey wraps her arms around him as they head off into the night.

    Wish I’d been the driver on that scooter! First commercial over here that I can remember showing Malaysia (and identifying it as such).

  114. 114
    eric says:

    These people would object to Jesus Muppet because he debased himself by cleaning gross Oscar’s feet.

  115. 115

    How to be a conservative pundit:

    First, remember how you started off in journalism school wanting to make a difference, stand against power, and change the world?

    Fuck that.

    Have you seen the people who do that crap? They’re bloggers, they struggle to make money off of their work by selling meager ad space to start up companies that pay shit.

    You want to make a decent living with that journalism degree that doesn’t involve slinging hash, take a job at a large media conglomerate and be prepared to blow corporate America long and hard.

    Now, when one whores their mind out for profit, there is always a nagging voice in the back of your head screaming at you that what you’re doing is wrong, immoral, and sinful.

    Fortunately, nothing silences that voice like several years of drinking 18 year old scotch poured over ice cubes from a rapidly disappearing glacier (not because of global warming, unless it’s too many yak farts, the Tibetan bastards) in the arctic and flown 3000 miles to your country club bar.

    Next, excise empathy.

    What is em-path-y? Exactly.

    Oh, you’re serious? Okay, empathy is the ability to see yourself in the life of someone else. But since you’ll be making a lot of money and have a pretty bitchin’ life, why would you ever want to do that?

    The unfortunate (i.e. lazy sluggards) who don’t have it as good, should empathize with your life. They’ll realize it’s so much better, it’ll motivate them to get off their couches and go write treatises on why raising taxes on the top marginal rates by 3% is akin to the French Revolution, Hitler, Mao, and Stalin combined and soon will be laughing with you at the country club (motto: Letting the good ones in since 2010) over the latest hippie protest about your bosses. (“Ha ha, they use iPhones to decry corporate America, isn’t it ironic?” they’ll say. “Yes, yes, Bob, it is. You should write a 5,000 word editorial about it”)

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    Of course the NRO is moderating comments, but judging from the some of the ones I left that haven’t displayed yet I have to conclude they are getting a barrage of people blasting Gunlock.

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    Oh, and Atia Abawi is an attractive MSNBC reporter person.

  118. 118
    Paul in KY says:

    @Corner Stone: Man, that’s one Hell of an idiot. How does he manage to breath & walk at same time?

  119. 119
    nancydarling says:

    @Corner Stone: Mine got through, but it is very slow.

  120. 120
    EconWatcher says:

    Being a parent really drives this home. My wife and I will comment every few days how lucky we are that we can give our kids everything they need. I cannot imagine the anguish of a parent who couldn’t give his kid enough to eat. And of course, a lot of kids have absentee parents and are left to fend for themselves.

    That someone is so crass that they not only don’t sympathize, but write an article that teaching sympathy is wrong–wow. That’s cartoonishly evil.

  121. 121
    japa21 says:

    @Corner Stone: Obviously, he should be thrilled that other people are disincentivized to look for work due to their being on unemployment. That means less competition for the jobs out there. And see, it works. Only took him several months to find a job rather than several years. And better to be working in Russia than being a deadbeat here.

  122. 122
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Paul in KY:
    A commercial set in Malaysia, on American TV? Odd. Do you remember what the commercial was for?

  123. 123
    chopper says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    yeah, sesame street is set in what’s basically NYC. the idea that one of the characters on sesame street should be, say, a starving ethiopian makes no fuckin sense at all.

    how would they explain the dude being there every day? matter transporter? abby cadaby fucks up a spell and transports everyone to the horn of africa?

  124. 124
  125. 125
    Linnaeus says:

    I know at least a few people who’d think Julie Gunlock was right on. Ugh.

  126. 126
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Social Outcast:

    Or, in the alternative, which I’m pretty much convinced that is the truth with people like this heartless skank, “It’s good to know this, I can really enjoy my next meal secure in the knowledge that others are going hungry.”

  127. 127
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Scott P.:

    My Mom was left with seven kids after our father ran off and left the state to avoid paying child support (nice Catholic guy he is). She struggled to take care of us with the assistance of welfare, food stamps, food bank, school lunches and USDA food.

    It sounds like a lot but all I remember was being skinny and hungry. I’ll never eat rolled oats again, the taste reminds me of some pretty shitty times. I won’t say what I would like to have happen to the heartless witch who wrote this bullshit but it ain’t nice, you can bet on that. It’s easy for people like her to write shit like this when they are well fed.

  128. 128
    donnah says:

    I remember a show that Oprah aired that dealt with poverty in the Appalachians. She did video interviews with children and asked them what they wanted for Christmas.

    I expected to hear the usual litany of dolls, games, whatever presents kids would dream of. But more than one child said simply, “Something to eat.”

    My mother grew up poor in rural West Virginia. She’s in her seventies now. Imagine how little progress we have made in all these years. We should be ashamed.

  129. 129
    Mudge says:

    Doing the numbers, if 5.7% of America’s families go hungry (and assuming a constant family size of 4) that’s 18.8 million (for 330 million people). Zimbabwe has a population of 12.5 million, Somalia 9.1 million. So the US has nearly as many hungry people as Zimbabwe and Somalia combined. And Julie Gunlock is proud of that. And she resents that a puppet..yes a puppet..will try to show what that is like to small children, who may know such a child. And it may cause some children to admit it who haven’t before due to shame. But certainly Julie Gunlock’s child will come home and tell her mom that there are no hungry children at her school “The Excellence Academy”, so why all the fuss.

  130. 130
    WereBear says:

    This reminds me of the mental playlet in my head back when the First Lady announced her campaign for kid’s eating… goes something like:

    First Lady: I’d like my cause to be kids eating properly; you know, vegetables, and gardening so they can understand where their food comes from, encouraging them to run around; so kids can be healthy.

    President: That’s a great idea! It’s hard to imagine anyone objecting to the goal of healthy children getting the right things to eat.

    Well… guess again.

  131. 131
    Sloegin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: (Others) Hunger is the best spice.

  132. 132
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: Some kind of computer/communications gizmo, I think. Maybe some other Juicers have also seen it.

  133. 133
    Cathy W says:

    @Amir Khalid: It was for one of the oil companies (Google says it’s Shell), believe it or not, about how they’re developing cleaner and more efficient fuels in places like Malaysia, so Scooter Riding Boy gets to spend more time with his girlfriend hanging on to him.

    In retrospect, I wonder why they’re making a point of telling Americans they’re selling cleaner gasoline in Malaysia.

  134. 134
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @MattF: Simple. I posted the article to facebook.

  135. 135
    CarolDuhart says:

    @Svensker: She should then a for-the-grace-of-God-go-I person. She’s living off of someone else’s salary, personal welfare, that is. If her husband gets laid off in this economy, is she sure he could get work even close to what he’s making now, and could she? What if hubby gets interested in someone else with no kids and more money, and leaves her behind? A lot of women find out just what food stamps is for when the second income comes late or just absconds altogether.

    Also, food insecurity is worse now than it was when I was a kid. America has outsourced a lot of its non-grain food production overseas, so a lot of orchards are now gone, along with a lot of small farms that produced local cheap fruits and vegetables. When I was a kid, I remember the smell of local stockyards. Now meat comes from out west. I remember the local farms with fresh produce. I remember local milk delivered by milkmen. Those bottles of milk, eggs, cheeze and sometimes even bread kept many a family healthy. And there’s been little attempt to keep up with inflation in some food programs.

    The Urban Farm Movement is fighting back with backyard gardens, neighborhood gardens, and truck farms, but there still is a long way to go before affordable healthy food is available to everybody.

  136. 136
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cathy W:
    I dunno, either. Does Shell at least sell the same gasoline in America? Or is it just corporate-image advertising bullshit?

  137. 137
    Elliecat says:

    Of course, what will likely be absent from Sesame Street’s lessons on “food insecurity” are the various federal, state, and local welfare programs for which Lily’s parents qualify: food stamps, WIC, free school meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner!) as well as all the charitable services provided to families in need, such as food banks and church-run food assistance.

    Of course if Sesame Street does include mention of these, they might do something that further outrages her by trying to teach children not to stigmatize those who make use of such benefits.

    According to our regional food bank, something like 50% of the people in our county who qualify for SNAP benefits don’t even apply. There are many reasons but a big one is is the stigma attached. They don’t want to be seen as taking “handouts” and have people sneering at them in the grocery store or making bitchy comments about their grocery choices.

    Our school district has been making a change over to school lunches being paid for through student accounts rather than handing over money because of concerns over students receiving free or reduced-fee lunches being stigmatized. This way no one can tell who gets free lunch and who pays full-price because no one has to hand over money.

    I volunteer in a food pantry and it is heartbreaking to see how embarrassed some people are to even come in there. They have been told by so many people how humiliated they should be to be “asking for handouts” and they know everything about them will be judged by those who see them coming in. (It’s always surprising how many observers are troubled by the fact that a lot of food pantry clients come there in cars. I guess if they ever lose their jobs, the car will be the first thing to go, even if they live in a small town or rural area, like a lot of the clients.)

    So I suppose I agree with the jerkhead that Sesame Street SHOULD mention all of these programs. Then they can explain them to the new Judgmental Jerk Muppet character who sneers at people receiving “handouts” and still believes Ronald Reagan’s fantasy that people can use food stamps to buy an orange, then receive change and use that to buy a bottle of vodka (because I am appalled at how many people STILL believe that BS lie).

  138. 138
    Dougerhead says:

    Amazing, as soon as I heard about Lily, I was wondering when the great right-wing freakout would begin.

    Thanks, Zandar, I am glad to have aboard here!

  139. 139
    Capri says:

    @ChrisNYC:

    I saw a 2 minute youtube clip about the new character. She mentions that she gets free breakfast and lunch at school.
    If Ms. Gunlock had bothered to actually watch a little, she’d see that.

  140. 140
    Tonal Crow says:

    Sesame Street would be wiser to educate America’s children about the real poor and hungry — the 98 percent of the world population who live outside the United States.

    Based on this McMegan-level factual error — which puts the world’s population at 15.4 billion — you should ignore everything else Gunlock (!) says.

  141. 141
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    Fuck these people with a fucking rake. I’ve had enough.

  142. 142
    Woodrowfan says:

    Didn’t Jesus say something about feeding the hungry, unless they only made up less than a certain percentage of the population or some such?

  143. 143
    patrick II says:

    Her basic argument is heartless enough — but then she has to change the wording of the Dept of Ag. quote
    Dept of Ag:

    ” or “disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.”

    Julie Gunlock:

    …and
    occasionally reduced diet.

    to add the word “occasionally.”

    Conservatives twist words and misquote all of the time to win arguments — but there is something self-consciously evil about twisting words to hide the fact of starving children.

  144. 144
    Woodrowfan says:

    @chopper:

    cab driver

  145. 145
    TenguPhule says:

    I nominate Julie Gunlock for the top of the super secret committe list of people we drop Fiery on from Killer Flying Robots.

  146. 146
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cathy W: That was the one! Thanks Cathy.

  147. 147
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think it’s the latter.

  148. 148
    Jennyjinx says:

    I’m glad to see this addressed here.

    The food pantries in my town (of 18k people) always have long lines. We have three. One does weekly, one does bi-weekly and one does monthly (end of the month when food stamps are likely to have run out). The one on Thursday nights runs from 5-7pm, but the line starts forming around 3. It’s so incredibly sad.

    If you have extra money or extra food this month, consider donating to your local food bank. Consider that it’s very likely that someone in your own neighborhood will go without a meal today and those food banks really do a great service.

  149. 149
    WereBear says:

    This is what the war on Christmas has led to… forgetting the sage words in The Christmas Carol:

    From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children;
    wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt
    down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.

    This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both,
    and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy,
    for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the
    writing be erased.

  150. 150
    Wisteria says:

    @schrodinger’s cat

    I googled her name and the first site that came up was the Independent Women’s Forum. (Why am I not surprised that the hard-hearted conservative is also anti-feminist?)

    It says:

    “Julie Gunlock is a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum. […] She has written about food and culture for the Washington Post, the Washington Examiner, and National Review. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two young and active boys.”

  151. 151
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Cathy W:
    @Paul in KY:
    Shell Malaysia used to dye unleaded gasoline green. To send out the message that gasoline is a “green” product. Go figure.

  152. 152
    Triassic Sands says:

    The truth is, 94.3 percent of American households are able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families.

    Think of how many Americans (and American families) are accomplishing that feat only because they receive food assistance. Hell, no one would go hungry if everyone received food assistance. That wouldn’t mean there weren’t still poor people and a huge problem.

    From what I’ve seen, Food Stamps are vital, but not exactly generous. I doubt if anyone depending on Food Stamps can expect to eat a truly healthy diet. With the rapidly rising cost of many foods, especially fruits and vegetables, Food Stamps are likely to lag further and further behind. Of course, if we need to increase Food Stamp funding, we’ll have to cut money somewhere else, because, as we all know, it’s much better for people to go hungry than for rich people to pay more in taxes — an increase they won’t even feel in most cases.

    The sad, but undeniable fact is that Republicans are really horrible people. They just plain suck.

  153. 153
    Social Outcast says:

    @Capri: “I saw a 2 minute youtube clip about the new character. She mentions that she gets free breakfast and lunch at school.”

    So in NRO terms, she’s a communist?

  154. 154
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: Wow! I wonder how much money it took to dye it? See how they cater to you lucky Malaysians? We’ve never had dyed gas over here. Harrumph!

  155. 155
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cathy W:

    I wonder why they’re making a point of telling Americans they’re selling cleaner gasoline in Malaysia.

    To create an image that they don’t despoil the world, they preserve it. Everywhere. Blearghfff.

  156. 156
    Arclite says:

    Bravo on the title.

  157. 157
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    We had some asshole woman in the legislature here in Missouri a few years ago making assinine comments about kids needing to skip a meal once in a while in the summer when the subsidized school lunch program wasn’t in effect. She thought it would encourage the little creeps to get jobs. God, I really, truly, hate these people. I favor a salt-free, sugar-free, milk-free, meatless diet for the whole lot of them.

  158. 158
    TheStone says:

    I don’t know that Ms. Gunlock is fully aware of what she’s asking for. In my experience, when you tell young children about the enormous disparity of wealth b/w the US and other parts of the world, their 1st response is often NOT “aren’t I lucky?” It’s usually “So why don’t we send them more of our stuff?”

  159. 159
    Kathy in St. Louis says:

    @Culture of Truth: @TheStone:

    I have a good friend who is a retired grade school principal at a school in a mixed community…mixed both racially and economically. She tells the story of a little kid who was tardy on a Monday morning and missed the subsidized breakfasst program at the school. He was hysterical because he was so hungry…very little to no food at home for the entire weekend. The principal had the lunchroom prepare something for this child.

    Now, that’s the kind of thing you like to think about…a kid who had almost no food from Friday til Monday. This woman probably thinks that builds character.

  160. 160
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Paul in KY:
    Me, I’ve always wondered what genius done thunk that one up. It’s not like they sell unleaded in transparent bottles. The stuff goes from the pump through the hose and into your tank without you ever looking at it — same as any other gasoline.

  161. 161
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Nutella: Thanks for that link. By the way, here’s the most terrifying graph about that article:

    The increase in deficiency judgments has sparked a growing secondary market. Sophisticated investors are “ravenous for this debt and ramping up their purchases,” says Jeffrey Shachat, a managing director at Arca Capital Partners LLC, a Palo Alto, Calif., firm that finances distressed-debt deals. He says deficiency judgments will eventually be bundled into packages that resemble mortgage-backed securities.

    FUUUUUUUUUU

  162. 162
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Nutella: Thanks for that link. By the way, here’s the most terrifying graph about that article:

    The increase in deficiency judgments has sparked a growing secondary market. Sophisticated investors are “ravenous for this debt and ramping up their purchases,” says Jeffrey Shachat, a managing director at Arca Capital Partners LLC, a Palo Alto, Calif., firm that finances distressed-debt deals. He says deficiency judgments will eventually be bundled into packages that resemble mortgage-backed securities.

    FUUUUUUUUUU

  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:

    @Amir Khalid: Umm, it’s for tax collection purposes.
    It’s used as a way to distinguish legit gas sales from contraband.

  164. 164
    pluege says:

    the guy has a point – to be fair and balanced, Sesame Street needs to add a character that is an opulent, conceited, greedy prig incapable of wiping their own ass. That way American children can get the full picture of what America has become. And if American children were to see how truly indecent and disgusting humans the one percenters are, maybe they’ll be happy with their boring sometimes disrupted eating lifestyle, and be glad they’re not so fortunate to be a one percenter.

  165. 165
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I might believe that, if there were a problem with people smuggling gasoline into Malaysia. There isn’t; Malaysia is a nett oil exporter.

  166. 166
    Corner Stone says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well, you can believe they dye it green as a PR stunt that no consumer ever sees, or you can entertain the thought they do it for monetary/regulatory reasons.
    Your call.

Comments are closed.