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The Weakest Link

The Weakest Link

Hello, everyone.

A long time ago, there was a game show titled “The Weakest Link.”  It was built on the premise of the old saying “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”  The six players made up a team that answered several rounds of questions and had the opportunity to bank money during each round.  At the end of the round, the players voted for the one they felt was the weakest player on the team – the weakest link – and that player had to leave the game.  The show had two MCs – Ann Robinson, a hatchet-faced battleaxe, and George Gray, a really cool guy, in my opinion.

There have been many corollaries to the title comment – “A country is only as good as its worst citizen,” “A code of laws is only as strong as its weakest law,” “A church is only as moral as its most immoral member,” etc.  And, like the title comment, there is a ton of truth in each of the corollaries.

The conservative nitwits in this country bray like drunken jackasses about what a great country this is and how this is the most wonderful country in the world.  The following story challenges the veracity of that bullshit, in my opinion.  And, naturally, this happened in Texas, a state that is not exactly on the same plane as Massachusetts or Californiain terms of intellect.  Here is the story.

– – – – – – – – – –

December 07, 201108:00 AM

Denied Food Stamps, Laredo Woman Shoots Children, Kills Self

By Susie Madrak

When you’re at the end of the road, food stamps are the only thing left. Most people don’t qualify for welfare, the unemployment extensions for 99ers are gone, and there are no jobs to be had. Many people will read this and shake their heads at what this desperate mother did. I look at it and think of all the politicians who didn’t lift a finger to help people like this:

(Reuters) – A woman in the border city of Laredo, Texas who was angry because she had been denied food stamps killed herself and shot and critically wounded her two children late on Monday, authorities said on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old woman entered the Texas Health and Human Services Commission office in downtown Laredo on Monday afternoon and demanded to speak to a supervisor, said investigator Joe Baeza of the Laredo Police Department.

The woman, whom he declined to identify, pulled out a handgun and started walking through the office, threatening several employees, he said.

“She had issues and felt that she had been let down by social services in general,” Baeza told Reuters on Tuesday. “She was making all sorts of outlandish claims.”  [COMMENT:  Who exactly says her claims were outlandish?  Methinks that the burden to prove them so lies with the cop.]

She took an office supervisor hostage in a room in the office, he said, and a SWAT team managed to evacuate the other three dozen people in the office and clear the area.

After two hours of negotiations, the woman allowed the male supervisor to go free, but she remained in the office with her two children, a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl.

“About 11:45 last night, she hung up the phone with negotiators, and a little bit later, negotiators heard three shots,” Baeza said on Tuesday. “What had happened was that she had shot each of her children once and herself once.”

The children were airlifted to a hospital in San Antonio in extremely critical condition, he said. The mother was dead at the scene, he said.

Baeza said the woman, who was fromOhio, arrived in Laredo about eight months ago and had lived with her children in several locations around the border city of 236,000.

Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Commission, confirmed that the woman applied for food stamps in July and was denied. Goodman said the woman’s application was incomplete and that she was not sure whether the woman qualified for assistance.

– – – – – – – – – –

In my last message I mentioned the story from Philip Yancey’s book What’s So Amazing About Grace? where Tony Campolo commented on people starving to death in this world and then uttered the word “shit.”  All of the letters that Campolo received berated him for saying the word – but not one of them mentioned world hunger.  That is the textbook Christian response.  That would also be the Christian response to this story.  Christians would rail against the poor woman for shooting herself and her kids, but they would not feel any concern about the woman and her kids facing the possibility of starving to death.  I know what the Evangelical response would be because I have had the misfortune of experiencing Evangelical “compassion” – or lack of same.

What makes them feel this way?  Why isn’t the noun “compassion” in their dictionary?  Is it possible that “Jesus” is the reason that this is so?

When Carol and I lived in California, I kept the TV tuned to C-Span to follow the House of Representatives.  I loved the days when the entire day was spent on roll-call votes.  The House was in the control of the Democrats then, and they ALWAYS played classical music during the votes.  There wasn’t much classical music programming in California at that time.  But when the Republicans got control of the House, the classical music was out the door.  Instead, we were treated to the brayings of Rush Limbaugh.

I was always puzzled by this inability to appreciate good music, and the only reason I can come up with is that classical music requires a certain level of intellect for one to comprehend and appreciate it, and this level of intellect is beyond that of conservatives.  While on YouTube today, watching videos of classical music, I came across a comment on the movie page. That comment was so stupid, asinine, and moronic that I felt constrained to reply:

  @rv14142 Do you believe everything you’re told? Democrats play the race card for power. Republicans believe in a society where we don’t penalize people for working hard. Democrats believe in creating racial tension by taking money out of the hands who earn it, pandering to various ethnic segments, telling certain groups that they are “entitled” and that if you don’t like tax and spend (on welfare entitlements) and amnesty you’re just evil. Good music is truly colorblind.

mpmcd81 11 months ago

  @mpmcd81 Pardon me for living, but what does the unmitigated bullshit you vomited up have to do with Dvorak’s Symphony #8 in G? Can’t you conservatives simply appreciate beautiful music?

0515stan 1 sec ago

No they can’t.  If they could, they would not be trying to defund NPR, PBS, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Neither do they have compassion.  As proof I present this from the comment section of an article on Crooks & Liars”

Work it out for yourself!!!

Georgialib —12/8/115:58pm

Isn’t that the GOP motto–you’re all on your own!! If you can’t get a job, go fuck yourself!! Just because you pay (most of) the taxes, doesn’t mean you get a SAY in the government or that you can seek redress of grievances by taking to the street!!! Work it out for yourself!!! If you weren’t born with a silver spoon up your ass, that’s just too frickin bad! Work it out for yourself!! If you are sick and can’t see a doctor? Work it out for yourself!!! Selfish, soulless pricks who call themselves Christians.

Gee, that sounds like Newtie, the Christians’ boyfriend – simply because they embrace him, ethical problems and all – telling the OWS people to take a bath and get a job!  How in the Hell does he know whether they need to take baths or not?  And given all of the jobs that the Republicans – and Evangelicals – have shipped off toIndia,China, andTimbuktu, where in the hell are they going to find jobs?  Tell me, Evangelicals:  Where’s your “Jesus” when you really need him?

That also sounds like an e-mail I received from a guy that Carol and I knew in Atascadero.  His exact words were “Carol’s gone.  Get over it!”  As if I hadn’t been trying to do that these past four years!  I answered his message and have not heard from him since.  That is the Christian response.  If one doesn’t say what they want to hear, they have nothing to do with that person.  Somehow, Mainline believers don’t seem to have any problems with us speaking our minds.  THEY have been there for me when I truly needed friends.

We are in the “Christmas” season now.  That is a very hard period for a lot of people.  It can be a time of great loneliness, as I and a bunch of other people well know.  It is a hard time for those who wish to give to their loved ones, but lack the money to do so.  It is a hard time for people who want to put a lofty concept for the season in their minds, but instead find the whole time period corrupted and contaminated by Claus.  It is a difficult time for those who follow other belief systems, because instead of being encouraged to follow THEIR holiday celebrations, they are bullied by Christians to embrace and celebrate “Christmas” and “Jesus.”  It is a hard time for lonely people to check their mailboxes and find nothing but ads and bills, but no “Christmas” greetings.  Or if one DOES get a “Christmas” greeting, it is in the form of a blow-by-blow account of the person’s year.  Much of this is true also with people who do e-mail.  One goes to his inbox hoping to find something beside the usual crap and bilge, but there is nothing there.  Or, like snail mail, if there IS something there, again it is a blow-by-blow of the writer’s year.

You know what would be wonderful?  Getting a piece of mail by whatever method that says something like “I am thinking of you this season and remembering when….”  But to do that takes time, and also more than a little thought and consideration of the person to whom the mail is addressed.  And like the people who reacted to Tony Campolo, and possibly those who react to that poor mother inLaredo, maybe our hearts are not as large as they once were.  Or maybe people suffer from “compassion fatigue.”  Or maybe – God forbid!! – they are just mean, sullen little souls.

So I would say to the Evangelicals:  Forget your stupid, moronic “baby” this one year and look at the world that exists just out of reach of your fingertips.  Only the Supreme God knows how many hurting mothers like the mother in Laredo exist out there.  Only the Supreme God knows how many lonely people would love to have a phone call on “Christmas” Day or some kind of personal remembrance in the mailbox or inbox.  You Evangelicals are fond of saying that your “Jesus” is the personification of perfect love.  Is he really?  Then how about putting forth a little effort and seeing the world beyond your fingertips?

For the sake of the Supreme God, think about it, people.

Evangelicals are the weakest link.  Good-bye!

Bill

 

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December 9, 2011 - Posted by | Politics, Religion

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