Belmont Club

"Oh the humanity!"

A Washington Post guest editorial asks, “have we lost our humanity?” after learning that a Texas charity has enlisted homeless people to walk around as Wi-Fi hotspots for hire.  The idea was the brainchild of a New York ad agency. The author of the Post articled claims that money thus earned degrades the vendor. A much better way would be to ameliorate the lot of the homeless through “social policy”.

BBH experimented with having homeless people carry special equipment and wear T-shirts advertising themselves as 4G hotspots at the South by Southwest (SXSW) “geekfest” conference in Austin, Texas. The homeless person as hotspot accepts a donation in exchange for 4G access for the donor …

I still believe that treating a homeless person as a 4G Internet site is degrading to them, but the overarching issue must be considered within a failure of social policy on a huge number of levels. Homelessness is the product of many social policy failures relating to joblessness in a slow economic recovery, the housing debacle, cuts in programs for addiction recovery and the failure to treat the post-traumatic stress disorder of many of our returning veterans.

Welcome back to the land of “just so”. It was a debate that Margaret Thatcher had with the British Labor party during her time as Prime Minister. In a debate with a Progressive, Thatcher said they “would rather have the poor poorer, provided that the rich were less rich.”

Which is to say that money is no good unless it was earned or doled out in a a politically acceptable way. What made Thatcher’s rebuke all the more stinging was the way in which she graphically illustrated her point, measuring out varying lengths with her fingers and implying that the socialist gentleman would rather things were small down there than big up there, as the  video after the “More” shows.

Of course Margaret Thatcher was in her day the woman most hated by the Left. The question was why.  Michelle Malkin’s theory is that the Left neither loves nor hates women particularly. The War on Women they love to cite can only be understood as a war on women who disagree with them.  Such female dissenters are not even women, they are Hos.

Misogyny is a crime exclusively attributable to conservative talk show hosts. But everyone one the Left from comedians to TV talk show hosts to network journalists, are exempted from this accusation, because they have the right mindset. Malkin writes:

If I had a dollar for every time libs have called me a “Manila whore” and “Subic Bay bar girl,” I’d be able to pay for a ticket to a Hollywood-for-Obama fundraiser. To the HuffPo left, whore is my middle name. ..

It was Keith Olbermann, then at MSNBC and now at Al Gore’s Current TV, who wrote on Twitter that columnist S.E. Cupp was “a perfect demonstration of the necessity of the work Planned Parenthood does” and who called me a “mashed up bag of meat with lipstick on it.” He stands by those remarks. Olbermann has been a special guest at the White House …

Some of us have not forgotten when liberal Wisconsin radio host John “Sly” Sylvester outrageously accused GOP Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch of performing “fellatio on all the talk-show hosts in Milwaukee” and sneered that she had “pulled a train” (a crude phrase for gang sex). (Earlier, he called former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a “black trophy” and “Aunt Jemima.”)

That is outrageous. Comparing Rice to Aunt Jemima are fightin’ words because as everybody knows, “Aunt Jemima” never existed any more than Uncle Ben or Mr Kleen.  Making fun of a real person is one thing, but Sly making fun of a hallowed  personality, well that is a low blow.

At least I'm not an Olongapo whore or something racist like that.

But racist remarks, as well as misogynistic ones are consciousness dependent.  Everything is consciousness dependent. As Eric Holder, testifying before Congress in connection with whether he misled them on Operation Gulwalker memorably said, lying was ‘just a state of mind’. “If you want to have this legal conversation, it all has to do with your state of mind, and whether or not you had the requisite intent to come up with something that can be considered perjury or a lie.”

That is to say he can never lie, because he’s Eric Holder. Earning a buck acceptably is likewise based on states of mind. The New York Post reports that the WiFi project will not be extended to NYC after “they were ripped by homeless-rights advocates and city officials.”

You can understand why. If homeless people earned their own money what would all the people entrusted with implementing “social policy” do for a living?

Personally the episode brings back memories of when Manila authorities used to crack down on garbage scavengers every time a VIP visited the city. The rousting was always done for the scavenger’s own good of course, since that livelihood was considered degrading.  More to the point, it offended Imelda Marcos’ sensibilities. Nobody every bothered to learn out that scavenging was a dismissive term which is now known as recycling and that the job was one of the better paying livelihoods on the Tondo Foreshore.

Wikipedia points out that the scavenging profession exists even in Europe and in Latin America and is a profession of choice, as shown by the fact that this august profession has been reserved for men. It’s social content has also been rehabilitated after it was discovered that recycling helps stave off Global Warming.  Moreover, scavenging is practiced by certain Left Wing activists in the West too. But in their case it is alright, because they have the right state of mind.

“Dumpster diving” generally refers to the practice of anti-consumer and freegan activists who reclaim items such as food and clothes from the waste stream as a form of protest against consumer culture. “Waste picking” generally refers to activity motivated purely by economic need.

Some waste pickers live in extreme poverty, but many others earn multiple times their country’s minimum wage. Recent studies indicate that waste pickers in Belgrade earn US $100 monthly, while waste pickers in Cambodia typically earn $1 per day. Official statistics in Brazil indicate that men earn more than women, regardless of age. Approximately two thirds of Brazil’s waste pickers are men overall, but this proportion jumps to 98% in high income waste picker groups (those earning between 3-4 times the minimum wage). No women are found in the highest income groups (those earning over 10 times the minimum wage)

Perhaps history will ultimately judge that it was always the Left which after all waged the longest and most enduring war on women and on poor people; and that as a practical matter it kept women obedient servants to an ideology and the poor it kept poor.  But nobody ever notices it because they keep saying “we’re on your side”.

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