Home / General / …and she had a Pandora bracelet!

…and she had a Pandora bracelet!


Reading my Facebook feed the other day, I came across news item that made me roll my eyes. It’s the sort of thing your wingnut uncle sends to your email account– a story about people using EBT cards to put one over on the hardworking Americans of the Heartland and living a life of luxury filled with Cadillacs, risotto and…Pandora bracelets! It was sort of typical wingnut mythology, but the detail about the Pandora bracelet made me giggle.

I think that’s why the arrow on my bullshit detector went flying off. Aside from it being a suspiciously weird detail, a Pandora bracelet is hardly some marker of wealth.

But these little fairy tales are touchstones to the wingnuts amongst us. I think the stories give them comfort. “Daddy, tell me that one about the secretly rich girl who ate steak and destroyed America with her EBT card.”

I think the stories resonate for two reasons: 1.) Hey, if everyone who’s using EBT cards is secretly rich, well, then there’s no need for a food program, right? No poor people to see here! No hungry children here! Move along! 2.) It’s taken as a given that every last wingnut is a hard-working schmo who goshdarnit worked for every dime they’ve got…not like those liberals who are just reclining on Corinthian leather sofas and eating veal while getting sexually serviced by some homosexual, probably.  It’s Special Snowflake Syndrome writ large, and the “We’re super-good, not like those lazy, libertine moochers” mantra is pretty much religion to these folks.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to eat Osso Buco off the toned buttocks of a gay porn star. Hey, I’m a liberal. It’s what I do.

UPDATE: I told Scott I was jealous of flame-war-worthy beer discussions, so I was interested in starting a war myself. I have NO idea how this topic will achieve this. Perhaps we could all fight about who has the best EBT card fairy tale. My only rule is that steak be involved…somehow.

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  • Just this week, I sat and listened to someone talk about how people on Food Assistance programs eat better than the working poor. (A) I spent five years in the worst retail job imaginable (third-shift at WalMart, 2006-2011); (B) I know that Food Assistance programs vary from state to state, and in IL, the big distributors (Kraft, DelMonte, etc.) have the state by the short and curlies. Folks on assistance are forced to purchase crap prepared meals, crap canned vegetables, the list goes on and on. When I say “forced”, if a cashier tries to ring up an item not on a state-approved list, a little alarms sounds, and the item is taken off the line, no arguments.

    I have no idea what a Pandora bracelet is, but if it sucks half as much as Pandora Radio, who would want one?

    • Approved foods? This is a real thing? Holy shit. This was meant to be a humorous post, but that makes me livid.

      I have a Pandora bracelet.

      • Since each state sets up how the program functions, that includes what can and cannot be purchased. In IL, there are all sorts of restrictions, and mostly it’s just horrid stuff. It isn’t just a restricted dollar amount. It’s also what can and cannot be purchased. You can’t buy booze or certain cuts of meat; some fresh fruits and vegetables are OK, but because of the cost, it’s actually more economical to buy canned, which isn’t nearly as healthy. So, it’s Hamburger Helper (or the generic equivalent) and high-sugar content cereals and juices because they’re less expensive than more nutritious foods, and the manufacturers get the legislatures to set up what can and cannot be bought. In all the years I worked (don’t get me started on that part of my life) I never once saw anyone on public assistance even attempt to buy steak.

        Since you want a flame war, I was trying to start one over Pandora radio with my comment (I hate it! I’m a Spotify guy)

        • bspencer

          Flame war engaged!

        • fka AWS

          Pandora Radio roolz, Spotify droolz!

        • fka AWS

          Also, used to work a CS in Texas, and there were similar restrictions on what you could buy with what at the time were food stamps. Nothing that could be warmed up in a microwave, for instance.

      • Warren Terra

        I was in nice liberal CA the other week, waiting in line at the checkout behind a gentleman who was having to negotiate the system, with multiple EBT payment types and a complicated load of groceries. Everyone was polite, patient, and helpful, but the level of complication and unnecessary potential for humiliation was pronounced – especially when he was sent back to the baby food section, because some sorts of baby food were approved and some weren’t.

        Just to make the whole experience as obnoxious for him as possible, the clerk asked him for a few dimes for shopping bags (LA County now requires reusable shopping bags for groceries, and charges for paper bags), causing him to dig around for a few seconds before the clerk realized EBT customers are exempt from bag fees.

        • Leeds man

          It’s just another layer of humiliation we inflict on the poor. I’ll take this opportunity to rattle a favourite sabre of mine again. We could remove the humiliation, and drastically reduce the amount of bureaucratic bullshit as well, if there were a Guaranteed Basic Income.

          Hugh Segal on the subject here. Same bloke; great talk on poverty here.

          • bspencer

            Thanks. I’m going to watch these.

      • commie atheist

        I have a Pandora bracelet.

        Pics or it’s not true.

        • firefall

          She’s just showing off her new high-income status as a headliner at LGM

        • bspencer

          I would show you, but my wrist is so darn attractive, I’m afraid every married LGMer will all simultaneously chuck their spouses and come running after me and my comely wrists.

          • Hogan

            I’m not greedy. I’d bring my spouse with me.

          • Halloween Jack

            I swear, I only want to take your pulse. For medical reasons. Honest.

            (well, OK, for my medical reasons, for fairly broad definitions of “medical.”)

            • Wow, apparently we’ve gone back in time when the site of a mere wrist can cause the Vapahs. Well, ok…but no ankle—it’s too well-turned!

    • JL

      Just this week, I sat and listened to someone talk about how people on Food Assistance programs eat better than the working poor.

      Did it occur to this person that the working poor are among the people who qualify for food assistance?

      • This is true and, for much of the public invested in a vision of the poor as moochers, beside the point. Like the oft-cited Craig T. Nelson quote, the complainers may be on public assistance but they’re not getting any help.

        • Adam Carolla is the new Nelson.

          Carolla explained that he didn’t have opportunities simply handed to him in life, noting that his parents were divorced and his mom received welfare benefits.

          • bspencer

            He may currently be the biggest douche on the planet. He actually said women are not as funny as men. In addition to this shit.

            • Lee Rudolph

              Well? Are you claiming that that quotation from Carolla is not, in fact, pure comedy gold??

              • bspencer

                Dammit, you got me there.

            • Hitchens was there for both douchiness and women hating:

              Be your gender what it may, you will certainly have heard the following from a female friend who is enumerating the charms of a new (male) squeeze: “He’s really quite cute, and he’s kind to my friends, and he knows all kinds of stuff, and he’s so funny … ” (If you yourself are a guy, and you know the man in question, you will often have said to yourself, “Funny? He wouldn’t know a joke if it came served on a bed of lettuce with sauce béarnaise.”) However, there is something that you absolutely never hear from a male friend who is hymning his latest (female) love interest: “She’s a real honey, has a life of her own … [interlude for attributes that are none of your business] … and, man, does she ever make ’em laugh.”

              (My beloved has increasingly avoided funny songs (which is a crying shame!) on her albums because of trying not to get typed as “merely” funny. Her many faceted sense of humor (from a wicked wit to wry observation to physical comedy) is central to my daily joy.

              (Shameless plug: All the albums are awesome and I have a vocal cameo on each :))

              • And because I just can’t link to it enough, [BONERS].

                I spiral into giggles and guffaws every time I read it.

                • delurking

                  I had forgotten that Beat-down was Freddie!

                  Thanks for the reminder!

              • Cheap Wino

                (My beloved has increasingly avoided funny songs (which is a crying shame!)

                Just remind her about John Prine.

    • philadelphialawyer

      Are you sure about all that? And, I’m not quite certain what you mean by “Food Assistance programs,” so this may not apply, buuut, according to the Illinois Dept of Human Services, these are the rules for SNAP (formerly known as “food stamps”) in Illinois:

      What services are offered?
      SNAP benefits can be used to buy:

      any food or food product for human consumption

      • Yeah – go ahead and try to buy some fresh black raspberries with a SNAP card. Or the wrong brand of baby formula. Or, heck – try and buy that STEAK. And watch what happens. “Are you sure?” No more sure than anyone else who has not been on a Food Assistance program but served those who are.

        • philadelphialawyer

          Not sure what you are getting at. Nor why you are being so hostile.

          Here is the link to the Illinois Dept of Human Services cite that deals with SNAP:


          According to the site, all foods are eligible, as are plants and seeds. What isn’t eligible is:

          Hot foods ready to eat,
          Food intended to be heated in the store,
          Lunch counter items or foods to be eaten in the store,
          Vitamins or medicines,
          Pet foods,
          Any nonfood items (except seeds and plants),
          Alcoholic beverages,

          So, I don’t see why raspberries would not be eligible.

          Also, see the US Dept of Ag site


          which repeats the same info. And which says:

          “Junk Food” & Luxury Items
          The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) defines eligible food as any food or food product for home consumption and also includes seeds and plants which produce food for consumption by SNAP households. The Act precludes the following items from being purchased with SNAP benefits: alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, hot food and any food sold for on-premises consumption. Nonfood items such as pet foods, soaps, paper products, medicines and vitamins, household supplies, grooming items, and cosmetics, also are ineligible for purchase with SNAP benefits.

          Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items

          Seafood, steak, and bakery cakes are also food items and are therefore eligible items

          Since the current definition of food is a specific part of the Act, any change to this definition would require action by a member of Congress. Several times in the history of SNAP, Congress had considered placing limits on the types of food that could be purchased with program benefits. However, they concluded that designating foods as luxury or non-nutritious would be administratively costly and burdensome. Further detailed information about the challenges of restricting the use of SNAP benefits can be found here:

          Report — Implications of Restricting the use of
          Food Stamp Benefits

          And here is the link to that report:


          which explains all the reasons why all foods ARE eligible, despite arguments for only including “healthy” foods, etc.

          Among the reasons are administrative nightmares (hundreds of thousands of existing food products, with thousands more each year….all to be classified as eligible or not), no clear standard as to what is a “healthy” food and what isn’t, cultural and regional preferences and norms vary, no reason to think SNAP recipients eat any less healthy than others with similar resources, humiliation/stigmatization at check out counter, the fact that the statute is written in terms of “food” not “healthy food,” or “cheap food,” or whatever, and the fact that the program is supposed to be about getting food to people who need it, not second guessing their food choices.

          So, frankly, and now that you have gotten nasty, I think you have no clue as to what you are talking about. SNAP is NOT restricted, in Illinois or elsewhere, to certain products made by certain companies, fresh fruit clearly does qualify, as does steak,and so on. Perhaps you are mixing up SNAP with other programs (WIC, perhaps?), or are treating what some critics of SNAP say should be the case with the actual practice. And, by the way, I have seen folks use their SNAP cards to buy these kinds of products.


        • screeching weasel

          I was on food stamps in 2010? 2011? when I was unemployed. Maybe it was different in earlier years, but there wasn’t much of anything I couldn’t buy with that card. Except alcohol, which I totally don’t understand. Who deserves a drink more than people who can’t afford to adequately feed themselves?

          The problem is that the maximum funds you can receive (in IL at least) is $250/month. I realize that it’s supposed to add to your grocery budget, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that SNAP card is the grocery budget for a lot people. That’s certainly all I had to buy food at the time and I had to stretch it. Fresh produce wasn’t something I bought a lot of at that time. A person can work full time at minimum wage or a little above and qualify for SNAP but the amounts one receives don’t add up to much.

          I also wished it would cover things like laundry detergent, shampoo, deodorant, and other “basics”.

      • ruviana

        It’s probably WIC or something similar. Those food assistance programs really do have very specific and onerous requirements–specific brands in specific sizes, etc., etc., that make check-out a form of slow torture. SNAP is much less restrictive.

        • LoriK

          That was my guess too. I personally know at least 3 intelligent, not generally weepy people who were reduced to tears in a store checkout line trying to navigate WIC. It’s an important program and they were glad to have it when they needed it, but it’s hard to use and tends to create a lot of drama.

          It’s complicated both for the recipient and the checkout person, so it’s pretty much inevitable that at some point there’s going to be an issue over whether or not a particular item is allowed. Naturally this will generally happen during peak shopping hours when there’s a huge line forming behind you, creating maximum opportunity for resentment and judging and general unpleasantness.

        • WIC rules can be odd. Such as having to buy a specific, name brand formula instead of the (much cheaper) generic.

          • I should add – at least in my state, WIC gives you a certain number of cans, so the price per can isn’t an issue.

    • dp

      Showing his age, he said, “WTF is a Pandora bracelet?”

      • bspencer

        Here ya go. Basically they’re just charm bracelets.

        • dp


  • I am willing to bet more than 50% of people who bitch about food stamps rely on some sort of MoocherAid to survive. But you know their food stamps are different because … mumble Jesus Merica.

    I also love the ability to make a positive I’d of a specific brand of jewelry even though there are dozens of lookalikes and knockoffs. Nothing escapes the weeping eagle eye of the envious wingnut!

    • LoriK

      It’s also really special that the eagle-eyed wingnut knows just by looking at it that the Pandora bracelet was not a gift, or a sentimental item purchased in earlier, more prosperous times. No, the bracelet was clearly purchased by the wearer while she was receiving food assistance. Because no one who has, at any point, had the money to purchase “luxury” items has ever subsequently fallen on hard times and needed help. The only people with EBT are those who are life-long scamming moochers.

      • BigHank53

        The prices one gets for used jewelry (unless it’s gold, and worth melting down) are also generally so pathetic one may as well hang onto the stuff. People who tout diamonds as “investments” have never tried to sell a used one. They’re popular as plot macguffins because they’re small and easy to smuggle.

        Lots of the Pandora beads are not particularly expensive, either. This is exactly the sort of specific detail that gets salted into an urban legend to make it more believable. Remember how Reagan’s welfare queen drove a Cadillac? Remember how those black guys were buying t-bone steaks? It’s always an item that’s recognizable and within easy reach of anyone in the middle class and a stretch for anyone poor, which should be a tip-off as to the envy and resentment the tale is meant to provoke: Those people are trying to pretend they’re better than they really are.

        • LoriK

          Some versions of the story use things good wingnuts just generally disapprove of, rather than something that induces envy.

          A couple years ago a woman on a hobby-related forum that I frequent went off on a rant about moochers. Her husband works at a grocery store and someone that he had seen using EBT for some time came in with a new tattoo. That proves the whole system is a scam, because a tattoo of all things.

          It literally never occurred to either Mr or Ms McJudgerson that there are ways to get a new tattoo that do not involve spending money that one could otherwise have used to buy food or pay rent. It may have been a gift or the last stage of work already paid for or done in trade. When people pointed this out to her she did the internet equivalent of sputtering. Some people need to get a tattoo of their own that says “You don’t know his life” so they can remember it.

          • ruviana

            There was one like that floating around wingnut world a while back: the SNAP user had a manicure. A manicure! How dare she? No thought that she may have had a friend do it, had a discount coupon, that it was a gift, etc., etc.

            • bspencer

              Erm. Are people not aware you can give yourself manicures?

              • Davis X. Machina

                Shhh. Medicaid finds out, and bingo! Hello, home cardiac catheterization.

            • At the end of the day anything is fair game for the enraged wingnut because it is all about flinging crap at a defenseless target (from a safe distance).

              They won’t be happy until all poor people are shuffling about in rags, begging for alms. And even then those rags better not be too clean because Where’d you get the soap and water? Huh???

              • Breadbaker

                Not from SNAP, that’s for sure ;-)

        • Halloween Jack

          The title of this article is perfect. “Diamonds are forever” because you basically can’t get rid of them.

    • bspencer

      I think you’re being SUPER generous when you say 50%…but your point is really well-taken. My gosh is it well-taken.

  • Anonymous

    …amazingly (to me), people on food assistance use to make a lot of purchases at farmer’s markets. The minute EBT was introduced (as part of the 1994 Welfare Reform, IIRC), use of food assistance at farmer’s markets dropped roughly 90%: most farmer’s markets, being nomadic, couldn’t set up the infrastructure to accept EBT cost-effectively, which requires a data connection. Now, in the last few years, with the growth of wireless data, EBT acceptance is starting to increase, but it’s still an uphill climb.

    • Warren Terra

      On the plus side, some areas have obtained funding to subsidize EBT purchases at Farmer’s Markets, though obviously these programs are spotty and always likely to expire.

    • bspencer

      I love the idea of people on assistance having access to farmers markets.

      • That’s how it works in my neck of the woods. Of course I’m right outside of D.C., ground central for MarxistMoocherCommunism.

        • BigHank53

          Likewise in my part of rural VA; apparently someone noticed that money spent there stayed in the community.

        • Sharon

          The People’s Republic of Takoma Park?

          I miss Root Boy.

  • LoriK

    My “favorite” EBT story doesn’t involve steak, but it involves copious amounts of candy so I’m hoping it counts.

    A few years ago a college conservative* did some investigative journalism for his school newspaper. He committed fraud in order to get on SNAP, then used his EBT card to purchase a large amount of candy**. The checkout person did not stop him from making said purchase or even attempt to chastise or shame him for it, therefore the program is a scam.

    *Full disclosure, the guy was an undergrad at the school where I did my graduate work. I didn’t know him. I did know that the school’s undergrad had a bit of a rep as being the place rich Republicans from New Jersey send their children who are, let’s just say not academically inclined. I don’t know if that rep is actually accurate or fair.

    **This was in DC, where the restrictions on purchases work quite differently than they apparently do in Illinois. You can use EBT to purchase pretty much any food items except for prepared foods from the deli and bakery departments. FWIW that’s also how it works in Indiana.

    • ChrisM

      I did know that the school’s undergrad had a bit of a rep as being the place rich Republicans from New Jersey send their children who are, let’s just say not academically inclined.

      So GWU?

      • LoriK

        Nope. AU.

    • bspencer

      Geez, I think I heard that one before! I guess poor people aren’t allowed to get their sugar rush on.

      • LoriK

        In fairness, $200 worth of candy is a lot of candy. It didn’t prove anything like what the guy tried to claim that it proved, but it was a weird purchase.

        • Woodrowfan

          Then the poor person takes it and sells it to the laborers at worksites for $300.00 and uses that to buy food for his family.

    • philadelphialawyer

      Yeah, candy is food. So is steak. I never got the “scandal” aspect as to why these things are covered by Food Stamps/SNAP.

      As it is, the notion of giving someone a set of stamps or a card instead of cash is already patronizing/controlling. As if the person is not capable of prioritizing needs and allocating resources on his or her own. No, the government has to decide that this much has to be spent on food and only on food. Well, say, in a given month, that the person visits his or her parents, and they give him or her food to take home. Can that person then use some of the SNAP or Food Stamp money for other things he or she might need instead….toilet paper, a service visit from the plumber, whatever? No, of course not. And it is not like the government saves anything, cuz he still ends up using all the SNAP allowance anyway.

      Really, while some benefits should be in kind (health care, perhaps education), others, most really, should be in cash. That is the cheapest and easiest way to administer a program, and it provides the recipient with the most flexibility. In some places, housing costs more, so maybe the person would use some of the “food money” for that. But, then again, maybe a particular person happens to have a good/lucky housing situation, so she could use some of his housing money freed up for food, which, maybe, costs more in her neighborhood. Etc, etc. And, o the horror, yeah, maybe a poor person might actually use some of the food money for a fun thing, like a movie ticket once in a while. So what? If they want to scrimp or even go without a bit, who’s business is it?

      • Breadbaker

        The intent is not to benefit the recipient, but the agricultural interests.

  • Coconino

    I get sick of these fairy tales and related crap, such as “Welfare slobs should get drug tested blah blah” for whatever crap reason the author cooks up. Clearly, the writers do not shop at EBT customer-frequented stores.

    • bspencer

      The lack of empathy for people who qualify for assistance never fails to amaze (and depress) me.

      • Breadbaker

        You’ll see these “I have to get drug-tested for my job, so why don’t they have to get tested to sit around on their asses all day?” memes all around the internet. So let’s let the addicts kids starve, right?

  • Barry Freed

    You want a flame war?

    I’m going to eat Osso Buco off the toned buttocks of a gay porn star.

    You eat Osso Buco off the ripped abs of a gay porn star. The dimpled buttocks are for snorting cocaine. Silly.

    And then you pay for the whole night with your EBT card. That’s stylin’

    • bargal

      Osso buco was what we poor, disgusting, job-stealing Italian immigrants ate in Australia in the 70s. We didn’t even have the decency to cook the veal shanks whole like normal poor Australians did.

    • BigHank53

      No wonder I can never seem to get a second date with a gay porn star. I sure am glad these fine points of etiquette get cleared up here!

      • bspencer

        This is why you come to LGM, no?

        • BigHank53

          ….do we get a lot of gay porn stars here? (tries not to stare)

          • Walt

            What, you’re not a gay porn star? We need to revoke BigHank53’s commenting privileges immediately.

          • Not so much, but we do get these helpful etiquette tips!

          • Halloween Jack

            Retired. Well, semi-retired, but never semi-anything else, if you catch my drift.

  • jon

    I hear remarks fairly frequently from folks about how single girls have a lot of kids so they can drag down all those fat government checks and never have to get a job.

    Most of the folks telling those stories probably also oppose public money being used for family planning, birth control, abortion services, or pre- and postnatal health and education.

    • Karen

      Exactly. Poor people exist to be miserable. How can billionaires enjoy their wealth without knowing that peasants with 12 kids can’t eat.

      • Breadbaker

        You are not permitted to call them “billionaires”. They are job creators and they’re still waiting for another tax cut.

    • sophronia

      Our local paper did a series a few months ago about how the number of babies born whose parents required state assistance to pay their hospital bills had risen to over 50%. Much hand-wringing and negative-quoting from elected officials ensued. It did not seem to have occurred to anyone that cutting out all assistance to family planning and making abortions as difficult to get as possible means that a lot more poor people are going to have a lot more kids whose medical bills they will not be able to pay.

      Conservatives can’t really believe that if they cut state benefits for everything, people will instantaneously stop having sex, can they? And yet they all act as though they do. It’s beyond absurd

      • Hogan

        It did not seem to have occurred to anyone that cutting out all assistance to family planning and making abortions as difficult to get as possible means that a lot more poor people are going to have a lot more kids whose medical bills they will not be able to pay.

        They call that “incentive.”

  • Weird Dave
  • Bill Murray

    Shouldn’t one of the big things you can buy on your EBT be non-hoppy craft beers from your state?

    • For the win

      • Coconino


    • Nichole

      Just too good!

    • Lee Rudolph

      No-no-no, it’s the wingnuts who are bitter!

  • Pandora went to hell when the blue hippies kicked out the unobtainium miners.

  • fka AWS

    You’re probably one of those liberals who likes their stake medium well, too.

    • Hogan

      Real Americans just rip it right off the cow with their teeth. After shooting it with an AR-15, the only utensil you’ll ever need.

      • Matt T. in New Orleans

        From what I’ve noticed cooking for them professionally, Real Muricans want their steak damn near burnt to a crisp and will still send it back as underdone. Also, they seem to want jambalaya and gumbo that isn’t “too spicy”, which I’ve decided means anything other than table salt.

        • BigHank53

          I spent a summer in Palestine, Texas once, and despite being right in the middle of their ag belt the town was entirely populated with Food Abusers. The two best places for food were Shep’s BBQ and the local soul-food joint. Other than that, you might as well flip a coin between Sonic and Applebee’s.

          Same goes for a huge swath of the Midwest; I once had someone who’d spent time in rural Illinois tell me he had a co-worker who considered Ragu tomato sauce “too spicy”. An ex-girlfriend said her family would only buy cube steak for her grandmother. Since she was going to cook it until it was grey all the way through, there was no point in wasting a nice cut of beef on her.

          • Halloween Jack

            Living in the Midwest, I can testify that that’s sadly true in a number of cases. Can’t remember where I made this comment before (maybe in this blog?), but I made the point to someone who was decrying fast-food chains driving small-town non-franchise eateries out of business that sometimes the chain restaurants are much better; the local pizzeria/Mexican/Chinese stayed in business for as long as it did simply because the locals had no other choices.

            I recently stopped by a diner that I’d passed by a few times and had been wanting to try for a while, thinking that they looked like a home-cookin’ kind of place, and ordered a breakfast platter that was basically eggs-bacon-and-biscuits covered in sausage gravy… and good lord, it was like eating greasy library paste with semi-cooked chunks of pork fat mixed in. Sometimes home-cookin’ failed home ec.

        • Anonymous

          Your “Real Muricans” are deeply misguided.

        • Murc

          There’s actually a lot of food history at work here.

          They’re dying off now in great numbers, but people who grew up in the depression tend to cook/want to cook their meat incredibly well-done. This is because what meat they had access to back in those days was of, shall we say, less than stellar quality. It HAD to be cooked well done in order to be palatable. Even once better times rolled around, they stuck with it, sometimes for decades, because it was what they knew and were used to. Rare meat was legitimately dangerous.

          (This is also the origin, largely, of people who will never, ever throw meat away. How many people had a parent/grandparent who would remove a five-year-old piece of beef from the freezer and declare it was “still good” and they would just “cut around” the freezer-burned parts?)

          And on top of that, there’s a great swathe of the midwest (the upper midwest mostly) which is really into incredibly well-done meat as a cultural thing entirely independent of the whole “only had access to shitty meat” thing I outlined above. If you walk into a restaurant in, say, Minnesota, be prepared for your “rare” to come out medium.

        • Halloween Jack

          The flip side of that are the restaurants who won’t let a hint of pink stay in the meat because they’re afraid of being sued.

    • commie atheist

      No, she likes her stake head-tipped.

    • bspencer

      I’ve been shamed into medium.

  • Uncle Kvetch

    …and she had a Pandora bracelet!

    But was she carrying an umbrella? I hear umbrellas are the hot new thing all of a sudden.

    • merl

      No, a Marine was detailed to carry the umbrella for her.

  • Ronan

    “not like those liberals who are just reclining on Corinthian leather sofas and eating veal while getting sexually serviced by some homosexual..”

    If only

    • Malaclypse

      Real liberals eat tofu. Veal is what makes this a Poe.

      • Warren Terra

        I thought real liberals ate Aborted Christian Babies?

        • bspencer

          And we wash them down with a nice hoppy beer.

          • Coconino


        • Kingfish

          Not in Oklahoma. They’ve actually gone and made it illegal.

      • bspencer

        Veal means libs are huge hypocrites! Duh!

      • Ronan

        Im sick of hypothetical liberal having all the fun

        • STH

          Yeah, this real liberal spent the day doing laundry, studying payroll tax law (W00T!) and cooking beans in the slow cooker.

          When you’re done with that porn star, b, I could probably find a use for him over here.

  • If you can charge a marine on ebt–sign me up. IYKWIMAITYD

    • mds



      Oh, now the flame war is on. Uh …


      • BigHank53


      • wjts

        Even worse, somebody stepped on one of my jokes in another thread. They’re stealing your bits left and right, man!

  • Nichole

    I’d be shocked if more than 0.5 of any blog’s followers would get into a flame war about how the poor are treated and perceived in USA.

    We’re much more passionate about overly hoppy craft beers and whether Spotify or Pandora is best.

    • fka AWS

      I don’t use Pandora Radio, but I have used the service before (pre-iPhone), and found a lot of interesting music on it related to my musical tastes. I don’t get the hate, honestly.

      • (the other) Davis

        I’m not sure it deserves hate, but my experience of Pandora is that the quality of the variety it introduces into the mix has declined in recent years. These days, many of my stations seem to switch between two modes: (1) cycling through a set of six indie rock bands I’ve been listening to since 2006, and (2) drifting into playing Ella Fitzgerald on my Yeah Yeah Yeahs station (I like Ella, but she sure as hell doesn’t belong in that mix). I.e., it’s either lack of variety and novelty, or wildly inappropriate variety.

        I’m sure there’s some cognitive bias at play, but I do genuinely get better variety from Spotify radio stations.

    • fka AWS

      Also, we’re unlikely to get into a flame war over how the poor is treated because most of the blog commenters here tend to agree at least on the broad outlines that the poor are not treated well.

    • bspencer

      I know. This was a sucky subject to use to initiate a flame war. I joked on Facebook I should have written a post that was mildly critical of Quentin Tarantino.

      • Malaclypse

        This was a sucky subject to use to initiate a flame war

        “Under certain traffic circumstances, bicyclists are legally entitled to, and should, seize the lane so as to prevent automobiles behind them from passing the bicyclist without the automobile crossing the yellow line.”


        • Rhino


        • That was recently amended to add “Note: as long as the driver doesn’t cross the yellow line, the driver is encouraged to run the bicyclist over if he’s on a fixie. Fuckin’ fixies!”

      • Bill Murray

        only mildly critical?

      • STH

        Why mess around? Go straight for the “REAL CHILI IS” or “REAL BBQ IS” debate.

        I’ll start: real chili must have beans!

        (Sorry. I don’t really care what real BBQ is, I like all of it.)

        • STH

          If that doesn’t work, there’s always “MAC VS PC.”

          • Ronan

            Commodore..end of

            • Ronan

              ..and BBQ chilli..

              • Ronan

                More seriously though, coming from a part of the world that doesnt do chili Ive always felt it’s something Ive really missed out on..any time Ive ever had it it’s been a mediocre knock off*..I yearn for a proper, chunky, cheesy, chewy, eh, chili

                * Im not sure why any of you would care, but still..

                • Rhino


                  No. Just no.

                • Ronan

                  I told ya..IVE WASTED MY LIFE

              • On pizza.

          • Halloween Jack

            Wake up and smell the 21st century, granddad, it’s iOS vs. Android now.

        • I want a flame war, not actual war.

      • Coconino

        Fergawdsakes, it’s chile, not chili! Flame on.

  • bspencer

    BTW, ya’ll, guess what kind of ads are popping up here? Pandora. Sooo creepy.

    • fka AWS

      Honestly, I’m surprised nobody named a pr0n site Pandorasbox.com – and no, I’m not going to google that.

      • bspencer
        • Warren Terra

          But “pocket bears” sound adorable. Like teacup pigs!

          (Note that I do understand “teacup pigs” are a terrible idea, and only in part because they grow to the size of a person)

      • STH

        We have a mini-chainlet of sex toy/head shop stores here in eastern WA called Pandora’s Box, so there’s that.

        • Coconino

          The only one there when I lived there was Hot Poop in W2. Clearly, times have changed.

    • Warren Terra

      I’m getting an ad urging me to learn to jump into another universe where I have money. Nifty. I don’t even remember putting any money in any other universes.

  • (the other) Davis

    Pandora bracelets are the new color televisions.

    • Hogan

      Pandora bracelets are the new color televisions refrigerators.

      • Tehanu

        Pandora bracelets are the new color televisions refrigerators cell phones. How dare those homeless unemployed have ways of communicating with possible employers!

  • Carne Rex

    Well you see, they have to overcompensate. Did you witness the hilarity over at Protein Wisdom this week? Mr. Goldstein’s monthly fundraiser fell very short so he posted some dubious sob story about being screwed over by his large evil bank and needing emergency cash infusions from his loyal lackeys. The funny part was that Goldstein claimed that his wife was about to get a check for $11,000 but made no mention of paying back his contributors. He was not asking for loans, he was asking for charity. And it looks like he got it.

    • Timb

      He’s so proud….and honest…and brave

  • When I have this discussion at work, I always point out that if those people on EBT have it so cushy perhaps the $200k+/year airline captain I’m arguing with would care to trade places with them.

    • guthrie

      Do they still get paid that much? I thought pilot pay had been ground down so low they were desperate.

      • Downpuppy

        New pilots are desperate, veterans are just making less that they did 20 years ago – unadjusted for inflation.

        US Air pilots have had their pensions wiped out 3 times.

      • I work for one of the big shipping companies.

        We still have a pretty decent pay scale. It’s not so much that ours went up, everyone else went down.

        A Captain on a narrow-body aircraft makes around $200k and a Captain on a larger jet makes around $250k.

  • ponce
    • Sweetums

      since when does Council House equal luxury?

  • Halloween Jack
  • I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for
    me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Exceptional work!

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