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I am an American citizen on SNAP.  I receive $200 a month once a month to help me buy food because I am currently far far below the US poverty line.  I have health issues that prevent me from going back to work right now to buy my own groceries like I used to when I worked.

And I am sick and tired of you telling me what I can and can't eat.

I am 43 years old.  Until recently, I lived on my own - since I was 17.  I paid my bills, I saved my pennies, I developed tastes for little things to make my life comfortable as people do.  I'm a chef.  I know how to manage a food budget, to work with fresh ingredients, to prepare and serve healthy meals in a timely fashion.  I'm not stupid, or incapable of budgeting because I'm poor, I'm poor because I got ill and downsized and left behind because I am having a hard time getting well - not because I'm a moron when it comes to nutrition or have no idea how to boil water.

How DARE you think that you can tell me or other people on SNAP what we should or should not eat.  How DARE you think you know our personal situations, food sensitivities and local food resources that you can micromanage one of the most basic needs a human has - the necessity and comfort of control of our food.  How DARE you consistently and continually degrade us as less intelligent than you are because of our financial situations.  How DARE you think that you are the one to decide what little luxury I am allowed or not allowed based on your biased perceptions.

I drink Diet Pepsi.  It makes me feel like I'm a normal human being, not a poor schlub.  I don't DO coffee.  It's far to hot where I live to drink tea - and that doesn't have the level of caffeine my body needs to get up and get going in the society we live in.  I don't want some rip off brand adding to my self perception of a low wage loser dragging my already semi-broken spirit down - and rip off soda tastes like ass.  I don't care for things that taste like ass in my mouth, thank you.  I don't care for the looks I get with a rip off brand in my hand, or on my counter or to serve to my friends when they come over.  Shame tastes like ass, and I have enough already, I don't need you to add to it with your micromanaging food policing.

And I didn't ask for your opinion on my little luxury either.  I didn't when I was able to work - and I don't now.  I will and do eat a lot of off label things to make that $200 stretch, but I will NOT compromise on my Diet Pepsi.  My one little taste of my old life, of normality, of hope.  Hope that one day I will get better.  Hope that one day I won't need to go through the humiliation of filling out those forms again and again and again and sitting in that office and wondering if I will still be able to have ramen noodles and canned overcooked veg to go with my Diet Pepsi.

How DARE you think you have the right to take away my taste of hope because you don't approve.  How DARE you think that you can judge when most Americans are one paycheck away from where I am at any given time - I'm sure you have little things you like as well  - you may find are necessary for your self esteem should you find yourself sick, laid off and suddenly in the downward spiral of poverty yourself.  Look in a mirror and think on that a bit - you too are only a pink slip and a lingering illness from being here yourselves.

So you can have my Diet Pepsi when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.  Until then, work to make the world a better place and stop being the damn food police.

Love,

Chef Mortifyd

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Comment Preferences

  •  Right there with ya! Though I drink caffeine free (9+ / 0-)

    coke, I not only love, but MUST have, chocolate - always.  

    Taking away my chocolate would probably make me more insane than taking away my cigarettes!

    "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

    by MRA NY on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:16:18 PM PDT

  •  It's a tough call. (4+ / 0-)

    I mean, the N in SNAP does stand for "nutritional."

    But, you know, you seem so earnest about it, I'll just say "nice rant."

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:23:54 PM PDT

  •  This middle class food snob applauds you (16+ / 0-)

    I get soooo sick of people lecturing other people about what they should or should not eat.

    Yeah, I eat lots of fruit and lean meat and foods rich in Omega. Snack on cashews and/or European cheeses and don't consume simple carps.  

    I've got it good.

    And I know I've got it good because it wasn't too long ago that I had $20 a month for groceries if I was lucky.

    I don't think that most people who eat like I do realize that in today's economy, in the US as it is now, that's a fucking luxury. It shouldn't be, mind you, but it is.

    As a side rant, I used to eat a LOT of carbs because I was very, very active. On a LAZY day I rode four miles on a bike. I used to get lectures here about high-carb diets. I'd like to see them do what I did daily on a low carb diet (and I still consumed fewer cars than the average American.)

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:27:07 PM PDT

    •  Carbs... (17+ / 0-)

      I'm on digestive enzymes. If I eat anything at all without them, I end up so weak that I can't get up off the floor. Do not misunderstand me - I don't mean "gee, I'm tired, i don't want to get up" I mean so fucking weak that a cattle prod would make me cry, but it wouldn't get me up.

      I've gone healthier with my diet, lately. Always liked healthy foods anyway, but wanted to go with a few of my favorites - grapefruit, salad, etc.... all stuff I truly love, and I wanted to lose weight. Win-win, right?

      Uh... no.

      After a day or so of few carbs, I started getting really weak. And weaker. Kept eating the salads and healthy foods, and it got worse.

      Then, in desperation, I had some mac and cheese. Quick, easy (and when you're tired, that's huge)....

      Next day I felt human again.

      So yeah, I still have a lot of healthy foods in my diet, but I have to have a decent number of carbs or I'm in trouble.

      That's just how my body works (or doesn't, in this case).

      Point is, everyone is different. What works for me might not work for someone else. But it's MY CHOICE to make, and nobody else's.

      f people believe that it's okay to tell others how to live, then why do those with higher incomes seem to have the right to do whatever they please?

      Aside from that, the idea that being low-income means you're stupid or undeserving seems like a rather right-wing idea to me. I

      It's sad when you see people on our side adopting that kind of thoughtless cruelty.

      "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

      by Diogenes2008 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:46:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this one too, standing O, Mortifyd (6+ / 0-)

      i see it as a human rights issue.  

  •  don't you live in Oregon? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, Dr Swig Mcjigger

    How cold does it have to get before tea is not too hot?

    I will break from the crowd here and be a scold...

    Tax payer provided food assistance should be just that....FOOD.

    Not diet pepsi.

    HR at your whim, but that's just the way it is.

    _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

    by Keith930 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:27:30 PM PDT

  •  Till They Accede to Your Demands, There is Iced (4+ / 0-)

    or chilled tea.

    And you can boost the caffeine strength of tea considerably with more steeping and using extra tea per amount of water. Of course make sure the first contact between tea and water is with boiling water. 3-5 seconds of active boiling generally won't bust a tea bag and spill leaves into the water.

    Tea also won't erode your teeth like cola.

    Unfortunately in our puritanical society, anyone who's on any public dole and whose last name is not "Inc." is forbidden the luxury of getting what you prefer from the taxpayers. We need you to know you're suffering so that you will take the personal responsibility to heal your body or mind and get the hell out of my wallet.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:30:18 PM PDT

  •  can i see a link of who is doing this to you? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:32:31 PM PDT

    •  why? Is Diet Pepsi written into the Bill of Rights (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila

      or do you just have your jets fired up?

      _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

      by Keith930 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:35:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The diary that started this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mortifyd, RiveroftheWest, eXtina, Crider

      Was deleted.

      "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

      by Diogenes2008 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:55:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ok thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mortifyd

        i thought diet pepsi was a weird thing to single out, it's not 'nutritional' but it's not as bad as soda with sugar (in some respects)

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:29:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I read the diary before it was deleted (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark Mywurtz, eXtina, Crider

          I don't recall soft drinks being the diarist's issue...he just commented about what foods he ate and that he rarely ate packaged foods.  The things I remember are that he ate oatmeal and an egg every morning...that he usually cooks his own food rather than going out to eat, and that he realized that, being older, he probably didn't have the same perspective on some "foods" that younger people have.  

          There may have been comments from someone down-stream about soft drinks...I don't recall.  But, he took a lot of flak from people who conveniently assumed he was critiquing their food choices.  Some people seem to lie in the weeds hoping someone will say something they can take rabid offense at...and I think this is one of those times.

          I actually can't believe I'm taking the time to read this...it's just too much about too little.  But, it's early...

          The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

          by Persiflage on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:18:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Rec'd for (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Persiflage, eXtina
            Some people seem to lie in the weeds hoping someone will say something they can take rabid offense at...
            There are few topics here at DK where even the most reasonable comment or question that hints at being contrary to the prevailing opinion will cause a number of people to lose their shit and immediately start hurling vitriol at you.  I'm not talking about when someone leaves obviously insulting comments looking for a reaction (which I'll freely admit I have done at times when I was disgusted by a diary), but sometimes I see people with sincere questions or comments that aren't at all unreasonable being pissed all over by the same type of people you mention.  

            Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

            by Mark Mywurtz on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:43:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I read that diary also (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mortifyd, eXtina, FloridaSNMOM

            It wasn't just about what THEY ate. It was about liking a conservative idea (their words) - that we should be able to control what poor people buy with their SNAP benefits.

            THAT is what caused the uproar. If you're going to talk about what was in it, at least be honest about it.

            "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

            by Diogenes2008 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:52:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Got it (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mortifyd, eXtina, Crider, FloridaSNMOM

              Went to Google's cached pages:

              I think it is worth looking at the proposal referenced in the article for improving the SNAP program: restricting SNAP benefits to purchase of beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Lane suggests adding fish and lean meats. I think I would add eggs.

              "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

              by Diogenes2008 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:02:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Think about that for a moment. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mortifyd, Crider, FloridaSNMOM

                What's left out? Milk, cheese, bread (you would evidently need to make your own, but how, without eggs, yeast, butter, oils, etc.?)

                No yogurt, no cottage cheese, nothing frozen, no rolls, no spices, no lunch meats, no ketchup, no condiments at all... and they THINK they personally would add eggs.... but DEFINITELY no snacks.

                Grains? So you'd have to make your own flour?

                I guess you would have to spend what little cash you have on those things it wouldn't cover? What do you give up, then? Phone, maybe, or electricity, or tissue paper, or.... you see where I'm going here.

                But hey, it's just poor people, right? Sucking off the teat of the taxpayer, unlike the big oil companies and rich CEO's.... or like some in Congress who own farms and get paid NOT to raise food... (Google it)

                Must have done something to deserve being born with a disability, even those who worked hard until they couldn't anymore. Right? And those who lost their jobs because of the economic crash... they must have deserved it.

                Every day, people on this site talk about "poor people" and how we need to help them, instead of bailing out the big banks etc. etc. etc.....

                Was it all just talk? Or do they only want to help the poor as some grand gesture so that they can get praise for it? Poor people are still stupid, uneducated, lazy... we need to tell them what to do, because they're not smart enough to figure anything out for themselves, I suppose...

                Gah.

                "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

                by Diogenes2008 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:20:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think it's likely we are not referring to the (0+ / 0-)

                  same diary.  You'll note I mentioned "he" and "older guy" and your link is to something written by a "vickijean."  The egg and oatmeal breakfast isn't there either.  With that in mind, perhaps your assumption of my dishonesty and subsequent dressing-down wasn't warranted.  Ya think?

                  ready...fire...aim.

                  Not that it matters....I agree with your observations above.

                   

                  The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

                  by Persiflage on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:57:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The one the diarist was talking about (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mortifyd

                    Was the one I mentioned. We were both there.

                    You claimed to know which diary was referenced, but you were wrong.

                    I'm sorry if I came across a bit touchy, but your comment sounded like you were dismissing the diarist's concerns.

                    "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

                    by Diogenes2008 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:31:00 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  This, especially (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mortifyd
                    Some people seem to lie in the weeds hoping someone will say something they can take rabid offense at...and I think this is one of those times.

                    "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

                    by Diogenes2008 on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:32:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It may be that comment pushed your button (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mark Mywurtz

                      but, it's an observation that often holds true.  

                      I never mentioned the diarist's concerns...you decided that I had dismissed his concerns.   The diarist appears to have pressing matters more to be concerned about than soft drinks, but that's another matter and I wouldn't deign to pass judgement on someone whose shoes I haven't walked in.        

                      The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

                      by Persiflage on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 01:06:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  hi. diarist here. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Diogenes2008

                        For me, given the food police pressure I face on a daily basis - from my parents, from the shitty FOX they watch constantly, from "friends" on Facebook, from the people at the store when I shop, from "well meaning" diarists on DKOS - who wisely backtrack and deleted, but still -  I get tired and angry and fed up.  

                        So my desire to be able to choose one thing I enjoy for myself - it's a fucking pressing matter to me.  It may seem trivial to you - but it's not to me because it's not really about my choice in drinks to wash down my ramen with - it's about hope.

                        And there are people in this world who want to make snide little remarks and take that last vestige of hope away from me for no reason other than I am poor, sick and get help to buy it.

                        And that sucks.

                        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                        by Mortifyd on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 03:53:59 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Diarist... (0+ / 0-)

                          You certainly have my sympathy for your predicament...mostly for your health problems which appear not to be things that a job and greater independence may someday alleviate.

                          As a parent of a child - now middle-aged...( I reiterate I haven't walked in your shoes)..who had numerous issues until a few years ago I also have some empathy for your parents...whether they watch Fox/have other concerns or not...and whom, to you, make your life difficult while you are living with them.

                          The simple fact is...like it or not...you're fortunate to have their support and they do have rights to their own lives/opinions/eccentricities/whatever even if it bugs you.  At your age, you're their guest....family or not.  It's likely not a picnic for them either.  

                          All that said, there are likely legitimate arguments both ways about how people on public assistance spend that money and why some people perceive soft drinks/sugar-coated cereals/whatever as dubious expenditures and some don't.   I choose not to engage in that argument.

                          I wish for you blessings and good fortune that will allow you to live your life as you see fit.  

                          The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

                          by Persiflage on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:55:14 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  you clearly have not read my diaries (0+ / 0-)

                            about my parents.

                            They aren't being supportive out of a sense of concern for me - but for themselves and their need to control me. I got away, now I have to pay for it.

                            That said - THEY aren't so much bitching about my soda as much as reiterating that OTHER people on SNAP are lazy stupid bums because poor = stupid.  I have an exception being their child.

                            I just happen to be human enough to empathize with other poor people.

                            But hey, thanks for concern trolling over one "luxury" item that makes me feel human, it means a lot to me.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 03:36:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Candidly (0+ / 0-)

                            You sound like some teenagers I know.  

                            The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

                            by Persiflage on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:52:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  go fuck yourself and get out of my diary (0+ / 0-)

                            is that clear enough for you?

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:28:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  and "candidly" you sound like a typical (0+ / 0-)

                            minimizer who can't empathise with other people and enjoy shame trolling.  Kind of abusive behaviour actually.

                            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

                            by Mortifyd on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:29:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You try living on beans for months on end (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mortifyd

                            See how much you start to crave variety.

                            Then we will bitch at you for being "wasteful"

                            "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

                            by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 03:32:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You have assumed you know what I think about (0+ / 0-)

                            the DP issue or the issue of dictates about what should be purchased with public assistance monies... which I carefully avoided...because, as I said earlier..I can see good arguments in both directions but I wouldn't personally deny someone the right to decide for themselves.

                            My direct comments to the diarist were in an entirely different vein.    If you didn't actually read those comments or failed to understand or if you disagree, so be it.   What either of us thinks doesn't matter a whit in the long run.

                            The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

                            by Persiflage on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:19:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Well said, Mortifyd (10+ / 0-)

    I drink mostly water. No coffee, no tea, no alcohol. I don't smoke or drink. No recreational drugs. I eat out very rarely.

    But I do have a Mug root beer once or twice a year, and once in a long while some lemonade.

    My treat is Lindt chili chocolate - a square or two of that and the rest of my cravings go away. That's my comfort food.

    On a day when I get paralyzed or weak with little or no warning, or have to go to the store (or any place with fluorescent lights) and end up with my body rebelling... it makes it a tiny bit better at the end of the day if I can have just a bit of chocolate. It gives me something small to look forward to.

    I enjoy life, even though mine is rather ascetic by most people's standards... but everyone needs that little bit of comfort - that small taste of joy that lets you know you're still human. Something to lighten the soul.

    Yeah, I'm on SNAP. I can't drive, I can't work, and my energy levels are very very low. I'm allergic to practically everything. But I still do what I can to help others, and I still take the trash out of the neighborhood lake when my body will allow it.

    I've given up a lot. But I will NOT give up those few small comforts that keep me going. I just won't.

    And those who think they can tell people on SNAP what they should eat, or buy, or how they should live... they need to back off, and ask themselves how they would like it if someone came to their homes to peruse every last decision. If everything they did or ate or said was under scrutiny. If anyone has the urge to tell someone else how they should live their lives, I would ask them to first imagine me telling THEM what to do, and how angry it would make them.

    I know why you wrote this. And I remember the last comment that was posted before that diary got deleted - here's just a portion of it:

    Can't these people be asked to exercise? (0+ / 0-)

    I know this is going to sound crazy and patronizing, but there are 5k, 10 k runs is most communities on a regular. Can't they be asked to take part in some of those?


    Yeah. Never mind the disabilities that so many have. Let's force them to do what they're unable to do. Let's tell them how to live their lives... because that worked so well for the GOP and the war on women, now didn't it?

    "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

    by Diogenes2008 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:36:51 PM PDT

  •  I loved the stuff too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mortifyd, Avila

    but started having digestive issues. Had to switch to unsweetened tea.

  •  I hear ya (6+ / 0-)

    Only I question your choice of Diet Pepsi instead of Diet Coke...if you're going to go junk food, go high quality junk food!

    "It depends what the meaning of 'is', is"
    Platform of the Neo-Democratic Party
    Speaking out of one side of their mouth for the little guy, their nominal constituency, and the other for the plutocracy, their real constituency.

    by Sanctimonious on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:41:42 PM PDT

  •  I get all of that except (5+ / 0-)
    I don't DO coffee.
    Wadda ya got against coffee ?

    Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

    by indycam on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:47:31 PM PDT

    •  makes me sick for one thing (8+ / 0-)

      And it always seems like a cheat to me - smells SO good and tastes so bad without a tonne of sugar and dairy products to make it palatable. Which just makes me sicker.  I don't really do sugar or dairy anymore, just complicates the bad stomach that coffee provides alone. Hot tea is better, it tastes like it smells, but it does a number on my kidneys and I pee more than a pregnant woman at 10 months - ain't nobody got time for that.

      DP - does none of those things - and it's not like I'm mainlining the stuff, just a bit to make like a little less horrible as a sick soul in America.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:56:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll pass on scolding you assuming that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, avsp

    if your role was reversed, you'd do the same. It's the complaints from people who want the government to to keep its hands of their medicare (or SS or whatever) that blow my mind.

  •  *applauds* Thank you Mortifyd!!! (16+ / 0-)

    I've had people tell me I shouldn't be able to buy cake mix to make a cake for my child's birthday because I'm on food stamps. I've had people tell me I should be allowed NO 'junk' food at all (their definition of junk). I've  had people tell me I shouldn't be able to buy anything but water IF our water was undrinkable, nothing to flavor it with, and MILK (which my son is allergic to, and my daughter can't have a lot of due to her asthma and breathing issues and neither can I).

    I agree. F##K them. It's not any of their business what I eat or drink, what I spend our cash or our snap on. I worked as well for as many years as I could, Before I had kids I worked 2 full time jobs. I worked at pizza hut 6-2 and as a CNA in an alzheimer's unit from 3-11. I paid my share of taxes for as long as I was working. My father and mother both work, my sisters work, my grandfather worked beyond his retirement. My family and myself have paid into the system over and beyond what I use in food stamps. But even if we hadn't, they can still take their condescending 'I'm better than thou because I'm healthy and can work' attitude and stuff it up where the sun doesn't shine.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:01:13 PM PDT

    •  exactly! (12+ / 0-)

      I worked my ass off for years.  I will G-d willing get better and continue to work my ass off for many more.  I pay my small taxes happily and look forward to the day I make enough to pay more - again - because taxes are the entry fee to civilization.

      I've seen people tell a mother with a child to put that cake mix back.  I've had people tell me to put my soda back.  And they have no idea what I have lived through, what I did before I was a chef, how hard I have worked and sweated and given happily to make this nation a better place.

      The whole thing boils down to in the end that somehow poor people are no longer human beings worthy of dignity, respect or choices.  That poverty is a measure of their worth as a human being for all time, that poverty is a punishment for not trying hard enough to suit someone else.

      And I say fuck that right in the ass.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:18:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  HA! I posted about buying birthday cake (11+ / 0-)

      above, and just saw your comment. See, I know enough folks that are using, or have used, SNAP benefits. I know what they go through. I have had them a long time ago, and just last week, I applied, but am waiting to actually activate it. Why? Because I don't want to go through this shit again. I've been eligible for 5 years. But I'm just now getting to the point where I really can't do without them.

      But still, because of this kind of shit, I just don't want to hit that "submit" button. And I don't usually drink soda. But I know I'll buy something someone doesn't like, and I'm pretty sure I'll get arrested if someone confronts me.

      I'd like to start a new meme: "No means no" is a misnomer. It should be "Only 'Yes' means yes." Just because someone doesn't say "No" doesn't mean they've given consent. If she didn't say "Yes", there is no consent.

      by second gen on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:48:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you need them and you qualify, hit submit. (12+ / 0-)

        And when someone confronts you, tell them it's none of their business what you buy or how you buy it. Ask them if they are trying to steal people's Identity or credit card numbers since they are paying such close attention to what cards people are using. Food stamps aren't  paper any longer. They don't stand out in casual contact. They shouldn't know what card you are using if they are being respectful of your privacy. They want to 'accuse' you of mis spending their taxes, accuse them of being a snoop or a thief. And do it LOUDLY. THey'll shut up and move on pretty quickly.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:52:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  shouldn't make birthday cakes (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mortifyd, avsp, Diogenes2008, FloridaSNMOM

      for your little ones?  unbelievably cruel and sanctimonious idiots never ever reach a limit, do they?  that is beneath contempt.  

      good for you.  they don't get enough fuck yous for heartlessness, ever.

  •  Isn't the SNAP the same program that feeds (4+ / 0-)

    children?

    I don't care what you eat. I really don't. You're an adult. Eat and drink what you want.  Consuming a very moderate amount of soda has been linked to increased risk of prostate cancer and two sodas per week can increase your risk ofpancreatic cancer by 87%.

    When I read that second study, we stopped drinking soda pretty much entirely. Pancreatic cancer isn't like most cancers after all. It's almost always fatal.

    I suppose that one can make the argument that if taxpayers are going to foot any part of the bill for increased healthcare costs now or down the road, taxpayers should have a say on what a SNAP recipient eats now.

    But meh, I figure adults can make their own decisions.

    The problem is kids.

    Kids shouldn't be drinking soda at all. They certainly shouldn't be drinking sugary drinks, but nutrasweet is really bad for them too. How do we ensure that adult recipients get to consume what they want and that child recipients continue to be covered under stricter guidelines?

    And don't tell me that we need to trust parents because I don't trust the judgement of many parents. I'm not picking on poor parents here. I'm saying MANY parents. I see the crap that people buy for their kids. I was standing in line at the store the the other day and the cart was full with crap like Go-Gurts, Frosted Flakes, Sunny Delight and other fake food products. I was at Costco. These products cost as much (or more) than real yogurt, cereal like oatmeal or Cheerios, and real orange or other juice, which Costco also sells.

    Folks don't know what real food is. Or they give in to their kids who beg for it, kids who are subjected to relentless advertising.

    I understand that SNAP covers crappy food like Mac&Cheese with frankencheese powder. But a lot of poor people live in food deserts, and options are often limited where they live.  So while I'd love to say we should tighten up standards even more, we also have to be practical.

    So, eat and drink what you want. I sincerely wish you could.

    But tell me how we keep kids healthy. Empty calories that are actually bad for their health (and therefore their ability to succeed in school, for starters)  does them, their families and America no favors.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:37:27 PM PDT

    •  (The cart of the woman ahead of me-- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Avila

      someone with three young kids.)

      My fingers moved too fast there and omitted a rather key fact there.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:40:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A couple of things. (7+ / 0-)

      a) not all 'sugary drinks' are necessarily 'bad'. Especially depending on the kid. Sugary drinks have kept my son out of the hospital because he's a severe hypoglycemic and they boosted his sugar enough to keep him awake while I was making him something with protein and carbs in it. Water wouldn't have done it. He's allergic to milk. He needed the sugar.

      b) If you want to control what kids eat, expand WIC. WIC already has that in place. Of course you can't buy store brands if they are cheaper, and you are limited in what you can get, and convincing them to give you milk you can use (not cow) even with a kid with an allergy is next to impossible.

      c) Again you don't know what that parent is going through. Maybe the go-gurt is for those days she works early and she has to have the kids up and on the bus at 5am and they need something to eat while they are sitting at the bus stop. Maybe she gets Sunny Delight because it's better than soda and doesn't spoil as fast in sippy cups in the heat as milk or regular juice. Maybe the frosted flakes are for her to eat, dry after she drops the kids off at daycare so that she has something in her stomach before she gets to her job when she may or may not have a break in the first 6 hours.

      So no, you don't get to decide what my kids can and cannot eat. Sorry.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:11:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And no one asked me. (4+ / 0-)

        I pay my taxes. I don't lobby about food assistance standards.

        I do lobby like crazy that there should be more food assistance. I support a lobby group that works on behalf of those who need food assistance to ensure that benefits aren't being cut, that standards aren't being cut just to save money, that we're finding better ways to take care of our most vulnerable citizens.

        I don't care what your kids eat. I certainly don't care what you eat.

        But you might want to consider that I'm a friend in the larger war against those who need assistance in the fight against hunger. I don't know what the mother in Costco, you or any parent is going through. But I know what it's like to be so hungry that a shop owner pulls you aside because you're so thin and gray, and he hands you two large bags of vegetables, bread and cheese, and makes you promise to return next week for more. I know this and now that my husband and I are comfortable, we do everything we can to eradicate hunger in America.

        You don't know who I am or what path I've walked. You don't know why I might care about what those who get food assistance eat. You might not know what I do to ensure that the hungry never get forgotten.

        I'm not your enemy. I assure you.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:34:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I do see your point about bad food (9+ / 0-)

      I do.  

      I'm an adult, and happen to be a freak male with no prostate to worry about and my pancreas kicks ass - I have to have a lot of blood work because of the kinds of medication I'm on.  My doctor doesn't begrudge me my DP because it makes me feel human and is not consumed in quantities that have any notable effects on my body.  It does have a very positive effect on my ability to cope with the pills and the crazy and the grinding, shuddering horror of being mentally ill and poor as a result of illnesses I can't control.

      And these genes end here - I'm not subjecting a child to a mentally ill parent and the risk of an adulthood like my own.  There aren't enough safetynets in the world to make it okay for me to procreate - it's just not responsible.

      I would LOVE to be able to afford the kinds of foods I like to cook for other people - to teach kids and adults how to enjoy cooking, shopping, preparing food - the basis of my desire to have a second career as a chef was a mum who loves to cook and is VERY health conscious about it - a diabetic younger brother will do that.  I didn't know until I was older that other people's mums didn't know how to cook or teach them - my brother is a damn fine cook as well.

      But our society isn't geared toward making America or anywhere else a better place right now.  We pay farmers not to grow.  We subsidize shit and call it good eats.  We export murder, hate and obesity with a heaping side dish of shallow.  And it hurts me to see that this is the legacy of America.  But it's the truth.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:17:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I get you. (4+ / 0-)

        The agribusiness/food industry does not (with very few exceptions) care about health, but only profit. Its well-compensated politicians do what they need to ensure that this occurs every single quarter, fiscal year after fiscal year.

        I honestly wish there were a way that for adults like you, that we could give you your allocation in cash. Pay your electric bill. Put gas in your car. Go to your local farmers market. Buy a nice bottle of wine.  Whatever you want to do with the money, do it.

        But I follow very closely the health, hunger and education trends of America's children. Hunger is an issue I care very deeply about, and kids get hit really hard. Even when they eat calories, they're often malnourished, which affects their educations, which affects their whole lives.

        I think you and I agree.

        There should be a way that we could do both. It seems, though, like we can barely do the one program well though.  Where I live isn't so incredibly far from the region with some of the highest food scarcity in the country. Not Mississippi, not Alabama, not Lousiana, but the Central Valley of California, where over  25% of citizens    say they don't have enough money to buy food -- yup right in farmland of progressive California, who creates almost $15 billion dollars more in agricultural products than any other state.
        http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/...

        Things are so just terribly wrong. But yes, a guy should be able to have a diet Pepsi (even if it is inferior to Diet Coke) whenever he wants.

        /former diet coke addict.

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:05:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  will you ever work again? (0+ / 0-)

    or are you looking into how to qualify for SSDI?

    _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

    by Keith930 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:22:24 PM PDT

    •  I applied for SSDI in October (7+ / 0-)

      Both short term and long term - while my doctor tells me my multiple diagnoses will qualify me - it could be a year before I am approved and who knows how long after that before I actually see any money.

      My personal preference is that I am only short term and can find a way to live productively with my illnesses - it's fucking boring and depressing as hell to not work.  I'm a smart man with a head full of squirrels, ADD, OCD, a couple of minor learning disabilities and autism - officially the squirrels are called schizophrenia.

      I am blessed that my symptoms are relatively mild for a schizophrenic and I can tell the difference between the hallucinations and reality most of the time - and prefer reality very much.  I always take my medication as directed, even when I feel good, but my biochemistry is such that I build up tolerances and we have to keep changing the medication to manage my symptoms - and the side effects of some of those medications are pretty fucking awful.

      One of the ones I'm on now controls the hallucinations pretty well, but affects my motor control.  Another one has completely screwed my internal thermostat so I am constantly overheated unless I'm in a room at about 65F in shorts and a tee shirt.  Some of them have given me seizures, panic attacks and extreme paranoia, made me suicidal and depressed to the point I couldn't move faster than a snail while constantly crying for reasons I couldn't articulate to anyone else.

      I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  Once upon a time, I was funny and thinner, didn't lurch around like a drunken sailor, have double vision and went to work every day with a smile and helped people.  It terrifies me that I may never be able to do those things again.  

      It shames me that there are days I can't get out of bed other than to use the loo and take a cold shower because I'm burning up all the time. Or go out in the sunlight. Or live in my own home on my own.

      If we can find a way to manage all of that that lets me be functional again - I'm all for it.  I'm not looking for a permanent vacation on $900 a month for the rest of my life - I have a lot more to give if I could just control what's going on in my head and with my body.

      I want to be well again.  I didn't do anything to get sick, it's just the luck of the genetic draw.  The powerlessness of having your mind and body betray you on a daily basis is humbling and terrifying.

      I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:01:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  have you ever worked? (0+ / 0-)

        You are...what...43?

        How many years in your life have you worked?

        _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

        by Keith930 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:13:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can't speak for Mortifyd (7+ / 0-)

          But as far as I'm concerned, that's none of your fucking business.

          As for me, there was a time in my life (around the beginning of the disability) when I was divorced with two small children, attending college full-time, working part time, and trying to raise my children.

          I worked until I couldn't anymore. And then I worked volunteer work because if you crash while working they're less likely to fire a volunteer and you don't make any money anyway - but it makes you feel good about yourself.

          And I tutored math at home for as long as I could - then ended up moving clear across the country and lost my network of students.

          Got sick enough that just getting up to go to the kitchen was torturous.

          I'm a little better now, but not much. Not enough.

          I help others when I can, and as I said, I clean up the lake behind our condos whenever my body will allow it.

          I'm volunteering it because it's MY choice to do so.

          I'm 53 years old, and I've contributed quite a lot to the community in my lifetime. Left a decent legacy behind with my volunteer work, thank you.

          But I'm sick to death of people trying to shame me or anyone else because we can't work. I didn't ask to have fucked up DNA. Nobody asks for that.

          Walk a mile in my shoes - if you can get that far.

          And then maybe learn a little empathy.

          "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

          by Diogenes2008 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:19:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And yeah... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mortifyd, Avila, FloridaSNMOM

            I know I'm coming off as angry, but this matters a great deal to me.

            Just sick of having so little control over what happens to me... being disabled is like being slapped in the face. And then society reaches out and slaps you again, just to make sure you get the message that you are a second-class citizen.

            Your education doesn't matter, the amount of work you've put in during your lifetime doesn't matter, the help you've given others... your heart, your soul, your character....

            All washed away in a heartbeat because all people see is "poor".

            And somehow that translates to "lazy, uneducated, undeserving, stupid, ignorant...."

            It does hurt. I just wish people understood without having to go through it themselves.

            "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

            by Diogenes2008 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:41:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  since I was 12 - not that it's your concern (8+ / 0-)

          and yes, I DID pay taxes on my babysitting money.  I had a diabetic brother no one else would care for when my parents had required military events - so I gained a reputation as a reliable and mature sitter and worked 6 days a week during some periods of my life.  I also worked in a barn to pay for my riding lessons shoveling horseshit, McDonalds and a host of other "teen" jobs - I'm no trust fund baby sitting on my ass going OMG it's hard.

          I graduated at 16 and then moved out at 17.  I worked all through jr high and high school and beyond.  I went to college and worked full time then as well - dropping out when I had to choose between bills and tuition in my senior year.

          So yeah, I've worked plenty.  And if you think it's easy to be a schizophrenic when medical care is tied to work - and that there is no stigma to having a mental illness in the working world - I have a bridge you can buy.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:39:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You are a human being, drink your DP (8+ / 0-)

    when you can. You deserve it. The Hell to anybody who thinks they can criticize you for doing so...as though they know how important it is for you...or what you've had to put up with just to get it.

    Trust me, everybody...I mean everybody...has their own version of "DP" whether they realize it or not.

    We all have little tricks we use in order to get ourselves from one day to the next...little things we can look forward to...little things that get us to exhale.

    I tipping & recc'ing this diary because I salute you for laying out one of your tricks for getting through the day!

    Atlatl Cauac...Jatz'om K'uh.

    by catilinus on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:29:32 PM PDT

  •  Good rant. Of course, if the Republicans have... (9+ / 0-)

    ...their way, Food Stamps will vanish and you'll be back to eating surplus government cheese and beans the way we did when I was a kid. My grandma made do. But she was no chef.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:29:37 PM PDT

    •  don't knock Govt cheese... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YellerDog, Dr Swig Mcjigger

      I ate a lot of it growing up...and it wasn't bad.

      In fact...it made the best mac and cheese.  

      try making mac and cheese with diet pepsi.  You'll be disappointed.

      _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

      by Keith930 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:49:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Avila, Mortifyd, avsp, FloridaSNMOM

        You're really hung up on that Diet Pepsi, aren't you??

        Get a freaking grip.

        "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

        by Diogenes2008 on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:21:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  DP does amaxing things to deer steaks (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diogenes2008, Avila, avsp, FloridaSNMOM

        in a marinade, however.  Cheese can't do that.

        And I agree, gov't cheese isn't bad - my great grandmother used to get blocks of it in her 80s.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:23:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am glad you liked it. But having eaten... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mortifyd, avsp, FloridaSNMOM

        ...a lot of it myself (although it had dwindled to nothing by the last week of the month), let me just say that it sucked.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:28:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  anything sucks when it's the only thing left (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, avsp, FloridaSNMOM

          believe me, I understand what you mean.  We didn't visit "Big Mama" that often, so it was something interesting and novel - but if I ever see an MRE again I will likely puke.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 11:12:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Aw... you called your (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mortifyd

            great-grandmother "Big Mama," just like we did! She was really something. Lived on a peach farm in GA, made the best peach cobbler anybody ever ate (you could smell her house blocks away, and that would always bring the neighbors by for a chat), was a size large lady, in a wheel chair for her last years. Made a wish before blowing out the one candle on her 100th birthday...

            "Lord, I thank you for a hundred fine years. But if it's all the same to you, I'd just as soon go." Blew out that candle, had some cake, died peacefully in her sleep that night.

  •  Fabulous work Mortifyd. It's "Fuck Off With Flair" (5+ / 0-)

    Don't let the bastards get 'ya down.

  •  Oh, yes. (9+ / 0-)

    We get more on our card than you do since there's two of us.

    But yeah. I buy ice cream and sodas on my SNAP. Last week I bought chocolate. And I ate it all. I have been known to buy New York strip steaks on it.

    I often say I wish like hell I could go vegetarian. It would probably be cheaper, and it would definitely be more morally pure. But I've found that I have to eat pretty high protein, and a lot of that protein has to be red meat, or I get messed up in the head and get weak and tired.  Beans give me an IBS attack. A lot of the cabbage family gives me an IBS attack. I am grateful that my body allows me a salad about once every three days or so without too much grief. I am beyond grateful that I still have onions and garlic.

    I'm fortunate in that my own disabilities haven't taken my cooking away. I had a fully equipped kitchen, and fortunately know how to cook from scratch quite well.

    And every now and then, the little local grocery store with the AMAZING meat counter in the back sells New York strips for $1.99 a pound.

    Right now, though, I don't buy them, since my husband doesn't have teeth to chew them, and it's an offense against good meat to stew it down soft for the man with nine teeth left.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 12:57:01 AM PDT

  •  Never stand in a grocery line judging... (7+ / 0-)

    someone's food choices. You simply don't know their story. That big bottle of soda and bag of greasy chips might be a one off luxury for a child's birthday party, the ice cream a treat for a special family TV movie night. You don't know what someone may deny themselves in order to bring a few simple pleasures home. Have some imagination, and compassion.
    OTOH, I don't know why anyone would buy frozen toast.

    You can put your shoes in the oven, but it won't make them biscuits.

    by quetzalmom on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 04:58:57 AM PDT

  •  Profound. (6+ / 0-)

    Many people who have never suffered hard times, who have never been poor, will indeed assume that all poor people are that way, due to a lack of intelligence or self-discipline.

    And then everything they judge your life for, is about what they think "someone like you" deserves, in their mind.

    Shame does taste like ass.

    Hang in there Mortiefyd.

    Give em Hell! They deserve this for being such ignorant asses presuming to worthy of delivering any kind of judgement.

  •  Not for nothing buty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz
    And I didn't ask for your opinion on my little luxury either.
    Yeah, you kinda did when you posted it on the on the most trafficked political websites where tens of thousands of people are empowered to comment. Kinda like running naked in public and saying "I didn't ask you to stare at my ass."
  •  Oh, Chef Mortifyd. (0+ / 0-)

    I love your eloquence!

    Thank you for speaking-out- for so many.

    Hat tipped & recc'd.

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