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The S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves

Here is our weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are very welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘Reader Selected News’ thread below or via the ‘News Selected By Our Readers’ link found in the sidebar.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, August 16th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “The S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves”

  1. Petronius says:

    Mountain Pride

    When you go into the woods, sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics released an interesting statistic recently: more Americans now receive some form of Federal food assistance than are employed full time in the private sector.

    In fiscal year 2012, over 101 million Americans participated in one of the fifteen Federal food programs, compared to 97 million full time workers in the private sector. That is one in every three Americans. About 48 million Americans are now on food stamps; that is almost one in every six Americans. Food stamps now account for $80 billion in government spending annually. In fact, food stamps have become the fastest growing program in the Federal government.

    Of course food stamps per se are now obsolete. In a move to save the recipients embarrassment, the stamps have been replaced by Electronic Benefit Transfer (or EBT) debit cards. And the food stamp program is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP).

    Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has extolled the virtues of SNAP, calling it a boost to the economy. Vilsack claims that each dollar spent on food stamps –– whoops! my bad; I meant SNAP –– generates two dollars in economic activity. The Agriculture Department operates promotional campaigns and advertisements to increase the number of SNAP dependents. The department has conducted vigorous outreach programs to recruit illegal aliens, even running Spanish language promotional campaigns inside Mexico as well as within the US. USDA training manuals instruct Agriculture recruiters how to “overcome the word ‘No’.”

    Thus Vilsack claims that his biggest challenge has been to overcome the individual’s belief that he doesn’t need food stamps –– i.e., the individual’s preference to get by on his own efforts. USDA caseworkers who overcome this opposition receive awards. The 2011 Hunger Champion Awards included four Gold awards, ten Silvers, sixty-four Bronze awards, and four Special Recognitions. One Agriculture caseworker, Brandi Legge, received the Gold award for having broken down the “mountain pride” culture in Ashe County, North Carolina, and signing up the reluctant citizens for benefits. Thus she was awarded the 2011 Hunger Champions’ Gold award for “counteracting mountain pride.”

    The trick, as Ms. Legge discovered, was that there was less resistance among the mountaineers to accepting garden seeds and seedlings. Then –– once she hooked people on the garden seeds –– she exploited this weakness to introduce them to the hard stuff. Through her efforts Ms. Legge was finally successful in breaking down the people’s native virtues of hard work, fierce independence, and self-reliance. As a result, one of the two saw mills in Ashe County has now closed because they can’t find people willing to work anymore.

    As thus implemented in Ashe County and elsewhere across the continent, Vilsack’s governing philosophy has been: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs, regardless of whether he really needs it or even wants it. This is a major advancement over Karl Marx’s original formulation.

    We therefore believe Mr. Vilsack deserves special recognition for his accomplishments. Accordingly, Mrs. Petronius and I have decided to invite him for a holiday weekend down to our cabin in the mountains.

    Just a chance to relax and get acquainted. Show him around town. Take in all the diversity (we have 57 varieties of Baptist churches). Take in a ball game at Appalachian State, and watch the Mountaineers beat Michigan or Iowa or some other Yankee school. Do a little shopping. A visit to Foothills Branch Outdoors to pick up some fishing gear, and then some trout fishing on the Watauga River. Meet the neighbors. Just us boys. Amiable, good-humored, harmonious hill folk. Full of sweetness and light. Although now somewhat diminished in pride and work ethic.

    We could take our EBT cards down to the Harris Teeter, pick up some groceries, pack some ham sandwiches, and then go hiking up the Dan’l Boone Trail into the Pisgah National Forest. Such spectacular scenery! And solitude. Why, you can hike all day and not see another living soul!

    Eric Rudolph hid out in those hills for over five years, avoiding the biggest manhunt in American history. Of course it’s easy to get lost back there in the woods, if you don’t know what you’re doing. Stumble on a rock, sprain your ankle, and it’s difficult to get back out before dark. And you have to watch out for bears and panthers. Wildcats. Poisonous snakes and scorpions. Wild boar. Timber wolves and coyotes. Big-horned elk. And there’s thick fogs. Cliffs, ledges, rock falls, gorges, gullies, and caves. Rapids and flash floods. Flimsy, swinging rope bridges. Abandoned pit mines. Old rock quarries. Deep pools. Turquoise lakes….

    Folks have been lost in those woods. Weekend campers. Strangers. Hippies who come down to commune with nature, smoke a little ganga, and urinate on each other. Poke fun at the ignorant, stupid hillbillies. And then carelessly wander off. Never heard from again. It’s been known to happen. At least, that’s what I’ve been told.

    Anyway we’re extending the helpful hand of mountain pride hospitality to Mr. Vilsack. And we won’t accept “No” for an answer.

    • Noyzmakr says:

      Excellent! I look forward to the vacation snapshots.

      Vilsack claims that each dollar spent on… SNAP… generates two dollars in economic activity.

      Then I have a great idea. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? Lets give everyone on planet Earth $100 a month in SNAP benefits. According to Vilsack’s math, with 6.5 billion people we could generate $1.3 trillion a month in ‘economic activity’. The worldwide recession would be over in 3 months easy.

    • JohnMG says:

      Unfortunately, Vilsack actually believes the “one-dollar-generates-two” shtick.

      As stupid as these liberal/progressives reveal themselves to be, I’m surprised they aren’t all on pain medication. When you’re that ignorant it just HAS to hurt.

    • GetBackJack says:

      As a young man my brother and I backpacked just about every trail in and around the Smoky Mountains. The trails in Pisgah were awesome, but you have to have stout legs – a lot of up and down.

      Petronius, go here and read a personal experience on the AT

      Scroll down for Licked By A Bear


      BTW – if any of ya’ll liked the scenery in Last of The Mohicans, much of it was filmed in Pisgah. Especially Dupont Plant Falls.

      Now, as to the two-for-one special, I believe I’ll run right down Monday morning to my local City Hall and give them a dollar and if it turns into two dollars, I’ll let you know.


    • Petronius says:

      Excellent, GBJ! Great stuff!

      I have visited some of the film sites from The Last of the Mohicans. The Linville Gorge Wilderness area is a particular favorite. The canoe chase scene was shot at various locations on Lake James, the Linville River, and the Linville Falls and Gorge.

      Magua’s (Wes Studi) ambush of the escort party (“Magua understands English very well.”) was filmed on the approach to the Linville Falls overlooks, and the overhanging tree that Alice (Jodhi May) and Cora Munro (Madeleine Stowe) ride under is still there, lying perpendicularly across the trail. I keep looking for the panther lurking in the laurel bushes, and sometimes I think I see him.

      The attack on the fort was filmed at the Linville access area on Lake James in Burke County.

      The final scene (Chingachgook’s (Russell Means) narration and farewell to Uncas) was also filmed in Pisgah at the Chimneys near Table Rock Mountain at the southern end of Linville Gorge.

      The coach crossing Bass Pond Bridge scene was filmed at Biltmore Estate in Asheville.

      The Gael by Clanadonia at Edinburgh Castle:


      The Gael, violin by Jenny O’Connor:


    • GetBackJack says:

      Yeah, buddy.

      All that green and wet is why I now live on the edge of a desert. 6% humidity today. Ain’t never going back, but that said … Charlie’s Bunion in the tailing storms of a hurricane pushing North is a memory I shan’t soon forget. With a 65 lb pack. Maybe you’ve been there, holding on to the cable.

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