Keep an eye on this show

How has it happened that our government is spending [over a] billion dollars to provide a nonessential form of entertainment to everyone in America? Children all over this country go to bed hungry every night. People live in misery or die prematurely because they cannot afford medical care. Our country supposedly doesn’t have enough money to fix these or countless other life-and-death problems. But we can spend $1.5 billion to make sure everyone can watch TV.

My first question would be why the government has anything to do with supporting or requiring a format for television in the first place. But I am even more concerned about the fact that $1.5 billion has been set aside to pay for converters for anyone who does not have a television compatible with HDTV. Although I have no television myself, my tax dollars are going to provide a government subsidy that is available to anyone, rich or poor, who needs to upgrade their television to work with the new, government-mandated standards.

Meanwhile, do the powers that be think the starving children won’t notice the growl in their bellies so much as long as they can watch TV?

— Terry Wyszynski
Asheville

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29 thoughts on “Keep an eye on this show

  1. travelah

    Terry, would you point out the starvation in the United States? I would like to know where these starving and emaciated souls are living.

    Thanks

  2. DonM

    Wow, there’s so much hooey in the letter that I’ll only stick to some basics. The change in the industry is that after the implementation date, all over-the-air TV signals will be digital and not analog. If one’s TV reception is only through an antenna and their TV is an analog one, one will need the converter. Everyone who gets reception over cable or from satellites are not affected.

    And, Terry, digital TV is not HDTV.

    In case you want to learn about what you’re writing about, here’s 2-year old article in lay terms for you.

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/andrewkantor/2005-10-27-digital-tv_x.htm

    I, too, Travelah, would like to know where these folks are.

  3. Hopefully

    Why would you want to know where they are when you are obviously not the type to do anything about it? Or maybe you would like to club them like baby seals. How could someone who is intelligent enough to operate a computer be so callous and ignorant. Or, is this a sick joke at Terry’s expense. What kind of sub-human would make jokes about hungry children? There is an underclass in this country and there are plenty of hungry and abused children.

  4. travelah

    Oh no, L&H;…. I want to send them all to your house under the bridge with a nice packed lunch … but we know what happens to the crumb trail, eh?

    Where are the starving and emaciated children, L&H;?

  5. Hopefully

    Okay, I may have overreacted there. But surely you can’t believe there are no abused children in Asheville? Just go to the local housing project and I’m sure you can find some malnourished children.

  6. DonM

    There may be malnourished children there. Do you think it’s perhaps their parent’s faulty decisions and not the government that causes it?

  7. Hopefully

    Yes, exactly! I just don’t think we should punish the child for for their parents sins. If I knew a hungry child, I would feed it. So no, I can’t lead you to one. And I can’t make it my full time job to go in search of them and feed them. We have a chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and ignorance if we start with the children. Funding a Headstart program now, costs less than putting them in prison later.

  8. travelah

    Children whose parents do not feed them properly resulting in an improper diet (undernourishment)are not starving and emaciated. If anything they tend to be overfed on high carbohydrate and sugar diets. The problem in most of these households is not a lack of food but the lack of good dietary health. Most do not realize that a grocery cart filled with healthy and balanced foods is actually less expensive than the cart filled with brown grazing material (high carb and sugar). Now what this has to do with digital television converters is zero, nothing, nada. The opening letter made an absurd association between subsidized digital converters and starvation. What else should be expected from the nanny-state mentality?

  9. Hopefully

    Without the intervention of the so called “nanny state”, women would not be allowed to vote, blacks would still be slaves, industry would still be using child labor, workers would have no rights at all, etc. The federal government has a very important job, and that’s protecting the rest of us from the greedsters. As for the opening letter, they merely make the point that they would prefer their tax dollars to go to a worthier cause than subsidizing corporations. (just another form of corporate welfare)
    And one other thing, I don’t know if you have been to the store lately, but the cost of buying good, healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables is more expensive than the brown grazing material you refer to.

  10. DonM

    I agree with you, travelah. My original contention was that it is a parental problem–making poor decisions. I do not see that as a government fix-it problem. We already have a program in place–Head Start. Asheville was even one of the original recipients of the original 1995 federal grants. We got $700,000, I believe, and are still funded. What else?

  11. Johnny

    So, DonM and travelah, are you two both ok with the federal government using your tax dollars on this type of expenditure? I’m not.

    I have not checked the facts, and don’t know if there’s $1.5 billion lined up for this. Seems like a pretty stupid use of your money to me.

    People should get with the program and buy their own damn converter.

    Or not.

  12. Johnny

    Hi DonM, I wasn’t getting ‘worked up’, I was just wondering if you’re ok with tax dollars going for this?

  13. travelah

    Dom M,
    That is the whole point of my “nanny state” comment. There are activities and expectations that belong to individuals and not the government. As you have pointed out, we already have a well funded head start program in spite of a lack of evidence indicating that the program has actually provided any real academic benefit. Parents have responsibilities to raise children. That is what the liberal mindset does not grasp.

    L&H;,
    You are wrong regaridng the grocery issue. High carb and sugar diets are considerably more expensive than healthy and well balanced diets.

  14. Hopefully

    So what you’re saying is that we can’t make people stop doing stupid things, unless they are illegal?

  15. DonM

    L&H;,
    People can NEVER be stopped from doing stupid things, legal or not. It’s not government’s place to maintain the “great benefactor” mindset that so many socialist-thinking folks wish it to be.

  16. Rob Close

    “High carb and sugar diets are considerably more expensive than healthy and well balanced diets.”

    ok, as someone who didn’t get to eat lunch in middle school except for the dimes and nickels kids would throw me and laugh while i picked them so i could afford a 35-cent ice-cream cone to hold me over ’til dinner…this is insulting to my experience and common sense.

    or ignore common sense (like you generally do) and think about it mathematically….

    a+b+c+d+e= healthy diet
    c+c+c+c+c= carb-heavy diet
    where $c< $a,b,d,e i mean, d'uh, feeding your kids pasta is cheaper than feeding them pasta & sauce, which is still cheaper than mixing in some veggies. this letter's basic point was that there are still important moral works that we've left unaccomplished within our country , and we're putting aside 1.5 billion for TV. that's a fine thing to educate us about, and i feel your frustration Terry. this whole attitude of dismissing someone's argument with the red herring of 'oh but it's not a waste because i disagree about where you'd spend the money otherwise' totally ignores the main question at hand of whether we ought to spend money towards ends like these. finally, here's a preview of the newest study into this controversy. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080121/ap_on_he_me/diet_poor_kids_weight;_ylt=Aj5edHYAlewBniP4a4w1945a24cA

    they agree that, IN GENERAL “a lack of food isn’t necessarily to blame”, but that “about 8 percent weren’t getting enough to eat” (from kids in low income households)

  17. DonM

    “…they agree that, IN GENERAL “a lack of food isn’t necessarily to blame”, but that “about 8 percent weren’t getting enough to eat” (from kids in low income households)”

    Because of bad parental decisions.

  18. Johnny

    Hi, DonM again, you wrote:

    “It’s not government’s place to maintain the “great benefactor” mindset”

    So I don’t get it. Wouldn’t a conservative be thinking that tax dollars to keep joe-six-pack up to date with TV options is a silly waste of government involvement and money? I don’t understand why you’re not calling it “socialism” or something.

    Left-liberal here, and I think it’s ludicrous. Enlighten me why it’s a good think. Honestly, I wanna know!

    Thanks.

  19. Johnny

    This is awesome. Now none of us knows what we’re talking about!

    Hell yeah.

  20. vortex2177

    Back to the topic……

    Don’t worry about the format change lady.

    T.V. sucks anyway. You’ll be alright.

  21. Traveleh

    As usual, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I am so tired of trying to keep you guys on the correct path of tolerance and reason. Look, the purpose of government is to protect us from ourselves and our neighbors. Feeding children is not my problem, there’s too many of them anyway. Education is for the rich. It only causes problems among the poor. Soon they will be wanting to vote in their on interests, and god forbid they should learn the meaning of ad-homininy attacks.

  22. quotequeen

    When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist.
    ~ Archbishop Helder Camara

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