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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Now for some local yokel cogitatin'.

From the fever swamp that is Lancasteronline.com comes what passes for insightful political commentary from a PC bumpkin who...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...


Toomey's fowl fable falls flat
by Jeff Hawkes

By way of YouTube, I've learned of Sen. Pat Toomey's fascination with "The Little Red Hen," a children's story revered for its moral about initiative and hard work.

In at least two speeches, Toomey has featured the tale and given it an anti-government twist. His latest was to conservatives in Washington, where Toomey drew chuckles as he made the farm animals villains, the Little Red Hen a victim and the barnyard a dystopian, disturbing place.

The fable as most of us know it is about the Little Red Hen deserving the fruits of her labor. She asks others to help her plant and harvest wheat and bake bread, but they decline. So when the bread is ready to eat, she keeps it for herself.

Kids see the basic fairness in the Little Red Hen's position, learning that if you don't help, you'll be left out. If children were asked what would happen the next time the hen asks for help, I bet most would say the animals would jump right in. Lesson learned.

But that's not Toomey's view. He doesn't see the animals as fallible yet correctable. No, they're creatures to be ridiculed.

He has the critters offer laughable excuses for their inaction: "I'd lose my welfare benefits," says the duck. "I'm a dropout," says the pig. "If I'm the only helper, that's discrimination," says the goose.

And when the hen says she'll eat the loaves herself, Toomey depicts an uprising. The animals yell obscenities and call her a "capitalist leech." Toomey even has a government agent call the hen greedy.

"But I earned the bread," Little Red Hen says.

"Exactly," says the agent. "That's the wonderful free-enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our benevolent government protections, productive workers must divide their products with everyone else."

Then Toomey concludes: "The Little Red Hen's neighbors wondered why she never baked bread again."

The senator's point? He seems to be saying workers shouldn't have to share their earnings, and if the government makes them, they'll stop working. He also seems to be saying people needing assistance are loathsome and the government has no business looking out for them.

The Little Red Hen is Toomey's darling because she took an entrepreneurial risk and it worked out well for her.

In the real world, however, people sometimes face genuine crises, and they should feel no shame looking to the government for help. Consider how different Little Red Hen's story would be if her crop withered in a drought. Or what if she fell ill before the harvest? Would it be wrong for her to turn to food stamps until she recovered from her setbacks? Or would Toomey blame her and let her starve?

Toomey's version suffers from a vision deficit. The senator is too enraptured by the triumph of the individual to see that community matters, too.

I agree with Toomey that a healthy society creates an environment in which hard workers can achieve their dreams. But a healthy society should also assist dreamers who stumble.

In another famous fable, a proud, powerful lion becomes ensnared in a hunter's net. Do you remember who saves the day for the king of the jungle? It's a mouse that gnaws on the ropes, frees the lion and shows that even the meek can be heroic.

Maybe the senator could work that tale into his next speech.



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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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