…Henry Kriegel of Bozeman. For leading a bunch which calls itself “Americans for Prosperity” while pushing policies reminiscent of a North Korean prison camp, Henry Kriegel is this week’s winner. Many happy returns of the day.
Kriegel demands in the Great Falls Tribune that the U.S. government let kids go hungry. To back up his argument, Kriegel turns to some of the most laughable junk science this state has seen in decades, writing:
More than 47 million Americans are now on food stamps — a 70 percent increase during Obama’s first term. It is also rife with abuse. Former Montana state Rep. Tom Burnett has analyzed the misuse of food stamp funds. Burnett claims that $16 billion of the $80 billion spent annually on the food stamp program is used by recipients to buy sweetened beverages alone — items like Sobe, Gatorade and Red Bull — not the staples of meat, vegetables and slow carbs.
Burnett, a former state lawmaker, is no scientist nor research analyst. He’s a TEA Party crackpot obsessed with cutting food for hungry kids in need. His self-styled “report,”Hunger in America: The Myth, [word doc] reads like it came straight out of a North Korean propaganda ministry. It calls for an end to food assistance programs and offers such advice to needy parents as “No whining,” ‘Gather wild berries,’ and in a moment of unintended irony, advises that not being hungry “kills.”
The “information” that Kriegel sites is from Burnett’s blog. Burnett supposedly compiled this himself by wandering around asking a gas station clerk or two “Do people buy x junk food item with food stamps?” with that wild look in his eyes. The busy clerks were probably quite eager to get the strange personage out of their store so they could get back to work.
Using logic Kim Il-Sung would have been proud of, Burnett writes that hunger doesn’t exist because he hasn’t seen it:
No advocates parade a line of emaciated children at any school or playground. They just can’t be found.
But that’s not the only reason Representative Burnett has come to the conclusion that no one is really going hungry. He also bases his case on pictures of fat people he found on the Internet, which he actually includes in his article as “evidence.”
Burnett believes that kids should be “self-reliant.” If they don’t have enough to eat, they should learn to scavenge and glean food from the garbage to survive. That’s exactly how things work in North Korea, where citizens are forced to scavenge for rats to eat, and chip their own frozen feces out of toilets to use for fertilizer to grow their own food. (Talk about self-reliance.) Kids in that country are so malnourished that many suffer from stunted growth and serious intellectual disabilities for life.
In fact, as Blaine Hardin wrote of the situation in North Korea, because of what is known as the “eating problem” there, severe malnutrition has caused severe problems. One quarter of those who apply to join the military in North Korea are disqualified for intellectual disabilities – think what that does to a country’s prospects for prosperity.
And so Mr. Kriegel, sergeant of the TEA Party junk-science spin squad, we salute you as the Montana GOP Hypocrite of the Week. When you are finished trying to stop hungry kids from getting something to eat, maybe you can write an article about the qualifications, scientific standards, and academic research principles employed by Tom Burnett that would pass muster in a high school classroom. It wouldn’t take very long to write. It would be blank.