Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cheap Tomatoes - Catch up on some lies?

I got another one of those "forward this to everyone you can" emails today. As I always do I checked it out on Snopes first. Surprisingly, despite the message's Snopes-date of 2006, it was listed as "Undetermined" as to its veracity.

Surprised by this, I decided to investigate myself and contacted the Department of Education. (For the record, their media contact - who I'm pretty sure should have been able to answer this - dropped me like a hot potato because I'm not "technically" a reporter. I decided not to exaggerate my actual status and just said I'm a blogger. She did refer me to someone who was able to help though.)
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At the bottom you'll find the e-mail I was sent - but first here is the response I sent back to as many of the addressee's as I could cram into my "TO" field.
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To: [a bunch of people who had been sent the original message]
Well this one was interesting to me because I went to snopes and it just said "undetermined." A few things made me think it was phony though - one is that in the e-mail the teacher isn't named. And instead of a specific school a few are thrown out - real schools - but not any particular one.

First problem: Title-1 doesn't cover school lunches. Title-1 is part of the no-child left behind program and it has nothing to do with food.

School lunches are all provided through the Department of Agriculture. Impoverished or poverty-level students can get discounted or free lunches - but that doesn't mean the kids are fat and wasteful.

Second: Title-1 doesn't provide in-school daycare for teen mothers. I found an example of a program that does do that kind of service - but it isn't run through the DOE.
http://www.gloucestertimes.com/punews/local_story_171221140.html

The e-mail writes about this in a very derogatory way - but having the mother stay in school and get educated seems like a great way to help get them out of poverty. And I notice a strange dichotomy in these kinds of chain e-mails between those who frown at teen mothers and those who rail against abortion. Seems like we ought to embrace one of those two ideas - and I'm inclined to support the educated teen mom as the better option.

I spoke to representatives from the Department of Education (1-800-872-5327 - information resource center) and they were very helpful answering my questions, but many aspects of this message fell outside of their governance.

They did say that if anyone has any evidence of malfeasance that the correct way to get it fixed is to contact the Office of the Inspector General and report the offending school.
http://www.oig.hhs.gov/fraud/hotline/ - The site has a fraud reporting tool as well as a number: 1-800-447-8477

If there is really waste and fraud at these schools I'd encourage someone to report it. But I have serious doubts about the e-mail itself. It sounds much like an angry anti-immigrant rant than a reasonable concern from a citizen who has seen actual fraud in action.

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That ends the original response - plus it has been pointed out on various message boards that immigrants don't get earned-income tax credits and I suspect the rest of the finance information is probably bogus or misrepresented as well.

To me this is just an anti-immigrant rant - plain and simple. Like most of these rants - if you have to make up lies to get across your point what is the real value of your argument?




Original e-mail I received:

Cheap Tomatoes
THIS HAS GOT TO BE PASSED ALONG TO AS MANY AS POSSIBLE OR
WE WILL ALL GO DOWN THE DRAIN BECAUSE A FEW DON'T CARE.
This English teacher
has phrased it the best I've seen yet
Tomatoes and Cheap Labor
CHEAP TOMATOES?

This should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or
Independent From a California school teacher - - -
"As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of:
I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic and income levels.
Most of the schools you are hearing about, South Gate High, Bell Gardens , Huntington Park , etc., where these students are protesting, are also Title 1 schools.
Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll -- but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. ( OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK )
I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones.
The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids. (OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)

I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing
funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up buying new computers for the computer learning center, half of which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America . (OUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK)
I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students here in the country less then 3 months who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them "Putas" whores and throwing things that the teachers were in tears.

Free medical, free education, free food, day care etc., etc., etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements ?
To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs.
Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher
medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools,
overcrowding, new diseases etc., etc, etc. For me, I'll pay more for
tomatoes.
We need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster
because we won't have the guts to enforce it . Does anyone in their right mind really think they will voluntarily leave and return?
It does, however, have everything to do with culture: A third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 an d that refuses to assimilate , and an American culture that has become so weak and worried about " political Correctness" that we don't have the will to
do anything about it.
If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward
this to everyone you know.
CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration
issue is about?
Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage.
Consumers don't want expensive produce.
Government will tell you Americans don't want
the jobs.
But the bottom line is cheap labor.. The phrase "cheap labor" is a
myth , a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as "cheap labor."Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free.He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.
He qualifies for food stamps.
He qualifies for free (no
deductible, no co-pay) health care.
His children get free breakfasts and lunches
at school.
He requires bilingual teachers and books.He qualifies for relief
from high energy bills.
If they are, or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI.
Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare .
All of this is at (our) taxpayer's expense .
He doesn't worry about car insurance,
life insurance, or homeowners insurance.
Taxpayers provide Spanish language
signs, bulletins and printed material.He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00/hour left after paying their bills and his.The American taxpayers also pay for increased crime, graffiti and trash clean-up.
Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT!
Wake up people!THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS WE SHOULD BE ADDRESSING TO EITHER
PARTY. 'AND WHEN THEY LIE TO US AND DON'T DO AS THEY SAY, WE SHOULD REPLACE THEM AT ONCE!'
THIS HAS GOT TO BE PASSED ALONG TO AS MANY AS POSSIBLE OR WE WILL
ALL GO DOWN THE DRAIN BECAUSE A FEW DON'T CARE.

1 comment:

pajamamama said...

THANK YOU!! I just got this today, over a year after your blogging about it. I knew it had to have mistruths in it but everything I found in my short search was that it was undetermined or biased from Left leaning. . . blah blah blah.
Great information here. Thanks for giving avenues to follow to check things out in the future.

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