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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Lunch ladies, and men, here and everywhere ...

All news is local. And national.

Cafeteria lady speaks, says she had no choice but to toss lunches — Lisa Schencker | The Salt Lake Tribune

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"The cafeteria worker who took dozens of kids’ lunches at a Salt Lake City elementary school earlier this year is speaking out for the first time — and she says she’s been punished for merely trying to do what her bosses expected of her.

" ‘Miss Shirley’ as she’s known to kids at Uintah Elementary told The Salt Lake Tribune she trashed the lunches of kids with negative account balances, giving them milk and fruit instead because her boss was watching her that day. ..."

Maybe Miss Shirley can blame it all on Paul Ryan. Gail Collins will help.

Playing politics with school lunch — Gail Collins | The New York Times

"Let’s consider school lunches.

"Always an important topic. But to be honest, it’s only coming up right now thanks to Rep. Paul Ryan, who took a strongly principled stand against school lunches in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. (‘What they’re offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul.’)

"Ryan’s point was that mothers who pack their children’s lunches are showing their love, while kids who get their food from the cafeteria lady will feel that nobody cares. Have you ever heard a more terrible thing to say? ..."

Jon Stewart Shreds Paul Ryan’s Free School Lunch Fib (w/video) — Talking Points Memo

"One of the speeches he highlighted was Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) ‘moving’ story about a boy who chose a brown-bag lunch over a free school meal — the moral being that food assistance programs are liberals’ ineffective patch for the problem of child poverty, or as Ryan called it, offering a ‘full stomach and an empty soul.’

" ‘Full stomach empty soul? Actually I think that’s the slogan for Arby’s,’ Stewart joked.

"He then pointed out that not only did the woman Ryan took the story from never meet the boy mentioned in the anecdote, but the story’s original author and the boy she wrote about regularly make public appearances advocating for free school lunches.

" ‘Point taken. People on food assistance have empty souls,’ the comedian said. ‘As Jesus once said, if you give a man a fish, don’t. Period. End of bible.’ ..."

Paul Ryan discovers there’s no free lunch — Michael Hiltzik — Los Angeles Times

" ... The speciousness of the school lunch story underscores the real issue with Ryan’s approach to anti-poverty programs: He gets them wrong. One of his big points is that these programs create a ‘poverty trap’ that discourages their recipients from working their way out of poverty — by their bootstraps, as it were. ..."



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