Wednesday, January 14, 2009

TV Armageddon

Boxtop crisis: Women, minorities hardest hit

"Turmoil over TV switch grows," headlines the Washington Post, bringing you the latest on this imminent disaster.

In case you're having trouble keeping in mind all the varieties of turmoil presently unraveling the national fabric, this has to do with — God save us! — coupons. Of which the Great Federal Mother hasn't enough for its children.

If you haven't yet heard about this, brace yourself. Should a physician or an EMS team be standing by your side at the ready, so much the better.
Plans to become a digital nation are in disarray just five weeks before television stations are supposed to shut off analog broadcasts. Consumers do not have quick access to coupons to purchase converter boxes, Congress is toying with postponing the switch, and now a possible way to distribute more coupons may no longer be plausible.
On Feb. 17, all full-powered television stations are planning to shut off their analog signals and move to all-digital broadcasts. That means older analog TV sets will need a converter box, which costs $50 to $80, to receive over-the-air signals. Consumers with digital TV sets or subscriptions to cable or satellite service will not lose programming. A $1.34 billion federal program to distribute $40 coupons to offset the cost of the converter boxes has reached its funding limit, and officials say the 1.7 million people on the waiting list may not receive the coupons by the transition date.
Job kiss-offs left and right, a $10 trillion deficit, and the near collapse of the economic system are making you nervous? Friend, those are just warm-ups to the main event. The Joad family and their relations all over the country could find themselves without coupons to help defray the cost of digital TV converters needed to watch their soap operas and reality shows.

This is the human face of catastrophe. Should Congress not resolve the coupon shortage in time, thousands of Dorothea Lange wannabe photographers will be criss-crossing the country, photographing the lined, wan, hopeless faces of the financially challenged, a blank screen and wailing children in the background.

Cue camera two. Go to two. Okay, that's enough sarcasm for one day, although there's plenty more where that came from. But really.

What does this say about Obama Nation? That there is a class of terminally passive mopes so dependent on their TV that public funds must be used to soften the blow of paying for a converter box? That we send out TV coupons like the processed cheese distributed by welfare agencies? That King Obama's team wants "stimulus package" dollars spent for this humanitarian relief aid? That this occupies our Congressmen and Senators?

"Give me TV or give me … " No, there's no need to finish that sentence. It's already been written.



Anonymous said...

I had to read the WaPo story to make sure you weren't joking. What's next, coupons for beer?

Terry Morris said...

Once you get this kind of bs started, there's literally no stopping it until the coffers are bone-dry. I mean, it's not just healthcare assistance programs (which seem well and good until you figure out that there's far more abuse of such programs - on all sides - than there is legitimate need and a genuine attempt to provide for that need), we have a program in our state that actually provides poor people with cell phones; cell phones, for God sakes!, as if these people need another taxpayer (that is, productive people who actually and really pay taxes) funded program to make them even more non-productive and dependent than they already are.

Forgive me, Rick, but anyone who takes advantage of this, ahem, giveaway, is a thieving dirtbag in my opinion. I'm beginning to appreciate more and more a thief who has guts enough to try to steal from me in person, rather than to use the government as his weapon of choice. ...

Rick Darby said...

Latté Island,

Beer coupons? I don't see why not, as long as we're going the full bread-and-circuses route.


Good to hear from you again. A cell phone humanitarian aid program, eh? Well, I don't own a cell phone (I borrow my wife's on the rare occasions when I need one). I'm going to write my Congressman and ask him to sponsor a bill …

David Foster said...

My sister just moved to a new house and discovered that the phone company doesn't support DSL there (too far from the central office, most likely) so she'll have to get cable Internet, which will cost another $20/month or so above the DSL price.

I think she should get a coupon!

Terry Morris said...


Good to hear from you again. A cell phone humanitarian aid program, eh? Well, I don't own a cell phone (I borrow my wife's on the rare occasions when I need one). I'm going to write my Congressman and ask him to sponsor a bill …

Ha! If I did away with my cell phone I'd probably lose half of my business. Then I'd probably qualify for a government provided cell phone, which, in turn, would restore the half of my business I had lost by getting rid of it in the first place. So it's six of one and a half dozen of the other, as they say.

What to do? ;-)