Beware of half-truths; you might get the wrong half

Shawn Magrath

I find it funny that so many people complain about the supposedly high number of Chenango County SNAP recipient who take advantage of their benefits, yet so few people – none that I know of – have the numbers to back up that statement. True, I believe there are people who “abuse the system,” as one ’30 Seconds’ caller recently put it, just as I believe there are people who steal, speed, litter, plagiarize, jaywalk, or obscurely break any other number of laws. But how can one possibly say that “most” or “many” (or my favorite, “all”) welfare recipients abuse their privileges without having one bit of empirical data to support that argument? Seams pretty weak to me.

Then again, these types of arguments come from the very same people who believe county government calls all the shots in determining who receives federal supplemental assistance. It’s just further proof that people see what they choose to see. I guess ignorance truly is bliss.

But I digress… and step off my soapbox…

In something completely unrelated, legislators in New York City are considering what to do about the Times Square “entrepreneurs” who dress up as pop-culture characters to make a few bucks by posing for photos with tourists. The considerations come two weeks after a man dressed as Cookie Monster pushed a two-year-old boy because the boy’s parents didn’t foot a $2 tip for the photo op. Who would of thought costumed strangers working the streets of New York would be so unpredictable? Instances like this are exactly why I wouldn’t let Mario use my camera to take a picture of me and my wife during our last visit to the Big Apple. Never in my life do I want to file a police report for a stolen camera with a suspect description: obese Italian plumber, with blue overalls and oversized head — Grew three sizes larger after eating mushroom. Some circumstances are worth the extra effort to avoid.