Bombs not food

_by Al Diamon

What do terrorists want?

According to the CIA or some other equally reliable but possibly fictional government agency, every dangerous fanatic – from Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh to South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof to Boston Marathon creepo Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – wanted exactly the same thing: food stamps.

Apparently, killing innocent people for hazy ideological reasons works up quite an appetite, but not much income.

Unfortunately for McVeigh and his ilk, there’s almost no chance of that dream coming true. One big reason: McVeigh was executed for his crimes in 2001, while Roof and Tsarnaev will likely face that fate in the near future. And even if they somehow escape lethal injection and win parole, they’ll be disappointed when they show up at the welfare office to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the official name for food stamps). That’s because federal law prohibits convicted terrorists from receiving any government handouts that aren’t delivered in a needle with a skull and cross-bones on it.

That just isn’t good enough for Bruce Poliquin, Maine’s 2nd District congressman and malware infection. Republican Poliquin has introduced a bill titled the No Welfare For Terrorists Act, which would ban anyone found guilty of merely assisting a terrorist from ever receiving food stamps.

Consider that dire consequence when delivering guns, explosives, pizza or toilet paper to your pal with the antisocial personality.

“What we are talking about are the most brutal acts of terror in America, the most violent acts,” Poliquin told the Lewiston Sun Journal, “and when those individuals leave prison, I don’t think we should be providing them welfare.”

When asked how many terrorists were currently receiving food stamps, the congressman admitted the number was zero. This might lead one to believe Poliquin’s legislation is unneeded. But he’s quick to point out that nearly 50 people are currently serving time for aiding terrorists, and some of them will be released in the next 25 years or so. The first thing these newly liberated assistant terrorists will do is show up at the Department of Health and Human Services demanding food stamps.

If this bill becomes law, they’ll find Poliquin’s legacy blocking their way – as much as the legacy of somebody of his modest stature can block anything.

The only problem with this zero-tolerance-for-starving-terrorists policy is that it doesn’t go far enough. It seems unlikely that the mere presence in federal law books of language placing SNAP benefits forever beyond the reach of true believers in whatever cause has inspired them to acts of violence will force them to reconsider their plans. Don’t expect a scenario such as this one to actually take place:

Terrorist: Go get me some guns, explosives, pizza and toilet paper, in order that I may exact terrible vengeance on ordinary people who have never done me any harm.

Terrorist Assistant: I can’t. If I’m caught aiding your nefarious plot, I’ll be ineligible for food stamps for the rest of my life.

Terrorist: Good point. Let’s play video games, instead.

No, Mr. Poliquin, your food-stamp ban is insufficient. If you want to deter potential terrorists, you’re going to have to amend your bill to include some much nastier penalties.

Such as: No one convicted of aiding a terrorist shall ever be allowed to use an X-Box, Wii, PlayStation or similar device, nor shall they be permitted to download games to their tablets or phones, except maybe some really old versions of Candy Crush or Words With Friends.

Streaming video? Don’t make me laugh. Terrorist aides will have plenty of time to consider the error of their ways while having nothing to watch except programs on regular network television – and at their regular times, too. No DVR for you.

Government agents will cancel all accounts in the name of paroled terrorists with Pandora, Spotify, Sirius XM and even those awful music channels on Time Warner Cable. If they want to listen to tunes, they can play some of grandma’s vinyl records. Hey look, she’s got all the Partridge Family’s LPs, the Cowsills and loads of the Osmonds.

I hope that retro-entertainment overload doesn’t give them the munchies. Because their credit’s no good at Cumbies, and their food stamps have gone the way of Timothy McVeigh.

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