How long can a shrinking number of taxpayers support a growing number of beneficiaries?
For NRO, Michael Tanner writes: One hundred ten million! That’s how many Americans now live in households that receive some form of means-tested welfare benefit from the federal government. According to a report from the Census Bureau released last week, that’s the highest absolute number in American history, and it represents 35.4 percent of the American population.
[Check out Michael Tanner's book "Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservativism Brought Down the Republican Revolution"]
Think about it — more than one out of every three Americans live in households that are now on welfare. Looked at another way, America’s welfare state now has nearly three times the population of the largest actual state.
“According to calculations by Harvard’s Greg Mankiw, based on data from the Office of Management and Budget, roughly 60 percent of Americans receive more in government benefits than they pay in federal taxes.”
Because many of these households include more than one person, the number of individual households is smaller, but still a record – roughly 33.5 million, more than a quarter of the country’s households. Worse, 10.5 million households receive benefits from three or more separate programs.
“A Tax Foundation study suggests that as many as 70 percent of Americans are net recipients of government largesse. Those numbers will only grow worse…”
While liberals would undoubtedly like to blame this on the bad economy, the welfare rolls have actually grown by nearly 4 million households since the end of the recession. Welfare is rising even as unemployment declines. Read the rest of this entry »
Japan AIDS Prevention Squeeze-A-Thon Charity Event: ‘I Never Thought My Boobs Could Contribute to Society’Posted: August 27, 2014 | |
Japanese porn stars to have boobs squeezed for AIDS research
A Group of Japanese porn actresses are preparing to have their breasts squeezed by fans for 24 hours this weekend for a charity event loosely translated as “Boob Aid”
“But I would be very happy if you would please be delicate.”
The nine adult movie stars told local media on Monday they could barely contain their excitement about the “Stop! AIDS” campaign event — which will be televised live — but asked, perhaps somewhat optimistically: please be gentle.
“I’m really looking forward to lots of people fondling my boobs,” Rina Serina told Tokyo Sports.
The event, the 12th since its launch in 2003, will be broadcast on adult cable television, with punters donating to the anti-AIDS campaign in exchange for a feel.
It comes after sexist heckling of a Tokyo assemblywoman hit the headlines, highlighting old-fashioned views towards women that still permeate Japanese society.
Fellow porn actress Iku Sakuragi had no qualms about being groped by hundreds of pairs of hands.
“It’s for charity.”
“I never thought my boobs could contribute to society,” added the ponytailed Serina, apparently unaware of any contradiction.
“Squeeze them, donate money — let’s be happy.”
Lawmakers from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party sparked a public outcry in June when they subjected Tokyo assemblywoman Ayaka Shiomura to sexist taunts, shouting “Why don’t you get married?” at her during a debate on motherhood. Read the rest of this entry »
Te-Ping Chen reports: From toxic milk to pork treated with paraffin wax, China has seen its share of tainted food. Now add to the list painted food.
“Previous lows in the annals of Chinese cuisine include the discovery of pork that glowed in the dark…”
Even by the standards of China’s many food-safety scandals, one recently reported incident involving a cook in eastern China’s Zhejiang province is eyebrow-raising. According to Xinhua, the 27-year-old cook, surnamed Chen, is currently on trial for painting abalones and goose paws to prettify them for customers.
“…and a boom in spontaneously exploding watermelons…”
[You know you want to read about China's Exploding Watermelon Scandal]
According to the state-run news agency, since last March, Mr. Chen – who was employed at a hotel in Hangzhou, a popular tourist destination famed for the beauty of its West Lake –painted with “inedible pigment” about 12 abalones and 100 goose feet, which together were worth nearly $800. Both abalones and goose paws are delicacies prized in Chinese cuisine. Read the rest of this entry »
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Police say they’ve sent a 34-year-old woman to the hospital for a mental evaluation after she made a naked flagpole climb on the roof of a downtown Portland office building.
Police said she stripped about midnight Wednesday, hauled down the flag and then wrapped herself in it, brandishing a lighter and fire extinguisher.
“Arson investigators said they didn’t know whether she was linked to a rooftop fire at the nearby 15-story Yeon Building that broke out about the same time.”
Then, officers said, she began throwing construction glue from the building, listed as having 12 floors. Several vehicles were damaged.
Officers say she appeared to be in a mental health crisis and may have been taking stimulant drugs. Read the rest of this entry »
L.A. Desk: Demonstrators Demand a Prohibition on the Use of Drones by the LAPD. None Currently in UsePosted: August 21, 2014 | |
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) August 21, 2014
[VIDEO] Cops Behaving Badly: ‘I Have a Feeling This Officer Is About to Become Very Famous’ #OfficerGoF!@??!*¥ø®selfPosted: August 20, 2014 | |
Interesting find from Rich Lowry, The Corner. It speaks for itself (and if it doesn’t, the hashtag certainly guarantees twitter fame) I would only add, language warning, NSFW, so turn the sound down if you work in a Federal office killing 8 hours a day surfing but your boss is nearby.
The events in Ferguson, Mo., have launched a familiar spectacle: the race to be wrong first.
Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American man, was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The Washington Post had more on the story about what one witness called an “execution-style slaying”:
“Al Sharpton, with decades of racial ambulance-chasing under his belt, insists that “America is on trial” in Ferguson. Of course he does.”
“Wilson cursed at the pair and ordered them onto the sidewalk, Bosley told The Washington Post. When they refused to comply, he said, the officer grabbed Brown’s throat through the window of his cruiser, pulled out a pistol and shot him.
Wilson then chased Brown, shot him in the back and shot him five to six more times as Brown’s hands were raised, Bosley said.”
“There also seems to be a bipartisan desire to make President Obama part of the story…Obama, as is his wont, took the bait…”
An autopsy commissioned by the Brown family suggests that account is not true, at least in regard to the most incendiary charge. None of the bullets fired at Johnson entered his body through his back. That hardly means Wilson was justified in shooting Brown even once. Nor does it necessarily mean Wilson is a murderer. The simple fact is we don’t know.
“…His comments Friday were defensible on the merits, but what was the point? He clearly mollified no one and exposed himself, once again, to being dragged along by events.”
The rush to condemn Wilson’s conduct and the gallop to martyr Brown may have set land-speed records. The New Yorker, like numerous outlets, reported that Brown was walking to his grandmother’s home when confronted by Wilson. A video released from the by turns hapless and devious Ferguson Police Department alleges that he was actually walking from a thuggish and brazen shoplifting of a box of cigars from a convenience store. Read the rest of this entry »
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Any particular law at any particular moment can be judged obsolete & an impediment to social justice. natl.re/1kRCLWn
Behind Closed Doors: White House Meets with Big Business Lobbyists Crafting Executive Actions to Increase Guest-Worker VisasPosted: August 19, 2014 | |
“Beto Cardenas, who represents big-business interests… ‘was encouraged to hear that nothing was off the table’.”
For Breitbart, Tony Lee reporting: After White House officials reportedly met with big-business groups, President Barack Obama is considering executive actions that will give them more guest-worker visas in the high-tech and low-skilled sectors.
“America does not have a shortage of high-tech workers. Even mainstream media outlets like CBS News concluded that the notion of such a shortage ‘is largely a myth’.”
This may come on top of Obama’s potential grants of amnesty and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants in the country. While outside groups are urging Obama to “go big,” Senate Democrats have expressed some concerns of late, as poll numbers have shown that executive amnesty may cost them control of the Senate. The White House is reportedly reaching out to big-business groups on guest-worker visas so they can give Obama air cover on his potential executive amnesty.
“Cisco recently slashed another 6,000 jobs after pushing for amnesty legislation.”
According to a Politico report, senior White House aides earlier this month met with “more than a dozen business groups and company officials to discuss potential immigration policy changes they could make.” According to the outlet, “Oracle, Cisco, Fwd.US, Microsoft, Accenture, Compete America, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce” were represented at the meeting. Read the rest of this entry »
— Ed Henry (@edhenryTV) August 19, 2014
Medical Examiner Hired by Teen’s Family Finds at Least 6 Bullet Wounds, No Sign of Struggle
FERGUSON, Mo.— For WSJ, Pervaiz Shallwani reports: A former New York City medical examiner found “no evidence of a struggle” between Michael Brown and the police officer who shot him at least six times on Aug. 9—an encounter that has sparked more than a week of unrest in this St. Louis suburb.
Dr. Michael Baden and an assistant, Dr. Shawn Purcell, conducted the autopsy of Mr. Brown at the request of the teen’s family. They spent about three hours going over the 18-year-old’s wounds at a local funeral home, where the body was delivered after it was released by the St. Louis Medical Examiner.
“The attorneys here, we know too well, if you don’t have your own autopsy, and you have to depend completely on the police department’s autopsy, that’s not a good thing.”
– Attorney Benjamin Crump
The autopsy comes a week after the initial autopsy by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner. The county medical examiner’s office confirms Mr. Brown was shot in the head and chest multiple times. Read the rest of this entry »
BREAKING: ‘Shot-in-the-Back-While-Fleeing’ Narrative Up in Smoke: Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Struck at Least 6 TimesPosted: August 17, 2014 | |
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) August 18, 2014
UPDATED: A private autopsy on the unarmed black teen who was shot by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. nine days ago suffered six gunshot wounds, including two in the head, according to a new report.
“We need more information; for example, the police should be examining the automobile to see if there is gunshot residue in the police car.”
Baden told the Times that one of the bullets struck the top of Brown’s skull, suggesting that the 18-year-old’s head was bent forward when he was shot. The doctor added that four of the six shots struck Brown in the right arm, and all the bullets entered from the teen’s front. Only three of the bullets were recovered from Brown’s body.
Baden did not have access to Brown’s clothes, which may have gunpowder residue on them if the bullets were fired from close range. Baden also did not have access to X-rays that may have shown where the bullets were found, nor did he see any witness or police statements. Read the rest of this entry »
— ChinaFile (@ChinaFile) August 18, 2014
FERGUSON, Mo.—Rage over the death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer sparked another early morning of bloodshed and mayhem after protesters and police clashed Sunday.
“If we are going to have justice, we must first have and maintain peace.”
– Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon
By the time the smoke and tear gas cleared, one person was listed in critical condition with gunshot injuries. Seven protesters had been arrested for failing to disperse, police said at a news conference about 2:30 a.m. local time.
Police said they didn’t know who was responsible for the shooting, which is under investigation. They didn’t immediately release details about the victim. It didn’t appear to be a police-involved shooting, authorities said.
“While protesters chanted “no justice, no curfew,” police used a loudspeaker to warn the crowd that they were in violation of a state-imposed curfew.”
[Also see - New Police Tactic in Ferguson: Betray Local Business Owners - NRO]
Instead, he said, SWAT teams in at least three armored vehicles moved in only after they had reports of troublemakers at Redz Barbeque restaurant, near the site of prior looting. Most of the protesters heeded warnings and left the site of weeklong protest over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer. Read the rest of this entry »
For Medium, Paul Ford writes: Most people don’t notice I’m polite, which is sort of the point. I don’t look polite. I am big and droopy and need a haircut. No soul would associate me with watercress sandwiches. Still, every year or so someone takes me aside and says, you actually are weirdly polite, aren’t you? And I always thrill. They noticed.
“What I found most appealing was the way that the practice of etiquette let you draw a protective circle around yourself and your emotions.”
The complimenters don’t always formulate it so gently. For example, after two years ago at the end of an arduous corporate project, slowly turning a thousand red squares in a spreadsheet to yellow, then green, my officemate turned to me and said: “I thought you were a terrible ass-kisser when we started working together.”
“By following the strictures in the book, you could drag yourself through a terrible situation and when it was all over, you could throw your white gloves in the dirty laundry hamper and move on with your life.”
She paused and frowned. “But it actually helped get things done. It was a strategy.” (That is how an impolite person gives a compliment. Which I gladly accepted.)
“I figured there was a big world out there and etiquette was going to come in handy along the way.”
She was surprised to see the stubborn power of politeness over time. Over time. That’s the thing. Mostly we talk about politeness in the moment. Please, thank you, no go ahead, I like your hat, cool shoes, you look nice today, please take my seat, sir, ma’am, etc. All good, but fleeting. Read the rest of this entry »
August 14, 1935: FDR Signs Social Security Act into Law
My impression: In customary Robin Williams style, he’s displaying an internal dialogue between different parts of himself. Only this time it isn’t comic. It’s part of a thoughtful discussion about recovering from heart surgery, fear of death, and the unexpected appearance of suicidal thoughts, reflecting on how he responded to the mysterious internal ‘voice’ that suggested it.
It’s a provocative interview. Also, characteristically, funny, and spirited.
This interview took place on April 26, 2010. The relevant portion that Robert highlights starts at 52 minutes.
What’s striking to me about this part of the discussion is Williams’ self-awareness, and insight. Evidence of being rational.
It amplifies my instinct that Williams could, and should, have survived this rough patch. Under different circumstances, perhaps only by a fraction, he could have prevailed over the morbid, self-destructive (and impossible for any outsider to know) thoughts that led him to take his life.
In what appears to be (I just watched the press conference, the preliminary findings confirming suicide as cause of death) an extremely desperate act. Anyone who heard the description has to conclude, this was the actions of a man committed to succeeding in this effort to kill himself. Read the rest of this entry »
“They didn’t know who she was, she was apparently new and was supposed to start yesterday.”
For CBS Houston, Benjamin Fearnow reports: A newly-hired teacher was found intoxicated and not wearing any pants inside an Oklahoma high school classroom on her first day of work, according to Wagoner police.
[More Teacher Bad Behavior - VIDEO - Libido Update: Boy-Crazy Teacher Meredith Powell...]
Police arrested Lorie Hill after two Wagoner High School teachers found her intoxicated and without pants in an empty classroom she was claiming to be her own, KOKI-TV reports. Recently hired by Wagoner Public Schools, Hill was reporting for her first day on the job as all teachers were also returning for their first day back in school from summer break.
“When our officers interviewed her she did admit to having had some vodka yesterday morning before she came to school.”
– Police Chief Bob Haley
Wagoner Police say she admitted to drinking and authorities found an empty cup in her vehicle that contained an odor of vodka, but there was not enough evidence to prove that she commuted to work under the influence. There were no credible witnesses at her home in Claremore to prove a DUI charge, so Hill was only arrested for public intoxication.
“I don’t know, as an adult, I just don’t know how you can be a professional teacher and teaching young people, and then show up drunk.”
– Parent of Wagoner High school student
“When our officers interviewed her she did admit to having had some vodka yesterday morning before she came to school,” said Haley.
On Monday, police officers found her in the principal’s office, where the school staff had been detaining Hill since finding her without pants inside the classroom. Read the rest of this entry »
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry meets Popular Mechanics. Potentially offensive to unprepared viewers, but good-natured, sharp, silly, revealing, brilliant, based on solid science and in-depth research. Bonus: watch it all the way through. Also includes a brief Women’s Guid to Men, but it’s very brief, ’cause the research is less developed. Hysterically funny. Drop whatever you’re doing, and watch this.
Thanks to our Hong Kong Bureau Chief for the link.