Daily Archives: November 29, 2009

Welfare and the United States


All dressed up for food stamp day



But a stigma placed on cash-like welfare (which food stamps are) remains a positive sign of a healthy work ethic. If you came across two societies–Society A, in which food stamps were stigmatized, with families reluctant to go on the dole even if they were eligible, and Society B, in which they weren’t, you would want to bet on (and live in) Society A. It’s one thing to relax the stigma on welfare in times of epic economic decline. It’s another if the stigma doesn’t return with the possibility of employment.

I read the Times article this morning and was struck by the fact that, if we really have 25% of all children in this country on food stamps, there’s something wrong with the people deciding to have children, and a system that encourages them to be so irresponsible is both cruel and doomed.


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Swiss vote to ban minarets

What would Mickey do?

Probably not enforceable, but as an expression of discomfort at seeing their tiny country taken over by muslims, it’s telling. A lot of Londoners would probably vote the same way.


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If no one will buy you another rifle this Christmas,


Maybe you can persuade Santa to upgrade your coffee maker with this one recommended by Cooks Illustrated. Seems that every other coffee maker they tested has a cheap heating element, which keeps costs down. The manufacturers skimp on that essential element, so to speak, then dress up the exterior with fancy gimmicks to catch your eye and make you forget that you’re drinking warm water with brown crayon drippings. This baby, hand-made in the Netherlands, costs $240 (!) but produces, according to CI, far and away the best coffee available.

You can get one from Roastmasters.com, if that bonus check was substantial this year. I plan on continuing to use my French Press which costs about $30 bucks and makes coffee that is “comparable” according to CI. But it’s tempting to have a machine that, plugged in a timer, could have great coffee ready when I awoke.


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Salvation Army kettles

They’re out there in force an strategically positioned outside of places like Starbucks and Walmart to collect your spare change. I know a lot of people helped by this group and so I usually make it a point to drop in some folding money. Besides, I did enjoy reading Shaw’s Major Barbara.


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