Poverty  and  Dependency  in  America

This page is the second in a series of pages about poverty and dependency in America.  If you arrived here from a search engine, you might want to start at the index page.

Subtopics on this page:

Many homeless people are violent and/or insane and should be locked up

Many allegedly poor people are not poor at all

Welfare encourages illegitimacy rather that work

Handouts promote an entitlement mentality

Constant expansion and mission creep

Free cell phones!

Free internet service!

What happens when the game is over?




Many homeless people are violent and/or insane and should be locked up

...and they were, until a court decision in 1972 (Lessard v. Schmidt) set many of them free, based on a concern for the bums' civil liberties, which the liberal do-gooders considered to be more important than public safety. 

Miami removes homeless from streets as Irma nears.  As the window started to close for evacuating Florida before Hurricane Irma arrived, police and social workers took to the streets of Miami in search of the city's estimated 1,100 homeless people.  Their goal:  Convince the homeless to willingly enter a storm shelter — or let them know they can be held against their will for a mental health evaluation.

The Editor says...
Why can't this be done every day of the year in every city?

San Diego starts washing down sidewalks, streets to fight hepatitis A outbreak.  Crews working for a private contractor began power-washing sidewalks with a chlorine solution in downtown San Diego on Monday [9/11/2017], part of an effort to stop the spread of hepatitis A among homeless people.  The crews cleaned sidewalks around 17th and Imperial avenues, where hundreds of homeless congregate and live in tents and other shelters.

County declares health emergency for hepatitis outbreak.  San Diego County declared a local health emergency early Friday night, adding a new level of urgency to a hepatitis A outbreak that has hit the homeless population hardest, killing 15 people and hospitalizing hundreds. [...] It has been clear for some time that the local outbreak is far beyond ordinary.  With 378 cases confirmed to date, it's the largest surge seen in at least 20 years.  The first cases linked to the outbreak occurred in November 2016, but there weren't enough of them until about March for local epidemiologists to know for sure that infections were spreading more quickly than usual.  Most hepatitis A outbreaks are associated with specific foods picked or processed under unsanitary conditions.  The virus that causes the condition lives in human feces and is spread when people don't wash their hands thoroughly enough after using the bathroom.

Orange County Residents Want Homeless Encampments Cleared Out Of Public Recreation Area.  The Santa Ana River in Orange County, California doesn't look like most people's idea of a river.  It looks more like the concrete spillways you see in movies shot in Los Angeles, at least most of the time.  Along the Santa Ana River is a bike path that allows people to ride all the way from Prado Dam past Angels Stadium in Anaheim to the ocean.  Next to that path is a dirt shoulder that has increasingly become home to hundreds of homeless people living in makeshift tents.  Some OC residents are afraid to jog or ride the trail and are demanding authorities do something.

Fountain Valley residents say encroaching homeless encampment needs attention.  Jonathan An, a homeowner in the New Chase condominiums off Harbor Boulevard, points to a jacuzzi in the gated community.  "They bathe here a lot," he said, referring to his new neighbors who live in a large homeless encampment that has sprung up on the banks of the Santa Ana River bordering his complex.  Another condo resident points to a roll of toilet paper and makeshift bathroom within three feet of a gate the residents have for accessing the river trail — which most now avoid.

Homeless booted from subways so de Blasio could have 'clean' ride.  Mayor Bill de Blasio ventured into the city's decrepit subway system Sunday — but didn't have to face the foul-smelling and often crazy vagrants whom ordinary New Yorkers are forced to contend with every day.  That's because police were ordered to roust all the homeless people from two stations ahead of the mayor's four-stop press event as he rode from his Park Slope gym to his new re-election headquarters in downtown Brooklyn, law enforcement sources told The [New York] Post.

De Blasio's Homeless Hypocrisy.  Remarking on the rise in homelessness on the streets of New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio sounded uncharacteristic of a progressive fighter for the poor and disenfranchised.  He condemned people sitting outside begging for money, "who are bluntly just panhandlers, who are not even homeless," but scrounge for handouts "because somehow they think it's fun." [...] De Blasio seems angriest at what are commonly called "crusty punks" — lavishly tattooed men and women in their twenties, often with dogs in tow, who populate the corners and parks of lower Manhattan, panhandling during the day and sleeping rough at night.

Honolulu lawmaker proposes bill to have armed park rangers to deter homeless.  A state lawmaker is proposing stationing armed park rangers at Honolulu city parks, where homeless encampments are common, because of a growing amount of trash and safety concerns.  Residents have taken issue with piles of trash and smell they claim come from homeless encampments, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday [7/9/2017].  Honolulu city Councilman Trevor Ozawa wants residents to vote on a 2018 City Charter amendment to place armed park rangers in the city's biggest parks.  The rangers would be able to address illegal camping, littering and vandalism and enforce no-smoking policies should the bill come to pass.

The Editor says...
This proves my point:  If the "campers" aren't mentally unstable and potentially dangerous, why do the park rangers suddenly need to be armed?

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio So 'Frustrated' with Panhandlers He Wants to Make It Illegal.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said [7/7/2017] he is so fed up with the city's panhandlers begging for money on the street that he wants to ban the practice. [...] "I just wish it didn't exist," he added.  "I am just expressing a frustration because I think it hurts the quality of life in many ways."  De Blasio tried to backtrack on his statement during the interview, saying that he is aware of Constitutional protections in place that bar him from implementing a panhandling ban.

Chronic criminal assassinates NYPD officer.  Alexander Bonds, an ex-con with a long rap sheet, shot and killed New York City police officer Miosotis Familia, a mother of three, as she sat in a patrol car in the Bronx.  The attack was unprovoked.  It was an assassination.

NYPD cop assassin was a drifter who once beat up an officer.  The 34-year-old man who shot an NYPD veteran in the head early Wednesday was a drifter whose rap sheet included a 2001 bust for beating up a cop in Queens, police sources said.  Alexander Bonds allegedly used brass knuckles to pummel the cop from the 111th Precinct.  Four others joined in on the beating, sources said.  The outcome of that case was not immediately known.  Bonds was paroled in 2013 for a robbery in Syracuse when he shot Miosotis Familia, 48, in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx.

Crews Build Controversial 'Homeless Wall' In San Jose.  Caltrans is building a taller, stronger wall in San Jose to stop homeless individuals from returning to an encampment.  Caltrans has repeatedly cleaned up the large encampment under I-280, but the homeless keep returning.  While this new solution has some homeowners pleased, it is generating a lot of anger in the community.

Why you might see more people peeing on the streets of NYC this summer.  New Yorkers should prepare for a loud, smelly summer.  As of Tuesday, scofflaws who commit certain quality-of-life violations — including urinating, boozing or blasting loud music in public — will get little more than a slap on the wrist.  The change is the result of the City Council's controversial Criminal Justice Reform Act, which allows law breakers who've been cited for those and other low-level offenses to face justice in administrative hearings rather than in criminal court.

NYC: "Allahu akbar" shouting Muslim threatens to blow up Times Square Church, kill Christians.  A homeless man shouting "Allahu akbar" busted a Midtown church's door with a wrench and threatened to return and shoot all Christians, police sources said Wednesday [6/7/2017].  The drama began when Noel Droni asked a 37-year-old homeless man outside the interdenominational Times Square Church, on W. 51st St., if he was a Christian on Monday [9/12/2017], cops said.  When the man told Droni he was Christian, Droni allegedly pulled a red wrench from his backpack and smashed the church's glass door.

Homeless man with lengthy rap sheet is prime suspect in fatal beating of transgender woman.  A homeless man with a lengthy criminal past is the prime suspect in the fatal beating of a transgender woman in Chelsea, the [New York] Daily News has learned.  Medics found Brenda Bostick, 59, on the ground with severe head trauma on Seventh Ave. near 29th St. at 10:30 p.m. on April 25.  The homeless woman was discovered just a few blocks from the W. 25th St. shelter where she had been staying, sources said.  She died Thursday [5/18/2017] at Bellevue Hospital, and her death has been ruled a homicide.

3 arrested in Atlanta fire underneath interstate bridge.  Three people have been arrested in connection with the raging fire that collapsed a portion of Interstate 85 a few miles north of downtown Atlanta, crippling a major traffic artery in a city already known for dreadful rush-hour congestion.

Suspects connected to I-85 fire, collapse identified.  Three people have been arrested after a massive fire under I-85 caused a huge chunk of the roadway to collapse Thursday, multiple officials confirm.  The fire began in the middle of rush hour and brought Atlanta traffic on both sides of the busy Interstate to a complete standstill, as giant flames and plumes of black smoke billowed.  It left motorists stranded on the the Interstate for hours as Georgia State Patrol Troopers worked to divert traffic and clear the roadway.

Atlanta bridge fire suspect was smoking crack before blaze began, warrant says.  The homeless man accused of starting a fire that caused a section of a major Atlanta interstate to collapse was smoking crack before the blaze erupted, his arrest warrant shows.  Basil Eleby, 39, was charged with first degree arson and criminal damage to property in connection to the fire, and is being held in Fulton County jail on a $200,000 bond.  Eleby has been arrested 20 times since 2000, mostly on drug possession and drug trafficking charges, according to Fulton County jail records.

Homeless 'Spitting Lady' had $19K on her when arrested.  The homeless woman who has been spitting on Upper East Side residents was carrying more than $19,133 in cash on her when she was arrested Thursday for allegedly attacking a child, sources said.  Hilda Barrion — nicknamed "The Spitting Lady of 77th Street" — was picked up around 7 a.m. on East 78th Street and told officers she had amassed her fortune by collecting bottles and cans, the sources said.  Besides the cash pile, Barrion, 65, was hauling around a load of random possessions that included a spaghetti strainer and sewing needles.

'Spitting Lady' has no plans to stop.  The crazed crooner tormenting residents of an Upper East Side high-rise is just the latest example of how Mayor de Blasio has turned over the streets to unhinged vagrants.  Another is a woman known to Upper East Siders as "The Spitting Lady of 77th Street."  Confronted by The Post last week, the homeless woman — who locals say has been spitting on passers-by for years — shouted:  "I'm calling the cops!  I know my rights!  I live in the streets!"

Homeless man's nonstop drunken singing is driving people crazy.  Residents of an Upper East Side high-rise are being driven out of their minds — and apartments — by a homeless man who drunkenly sings at the top of his lungs all day and night.  The caterwauling crank has been plaguing the Saratoga condo tower at East 75th Street and First Avenue, where he sits on the edge of a cement planter and screams out freestyle lyrics of a decidedly personal nature.

Ohio panhandler, cited by police 250 times, refuses to back down.  Cleveland police and a persistent panhandler have been engaged in a war of wills for years at a homely west side intersection, a conflict that appears to subside only when the man is in jail.

Hawaii lawmaker says homeless using war memorial as open latrine.  A Hawaii state lawmaker is looking to add more protection to a Korean and Vietnam War Memorial that had been desecrated by some of the homeless population.  State Rep. Bob McDermott, R-Ewa Beach, said Friday the memorial, which stretches 100 feet in its Honolulu location, that some homeless residents were using it as an open latrine, according to Hawaii News Now.  "The homeless are nesting there and defecating there because it provides a degree of concealment.  It's human waste — several piles along with clothing and needles and other trash.  It's just terrible," he said.

Homeless woman arrested for pushing stranger into oncoming subway train in Manhattan.  A 50-year-old woman was lucky to avoid serious injury after a vagrant shoved her into the side of an oncoming subway train in Manhattan, sources said Wednesday [10/26/2016].  The homeless assailant, Patricia Abraham, 62, was busted Tuesday less than 24 hours after the unprovoked attack at the Prince St. station, sources said.  The victim was waiting on the northbound platform at about 4:50 p.m.  Monday when Abraham hurled her into the train, sources said.

Homeless Couple Having Sex In Public Last Straw:  Denver Residents Moving Out.  A young couple in Denver's West City Park neighborhood have put their home up for sale saying problems with Denver's homeless population are driving them out of the city.  "It makes us extremely uncomfortable and we don't want to live here any longer," said the woman, who asked not to be identified.  "Increasingly every day it's the number one reason I want to sell is because of the homeless situation."

A scene of homeless misery greets patrons trying to use Santa Ana's award-winning library.  Haley Flores grew up poring over history books at the Santa Ana Public Library while her little brothers built up their vocabulary there and read tales about alien attacks and outer space.  But a visit to the downtown library has become, on many days, a walk through a gantlet of misery:  Homeless men and women sleep in the lawn while others plead with visitors for change.  Inside the building, signs warned people to avoid restrooms where some homeless use sinks and even toilet water to bathe themselves and wash their clothes.  Some of Santa Ana's down and out used the study carrels to look for jobs — others shot up drugs, with syringes found discarded in planters and even a box of toilet seat covers.

Doughnut shop under fire after blaming closing on city's homeless.  A Grand Rapids doughnut shop has closed and their reasoning is not going over well.  Propaganda Doughnuts was in business for nearly 3 years on South Division Avenue.  The shop posted on their Facebook page that they are closed as of last Sunday and thanked customers for their business.  The post went on to explain that they were "unable to find answers and overcome the problem of the increasing amount of homeless and disadvantaged people who now frequent the street in front of our location."

College graduate, 21, fighting for his life after 'random stabbing attack' in Santa Rosa movie theater.  The California college graduate who was stabbed repeatedly in the neck in a 'random' cinema attack tried to fight off his assailant, his brother has revealed.  Adam Lucero, 21, or Pasadena, California, was watching The Shallows at the Roxy Theater when the man sitting behind him began stabbing him with a chef's knife.  Lucero — was left with a punctured lung and injuries to his neck, arm and ear — is in a heavily sedated state in hospital following a lengthy surgery.

Poopy pants attacker has struck before.  A second woman was attacked with feces on the Upper East Side by a homeless man already suspected of shoving excrement down another woman's shorts, cops said on Thursday [6/30/2016].  "Really disgusting attacks," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said.  Cops Thursday night were questioning a suspect at the 19th Precinct station house.  In the first attack, a 33-year-old woman was walking when a man threw feces at her, striking her face and torso at about 4:30 p.m.  Monday [6/27/2016] in front of 67 E. 91st St.

The Editor says...
Victim:  white.  Perp:  black.  Hate crime charges?  Not a chance.

NYC monitoring of some mentally ill sparks rights concerns.  The program — apparently unique among American cities — keeps tabs on a roster of people with psychiatric problems and a history of violence, hoping to help them before they reach a breaking point.

Illegal alien charged with five horrific murders in LA.  The man charged burning five people to death in Los Angeles is an illegal alien from Honduras.  He was caught by the border patrol in 2012.  However, the Obama administration ordered the border patrol to release him into the public.  The Obama administration has a "catch and release" policy because the goal is to transform the US electorate via open borders and 3rd world immigration.

Homeless Man Charged Fire Deaths Was In US Illegally.  A homeless man charged with setting a fire that killed five people at a vacant Los Angeles building was in the country illegally, and was arrested for drug possession days before the blaze.

Suspect in fire that killed 5 was here illegally, fought with another transient before slayings.  A Honduran citizen charged with murdering five homeless people in an arson fire was in the United States illegally and had been arrested three times in the months before the blaze in a vacant Westlake building where transients were squatting, officials said Friday [6/17/2016].  Johnny Josue Sanchez, 21, started the fire to avenge a beating he took in a dispute over occupying a room in the building, a law enforcement source said.

Homeless Man Stabs Times Square Worker in Neck, Police Say.  A homeless man asking for money nearly killed a worker in Times Square after stabbing him in the neck with a scissors during a fight, officials said.  Zaki Smith, 26, stabbed the Times Square Alliance sanitation worker after the victim refused to hand over cash and a fight ensued, the NYPD said. [...] Cooper suffered "severe lacerations" to his ear and neck and bled "extensively, to the point where he was losing consciousness," the DA's office said.

Homeless man stabs victim in the neck with scissors in Times Square:  NYPD.  When a passerby refused to give money to a homeless man in Times Square, the transient allegedly pulled out a pair of scissors and stabbed the man in his neck, police said. [...] Zaki Smith, 26, allegedly approached a man in his 50s and demanded money, police said.  The older man refused and Smith allegedly stabbed him in the neck with a pair of scissors he had been concealing.

Senior Brutally Beaten In Downtown Los Angeles Attack Dies.  An elderly man who was brutally beaten in broad daylight in downtown Los Angeles earlier in April has died, according to Los Angeles police. [...] LaFawn Parker, a 46-year-old transient said to be mentally unstable, punched and kicked the elderly man several times as he was walking down the street, police said.

Black thug Meechaiel Khalil Criner 'allegedly' kills UT Austin white woman.  Chalk up another one for black lives matter and the progressive extremists.  Meechaiel Khalil Criner a black 'homeless' man allegedly killed UT Austin student Haruka Weiser.  Meechaiel Khalil Criner has been charged with murder.  As is typical when a black thugs murders a white, the media goes out and tries to make the killer the victim.  The media in Texas whines about how Criner was bullied and in foster care as a child.

Homeless Teen Arrested in Killing of University of Texas Student Haruka Weiser.  The suspect — identified as Meechaiel Criner — was arrested Thursday and booked in the Travis County Jail, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said at a news conference.  Student Haruka Weiser, an 18-year-old dance and theater major, was last seen alive on the Austin campus Sunday night before she was reported missing the following morning.  Her body was discovered near a creek on Tuesday, and investigators declared her death a homicide — setting off a manhunt on the campus of 50,000 students.

Two people slashed by vagrants in separate attacks.  Panhandlers slashed two men in Manhattan subway stations in separate attacks on Friday — one for refusing to fork over money, and the other because he didn't give enough, cops said.  The first attack took place at the Chambers Street station around 5 a.m.  when a straphanger on the A platform was approached by a beggar and then slashed across the face when he declined to give the vagrant any money.  The slasher then fled, cops said.  The injured man left the train station and went to his workplace where he called 911.  He suffered a minor cut to his face and refused medical aid at the scene.

Seattle Underbelly Exposed as Homeless Camp Violence Flares.  So dangerous is this city's biggest homeless camp, called the Jungle — three ragged miles stitched along the underbelly of Interstate 5 — that if a fire broke out there today, firefighters would not be allowed in without an armed police escort.  State lawmakers are considering a razor-wire fence around the camp, separating it from the city at a cost of $1 million.

San Francisco homeless remain in 'unhealthy' tent city despite order to vacate.  About 30 tents remained in place Friday [2/26/2016] as the deadline for homeless people to vacate a San Francisco tent city came and went without any action.  The homeless living in the encampment had until 5 p.m. Friday to clear out, Sam Dodge, the mayor's point person on homelessness, said.  City officials and the San Francisco Police have not said what they intend to do with the tent residents.

Woman slashed in face by homeless man in Manhattan furious he was on the streets despite 32 prior arrests.  A mentally ill man, off his meds and free to roam the streets, victimized at least six women — even before cops say he randomly slashed a woman in the face in Chelsea.  The family of 41-year-old Kari Bazemore told the Daily News the accused Chelsea slasher has been in and out of psychiatric institutions for at least the last five years.  Bazemore began showing signs of psychiatric problems 15 years ago, his sister Dana Bazemore said.  He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and was hospitalized at least three times following arrests.

Outsourcing the Mentally Ill to Police.  The police are our de facto front-line mental-health workers — "armed social workers" in the pungent phrase of one observer — and jails are our de facto psychiatric-hospital system.  In its analysis of 2015 police shootings, the [Washington] Post found dozens of cases in which the police were called as a means of getting treatment.  Shirley Marshall Harrison called the Dallas police when her schizophrenic, bipolar son was out of control.  He was shot down while allegedly charging police with a screwdriver.  "I didn't call for them to take him to the morgue," she said of the cops.  "I called for medical help."  It's a poignant lament, but why do the families of the severely mentally ill need to rely on the police for medical assistance?  When someone has a heart attack or gets cancer, we don't call the police.

Homeless male prostitute suspected of murdering Philadelphia psychiatrist in hotel.  Philadelphia police say they have arrested a homeless prostitute in the strangulation of a 75-year-old psychiatrist in a city hotel room.

Woman driver intentionally plows into crowd leaving one dead, six critical and 31 injured.  Jessica Valenzuela, 32, of Buckeye, Arizona, died in the crash on Sunday night [12/20/2015], after Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, of Portland, allegedly hit pedestrians on two different sections of the sidewalk while heading north on Las Vegas Boulevard near Bellagio Way. [...] She did not appear to be under the influence of alcohol, police said, but a drug recognition expert on the scene determined Holloway was under the influence of a 'stimulant,' although blood test results are pending.  Holloway told authorities that she had been in Las Vegas for around a week, Lombardo added, and police believe she was living in her vehicle with her daughter.

1 dead, 36 injured after intentional crash on Las Vegas Strip.  Police have now confirmed that the crash was intentional. [...] Witnesses reported that people tried to stop the driver and that her windshield was completely smashed.  She fled the scene and police caught her at Flamingo Road and Koval.  She was briefly barricaded in her car and refused to come out for a while before she was arrested.  Her vehicle has Oregon license plates and it is believed that she has been in Las Vegas for about a week.

Police: Driver in Vegas crash was seeking estranged partner.  Suspect Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, resided in Oregon and had been in Las Vegas for about a week in her 1996 Oldsmobile sedan, parking it at garages throughout the city, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.

Pentagon probes how civilian lived for months in Fort Bragg barracks.  Army officials are trying to figure out how a civilian managed to live for several months at Fort Bragg, eating and bunking with special forces operators despite not being a member of the military.  The unidentified man, who a source told FoxNews.com is mentally ill, was found out last month, and has been questioned.  The source said the man told the real soldiers he lived among that he was a demolition specialist and exempt from the daily activities they took part in.

Homeless Man Allegedly Lived In Army Barracks As Soldier For 8 Months.  A homeless man in North Carolina allegedly posed as an Army soldier and lived in a special forces barracks at Fort Bragg for eight months before being caught, according to a popular military Facebook page.  The incident was first reported on the Facebook page [...] in a detailed post.  The Fayetteville Observer has confirmed the hidden civilian's discovery, but otherwise military officials have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Accused rapist at Miami-Dade assisted living facility no stranger to justice system.  A mentally ill drifter with a history of sexual violence, Eric Fields stands accused of savagely raping an employee at a South Miami-Dade assisted living facility in June.  He is no stranger to the criminal justice system.  Time and again, the system could not safeguard against his behavior — underscoring the challenges authorities face in dealing with sex offenders suffering from severe mental illness.

City subways are a pervert's paradise.  Sex crimes on the city's subways have soared by nearly 20 percent this year, due to a surge in the number of gropers, flashers and voyeurs, NYPD officials said on Monday [12/14/2015]. [...] In the past five months alone, the rate of increase has more than doubled — with a total of 699 incidents reported, or 106 more than the 593 recorded for the same period last year, authorities said.  The most common offenses are forcible touching, lewdness and unwanted surveillance, NYPD Deputy Chief Vincent Coogan told MTA officials at a meeting.

Homeless reign over LaGuardia to come to an end: Port Authority.  The Port Authority said Friday [12/18/2015] it will turn La Guardia Airport into a bum-free zone -- but not until after the holidays.  The agency made the move following an exposé in The [New York] Post showing that at least 50 homeless squatters had moved into the busy airport, sleeping on vents, stealing food from shops and getting naked to wash themselves in the bathrooms.  The homeless have also been taking up chairs meant for passengers while snoring under blaring televisions.  Some hang around during the day, arguing with cleaning crews and bothering shop workers.

Homeless squatters are taking over LaGuardia Airport.  Vice President Joe Biden once compared it to a "Third World country" — but LaGuardia Airport has become so riddled with homeless that it could now even make some of those nations look good.  The number of derelicts living at the airport has increased dramatically in the past year, turning the main terminal into the city's most popular de facto flophouse, where they sleep, eat and wash up while competing for space with passengers, according to Port Authority sources.

The Left And The Mentally Ill: A Band Of Lunatic Brothers.  The Deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, which had been a goal of the Left since the late 1960's, one that was fully realized by the late 1970's, has brought about nothing buy misery, violence, and death for both the sane and those people the Left supposedly sought to help. [...] Releasing the Mentally Ill into our Society and forcing us at the point of a gun to not be able to take effective measures to prevent them from causing harm, the Left is ensuring that our Society will begin to totter and will eventually fall into Mayhem and Disorder.

Crazy People Are Dangerous, Part 4.  If only we were more compassionate and understanding, liberals say, we could alleviate the suffering of these pathetic nutcases.  Yet these pleas for compassion and understanding have an effect of blinding us to the fact that mentally ill people may pose genuine risks to public safety.  Think about the Creepy Little Weirdo who committed the Sandy Hook massacre.  Think about the Creepy Little Weirdo who committed the Isla Vista massacre.  It was after Gus Deeds stabbed his father, Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds, in November 2013, that I put it bluntly:  Crazy People Are Dangerous.  And since then we have seen numerous stories that confirm this basic truth, including the German co-pilot who killed 150 people when he crashed a plane into a mountain.

Bums declare war on Christmas.  Vagrants are urinating in the street, hassling passers-by for cash — and now they've ruined Christmas in The Bronx.  The annual outdoor Christmas tree lighting in the borough's famed Little Italy section was canceled because the soaring panhandler population forced the sponsors to spend so much on security that there was no cash left for the celebration.

Crazy People are Dangerous, Part 8.  Liberals tell us it is heartless and "mean-spirited" to suggest that public safety would be best served if mentally ill people with histories of dangerous behavior were locked up in psychiatric wards.  Americans are told that it's OK to let delusional and antisocial freaks roam around free in our society, because what could possibly go wrong?  When one of these dangerous kooks who roam among us finally commits an act of crazy violence, however, liberals quickly rush to tell us that his insane actions have some kind of political significance and that the proper response to this atrocity is [...] more liberalism.

Michael Jordan's Steakhouse: We're overrun by bums!  The city's homeless plague is so rampant that it's threatening to put Michael Jordan's Steakhouse out of business, according to a new lawsuit.  The entryway to the Grand Central Terminal eatery is being overrun by bums, thanks to a long-term construction project on Vanderbilt Avenue that has created a festering enclave of vagrants, restaurant owner Matthew Glazier says in court papers.  And business is so bad as a result that revenue has dropped 24 percent, according to the suit against his landlord, the MTA.

L.A. lawmakers to declare 'state of emergency,' commit more than $100 million to fight homelessness.  Los Angeles elected leaders announced Tuesday [9/22/2015] that they will declare a "state of emergency" on the growing homelessness problem in the city and commit $100 million toward housing and other services for homeless people.  The proposal, which was presented at a City Hall press conference attended by City Council members and Mayor Eric Garcetti, coincides with a Garcetti administration proposal, issued late Monday, that aims to free up nearly $13 million in newly anticipated excess tax revenue for short-term housing initiatives.

The Editor says...
Homeless people in the streets is a chronic problem, but it's not an emergency.  It is a condition that has developed over several decades, as a result of left-wing nanny-state policy, driven by emotion rather than reason.

Those Yellow-Stain Blues.  It's a lucky thing the driver wasn't crushed when a three-story-tall lamp post fell on top of a car stopped on the corner of Pine and Taylor Streets in San Francisco on a Monday evening last month.  The base of the lamp post had been corroded after countless soakings with urine from San Francisco's ubiquitous homeless, prompting a spokesman for the city's Public Utilities Commission to encourage people and dogs alike to water fire hydrants rather than light poles because the fire hydrants are made of stronger cast iron.  That collapsing lamp post is a perfect metaphor for urban Democrat governance.  If you want to know what inevitably results from allowing the Far Left to run cities cleared of middle-class voters over decades, picture vast armies of homeless bums gleefully micturating on public infrastructure, while public officials merely beg for more clichéd choices amid terror of alienating a prominent, if noisome and not quite sane, constituency, until that piddle-drenched infrastructure inevitably topples.  That is, after all, what Democrat cities ultimately put on display.

'Homeless by Choice' in New York.  Mohamed Rasul is homeless in New York City.  But don't feel too sorry for him, he's "homeless by choice."  He's got a free laptop and free Wi-Fi in Bryant Park.  According to Mohamed, he's "never been as comfortable as under de Blasio" because no one forces him to leave the park where a miniature carousel spins children around on painted horses and a yoga lesson takes place on the main lawn.  These things, the carousel, the yoga lesson and the free Wi-Fi, only exist because the park was restored from its old days as a drug dealing hangout known as Needle Park.

Big Apple Versus Big Toilet.  Not long ago, I asked [San Francisco] Mayor Ed Lee what he sees as contributing factors to San Francisco's high P.U. quotient.  His answer:  The drought means less rain to wash away human waste.  Other cities have winters that prompt street people to move to better climates.  Development has claimed space that used to house homeless encampments.  He also credited "historic levels of drug use" from "people who don't get held responsible for their behavior."  Lee has a solid point on each of those factors.  I would add another:  pride.  San Franciscans are proud of the city's vaunted tolerance.  Lest they seem intolerant, many locals have been reluctant to complain about the pervasive smell of urine and occasional glimpses of public defecation until conditions become impossible to ignore.

Bums Bury San Francisco in Feces.  San Francisco is also a center of leftism.  The liberals running the city have laid out a red carpet for dysfunctional street people, who come from all over the country to collect their freebies and crap on the sidewalk.  Combined with the policy of no longer incarcerating any but the most obviously violent lunatics, this has reduced the city to a cross between a mental institution and a sewer.

Angry cops post pictures of vagrants online.  NYPD cops fed up with vagrants making life miserable in the city are taking matters into their own hands — by snapping photos of quality-of-life scofflaws and posting them online.  The Sergeants Benevolent Association is spearheading the effort, emailing a letter to members Monday [8/10/2015] urging them and their families and friends to take pictures to document the decline of the city.

Justice Department asks judge to block enforcement of homeless camping ban.  The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday [8/6/2015] urged a judge to block enforcement of an anti-camping ordinance in Boise, Idaho, by employing the rationale from a seminal Los Angeles homeless-rights case.  The outcome in Boise could reverberate in Los Angeles — where officials are considering resuming enforcement of the city's own anti-camping ordinance, considered among the strictest in the country.  It bans sleeping, sitting or lying on sidewalks and other public property.

Lamp post destroyed by urine falls in street, just misses driver.  Concerns about San Francisco's decaying light poles were ignited Monday night [8/3/2015] after one corroded by urine toppled onto a car, narrowly missing the driver.  The three-story-tall lamp post at Pine and Taylor streets snapped around 6:30 Monday and landed on a nearby car, almost crushing the driver.  No one was injured.  A perfect storm of conditions rusted out the base of the pole, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission officials say, and caused it to fall.  At the time, the lamp post, which was already old, was damaged by urine and weighed down by an oversized banner.

Photos Show Homeless Man Taking Bath In Columbus Circle Fountain.  It was a shocking scene at one of the city's most visited landmarks.  CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer obtained exclusive images of what some call the latest public insult of Mayor Bill de Blasio's New York City.  Pictures were snapped of a homeless man taking a bath in the fountain at Columbus Circle, a popular city landmark that is now the bathtub of a bum.  The man who took the photo called the incident simply appalling.  "This, for me, was the tipping point on quality of life.  This man is actually lathering up with a bar of soap," Ken Frydman said.

Bums are running amok in New York City and it needs to stop.  One day last week, a deranged, apparently homeless man screamed bloody murder outside the Marriott hotel in Downtown Brooklyn.  "I need a dollar!" he shrieked.  "I need two dollars!  I need to feed my kid!"  There was no child present.  But the man, who appeared to be in his 30s, bore the unmistakable aroma of cigarettes and urine.  He singlehandedly drove the horde of lunchtime pedestrians from the hotel's plaza.  There was no cop in sight.  On Smith Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, one afternoon, a disheveled man who looked to be in his 20s demanded spare change, but not from people exiting the F subway train station.  He targeted women pushing small kids in strollers, causing his vulnerable marks to scatter as if avoiding a virulent disease.

Apparently it's now OK to pee on the streets of New York City.  Here's an up-close look at a quality-of-life offense the City Council wants to decriminalize.  This urinating vagrant turned a busy stretch of Broadway into his own private bathroom yesterday — an offense that would result in a mere summons if Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and her pals get their way.  Wrapped in rags and a Mets blanket the hobo wandered into traffic at around 10:30 a.m. and relieved himself as cabs, cars and buses whizzed by between West 83rd and 84th streets on the Upper West Side.

Avert Your Eyes and Hold Your Nose.  Downtown San Francisco feels like a large public toilet without enough janitors.  More than once this year, I've seen men drop their pants in public places — including at Fifth and Market — to leave a smelly mess on the sidewalk.  You can walk for blocks and never escape the stench of stale urine.  At lunchtime, I see street people passed out on high-traffic sidewalks, and I am afraid to walk around them.  The homeless have been a problem in San Francisco for as far back as anyone remembers, but to me it seems this year is the worst.

Woman who tries to sneak onto planes arrested twice in 2 days.  A woman who has repeatedly tried to sneak aboard airplanes has been arrested in Chicago twice in as many days, the latest incident while trying to get through security without a ticket at O'Hare International Airport.

The Editor says...
Two obvious questions arise:  Why hasn't she locked up for a long time, and how many times has she successfully flown without a ticket?

Hmmm...  Ban machetes, or lock up insane homeless people.  Which would make more sense?
Politicians call for tougher machete laws after park attack.  Lawmakers on Wednesday [6/24/2015] demanded tougher regulations to prevent a repeat of the wild machete attack in Bryant Park.  "It is disturbing," said state Sen. Tony Avella, a day after a foreign tourist was slashed with an easy-to-get and hard-to-ban machete.  "They are deadly weapons," he said.  Smaller knives such as switchblades and gravity knives are already banned.  But machetes are considered tools, the same as butcher's knives.

Man Slashes Woman With Machete in Bryant Park, Authorities Say.  A man wielding a machete struck a 31-year-old woman in the arm in Bryant Park on Tuesday in what the police said appeared to have been a random attack. [...] The man, identified by the police as Frederick Young, 43, was charged with assault. [...] Mr. Young has 23 previous arrests, Chief Boyce said.

The Editor says...
How do I know he's a homeless man?  Just turn to the British press.  They're not afraid to say so.

Machete-wielding homeless man slashes woman, 31, in New York's Bryant Park.  A machete-wielding homeless man has slashed a stranger in a New York City park after she left a nearby yoga class.  Frederick Young, 43, was allegedly carrying the large blade through Bryant Park in Manhattan around 11.30am when he approached the woman and sliced her arm.

Fake Buddhist monks are the new squeegee men of New York.  Bands of beggars dressed like Buddhist monks have invaded the High Line and other city parks, demanding upwards of $40 from tourists — and officials are fed up.

Cops shoot hammer-wielding suspect in Midtown.  Dramatic video released by the department shows career criminal David Baril, 30, strike Police Officer Lauren O'Rourke three times with the weapon before her partner opened fire around 10 a.m. on Eighth Avenue and West 37th Street. [...] Baril had eight prior arrests, including once for assaulting a police officer trying to hand him a summons in Riverdale Park in 2013, officials said.  He's also been arrested for possessing cocaine, a stun gun and a razor.  Aubry said Baril suffers from paranoia and schizophrenia and has been living on the street since he voluntarily left a mental health facility in upper Manhattan.

The Trans Ex-Convict Who Crashed The NSA.  The individual who was shot at and apparently killed by federal police on Monday at the entrance to the NSA's main campus identified as transgender and had a long history of run-ins with the law, including charges for prostitution, robbery, and assault.  Ricky Shawatza Hall of Baltimore was identified by the FBI on Tuesday [3/31/2015] as the driver of an SUV that police fired on after it refused to yield to orders from officers to stop at the entrance to Fort Meade, Maryland.

Transgender woman who was shot dead trying to ram SUV through NSA gate was a 'homeless prostitute who was facing prison time'.  The FBI has identified two people who were shot outside the National Security Agency's headquarters on Monday after allegedly stealing an SUV they were driving from a motel.  Kevin Lamont Fleming, 20, and his friend Ricky 'Maya' Shawatza Hall, 27, were allegedly picked up in Baltimore by another man on Sunday night before 'partying' at nearby lodgings in Howard County.  The unidentified 60-year-old Baltimore driver went to the bathroom on Monday morning and discovered that both his passengers and his Ford Escape SUV had gone, he told police.

Homeless man sets [him]self on fire during St. Pat's bar crawl.  Hoboken police received a call about 11 p.m. that a man was trying to set himself on fire and found him with is jacket ablaze, Chief Kenneth Ferrante told NJ.com.  Officers shouted for him to get to the ground so they could extinguish it, but he refused.

'Serial stowaway' Marilyn Hartman arrested at Chicago's O'Hare.  Marilyn Hartman, who became known as the "serial stowaway" after numerous attempts to sneak onto airplanes, was arrested at an airport twice last month — this time in Chicago — after she was spotted in a restricted area without a ticket, authorities said. [...] In August, she sneaked onto a plane from Mineta San Jose International Airport and was arrested when she landed at Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said. Hartman told reporters she was drawn to airports because she was homeless, and they were safer than the streets.

Nationally known 'serial stowaway' arrested in Nassau County.  The woman who is known nationally as the "Serial Stowaway" was arrested Monday [2/9/2015] in Nassau County.  Marilyn Jean Hartman, 63, is charged with fraud/impersonation, defrauding an inkeeper and trespassing after she was found to have checked into the Omni Amelia Island Plantation under another person's name, according to a Nassau County Sheriff's Office arrest report.  An online search of Hartman's name will yield dozens of mugshots and stowaway arrests from all across the country.

'Infamous serial stowaway' Marilyn Jean Hartman strikes again.  Marilyn Jean Hartman boarded a plane in Minnesota and arrived in Florida on Sunday [2/8/2015], she told authorities.  There, at Jacksonville International Airport, she claimed to have hopped on a transportation van to an island resort. [...] The arrest report says Hartman is homeless.

More homeless camps are appearing beyond downtown L.A.'s skid row.  Over the last two years, street encampments have jumped their historic boundaries in downtown Los Angeles, lining freeways and filling underpasses from Echo Park to South Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, a city-county agency, received 767 calls about street encampments in 2014, up 60% from the 479 in 2013.  Some residents believe the city is exporting its downtown homeless problem to their neighborhoods.  But social service agencies and volunteers say it isn't that simple.  They say that although downtown development and skid row cleanups are squeezing out some homeless people, many camps are filled with locals.

San Jose begins closing down 68-acre homeless encampment.  San Jose on Thursday [12/4/2014] is shutting down a sprawling homeless encampment, known as the Jungle, that has become a major embarrassment to the city.  Hundreds of homeless people turned 68 acres along Coyote Creek into a shantytown with lean-tos and underground bunkers, even a treehouse.  The Jungle had become a symbol of Silicon Valley's rampant homeless problem, and officials decided to close it down for good.

Conflicts in New York City Parks as Homeless Population Rises.  In Harlem River Park in Manhattan, homeless men can be seen sleeping on benches around the basketball courts and sprawled out on a soccer field by day, then hunkering under an overpass at night.  In Brooklyn, dog owners in Fort Greene Park have had ugly confrontations with homeless people after their dogs woke them up in the early morning when they are allowed off-leash.  And in the Bronx, there are so many homeless people in one small park, Devanney Triangle, that the community board and parks department are discussing the removal of all benches.

'Squeegee Man' busted for 226th time.  The "Squeegee Man" of Midtown was busted again — his 179th arrest — for illegally washing car windows Friday evening [9/5/2014], a law-enforcement source told The [New York] Post.  Gregg Washington, 40, was caught washing motorists' windshields at the corner of West 42nd Street and 9th Avenue around 4:30 p.m., a source said.  "It appears as if he moved towards the West Side because of the heat he was getting [on the East Side]," another police source said.

The Streets of San Francisco.  If you want to film a zombie movie on the cheap, San Francisco offers a ready-made location overflowing with extras.  The mentally ill, addicted, and homeless find a home in the City by the Bay as they do nowhere else in North America.  In this walkable Western metropolis, one walks a gauntlet of down-and-outers betraying that unmistakable drug gait and displaying lights out upstairs through their windows' 100-watt stares.

The Editor says...
The article above gives a fairly good description of Hell.  Unfortunately the writer is describing San Francisco.

Squeegee men are back terrorizing NYC streets.  They were the ultimate symbol of the lawlessness and blight of the 1980s and early 1990s — and now they're making a comeback.  Squeegee men are menacing motorists across New York City, including spots near the Holland, Lincoln and Queens-Midtown tunnels, as well as the Queensboro Bridge, The [New York] Post has learned.  Residents and drivers who pass through the areas said the panhandlers are spraying and wiping windshields without permission to shake down drivers for cash.

Dart: Up to 9,000 inmates signed up for Obamacare to help with mental health treatment.  Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, attempting to cope with what he says is a growing mental health crisis among inmates at the county jail, said up to 9,000 people who have been incarcerated have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in an attempt to get the care they need. [...] The sheriff said that the process of closing mental health institutions under the goal of putting the mentally ill into community-based treatment has led to 3,000 of the jail's 10,000 inmates requiring treatment.

$1M bond set for suspect in slaying of Phoenix priest.  Bond was set at $1 million for a 54-year-old ex-convict arrested in the shooting death of a 28-year-old Phoenix priest.  Phoenix police confirmed Monday morning that Gary Moran, a homeless man with an extensive criminal record, was arrested about 9 p.m. Sunday [6/15/2014], almost exactly four days to the hour after the crime.  Moran was jailed on suspicion of shooting the Rev. Kenneth Walker multiple times at Mother of Mercy Mission Catholic Church in south Phoenix on Wednesday, June 11.  Police believe the motive was burglary.

NY Subways overrun with homeless.  It's an express train — to the bad old days.  Cops are giving homeless people and panhandlers in the subways the kid-glove treatment, arresting subterranean scofflaws far less frequently than just two years ago, data show.  The ranks of the homeless, meanwhile, have swelled to 1,841 this year — a 13 percent increase over last year's tally, the city's Department of Homeless Services says.  For straphangers, it has created an atmosphere of fear.

Man Wielding Scissors Stabs 5, Including Toddler.  A man wielding scissors stabbed and slashed a 1-year-old boy, his father and three other people in a series of random attacks in less than 10 minutes along a popular running and biking path on Manhattan's Upper West Side Tuesday morning [10/1/2013]. [...] Police have a 43-year-old suspect in custody who is described as a homeless man from Texas suffering from psychological problems.

S.F. library's main branch bathrooms [are] a mess.  Located in the heart of the city's Civic Center area, the modern building attracts a large transient population — on top of thousands of other visitors each day.  The steady flow means the restrooms are frequently overrun, Mathews said.  He said the custodial staff does what it can to keep things tidy, but is understaffed and struggles to deal with the homeless, who often suffer from mental illness and use the restrooms as private spaces.

Student, 21, hit by train after homeless man pushed her on the tracks because 'she refused to give him money'.  The homeless man accused of shoving a student in front of a train yesterday appeared in court this morning rambling incoherently about people trying to kill him and seeing 'colors and darkness'.  Hunter College student Maya Leggat, 21, received horrific injuries after she was allegedly shoved on to the tracks at White Plains station in New York after she refused to give money to Howard J. Mickens, 39. [...] According to The Journal News, Mickens has 11 previous arrests with a criminal record dating back more than two decades.

What's he doing outside?
Police: Man with ax shot by officer had history of mental issues.  Once, he tried to kill himself by jumping in front of a car.  Another time, by jumping into Mirror Lake.  On a different occasion, he broke free of restraints at St. Anthony's Hospital and tried to strangle himself with one of the cords attached to a machine monitoring his condition.  Since the beginning of the year, Kenneth Sprankle, a 27-year-old homeless man, run across police officers in St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park 10 times because of his mental condition, according to both agencies.  That doesn't include the eight additional occasions when police arrested Sprankle, [...]

Woman arrested after green paint found on Smithsonian statue, organ at National Cathedral.  D.C. police said Monday evening [7/29/2013] that they had charged Jiamei Tian, 58, whom they believe to be homeless, with one count of defacing property.

Arrested 396 times, woman knows how to work the system.  [Officer Tom] Rolon recognized Shermain Miles because he's seen her more times than he can count — drunk, half-naked, cursing and, on one occasion, lunging at another woman with a dinner fork.  Since 1978, Chicago Police alone have arrested Miles 396 times, mostly on the North Side — under at least 83 different aliases.  Those arrests include 92 for theft, 65 for disorderly conduct, 59 for prostitution-related crimes and five for robbery or attempted robbery.

Today's public library could be mistaken for a halfway house, homeless shelter, or federal penetentiary.
Shush!  I write from the public library, which doubles as my city's daytime homeless shelter.  I spend four hours a day there reading and writing.  Other patrons, often accompanied by all of their worldly possessions, go there to sleep, masturbate, and stare blankly at the lights.  Isn't this what the local Greyhound terminal is for?  A diversion program for juvenile delinquents apparently meets daily on the first floor. [...] A visit to the Boston Public Library invites the question:  what good is a beautiful building that smells like urine?

The coming homeless die-off.  A national study out of Pennsylvania says the median age of single adult homeless people is now 53 — and that without a big push toward getting older indigents into housing and medical care, huge swaths of them will be dying off in the next decade.

The Editor says...
The article above is, in my opinion, an effort by the San Francisco newspaper to generate unwarranted sympathy for homeless people, most likely for the purpose of building up a public outcry for more (spending on) homeless shelters.

In New York City alone...
Beware: 11,000 psychotics on streets.  The city streets are teeming with thousands of mentally ill homeless people capable of psychotic acts of random violence if left untreated, experts warned yesterday [12/29/2012].  As many as 11,000 of the city's 33,000 homeless adults have some form of mental illness, said D.J. Jaffe, executive director of the Mental Illness Policy Organization.

Fewer Guns, More Crime.  Liberal deinstitutionalization policies have liberated the mentally ill to roam the streets, giving rise to the homeless problem as well as to more mass murderers. [...] Violence-drenched movies and video games contribute to disrespect for life in our culture.  The breakdown of the family and widespread out of wedlock births give rise to more violence and crime as well.  The airhead liberal policy of piously declaring certain public areas "gun free zones" very directly contributes to mass murder.

The roots of mass murder.  Why do you think we have so many homeless?  Destitution?  Poverty has declined since the 1950s.  The majority of those sleeping on grates are mentally ill.  In the name of civil liberties, we let them die with their rights on.  A tiny percentage of the mentally ill become mass killers.

Five-Point Action Plan for President Obama to Reduce Violence by the Mentally Ill.  [Point #5]  Eliminate the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA).  SAMHSA is the epicenter of what is wrong with the American mental-health system.  SAMHSA actively encourages states to engage in mission creep and send the most seriously ill to the end of the line.  They provide massive funding to organizations that want to prevent mentally ill individuals from receiving treatment.  They have nothing positive to show for their efforts in spite of a massive bureaucracy that meets and meets and meets and never accomplishes anything.

Madness, Deinstitutionalization & Murder.  [Scroll down]  Neither a right to treatment nor a more demanding application of due process alone was particularly destructive, but in combination they made hundreds of thousands of seriously mentally ill people homeless, where many died of exposure and violence.  They fell through the cracks, living shorter, more miserable lives, and often greatly degrading the quality of urban life for everyone else.  A fraction became something quite a bit more unsettling than the mentally ill person begging on the street or disrupting the public library:  they became the mad mass murderers of the modern age.

NYC subway train kills man pushed off platform.  A 58-year-old man died Monday [12/3/2012] after he was pushed off a subway platform in Midtown Manhattan and hit by a train pulling into the station, according to news reports.

Fiend watched his victim die: Homeless man arrested in Times Square subway murder.  A homeless drifter was arrested and charged this morning for allegedly tossing a Queens dad onto a Times Square subway track, where he was fatally crushed by a Q train, law-enforcement sources told The [New York] Post.  Naeem Davis, 30, confessed yesterday while being grilled in the grisly death of Ki Suk Han, 58, who was struck in front of horrified onlookers Monday after trying desperately to scramble back to the platform. [...] He was charged with murder in the second degree and depraved indifference.

Muslim New York Subway Killer Calm After His Murder.  Everybody is talking about the New York Post cover photo showing Ki Suk Han about to be killed by the subway train, but the real story here is yet again being ignored by the mainstream media.  The real story here is that Naeem Davis is clearly a devout Muslim, and one who displayed behavior characteristic of jihadis after he committed murder.

This man should be institutionalized for his own well being.
Homeless Man Shoeless Again In NYC Despite Boots.  Asked about the $100 all-weather boots Officer Larry DePrimo gave him on Nov. 14, Hillman says he's hidden them because "they are worth a lot of money."

"Homeless man" not homeless — lives in rent-free apartment.  The barefoot homeless man who was photographed being given a pair of winter boots by a New York City police officer on a cold November night has actually been living rent-free in an apartment since late last year, the city said Tuesday [12/4/2012].  Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond had no doubt that the man captured in a tourist's picture receiving the boots from NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo was the same Jeffrey Hillman who had been on the city agency's radar for a while.

The Mysterious Stranger.  We are learning more about Hillman as time goes by.  He is not homeless.  The New York Daily News reports that the 54-year-old lived from 2009 to 2011 in transitional housing sites called "Safe Havens."  Owing to his status as a veteran, he then secured his present apartment through the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Veterans outreach services have continued to try to help but apparently for naught.  A spokeswoman for the city's outreach services reported that Hillman "has a history of turning down services."  Doubtless some day he will become ill, and the city will put him in some government program to recuperate, possibly Medicaide, possibly Obamacare.

Update:
Give him the boot.  So it now turns out that Jeffrey Hillman, the barefoot beggar who famously received a free pair of boots from a big-hearted police officer, not only has an apartment but pockets as much as several hundred dollars a day while pretending to be homeless.

Charges in stabbing at restaurant along Mag Mile.  A man who listed his address as a homeless shelter has been charged with stabbing a 67-year-old man who was dining with his family at a restaurant on North Michigan Avenue, police said.  Jimmy Harris, 56, was charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with intent to do great bodily harm and aggravated unlawful restraint, police said.

'Deinstitutionalization': Mass Murder and Untreated Madness.  It's all but impossible now to involuntarily commit the obviously ill.

The Killers Within.  A time bomb began ticking in the mid-1970s, when the psychiatric and mental health professions went politically correct and identified the mentally ill as "victims" who required advocates.  While patients in general do need assistance, the activists turned caring into political action that changed the American cityscape and endangered our well-being. Announcing in the mid-1970s that confining mental patients violated their civil rights, a cadre set to work to release as many patients as they could, resulting in the huge homeless phenomenon of the 1980s that remains with us now.  Suddenly the streets of major cities and small towns hosted a permanent population of vagrants who harassed passersby and businesses.

Mental Illness and Mass Murder.  For the last three years, I've been trying to find a publisher for a book about the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and the destructive effects on our society that it has caused.  I keep getting told that no one is interested in the topic.  The tragedy in Tucson on Saturday — like dozens of other such incidents over the last three decades involving mentally ill persons who made headlines — is the reason that people should be interested.

Deranged homeless man goes on violent rampage in Zuccotti Park.  A deranged homeless man who has been squatting among the Occupy Wall Street protesters in lower Manhattan went on a violent, early-morning rampage yesterday [11/3/2011], cursing incoherently and kicking down tents.  The only thing that could stop Jeremy Clinch from his Godzilla-like rampage was a left hook to the face delivered by a paranoid fellow protester who claimed to be an ex-Turkish diplomat — and charged that his assailant was carrying out a plot hatched by Mayor Bloomberg.

74-year-old fatally beaten with baseball bat inside a Wal-Mart.  A 74-year-old man was fatally beaten with a baseball bat Tuesday [11/1/2011] inside a Lakewood Wal-Mart in what authorities believe was an unprovoked attack by a homeless man.

Homeless suspect held in fatal assault on man.  A homeless man with a history of violence has been arrested for allegedly attacking a stranger on Market Street who died hours after being assaulted, San Francisco police said Monday [1/18/2010].

The Real Cause of the Arizona Killings.  Serving as chairman of a downtown advancement committee in the early and mid-'80s, I assigned a subcommittee to make an inventory of the homeless population that was thwarting our effort to lure people back to the city core after 25 years of white flight and a negative image that seemed permanent.  The homeless were assaulting passersby and congregating wherever they chose — and the police would not act.  The report was startling:  of the 85 homeless in the downtown area, 80 were mental patients.  And the reason the police could not act to control their behavior with arrests was also shocking.  Concomitant with new rules passed in 1978 that released the mentally ill into the streets across America, a nationally linked cadre of activist law professors managed to have vagrancy and loitering laws expunged.

A Predictable Tragedy in Arizona.  A 2007 study by the U.S. Justice Department found that 56% of state prisoners, 45% of federal prisoners, and 64% of local jail inmates suffer from mental illnesses.  A 2008 study out of the University of Pennsylvania that examined murders committed in Indiana between 1990 and 2002 found that approximately 10% of the murders were committed by individuals with serious mental illnesses.  There are about 16,000 homicides a year in this country.  Using the Indiana study as a guide, roughly 1,600 of them are likely committed by people with serious mental illnesses. ... State governments have been very effective in emptying the hospitals in an effort to save money but remarkably ineffective in providing treatment for seriously mentally ill individuals living in the community.

Obama's Tucson degradation:  [Scroll down]  Beginning in the 1960s, liberals stressed that the mentally ill should not be institutionalized against their will.  Many people who suffer from serious psychological disorders are allowed to roam our streets.  They cannot be committed to a psychiatric ward to get necessary help and treatment without their consent.  Most of the homeless are in this sad situation.  Many of them are not destitute because of dire economic circumstances.  Instead, they are plagued by severe mental illnesses.  Thousands have died because of the callous — and negligent — policies of deinstitutionalization.

The Real Danger of the Madman.  The horrific shooting in Arizona has brought several cauldrons to a boil, but it has also called some new attention to a rather old fact:  in modern society, those with potentially dangerous mental illnesses are subject to extremely little governmental control.  In addition to the direct hazards posed by this state of affairs, most conservatives are well aware that it is a major contributing factor to any number of other serious social difficulties, including the "homeless problem."

Outwitting Lethal Government Policies.  Over the past fifty years, at least a half-million Americans, and perhaps many more, have died prematurely due to ill-designed and badly executed liberal programs.  The causes, as I reveal in detail in Death by Liberalism, range from the criminal justice "reforms" of the 1960s, which triggered a crime wave that that killed up to 268,000 Americans, to government-mandated fuel standards responsible for up to 125,000 lives.  At least a thousand people are murdered each year by the derelict insane, with many deinstitutionalized lunatics dying as well, giving us a total of as many as 70,000 deaths.

Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill.  In 1998, a census states that 238,800 people in America's jails are considered mentally ill.  In truth, this number is likely to be much higher because the census was conducted by jail wardens who cannot properly diagnose a person as mentally ill or not.  The cost for caring for a mentally ill person in a psychiatric hospital is estimated to be $40,000 per year.  A mentally ill prison inmate will cost the government approximately $60,000.

Mandating Treatment for the Mentally Ill.  In 1972, this watershed case [Lessard v. Schmidt, 349 F. Supp 1078 (1972)], brought on by civil libertarian lawyers, declared Wisconsin's civil commitment statute unconstitutional.  Nationwide, states followed the Lessard decision and commitment statutes changed so that commitment became more difficult, and tragedies involving individuals with severe psychiatric disorders increased significantly.

Deinstitutionalizing the Mentally Ill.  [Scroll down]  The solution to the problem of the Larry Hogues and the Christopher Battistes lies not in communities already deeply frayed by the homeless mentally ill, but in the reconstruction of the total care institutions for the long-term treatment of the seriously and violently mentally ill.  For patients with serious drug-aggravated mental illness, intensive long-term treatment is the best hope for improvement.  Sending such patients back into the community not only ignores their medical needs, but destroys the public life of the city as well.

The Crisis That No One Talks About.  [Scroll down]  I've read that in 1960, there were about 550,000 people in mental hospitals in the U.S.; today there are about 100,000 — even though our population has grown by almost 50%. ... Sadly, much of that drop in mental hospital patients wasn't because the system is doing so much better of a job.  We can see where at least some of those people went — suffering squalid, filthy, and miserable lives under overpasses, pushing all their worldly possessions around in shopping carts, begging in our streets, catching tuberculosis and pneumonia.

How the homeless, mentally ill land in Atlantic City.  With The Who's "My Generation" playing on his earphones, dressed in crocs and plaid pajama pants, Keith Stell, 57, was happy to tell how he got to Atlantic City two months ago, a paranoid schizophrenic off his meds, a long rap sheet of drug and other arrests, just out of a Gloucester County jail.  "A cop car," he said, sitting on a bench in the yard of the Atlantic City Rescue Mission with several other men who all attend the Atlantic Behavioral Health program.

Human waste on the rise in city streets, alleys.  City officials [in Seattle] say there's been a huge spike in the amount of human waste showing up in Seattle, and now neighbors and community groups are working to clean up those dirty streets, sidewalks and alleyways.  The numbers are as staggering as they are disgusting.  Since 2007, clean-up calls for urine, vomit and fecal matter have jumped an astounding 130 percent in Pioneer Square alone.

Down and out in Santa Monica.  There were bums galore, enough of them that I thought if only they could get their stuff together, they would make up an impressive Occupy Santa Monica encampment.  It might even get them off the beachfront — a win-win for all involved.  Incidentally, I learned from observing the bums of Santa Monica that wheeled luggage is the bums' state of the art gear.  A bum plying his trade with a shopping cart in Beverly Hills inspired Mazursky's idea for the film, he recalls in Show Me the Magic, but the shopping cart seems to be passé.

Homeless men sue over US begging ban.  Five homeless men are suing a city in Virginia, claiming that a new law against begging violates their right to freedom of speech under the US constitution.

Nude Woman Bathes On NYC Subway Train.  In this week's crazy NYC subway video series, a woman, nude from the waist down, sets up a wash station on the blue bench of a subway car and proceeds to take a camping-style shower.

Top 10 Examples of San Francisco Silliness.  After it offered generous benefits and an elaborate support system to care for its transient population, San Francisco shouldn't have been surprised when problems with the homeless arose -- like the smell of urine permeating the Tenderloin.  Voters took care of having to walk around drunken hobos by passing a measure banning sitting or lying on city sidewalks.

New London's whale fountain shut off for sanitary reasons.  The city turned off the water at the new whale tail fountain over the weekend after someone reportedly defecated in the water.  "People are using the tail as a latrine," Evelyn Louziotis said.  "It's an $11 million bathroom." ... Buscetto said since water started flowing in the whale fountain last month, police and fire officials have been called for people urinating, defecating and washing themselves off in the fountain water.

Taxpayer Dollars Being Used to Fight for Homeless People Living in Illegally Parked Vehicles.  The taxpayer-funded Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) is suing the city over its efforts to bar homeless people from illegally living in campers, trailers, and cars on the streets of the city's Venice neighborhood.  Some homeless people say they're being targeted because of who they are.  "Stop the haters," said one protest sign carried by a homeless man in Venice during a protest march in December.

Amazing Hypocrisy Alert on the Upper West Side.  This story tells of a demonstration staged by Democratic politicians on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on the issue of homelessness.  In attendance: Rep. Charlie Rangel, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Councilwoman Gail Brewer, and others.  What they're all doing, though, is protesting against the creation of a homeless shelter.

Ann Arbor struggles with homeless influx.  This progressive city, long known for embracing the poor and destitute, is learning that its support has a price.  For several years, homeless from around the state have descended upon the city because of a largesse that ranges from social services to the generosity of U-M students toward panhandlers, said city police, social service agencies and transients.

Hawaii exports its homeless problem to mainland US.  When tourists arrive in Hawaii, they're greeted with flowery necklaces and cries of "Aloha!".  But when those people turn out to be down-and-outs, the warm island welcome swiftly disappears.  Politicians in Honolulu, whose economy now revolves squarely around the tourist trade, are considering legislation that would see thousands of the city's homeless offered free one-way plane tickets back to their home states.

Obama's five-year plan for homelessness.  ["]On Tuesday, June 22, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) will release the nation's first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness.["]  Now, don't laugh.  I know we've never solved homelessness, but we've never had anyone as smart as Barack Obama try to tackle this problem before.

Homeless numbers up in Montgomery area.  [Scroll down]  Not everyone is homeless by accident or wants to live in a shelter.  "I became homeless by choice," said Matlock, who earns $30 for every five hours he holds business signs on street corners.  He carries with him an identification — a "Homeless ID" card he received in North Carolina.

The high cost of sheltering a single homeless family in D.C.:  According to a study released today [3/25/2010] by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and reported by USA Today, it's cheaper to put homeless families in real homes than it is to house them in shelters.

Confessed child murderer spends days in downtown Lauderdale park.  Gary Kerpan confessed years ago to snatching a 12-year-old girl, raping her, stabbing her and killing her.  Now that he's out of prison, he hangs out in Fort Lauderdale's Stranahan Park.  He is one of Fort Lauderdale's homeless.

'Welcome to Obamaville' Sign At Homeless Tent City, Media Mum.  A sign reading "Welcome to Obamaville Colorado's Fastest Growing Community" appeared at a homeless tent city in Colorado Springs this week.  You probably didn't hear about it because outside of two Colorado television stations nobody found this newsworthy.

Sex Offenders Live in Village Under Miami Bridge.  No, it's not an adventurous form of urban camping or a recession-fueled shantytown.  Instead, there is a distinctly permanent feeling to this scruffy encampment.  And it's clear many of its residents don't want anything to do with inquisitive reporters.

NYC sending homeless to Georgia, South Carolina.  New York City is buying one-way plane tickets for homeless families to leave the city, and dozens of the families have landed in Georgia and South Carolina.  The New York Times is reporting that it's part of a Bloomberg administration program to keep the homeless out of the expensive shelter system, which costs $36,000 a year per family.

Mayor Defends One-Way Tickets for Homeless.  Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg defended a city program to send homeless families out of New York on planes, trains and buses on Wednesday [7/29/2009], saying it "saves the taxpayers of New York City an enormous amount of money."  Speaking in the Blue Room in City Hall to announce a new finance commissioner, Mr. Bloomberg was asked if the program simply shifts the homelessness program to a different place, as some critics of the program have suggested.

Massachusetts is housing homeless in motels.  A record number of families are being put up in motels in Massachusetts.  High unemployment and the rising number of home foreclosures is the reason the state is taking this action.  Housing Massachusetts' homeless is costing tax payers around $2 million per month.  It costs an average of $85 per night to have families, including nearly 1000 children, stay in motels.

Stimulus funds to aid homeless.  The U.S. expects to send $1.5 billion in stimulus money today to hundreds of communities around the country to prevent homelessness, including $1 million for Fresno to dismantle tent cities and move residents into privately owned apartments.

Bureaucrat scuffs dream of homeless shoe shiner.  He sleeps under a bridge, washes in a public bathroom and was panhandling for booze money 11 months ago, but now Larry Moore is the best-dressed shoeshine man in the city.  When he gets up from his cardboard mattress, he puts on a coat and tie.  It's a reminder of how he has turned things around.  In fact, until last week it looked like Moore was going to have saved enough money to rent a room and get off the street for the first time in six years.  But then, in a breathtakingly clueless move, an official for the Department of Public Works told Moore that he has to fork over the money he saved for his first month's rent to purchase a $491 sidewalk vendor permit.

NYC Turns Luxury Units Into Shelters For Homeless.  There's controversy swirling around how much New York City is paying to rent luxury condos for homeless families. ... By all accounts it's the nicest homeless shelter in the city and some non-homeless neighbors are feeling pretty inhospitable.  "The apartments are beautiful.  They're living better than a lot of people around here and they don't have to pay for it," neighbor Maria Brown said.  When the building went up the idea was to sell the units, some of them for more than $300,000.  But now, even though apartments sit empty, you can't even rent them.

Mayor Bloomberg to homeless: Don't get too comfy in luxury condos.  Don't get too comfortable!  That was Mayor Bloomberg's message to dozens of lucky homeless families who scored a posh pad at a luxury condo that has been turned into a homeless shelter in Brooklyn.  "We're not going to let people just sit there.  This is a transition thing.  We want to move them out," Bloomberg said Friday [6/5/2009].  "And if they say, 'Oh, I love this here, I don't want to try something else,' I'm sorry, that's not the whole intent here."

In Washington, beggars can be choosers.
Let Them Eat Arugula.  Last month, Michelle Obama visited Miriam's Kitchen, which serves the homeless in Washington, D.C. ... But the first lady's visit wasn't just about the needs of the homeless; it was also very much about the food itself.  In a Washington Post article covering the visit, one Miriam's Kitchen official explained, "If anyone brings us donuts, Steve [the chef] throws them away. ... It is not good food for our guests.  We care too much to give them anything but the best.  Steve wants our guests to have the same experience as if they were paying $30 for the meal."

The Editor says...
If you want to consider freeloading homeless bums as your "guests," and feed them nothing but the very finest food, go ahead — but don't take money out of my paycheck to do it!

NYC Starts Charging Rent at Homeless Shelters.  Even the homeless can't escape the high price of a night in New York City.  City officials this month began charging rent to some families staying in homeless shelters.  The policy applies only to shelter residents who have income from jobs.

Maryland becomes first state in nation to protect homeless people under hate-crimes law.  Maryland granted a new safeguard to its most downtrodden residents Thursday, becoming the first state in the nation to extend hate-crimes protection to homeless people. ... California, Texas and Ohio are considering similar bills, and legislation has been introduced in Congress.

What's In a Number?  That Depends on How You Define 'Homeless'.  A well publicized report this week that an estimated 1.5 million American children experienced homelessness in 2005-06 did not use the federal definition of homelessness.  Instead, it used a different definition that grossly inflated the actual number.

Atlanta 'giving meters' program off to slow start.  Six months after Atlanta business leaders set up parking meter-like machines to accept spare change donations and discourage panhandling, just $500 has been deposited — not much help for beggars who say they can sometimes raise $300 in a day on their own.

The Editor says...
And that's $300 dollars a day tax free because it's all cash and they don't bother to file tax returns.  How many readers of this page bring home $2000 a week after taxes?

Photo of a "giving meter".

Mean Streets.  It is not unusual for me to get hit up for change a half dozen times between the time I leave my downtown [St. Louis] office to grab a bite to eat and return.  The record is ten.  By and large, these panhandlers are not the noble economic victims the mainstream media likes to romanticize on the six o'clock news ... Rather they are largely single men with chronic drug and alcohol habits, and a miscellany of mental illnesses.

San Francisco blames out-of-towners for endless homeless problem.  City officials are finally admitting what others have been saying for years:  San Francisco is attracting huge numbers of homeless people from all over.  Thousands of transient people, arriving from other counties, states and even countries, are overwhelming the city's homeless system.  Facing a crippling budget shortfall, officials at San Francisco's homeless agencies are proposing a radical idea — take care of the city's own first, and require newcomers to show proof of residency for aid.

The Editor says...
The people of San Francisco established a system to accommodate freeloaders, so they can't be surprised when vagrants and bums come from miles around to take advantage of the system.  I have some questions for San Francisco's officials:  (1) If someone is homeless, how can residency be proven or disproven?  (2) How long would I have to live in San Francisco before I became a "resident" and could apply for city services?

NYC Churches Ordered Not To Shelter Homeless.  City officials have ordered 22 New York churches to stop providing beds to homeless people.  With temperatures well below freezing early Saturday, the churches must obey a city rule requiring faith-based shelters to be open at least five days a week — or not at all.

Good News on the Homeless:  The "homeless" are a population with severe to extreme mental health problems, substance-abuse problems, or other unusual challenges.  They need housing plus some other kind of support — and in recent years, under new Bush administration policies that emphasize treatment as well as housing, those needs have been more and more successfully met.

U.S. homelessness on decline.  Some 1.6 million people were forced to use an emergency shelter or transitional housing at some point between 2006 and 2007, but the number of people who are chronically homeless dropped nearly 30 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to a report made public Tuesday.  "We can all be encouraged that we're making progress in reducing chronic street homelessness in America," said Steve Preston, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, which released the findings.

The Editor says...
People in an emergency shelter are not necessarily homeless.  Some are sent to shelters as a result of mandatory evacuations.

Homeless Get Cleaned Up With Free Haircuts For DNC.  The City of Denver has been working to make sure everything is in tip-top shape for all the visitors coming to town for the Democratic National Convention, and now a local salon is helping in that effort.  It seems to be a first — don't move the homeless, clean them up.

Homeless say DNC diversions not for them.  Debbie — and this is merely a hunch — will probably be going to jail next month.  Unless they are giving away free booze and marijuana at the movies, the zoo or the Nature & Science museum — along with the free tickets to those venues they plan on giving the homeless during Democratic National Convention week — I can't see Debbie budging from the dirt beneath the Speer Boulevard bridge she has called home the past 26 years.

Denver's High-Class Homeless:  The area around the convention center where Democrats will gather is home to many of the city's 5,000 or so vagrants, so city officials have hatched a plan to, er, get them out of the way.  For their own good, of course.  But rest assured that Denver isn't going to confine them to shelters or anything.  No, indeed — while the Democrats are crowning Barack Obama, Denver's street people are going to be treated to a cultural renaissance.  Free movie tickets.  Free passes to the Denver Zoo.

S.F. parking meters retooled to aid homeless.  Rather than tossing loose change into a panhandler's empty cup, San Francisco officials want you instead to slide your spare quarters and nickels into a homeless meter. … A handful of cities around the country, including Denver and Baltimore, have installed homeless meters in recent years.  And while the programs haven't necessarily been lucrative, some cities have seen less panhandling as a result.

End to homelessness.  [Baltimore] Mayor Sheila Dixon unveiled yesterday [1/17/2008] a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, a goal she said the city is moving toward with the recent establishment of a large well-run winter shelter and by setting aside 100 housing vouchers for homeless adults and children.  Dixon described the plan, which was created by a committee of city business and social service leaders, as a "blueprint for a society where homelessness no longer exists."

The Editor says...
I predict that every bum on the east coast is about to head for Baltimore.

Homeless activists will always be with us?  On the face of it, hats off to Eric Montanez, age 21, who aims to feed the homeless.  But instincts are not enough.  Montanez was arrested — not for feeding the poor as such, but for feeding the poor in a public park.  Public parks are for the "public," but not for certain members of the public to turn into homes.  Houses are for homes.  Parks are ... Well, parks could be said to be for the "homeless," these days.  That's where many homeless people like to sleep.

She gave him burger; he gave her beating.  The homeless man, David Craig, 41, was outside of the fast-food chain after being told to leave a nearby liquor store.  MacLaren gave Craig the cheeseburger as he was lying down in a parking spot outside the restaurant.  Craig shouted he didn't want the burger, just money….

Orlando's homeless laws spark debate.  At Lake Eola park, there is much beauty to behold: robust palms, beds of cheery begonias, a cascading lake fountain, clusters of friendly egrets and swans, an amphitheater named in honor of Walt Disney.  Then there are the signs.  DO NOT LIE OR OTHERWISE BE IN A HORIZONTAL POSITION ON A PARK BENCH...

Ottawa's homeless fight for right to sleep in underpass.  A panhandlers' rights group in Ottawa is preparing a human rights complaint against the City of Ottawa after it put up a fence to stop them from sleeping in a downtown pedestrian underpass.

The Editor says...
What's this?  There's a "panhandlers' rights group in Ottawa"?  Who bankrolls an organization that promotes and defends Canada's parasites?

New York Times lowballs homeless numbers.  Estimates of the number of homeless have a long history of politics trumping accuracy.  When President Reagan was in office, the American media often quoted made-up figures from "advocates" along with the mantra that many of us were "one paycheck away" from living on the streets ourselves.  But yesterday [1/2/2007], the New York Times published a surprisingly low estimate of the number of homeless.  But this time, the estimate was for the number of homeless in France.

Study shows 744,000 homeless people in U.S..  There were 744,000 homeless people in the United States in 2005, according to the first national estimate in a decade.  A little more than half were living in shelters, and nearly a quarter were chronically homeless, according to the report Wednesday [1/10/2007] by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, an advocacy group.

30th Anniversary for the Homeless.  Thirty years ago, in the case of Lessard v. Schmidt, ... the Supreme Court ruled that mentally handicapped individuals who were not dangerous could not be held against their will in mental hospitals.  So those hospitals emptied, then closed, sending untold numbers of mentally handicapped folks onto the street.

Liberal or not, Austin ponders a ban on panhandling.  John Henry Smith insists he makes an honest living begging for money at intersections in the state's capital.  In a few hours, with his swollen left leg exposed, he can make $70 or $80.  "It helps to be sick," said the 49-year-old Lubbock native, who was shot in the leg 30 years ago.

Enough is enough,' San Francisco says of the homeless.  San Francisco — the liberal, left-coast city conservatives love to mock — could be undergoing a transformation when it comes to homeless people.  Although the city would still be a poor choice for a pep rally for the war in Iraq, indications are that residents have had it with aggressive panhandlers, street squatters and drug users.

Los Angeles introduces $100 million effort to combat homelessness.  It was a special day for the "friends and neighbors" of the Los Angeles Mission, a center for transients near Skid Row, because lunch was being provided by the In-N-Out Burger chain.  The shelter's "friends and neighbors" are about 1,200 of the estimated 90,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County, the largest concentration of homeless in the nation.

A Whiff of Truth.  These poor people aren't on the street because of mean old conservatives, the economy or stingy taxpayers.  You could hand them a rent-free apartment and a simple job requiring no more than a few hours of their time per week and it wouldn't do any good.  The apartment would be trashed or abandoned within days, if not hours.  The job would be more than their shattered brains could handle.  Sick people are wandering our streets, whether the reasons are mental illness or addiction.

Is this any way to help the homeless?  Mary Baker and Ruth Neikirk love to cook.  What's more, they love to cook for poor people.  They do it frequently, preparing meals at home and bringing them to their church in Virginia. … The people they cook for love it too.  But there's a problem.  It was "criminal activity."  The Fairfax County health department points out that — horrors — Mary and Ruth are actually preparing food and serving it to people!  Without a license!

Bunks for drunks.  An experimental social-service project rewards chronic alcoholics with room and board, no strings — or help — attached.

Apartments Welcome Homeless Alcoholics.  When Brian Steik lived on the streets, the government spent tens of thousands of dollars on emergency room visits and other services to keep the alcoholic alive.  Now social-service agencies are conducting an experiment:  Offering Steik and dozens of other homeless drinkers subsidized apartments where they can keep boozing at a fraction of the cost.

Airport geese to be cooked for poor.  New York City plans to capture pesky geese that threaten planes departing area airports and send them to Pennsylvania to be cooked for meals for the poor, city officials said.

Fort Lauderdale to homeless: Here's a one-way bus ticket... don't come back.  The homeless of Fort Lauderdale are eligible for a one-in-a-lifetime gift from the city fathers:  A one-way bus ticket out of town.  The free seats, funded by $25,000 confiscated from criminals, are intended to reunite the Sunshine State homeless with their friends and families, city officials said.

The Road to Hell.  [The San Francisco Chronicle] was practically drooling over a bizarre, new program being launched in San Francisco.  The city will be giving a homeless person a four-legged friend to foster:  a homeless pup from the pound.  But the transient won't get the pick of the litter, but a "problematic" dog.  And since California is overflowing with money (LOL), the city will generously throw in a stipend to care for the pet.  What could possibly go wrong here?  First off, raise your hands if you think that many of these street people will actually use the added income for the benefit of their new best friends?  When the call of booze and cocaine beckons, what will happen to Rover's Purina?

Investigators: Homeless man arrested, stays at hotels on other people's expense.  A homeless man spent Friday night [6/29/2012] in the Orange County Jail.  He was busted after police said he posed as a guest at lavish hotels and went on spending sprees that his victims paid for.

Human waste shuts down BART escalators.  When work crews pulled open a broken BART escalator at San Francisco's Civic Center Station last month, they found so much human excrement in its works they had to call a hazardous-materials team.  While the sheer volume of human waste was surprising, its presence was not.  Once the stations close, the bottom of BART station stairwells in downtown San Francisco are often a prime location for homeless people to camp for the night or find a private place to relieve themselves.  All those biological excretions can gum up the wheels and gears of BART's escalators, shutting them down for long periods of extended repairs, increasing station cleaning costs and creating an unpleasant aroma for morning commuters.

America is Burning.  Two weeks ago, I visited New York City with my wife, who was interviewing at a local medical school located in the Bronx.  I dropped her at the school.  Since I was lacking a car, I hopped on a public bus, intending to take it to the local subway station.  I have never been so frightened for my country in my life.  The bus itself was fine; all the people on it had places to be.  It was the subway station that was truly scary.  The station itself looked like a bomb had hit it.  Debris covered the shattered tile floor.  The stench of vomit and urine permeated the place.  Rust layered the tracks; wooden boards between the tracks moldered into dust.

New Orleans homeless hole up in Hurricane Katrina's abandoned buildings.  There are roughly 40,000 such buildings, some still bearing the search-and-rescue markings that indicate whether dead bodies were found inside after the flooding. [...] A team of homeless-outreach workers searches the city's abandoned buildings in the middle of the night, looking for those who need help.  They come across people living in filth, using plastic buckets in the hallways for bathrooms, sweating in the heat and humidity with no electricity or running water.  The team, from Unity of Greater New Orleans, finds people in desperate shape or sometimes lying dead on bedrolls.

Public Library in SanFran Installs Privacy Hood on PCs for Porn Watchers.  Chick-fil-A becomes a huge national controversy, and is accused of hatemongering and crimes against humanity, because an executive opines that marriage is between a man and a woman.  Meanwhile, the San Francisco library, supposedly a repository of human knowledge and wisdom, degenerates into a ----ing station for perverts.

The Editor says...
An offensive slang term was masked by The Editor to preserve website standards.  If you click on the link, you can see what the writer said, but remember, you didn't read that word on this web site.

Most SF sit/lie tickets to older drunks.  When they're sober, Justin O'Brien and Roland Dequina are two of the jolliest tourist sights on Haight Street.  They're just the sort of rangy, tie-dyed old-hippie types visitors expect to see along this hippie-est of streets, and they draw smiles as they greet strollers with high-fives and peace signs.  When they're drunk, though, the smiles disappear.  The pair lurch about with sloshing beer cans, get into fights and sprawl snoring on the sidewalk.

Obama Requests $542 Million In Housing Aid for Drug Addicts.  President Barack Obama has requested over half-a-billion dollars for Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs that provide housing assistance to homeless or HIV-positive people in drug treatment.  For the Fiscal Year 2013 National Drug Control budget, Obama has requested $25.6 billion, including $542.4 million to fund HUD programs that provide housing to individuals in drug treatment, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which is charged with developing that budget.  According to the ONDCP, the requested FY 2013 budget will "reduce drug use and its consequences in the United States."

Record numbers living in NYC homeless shelters.  City officials have had to open nine new shelters in two months as the number of homeless seeking a place to stay jumped 18 percent in only a year.

ACLU Begs Colorado Springs to Rethink Panhandling Proposal.  Visitors to downtown Colorado Springs are besieged by panhandlers, according to city officials.  So they drafted an anti-solicitation law that prohibits begging in a designated area.  Quicker than you can say "Got a quarter?," the American Civil Liberties Union issued a warning that the proposal may violate the First Amendment.

Homeless people spread disease.
Los Angeles in the grip of tuberculosis outbreak, homeless particularly at risk.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dispatched a team of scientists to Los Angeles to try and help contain an outbreak of tuberculosis being spread among the city's homeless population.  Sixty of the 78 people identified with the potentially deadly disease were homeless people who live on and around Skid Row, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Homeless people clutter up public property.
L.A. to ask high court to overturn ruling on homeless belongings.  Citing an immediate public health threat, the city of Los Angeles will ask the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday 2/28/2013] to overturn a lower-court ruling preventing the random seizure and destruction of belongings that homeless people leave temporarily unattended on public sidewalks.  If the court takes up the matter, the case could have broad implications for cities nationwide grappling with how to keep streets clean and safe while respecting the property rights of those who live there.

Honolulu Shores Up Tourism With Crackdown on Homeless.  This tourist mecca has had a surge in its homeless population, which is up 32 percent over the past five years.  The explosion has prompted one of the toughest police crackdowns in the nation, sounded alarms among civic leaders that aggressive panhandlers are scaring off tourists, and set off an anguished debate on how to deal with the destitute in a state that prides itself on its friendly and easygoing ways.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2017 by Andrew K. Dart



Many allegedly poor people are not poor at all

$84,000 a year now qualifies as low income in high-cost Orange County.  A family of four with an annual income of $84,450 or less now qualifies as low income in Orange County.  A single person living alone qualifies as low income if he or she earns $58,450 or less a year.  Orange County has the fifth-highest income threshold in the nation, according to new income limits released last month by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Panhandlers Caught Driving Rental Car, Traveling Around Town To Solicit Cash.  From the San Fernando Valley to the Santa Clarita Valley, CBS2's David Goldstein's undercover cameras captured similar looking groups of panhandlers with children.  Some were holding kids small enough to even be breastfeeding, and all were holding signs claiming to be down and out.  But are they as needy as they seem?  Goldstein watched them outside shopping areas all over town, with similar signs reading "Please help,", "Lost my job," "I have 3 kids" and the like.  Residents believe they're all working together, and they're fed up.

Who is poor?
Who is poor in the United States? 
  •   More than a third of those who live in poverty are children.  More than 15.5 million children lived in poverty in 2014.
  •   About 13 percent of those living in poverty are senior citizens or retired.
  •   A quarter of those who live in poverty are in the labor force — that is, working or seeking employment.
  •   A tenth of those in poverty are disabled.
  •   Eight percent of those living in poverty are caregivers, meaning that they report caring for children or family.
  •   Students, either full- or part-time, make up another seven percent of those living in poverty.
  •   Just three percent of those living in poverty are working-age adults who do not fall into one of these categories — that is, they are not in the labor force, not disabled, and not a student, caregiver, or retired.


Wealth and Income Inequality Is Not as Bad as You Think.  [Scroll down]  Politicians do not mention the inequality of income very much because it is so much less than the inequality of wealth, especially after tax.  Household consumption equals income after tax minus savings.  Since those with high incomes save more than those with low incomes, who often spend more than their incomes a fact called dissaving, consumption is distributed more equally than income and vastly more equal than the distribution of wealth.  Since those at the lowest income levels receive welfare, food stamps, and some public housing, politicians want to avoid talking about the distribution of consumption.  As we pointed out, the estimates of household wealth do not include the value of social security benefits.  The Social Security administration reported that in 2015, over 59 million Americans received about $870 billion in Social Security benefits.

Obama administration considering evictions of thousands from low-income housing.  The Department of Housing and Urban development announced Tuesday that it would consider evicting tens of thousands of public housing residents who earn too much money to qualify for public housing.  The announcement comes in response to a July audit from the department's Office of Inspector General that revealed over 25,000 families had an income that exceeded the maximum level to qualify for government-assisted housing.  At least one tenant had roughly nearly $1 million in assets.

Now Accepting Credit Cards: Abe Hagenston, Detroit Homeless Man, Goes High-Tech.  Can you spare a swipe?  A Detroit homeless man has taken panhandling high-tech:  He accepts credit cards on the 8 Mile highway overpass where he lives and created a website where he can be hired to work odd jobs.  Abe Hagenston, 42, who goes by "Honest Abe" on his website, told NBC affiliate WDIV he has been homeless for about a decade.

This bum boasts he makes $200 an hour panhandling.  A panhandler outside Grand Central Terminal says he rakes in up to $200 an hour from kind-hearted New Yorkers.  And the 43-year-old former theater stagehand is only one of a legion of beggars in the city hauling in big bucks and a smorgasbord of food doing nothing but sitting on the sidewalk with hands out.

US suffering from massive equality of rich and poor.  Propaganda is about telling a good story.  So when the media wants to tell a story of how the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, they ignore inconvenient facts, such as the value of the various federal, state, and local transfer payments as well as the value of charitable contributions from private groups such as soup kitchens.  That would interfere with the story that is needed to justify higher taxes and higher spending.  But if you look not at income but material wealth, the story gets worse, but in an opposite way.  By examining material possessions we find that the gap between the rich and poor is actually alarmingly small.

By Global Standards There Are No American Poor; All In The US Are Middle Class Or Better.  [Scroll down]  The idea that the US has more people living in real poverty (as opposed to inequality) than Albania or China, much poorer countries, does indeed shock.  However, it's necessary to walk through the definitions that are being used here to see what is happening.  For it's not actually quite as that finding seems to show.  The first is that the US numbers are looking at peoples' incomes.  And as we all know "income" among the American poor is grossly under-reported.  No, not because everyones' lying (although some obviously do and statisticians try to correct for that) but because the major poverty alleviation programs in the US are not counted as income.  So that US number doesn't include many of the things that we do to try to reduce poverty (things like SNAP, Section 8 vouchers and so on).

Dependency, Not Poverty.  There is no material poverty in the U.S. [...] Poor Americans have more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France or the U.K.  What we have in our nation are dependency and poverty of the spirit, with people making unwise choices and leading pathological lives aided and abetted by the welfare state.

The Minimum Wage Issue — Again.  Minimum wage-earners actually pay a "negative" tax.  A person making the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25/hour will make $15,080/year (assuming he/she works 2,080 hours — 40 hours/week times 52 weeks).  He/She is in the first income quintile according to a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report.  According to the same report, he/she pays an income tax rate of -9.2% (Table 2), or $1,387.  He/she pays no income tax on the $15,080, and receives $1,387.  So the effective minimum wage is $7.91/hour ([$15,080 + $1,387]/2,080).  But wait!  There's more!

Don't Forget the Other Entitlement Monsters.  According to an American Heritage report based on an analysis of Census Bureau data, 43% of statistically poor households own their own homes, and on average these houses have 3 bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths. [...] As the Heritage report summarizes, "In 2005, the typical poor household, as defined by the government, had air conditioning and a car.  For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, cable or satellite TV, a DVD player, and a VCR.  In the kitchen, it had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave.  Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.  The family was able to obtain medical care when needed. [...]"

Carter Is Wrong:  [the] Middle Class Not Like [the] Poor 30 Years Ago.  Today's poor children — 96% of whom don't go hungry — have it better than their parents and grandparents, who played checkers and cards, and even made up games to play outside.  According to Rector, "more than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation."  Simply put, poor Americans in 2010 or 2012 or 2013 not only live better than the middle class of just a few years ago, they also live better than royal families lived not that many decades back.

Americans in 'Poverty' Have TVs, VCRs, Cell Phones, Air Conditioning.  A new report from the Census Bureau found that 80.9% of households considered poverty stricken have cell phones along with their landline phones, and 58.2% have computers.  96.1% of those in "poverty" have televisions, and 83% have some sort of DVR.

The new face of SNAP? Food stamps buy lobster for surfer and his buddies.  [John] Roberts reports that [Jason] Greenslate has no fixed address, instead choosing the life of a beach bum staying with family, friends and girlfriends, living off them and $200 a month in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which he uses to buy gourmet items at the grocery store.  "I don't got a paycheck coming in so I qualify," Greenslate told Roberts.

Next scandal: Platinum EBT cards.  The next welfare scandal is going to be the huge balances on some of these EBT cards. [...] Last January a radio listener from Pittsfield sent me a receipt from a local convenience store.  Some loafer had run up a tab of $3.28, so he whipped out an EBT card to pay for it.  After paying his three bucks, he had $7,066.58 left on the card.  I kid you not.  Over seven grand on an EBT card.

Repeal & Replace the Welfare State.  Welfare once was the province of the states, but increasingly has been treated as a federal responsibility.  Since the 1960s, when the concept of public welfare radically expanded, federal micromanagement and redistribution of income has grown out of control.  The federal government has spawned a vast array of redundant, overlapping and poorly targeted assistance programs.  This bureaucratic monstrosity spends $724 billion a year to provide medical care, food, shelter and other basic services to a growing number of people who increasingly are not "needy" by any rational definition.

Bogus beggar is so good at his scam he makes $100,000 a year trolling Kentucky city.  Gary Thompson, a wheelchair-bound man in Lexington, Ky., makes up to $100,000 a year begging off of unwitting good Samaritans.  He has difficulty walking but is otherwise in fine physical and mental shape.  But the scammer fakes a mental and speech disability as he panhandles around the city, he told Lexington TV station WLEX.

What is Poverty in the United States Today?  For decades, the U.S. Census Bureau has reported that over 30 million Americans were living in "poverty," but the bureau's definition of poverty differs widely from that held by most Americans.  In fact, other government surveys show that most of the persons whom the government defines as "in poverty" are not poor in any ordinary sense of the term.  The overwhelming majority of the poor have air conditioning, cable TV, and a host of other modern amenities.  They are well housed, have an adequate and reasonably steady supply of food, and have met their other basic needs, including medical care.

How Poor is "Poor"?  Nearly all "poor" persons live in houses or apartments that are in good repair and not overcrowded; in fact, the dwelling of the average poor American is larger than the house or apartment of the average non-poor person in countries such as France and the United Kingdom.  By their own reports, most poor persons in America had sufficient funds to meet all essential needs and to obtain medical care for family members throughout the year whenever needed.  Some 80 percent of poor adults and 96 percent of poor children were never hungry at any time during the year because they could not afford food.

Panhandler arrested, claims to have made $60,000 last year.  A man arrested on suspicion of panhandling in Oklahoma City told officers there was no point in getting a job, because he made "$60,000" last year.  According to the police report, an officer spotted Shane Speegle, 45, panhandling near Interstate 40 and Macarthur Boulevard earlier this month.

The Editor says...
Panhandlers are generally paid in cash, which is almost certainly not reported as income, and therefore not taxed.

Missing: $400 purse holding $800 cash, plus food stamp cards.  It bears repeating, as both a critique and a warning of things to come, that the great project of the American Left involves teaching the middle class to think of itself as "poor."  That way, they'll vote themselves into servitude.

Junk Government Statistics.  [Scroll down]  Quite a few people have reported cash incomes below $25,000.  Especially those who are moving from one job to the next, or experiencing a spell of unemployment.  But this measure counts only "official" income — not what people actually consume.  Studies show consumption at lower incomes is typically much higher than reported income.  Why?  The government's poverty data do not include the welfare — the earned income tax credit, the food stamps, the housing aid, the public health insurance, the school lunches and the outright cash grants — that makes up the social safety net.  A massive five-decade study of consumption and poverty by economists Bruce Meyer and James Sullivan found "consumption poverty rates often indicate large declines, even in recent years when income poverty rates have risen."  In short, real poverty is rare.

For Liberals It's Always 1936.  No one today in this country lives in anything like the sort of poverty that millions of sharecroppers in the South and unskilled industrial laborers in the North knew in 1936.  By the standards of 1936, most American families are filthy rich and those who aren't receive massive assistance to raise them above the poverty line.

The Entitled States of America: We Want More!  Around the country, there is a lot of "taking" going on.  There was some mild bureaucratic embarrassment in Michigan recently when a 24-year-old woman who won $1 million in the state lottery was found to be collecting food assistance.  "I feel it's okay because, I mean, I have no income and I have bills to pay," explained the woman, Amanda Clayton.  "I have two houses."  She was utterly without embarrassment of any kind.

Update:
Michigan lottery winner kept cashing welfare checks.  Amanda Clayton, 25, of Lincoln Park in suburban Detroit, received public assistance through March of this year despite winning $1 million from the Michigan lottery in September, the state attorney general's office said. [...] Clayton was charged on Monday [4/16/2012] with two counts of welfare fraud.

Internet Access Is Not a Human Right.  Over the past few years, courts and parliaments in countries like France and Estonia have pronounced Internet access a human right.  But that argument, however well meaning, misses a larger point:  technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself.  There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right.  Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience.

'Internet access not a human right,' says 'Father of the Internet'.  "Internet access is not a human right," wrote Vinton Cerf in an OpEd in the New York Times on Thursday.  Cerf is a prominent computer scientist who worked on the DARPA project that gave rise to the Internet, and is revered as the "Father of the Internet."  Cerf, who wrote the piece in response to the United Nation's drive towards declaring Internet access a human right, is Google's Chief Internet Evangelist.  He argued that "technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself."

Victimology and the Phony 'Digital Divide'.  The notion that black youths generally do not have internet access is a myth.  In fact, if liberals really cared about the experience of young blacks, they would know that 89% of black youths have a computer in their home and that 78% have internet access.  That is only 10% less than white youth's internet access, which is 88%.  Before you infer discrimination or disadvantage from that 10% disparity, consider something astonishing:  90% of black youths have cable/satellite TV in their homes, compared with 83% of whites.  Sixty-three percent of blacks have premium channels versus 43% of whites. ... Before we bemoan a lack of resources, we should consider how people are able to prioritize cable TV, even premium access, over internet access.

Seattle welfare recipient lives in million-dollar home.  A Seattle woman who is receiving welfare assistance from Washington state also happens to live in a waterfront house on Lake Washington worth more than a million dollars.  Federal agents raided the home this weekend but have not released the woman or her husband's name because they have not officially been charged with a crime.

All I Needed To Know About Socialism I Learned In A Grocery Parking Lot.  The receipt was on the floor of an Angeli's County Market parking lot, located in the greater Denver area of Colorado. ... It speaks volumes about today's cavalier attitude toward "public assistance," what we used to call simply welfare — not only for the extravagances bought with other people's tax dollars, but for the sheer arrogance of allowing such a blatant illustration of inappropriateness to slip through a customer's fingers:  six cold-water lobsters, two porterhouse steaks, and five cases of Mountain Dew, the only purchases on the ticket, are shown paid for in food stamps.

The New Welfare Swindle.  Ever since I moved to the inner city one thing has puzzled me more than any other, and that is how my low-income neighbors get by.  Assuming they aren't doing anything illegal, how do they afford their homes, their meals, their gadgets, their cars?  Few seem to work, even part time, for they are home in the morning when I leave for work, home if I stop by for lunch, and home when I return in the evening.  They can't work the graveyard shift, for they keep me up half the night with their raucous music.  I am left to conclude that they seldom, if ever work. ... The best I can figure is they make do with a patchwork of welfare programs.

Let's get real about poverty in America.  Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning.  Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more.  Two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.  Half have one or more computers.  Forty-two percent own their homes.  The average poor American has more living space than the typical nonpoor person in Sweden, France or the U.K. Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry during the year because they couldn't afford food.

Occupiers poach homeless services.  Occupy Boston has been encouraging protesters to take showers, hot meals and shelter meant for the homeless, prompting a St. Francis House manager to ask the downtown campers to remove directions from their Internet newspaper.  The online publication that calls itself "Occupy Boston Globe" posts meal times and shower hours at St. Francis House on Boylston Street, which runs on private donations and state and federal funding.

What is Poverty in the United States Today?  [Scroll down]  Mainstream news media also present poverty in America as severe material hardship. ... The ongoing use of examples of severe hardship in TV news should not be surprising.  TV news thrives on drama, and reporters naturally seek out the starkest and most sympathetic examples of poverty to build the most compelling stories.  By contrast, a realistic portrayal of the living conditions of the typical poor family in America would not make compelling viewing.  In fact, the audience would be unlikely to regard such a family as seriously deprived.

Understanding Poverty in the U.S..  To the average American, the word "poverty" implies significant material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate nutritious food, reasonable shelter and clothing.  Activists reinforce this view, characteristically declaring that to be poor in America means being "unable to obtain the basic material necessities of life."  The old-stream news media traditionally amplify this idea:  Most news stories on poverty feature homeless families, people living in crumbling shacks, or lines of the downtrodden waiting to eat in soup kitchens.  But the actual living conditions of most of America's poor — that is, the poor as defined by the Census Bureau — differ greatly from these images ...

Strange Facts about America's 'Poor'.  Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning.  By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.  Fully 92 percent of poor households have a microwave; two-thirds have at least one DVD player and 70 percent have a VCR.  Nearly 75 percent have a car or truck; 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.  Four out of five poor adults assert they were never hungry at any time in the prior year due to lack of money for food.  Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite television.  Half have a personal computer; one in seven have two or more computers.  More than half of poor families with children have a video game system such as Xbox or PlayStation.  Just under half — 43 percent — have Internet access.  A third have a widescreen plasma or LCD TV.  One in every four has a digital video recorder such as TiVo.

More restaurants are targeting customers who use food stamps.  The number of businesses approved to accept food stamps grew by a third from 2005 to 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture records show, as vendors from convenience and dollar discount stores to gas stations and pharmacies increasingly joined the growing entitlement program.  Now, restaurants, which typically have not participated in the program, are lobbying for a piece of the action.

Give Me a Flatscreen TV, or Give Me Anarchy!  As it is with any system on the verge of collapse, decent people are beginning to understand that the welfare state's central premise is a lie:  the overwhelming majority of those receiving government assistance are not "transitioning" towards a better life.  Anything resembling quid pro quo has long been removed from the equation.  Getting something for almost nothing, the lone exception being an unspoken requirement that one not bite that hand that feeds you, reveals what the welfare state has become:  institutionally-sanctioned extortion paid by the givers to the takers — in exchange for societal peace.

Among the Tax-takers.  Like most anti-poverty programs, the Earned Income Tax Credit when enacted in 1975 was supposed to be temporary.  It was visualized as a tool to lift the working poor out of poverty.  It was quickly made permanent and has been modified numerous times over the ensuing 36 years.  In 2004, 20 million families received $36 billion.  The flower children assume that was $36 billion spent on food, shelter, and health care.  We who live in the real world know it was spent on big-screen television sets, 22-inch chrome wheels, and colorful tattoos.

Plugged-In Poverty.  The typical news story about poverty features a homeless family with kids sleeping in the back of a minivan.  But government data show that only one in 70 poor persons are homeless.  Another common media image of poverty is a despondent family living in a dilapidated mobile home.  But only a tenth of the poor live in trailers; the rest live in houses or apartments, many of which are in good repair.  The poor are rarely overcrowded.  In fact, the average poor American has more living space than the average non-poor European.

Obama Redefining 'Poverty'.  What does it mean to be poor in America today?  For typical "poor" households — as defined by the government — it means cable television, two color television sets, and two or more cars.  As for housing, it means living in air-conditioned comfort — in decent accommodations with even more space than "average" Europeans have.  (Not poor Europeans, to be sure, but "average" Europeans.)  Moreover, most "poor" Americans get the medical care they need, and they eat enough — in fact, they eat too much.

Modern Poverty Includes A.C. and an Xbox.  When Americans think of poverty, we tend to picture people who can't adequately shelter, clothe, and feed themselves or their families.  When the Census Bureau defines "poverty," though, it winds up painting more than 40 million Americans — one in seven — as "poor."  Census officials continue to grossly exaggerate the numbers of the poor, creating a false picture in the public mind of widespread material deprivation, writes Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Robert Rector in a new paper.

Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox.  According to the government's own survey data, in 2005, the average household defined as poor by the government lived in a house or apartment equipped with air conditioning and cable TV.  The family had a car (a third of the poor have two or more cars).  For entertainment, the household had two color televisions, a DVD player, and a VCR.  If there were children in the home (especially boys), the family had a game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.  In the kitchen, the household had a microwave, refrigerator, and an oven and stove.  Other household conveniences included a clothes washer, clothes dryer, ceiling fans, a cordless phone, and a coffee maker.

Welfare Steak and Lobster May Kill the Middle Class.  I almost feel sorry for the enterprising Louis Wayne Cuff. ... Here's a man who had the gumption to get up in the morning, buy six lobsters, two porterhouse steaks and five 24-packs of Mountain Dew, and resell them at a 100% profit.  The interesting thing here is that the government itself was actually funding the effort.  You see, Louis bought all of it using his Bridge Card, i.e., the welfare debit card that replaced the old-fashioned food stamps.

Food Stamp Millionaire.  If you have any uncertainty regarding the responsibility for the nearly bankrupt status of the state of Michigan and its cultural and philosophical epicenter, Detroit, take a gander at the state's food stamp program.

Michigan man still on food stamps despite winning $2M.  A man who won $2 million on a Michigan lottery show has told a TV station that he still uses food stamps.  Leroy Fick of Bay County admitted he still swipes the electronic card at stores, nearly a year after winning a jackpot on "Make Me Rich!"  He told WNEM-TV in Saginaw that more than half the prize went to taxes.

Update:
Lottery winner's luck running out.  The luck of Leroy Fick, Michigan's 59-year-old "Food Stamp Millionaire" — a lottery winner on government food assistance — appeared to be running out Wednesday [5/25/2011] as state officials worked to get him off the dole.

Grown-up babies.  Not from nowhere has this stubborn, self-destructive sense of entitlement sprung.  As I reported last month, a record-breaking 12 million Americans have been added to the federal food stamp rolls over the past two years, and the bloated $6 billion AmeriCorps social justice army has been converted into a publicist corps for the welfare machine.  Just this week, a Michigan man boasted that he's still collecting food stamps after winning a $2 million government-sponsored lottery prize.  "If you're going to ... try to make me feel bad, you aren't going to do it," he told a local TV reporter.  Embedded in his rebuke is the eternal refrain of the self-esteem-puffed teenager:  "You can't judge me!"

$2M Michigan lottery winner defends use of food stamps.  Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income and follows federal guidelines; lottery winnings are considered liquid assets and don't count as income.  As long as Fick's gross income stays below the eligibility requirement for food stamps, he can receive them, even if he has a million dollars in the bank.  Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families.

The Editor says...
How many more food stamp recipients have plenty of money in the bank?  And when I say "plenty" I mean $25,000 or more.

The 'rational' exuberance of spending other people's money.  Whether it is a king living the life of luxury in a palace or it is a welfare mother using food stamps and government handouts to subsidize 60-inch flat-screen TVs, Xbox game systems, and brand-new automobiles, it is a reflection of the exact same sense of entitlement.  The king and the welfare mom both think they don't have to work, and you do.

The Hunger Code.  It is getting hard to keep track.  One minute the government tells us American children are suffering from record levels of obesity.  The next, children are facing a hunger epidemic.  Which horror story should you believe?  Neither.  The truth is, 94.3 percent of American households are able to put enough food on the table every day to feed their families, and the vast majority of children living in these households are healthy and well-fed.  Given the food shortages facing people in other countries, Americans are the envy of the world.

Understanding Poverty in America.  The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:
  •   Forty six percent of all poor households actually own their own homes.  The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three bedroom house with one and a half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  •   Seventy six percent of poor households have air conditioning.  By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  •   Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded.  More than two thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  •   Nearly three quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  •   Ninety seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  •   Seventy eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  •   Seventy three percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

Free Wi-Fi Given to San Francisco Public Housing.  San Francisco has finished installing free Wi-Fi in its public housing facilities as part of a citywide housing improvement initiative.

Raymeica Kelly

2010: The Year Of The Moocher.  The picture shows Raymeica Kelly holding up two powers bills, power bills that were not paid by YOU, the taxpayers, because she was turned away from the Energy Assistance Program.  But what is that pesky object sitting right behind Raymeica Kelly?  Why, could it be... a big screen television??  And what's that under her big screen television... an X-box video game system!

Gettin' Fat, Gamblin', And Cruisin' On Food Stamps.  Matching hungry Depression-era Americans with farm surpluses motivated the first Federal food stamp program in the 1930s.  Today, to remove the stigma of paying at the supermarket with the stamps, some 120 Million Americans get Electronic Benefit Transfer debit cards (EBT) from the renamed Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). ... In California, the poor can use the EBT card at the farmers' market, and the flea market, and even dine out.  Under a new state law, counties can permit the use of the CalFresh EBT cards at approved restaurants.  The San Diego County program limits the EBT restaurant use to seniors, the disabled, and the homeless.  The San Diego list of approved restaurants includes KFC, McDonald's, and other fast food franchises.  So, at least in my home town, obesity is not such a problem that it can't be subsidized by the government.

Where Best To Be Poor.  Imagine you are an unborn spirit whom God has condemned to a life of poverty but has permitted to choose the nation in which to live.  I'm betting that most any such condemned unborn spirit would choose the United States.  Why?  What has historically been defined as poverty, nationally or internationally, no longer exists in the U.S.

Maserati owner arrested in welfare fraud sweep.  A Cerritos woman was due in court Friday [5/28/2010] after being arrested in a massive welfare fraud sweep for receiving more than $60,000 in welfare benefits while allegedly concealing her ownership of a business, home and Maserati sports car.

Reflections on the Revolution in America:  The present attempt to remake America is the effort of the liberal well-to-do — highly educated at mostly private universities, nursed on three decades of postmodern education, either with inherited wealth or earning top salaries, lifestyles of privilege indistinguishable from those they decry as selfish, and immune from the dictates they impose on others. ... They are all battling on behalf of "them," the poorer half of America, currently in need of some sort of housing, education, food, or legal subsidy, whom the above mentioned elite, in the way they live, send their children to school, socialize, and vacation so studiously avoid. ... Note well the term "poor."  These are not Dickensian or Joads poor, but largely Americans who by the standards of the 1940s would be considered lucky.

Record numbers receive food stamps as USDA turns blind eye to recipients' finances.  President Obama's latest proposed budget includes $72.5 billion for the SNAP program, a 30 percent increase over $55.6 [billion] spent in 2009.  The program is on track to double in size by 2011 — as recently as 2008 it accounted for only $37.6 billion.  Since the start of the recession in late 2007, food-stamp rolls jumped from 27 million individuals to 38 million, or 13 percent of the total U.S. population.  The federal government hasn't distributed food aid to this many people since the Great Depression.

Food-stamp fraud:  Detroit-area stores swipe millions from aid program.  Fraud in the government program that helps the poor has added up to nearly $100 million since 2007, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.  It's a fraction of the more than $40 billion spent to feed people each year, but the crime has become a brazen way for some small stores to literally swipe cash from the U.S. Treasury, especially in the Detroit area.

New data:  40 percent in U.S. lack high-speed Internet access at home.  Roughly 40 percent of Americans do not have high-speed Internet access at home, according to new Commerce Department figures...

The Editor says...
So what?  Some people have computers and some do not.  The same is true of television.  This kind of inequality is not considered a problem except in socialist countries.

Subsidized Health Care:  a view from the exam room.  When serving in the Rural Health Center in my community, my colleagues and I offered free or discounted care for a large number of patients.  Many were covered by Medi-Cal or one of dozens of state programs paid for by the taxpayers of California.  The following items were commonly seen on patients or carried by their dependent children, who were also covered by subsidized programs:
 •  Cell phones and "BlackBerry" PDAs, including just-released models with a price tag of $400, plus an ongoing monthly service fee of $65-$150
 •  iPods and portable DVD players
 •  GameBoys and handheld electronic games
 •  Artificial fingernails requiring maintenance every two weeks...
 •  Elaborate braided hair weaves, $300 per session plus frequent maintenance
 •  Custom-designed body art...

How Poor Are America's Poor?  According to the US Census Bureau, 36 million Americans are "living in poverty."  Can this alarming claim really be true?  The simple answer is: No.

'Poverty' in America:  Some material hardship does exist in America, but it is quite limited in severity and scope.  According to the government's own data, the typical person defined as "poor" by the Census has cable or satellite TV, air conditioning, a microwave, a DVD player or VCR, and two color TVs.  Three quarters of these "poor" own a car and nearly a third have two or more cars.

Populists equalize poverty.  To be sure, there are some very rich people in America who earn and possess hundreds or thousands of times what poorer people earn or possess.  But the poor in this country are only relatively poor.  We have no abject poverty.  On the contrary, America's "poor" have cars, TVs, appliances, computers, $200 basketball shoes and own their own homes.  Their lifestyle would be the envy of most of the world's population.  As long as there's relative wealth, there will always be relative poverty.

This Boomer Isn't Going to Apologize.  I have two teenagers and an 8-year-old, and I can say firsthand that if boomer parents have anything for which to be sorry it's for rearing a generation of pampered kids who've been chauffeured around to soccer leagues since they were 6.  This is a generation that has come to regard rising affluence as a basic human right, because that is all it has ever known — until now.  Today's high-school and college students think of iPods, designer cellphones and $599 lap tops as entitlements.

Are Our 37 Million Poor Really Poor?  Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation is a national authority on poverty and the U.S. welfare system.  Specializing in welfare reform and family breakdown, Rector has done extensive research on the economic and social costs of welfare.  With presidential candidates of a certain hue decrying the suffering of the 37 million Americans who have been officially classified as poor by the U.S. Census Bureau, we thought we'd ask Rector if these poor people are really as poverty-stricken as we have been led to believe.

New Evidence on Taxes and Income.  When all sources of income are included — wages, salaries, realized capital gains, dividends, business income and government benefits — and taxes paid are deducted, households in the lowest income quintile saw a roughly 25% increase in their living standards from 1983 to 2005.  This fact alone refutes the notion that the poor are getting poorer.  They are not.

The imps of the impoverished.  Ah, the good old days!  When the word "poverty" really meant something!  In the Middle Ages, thousands of city dwellers might starve to death during a drought.  "The poor" were people who walked around without clothing.  To be destitute meant eating tree bark to survive.  Today, obesity is a bigger problem for the poor than is hunger.

The Poverty Hype:  Low-income people have sources of income that don't show up as taxable income such as sales of property like homes, cars, insurance policies redeemed, or the drawing down of bank accounts.  They might be headed by retirees or those temporarily between jobs, and thus their low income total doesn't accurately reflect their long-term status.

What is poor?  Many poor people today own appliances that were considered luxuries when I grew up, and some would still be considered luxuries today.  For example, 91% of those in the lowest 10% of households — all of whom are officially poor — own color TVs; 74% own microwave ovens; 55% own VCRs; 47% own clothes dryers; 42% own stereos; 23% own dishwashers; 21% own computers; and 19% own garbage disposals.

Editor's note:
The "poor" seem to always have money for cigarettes, beer, tattoos and lottery tickets.  Even the poorest of the poor sometimes buy wine.

Understanding Poverty in America:  For most Americans, the word "poverty" suggests destitution:  an inability to provide a family with nutritious food, clothing, and reasonable shelter.  But only a small number of the 35 million persons classified as "poor" by the Census Bureau fit that description.  While real material hardship certainly does occur, it is limited in scope and severity.  Most of America's "poor" live in material conditions that would be judged as comfortable or well-off just a few generations ago.

The productive vs. the unproductive:  Today, more than 98 percent of American homes have a telephone, electricity and a flush toilet.  More than 70 percent of Americans own a car, a VCR, a microwave, air conditioning, cable TV, and a washer and dryer.  In 1900, no homes had the modern conveniences of today.  Today's poor Americans have choices that yesterday's millionaires could have only dreamt of, such as cell phones, computers and color television sets.

Self-inflicted poverty:  Did you learn that the United States is rich because we have bountiful natural resources?  That has to be nonsense.  Africa and South America are probably the richest continents in natural resources but are home to the world's most miserably poor people.  On the other hand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and England are poor in natural resources, but their people are among the world's richest.




Welfare encourages illegitimacy rather that work

The Tales of Three Bankrupt Cities.  Why did so many people move out of Detroit?  The quick answer:  crime abetted by welfare.  During the decade from 1965 to 1975, crime and welfare dependency roughly tripled in the United States and rose even more in Detroit.  There was a connection between the two trends.  Welfare encouraged single parenthood; fatherless boys often grew up to commit violent crimes.  Most violent crimes were and are committed by (and against) blacks, whose numbers in Detroit during the great northward migration rose from 149,000 in 1940 to 660,000 in 1970.

The Close Connections between the Economy and the Family.  [Scroll down]  Worse, we are discovering that ObamaCare really will "destroy marriage for the middle class the same way that the Great Society welfare state destroyed the black family — with financial incentives for staying single."  ObamaCare's marriage penalty could possibly cost couples over $10,000 a year.  This intentional disparity means that U.S. government policy will encourage singleness and create increased disincentives for marriage.

Bill would block extra welfare benefits for additional babies.  New Hampshire taxpayers should not be paying for bad behavior, according to the prime sponsor of a bill that would cap the financial benefits of welfare recipients who have additional children while receiving state aid.

Homeless Families in Illinois Walking a Hard Road.  When her public aid arrives without snags — a rarity, she said — she receives $674 in Social Security, $623 in cash assistance and $723 in food stamps each month, plus support from the federal Women, Infants and Children program.  The public support covers food and clothes, but it is not enough for a security deposit on an apartment.  Dealing with the red tape of public aid eats up her days.

The Editor says...
The New York Times wants us to feel sorry for this freeloader who is only good at one thing:  reproduction.

The Ultimate Devastating Price of Government Dependency.  The devastating price of government dependency.  I witnessed it up close and personal in the late '50s, when I was a child.  Both of my mom's sisters had five kids each by various men who simply deposited their seed and moved on.  Thus, both of my aunts were totally dependent on government.  They lived in the projects. ... The atmosphere at my welfare-dependent cousins' home was strikingly different from mine — a subtle sadness which made me feel a little sorry for them.

'Someone's got to take responsibility'.  The victim culture of the United States has found its poster child.  The massive disconnect between behavior and consequences held as an article of faith by those who embrace victimology is epitomized by this mother of 15 (!) children.  She not only believes she has no responsibility herself, she manages to become indignant that others are not taking responsibility for them.  No civilization can survive an attitude like this becoming widespread.  Watch the video yourself and weep for our future.

The government is not motivating people to work, it is only encouraging people to give birth.
The Entitlement Leviathan in Numbers.  Here are some of the major mandatory expenditures that comprise the $615 billion in "Other Mandatory Spending:"
 •  SNAP (Food Stamps) - $78 billion
 •  Earned Income and Child Tax Credits - $77 billion
 •  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - $53.4 billion
 •  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - $17 billion
 •  Child nutrition programs (school lunch and breakfast programs & other smaller ones) $17.6 billion
 •  Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) - $8.5 billion

How Immigration and Multiculuralism Destroyed Detroit:  For 15 years, from the mid 1970s to 1990, I worked in Detroit, Michigan.  I watched it descend into the abyss of crime, debauchery, gun play, drugs, school truancy, car-jacking, gangs and human depravity.  I watched entire city blocks burned out.  I watched graffiti explode on buildings, cars, trucks, buses and school yards.  Trash everywhere!  Detroiters walked through it, tossed more into it and ignored it.  Tens of thousands and then, hundreds of thousands today exist on federal welfare, free housing and food stamps!  With Aid to Dependent Children, minority women birthed eight to 10 and in once case, one woman birthed 24 kids as reported by the Detroit Free Press...

Combatting Child Poverty.  Census data now show that a quarter of young children in America are mired in poverty.  The media won't report on — and the president won't lead on — its root cause:  an epidemic of illegitimacy.

This is where "negative income tax" comes from.
Reaganomics Vs. Obamanomics.  Newt Gingrich's Contract with America adopted a child tax credit of $500 per child that reduced the tax liabilities of lower income people by a higher percentage than for higher income people.  President Bush doubled that credit to $1,000 per child, and made it refundable so that low-income people who do not even pay $1,000 in federal income taxes could still get the full credit.

Childhood Poverty's Low-Hanging Fruit.  What if there was a proven way to instantly and dramatically reduce the statistic of 1-in-5 American children now living under the federal poverty line, as reported in the September 2010 U.S. Census figures?  Better still, what if this economic remedy cost taxpayers zero dollars and simultaneously curbed generational poverty to boot?  Surely people of all ideological stripes could agree that such "low-hanging fruit" ought be plucked for the betterment of those who have little say in their economic flourishing — children.  Such a solution exists.  It's called marriage.

Michelle's free lunch:  This free lunch bill, is not quite the free lunch it appears to be; it is paid for by reductions in funding for food stamps where people can actually select what food to buy for their kids, say potatoes or potato chips, in their food desserts.  And why do so many kids get "half their daily calories from school meals"?  This is another area of responsibility removed from the parent(s) and handed over to the government; parents don't even have to make their kids lunch to take to school.

More Disincentives to Work.  Thanks to food stamps, Medicaid, and housing subsidies, and other welfare benefits, many "poor" people have far more disposable income than self-supporting households earning $40,000 to $60,000 a year.  Veronique de Rugy points to a finding that "a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year" — even excluding benefits from Supplemental Security Income.  "America is now a country which punishes those middle-class people who not only try to work hard, but avoid scamming the system."

Boston Globe Criticizes Anti-Poverty Program.  Credit where credit is due.  The Boston Globe is publishing a major three-part story by staff reporter Patricia Wen that is highly critical of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. ... Wen describes the federal SSI program as a "little-scrutinized $10 billion federal disability program has gone seriously astray, becoming an alternative welfare system with troubling built-in incentives that risk harm to children."

The Other Welfare.  The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for children was created mainly for those with severe physical disabilities.  But the $10 billion in federal benefit checks now goes primarily to indigent children with behavioral, learning and mental conditions.  Qualifying is not always easy -- many applicants believe it is essential that a child needs to be on psychotropic drugs to qualify.  But once enrolled, there is little incentive to get off.  And officials rarely check to see if the children are getting better.

After the Welfare State.  F.A. Hayek in the 1940s showed that the welfare state was The Road to Serfdom because its government-directed benefit programs inevitably concentrated more and more power in the government and stripped citizens of their right to direct their own lives.  More specific studies by American conservative policy analysts in the 1970s, most notably Charles Murray in Losing Ground and George Gilder in Wealth and Poverty, showed that the poor were particularly disadvantaged by the progressive political agenda.  The welfare state with its subsidy for failure was encouraging a collapse in working class families and creating an underclass of single mothers married to the state and angry young men detached from fatherhood, responsibility, and work.

Why Obama's poverty rate measure misleads:  Who is poor in America?  This is not an easy question to answer, and the Obama administration would make it harder.  It's hard because there's no conclusive definition of poverty.  Low income matters, though how low is unclear.  Poverty is also a mind-set that fosters self-defeating behavior — bad work habits, family breakdown, out-of-wedlock births and addictions.  Finally, poverty results from lousy luck:  accidents, job losses, disability.

Democrats Try To Lock Up Their Base.  The Democrats and their feminist allies have decided on one of their major goals.  It is to increase the number of single moms by increasing the flow of taxpayer-paid incentives that subsidize the non-marriage lifestyle.  The plan also includes locking in this group's dependence on government and allegiance to the Democratic Party.

New Tax Math:  Single Moms + Big Brother.  The wrong-headed welfare system started in the 1960s with Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and his proclaimed war against poverty.  The system should have been called the war against marriage.  LBJ's Great Society set up a grossly immoral system whereby millions of people were taught they had an "entitlement" to pick the pockets of law-abiding, taxpaying families if they met two conditions:  They didn't work, and they were not married to someone who did work.  This destroyed the work ethic and subsidized illegitimacy by giving single moms money and scores of benefits, such as welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, housing, utilities, WIC and commodities.

Mother shows no gratitude for profuse aid given her and 12 kids.  A courtroom full of people who paid off Angel Yulee Adams' debts and found a rent-free, six-bedroom home for her and a dozen of her children waited Monday morning for a sign of gratitude, a clue of cooperation.  They waited for a thank you.  They didn't get it. ... Adams lost her home after failing to pay rent to the Tampa Housing Authority, then recently was evicted from a two-bedroom rental apartment.

Home for Tampa mom, 12 children getting repairs.  [Scroll down]  Adams' plight emerged last week when she and her children were forced to stay in a rundown hotel room after she had been evicted from her apartment.  She doesn't work, and the father of many of her children was in prison.  She said that the county and state were not doing enough to help her and her children.  Her statements caused a stir of criticism, mostly from people who said she was the cause of her own problems.

Listen to the Panther.  As Eldridge Cleaver understood, when the individual is crushed, so is his sense of self-respect and self-reliance.  Since LBJ's Great Society initiatives, billions of dollars have been spent augmenting the state in relation to the individual lives of most black Americans.  Is Colbert King happy with the results?  Is socialized medicine as important to the black community as the staggering numbers of children who grow up without a father in the home?

Nanny State Gone Wild.  I can tell you what most fiscally responsible parents are thinking when they hear the feds "taking care" of everyone else's adult "children" by confiscating their tax dollars and forcing private companies to comply:  You've got to be kidding me.  Yes, Virginia, there are still some of us left who believe our children shouldn't depend on a government-manufactured umbilical cord as they approach their third decade on earth.

What Suckers We Are.  Still paying full price for your kids' meals at school?  The government currently provides free or reduced-price lunch, breakfast or both for nearly 60% of all school-age children nationwide.  Households with incomes of up to 185% of poverty level are eligible.  In Philadelphia public schools, 72% of students have access to a universal feeding program — regardless of income.  Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey wants to nationalize that program.

Octuplets Mom Enrages California Taxpayers.  A big share of the financial burden of raising Nadya Suleman's 14 children could fall on the shoulders of California's taxpayers, compounding the public furor in a state already billions of dollars in the red.  Even before the 33-year-old single, unemployed mother gave birth to octuplets last month, she had been caring for her six other children with the help of $490 a month in food stamps, plus Social Security disability payments for three of the youngsters.

Our taxes now pay for most Arizona births.  More than half of Arizona's babies are born under the state health plan for the poor — a positive trend, in the view of public-health experts, while others see it as a drain on taxpayers.  The trend follows recent policy changes that allow more individuals and families to qualify for free or low-cost care, as well as the ever-increasing costs of private health insurance.

The Editor says...
How could an increase in poverty be "a positive trend"?

The Problem with Obama's Father's Day Speech:  The problem of fatherless families is the problem of mothers as well as absent fathers.  Children born out of wedlock, after all, are born because a woman decides that a good father is not that important.  The prior irresponsibility is not these young men, but the young woman who decides to have sex with them, intending or assuming that society, rather than a husband, bear the costs of her pregnancy.

Since we're talking about race and class…  Since the days of the Great Society, the U.S. Government has thrown literally trillions of dollars at the poor.  It undoubtedly helped some and it indisputably hurt others.  The people it hurt most are poor blacks, helping to erode social and family bonds.  We are told, for example, that out-of-wedlock births are a uniform cultural phenomenon these days.  This is simply a lie.  Seventy percent of blacks are born out of wedlock, most of them poor. … Upper-income women overwhelmingly wait to get married before they have their kids.

Free Lunch:  Title I's formula for determining aid — and its recipe for fraud:  The process to qualify for a free lunch comes down to parents self-reporting their income on a form that is turned in to their local school.  Federal free-lunch program administrators argue that the program has little potential for abuse because "the worst that happens is a kid gets a free lunch."  Federal free-lunch data, however, are used as one of the main poverty indicators for school districts and are linked to many other local, state, and federal funding streams.  So any fraud in the free-lunch program is quickly multiplied.

Illegitimacy is the Major Cause of Child Poverty.

Welfare reform fantasyland:  Finally, the federal government has stopped subsidizing families to keep fathers out of the household.  It only took a half-century and millions of broken families but the government finally got it.  But there are 70 other federal welfare programs.

The Black Family:  40 Years of Lies.  Almost 70 percent of black children are born to single mothers.  Those mothers are far more likely than married mothers to be poor, even after a post-welfare-reform decline in child poverty.  They are also more likely to pass that poverty on to their children.




Handouts promote an entitlement mentality

Entitlement is really a very poorly chosen word, because the recipients have come to believe they really are entitled to never-ending handouts.

Toxic Words.  During this election year, we are destined to hear many words that are toxic in the way they misrepresent reality and substitute fantasies that can win votes.  One of these words is "entitlement."  To hear some politicians tell it, we are all entitled to all sorts of things, ranging from "affordable housing" to "a living wage."  But the reality is that the human race is not entitled to anything, not even the food we need to stay alive.  If we don't produce food, we are just going to starve.  If we don't build housing, then we are not going to have housing, "affordable" or otherwise.

Derelicts Now Demanding To Live on the Streets As Matter of Right.  America's homeless are lawyering up to fight for a "right" to live on the street — your neighborhood and personal safety [notwithstanding].  From Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, cities are struggling with a surge in people living in cardboard boxes and doorways.  Local lawmakers are trying to ban "camping out" in public and ordering police to clear the fetid encampments.  Now lawyers for the homeless are pushing back.  They're demanding that "sleeping rough" be legally protected.  In Denver, where living on the street is outlawed, lawyers for the homeless want to guarantee vagrants "the right to use and move freely in public spaces without discrimination."

Obviously a public school student
Prenup for welfare recipient's wedding?  I saw this desperate plea for help on Facebook.  Is there anyone who can help out this poor prog who is axing for advice?  You see, Comrades, she doesn't want to lose the welfare benefits for which she worked so hard.


Mom says she can't see son's grades without paying fees.  A parent of an Oak Grove High School student is upset over a fee the school is charging her, and the punishment for families who can't pay those fees. [...] "Oak Grove High School is charging the parents for art class and shop expenses," said Angela Mullin, who has a 15-year-old son, a sophomore at the school.  "If I wanted to pay for my son's classes, I would definitely send him to private school," said Mullin. [...] "My son's on free lunches and I can't afford this fee," Mullin added.  She says without paying this fee, her son's report cards are on hold, along with 317 other children according to her.

The Editor says...
If your son is getting free lunches, you are already putting your hand in my pocket.  One should expect to pay nominal fees for the supplies used in extracurricular programs.

Maine Changes Rule for Food Stamps that Every State Should Follow.  Another state is making people work for food stamps, and it has some people up in arms without knowing all the details.  Typical liberals, who are filled with lots of emotion but low on the facts, are worried that children and disabled people will now go without.  If they did a little research, they would know this expired waiver will only affect able-bodied people with no children.  The federal waiver that has been in place since 2010 because of the recession has been allowed to expire in the state of Maine.  This allows Maine to reinstate a mandate requiring able-bodied adults who are 18 to 50 years old and have no children to work or volunteer 20 hours per week or they will be limited to three months of food stamp benefits over a three-year period.

Indiana reinstates time limits for some food stamp recipients.  Indiana will begin cutting off food stamp benefits next year to tens of thousands of people who fail to get a job or train for work.  Beginning in the spring, the state will limit benefits to no more than three months during a three-year period for able-bodied adults without children who don't work or participate in job training for at least 20 hours a week.  The time limit is a requirement for the federally funded program, but states can ask for a waiver if jobs are scarce in all or part of the state.  Although Indiana is among the majority of states that qualify for a waiver, the state plans to reinstate the requirement.

Is There a Way Out?  The fact that Congress has no resources of its very own forces us to recognize that the only way Congress can give one American one dollar is to first — through intimidation, threats and coercion — confiscate that dollar from some other American through the tax code.  If any American did privately what Congress does publicly, he'd be condemned as an ordinary thief.  Taking what belongs to one American to give to another is theft, and the receiver is a recipient of stolen property.  Most Americans would suffer considerable anguish and cognitive dissonance seeing themselves as recipients of stolen property, so congressional theft has to be euphemized and given a respectable name.  That respectable name is "entitlement."

Local housing authorities in Charleston and North Charleston get federal dollars for self-sufficiency programs.  The public housing authorities in Charleston and North Charleston will be getting a small piece of nearly $57 million in federal grants awarded this week to help some clients make the transition to self-sufficiency.  The clients are people who have agreed to leave the Housing Choice Voucher program, commonly known as Section 8, within five years.  In exchange, the clients get a financial incentive to succeed, and a coordinator to help them achieve their goals.

EBT benefit card glitch sparks Walmart shopping sprees in Louisiana.  The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.  Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield confirmed to CBS affiliate KSLA that officers were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry.

The Louisiana Heist.  On Saturday [10/12/2013], Louisiana's "EBT" system malfunctioned, causing spending limits on users' food-stamp cards temporarily to be lifted.  In two counties at least, recipients noticed the error, spread the word, and set about trying to check out as much as they could fit into shopping carts. At Walmarts in the towns of Springhill and Mansfield, employees called corporate headquarters to ask what they should do.  They were instructed to "keep the registers ringing."  This they did — and with a vengeance.  By the time that proper limits on the cards had been restored a couple of hours later, the shelves had been all but stripped bare.

The Editor says...
The government has the names and addresses of everyone who committed this fraud.  Why haven't the perpetrators been arrested?

Walmart food stamp bonanza proof of abused system.  A week ago, the technology that assessed spending limits on debit cards for food-stamp recipients malfunctioned.  As a result, there was no way for stores to tell how much value was left on individual cards.  Many merchants refused to accept the cards until the problem was fixed.  Not wanting to risk having anyone go hungry, Walmart allowed people to use the cards.  Unfortunately, the food-stamp recipients treated the stores' generosity as a bonanza, and filled carts with much more than they were entitled to.  As word got out, the two Walmarts quickly found themselves overwhelmed by other food-stamp recipients doing the same.

Update:
Vitter Wants Those Who Cleared Shelves During Glitch Banned from Food Benefits.  Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) wants to make sure that both benefit recipients and stores are held to account for the recent run on groceries during an outage of the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system in his home state.  Shoppers cleared out shelves Oct. 14 when the system went down, with deluged Walmarts deciding to let transactions proceed despite the outage showing no spending limits for the cards.  Vitter said those who went on food grabs should be disqualified from receiving benefits.

Jindal administration will pursue people who misused food stamps.  Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will pursue Louisiana residents who took advantage of technical problems with the food stamp system on Oct. 12 and purchased amounts of food that were above and beyond what was allowed.  The decision comes a week after U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., publicly criticized the Jindal administration for not pursuing food stamp recipients who went on a shopping spree while the system was down.

Louisiana suspends EBT cards for food stamp cheats.  The Advocate reports that the Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal's office will cancel food stamp benefits for anyone who participated in a fraud and shopping spree catalyzed by an EBT malfunction.  More than 12,000 people were sent an insufficient funds notice when the problem with the EBT cards was fixed on Oct. 12; those who transgressed may lose their EBT cards for a year.

A Country of Free Men or Free Things.  [Scroll down]  There is a big difference between a free country and a country of free things.  You can have one or the other, but you can't have both.  A free country isn't obsessed with free riders, only a country of free things obsesses with making everyone pay their fair share for the benefit of the people who want the free things.

Oprah, Entitled America, and the Coming Reclamation of Our Nation.  My brother has been coaching little league football for over 25 years.  He has noticed a disturbing shift in the attitudes of more and more kids.  They think they are entitled, demanding maximum rewards for minimal effort.  Contributing greatly to America's new "gimme" mindset is President Obama, preaching his gospel of "spreading the wealth around," confirming blacks as victims of racial inequality, promoting entitlements, and demonizing achievers.  And when did a belief and faith in God become a bad thing in America?  God is so banned from the public square that any politician boldly proclaiming his or her faith is branded a religious zealot nutcase by the liberal media.

Freeloaders.  Some Americans actually make a living ... begging for money.  Professional panhandlers, they're called, sometimes making more than $100 in a day. I tried it in Manhattan, and made over $11 in one hour — that would be $23,000 a year — tax free!  It's a small example of why some said that the USA is turning into a nation of freeloaders.  The Manhattan Institute's Heather MacDonald says that beggars she's encountered "have the most deep-seated sense of entitlement that I've ever come across."

I Want It All, Even Better If You Pay for It.  Pick up any newspaper and you're bound to see a prominently featured story about someone somewhere losing a government benefit and enduring hardship as a result. ... Yet, at the risk of sounding hard-hearted, the U.S. can't afford to provide everyone with food, clothing and shelter, not to mention medical and child care, college tuition, a low-interest mortgage and a Social Security check until death.

'I Want My Free M.D.'.  The Democrats' reform bill had hardly become law before doctors and insurers began getting calls asking about free health care.  The growing sense of entitlement is disheartening, to say the least.

A New Direction.  America is being transformed from a society of independent minded, hard-working individuals to one where government rules all aspects of life.  The transformation is to government dependency where self-reliance used to be the norm.  In Obama's America people actually get smokin' mad when you suggest they should be responsible for their own lives.

5 Character Flaws That Are Destroying America's Future.  [#1]  Lack Of Personal Responsibility:  As a society, we encourage a "victimhood mentality" and an overweening government that never met an issue it didn't want to dive into with both feet; so we shouldn't be surprised that so many Americans expect to be rewarded for failure.

American Idle.  President Obama is auditioning American Idle contestants.  These non-producers of our society stole the show at his town meeting in Ft. Meyers, Florida on February 10, 2009.  It was like watching a Saturday Night Live skit when a parade of sad sacks asked for handouts.  Henrietta Hughes tearfully begged the President for a car, a kitchen and a bathroom.  Julio Osegueda, overcome in spontaneous euphoria, asked the president what his plans are for giving him better benefits at his job for McDonald's.  A man, who was recently laid off and receiving the forced generosity of the American people through his unemployment check, ungratefully asked why the government did not compensate him for his entire salary.

Peggy the Moocher.  Who is Peggy the Moocher?  She's Peggy Joseph, a voter in Sarasota, Fla., who exulted earlier this week at a Barack Obama rally that this was "the most memorable time of my life."  Why?  As she told a Florida reporter on a YouTube video that has been viewed by hundreds of thousands:  "Because I never thought this day would ever happen.  I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car.  I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage.  You know.  If I help [Obama], he's gonna help me."

Video: Obama Is Going To Pay For My Gas And Mortgage!  (Already viewed over a million times.)

The Nanny State of the Union:  The fact that such burgeoning government interventionism in state, community and private affairs is beyond the constitutional pale goes without saying.  For the Founders, dependence on government in private and public life was to be avoided at all costs — such dependence, as they rightly saw it, being the root of bondage.

America has Become a Dependent Culture.  When the power goes off for more than a day, the inhabitants of whole cities can become refugees from the elements and have to be saved by big-brother government.  If the help doesn't come fast enough the "refugees" cry foul and complain.  As in the travesty that was New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina), the people stood around helpless, waiting for government to deliver them from a nature-made calamity.  They were incapable of helping themselves.  Several thousand died as a result and billions of tax dollars were squandered to save the rest.  They didn't have the intelligence, training or the where-with-all to escape the big city.  The big city and their helplessness killed them, or made them wards of the government.

The Katrina experiment:  The common denominator of low-income-housing programs over these last 40 years is that they have been consistent failures.  Yet, despite this indisputable fact, today's social-policy gurus persist in search of the magic government low-income-housing program, rather than appreciating that the problem has been, and is today, government interference in private lives.

A Very Late Checkout.  After being flown [to New York City] for free back in September, [Theon] Johnson's been at the Holiday Inn since Super Bowl Sunday.  On April 21, the hotel served Johnson with three notices of occupancy termination, saying that it would begin court proceedings if he wasn't out by May 9.  He wasn't, so it did.  If the court boots him, Johnson could end up in one of the city's homeless shelters.  He's been broke for over a month now.  FEMA sent him $9,000 in housing aid, but he spent it all on booze, cigarettes, some clothes, and food — partying, mostly.  "I spent my money just the way I wanted, and I think [FEMA] should send me some more," he says.

The Editor cries out in frustration ...
Here's an example of a person who will be a freeloader and a sponge for the rest of his life.  If there's a government "No Fly" list at the airport, why isn't there a "No Handouts" list at the homeless shelters?  It would be cheaper to buy this man a one-way ticket to another country.  Or at least to Guam or Puerto Rico or somewhere other than a New York City hotel!

NBC 15 confronts Speaker Nancy Pelosi on FEMA spending.  When NBC 15 News first met Gwenester Malone a month ago, she was receiving three catered meals a day, while housekeepers made sure her hotel room stayed clean.  None of it was costing her a dime.  "Since the storm, I haven't had any energy or pep to go get a job," Malone said, "but when push comes to shove, I will."  That shove may not come until March 2009.

More about Hurricane Katrina and the rise of the welfare state.


"Every measure which establishes legal charity on a permanent basis and gives to it an administrative form creates thereby a class unproductive and idle, living at the expense of the class which is industrious and given to work."
— Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)    



Constant expansion and mission creep

Taxpayers spend $41.3 million in a year to advertise food stamps, a 6-fold increase over last decade.  Spending on advertising and outreach for food stamps has increased six-fold since 2000 — reaching $41.3 million in 2011, according to a new GOP report.  According to calculations released by Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions Budget Committee staff, using data from the Agriculture Department's Economic Research Service, in the year 2000 spending on advertising for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — or food stamps — was approximately $6.5 million.

GOP senator slams USDA for not answering questions on policies contributing to record food stamp use.  Following news that participation in the food stamp program hit another record high in September, Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions took to the Senate floor Tuesday [12/11/2012] to lambast the Department of Agriculture for failing to respond to an oversight request regarding USDA policies that have likely contributed to the expansion of the program.

The rise of food-stamp nation.  Two-thirds of the Agriculture Department's budget is devoted to welfare programs.  The biggest is food stamps, which is now the nation's second-largest welfare program after Medicaid.  Its inexorable growth during the past decade, through good times and bad, is a testament to government's self-generating expansion.

Trillions Have Been Wasted On Poverty Programs That Don't Work.  Although nearly 15% of Americans are already on food stamps, Washington still feels a need to pump the numbers.  CNN is reporting that "the federal government wants even more people to sign up for the safety-net program."  According to CNN, the Agriculture Department "has been running radio ads for the past four months encouraging those eligible to enroll" and "is spending between $2.5 million and $3 million on paid spots."

Nancy Pelosi Wants A Federal Babysitting Service.  Buried in a Washington Post story about Herman Cain calling Nancy Pelosi, "Princess Nancy" is a new policy idea that Pelosi has been pitching recently during her short tour through California.  "One of the great pieces of unfinished business is high-quality child care; I wonder why we just can't do that," she recently said to a California audience.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro Pushes Bill That Gives Free Diapers to the Poor.  An economic recovery bill authored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D.-Conn.) seeks to empower struggling families by directing the federal government to distribute free diapers through day care centers. ... Critics of the bill say it exemplifies the type of cradle-to-grave, nanny-state legislation supported by Democrat lawmakers that the government can't afford.

Limbaugh Takes on DeLauro Diaper Bill.  Conservative political commentator Rush Limbaugh ripped into a local Congresswoman's proposed diaper legislation on the air last week.  Earlier this month, DeLauro (D-3rd District) proposed an economic recovery bill that proposes that the federal government distribute free diapers through daycare centers.  It's called the Diaper Investment and Aid to Promote Economic Recovery Act — or DIAPER Act.  She cited the cost of diapers, $100 per month, as too much for some families.

Universities encouraging students to receive welfare benefits.  Many American colleges and universities are steering their students toward a new source of "financial aid":  food stamps.  In Oregon, for instance, both Portland State and Pacific University encourage their students to apply for food stamps.  "Many students are surprised to learn that they may be eligible for Food Stamps," explains Portland State's website.

White House to put up to 5,000 salad bars in schools.  The White House is set to announce on Monday [11/15/2010] a major new initiative that would place up to 5,000 salad bars in public schools nationwide, despite uncertainties over how local health inspectors might treat those salad bars and USDA nutrition-tracking rules that could prove a major impediment.  Officials in the White House, led by chef Sam Kass, and at the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, have been working to build a coalition representing the produce industry and Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services in Boulder, Colo. schools, who recently teamed with Whole Foods to raise $1.4 million from customers to establish a grant program that would place salad bars in qualifying schools.

The Curse of the Welfare State.  It is Europe's autumn of discontent.  All across the continent, people are taking to the streets to protest the austerity measures of their governments.  The governments have to cut for a simple reason:  They are broke.  They no longer have the money to sponsor the kind of padded lifestyles to which their citizens have grown accustomed.  This in turn makes the citizens angry — so much so that they are willing to turn their countries upside-down in order to obtain benefits their governments simply cannot provide.

Obama Begins His Assault on Your Life Savings.  The welfare state and your life savings are two cars heading down a one-lane road in opposite directions.  One must yield, or there will be a crash.  For Americans who believe in the old-fashioned virtues of hard work, self reliance and respect for private property, the solution is obvious.  The welfare state must yield.  For politicians who believe in the welfare state and redistributing wealth, the solution is equally obvious.  Your savings must yield.

Obama's $250 Bonus Turns Social Security into Welfare.  Since Social Security recipients will get no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) next year, President Obama wants to give each of them $250, a move supported in principle by the Republican House and Senate leadership.  However, this move is not only unjustified; it makes a fundamental change to Social Security's structure and starts the process of converting the program from an earned benefit funded by a worker's own contributions to a welfare program.

NYC Bans Food Donations To The Homeless.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg's food police have struck again!  Outlawed are food donations to homeless shelters because the city can't assess their salt, fat and fiber content, reports CBS 2's Marcia Kramer.

The Editor says...
I suspect the mayor's concern is not with fat and salt, but turf:  His priority is to show the homeless that they're dependent on government alone, not the generosity of private citizens, churches or volunteers.




Free cell phones!

Nothing is free.  Taxpayers are now paying for cell phones for the freeloaders who are already receiving other handouts.  Why is this bad?  First of all, why should the government take money out of my hard-earned paycheck to provide luxury items to those who are too lazy to work?  Second, there are too many cell phones in use already.  There is already a shortage of UHF bandwidth due to ubiquitous cell phones.  There are already too many people talking on the phone when they should be watching where they're going.  There are already too many people talking on their phones in restaurants, libraries, museums, funeral homes, churches and public ceremonies.

The Universal Service Fund was created in 1997 after being mandated by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The USF fund skims 15.7 percent of a telecom company's interstate and end-user revenues to pay for free cell phones, as discussed below, as well as all sorts of other hardware, including computers in classrooms and libraries.  The Universal Service Administrative Company collects the money,* all of which is wasted:  A hobo with a cell phone sure to be a nuisance.  Internet browsers in public libraries attract the seediest and most disgusting drifters with nothing but time on their hands.  Computers in classrooms teach children to become reliant on the internet rather than reference books, and constant use of the computer conditions young kids to believe anything a computer tells them.  In other words, they are trained for nothing better than low-level civil service work.

Obamaphones Fraud As High As 65 Percent.  A massive portion of Obamaphone recipients are receiving the benefit after lying on their applications, according to a new 90-page report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  An undercover sting operation showed ineligible applications were approved 63 percent of the time, and a review that found that 36 to 65 percent of beneficiaries in various categories had lied in easily-detectable ways but were approved anyway.  The fraud reached unheard-of proportions because the Federal Communications Commission let the task of screening for eligibility fall to phone companies that profit off of enrolling as many people as possible.

'Obamaphone' program stashes $9 billion in private bank accounts.  The controversial "Obamaphone" program, which pays for cellphones for the poor, is rife with fraud, according to a new government report Thursday that found more than a third of enrollees may not even be qualified.  Known officially as the Lifeline Program, the phone giveaway became a symbol of government waste in the previous administration.  Now a new report from the Government Accountability Office bears out those concerns.  The report, requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, also says the program has stashed some $9 billion in assets in private bank accounts rather than with the federal treasury, further increasing risks and depriving taxpayers of the full benefit of that money.

Commissioner says fraud from Obamaphone program approaching $500 million.  The federal subsidy known as the "Obamaphone" or "Obamanet" program could be losing nearly $500 million to fraud annually, according to a top Republican on the Federal Communications Commission.  Commissioner Ajit Pai made the accusation Wednesday in letter to the Universal Service Administrative Company, referring to the FCC's Universal Service Fund, which provides a monthly $9.95 subsidy for telecom service to low-income consumers.  The subsidy is limited to one per "independent economic household," or IEH, but telecom companies have the ability to override that restriction if applicants check a box stating they represent a separate household, even if they have the same address.

FCC Kept 'Obamaphone' Fraud Under Wraps Until After It Expanded Program.  Federal regulators were instructed to keep a massive fraud investigation under wraps until a day after a controversial vote to expand a program that was allegedly used to bilk taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars, one those regulators claims.  The Federal Communications Commission on Friday [4/8/2016] announced that it would seek $51 million in damages from a cell phone company that allegedly defrauded the federal Lifeline program of nearly $10 million.  The commission's five members unanimously backed the Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL), but Republican commissioner Ajit Pai parted from his colleagues in a partial dissent.  According to Pai, he and other commissioners were told not to reveal the details of its investigation until April 1, a day after the FCC voted to expand the Lifeline program.

Illegals leave Texas detention with free Samsung Galaxy 4 phone — for safety!.  The government is giving immigrant families released from Texas detention facilities free cell phones.  The criteria used to determine who will be offered the phones are those who are considered low flight risks and unlikely to pose a danger to the community, according to Fox News.  So far, 25 families have been offered the phones, which aren't your run-of-the-mill phones — they're Samsung Galaxy 4 smartphones — and the program is understandably coming under fire.

Federal program that issues smartphones to new immigrants raises questions.  A federal government contractor is issuing smartphones to immigrant families released from two massive Texas detention centers as a way to ensure that they are able to contact case managers and reach their U.S. destinations.  Officials described the phones as part of a less-restrictive alternative to detention programs designed to make sure that low-risk immigrant families with pending cases show up for court.  The phones, they said, are not used to track or monitor immigrants but rather as a safety net.  But immigrant advocates were skeptical of the new phones, and the program.

The Editor says...
If you accept a smart phone from the federal government, especially if you are currently being detained, and probably aren't supposed to be in this country in the first place, then you can safely presume that the smart phone is like a two-way ankle monitor.  When the day of your hearing arrives, they'll know exactly where you are.  And if you reach the same conclusion and throw that phone in the river, the government can reasonably infer that you do not intend to cooperate.

Federal Fumbles 2015.  FCC's Lifeline program began in 1985 to provide discounted telephone service to low income families — particularly those in hard-to-reach areas with little access to emergency landline telephone services.  In 2005 the service was extended to encompass pre-paid cell phone plans in addition to landline service.  FCC requirements dictate qualified individuals must meet income requirements at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or participate in specific federal assistance programs to qualify for the program.  Lifeline is funded through a service fee (meaning a tax) called the Universal Service Fund, which is on every American's phone bill.  In 2014 $1.6 billion was allocated for the Lifeline program to serve its more than 12 million users.  The majority of beneficiaries receive a monthly $9.25 discount subsidy toward their telephone service cost.  However, due to low telephone availability on Tribal lands, qualified residences receive an additional $25 subsidy, which brings the total monthly subsidy to $34.25.  Since 2005 the Lifeline program has been riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse.

FCC Commissioner 'Outraged' At What CBS4 Investigation Revealed About Free Phone Program.  Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Pai says a CBS4 probe of a government cellphone program revealed fraud, waste and abuse in the government's Lifeline cellphone program that he called "shocking."  "The CBS4 story highlighted the fact that in places there are no safeguards, workers are signing up people using fraudulent certifications," said Pai, one of five FCC commissioners.

Rich kids use the Internet to get ahead, and poor kids use it 'mindlessly'.  Knowledge is cheap.  A few taps on a smartphone and anyone can dive into the works of Plato and Einstein, watch a lecture at Harvard or Princeton, or look up a recipe for cauliflower pizza crust, without spending a penny.  Yet for all these wonders, for all the wealth generated in the name by making information free, the Internet has done little to improve the prospects of poor kids growing up in America, Robert Putnam says in his new book, "Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis."  Social and mobile technologies, he says, do almost nothing to improve social mobility.

Phone Company 'Outraged' By Fraud, Abuse In 'Obamaphone' Program.  The Lifeline program is aimed at providing free cellphone service to the poor and needy.  It handed out more than 13 million free cellphone plans in the first six months of 2014.  In Colorado, the program handed out more than 117,000 free cellphone plans in the first half of 2014 or about 20,000 cellphones every month.  If you own a cellphone, you pay for the free phones and their wireless plans via a monthly tax on your cellphone called the Universal Service Tax.  Although the Lifeline wireless program has been around since 2005 and started under President George W. Bush, it ballooned under President Obama and the phones are often referred to as Obamaphones.

Obamaphone use grew 100-fold in 3 years in Md. to twice the number eligible.  Six-hundred-and-forty-five thousand Maryland residents had so-called Obamaphones in 2012 — one hundred times as many people as there were in 2009, and double the number in that state who are supposed to be eligible for the program based on their income.  The program, officially called Lifeline, is run by the Federal Communications Commission and imposes hefty fees on every paying customer to give free phone service to low-income Americans.  The profits to telecom companies from the free, government-provided phone service are so great that in Nebraska alone, 51 corporations, many of them who are not even traditional phone companies building infrastructure and attracting paying subscribers, fought for a piece of the pie.

FCC commissioner wants to end Obamaphone fraud.  A top federal regulator wants the Federal Communications Commission to rein in the so-called "Obamaphone" program.  FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told an audience of right-leaning tech policy advocates Monday morning [7/28/2014] during an event organized by the nonprofit organization Citizens Against Government Waste that he wanted to reform the Lifeline program.  Lifeline was first created in the 1980s, but now is fraught with waste, fraud, [and] abuse by telecom industry members and consumers alike.  The Lifeline program is part of the congressionally mandated Universal Service Fund, intended to help carriers subsidize phone service for low-income people.

FCC: Lifeline Program Fraud and Abuse Surpasses Two Million Subscribers.  In a continuing crackdown on the federal government's Lifeline program, sometimes known as "Obama phones," the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revealed that fraud and abuse in the program exceeded two million subscribers.  New rules were established after it became clear that subscribers and providers were taking advantage of the system.

FCC says TracFone and other cell companies defrauded US program for the poor.  The Federal Communications Commission yesterday accused five wireless service providers of obtaining duplicate payments from a federal fund for low-income consumers.  The FCC wants the companies to repay the extra money and, in addition, to pay $14.4 million in fines.  The wireless providers allegedly violated rules of the Lifeline program, which has helped people afford basic telephone service since 1985.  It was expanded to cover pre-paid cell phone service in 2005 under former President George W. Bush.  "The violations involve thousands of consumers who had more than one Lifeline subscription from the same provider, resulting in duplicative support requests and payments," the FCC said.

Obamacare phones offered to health insurance buyers.  In Tennessee, those shopping on the new health insurance co-ops could end up with more than just some health insurance.  They might even walk away with a free smartphone.  The Nashville Business Journal is reporting that Community Health Alliance, Tennessee's Obamacare health insurance co-op, is using the prospect of a free phone to encourage folks to enroll.

More about the surprisingly aggressive marketing of Obamacare.

FCC chief: Reagan could be proud of 'Obamaphone' program.  Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn forcefully defended her agency's phone subsidy program for the poor in a speech on Thursday [9/12/2013].  Conservative critics have claimed the FCC's Lifeline program is a wasteful government handout and referred to it as the "Obamaphone" program. [...] Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) have introduced bills to end the cellphone portion of the program.  "This phone program has expanded far beyond its original intent, and as so many middle class Americans struggle underneath this economy, it is really offensive for Washington to make taxpayers pay for free cell phones for others," Vitter said in a statement when he introduced his legislation.

Free Govt. Cell Phones Will Create Jobs for Latinos.  A fraud-infested government program that gives low-income populations free cell phones should expand in Hispanic communities because it will help bolster employment rates, according to a powerful Latino rights group working to save the program as Congress considers killing it.  The controversial cell phone giveaway, known as Lifeline Assistance, has grown immensely under President Obama and in fact has become known as "Obama Phones."  It went from costing American taxpayers $819 million in 2008 to $2.2 billion in 2012, according to figures provided to an Idaho newspaper by one of its U.S. Senators.

The move to defund "Obamaphones".  [Scroll down]  The program is "funded by telecom companies."  Really?  You mean the telecom giants are so concerned about helping people and heedless of profits that they're just giving away phones and service programs because they're such a nice bunch of guys and gals?  When you stop laughing, you can read on to see exactly how the telecoms are "funding the program."  The money comes from a tax imposed on every service contract sold in the country.

First, defund Obamaphones.  Nothing better illustrates the impossibility of killing a federal entitlement than the fraud-riddled Obamaphone program.  The $2.1 billion giveaway, funded by a tax on every cellphone service contract, is a well-documented boondoggle — an estimated 41 percent of the phones go to ineligible recipients.

A Day 'Selling' Obama Phones.  [Scroll down]  We continued to sign people up for free phones with free service, even if they already had an iPhone or a Galaxy.  Did they qualify for Section 8 housing?  Food stamps?  Mass Health?  Then they qualified for a free phone.  (Two, actually.)  One woman angrily said that she had previously been told she could have two phones, but that she had received a notice from the government after signing up for the second phone.  In this notice, she had been told that she could keep only one of the phones.  "Yeah, that's the loophole," Jake explained to me.  "They can sign up for a second phone, but then they have to choose between the two.  But they have eight months to do it, so they can have two phones for up to eight months."

Me and My Obamaphones.  In the past month, I have received three shiny new cell phones, courtesy of American taxpayers, that should never have fallen into my hands.  The Federal Communications Commission oversees the so-called Lifeline program, created in 1984 to make sure impoverished Americans had telephone service available to call their moms, bosses, and 911.  In 2008, the FCC expanded the program to offer subsidized cell-phone service, and since then, the expenses of running the program have soared.

How the Government's Cell Phone Giveaway Is Costing You Billions.  The evidence is stacking up:  dead people are receiving free cell phones in the mail, eligible and ineligible individuals are obtaining more than one, and electronic kiosks have been stationed in convenience stores to spread the word about this "free" opportunity.  The truth is, though, that taxpayers are footing the bill.

'ObamaPhones started under Reagan!' Your point?  Current Lifeline Program eligibility requirements are:
  •   Be at or below 135 percent of the federal Poverty Guidelines OR participate in one of the following assistance programs:
  •   Medicaid
  •   Food Stamps or SNAP
  •   SSI
  •   TANF
  •   Section 8 Housing
  •   LIHEAP
  •   Free Lunch Program
  •   Other government give-away programs

Hidden camera catches wireless company employees passing out 'Obama phones' to people who say they'll sell them for drugs [...]  Undercover video shot in May by a conservative activist shows two corporate distributors of free cell phones handing out the mobile devices to people who have promised to sell them for drug money, to buy shoes and handbags, to pay off their bills, or just for extra spending cash.  The 'Obama phone,' which made its ignominious YouTube debut outside a Cleveland, Ohio presidential campaign event last September, is a project of the Federal Communications Commission's 'Lifeline' program, which makes land line and mobile phones available to Americans who meet low-income requirements.  Lifeline was a $2.19 billion program in 2012.

The fungible phone:
Obamaphones for drugs.  The corruption of the welfare state is on display in a new undercover video from Project Veritas, which sent undercover videographers to get some of those free "Obamaphones" ... while openly telling the corporate reps distributing the phones that they intended to sell them for drug money.  The corporate representatives were not fazed by this in the slightest.  One of them helpfully directed the undercover operative to a pawn shop, to find out how much cash he could get for that taxpayer-funded cell phone.

Indiana attorney general probing privacy breach of 'Obamaphone' users.  The Indiana attorney general's office confirmed Monday [5/20/2013] it is investigating a security breach in which Social Security numbers and other personal information were posted online for roughly 44,000 low-income Americans who applied for a federal program that provides discount Internet and phone service.  The program was nicknamed the "Obamaphone" during the 2012 election, though it actually started long before President Obama took office.  Indiana reportedly has the highest number of applicants, roughly 17,400, who were signed up by TerraCom Inc. and the affiliated YourTel America Inc.

Bill to quit 'Obama-phone' giveaway gathers steam.  Nearly 50 congressional members have signed on to legislation that would put a stop to the government's free phone program, known loosely as "Obama-phone."  The program is formally called Lifeline and started under the Ronald Reagan administration as a means of providing landline phone service to poor people in case of emergency.  It's grown to the point the Federal Communications Commission under President Obama now admits it's rife with waste and fraud.

Lawmakers warn cost of federal free phone program spinning out of control.  What started out as an effort by President Reagan to help poor people in rural areas have a phone in cases of emergency has mushroomed into what critics suspect is a new welfare program.  "The cost has gone from $143 million a few years ago to $2.2 billion today," Republican Louisiana Sen. David Vitter said, noting that today's cost is 15 times what it was.

Immigration Bill Contains 'MarcoPhones'.  The 844-page immigration reform bill the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" dropped in the dead of night contains a lucrative handout that would give taxpayer-funded free cell phones to some people who live or work near the U.S. border with Mexico.  Pages 43 and 44 of the bill detail what one conservative blogger, Javier Manjarres of Shark Tank, has already described as the "ObamaPhone" from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Supporters rally to defense of 'Obama phone' program.  Republicans have targeted a federal phone subsidy, widely referred to as the "Obama phone" program, as a prime example of wasteful government spending.  But supporters of the program are coming to its defense, arguing that it is crucial for ensuring that needy people are able to communicate with their loved-ones and call for help in an emergency.

The Editor says...
If ubiquitous cell phones are a necessity, how did any of us survive before 1990?  If you consider a cell phone to be indispensable, and it is your top priority, then pay for the cell phone first, and purchase your cigarettes and beer and lottery tickets with whatever money remains.  In any event, I resent having to pay for your telephone.

Lawmaker looks to rein in program after free cell phones sent to dead people.  Dead people don't need cell phones.  That's the message Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas wants to send Congress, after he says a controversial government-backed program that helps provide phones to low-income Americans ended up sending mobiles to the dead relatives of his constituents.  Griffin has introduced a bill that targets the phone hand-out program, which has ballooned into a fiscal headache for the government.

Free Cell Phones Coming to California, Minus Federal Fraud Protection.  The California Public Utilities Commission has expanded its Lifeline program to include free cell phones.  The Commission has also won approval to be exempted from the federal fraud detection network associated with the program.  The new cell phone program will offer "250 talk minutes and 250 text messages" per month to anyone making less than $14,702. A minimum-wage employee working full time makes $15,080 in a year.

Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies.  The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven't proved they are eligible to receive them.  The Lifeline program — begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren't cut off from jobs, families and emergency services — is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer.  Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

Warning: This Will Get Your Blood Boiling.  Not only are taxpayers funding free cell phones, we're also paying for street teams to hawk them at hospitals, soup kitchens, carnivals and shelters.  Apparently a cell phone is now a basic essential, like food, water and shelter, that is so necessary for a person's survival it must be provided for those who can't afford it.

The Editor says...
I don't own a cell phone or a television, and I get by somehow.

Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies.  The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven't proved they are eligible to receive them.  The Lifeline program — begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren't cut off from jobs, families and emergency services — is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer.  Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

Obama crony wins contract to give phones to jobless.  A cellphone company whose top executive has close ties to President Obama lobbied for and won a piece of a major new government push to provide Internet service to low-income job-seekers, even though critics say the company's smartphones are poorly suited to the task of helping those in the program find work.  The program's supporters tout it as a way for the unemployed to learn technical skills, to prepare resumes and to search for jobs, but one of the 14 pilot contracts that the FCC awarded went to Miami-based TracFone Wireless Inc.

Paradise Lost: CA to Provide Free Cell Phones for Homeless.  In California, the unemployment rate may be above 10.2%, and the state debt may be above $16 billion, the state's GDP may be in serious trouble and businesses may be leaving in droves due to ever-increasing tax rates, but that isn't going to stop the gravy train for the state's poor and dispossessed.  The California Public Utilities Commission is all set to greenlight a new program that would give homeless and low-income people free cell phones — call them Obamaphones — with free service.

Democrats In Houston Offer "Obama Phones" In Exchange For Obama Votes.  [Video clip] Proudly endorsed by the Obama Phone Lady.

Ark. congressman wants to disconnect $1 billion free cell phone program.  [Rep. Tim] Griffin said his constituents have told him about people abusing the government benefit.  "I had someone call me this morning telling me they had somebody who would only work a certain number of hours a week because if they worked too many hours a week then they couldn't get their government assistance.  And that person has multiple cell phones, and gets them new every month with new minutes," he said, sounding outraged.  The cell phone companies add to the problem, he said.  "Every one they give out, they get money for from the federal government.  So they have an incentive to give as many away as possible," Griffin explained.  "And that's exactly what they're doing, and they're making a killing."

World's Richest Man Gets Richer Supplying 'Obamaphones' to Poor.  Make one wonder how many more rip-off programs that we are paying for.

Mexican billionaire making millions from American government program that gives poor free cell phones.  The richest man in the world, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, is making millions in profits from a government program that supplies poor Americans with free cell phones.  Mr Slim, who is worth an estimated $69 billion, owns the parent company of both the service provider and phone producer which creates the phones used in the Lifeline program.

Who gets rich off 'free' government phones?  One of America's fastest-growing wireless carriers is a company you've probably never heard of:  Tracfone Wireless.  It's the U.S. arm of a telecom empire controlled by the world's richest man, Carlos Slim, and it's the biggest player in an increasingly lucrative market:  subsidized mobile phones for low-income Americans.

Free Obama Phones and Mo'!  That Universal Service Fee we pay as part of our phone bill each month has helped double the number of "free Obamaphones" in the hands of people in Ohio since last year to more than 1 million.  While the mainstream media has ignored this story, the Ohio press is covering it.

ObamaPhones Profiting ObamaDonors.  [Scroll down]  One of the major providers of the free cell phones — 3.8 million subscribers as of late 2011 — is Miami-based TracFone Wireless, a company whose president and CEO, Frederick "F.J." Pollak, has donated at least $156,500 to Democratic candidates and committees this cycle, including at least $50,000 to the Obama campaign.  Pollak's wife, Abigail, is a campaign bundler for Obama who has raised more than $632,000 for the president this cycle, and more than $1.5 million since 2007.  She has personally contributed more than $200,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 2008.

Detroit Church to give out 'Government Assisted' Phones.  The advertisement assures "recipients" that the "sign up process is easy and will only take a few minutes to complete".

The Obamaphone lady is proof of how liberalism arrests development.  A great ZoNation, using the Obamaphone lady to make his point of how liberal social programs keep people from improving.  [Video clip]

The 'Obamaphone Lady'.  The Obamaphone Lady, who as far as we know hasn't been otherwise identified, is a middle-aged black woman with a loud, gravelly voice.  She exuberantly explains why she supports President Obama's re-election:  "Everybody in Cleveland [unintelligible] minority got Obama phone!  Keep Obama in president, you know?  He gave us a phone!"  She turns out to be propagating an urban legend, one we'd previously heard from conservative friends.  The "phone" part is true.  There is a federally mandated, state-administered program known as Lifeline that subsidizes telephone service for low-income subscribers.  But the "Obama" part is imagined.

Come-On America, Free Phones.  I was driving home the other day, when I happened to see a bum sitting on the curb talking on a cell phone.  How did I know that he was a bum you might be thinking?  Well I was born and raised on the lower east side of Manhattan in New York City.  So believe me I know a bum when I see one.  Therefore, I started thinking, what a country we live in that a bum can have a cell phone.

'The Free Stuff Election'.  There are some 1 million Ohioans out there with a free Obama cellphone.  Imagine the 'Vote At' text messages coming through on their Obama phones, and that's just one state.  The omnipresent Obama team have worked the Free Stuff Crowd up to fever pitch as witnessed in the Ohio woman's YouTube screed that Obama is not only giving out free cell phones but lots of other free stuff's coming down the pike.  Who really knew that liberty and freedom could be bought with a cell phone?

Your Universal Service Fee at Work.  That Universal Service Fee we pay as part of our phone bill each month has helped double the number of "free Obamaphones" in the hands of people in Ohio since last year to more than 1 million.  While the mainstream media has ignored this story, the Ohio press is covering it.  Maybe interest in the You Tube rant of the now infampus [sic] Obamaphone Lady, now at 2.2 million views in three days, will help get out the story of how this program skyrocketed in a key swing state.  Then there is the issue of the dubious ethics of having private businesses both actively promote a government welfare program and name it after an elected figure in their marketing materials.

Where do "Obama phones" come from?  The program is called Lifeline, established in 1984 was originally created to subside landline phone service for low income Americans, funded by government collected telecommunication fees, paid by consumers.  In 2008, the program was expanded to support cell phones which quickly escalated the cost of the program.  In 2008 the program cost $772 million, but by 2011 it cost $1.6 billion.  A 2011 audit found that 269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers.

SEIU Pays Romney Protestors $11/hour In Cleveland.  A very good friend of mine took his camera to a Romney event in Cleveland Set. 26th [sic] and ran into Obama supporters.  Yesterday, he released the video of the protestor who supported Obama because she got a free Obama phone.  Today, we have more footage.

Viral video touting free 'Obama phone' puts spotlight on federal program.  A viral video of an Obama supporter touting her "Obama phone" has put the spotlight on an obscure federal program that provides discounted phone service to qualifying low-income Americans.  "Keep Obama as president," the animated woman says on the video.  "He gave us a phone."

Free Cell Phones Offered To Poor Tennessee Residents.  A cell phone company is offering free wireless phones and 68 minutes of free air time to more than 800,000 low-income Tennessee residents in a program aimed at ensuring they can make a call in an emergency.

Welfare Creep in Laredo.  [Scroll down]  Poke around the Assurance Wireless web site a bit, and you find that this program, which is already available elsewhere and similar to existing programs, is made possible by the Universal Service Fund.  That was set up in 1996, ostensibly to expand communications networks.  At the time, some predicted that it would end up as some sort of welfare.  And so it has.

Cell Phones for the Poor on the Taxpayers' Dime.  The federal government is now busy working with telecommunications companies to make sure everyone enjoys the comfort of cell phone ownership — even if they can't afford it. ... Does the federal government, in partnering with companies like Assurance Wireless, see owning a cell phone as a right?

Got Food Stamps? Get Free Sprint Wireless Services.  Can government subsidies help Sprint Nextel bounce back?  Perhaps so, in a way you may not think.  Sprint, which reported fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, seems to be having success with its Assurance Wireless brand, a prepaid offering.  Sprint launched the government-subsidized Assurance program in early 2010.  Sprint now markets the Assurance brand in 22 states and Washington, D.C.  Sprint expanded the Assurance brand to Pennsylvania today [2/14/2011].

Free cell phones for the needy drawing both cheers and jeers.  In Pennsylvania, two programs offer free cell service:  Assurance Wireless and SafeLink from Tracfone Wireless, which specializes in "no-contract" cellular service.  The federal Universal Service Fund, which all telecommunications providers support as required by federal law, pays for the programs.  Amy Storey, a spokeswoman for CTIA -- The Wireless Association in Washington, said all U.S. wireless carriers charge consumers a fee to recover the cost of their contribution to the fund, which varies quarterly as determined by the Federal Communications Commission.

Paying Telephone Customers Forced to Buy Cellphones for Others.  Undoubtedly it was just an oversight on Thomas Jefferson's part when he wrote that man's unalienable rights include "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" — but not free cellphones.

Free cell phones are now a civil right.  Pennsylvanians on public assistance now have a new 'civil right' — free cell phones.  Meanwhile, the rest of us get to pay higher cell bills as a result.  Recently, a federal government program called the Universal Service Fund came to the Keystone State and some residents are thrilled because it means they can enjoy 250 minutes a month and a handset for free, just because they don't have the money to pay for it.

The Editor says...
This is the exact inverse of capitalism.  The customer gets a cell phone because he or she does not have the money to pay for it.

Texas member proposes ending federally subsidized cellphones.  Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) this week proposed new legislation that would terminate part of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that Republicans say is improperly used by phone companies to offer customers free cellphone service.  Farenthold says his bill, the Lifeline Reform Act, would save about $500 million annually.  "These 'free' cellphones come at cost to hardworking American taxpayers because the program is funded by a tax on phone service," Farenthold said.

When you give away cheese, expect a flood of rats.
Over 26,000 Ohioans abusing free cell phone plan.  Companies are flooding low-income households with free cell phones and minutes under a plan overseen by the federal government that is prone to abuse, a Dayton Daily News investigation has found.  The investigation found the free cell phone program is growing rapidly because cell phone companies are promoting it heavily and is so commonly abused that 26,500 Ohioans this month have been notified they are violating the rules.  The program is paid for with fees mandated by the government and tacked onto most cellphone and home phone bills, often listed as the Universal Service fee.

Washington Footing the Cell Phone Bill for Millions of Low Income Americans.  Last year, a federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts.  The program, overseen by the FCC and intended to help low-income Americans, is popular for obvious reasons, with participation rising steeply since 2008, when the government paid $772 million for phones and monthly bills.  But observers complain that the program suffers from poor oversight, in which phones go to people who don't qualify, and hundreds of thousands of those who do qualify have more than one phone.

49.5% of Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax.  The number of Americans on food stamps has risen to a record 45.8 million.  The previous record was 31 million in 2009.  Likewise, the number of people using free government-provided cell phones has shot up exponentially.  In 2008, the free cell phone program cost tax-payers $772 million, and in 2011 it cost $1.6 billion.  (Those free cell phones are expensive.)

Arkansas congressman wants to disconnect $1 billion free cell phone program.  No one likes paying cell phone bills.  What if you could get a free phone with a calling plan whose cost was paid by the federal government?  What if you could have eight free cell phones?  You can, and people do, Rep. Tim Griffin told The Daily Caller.  The annual bill runs over $1 billion, and he's trying to stop it.

Spending Off the Hook: Free Phones Costing Taxpayers $2.1 Billion Per Year.  You're probably familiar with the food stamp program which grew from $35 billion in 2008 to $75 billion last year.  But did you know that getting food stamps also makes you eligible for a free government cell phone?  A program called Lifeline provides free phones and free monthly minutes to anyone on food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, Head Start, and several other government programs.  And just like food stamps, Lifeline (aka "phone stamps") has been growing by leaps and bounds since 2008, at significant cost to taxpayers.

Poor in Colorado may get free phones.  Thousands of low-income Coloradans reliant on public assistance could get a free cellphone under a plan before the state Public Utilities Commission.  If approved, the plan by TracFone Wireless in Miami would make Colorado the 17th state it has settled into with free cell service for the indigent, a form of wireless welfare that proponents say taps into one of the last untapped markets for the telecom technology.

On D.C. Streets, the Cellphone as Lifeline.  To the usual trappings that help many homeless people endure life on the streets — woolen blankets, shopping carts or cardboard box shelters — add the humble cellphone.  Today, it's not unusual for the homeless to whip out Nokia 6085 GoPhones (with optional Bluetooth and USB connectivity), stop at a public computer to check e-mail or urge friends to read their blogs.

Cell phones for Alabama's poor hits roadblock.  Most poor Alabamians will have to wait months, and perhaps longer, to get free, government-subsidized cell phones and cell phone service.  The state board that oversees emergency 911 service on Friday told the Miami company behind plans for the free phones that the board lacks the authority to grant statewide certification that the phones are compatible with 911 systems.  The certification is required by the Federal Communications Commission to qualify the company, TracFone Wireless, for federal subsidies.

Now Available: Free "Obama" Phones.  If you are already receiving any public service, you are probably entitled to a Volksphone.  There are upwards of 20 million people enjoying what they are told are "free Obama phones".  The rest of us are forced to subsidize the Volksphone through hidden taxes assessed by the Obama Federal Communications Commission (FCC), through the universal service fund. [...] Obama's emissaries created the program, mandate the assessments on the telecommunications companies, who then pass the cost to us.  Then candidate Obama can enjoy the fruits of the giveaway, while Chief Executive Obama can deny responsibility for levying the taxes.




Free internet service!

Update:
FCC Will Stop Companies From Providing Subsidized Internet To Low-Income Users.  Nine companies participating in a program designed to provide subsidized internet access to low-income customers have been told by the Federal Communications Commission they are no longer allowed to provide their service.  The decision by the FCC's new leadership to prevent the companies from providing a more affordable internet option marks a reversal of a ruling made by former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler just weeks earlier.  Ajit Pai, the successor to Wheeler and current head of the regulatory commission in the Donald Trump administration, said the decision to give the go ahead to companies providing low-cost internet was an example of a "midnight regulation" passed in the lame duck session.

Better internet access won't pull people out of poverty.  A recent report from the Brookings Institution looked at data from the American Time Use survey and concluded that less-educated Americans were spending more time on screens and less time on "active leisure" than their better-educated counterparts. [...] The authors run down a quick litany of the problems associated with screen time:  "Prolonged time spent watching television is associated with poorer health, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Playing computer games, browsing the Internet and other forms of sedentary leisure may contribute to obesity.  Such screen time is also associated with lower grades and lower levels of personal contentment among youth."  The researchers acknowledge that "many of these impacts may not be due to the screen time itself, but to the lack of the activity that it displaces.  More time spent in front of a screen inherently means less time doing other things."

If you thought your internet service was slow already, just wait.

FCC Approves Plan to Expand Low-Income Subsidy to Internet Use.  The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday [3/31/2016] approved a proposal to expand a telephone subsidy for low-income Americans to include Internet access, after a deal to cap the cost of the plan collapsed.  The commission voted 3-2 to approve a proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, unveiled earlier this month, to expand the $9.25 monthly mobile phone subsidy to include broadband Internet access.  The agency's three Democrats voted yea and its two Republicans nay.

Subsidized Broadband: FCC Chairman Plans to Expand 'Obama Phone' Program to Internet.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced on Thursday [5/28/2015] that he intends to expand Lifeline, popularly known as the "Obama Phone" program, to the Internet.  "I am circulating new proposals to "reboot" Lifeline for the Internet age," Wheeler wrote in a blog post on the FCC's Website.  He said the reboot would include "establishing minimum standards of service for voice and broadband," in addition to subsidies for low-income consumers.

You need an Obama-modem to go with your Obamaphone:
F.C.C. Chief Seeks Broadband Plan to Aid the Poor.  For 30 years, the federal government has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their phone bills, saying that telephone service is critical to summoning medical help, seeking work and, ultimately, climbing out of poverty.  Now, the nation's top communications regulator will propose offering those same people subsidized access to broadband Internet.  On Thursday [5/28/2015], that regulator, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will circulate a plan to his fellow commissioners suggesting sweeping changes to a $1.7 billion subsidy program charged with ensuring that all Americans have affordable access to advanced telecommunications services, according to senior agency officials.

The Fraud-Riddled 'Obamaphone' Program Is Coming to the Internet.  Next week, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to approve a plan to add Internet access subsidies to its current $1.7 billion wireless phone subsidy program, called Lifeline. [...] According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, a decade after starting Lifeline — which subsidizes mobile phone service for low-income families — the FCC still "has not evaluated the effectiveness of the Lifeline program."  Consumers pay for the subsidies through a fee tacked on to their phone bills.  What's more, the GAO noted that two independent studies show that many eligible households would have bought a mobile plan anyway, "in the absence of a subsidy."

FCC Takes Step to Extend Phone Subsidy for Poor to Broadband.  Federal regulators took a step Thursday [6/18/2015] toward making Internet connections eligible for a $1.6 billion government subsidy that helps poor Americans afford telephones.  The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to consider changes proposed by Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, to the Lifeline program that has helped pay for telephone connections since 1985.  "Today begins a proceeding to spend ratepayers' money more wisely, to deliver 21st century benefits to deserving recipients," Wheeler said.

Expanding the Lifeline Phone Subsidy — Here Comes Obamanet.  The Obama administration Thursday [5/28/2015] announced a plan to expand the troubled Lifeline program, which subsidizes phone service, to also include broadband coverage.  Despite the enormous potential for even more waste, fraud, and abuse in a program already famous for such fiscal irresponsibility, the Democrat-controlled Federal Communications Commission is nonetheless likely to approve this proposal.

Obama Extending Broadband Internet Access to Public Housing Residents.  The information superhighway is heading straight into taxpayer-subsidized housing.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday [7/15/2015] announced an initiative to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing.  The project, launching in 27 cities and one tribal nation, is called ConnectHome.

Obama unveils high-speed Internet help for low-income homes.  Calling the Internet a 21st century necessity, President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a program to bring faster Internet connections to more low-income households, particularly to help students living in public and assisted housing stay ahead in school.

More Free Stuff! Obama Hands Out More Freebies!  The very generous Barack Obama is giving our money to a new initiative which will provide a very expensive form of Broadband to poor neighborhoods.  He's calling it Connect Home, a pilot project to help "close the digital divide" by bringing broadband to poorer communities.  Mind you, most Americans can't get this yet.  It's also going to entire neighborhoods, not individuals which is a significant change not to be ignored in light of Mr. Obama's Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule.  He is defining expensive Broadband Internet as a "necessity" and a human right.  In providing this to the poor, he's depriving others.  He's redistributing our money and high-speed Broadband.  At some point, the segments of America that are paying for this will run out of money.  The media is phrasing it as something Obama is doing when it is our money that is doing it, not him.




What happens when the game is over?

When the gravy train crashes, a lot of angry people are going to take to the streets.  It has already happened in Greece and Venezuela.

Congressman: Republicans Should Prepare For '[...] A Fight' If They Cut Food Stamps.  Democratic congressmen are prepared to fight if Republican-controlled Congress moves to reduce food stamps or cut the program from the farm bill.  "If next year, the Republican leadership wants to block grant or cut the [food stamps] program or put more hurdles in place to deny people a benefit to put food on their table — be prepared for [...] a fight," Rep. Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, said during a House Committee on Agriculture hearing Wednesday.  "Because this is a fight worth having."  The committee has held 18 hearings on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also called food stamps, in the last two years.

EBT Card Declined; Mayhem Ensues.  When in convenience stores, always maintain unimpeded access to the exit.  You don't want to get caught in there if someone's EBT card is declined.  Here is what that looks like:  [Video clip]

Venezuelan regime runs out of other people's money.  Though every eye in the country is focused on the election, Americans should take a moment to look at the socialist disaster unfolding in Venezuela.  Domestic economic anxiety is legitimate, but we should be thankful we're so much better off than those subjected to the economic nostrums of the far Left.  Americans are fortunate they no longer have to worry about diphtheria; Venezuelan doctors warn that their country may be on the verge of an epidemic because vaccines and antibiotics are so scarce.  Americans are fortunate that prices are fairly stable; Venezuela has the highest inflation rate in the world, expected to hit 700 percent this year.

Rapper busted after video shows him blasting Trump while brandishing stolen guns.  By the time [Joe] Meaux called police, he said local authorities and the Secret Service were already aware of the Instagram video featuring Demarcus Davis, 22, a local rapper who goes by "Maine Musik."  "I really want to go to war with Donald Trump because Donald Trump is tryin' to take food stamps from my momma and that's all the (expletive) she got," Davis said on the video.  "Let Donald Trump know it's up over here.  We want war; we're going to declare war."

The Editor would like to ax this question:
Why doesn't your father provide for your "momma" instead of having her rely on the taxpayers for her income?

EBT Aerobics.  A large and growing subculture has been made reliant on government handouts, and has even been convinced that they are somehow "entitled" to spend other people's money.  But as Margaret Thatcher famously observed, eventually socialists always run out of that.  What will happen when our government can no longer keep millions of EBT cards charged up?  No need to guess.  [Video clip]

Furious woman filmed destroying a convenience store when her welfare card is rejected.  A very unsatisfied customer has become a viral video star after footage emerged of her angrily destroying a convenience store.  Shocking footage shows the woman in red and black throwing stock from the shelves and screaming before being restrained and physically removed from the grocery store in an unknown location in the U.S.  The video posted on Liveleak on June 2 starts with the woman slowly walking through the store while knocking packets from the shelves, sending items flying all over the floor.

35,000 Welfare Leeches Wake to Brutal Surprise.  Should people have to work to receive welfare?  Alabama thinks so, and and because they require people to work 20 hours a week to receive benefits, tens of thousands of welfare recipients have been barred from receiving benefits.

SNAP Benefits Could Be Running Out For Some.  Folks on food stamps, pay attention.  Your SNAP benefits could soon get cut.  Many states, including Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas will start enforcing the 1996 welfare law.  That law states people without disabilities or raising minor children will have three months to find a job or their SNAP benefits will be cut.  People are not happy about it.  Many said they do not want a hand out, but finding a good paying job is hard.

Maine Doubles Down on Welfare Reform Despite Media Backlash.  Mary Mayhew, commissioner of Maine's Department of Health and Human Services, knows her politics aren't always popular.  "I can't stress enough what an attack campaign it has been from the media for four and a half years," Mayhew said Thursday [11/19/2015] at an anti-poverty forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Heritage Foundation. [...] Since [Governor Paul] LePage assumed the governorship, Maine has reduced enrollment in the state's food stamp program by over 58,000; currently, according to Mayhew, there are 197,000 people on food stamps, down from a high of 255,663 in February 2012.

Witness Their Entitled Reaction When Their Food Stamps Were Cancelled.  The entitlement culture has spiraled out of control during Obama's time in office.  Because of this, people are becoming so dependent on government handouts that they are literally helpless when it comes to an emergency.  They have no plan B, and no skill sets to survive through rough times... they literally stand around just hoping to out live the crisis with their rage and twisted sense of entitlement.

The Pentagon Admits It Is Preparing For a Mass Civil Breakdown in America.  This is an old story that has recently resurfaced — and it does make you think.  On the one hand, the Pentagon does need to be prepared for any contingency, including a breakdown of order in the country.  On the other hand, it makes you wonder if the Pentagon knows something we don't.

Pentagon Admits They Are Preparing For Mass Civil Breakdown.  A new US Department of Defense (DoD) research program admits that the Pentagon has long been concerned about widespread social break down.  Even more striking of an admission is the fact that they have been funding universities to create models of the dynamics, risks and tipping points that would all be part of large-scale civil unrest in the United States.

The Baltimore protests — are they really about the police?  Yesterday [4/25/2015], rioters damaged six police cars, shattered windows, and looted stores.  Some fans who attended the Baltimore Orioles game were attacked before the game.  During the latter stages of the game, the crowd was told to remain in the stadium because of the rioting.  The [Washington] Post's reporting suggests that, at root, the protests aren't about the police department (which, as noted, is not a White institution and almost certainly not a racist one).  One of the protest leaders said:  ["]Officials are not interested in bettering our neighborhoods.  People are tired of their quality of life, and they're frustrated nobody helps them.  They want to be heard, and they will do what it takes.["]  In other words, a population grown dependent on public officials is lashing out because said officials aren't helping them attain the quality of life they desire.

The 25 who stood against the Obama-Boehner Chess game should form their own party.  When the social security system crashes, those most affected will be the roughly 50 percent of Americans who've been getting by on Barack Obama's "free stuff".  Imagine the indignant cries from low-information voters who live from welfare check to welfare check being thrown off their feed bags.  Imagine the millions of illegal aliens who laughingly thought they had it made, just a couple of years later regretting having left the countries of their birth behind.  In other words, the unknowing millions riding Obama's coattails to the public teat, are about to be thrown off.  Exiting Stage Left, their hero won't need them anymore; their roles as useful idiots being no longer necessary.

The brakes are being applied very gently.
Michigan's Snyder signs welfare drug-testing bills.  Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed new legislation Friday [12/26/2014] to enact a drug-testing program for adult welfare recipients. [...] Welfare recipients or applicants suspected of drug use will be required to take a drug test.  Anyone who refuses to take the test will be suspended from welfare benefits for six months.

Leftist organizers are using Ferguson to rehearse the Big Ugly.  Deficit spending is a federal addiction.  Sooner or later, taken to the extreme, all unhindered addictions kill.  And Washington's deficit spending addition — practiced by both political parties — will bring significant consequences to the Welfare and the Warfare States.  The far-left social change enterprises are leaning into what they know will be a generational opportunity as the Welfare State begins to face significant downsizing.  Instead of signs reading "Justice For Michael Brown," they'll read "Justice For America's Poor."  "Poor Lives Matter" will replace "Black Lives Matter."  The marching chants of "This is what democracy looks like" will grow louder.  The Occupy Wall Street model will be replicated widely in the Big Blue Cities as stationary protests compliment mobile protests convened by social media — the new bullhorn of community organizers.

A morning-after lesson from Ferguson.  When the progressive welfare state goes broke, some large African-American neighborhoods in Big Blue Cities will be left to burn by the police.  On the morning after the Grand Jury No True Bill decision was announcement, it was clear that the policing authorities followed a planned, minimum-response strategy. They offered little resistance to looting and property destruction, perhaps in order to avoid bloodshed and media scrutiny.  The outcome:  On the morning after, there were few, if any, reports of serious injuries.  No media videos went viral showing police physically subduing looters.  No ambulances were filmed loading bleeding rioters or police.  Just the burned and broken evidence of an orgy of looting and property destruction.  The African-American communities in the Big Blue Cities should note the absence of law enforcement in Ferguson the night after the Grand Jury decision.  When the welfare state begins to dial-down, and the value of EBT cards atrophy, some of those neighborhoods will burn at the hands of their own thug-teens.  And policing authorizes will either be unwilling, or unable, to confront the lawlessness.

More about the Ferguson Missouri riots.

The end of the era of personal responsibility.  We are breeding a generation which is increasingly less self-reliant, while ushering in conditions which seem doomed to a disastrous collapse.  And what skills will the modern generation draw upon if they are thrust back into a life where the government can do little or nothing to save them?

EBT recipients in LA threaten riots after card outage.  Hat tip to a friend of mine, a New York Police Department detective, who sent this my way from Americanoverlook.com:  "Residents of Los Angeles' Skid Row threatened to riot this weekend because their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards stopped working temporarily.  The brief EBT card outage was the result of a routine back-up check on the vendor's Xerox Corp. systems.  The system began working shortly after it was restarted, however, California welfare recipients weren't happy about the inconvenience."

L.A. Welfare Recipients Threaten to Riot After EBT Card Outage.  Residents of Los Angeles' Skid Row threatened to riot this weekend because their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards stopped working temporarily.  The brief EBT card outage was the result of a routine back up check on the vendor's, Xerox Corp.'s systems.  The system began working shortly after it was restarted, however, California welfare recipients weren't happy about the inconvenience.  "My heart goes out to people who don't have food right now," one welfare recipient told the media.  Another man said, "We had to cancel a picnic today cause we were gonna use EBT cards to buy hamburgers and stuff."

The Editor says...
Those among us who live from one paycheck to the next are not planning wisely, but those who buy food at the last minute — at the expense of the taxpayers — are totally dependent on the government.  When the money runs out someday, and it will, they will be the first to riot in the streets and the first to starve.  They will have only themselves to blame.

Amnesty, American Values, and Economic Dependency.  Are the new American values having 50 percent of our population dependent on welfare while expecting a financial entitlement from the labor of the other 50% of the population who works hard to support them through burdensome taxation?  What are the children of the entitlement state, including illegal aliens, going to do when there are no more taxpayers to steal from?  Having escaped third world impoverished socialist countries, illegals come here not to assimilate into our culture but to demand "full communism because they value a fair society and social justice."

News bulletin:  When the payments stop, the parasites go back to work!
Economist: North Carolina unemployment drop may be tied to benefits changes.  The state's unemployment rate started the year as one of the highest in the country but has fallen two percentage points from a year ago to 7.4 percent in November, according to state commerce department data.  The state's unemployment rate is now .4 percentage points higher than the U.S. average, compared with 1.6 percentage points higher in November 2012.  In July, North Carolina decided to end federal extended unemployment benefits, a move that meant the loss of unemployment insurance payments for more than 70,000 North Carolinians.

Food Stamp Recipients Are About to See a Huge Cut in Benefits.  People who rely on food stamps to support their household budgets are going to get a 13 percent cut in their benefits on November 1, as a key provision in the 2009 stimulus expires.  But don't worry, low income people:  the USDA website has tips on how you can avoid debilitating malnutrition.

Nation headed over 'food stamp cliff'.  Millions of people are in for a shock at the end of the week when their food stamp benefits will be cut across the board. [...] Single adults will see their monthly benefits reduced to $189 per month, for a cut of $11.  "We have never seen a cut like this affecting all beneficiaries," said Lisa Davis of the food bank network Feeding America.

Computer Upgrade Blamed For Nationwide EBT System Shutdown On Saturday.  A possible glitch in a computer system upgrade was causing major problems nationwide with the Electronic Benefits Transfer System on Saturday, as a countless number of shoppers found themselves stranded at the register.  Reports from around the country began pouring in around 9 a.m. on Saturday [10/12/2013] that customers' EBT cards were not working in stores.

Food stamp debit cards working again after outage.  People in Ohio, Michigan and 15 other states found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards on Saturday, after a routine test of backup systems by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure.  Xerox announced late in the evening that access has been restored for users in the 17 states affected by the outage, hours after the first problems were reported.

Food stamp glitch leads to Wal-Mart stampede.  Wal-Mart stores in Springhill and Mansfield, La., saw a stampede and a shelf-clearing rush Saturday after a computer glitch for food stamp recipients led to benefit cards allowing unlimited purchases.  Police were called as entire shelves were being cleared out, until the glitch was fixed and low-income residents using the cards were no longer allowed to make purchases.

The Editor says...
This mob action is equivalent to looting.  This incident clearly shows that food stamp sponges have no self-discipline and no regard for the taxpayers who have to pay for their "free" stuff.  I suspect the news about the temporary EBT glitch was spread rapidly through the use of Obamaphones, thus compounding the insult.  On the other hand, that's what you get when you rely on bar codes and computers to determine the value of the products you sell.

EBT benefit card glitch sparks Walmart shopping sprees in Louisiana.  The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.  Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield confirmed to CBS affiliate KSLA that officers were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry.

Not all EBT card users joined in on "limitless" Walmart shopping spree.  In cell phone video that is circulating the Internet, several hundred people can be seen filling their shopping carts at Springhill and Mansfield Walmarts, when the stores apparently continued accepting EBT cards even though they weren't showing limits.  However, what can't be seen in those videos are the people who get food stamp assistance and chose not to abuse the system.

The Editor says...
No, not every welfare-state leech took advantage of the windfall, but presumably not everyone was aware of the situation.  The boast made in the headline above is a feeble attempt to look on the bright side of a very ominous anecdote.  While it is true that less than one hundred percent of welfare moochers are thieves, that's not saying much.

The Louisiana Heist.  On Saturday [10/12/2013], Louisiana's "EBT" system malfunctioned, causing spending limits on users' food-stamp cards temporarily to be lifted.  In two counties at least, recipients noticed the error, spread the word, and set about trying to check out as much as they could fit into shopping carts. At Walmarts in the towns of Springhill and Mansfield, employees called corporate headquarters to ask what they should do.  They were instructed to "keep the registers ringing."  This they did — and with a vengeance.  By the time that proper limits on the cards had been restored a couple of hours later, the shelves had been all but stripped bare.

The Editor says...
The government has the names and addresses of everyone who committed this fraud.  Why haven't the perpetrators been arrested?

When Parasites Attack.  EBT cards are run like credit cards to ensure the stores get paid, recipients don't purchase restricted items such as alcohol and tobacco and they stay within their monthly limit.  When the system went down there was no way for stores to ensure they'd be paid for their goods, so they stopped accepting the cards for a few days.  That meant EBT users either had to go without shopping for a couple of days or — gasp — use their own money for food purchases.  Two Walmart locations in Louisiana decided to be good community members and accept EBT cards "without limits," essentially on the honor system, to help users in a time of need.  That's right, Walmart.  The company routinely attacked by the Left for their greed, their pay and simply existing in a way they hate offered to help people.

The Editor says...
The honor system only works among honorable people, and honorable people do not take their grocery money out of other people's pockets.

Walmart food stamp bonanza proof of abused system.  A week ago, the technology that assessed spending limits on debit cards for food-stamp recipients malfunctioned.  As a result, there was no way for stores to tell how much value was left on individual cards.  Many merchants refused to accept the cards until the problem was fixed.  Not wanting to risk having anyone go hungry, Walmart allowed people to use the cards.  Unfortunately, the food-stamp recipients treated the stores' generosity as a bonanza, and filled carts with much more than they were entitled to.  As word got out, the two Walmarts quickly found themselves overwhelmed by other food-stamp recipients doing the same.

Even the slightest belt-tightening is met with derision.
House passes GOP plan for $39B cut in food stamps.  The House approved a Republican plan Thursday [9/19/2013] to cut food stamps by $39 billion during the next decade, setting up a showdown with Democrats over the program used by nearly 48 million low-income Americans.  The House voted 217-210 for the bill that cuts nearly twice as much from food stamps as a bill the House rejected in June.  It is also far more than a Senate measure passed earlier this year that would trim about $4.5 billion in spending.

Dems Lash Out at GOP After Narrow Food-Stamp Reform Victory.  Democrats accused Republicans of starving children, veterans, and seniors with the passage of a bill to reform the food stamp program to the tune of $39 billion in savings.  The Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act hit the House floor for a vote today under a sharply worded veto threat from the White House.

The Editor says...
The savings are projected to be $39 billion over the next ten years, and this assumes the food stamp program isn't (re-)expanded before ten years has elapsed.

NAACP prepares 9th protest over unemployment cuts.  The NAACP has scheduled a rally Monday behind the Legislative Building, followed by protests to highlight the first day federal unemployment benefits are cut off for 70,000 people.

The Post-Welfare State Family.  Among various unwanted truths that grown-ups of the Western world have to contend with these days, here's one that doesn't get nearly the traction it deserves:  The days of the modern welfare state look to be numbered.  Yet it's true.  Even the most redistributive president in history can't change the laws of arithmetic.

President Obama has set in motion forces that he can't handle.  This is the point:  a perfect storm is brewing.  I think we're heading for a chaotic and violent period in this country the likes of which no one alive today has ever witnessed.  If I'm right, conditions will be ideal for criminals to ply their craft, and President Obama is pushing for gun control at precisely the wrong moment.

Mark Levin: Obama Administration is Preparing for Economic and Social Collapse.  This topic has been right-wing blog-fodder for many months, but when the well respected Andrew Malcolm of Investor's Business Daily finally asked, Why are the feds loading up on so much ammo?  on Feb 8, syndicated radio talk show host, Mark Levin took notice. [...] When the welfare checks stop coming, when those EBT cards stop working, when the ObamaPhones turn off — what are those people going to do?  They are going to do what they always do.  Loot and riot in the streets.

Anticipating the Coming Convulsions as the Welfare State Dies.  It's already happening — the liberal dream of a perpetual social welfare state where deadbeat liberal constituencies feed off of the work of productive conservative citizens in perpetuity is dying.  There's no doubt about that; the only question left is how long and hard the process will be as the hideous leviathan the utopian liberal establishment has created convulses and dies.  It's going to die hard.  And ugly.

Thank a liberal for creating a legion of rioting dependents.
Rise of the goons.  Societies, especially America's, have created a shattered social system in which lawlessness and irresponsibility are excused by boneheaded liberals because they don't think government has provided enough for these supposedly disadvantaged and downtrodden people.  The shiftless, looting goons and their liberal allies think rich people should be taxed more, and more economic advantages must be provided to largely uneducated, unskilled, lazy, incompetent goons.

The wheels come off.  Listen carefully to those screams of outrage and sounds of shattering glass you hear wafting from the streets of Athens as rioters "protest" the end of an internationally funded gravy train:  This is what happens when an irresponsible government and a lazy, entitled public finally run out of other people's money.  Welcome to the beginning of the end of the welfare state.

Education Cutbacks and Urban Violence.  Bloated public education budgets in our large cities may be immune from serious cuts for an unpalatable reason:  the threat of urban violence. ... Difficult budgetary choices entail an element that dare not speak its name:  cutbacks may risk 1960s style riots, and these costs may far exceed temporary savings.  To be blunt, cities often solved riot problems via bloated education-related employment, and bereft of these jobs, cities may return to "long hot summers".

Promises and Riots:  You cannot have generous welfare state laws that allow people to retire on government pensions while they are in their 50s, in an era when most people live decades longer.  In the United States, that kind of generosity exists mostly for members of state government employees' unions — which is why some states are running out of money, and why the Obama administration is bailing them out, in the name of "stimulus."  Once you buy the idea that the government should be a sort of year-around Santa Claus, you have bought the kinds of consequences that follow.

Immoral Progressivism Failing Miserably.  In England, youths are rioting.  In Portugal, labor unions staged a national strike last Wednesday.  A little over a month ago, France and Greece were subjected to large, violent demonstrations and riots.  A common thread?  In each of these countries, the unrest was engendered by economic austerity measures proposed and/or enacted by government.  A far more salient common thread?  The morally corruptive nature of the progressivist ideology.

The disintegration of the welfare state.  [Scroll down]  "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb," Benjamin Franklin reputedly said, "voting on what to have for lunch."  Democratic self-deprecation isn't quite as funny as it once was.  Mobs have already taken to the venerable, iconic streets of European states, notably among them Greece, birthplace of Athenian democracy.  It's apparently easier to give wealth away than it is to take it back.  Democracy assembled the welfare state peaceably enough.  Can democracy dismantle it as peaceably?  No, it can't.  The mobs are not finished.

The End of Democratic Socialism.  The end of democratic socialism is at hand.  The welfare states of the U.S. and Europe are financially out of control, spent and unsustainable.  They have reached the point that Margaret Thatcher defined as the end of socialism:  They have run out of other people's money.  These areas of the world are about to change dramatically.

The Liberal Trilemma.  [Scroll down]  Liberals acquire and maintain political power by distributing privileges and bounties to their supporters.  When you decide to do that, you inevitably press the pedal to the metal on "democracy" and "national sovereignty."  And that means that you are bound to sacrifice individual and national prosperity on the altar of politics.  Sooner or later, you hit the wall.  Just like Greece.  In other words, under liberals, democracy means the out-and-out conversion of the limited constitutional state into a patronage state.

Fiscal Death by Welfare.  The welfare state is killing our nation.  Today entitlement spending makes up nearly half of our budget.  Long term, we know that there will be no way to pay off our unfunded obligations — we will go bankrupt.  There will be three options ultimately, though ultimately can come quite suddenly:  default, hyperinflation or abolition of the welfare state.

Greece and the Welfare State in Ruins.  Every advanced society, including the United States, has a welfare state.  Though details differ, their purposes are similar:  to support the unemployed, poor, disabled and aged.  All welfare states face similar problems:  burgeoning costs as populations age; an overreliance on debt financing; and pressures to reduce borrowing that create pressures to cut welfare spending.  High debt and the welfare state are at odds.  It's an open question whether the collision will cause social and economic turmoil.

The welfare state's death spiral.  What we're seeing in Greece is the death spiral of the welfare state.  This isn't Greece's problem alone, and that's why its crisis has rattled global stock markets and threatens economic recovery.  Virtually every advanced nation, including the United States, faces the same prospect.  Aging populations have been promised huge health and retirement benefits, which countries haven't fully covered with taxes.  The reckoning has arrived in Greece, but it awaits most wealthy societies.

Obama, the remaking of America, the reverie for a police state.  Nationalized health care is only the latest page in the ongoing saga of U.S. president Barak (sic) Obama's attempt to remake/reinvent America into a socialist utopia.  Without fail, an ever-vigilant, all-powerful central government with police state powers will also arise to assist in tending to the "needs" of the dependent population.  Almost unbelievably, a recent poll taken in Germany confirms that once dependency is bred into a people, the longing for security becomes so strong that a police state is preferred to the uncertainties of a free society.  This is a stark warning to Americans.

We Are NOT Entitled.  A county government official recently told me that just the "pension obligations owed to firefighters and police" were keeping him up at night.  One thing that so many large employers have in common — from car companies, to the U.S. Postal Service, to local governments — is massive pension obligation that are wreaking havoc on their bottom lines and threatening their viability.  But why should anyone be "entitled" to a pension?  The fact is, the vast majority of Americans have no access to a pension, do not expect one, and will never get one.

Eventually the gravy train runs out of gravy.
Jobless Angry at Possibility of No Benefits.  As governors in nine states, mostly in the South, consider rejecting millions of dollars in federal stimulus money for increased unemployment insurance, there is growing anger among the ranks of the jobless in those states that they could be left out of a significant government benefit.

Greece: Watching the Wheels Come Off.  Greece is a collapsing country.  Greece is experiencing the perfect financial, political and social storm:  all at the same time, state structures have to deal corruption and serious internal and foreign security problems.  It is the ultimate nightmare for every state.  Greek banks function not because they can, but because they have to.  The Greek state has stopped honoring its financial obligations toward private individuals and enterprises.  The state's revenue is enough only for civil servant salaries and pensions.  Greece's political system produces more laughter, more enemies and more entropy than it can deal with.

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Updated September 13, 2017.

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