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Posts Tagged ‘entitlement’

The latest refugee rights demand: free WiFi and maid service

Posted by Richard on December 25, 2015

You know those African and Middle Eastern refugees flooding into Europe to escape poverty, war, oppression, or death (take your pick)? Some of them are outraged at the lack of amenities in the Italian villa (!) where they’re housed:

According to The Local, which cites the Italian-language La Repubblica, a group of two dozen Sub-Saharan African migrants in the town of Ceranova are outraged that a lack of free Wi-Fi at the villa they live in is preventing them from using Skype to communicate with family members back in Africa.

The protesters are also angry that the villa doesn’t have a professional cleaner to keep things tidy.

Sounds like they’re assimilating already. They’ve certainly embraced the European entitlement mentality.


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Power corrupts, and so does entitlement mentality

Posted by Richard on March 28, 2014

In case you haven’t seen details about Leland Yee’s arrest in the news, you can catch up with Anti-gun CA state senator charged with firearms trafficking, corruption (posted yesterday). MSM coverage seems to be scant. Despite the fact that we’ve been bombarding @CNN with tweets about their lack any mention, as of this writing a search at CNN for “Leland Yee arrested” returns the message “Your search leland yee arrested did not match any documents.”

Yee is the third liberal Democrat state legislator arrested on corruption charges in California in the past year. In an excellent column, Eric Golub attributes this to two reasons. The first has to do with power:

While corruption knows no ideology, it is more than a coincidence that liberal Democrats in very progressive areas are the ones who keep getting accused of breaking the law. In California, Democrats control everything. The Democratic Party’s veto-proof majority gives them absolute power.

Lord Acton’s maxim about absolute power corrupting absolutely has rung true again.

Los Angeles and San Francisco are liberal cities, with San Francisco being a haven for hard-left policies. When no one is able or willing to challenge the dominant ideology, corruption is bound to set in as it does in third world dictatorships.

States where Republicans control everything tend to see fewer Democrats getting into trouble.

The second reason has to do with entitlement:

… the Democratic Party has become the party of entitlement; California epitomizes that entitlement mentality. When people believe they are entitled to things, greed sets in.

California is where liberal Democrat Sandra Fluke is running for a Los Angeles Senate seat so she and her fellow feminists can receive the free birth control they are entitled to. California is where liberal Democrat San Diego Mayor Bob Filner was forced out after a lifetime of sexually abusing women — the epitome of a man with an entitlement mentality.

While Fluke has not broken any laws, her behavior is similar to Filner’s. Other people have stuff they want, so they think it is just acceptable to take it.

When people believe that their right to have stuff trumps the law, laws will be broken. Wright, Calderon and Yee were just behaving the way many other people representing their ideology continue to behave.


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Welfare payments for booze, broads, and slots

Posted by Richard on November 8, 2010

It's called the Food Assistance Program. Back in the old days, beneficiaries received Food Stamps — pieces of paper that vaguely resembled Monopoly money, which they could use at grocery stores to pay for their purchases. Some years ago, the Food Stamp booklets were replaced by EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards, which are essentially debit cards.

In Colorado, they're called Quest cards, and supermarkets and convenience stores have signs stating that Quest cards are welcome. But those aren't the only places they're welcome, according to a 7News investigation:

 Colorado welfare recipients have been able to withdraw thousands of tax dollars at casinos, liquor stores and even a Glendale strip club, a CALL7 Investigation found.

CALL7 Investigators looked into a database of ATM withdrawals over 12 months by people who have the state public assistance electronic benefit cards and matched it to the addresses of liquor stores, casinos and strip bars. The analysis found that nearly $10,000 of taxpayer-funded welfare money has been taken out at the questionable locations.

"I don't think there's any question of what you revealed here in your research and your investigation points to real abuses of the system," said Penn Pfiffner, a former state legislator and Colorado Union of Taxpayers board member. "This is outrageous behavior."

Investigator Tony Kovaleski questioned why the state hasn't blocked the use of Quest cards at ATMs in liquor stores, casinos, and strip clubs. California blocked access at casinos and on cruise ships a while back, and recently expanded the ban so the cards no longer work in "psychic parlors, tattoo parlors, pot dispensaries, bail bond establishments, or bingo halls."

But I have a more basic question: why do Quest cards work in ATMs at all? Blocking access to cash in a liquor store or strip club ATM just tells the cardholder he or she has to stop at the bank or convenience store ATM before buying booze or getting a lap dance. That may improve appearances, but it has no substantive effect. 

Back in the days of Food Stamps, they could only be used at groceries and only for approved items. I wondered when that had changed, so I checked the Colorado Dept. of Human Services FAQ for the Food Assistance Program. It says: 

Households CAN buy foods such as: breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.

Households CANNOT buy any nonfood items such as: beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, tobacco, pet foods, soaps, paper products, household supplies, toothpaste, cosmetics, vitamins, medicines, foods that can be eaten in the store and hot foods.

Food assistance benefits cannot be exchanged for cash.

Cannot be exchanged for cash? Then why do they work in ATMs??

Clearly, there's something fundamentally wrong here. Maybe the CDHS staff just isn't aware that Quest cards work in a way that's contrary to their own usage regulations. Maybe this is all news to them. 

Um, no. They not only have known about it forever, they're determined to preserve the status quo, usage regulations be damned: 

Colorado Department of Human Service officials said they have known for years that the money was being withdrawn at questionable locations but did nothing to stop it.

"Should you be preventing this type of access at liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs?" Kovaleski asked.

"I think it's important that clients be able to access benefits easily, and they are allowed to do it at those locations," said Pauline Burton, who heads the public assistance division at CDHS.

Notice the phrase "access benefits," which neatly obscures the distinction between using the cards to get food and using them to get cash — the latter of which is explicitly prohibited by their own rules. Which they've apparently deliberately made it easy to circumvent.

Pfiffner said it is important that the state reprogram the cards so they are turned down at liquor stores, casinos and bars, but Burton did not agree.

"So this kind of activity has been going on for four or five years and you are doing nothing about it," Kovaleski asked.

"We've been monitoring it and seen it happen for four or five years, yes," Burton said.

"And you have changed nothing?" Kovaleski asked.

"Access continues to be allowed," Burton said.

I disagree with Penn Pfiffner. The state shouldn't just "reprogram the cards" so they can't be used in ATMs at certain locations. The state should simply stop allowing the cards to be used to withdraw cash at ATMs, period — regardless of their location.

Better yet, the state should stop subsidizing (and thus encouraging) irresponsible behavior, dependency, and helplessness, and leave assistance to the truly needy to private charities using voluntary donations, not coerced tax dollars, and thus much more careful about whom the assistance goes to and how it's used. 

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Louis CK on Conan

Posted by Richard on February 27, 2009

I wish everyone in the country would watch this 4-minute bit by comedian Louis CK from the Conan O'Brien show. Especially everyone under 40, every ingrate with a sense of entitlement, and every "non-contributing zero" (there's a fair amount of overlap in those categories).

Honestly, though, we're all guilty sometimes of failing to appreciate the amazing world in which we live, and Louis CK offers the comedic equivalent of the slap upside the head that we deserve at those times. Very funny and very true — which is better than either alone.

(YouTube link

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