Economic woes have forced at least one city agency into a hiring spree — adding more workers to process the demand for food stamps and other assistance.
The Human Resources Administration added more than 100 workers last July and plans to hire another 100 to serve the burgeoning number of New Yorkers applying for food stamps and rent assistance at their offices,according to the Daily News.
About 1.8 million New Yorkers are now on food stamps, which marks nearly a 65 percent increase from four years ago, according to city records. The increase in applicants has led to overcrowding at HRA offices throughout the city, and the agency said at a council hearing Tuesday that it had to hire scores of new workers and supervisors to manage the situation.
The HRA has also expanded its waiting rooms to accommodate the swell in applicants.
The city implemented a web-based food-stamp application program last year, but applicants still must be finger-printed at HRA centers before they can become eligible for benefits.
Just think: if everyone were on food stamps, then everyone would be equal, and there would be none of that nasty income inequality!
An Indian couple have had their children taken away by Norwegian social workers because they were feeding them with their hands and sleeping in the same bed as them.
Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya lost custody of their three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter eight months ago after authorities branded their behaviour inappropriate.
[…]Norwegian Child Protection Services removed the youngsters from their home in May, 2011, leaving their parents horrified with the outcome of the report.
Father Anurup told Indian television channel NDTV: ‘They told me ‘why are you sleeping with the children in the same bed?’.
‘(I told them) this is also a purely cultural issue. We never leave the children in another room and say goodnight to them.’
Anurup added: ‘Feeding a child with the hand is normal in Indian tradition and when the mother is feeding with a spoon there could be phases when she was overfeeding the child.
‘They said it was force feeding. These are basically cultural differences.’
[…]The parents have been told that they can only see their children twice a year, for an hour during each visit until the kids turn 18 when they will no longer be bound by the current restrictions under current Norwegian law.
Norway’s Child Protective Service has come under much scrutiny in the past for excessive behaviour in their handling of child cruelty.
Lawyer Svein Kjetil Lode Svendsen said: ‘There has been a report in UN in 2005 which criticized Norway for taking too many children in public care.
‘The amount was 12,500 children and Norway is a small country.’
With the Bhattacharyas’ visas set to expire in March, they have revealed that they will be forced to stay against their will until the return of their infants.
Norway is a welfare state with a big intrusive government and small citizens. But Norway isn’t the only European country that likes to seize children from their families.
A leader of Sweden’s Liberal Party last week called for a change in the country’s social services law so that the government can take children away from home-schooling families more easily by allowing social workers to do so.
The call for the change comes amidst already stringent penalties in Sweden for home schooling. The Home School Legal Defense Association and Alliance Defense Fund have applied to the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of one family whose child was abducted by the government in 2009 and have filed a brief in a Swedish appellate court on behalf of another family fined an amount equivalent to $26,000 U.S..
Liberal Party politician Lotta Edholm called for the change to the country’s social services law in a Jan. 10 column in Aftonbladet, a prominent Swedish newspaper. Edholm then wrote on her blog: “Today I write with Ann-Katrin Aslund on Aftonbladet’s debate page that the social services law should be amended so that social services are able to intervene when children are kept away from school by their parents—often for religious or ideological reasons.”
This kind of thing happens all the time in Europe. It happens in Germany. It happens in France. It happens in the UK. This is what secular leftists believe – that children are the property of the state, citizens of the world, and they should not be overly influenced by their parents. It’s the government’s job to decide what children will believe, not the parents. The parents are just there to work to pay the taxes for the public day cares, public schools and social workers.
Marriage is good for men, women, children–and society. Because of this simple fact, President George W. Bush has proposed a new pilot program to promote healthy marriage. Despite demonstrated evidence in every major social policy area of the need to rebuild a strong and healthy culture of marriage, President Bush’s new marriage initiative is still opposed by the extreme wing of feminism that sees no good in marriage or in unity between men and women, and between mothers and fathers.
Moderate, mainstream feminists have long rejected this animus against marriage; the vast majority of such feminists either are married or intend to marry. Mainstream feminists are focused on a worthy concern: removing obstacles to the advancement of women in all walks of life.
Radical feminists, however, while embracing this mainstream goal–even hiding behind it–go much further: They seek to undermine the nuclear family of married father, mother, and children, which they label the “patriarchal family.” As feminist leader Betty Friedan has warned, this anti-marriage agenda places radical feminists profoundly at odds with the family aspirations of mainstream feminists and most other American women.
The next part of the paper quotes from leading third-wave feminists who oppose marriage.
Here are some of the recent ones:
In her 1996 book In the Name of the Family: Rethinking Family Values in the Postmodern Age, Judith Stacey, Professor of Gender Studies and Sociology at the University of Southern California, consigned traditional marriage to the dustbin of history.36 Stacey contended that “Inequity and coercion…always lay at the vortex of that supposedly voluntary `compassionate marriage’ of the traditional nuclear family.”37 She welcomed the fact that traditional married-couple families (which she terms “The Family”) are being replaced by single-mother families (which she terms the postmodern “family of woman”):
Perhaps the postmodern “family of woman” will take the lead in burying The Family at long last. The [married nuclear] Family is a concept derived from faulty theoretical premises and an imperialistic logic, which even at its height never served the best interests of women, their children, or even many men…. The [nuclear married] family is dead. Long live our families!38
Stacey urged policymakers to abandon their concern with restoring marital commitment between mothers and fathers and instead “move forward toward the postmodern family regime,” characterized by single parenthood and transitory relationships.39
In 1996, Claudia Card, professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, continued the attack:
The legal rights of access that married partners have to each other’s persons, property, and lives makes it all but impossible for a spouse to defend herself (or himself), or to be protected against torture, rape, battery, stalking, mayhem, or murder by the other spouse…. Legal marriage thus enlists state support for conditions conducive to murder and mayhem.40
Other radical feminists suggested that a culture of self-sufficiency and high turnover in intimate relationships is the key to independence and protection from hostile home life. Activist Fran Peavey, in a 1997 Harvard article ironically titled “A Celebration of Love and Commitment,” suggested that “Instead of getting married for life, men and women (in whatever combination suits their sexual orientation) should sign up for a seven-year hitch. If they want to reenlist for another seven, they may, but after that, the marriage is over.”41 Also in 1997, radical feminist author Ashton Applewhite, in her book Cutting Loose–Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well proclaimed: “Women who end their marriages are far better off afterward.”42
Another feminist widely read during the 1990s was Barbara Ehrenreich, a former columnist with Time magazine who now writes for The Nation.43 Throughout her work, Ehrenreich extols single parenthood and disparages marriage. Divorce, she argues, produces “no lasting psychological damage” for children. What America needs is not fewer divorces but more “good divorces.”44 Rather than seeking to strengthen marriage, policymakers “should concentrate on improving the quality of divorce.”45 In general, Ehrenreich concludes that single parenthood presents no problems that cannot be solved by much larger government subsidies to single parents.46
Ehrenreich writes enthusiastically about efforts to move beyond the narrow limits of the nuclear married family toward more rational forms of human relationship:
There is a long and honorable tradition of “anti-family” thought. The French philosopher Charles Fourier taught that the family was a barrier to human progress; early feminists saw a degrading parallel between marriage and prostitution. More recently, the renowned British anthropologist Edmund Leach stated, “far from being the basis of the good society, the family with its narrow privacy and tawdry secrets, is the source of all discontents.”47
While Ehrenreich recognizes that men and women are inevitably drawn to one another, she believes male-female relationships should be ad hoc, provisional, and transitory. She particularly disparages the idea of long-term marital commitment between fathers and mothers. In the future, children will be raised increasingly by communal groups of adults.48 These children apparently will fare far better than those raised within the tight constraints of the nuclear married family “with its deep impacted tensions.”49
The paper goes on to explain how these messages have entered into college textbooks. College textbooks used in classes where young women are expected to agree with the textbooks in order to get their good grades. This is what your children will learn. It’s not what you think feminism is that matters – it’s what they think feminism is. And what they think is what the textbooks tell them to think – or else they get drummed out of the university. This is where the 42% out-of-wedlock birth rate came from. And why our children are growing up without fathers, and growing further and further away from God. Marriage is bad (apparently) because husbands and their traditional roles are bad. So what men for? Sperm-donors and wallets. Men understand this and so we don’t marry.
Do you ever wonder why we have things like no-fault divorce, abortion, co-habitation, hooking-up, in vitro fertilization, socialism, welfare, and so on? It’s because of feminism. Feminism is anti-marriage. Should women now complain about men not being willing to marry and commit? Of course not. So long as women support feminism, by voting for feminists like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, then marriage will decline. If women don’t like men and don’t care about what men want and think men are evil then they should not expect men to accept their traditional roles as protectors and providers and moral/spiritual leaders. Don’t complain that there are no men around who will marry you. Of course there aren’t – because ideas have consequences. Feminism has consequences.
For many liberal women, Palin threatens their sexual identity, which is bound up with their politics in a way that it is not for any other group (possibly excepting gays, though that is unrelated to today’s topic).
An important strand of contemporary liberalism is feminism. As a label, “feminist” is passé; outside the academic fever swamps, you will find few women below Social Security age who embrace it.
That is because what used to be called feminism–the proposition that women deserve equality before the law and protection from discrimination–is almost universally accepted today. Politically speaking, a woman is the equal of a man. No woman in public life better symbolizes this than Sarah Palin–especially not Hillary Clinton, the left’s favorite icon. No one can deny Mrs. Clinton’s accomplishments, but neither can one escape crediting them in substantial part to her role as the wife of a powerful man.
But there is more to feminism than political and legal equality. Men and women are intrinsically unequal in ways that are ultimately beyond the power of government to remediate. That is because nature is unfair. Sexual reproduction is far more demanding, both physically and temporally, for women than for men. Men simply do not face the sort of children-or-career conundrums that vex women in an era of workplace equality.
Except for the small minority of women with no interest in having children, this is an inescapable problem, one that cannot be obviated by political means. Aspects of it can, however, be ameliorated by technology–most notably contraception, which at least gives women considerable control over the timing of reproduction.
As a political matter, contraception is essentially uncontroversial today, which is to say that any suggestion that adult women be legally prevented from using birth control is outside the realm of serious debate. The same cannot be said of abortion, and that is at the root of Palinoia.
To the extent that “feminism” remains controversial, it is because of the position it takes on abortion: not just that a woman should have the “right to choose,” but that this is a matter over which reasonable people cannot disagree–that to favor any limitations on the right to abortion, or even to acknowledge that abortion is morally problematic, is to deny the basic dignity of women.
To a woman who has internalized this point of view, Sarah Palin’s opposition to abortion rights is a personal affront, and a deep one. It doesn’t help that Palin lives by her beliefs. To the contrary, it intensifies the offense.
It used to be a trope for liberal interviewers to try to unmask hypocrisy by asking antiabortion politicians–male ones, of course–what they would do if their single teen daughters got pregnant. It’s a rude question, but Palin, whose 17-year-old daughter’s pregnancy coincided with Mom’s introduction to the nation, answered it in real life.
Let me explain what I think the problem is in plain English. Feminists want to blame their failures on the men. They have invested everything in the belief that the world is inhospitable to women. The only way for women to succeed according to feminism, is to whine and complain and be a victim, and to make yourself into a man and deny your femininity and kill your own offspring. Sarah Palin didn’t do any of that. Yet she was very nearly Vice President. She doesn’t hate men, and she doesn’t kill babies. Her success is the counter-example that shows that all of feminism is just self-serving lies that feminists invent in order to blame men for their own failure to succeed, marry and have children. THAT is why they hate Sarah Palin. They hated Bush because he was a Christian, and they hate Palin because she is pro-male, pro-marriage, and pro-life.
And as you all know, I do not want Palin to be President in 2012. I want Michele Bachmann to President in 2012, who, as a homeschooling mother, is the stronger purer form of what Sarah Palin represents. She’s 100% feminity wedded to 100% conservatism. She is a walking refutation of feminist griveance-mongering. You don’t have to be a feminist in order to succeed as a woman. You don’t have to hate men. You don’t have to hate marriage. And you don’t have to kill children. You can love men, love marriage, and love children, and you can still go straight to the top.
Taranto is very close to something here, and I wonder if he doesn’t push the argument to its logical conclusion because he is afraid that he would be denounced by hysterical women — yes, even Republican women, even some “conservative” women — if he spoke the blunt truth.
One of the necessary consequences of the Modern Professional Feminist Career Woman Lifestyle is that it tends to limit women’s procreative capacity. It isn’t merely that feminism’s embrace of the Culture of Death elevates abortion to sacramental status. Rather, it is that feminist notions of Progress require that women foresake (or at least postpone) the love-marriage-motherhood model of happiness in pursuit of careerist equality. Even if a woman does not actually go all-out in following the anti-phallocratic ideology — “Feminism is the theory; lesbianism is the practice,” to quote Ti-Grace Atkinson — her pursuit of the career woman lifestyle inevitably restricts her reproductive opportunities.
By the time she finishes college and grad school and establishes herself firmly en route to an upper-middle-class socioeconomic future, the the Modern Professional Feminist Career Woman is 30 or older. Even if she could meet Mister Right, she’s not going to abandon her career — for she has been taught to consider life meaningless without a professional career — in favor of domesticity. Ergo, even if she marries and decides she can afford a baby, she’ll have to hire someone to raise it for her while she returns to the job from which she derives her sense of purpose and identity.
He’s one of the few bloggers who gets deep into these moral issues. All my Christian readers should bookmark his blog.
An analysis of 98 couples with different earnings and numbers of children carried out by the charity Care showed that 76 of the couples would be better off if they split up and claimed welfare benefits that average £8007. Increasingly it is middle-income families where both parents work that suffer this “couple penalty”.
[…]Many do stay single — but they have children anyway, which entitles them to tax credits that take account of only one working adult per household.
Last year Labour MP Frank Field calculated that a single mother on the minimum wage with two children under eleven would get a weekly income of £487 if she worked 16 hours a week. A two-parent family with one earner would have to put in 116 hours of work on the same pay to get the same money.
It would be a poor sort of marriage that could break under the “pressure” of the partners receiving less in the way of tax breaks than the solo mum down the road (who has other disadvantages, to be sure) — as the Daily Mail suggests — but the messages being sent out are certainly not supportive of marriage as the best environment for children growing up.
The Conservative Party has promised to give back tax breaks to married couples.
This is how big government discourages marriage. The left-wing parties get elected by promising to help the poor. They help the poor by confiscating the wealth from married couples and giving it to single mothers. People see this wealth redistribution, and they stop marrying in order to get more money for doing less work. The children suffer from being raised without a father. This is called “compassion”.
Christians! Stop being ignorant! If you want to do some good in the world, do it with your own money. Don’t give it to a secular government who will try to solve the problem without any awareness of the moral law or human nature. Secular-left elites can’t solve social problems because they have no wisdom. Solve the problem yourself!