social welfare


Calm Bottle (aka Glitter Jar, aka Mind Jar)


  • Container: This is typically made with a glass mason jar, but since I often make these with children I use water bottles with smooth sides.
  • One bottle of clear glue (not white glue that dries clear), or glitter glue: I like using regular glue so I don’t have to deal with the hot water since I make these in my office. Glue/glitter glue works best, but you could also use corn syrup if that’s all you have (You have to pour it directly in the water without letting it touch the sides of the bottle or the glitter will stick to it).
  • Water: It can be room temperature if you use regular glue but should be hot if glitter glue is used. If the water is not hot enough then the glitter will become clumpy and separate.
  • Glitter: I use mostly super fine glitter with a little regular sized. I sometimes add sequins, beads, shells, plastic jewels, etc. Glow in the dark glitter looks really cool if you can find it. Less (or even none) is needed if glitter glue was used.
  • Food coloring: This is optional. Only use one drop or it becomes difficult to see the glitter.
  • Strong glue or duct tape: This is used to fasten the lid to the container. I like using colored duct tape.


  • Making a Calm Bottle (clear glue): Fill the bottle ¾ of the way full with water. Then add the glue (and shake) and glitter (and shake). I use a funnel for the glitter. The more glue you use, the longer it will take the glitter to settle. I usually use the whole bottle. Add 1 drop of food coloring, if desired, and then glue/tape the lid on.
  • Making a Calm Bottle (glitter glue): Instead of clear glue you can use glitter glue. If you go this rout then mix the glitter glue in a bowl with very hot water (I boil the water) before adding it to the bottle. If the water is not hot enough then the glue will clump up and not work. You can add 1 drop of food color and additional glitter is desired.
  • Using a Calm Bottle: This is a sensory activity that I primarily use with clients who have temper tantrums. If child becomes emotionally dysregulated at an inappropriate time they shake the bottle vigorously and then set it down and watch the glitter fall while taking deep breaths (how to teach deep breathing to children can be found here) and sitting with their anger (Ahn’s Anger is a good book for teaching this).  This is also useful as a timer that can be applied to a variety of issues (ex. homework breaks).
  • Important Note: I have noticed many people using these for anxiety and panic attacks (without the guidance of a therapist) and I wanted to emphasize that while this could be useful in certain specific situations, it should not be used to avoid dealing with underlying issues.  This exercise will do nothing to get to the root cause or prevent it from happening in the future (and has the potential to make things worse).  Fear must be confronted, rather than avoided, for lasting change to take place.  
  • Click here for a full video tutorial made by an ASMR follower.

States Spend Hundreds Of Thousands On Welfare Drug Testing, Turn Up Barely Anything

As state legislatures convene across the country, proposals keep cropping up to drug test applicants to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, or welfare. Bills have been introduced so far in Montana, Texas, and West Virginia, with a handful of others also considering such a move. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ® has gone further, proposing to drug test applicants for food stamps and unemployment benefits. They follow recent bills put into action in Maine, Michigan, and Mississippi.

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A new study by the Agriculture Department has found that food stamps, one of the country’s largest social safety net programs, reduced the poverty rate substantially during the recent recession. The food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, reduced the poverty rate by nearly 8 percent in 2009, the most recent year included in the study, a significant impact for a social program whose effects often go unnoticed by policy makers.

The true face of social services.

For all we know, the client in question could be disabled or on medication that makes it difficult for them to wake up easily. They could have worked late at their job and been dead tired. Even if that’s not the case with that particular client, how many more clients does this disgusting dude take pleasure in denying food who do have these issues? And how does the DSS get away with calling people at 7am on a Saturday when it’s illegal for telemarketers to even do that??

This guy works at the Springfield, Mo DSS, a place I myself am all too familiar with (though I no longer live in the area). This only confirms what most people living there have already assumed for years: these social workers do not care about the people in their community who need assistance!

I encourage everyone who cares about the dignity of people in poverty to speak up by contacting the Missouri Department of Social Services about this matter:

Address: 101 Park Central Square, Springfield, MO 65806 Phone:(417) 895-6000 Twitter: @MissouriDSS Facebook: Mo DSS

Although a notorious recipient of “corporate welfare,” Walmart has now admitted that their massive profits also depend on the funding of food stamps and other public assistance programs.

In their annual report, filed with the Security and Exchange Commission last week, the retail giant lists factors that could potentially harm future profitability. Listed among items such as “economic conditions” and “consumer confidence,” the company writes that changes in taxpayer-funded public assistance programs are also a major threat to their bottom line.

The company writes:

Our business operations are subject to numerous risks, factors and uncertainties, domestically and internationally, which are outside our control … These factors include … changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement[al] Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans …

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, is notorious for paying poverty wages and coaching employees to take advantage of social programs. In many states, Walmart employees are the largest group of Medicaid recipients.

However, this report is the first public acknowledgement of the chain’s reliance on the funding of these programs to sustain a profit.

American Capitalism™


“The IRS turned over to congress most of Lois Lerner’s emails. You rarely hear that in news reports; they turned over most of her emails, including ALL of the emails from the period that congress is most interested in: the months preceding and the months during the last [2012] presidential campaign.

How many of Lois Lerner’s emails have been turned over to the House of Representatives?

The answer is 67,000 emails, but America mostly does not know that because the news media simply doesn’t have the time to add a sentence about those 67,000 emails in their IRS scandal stories.

Another fact rarely included in the news reports of the IRS news scandal is that not one Republican political group that applied for 501c4 status was denied 501c4 status. Not one Republican application was denied. The one political organization that managed to somehow get denied 501c4 status was a liberal organization called Emerge America. For most of the American news media that remains one of the secret facts of the IRS scandal.”

[Excerpts from The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell]

More than half of low-wage workers employed by the largest U.S. fast-food restaurants earn so little that they must rely on public assistance to get by, according to a study released on Tuesday.

This ends up costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars a year, the study said.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and public benefit programs show 52 percent of fast-food cooks, cashiers and other “front-line” staff had relied on at least one form of public assistance, such as Medicaid, food stamps and the Earned Income Tax Credit program, between 2007 and 2011, researchers at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Illinois said.

The Berkeley study was sponsored by the two universities and received funding from the pro-labor organization Fast Food Forward.

In a concurrent report which drew from some of the same data, the pro-labor National Employment Law Project found that the 10 largest fast-food companies in the United States cost taxpayers more than $3.8 billion each year in public assistance because the workers do not make enough to pay for basic necessities themselves.

“It doesn’t matter whether you work or shop at McDonald’s or not, the low-wage business model is expensive for everybody,” said NELP policy analyst Jack Temple, who worked on the report. “Companies … are basically pushing off part of their costs on the taxpayers.”

People Support Social Welfare When They’re Hungry Themselves

It’s hard to know how to feel about Obamacare right now.

One one hand, there’s outrage at stories that like that of San Francisco resident Lee Hammack and his wife, JoEllen Brothers, two middle-income people who had their affordable, comprehensive Kaiser plan cancelled and can only obtain a much less generous policy on the exchange, and without the help of the much-touted subsidies. At the same time, it’s heartening that people like Kentucky resident David Elson, who can’t afford to refill his diabetes prescriptions, keeps his unpaid medical bills in a cardboard box, and suffers from severe eye bleeding, can finally get some treatment.

The cancellations are part of a somewhat uncomfortable fact: Obamacare will, in some form or another, redistribute wealth. The reason the San Francisco couple, and so many people who previously went without insurance, have to buy new insurance is that they’re subsidizing sicker people on the private market. Richer Americans are also being taxed more to cover some of the costs of Obamacare’s other provisions.

Obviously, people whose insurance plans are being cancelled are (understandably) enraged and are more likely to hate the Affordable Care Act as a result. However, only between 2 and 4 percent of people are expected to be these kinds of “losers” under the law.

So what about the rest of us? Should we feel happy for Elson, or sad for Hammack and Brothers? Should we dance on the grave of the former individual market, which wantonly discriminated against the sick in favor of the healthy, or mourn it?

Our upbringing, background, and wealth clearly influence whether we support redistributive policies, but interesting new research shows that, when it comes to supporting social welfare programs, not just our ideologies, but our physiologies, play a role.

Read more. [Image: jontintinjordan/flickr]

Poverty up 30.5% for Americans age 18-64 after 48 years of "war on poverty"

After spending $15 trillion, how’s that war on poverty working out? Not so well.

from CNS:

The percentage of 18- to 64-year olds who live below the poverty level has increased 30.5% since 1966, two years after Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We have declared unconditional war on poverty. Our objective is total victory. I believe that 30 years from now Americans will look back upon these 1960s as the time of the great American Breakthrough toward the victory of prosperity over poverty,” said then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

According to a House Budget Committee Report, the federal government spent $799 billion on 92 programs to combat poverty: $100 billion on food aid; $200 billion spent on cash aid; $90 billion on education and job training; $300 billion on health care; and $50 billion on housing, in fiscal year 2012 alone.

According to the Census, there were 26,497,000, or 13.7% of 18- to 64-year olds, living below the poverty level in 2012. In 1966, the same age group reported 10.5% – 11,007,000 people out of 105,241,000 – living below the poverty level.

This means that since 1966 the percentage of 18- to 64-year olds living in poverty has increased 30.5% – from 10.5% to 13.7%. The Census did not report data for this age group in years 1965 and 1964.

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The numbers don’t lie.  Social welfare programs don’t work. 

When you subsidize something, you get more of it. When you subsidize apples, you get more apples. When you subsidize unemployment, you get more unemployment. When you subsidize poverty, guess what. You get more poverty. You can deny this if you’d like. You can demonize those who say it, you can close your eyes and ears and ignore it, you can even pretend it’s not true. But it’s the truth.

Throwing money at poverty doesn’t alleviate poverty. Jobs eliminate poverty.

I see this shit every few months. I just don’t know how to fucking respond at this point. 

I’m assuming a roundhouse kick to the face isn’t an option?

Direct them to this link. It has facts!

Not only are TANF benefits low, but they also do less to help families out of extreme poverty than they did in 1996. In 2010, some 29 states have benefit levels below 30 percent of the FPL, nearly twice as many as had benefits below 30 percent of the poverty line in 1996. Moreover, in all but three states, a poor family relying solely on TANF to provide the basics for its children (such as during a period of joblessness, illness, or disability) is further below the poverty line today than in 1996.

And even charts!

This mythical “welfare queen” who lives luxuriously solely off of government benefits, has five kids to get more money and wears Prada to the grocery store where she uses her food stamps? She doesn’t exist.

Are there people who abuse government welfare programs? Probably, but I’m willing to let that happen if it means people can eat and have electricity.


Social work! I had an aunt that did social work, and she used to go and peek into people’s kitchen closets to see if they had oranges or if they had a chicken in their refrigerators. My mother always said, ‘Why can’t you be a social worker like Auntie Ida?’ I said, 'And peek into people’s refrigerators? Look, mom. I don’t care what people have. Everybody has the right to have oranges. Everybody has the right to have a chicken. I’m not going to be the one to tell them they can’t have.

Irene Irving Paull in the 1930s, criticizing the state of social activism towards the poor [x].

It’s interesting that not much has changed, except for what we consider “luxuries” that the poor do not deserve: replace oranges with soda and chicken with steak, and you get an argument that is still commonly repeated today. 


One of the most pressing social issues in Slovakia is the widely held public opinion that Roma families are abusing the social system. This perception can be difficult to combat since Slovakia doesn’t track beneficiaries by ethnicity. Yet, as in so many cases, the best way to refute this assumption is with hard data.

Through our analysis of this data, we came to the conclusion that the Roma issue is primarily a social problem, not a fiscal one. Spending on Roma districts contributes to only 2.2 percent of public expenditures (€578 million), and families with more than three children receive less than €27 million per year in material need allowances—a sum equal to the funding earmarked for the construction of a national football stadium.

DSWD Needs Volunteers for Typhoon Pedring Victims - the agency needs some helping hands to repack and distribute goods to the affected families and inviduals. For those who wants to extend help, you can go directly to the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) at the NAIA Chapel Road, Pasay City (beside Airport Police Department & back of Air Transportation Office) to carry on with the voluntary service. Contact numbers are: 852-8081 and 851-2681.