Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tabs of Righteousness

The browser is about to explode once again, so I thought I would post a few.

First, there's this beautiful bit of sarcasm:

I failed once again at finding the original source. It seems to have been everywhere last Friday. Spreading from a post on Reddit, I believe, but not original to that poster.

Next: What Americans Keep Ignoring about Finland's School Success (from the Atlantic). Hint: It has something to do with private schools.

Another piece of Tim Minchin brilliance, this time about whether we are destined to be in our long-term relationships:

If you heard about the "three great teachers" story last week, here's a deconstruction of the research, showing it's just another bunch of cherry-picking. Not that I don't believe great teachers can make a difference; just that this research doesn't demonstrate it. (And here are Diane Ravitch's thoughts on the study, too.)

Take the quiz: Cop or Soldier? The best demonstration I've seen of the militarization of American police.

I've been trying to figure out something to say about a series of facts that were cited in a recent Watchdog article from the Pioneer Press, concerning a woman who was denied Social Security disability:

Out of more than 3 million initial applications nationwide in fiscal year 2010..., 35 percent were approved. Of more than 700,000 reconsiderations, 13 percent were approved. Of more than 600,000 hearing decisions, 62 percent were approved.... And of the 83,000 claimants who went to the appeals council, 2 percent were approved.

Overall, 52 percent of those who started applications in 2007 had been approved by 2010.
3 million is more than 1 percent of the U.S. adult population. Filing for disability in a single year. And half of the applicants will eventually be approved. Every year.

Here's a chart from the Social Security Administration showing the rise in the number of people getting disability benefits through the SSA between 1970 and 2010. Based on the Watchdog's stats, it sounds like that trend line will be going upward even more rapidly.

I don't begrudge anyone these benefits. I just think it's amazing how many people aren't able to work, and how their existence is completely ignored by the fans of bootstrap pulling.

Update: Oh, and I almost forgot this slap-in-the-face photo mashup by Boing Boing's Rob Beschizza:

Photo composite of Mitt Romneys hair, forehead and ears with Barack Obama's face, skin tone adjusted to Obama's

No comments: