I’ve always said that my liberatarian instincts can be directly traced back to the two years I spent as grocery store cashier

Yesterday at the Bi-Lo, man in front of me in line.  He walked through with no apparent disability. 

He purchased trout, catfish, perch, and a bakery pie. 

I bought frozen vegetables (generic and bulk), a tiny can of mushrooms, cheapest variety, eggs (generic and in bulk), and,  as a treat to be put into a cobbler, four fall apples. 

He refused the cashiers attempt to provide him with a shopper’s discount card, despite her assertion that it was free. 

I keep mine right on my keychain and presented it eagerly. 

I paid with my Visa.  He presented a government benefits card. 

I completed four years of college, on my own financing, and three long years of law school, for which I will continue paying for years to come.  Maybe he did the same. 

But I doubt it. 

And now, Amy Alkon tells me that welfare is losing its stigma.

Update: The New York Times has more on lost stigma for food stamps.


Is Porn a Dangerous Job?

Feminist Law Professors bemoans a recent outbreak of HIV among porn actors, citing 16 previously unreported cases in Los Angeles County in the last 5 years, for a total of 22. 

Ann Bartow, the author of the piece, approaches it from, of course, a feminist perspective.  But, what I would like to know is what happens if we just look at it from a dangerous jobs perspective.  I am loath to google the number of porn actors and actresses in Los Angeles County, so I’m going to keep this hypothetical. 

No one can claim that porn actors don’t know the risks that they are signing up for, particularly when they choose to work bareback.  How does this number, as a percentage of the total number of workers, compare to deaths (to take it to extremes, since how often do we hear now that HIV is not a death sentence?) in other dangerous jobs, such as military, firefighters, commercial fishermen, police officers, oil rig workers, etc.? 

Of course, I guess one has to bear in mind that most of the people who die or are seriously injured doing those jobs are men.