Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monday Miscellanea, on Wednesday

Wanna know what conservatives think about unemployed people? The Rachel Maddow show featured a number of clips of conservative politicians talking about them. Some real winners:

Rep. Dan Heller (R-Nevada): "Is the government now creating hobos?"

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah): "You know, we should not be giving cash to people who basically are just going to blow it on drugs."

The irony is that those conservatives who call for austerity measures are straight-up proposing that we lay off more people. And laying people off results in more unemployed people. Who are no doubt lazy slobs who are addicted to drugs and don't take care of their own children, which is how they got unemployed to begin with, right? If your head is spinning it's just because you've experienced a spectacular instance or circular reasoning.

Anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune has been given a two-year prison sentence, suspended for five years, by a Japanese court. In spite of such legal problems, activists successfully cut the whalers catch in half this year. Meanwhile, whale meat from the "research" continues to be sold and consumed in the US and Korea, among other nations.

The pope has made some revisions to church policy on the handling of sex-offender priests, extending the statute of limitations, among other things. For the most part the revisions seem to be a step forward. But Barbara Dorris, outreach director for the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests notes that "the average age of anyone who was abused as a child begins to deal with their abuse in a meaningful way is their mid-late 40s. Why do they need a statute of limitations on this crime at all?" Good question. Excellent question.

Lucy Kellaway has an interesting article in the Financial Times comparing the way people are responding to BP in the current disaster with the way people responded to disasters like Union Carbide and the Bhopal disaster. Kellaway thinks "hating companies and the people who lead them has become a new global pastime." Why has this happened? She cites four reasons:
  1. "the emotional hangover of the credit crunch"
  2. people are deeply angered by executive pay, especially in the face of executive incompetence and a sort of out of touch-ness
  3. "The third reason is more subtle, and stems from the great personification of business. In the past decade or so, companies have put a great deal of effort into creating an image for themselves supported by a whole load of values. The more successful they are in creating such a personality, the more there is to love – and hate."
  4. "the internet, with its power to turn personal emotion into a global epidemic overnight"
Finally, Kellaway links the following video, which is totally worth watching no matter what you think about BP and corporate behavior in general.

What did I miss?


  1. happyfeminist7/07/2010

    But still no mention of priests being excommunicated for their offenses, right?

  2. Anonymous7/07/2010

    Oh, that video is so so so right!

  3. Meg'n7/07/2010


    I haven't heard anything about excommunication. And since it's the strongest sanction, I doubt it would ever be used against priests. Nuns who authorize life-saving abortions, though.

  4. Kellaway's third point is a good one. The mantra right now is to personalize your business and put a human face on it, but that's also easier to hate than some faceless entity.

  5. Anonymous7/07/2010

    So, Bethune's punishment is he's going to be sent back home. You'd think they would try to "make an example out of him."

  6. Bailey7/07/2010

    OMG! The government is now creating hobos!

  7. Stephanie7/08/2010

    The credit crunch hangover and bailout anger thing is kind of funny, because now it looks like the federal government is going to make a profit off TARP. But I don't think that will faze the tea party types.

  8. Anonymous7/10/2010

    I heard that too. But I also heard that most Americans pay the lowest taxes ever, and that doesn't faze the teapartiers either.