6.14.2014 Leave a comment
A political blog written from a left populist perspective
6.13.2014 Leave a comment
Comments are not needed for this one:
A Pennsylvania woman died in a jail cell over the weekend while serving a 48-hour sentence for her children’s unpaid school fines. Eileen DiNino was found dead on Saturday in a Berks County jail cell where she was midway through the sentence that would have eliminated around $2,000 in fines and related court fees related to her children’s attendance at school. Police have said her death is not considered suspicious, but the cause has yet to be determined. She was 55 years old and a mother to seven children.
“This lady didn’t need to be there,” District Judge Dean Patton — who said he was “reluctant” to sentence DiNino — told the Associated Press. “We don’t do debtors prisons anymore. That went out 100 years ago.” More than 1,600 people have been jailed in Berks County alone — the majority of them women — because of similar fines.
6.13.2014 Leave a comment
Right. How could I have ever believed otherwise?
Well, a new study shows Pennsylvania ranking fifth among the various states when they were evaluated for amount of corruption among its public officials. Even New York, which has that ethical black hole commonly known as New York City, scored better.
6.11.2014 Leave a comment
The New York Times reports:
Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 House Republican, will resign as majority leader within weeks, according to leadership aides, setting off a scramble to remake the party’s upper ranks.
The move follows a stunning defeat in a primary election on Tuesday in which voters rejected him in favor of a more conservative candidate, and culminates a precipitous fall for Mr. Cantor, who was thought to be a likely successor to Speaker John A. Boehner.
By stepping down as majority leader, an aide to Mr. Cantor said, he hoped to limit a festering struggle within the House Republican caucus over who would assume his post.
Hmmm, Cantor wants to limit a power struggle in the GOP caucus by throwing red meat into the fiery pit! Good idea!
6.10.2014 Leave a comment
Is it an oxymoron or just a plain dumb idea? I believe we can easily guess Rob Urie’s answer to this question:
The bottom line is one of commensurability. Economic production that produces toxic externalities like global warming, dead oceans, undrinkable water, unbreathable air, etc, depends on assigning little or no value to these. To make this very clear, Western economic ‘accounting’ places no value on these, on the most fundamental necessities of living beings, by design. As Oscar Wilde put it, a cynic is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. This is in fact a summation of Western economics; circumscription of the ‘knowable’ world by what has had a price tag put on it. The externalized costs of capitalist production are real— more real than the stuff in stores that is only ‘cheap’ because the true costs were lobbed off on people who haven’t yet fought back. To Mr. Krugman’s argument, even if technological innovation did reduce carbon emissions the people who would reap the benefits are not the same people who will pay the consequences— more carbon emissions is more even if the rate of growth is reduced.
Global warming is but shorthand for the increasingly conspicuous fact that the quest for ‘stuff’ has turned the entire planet into a noxious garbage dump. This concern might rightly be considered effete if ‘we,’ broadly considered, could exist in the garbage that some of us have created. But as global warming suggests, we can’t. The time for gimmicks, ‘technology,’ was a half century ago. And unless you missed this, the West is still plenty rich— rich in approximate proportion to the social and environmental catastrophes that capitalism has wrought. The question today is who pays, not what the costs are.