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.
5.28.2014 Leave a comment
I never cared much for rain and snow. When young, precipitation interfered with my plans and they nearly always made my life more difficult. Today, however, I believe precipitation to be akin to manna from heaven. While I watch dust storms, massive wildfires, water shortages and desertification afflict so many around the world, I have learned to appreciate the easy availability of this increasingly scarce resource. Many are not as lucky.
Potable water — more value than crude oil.
5.28.2014 Leave a comment
A rightly exasperated Ruth Fowler exclaims:
Let’s cut the crap. Killers are not usually attracted to nonviolent philosophies, peaceful ideologies and challenging systemic oppression. Quit fucking acting like it’s a surprise Elliot Rodger was a misogynistic, racist, sex starved, white male privileged fuck either formed by, or attracted to, the kinds of ideologies expressed in his disgusting manifesto.
It’s of absolutely zero surprise to me that Elliot Rodger’s blog, vlog, manifesto and everything in between reveal a singularly unpleasant screwed up hateful little fuck that embodied everything that could possibly be wrong with society today. The dude murdered a bunch of people. What were we expecting? That he adopted stray cats and rehoused them? That he had Hello Kitty bedsheets and sponsored a Nepali girl through Christian Aid? Cried at ‘The Bachelor’? Fuck’s sake, people. Intersectionality — there, I said it! But don’t dismiss it for a headline, folks. Elliot Rodger hated women because he had never had sex. He despised people of color. He played World of Warcraft and had no friends. Society rejected him — or he rejected society. He jerked off a lot. He was a virgin. His parents had paid for him to have social skills counsellors. He had a shrink who had expressed concern about his behavior more than once. He had a stepmom — Soumaya — who has a reputation for being a kind, loving, gentle woman with a ferocious talent for acting, a woman who loved her only biological son and was deeply concerned about her weird stepson. He planned to kill both his stepmom and her son on his rampage. His family called the cops on him (who does that?! I read online somewhere. People who think their kid is a killer and have no other fucking option, moron, I thought in response). But let’s not forget — the insane can make any ideology fit their madness.
The urgency to krank out an important Op Ed — an essential opinion, a lesson to take home, something to digest about our society — is nonetheless pervasive.
I recall watching a newscast during which the ridiculous anchorman told his audience that the man who recently committed an axe murder in the city was a “bad person.” I suppose the anchorman did not want anyone to lack clarity on this matter — that is, his finding an axe killer reprehensible.
5.27.2014 Leave a comment
The Union of Concerned Scientists took a look at the quality of cable news coverage of climate science and climate change. The results: