Sunday, May 27, 2012

Headlines - Sunday May 27

In yet another sign of a completely dysfunctional economic system, public company CEO pay has gone up yet again. They will argue that the reason is because profits are up, which is accurate. At the same time, there's a problem when the financial upside is always about the select few. What ever happened to thinking about a company as a whole rather than just the CEO or his close network?

For all of the griping by Baby Boomers about how narcissistic today's youth can be, they should step back and look at this culture of greed and selfishness. The problem has been growing since the Gordon Gekko 1980s Wall Street days. Each decade it gets worse and corporate culture becomes more self-centered and all about greed.

This trend has to stop if we're to have a future. It's not just about a handful of people yet that's what we see year after year from public companies. Why is it so socially acceptable to fire by the thousands (
ahem, Meg Whitman) yet when companies keep employees, the executives make less?

There continues to be something profoundly wrong with the modern corporate world. If this is the best modern capitalism can offer, we have no future.
The Butler Did It!
Will it never end? Will no one high in the Vatican every pay for their crimes?

Note: The arrestee is a whistleblower, not the original (alleged) corruption perps, and the cops making the bust are Vatican, not Italian, police. Of course.
The pope's butler has been arrested by Vatican police on suspicion of leaking a large number of confidential letters addressed to Benedict XVI which have lifted the lid on alleged corruption and nepotism at the Holy See. ...

The arrest comes a month after the Vatican gave an investigative team led by Cardinal Julian Herranz, a member of Opus dei, a full "pontifical mandate" to join Vatican police in rooting out the perpetrators of what has been dubbed Vatileaks. ...

Among the most serious leaks published this year are in a letter from Carlo Maria ViganĂ², the deputy governor of Vatican City, denouncing inflated contracts with friendly companies, false invoicing and missing cash.

Further revelations were published this week in a book by a journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi, who described how an unnamed whistleblower sent emissaries to sound him out before they held secret meetings in an unfurnished, rented flat near the Vatican. "I wore a USB round my neck for six months with the leaked documents on it," Nuzzi told the Guardian. "It was like something out of a film." In the book, the source says he was coming clean because "hypocrisy within the Vatican goes unchallenged and scandals multiply". ...
There's more; this is Ratzinger's Vatican. The list of allegations in the article is stunning.

Inflated contracts? Missing cash? Gay smears? And for good measure, this:
Letters depict collusion between the Berlusconi government and the Vatican over how to avoid EU pressure to make the Catholic church pay tax on its properties.
How ... secular.

UPDATE: Howie Klein adds this,
"What Is It With Child Rape And Organized Religion?" at Down With Tyranny. It isn't just Catholics who cover crimes to protect "their own."
The "objective morality" gotcha

There is a common line of attack Christians use in debates with atheists, and I genuinely detest it. It's to ask the question, "where do your morals come from?" I detest it because it is not a sincere question at all — they don't care about your answer, they're just trying to get you to say that you do not accept the authority of a deity, so that they can then declare that you are an evil person because you do not derive your morals from the same source they do, and therefore you are amoral. It is, of course, false to declare that someone with a different morality than yours is amoral, but that doesn't stop those sleazebags. Keep reading.

Or as Blue Girl writes: "If your religion is the only thing stopping you from raping and killing, then I don't want to be around when you have a crisis of faith."


Coal Industry Pays Fake Activists $50 To Wear Pro-Coal Shirts At Public Hearing

Washington is filled with people making other people's arguments for money. Anyone trying to do anything of good purpose is in a constant struggle to keep from drowning in the river of steaming bullshit served up by lobbyists and politicians and pundits and PR firms. They bend statistics, they do impressions of people who believe what they say, and all the while the country burns. And it is the height of arrogance to decry what's happened to our politics when you are a bonded practitioner of what's happened to our politics.

You want to be a pitchman for warlords? You want to carry the Devil's water in Washington? Go for it. But just don't tell me how to fucking talk.-former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett on Lanny Davis and the "both sides" meme

Well said, and indeed, some of the most turned-to names in politics are neck-deep in generating the problems of Washington while also being consulted on how to fix the problems in Washington. And they'll say we need to "stick to the issues" while ensuring that the issues are never resolved.


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