Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25

More from The Atlantic, this time on why the rich don't give to charity:
But why? Lower-income Americans are presumably no more intrinsically generous (or "prosocial," as the sociologists say) than anyone else. However, some experts have speculated that the wealthy may be less generous—that the personal drive to accumulate wealth may be inconsistent with the idea of communal support. Last year, Paul Piff, a psychologist at UC Berkeley, published research that correlated wealth with an increase in unethical behavior: "While having money doesn't necessarily make anybody anything," Piff later told New York magazine, "the rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people." They are, he continued, "more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, assholes."
Sounds roughly right.

Continuing on a theme, because, well, why not: Salon, on how rich moochers are ruining America:
That's the Rentier Agenda, then — low tax rates on unearned income flowing to passive investors, replacing public utilities with private toll-charging monopolies, and pursuing policies that deter inflation, even at the risk of prolonged, mass unemployment and idle factories. It is no exaggeration to say that the private sector rentiers are not only the real "moochers" and the real "takers" but also are the greatest threat to productive industrial capitalism, in the United States and the world.

What we need is an Anti-Rentier alliance. Such a coalition would scramble the usual patterns of politics. Progressives and conservatives alike would have to distinguish between productive businesses, which we should encourage, and rent-extracting parasites that need to be dealt with. Pro-manufacturing liberals and Main Street conservative populists should unite against what the progressive economist Michael Hudson calls "the tollbooth economy" in alliance with what James K. Galbraith calls "the predator state."


Congratulations on your new gun laws

Despite worries that it would take many months and much acrimonious debate to pass new gun laws, they slipped out of the Senate and House with bipartisan support and barely a mention. It seems only right that with the horror of Newtown merely the latest in a line of terrorist atrocities to beset the nation, our government should act swiftly.

So let's see what we got.  That new legislation...

  • Forbids anyone from asking gun dealers to keep an inventory of their goods, making it impossible to know if any weapons are missing or stolen
  • Instructs the ATF to be very sure that no one can use their information on the use of guns in crimes, to draw any conclusions about... the use of guns in crimes
  • Locks down a broad definition of the types of weapons that are considered antiques and collectables, making it easier to buy, sell, and import these weapons and their ammunition
  • Forbids the ATF from pulling a gun license from a dealer just because they don't see any legitimate business activity and suspect that the dealer is engaged in a criminal enterprise

Criminals? Protected! Ingnorance? Upheld! Congratulations, America. Done and done.


Earlier this year, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker cut $1 million from Planned Parenthood , forcing the closure of four Planned Parenthood facilities in the state as a result,  and forcing women in those areas to have to travel greater distances for services placing an unnecessary burden on their personal economies and general welfare.

On their website, the 40 Days For Life people state their mission:

We are praying that, with God's help, this groundbreaking effort will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city — and throughout America.

I wonder if God knows that cutting family planning services actually increases the chances for unwanted and unplanned pregnancies? Or that cutting funding for any sort of healthcare safety net in their respective Wingnut-controlled states, like denying Medicaid funds while seeking to repeal The Affordable Care Act for the 4oth time to fund some national abstinence-only program, is really just a sadistic means to a circular-attack on women and their right to privacy that includes no exceptions for rape and incest?

So much for freewill, Sister.

Next time the religious right wackaloons tell you that you can't abort their precious immaculate Jesus babies, just tell them that "the Devil is inside you" and there's no way in hell you're giving birth to the next anti-Christ!

Can't argue with that logic.



George Zimmerman's Brother: 'Black Teens' Are Killers


NBC is hyping an "interview," to be aired Monday, with convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky. But what they don't tell you is the interview wasn't conducted by NBC. Rather, NBC is airing excerpts of an interview by John Ziegler, right-wing documentarian and propagandist. Ziegler has been publicly skeptical of the charges against Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, writing that at the time the grand jury was convened "the legal case against Jerry Sandusky was actually remarkably weak." Keep reading here.


My god, how I loathe Peggy Noonan.


Rand Paul Is Right On Marijuana, And That Should Scare Democrats Into Action


Richard Dawkins: Creationists know nothing

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