Two scams, both bad

Good piece in Sunday’s paper on the PPR — the poor people’s rate, or the premium that poor and working classes are charged over and above what the rich charge one another for the same goods and services. If that sounds to you like contentious rhetoric that overstates the case, then please read the article: [Read More...]

Puffy shirt

Identity theft is, at best, an enormous hassle for the victim. At worst it can be devastating. Victims’ “credit rating” can be destroyed, forcing them to pay the PPR (poor person’s rate) for everything from credit cards to insurance. For the life of me, though, I can’t imagine a circumstance in which being the victim [Read More...]

Who do we shoot?

Here’s one of my favorite scenes from John Ford’s film adaptation of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Muley and his son confront The Man who has arrived to evict them from their Oklahoma farm. Muley, played by John Qualen (the condemned sad sack fom His Girl Friday), clings to his shotgun: MULEY: You mean get [Read More...]


That photo is by Dean J. Koepfler of The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. Their caption for it reads: With his son Steve at his side, Doug Donery breaks down following a Pierce County Council meeting about the impending closure of his mobile home park. Doug Donery, 60, is disabled. His wife Pattie “is recovering [Read More...]

More on subsidiarity

The previous post was intended as red meat for a Thursday, but it prompted some good discussion in comments and I want to respond to a bit of that Specifically, I want to follow up on this comment from josh, which is thoughtful and well-stated, but hits a sour note at the end: “It’s once [Read More...]

Move that schoolbus!

I need to revisit “Shlock and Awwww: Commercializing Altruism” — Jon Mooallem’s conflicted appreciation of ABC television’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Mooallem’s summary of the show’s process is dead on: “In charity,” Francis Bacon wrote, “there is no excess.” But then Bacon never saw Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which since 2003 has been meting out [Read More...]

Zuzu’s petals

To fully appreciate the perspective, values and standards of “Movieguide,” consider this: They present an annual award called the Faith & Values Crystal Teddy Bear Award for Dedication to Redeeming the Values of the Mass Media of Entertainment. Last year, a Special Lifetime Faith & Values Crystal Teddy Bear Award for Dedication to Redeeming the [Read More...]

The Rich Fool

My bid for the scariest passage in the Bible is Luke 12:2-3: There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will [Read More...]