Smart people saying smart things (4.8)

Fred Kaplan on the outline of the deal with Iran. Mary Hunt on the Vatican Council on Women. Helaine Olen on the amnesia of the poor scolds. Marika Rose on the meaning of “Christianity.” And Ed Kilgore reminds us that “We’ve Used ‘Religious Liberty’ for Discrimination Before.” [Read more...]

Sen. Inhofe’s perfectly legal corruption is worse than former-Rep. Schock’s law-breaking


As usual, the real scandal is not what is illegal, but what remains perfectly legal. Aaron Schock was forced to resign because he was corrupt, but 534 members of Congress remain in office and many of them are far, far more corrupt than he has ever managed to be. Consider, for example, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma. [Read more...]

Campus ghost stories and real American history


I’m happy to read about the Penn Ghost Project. I do not believe in ghosts, but I do believe in ghost stories. Searching for ghosts is bound to be a fruitless waste of time. But searching for ghost stories can be important and meaningful. [Read more...]

Good news for your customers is good news for your business


This isn’t how our CEO will react to this happy news for Bob and for 700,000 more of our customers. Our CEO, like most CEOs, has lost the ability to think of our customers as people with jobs and budgets. So he won’t be thinking, “Woohoo! 700,000 of our customers just got a raise!” He’ll be thinking, “Ohnoes! Wage increases in the retail sector could lead to higher labor costs — I must oppose this!” And he won’t hesitate to try to screw over 700,000 — or 7 million, or 70 million — of our customers if that’s what it takes to oppose the slightest possibility of the potential of the shadow of maybe a slight increase in labor costs. [Read more...]

Two cheers for CT’s take on multi-level marketing

Multilevel marketing.

The remarkable thing here is that Anderson’s skeptical take on multilevel marketing appeared on the website of Christianity Today — a publication at the institutional heart of the white evangelical subculture. And in that subculture, you can’t swing a Stella & Dot necklace with hitting several institutions dependent on multilevel marketing money. [Read more...]

Rich people have been pretending to be stupid for so long that they’ve actually become stupid


This study from the Pew Research Center demonstrates that a majority of America’s wealthiest residents are appallingly lacking in not just compassion, but facts, education, intelligence and curiosity. Or, to put it more directly, this study shows that a majority of the wealthiest Americans are ignorant, stupid and dull. The wealthy are not simply hard-hearted. They’re thick-headed. [Read more...]

‘Generational curses’ is not a Christian teaching. It is an ancient grift that predates the Bible.


If anyone ever tells you that you may have inherited a generational curse, you can be sure that this information will be followed shortly thereafter by a request for money. Don’t give it to them. This isn’t a Christian doctrine, it’s a trick — an ancient con-game that dates back to prehistory. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (1.2)

The ethics and economics of Baileyism; John Cleese on stupidity; Alan Bean on pro-torture Christians; James Baldwin on the price we’re still paying for refusing to see; and Bethany Suckrow on “pro-lifers” who bully children into suicide. [Read more...]