No, private charity can’t handle it alone


Whenever someone has the gall or the ignorance or the cruelty to suggest that public efforts and the government safety net should be eliminated and replaced with private charity, that person should be forced to go and talk to the people actually working for actual private charities. They should be forced to go an look into the face of the local food bank’s director to see the look of despair there as they contemplate the impossibility of serving the people they serve if there wasn’t also SNAP (“food stamps”) and WIC and SSI and TANF. [Read more...]

Hell and soteriology Part 1: Bill O’Reilly’s accidental insight


Candida Moss does not euphemize or equivocate about what the text says that Jesus said or that Jesus said this as a direct assertion of fact. Jesus said that if you don’t give away your wealth to help the poor, then you will go to Hell. Period. As Keith wrote, Bill O’Reilly’s reaction was typical of “almost all readers of this story … surely that’s not what he really meant.” [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war


Even Capuchin monkeys demand equal pay for equal work (and Capuchins, remember, have taken a vow of poverty). Plus other links involving the ongoing war on the poor, including: Fast food workers who can’t afford fast food, care workers pay shows what we really think of the elderly, banks still stealing houses with a shrug — and no legal repercussions, unknown ingredients, chemical accidents and what we don’t know because of who isn’t allowed in the room. [Read more...]

The Onanism of ‘teavangelical’ Republicans

This is what Onanism looks like. God is displeased.

Alas, Onan’s name has lived on in a flagrant misreading of this story. “Onanism” became something of a euphemism for masturbation, and this text has been, for centuries, cited as forbidding masturbation. Onan’s name has been invoked in warning juvenile boys not to behave like juvenile boys. If they spilled their seed like Onan did, they were warned, they might go ow-ow-out like a blister in the sun. [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war (8.14)


House Republicans plan to double cuts to nutrition aid to $40 billion. Every year, 700,000 Americans go bankrupt due to medical bills. GOP plans to fight Obamacare by convincing everyone not to buy health insurance. Student loans as a Ponzi scheme. Walmart vs. jobs. The disease of viewing colleagues as nothing more than “costs” to be minimized. Two companies thriving by disproving the Walmart/McDonald’s model based on that disease. [Read more...]

‘It’s not even past’: Riley Cooper and Arthur Young


While it may be 2013, we’re still a long way from being “beyond all this.” We’ve made some progress, no doubt, and one sign of that progress was the unanimity of the sports-talk radio hosts and callers in condemning the stupidity and bigotry of the football player’s comment. That’s encouraging. We’ve made progress, but the past is still with us. As Faulkner wrote, “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.” [Read more...]

Scenes from the class war (7.30)


CEOs pay themselves 273 times what they pay their average workers. Teaching your kids how to fight slumlords. The invisible poor. Kicking seniors out of their homes. Steal from the boss, go to jail; steal from your workers and you won’t even have to pay them back. Does it matter if Paul Ryan hurts poor people because he hates them or if he hurts poor people because he doesn’t know any better? What happens to an 18-ton wall of used clothing? Cuts to SNAP asks every food bank to supply an additional 4 million meals every year. [Read more...]

It’s corporations, not killer robots


The singularity has already happened. We’ve been slow to notice because we were worried about a technological singularity and what we got instead was a legal singularity. It wasn’t the rise of artificially intelligent machines, but of artificially intelligent legal entities. The corporations were created by humans. They were granted personhood by their human servants. They rebelled. They evolved. There are many copies. And they have a plan. [Read more...]