Monday, November 30, 2015

To say that an action is permissible is not to say that there are no moral reasons against doing the action, but only that it is a candidate from which one is morally permitted to choose.
David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Legal Loansharking

 Short on cash and without a strong enough credit history to get a bank loan to tide them over, Melissa went to a payday lender, taking out a meager $450. When they weren’t able to pay the debt back in a matter of weeks, the amount ballooned to $1,700 thanks to the high interest rates, fees, and rollover loans (loans that get folded into new, larger loans when a borrower is unable to repay their initial loan). ... With fees and incredibly high interest rates, which can range between 300 and 600 percent when annualized, failure to repay within that short time span can make the debt mount quickly. The Atlantic Magazine.
"The brutal way in which America’s hardest-working folks were forced to internalize the values of a gangster capitalist class continues to elude the left, which, with few exceptions, understands not a thing about how this political and economic system has hammered the humanity of ordinary working people."Joe Bageant, Deer Hunting With Jesus

Monday, November 02, 2015

Not Ready for Prime Time

The 2016 GOP presidential candidates want to change the rules under which future debates will be held. Tired of the "gotcha" questions, they now want to control not only the questions asked but the structure of the debate itself. Allowing the candidates to control the debate will eliminate open discussion and reduce the debate to a series of scripted, audience tested sound bites.

The media has turned everything, including our politics, into grist for the entertainment mill with deleterious consequences for our democracy. 

Confusing political engagement with the consumption of entertainment, sections of the political class have been won over to the idea of reality politics.Frank Furedi, Dumbing Down? Don’t Blame the Media