Yes,of course, there may be rottenness lurking under the jerseys of every sport inAmerica, pro and am. And the probability of that corruption is huge.
ButI only get really exercised about the stuff that gets reported in the news.
JoePaterno sold his soul and his family?s good name to ensure that money wouldkeep flowing to Penn State?s football franchise and to keep alive the myth andlies about his own coaching prowess. To do this, he had to enable, abet andpromote Jerry Sandusky?s pedophile crimes.
Andyesterday in Philadelphia, when Eagle?s coach Andy Reid?s son Garrett Reid wasfound dead in his training camp dorm room, Andy Reid apologized to his fans forthe disruption his son?s death caused in Eagles? affairs.
Thisapology seemed to be met with approval not horror by the fans.
Sincethe report of Garrett?s death, we have been hearing about how much Andy Reid lovedhis sons and how much of a family man he is. And we?ve seen on TV the outpouring ofgrief from fans, and the spontaneous altars of grief that have sprung up. ThePR message is that we will never know how much Andy Reid is grieving but that heknows what Eagles fans want and need and therefore, Reid will be back at workwhere he feels he should be this coming Thursday.
Here?sthe thing?the point is not that wedon?t know what Andy is going through inside. The point is that the frontoffice has decided the fans want to hear about football not about grief, andtherefore, on with the show.
Itsurely doesn?t matter that I believe Andy Reid loves football and his own imagemore than he has ever loved his family. And it doesn?t matter whether AndyReid?s personality has been formed by his career or his career has formed AndyReid. What matters is that the Industry of Football once again appears to besoulless and greedy. And the fans of the Industry of Football have approved thisperception wholeheartedly while giving lip service to knee-jerk sympathies andpieties.
Frankly,I don?t care if Andy Reid has been such a jerk as a father that his sons Garrettand Britt have been in trouble for years. What I would like to have seen is theEagles? front office giving Andy Reid three to four weeks off to grieve and getcounseling whether he wanted it or not. I would like to have seen the FrontOffice turn coaching and training over to assistants. I don?t care if thiswould have cost the Eagles money. And I don?t care if it would have goneagainst Andy Reid?s grain.
Ason of a major NFC coach lay dead in the Eagles training camp dorm roomyesterday. After that event, it is not business as usual. The show should notgo on. It?s time for the Football Industry and its fans to take stock. The fans have become as corrupted as the Front Offices.
Attention must be paid.
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I'm going to make two points with this posts ? one point about Romney, the rubes and wealth. And one point about something the actual, historical Jesus said ? not the mythical guy from Paul's dreamy letters; the real one. (To jump to that point, click here.)? First, according to a report in Scientific American, the more you focus your mind on wealth, the less you care about the poor (great...
The would-be President responds to the Sikh temple shootings by ?mourning those who lost their lives? and with ?prayer for healing.?
On another August 6, we are jolted into realizing that Mitt Romney wants his finger on the trigger that 67 years ago took more than a hundred thousand lives in the name of peace.
In Japan, the Mayor of Hiroshima cites efforts to provide health care for survivors, now almost 80, so they can continue to bear witness to what human beings can do to one another.
On that day back then, I was in Germany, one of untold thousands waiting to be sent as foot soldiers to invade Japan. All we knew was that a mushroom cloud had ended our dread of going to the Pacific to storm beaches and fight through cities. For the first time in years, we could wake in the morning without feeling there was an IOU out on our lives, held by someone unknown and payable on demand.
It was weeks before we learned the moral price for our relief--that over 200,000 would die from that explosion in Hiroshima and another over Nagasaki three days later and that our country would forever bear the burden of being the first to use such weapons of mass destruction.
Almost two decades later, in August 1963, I was interviewing John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office. "Since 1945," he said, "we have gone into an entirely new period of nuclear weapons. Most people have no conception of what it all means. A nuclear exchange lasting sixty minutes would mean over 300 million deaths. We have to prevent the end of the human race."
As voters consider Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on this day in August, those memories must be part of the equation. How much power of life and death will be in the hands of whoever they choose in November and what kind of judgment, character and human feeling will he need to make such choices for them in the future?
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Goodness, what has Rupert Murdoch's knickers in such a twist?
It was this op-ed in the New York Times that has the temerity to *gasp* suggest that it is good policy to guarantee workers paid sick leave:
More than 40 million American workers get no paid sick leave. They have to work when ill or take unpaid sick days, which can lead to financial hardship, or, worse, dismissal. The best way to address this workplace and public health problem is with a national law requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave ? a normal benefit for workers in at least 145 countries.
But since there is little hope for such progress anytime soon in Washington, New York City Council members are taking up the cause. At least 36 of 50 council members support a proposed city law that would require sick leave for more than 1.2 million workers. Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, has refused to bring a bill to the floor, however.
She argues that the timing is bad given the weak economy and that the benefit could increase compensation costs for businesses by an average of 1.5 percent, which in her view would hurt smaller companies to the point of driving them out of business or out of the city. Some business leaders say that companies will cut jobs if even a few days of sick leave are required.
Little evidence to support such fears has been seen in San Francisco, the District of Columbia and the state of Connecticut, which require many businesses to provide the benefit. There are also economic benefits ? lower turnover, higher productivity and morale, and reduced job loss for workers. But Ms. Quinn, who says she supports paid sick days in principle, does not want to consider a citywide sick-leave law until the economy is stronger.
Gracious me, the nerve of those soshulists at the Times! How dare they suggest that paid sick days are actually a good thing. I mean, those ungrateful little workers should be happy they're even employed, right? Coming in sick shows their level of commitment to the company's bottom line.
Last week, actor and activist Susan Sarandon kicked off a twitter storm by tweeting her support of Christine Quinn for mayor and after a tsunami of tweets cajoling her, she ended up agreeing to entreat Quinn to support the sick leave. Gloria Steinem also pressured Quinn. Workers' rights activists are planning a serious push with phone calls and emails to Quinn as well as door-to-door advocacy with New York voters all to continue to pressure Quinn to bring the measure to a vote.
But Quinn appears to have an advocate in Rupert Murdoch. That's a helluva ally for a Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, innit?
This post contains spoilers through the April 5 episode of Breaking Bad.
I wrote earlier this season about the haunted greatness of Skyler White, the character who sees Walter White with a terrible clarity, and who is hated by some fans of the show for it. There are other things going on in this episode of Breaking Bad, of course, but none so important as Skyler’s confrontation with her husband, and the show’s meditation on the ways that a tyrannical man can shatter the illusion of a woman as an equal partner in a marriage.
It’s fitting for an episode about Walt as a purveyor of emotional domestic abuse that so much of this hour of television focuses on food and the rituals around it. A year ago, Walt’s request for “Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Life is good, Skyler,” might have been the ordinary ritual of a man asking his wife to indulge him on his birthday. Now, it’s an order that Skyler both fulfill Walt’s request, and that she fall emotionally in line with him, that she celebrate his birthday not just in deed but in her heart. For the rest of the episode, food and meals will be Skyler’s way of testing her new boundaries with Walt. When she serves him his birthday breakfast but neglects to rearrange the bacon into a “51,” Walter Junior reminds her “Mom, you forgot. Dad’s bacon? Mom’s got to.” And Walt, the menacingly mild paterfamilias tells her, “Well it is sort of a tradition,” putting it on her to respond. “What’s this, Holly,” he tells their daughter as Skyler complies. “Watch what she does with bacon. What is she doing?” Their baby and her care and safety are a powerful weapon Walt holds over his wife, especially since she’s told him “A new environment might be good for them,” but shied away from telling Walt exactly why she wants their children gone.
At their subsequent family meal, Skyler resists Walt’s wishes for a party, and opts instead for a small family gathering and a simple meal, though she does serve “Chocolate cake, as requested,” the setting for her terrible act of resistance against her husband: a suicide attempt that inspires Marie to volunteer to take Holly and Walter Junior for a few days. She’s been experimenting with self-harm earlier in the episode, twisting dental floss around her finger so tightly that it looks in danger of killing flesh. And when Skyler walks into that pool, it’s not clear that it’s entirely a feint. Knowing what she knows about Walt, how deeply she has come to revile him and the things she has followed him into, hearing him wax eloquent about her may have been too sickening to endure. Walt gets credit for being both a survivor and a grateful husband when he tells Hank and Marie “And Skyler, honey, remember that first week of chemotherapy, that night on the bathroom floor, what you said to me? I was so sick. It was rough going at first. But Skyler, she was right there, of course, putting wet washcloths on my forehead, and she sang to me, and this would go on day after day. I was lying there on the floor of the bathroom because it felt nice and cool. And I was asking her, if this could all be over.” But to Skyler, this recitation of her wifely perfection is a scourge, scoring her guilt deeper into her skin.
Whatever her intentions, Skyler’s response to Walt’s interrogation of her after he pulls her out of the pool is a beautifully written, tragic illustration of the resourcefulness and limitations of women in abusive relationships, even if her circumstances are horribly unique:
“There’s blood on my hands, too. He’s in the hospital because of me, because of what I did,” Skyler told her husband, at her most vulnerable, but at her most clear in her hatred of him. ‘”I don’t need to hear any of your bullshit rationales. I’m in it now. i’m compromised. But I won’t, I will not have my children living in a house where dealing drugs, and hurting people and killing people is shrugged off as ‘shit happens.’ We’re back at it. Fine. But the kids stay away and that’s that…I said no. I swear to God I won’t have them back here…Whatever it takes. Everything in my power….My next move is maybe I hurt myself, make it clear we need more time….So maybe I show up with bruises on my neck, a black eye, say you beat me up when you found out about my lover…I could send Junior away to school…I will count every minute that the kids are away from here, away from you, a victory. But you’re right. It’s a bad plan. I don’t have any of your magic, Walt, I’m a coward. I can’t go tot he police, I can’t stop laundering your money. I can’t keep you out of the house, I can’t even keep you out of my bed. All I can do is wait. It’s the only good option…For the cancer to come back.”
What’s horrifying about Walt’s response to Skyler is not just that it’s a manifestation of his own personal monster, but that he channels generations of men in their confident efforts to control women. When Walt tells Skyler “No more like you’re still struggling. So maybe next time I have you committed, put you in an inpatient facility while I take care of the kids,” he echoes the men who had difficult wives lobotomized, or had their memories ruined with electroshock therapy, whether in pursuit of their own tranquility, in evasion of their own guilt and related emotions, or in an effort to evade responsibility for their crimes. He brandishes the prospect of their children watching Ratatouille (another evocation of food as cue back to childhood and domestic tranquility) at their aunt and uncle’s as proof of Skyler’s dereliction of her domestic duties, ignoring his own treatment of Scarface as appropriate family fare?one set of standards for Walt, another, vastly more stringent, for Skyler. At the end of the episode, Walt flaunts Jesse’s present to him, saying “I want to show you something. See that. It’s a birthday present. The person who gave me this present wanted me dead, too. Not that long ago…He changed his mind about me, Skyler. And so will you.”
But what’s immutable isn’t Walt’s greatness, as he seems to believe it is, secure in the idea that he will always be vindicated, that he can, and indeed should, make sure that “nothing stops this train,” not even his own wife. No, what lasts forever, and what rebukes Walter White’s uniqueness even as he believes he’s asserting it, is the long tradition of domestic bullies Walt has fallen in line with. He’s another angry, controlling man. And the only comfort I have is that I know Walt will be alone on his next birthday, unable to maintain by dictatorship what he couldn’t build through love. I only hope he’s alone because he’s thoroughly broken and abandoned, not because Skyler is dead, by his hand or her own, this time for real.
A new study from Cornell University has found that sexual orientation can be measured through the pupil dilation of the eyes. Individuals’ attractions ? straight, gay, or bi ? could be accurately measured through the eyes as opposed to the invasive measures of genital arousal that are frequently used in studies. Given pupil dilation is an autonomic nervous response, the study is another clue in the understanding of sexual orientation’s biological innateness.
During an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger yesterday, Mitt Romney said that the Federal Reserve should not enact a new round of stimulus aimed at boosting the still-sluggish economy, even as he admitted that the Fed’s first round of so-called “quantitative easing” did some good:
BORGER: Should — should the Fed intervene at some point?
ROMNEY: Well, I think the Fed’s first action, in quantitative easing, was effective to a certain degree. But I believe that the QE2, the second round of easing — I don’t think it had the impact that they were hoping for. And I’m sure the Fed is watching, will try and encourage the economy. But I don’t think a massive new QE3 is going to help this economy.
The Fed itself announced last week that, though it ?anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only slowly toward levels that it judges to be consistent with its dual mandate,” no new action will be taken. This is consistent with the Fed’s actions over the last few years, when it has tolerated high unemployment, even as inflation, the other half of the Fed’s mandate, has stayed low:
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a speech today that, “even though some key aggregate metrics — including consumer spending, disposable income, household net worth, and debt service payments–have moved in the direction of recovery, it is clear that many individuals and households continue to struggle with difficult economic and financial conditions.” But still, the Fed is standing pat.
As ThinkProgress’ Jeff Spross detailed, Republicans have warned that the Fed’s actions would spark inflation, which has never actually materialized. Romney now seems to be jumping on board with a similar message, saying that the Fed should not take all available steps to bring down the jobless rate.
by Matt Kasper
On Thursday, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) introduced a bill that would force fossil fuel producers to pay for their carbon dioxide emissions. It is the latest attempt by Congress to put a price on carbon.
The Managed Carbon Price Act of 2012 (MCP) would grant the U.S. Treasury Department authority to issue permits representing one-quarter ton of CO2. Unlike the cap-and-trade legislation that failed in the Senate in 2009, the MCP does not allow permits to be traded. Rather, they can only be purchased or refunded from Treasury.
McDermott said in a statement:
What seems to have fallen by the wayside is concern over the climate and how carbon emissions are playing a factor in the extreme weather conditions we have been seeing. My colleagues are seeing this in their districts. Just yesterday, the USDA said that half of the counties in the United States ? 1,584 counties ? had been deemed ?natural disaster areas? with 90% of those counties listed due to drought conditions. We can?t keep ignoring these major environmental issues, and this proposal addresses emissions reductions in an economically responsible way.
The revenue generated from the carbon tax would be put into a public trust fund with 25 percent of funds going to pay down the deficit and the rest to subsidize any rate increases consumers might face.
The MCP would specifically tax the producers of coal, natural gas, oil and gas refineries, and cover other industrial emitters of greenhouse gases.
As for the price of carbon, McDermott has been citing a recent Brookings Institution report that analyzed the starting price set at $15 per ton. If carbon was priced at that amount, Brookings estimates that $80 billion would be raised in the first years of implementation, rising to $170 billion in 2030 and $310 billion by 2050.
McDermott is hoping that this bill will also be supported by Republicans in Congress. He added:
Mitt Romney?s Economic Advisor Greg Mankiw, Exxon-Mobil, the American Enterprise Institute and other conservatives have backed this concept because they know we have to wean ourselves off of carbon emitting energy sources, and do it in a way that doesn?t hurt our economy and makes sense for businesses.
McDermott is a senior member on the House Ways and Means Committee, the body responsible for writing tax law.
Matt Kasper is a special assistant for energy policy at the Center for American Progress.
That’s how much the federal prison population has increased in the last 30 years, according to the ACLU. According to a 2004 Department of Justice report, 55 percent of federal prisoners are incarcerated for drug offenses — one in eight of these offenders for offenses related to marijuana or hashish.
When there's a recession or when the economy is sluggish like now, consumers look for ways to save their … [visit site to read . . . → Read More: A Rock-Solid Stock for a Slow Recovery
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