Wut I iz reedin.

I’ve been perusing a number of interesting things lately, presented herein for the amusement, annoyance and/or edification of readers.

Glenn Greenwald on Israel/Gaza.  Tangentially relevant to my position:  “If an American citizen really wants to advocate for neutrality on the ground that both sides are equally horrible and they’re sick of the whole conflict and wish it would all just go away, then the place to begin with that advocacy is US government policy which, as unpleasant as it might be to face, has long been, and remains more than ever, a key force that drives the bloodshed.”  FFS don’t read the comments over there whatever you do, unless you have braced yourself for the shocking news that Hamas is EVIL!!11!!!  And the U.S. and Israeli governments are GOOD!!!  And this is apparently TRUE no matter what any of them they actually do!!!!  And speaking of Israel, in response to this excellent, informative and insightful comment from born on the wrong continent responding to my post the other day, I noted that private Jewish organizations contributing money to “defend” Israel do not bother me nearly as much as my government doing so.  As I have pointed out elsewhere, Israeli citizens enjoy universal health care, whereas in these here United States, lack of health insurance is associated with as many as 44,789 deaths per year (Wilper et al., Am J Public Health, (Dec. 2009, Epub 2009 Sep 17) 99(12):2289-95.)  For comparison, 2,977 victims died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.  Total number of Israelis killed by rocket attacks since 2001?  61.  While our government spends billions “defending” Israel, maybe we can get some other government to come over here and defend the 179,000 Americans who will die for lack of health insurance during Obama’s second term.

Firedoglake is selling very cool sweatshirts to support their advocacy and reporting on Bradley Manning, the accused Wikileaks whistleblower whose courageous acts revealed the lies, crimes, corruption and deceit of the U.S. government.  Naturally the media has demonized him and Wikileaks for engaging in what used to be known as “journalism.”  It’s a great logo, and red is a festive holiday color… Annoy all your Obama-voting friends and relatives by wearing a constant reminder  of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers.

Richard Dawkins is a flaming @$$hole, again.  (Or perhaps more accurately, still.)  According to Dick, teaching children about the concept of hell is worse than sexually abusing them.  Oh is it really Richard?  Stephanie Zvan looks at the research, and then coolly knocks him down: “[A]t best, Dawkins is making a comparison that is unsupported in the literature. What literature there is, however, suggest he is making a claim that trivializes childhood sexual abuse. Not only that, he’s been making it for years.”  I would also note that being a victim of childhood sexual abuse is horrific and traumatic immediately, and correlated with a lifelong litany of disastrous effects.  At least if you believe in hell — which I really do not recommend, by the way — you know you won’t actually start burning in a lake of fire until some time WAY in the future, and in the meantime you can hedge your bets by wasting a lot of time with religion in the hope of winning a get-out-of-jail free card from the sky daddy.  Well, if you were lucky enough to pick the correct religion.   [Spoiler alert:  it’s Scientology!]

Ten Numbers the [Very] Rich Would Like Fudged.  “An amount equal to ONE-HALF the GDP is held untaxed overseas by rich Americans.”  “Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100 PERCENT of the deficit.”  Good thing Obama’s Catfood Commission is on the case!  Oh, wait.

Humans are generally horrible.  Also, humans are occasionally awesome [via Chris Clarke/Pharyngula]:

Alan Grayson is awesome.  He spent his Thanksgiving handing out turkey sandwiches to workers at WalMart, the largest private employer in the world with more than two million employees:

In state after state, the largest group of Medicaid recipients is WalMart employees.  I’m sure that the same thing is true of food stamp recipients. Each WalMart “associate” costs the taxpayers an average of more than $1,000 in public assistance.

There were two points to this. One was to inform the workers of their rights. And the other was to demonstrate to them, vividly, that they are not alone.

The WalMart manager had the police escort us out of the building. For handing out sandwiches.

Perhaps it’s too early to make an endorsement for the presidential race in 2016 — and now that he’s back in Congress he’ll have plenty of opportunities to break my heart — but we like to be prepared early, just in case:

Grayson for President 2016


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