Links of Great Interest: The holidays have eaten my brains

Oh, Sarah Palin.

:tears up at The Incredible Journey:

More on the rise of the Tea Party

More on the dangers of pepper spray

Ancient ruins found in GA

How wealth begets wealth

More on the minimum wage increase

Comments

  1. Casey says

    The video (and the Homeward Bound gifs) made me blub, but the pepper spray and corporate elitist trickery articles made me RAGE (even though it’s nothing I didn’t already know…guess I just feel frustrated since I live in a town collapsing like a mini-Detroit yet countless banks keep popping up all over the place. LOLWUT?).

  2. MaggieCat says

    In the fourth grade, I actually refused to read The Incredible Journey until my teacher (who was awesome) assured me that the animals did not die. It was the first time I was ever planning to stand against a teacher. Sadly, this lulled me into a false sense of security regarding the school district’s policy on breaking children’s hearts with books and I failed to extract the same reassurance from another teacher about Where the Red Fern Grows.

    “It’s odd,” Palin said, wondering why the president’s Christmas card highlights his dog instead of traditions like “family, faith and freedom.”

    Aside from the obvious silliness of criticizing the White House holiday card this year of all years (as the article mentions, they’re secular more often than not of late) am I the only one who thinks Bo does a fine job of representing both family* and faith**? This is making me feel sorry for any pets in the Palin household.

    *Ask anyone in my family or my close friends and they will explain that yes my sister was a cat, not understanding why some people think that’s weird. And that’s aside from my cats who are cats.
    ** Faithful at least. My biggest childhood bully was scared off by the dog down the street who’d adopted me a few months before partly because I was the only person gullible enough to believe her when she told me she was a lap dog. (150+ lb rottweilers aren’t lap dogs? Huh.)

  3. says

    Well, Republicans eat dogs, you know. ;)

    This was my quote of the week, re: the Tea Party:

    America has had a long history of white Southern radicals who will stop at nothing to get their way – seceding from the Union in 1861, refusing to obey Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s, shutting the government in 1995, and risking the full faith and credit of the United States in 2010.

    Manifest destiny is one of the scariest concepts in culture, because it makes use of crowd psychology, which can influence people to do worse in a group than they would ever do individually. Most of us would have trouble sustaining the belief that “God really wants me to rob that bank.” But get a group of people together with just one or two individuals who COULD convince themselves of something like that, and suddenly it makes good sense to everyone involved that God wants them to rearrange national finances in a way that, effectively, robs the Treasury. Crowd psychology isn’t just peer pressure: it also makes use of diffused responsibility, which allows individuals to feel like even though they are directly participating in a chain of cause and effect that leads to a catastrophe, that it wasn’t their fault, so we must all still consider them nice folks.

    You know, one of the first comments on the minimum wage article suggests we need a MAXIMUM wage. I’m not sure how to implement it, because for example, the reason why top sports and entertainment figures get such huge salaries is that all that money USED to go to the people profiting off them, and then came a move to put that money into the hands of those working the hardest to earn it (and these people do work hard). If there’s a maximum wage, where would all that money go? And why is there so much money in entertainment? Is it these CEOs and execs making huge wages who plonk down ludicrous amounts on entertainment, thereby sustaining these wages? Maybe capping them would cause a ripple effect. I dunno, I’m sure it would just end up being dodged somehow anyway, but it’s a really cool idea.

    OMG, a Mayan city in present day Georgia. That just fascinates me! :)

  4. Gabriella says

    The minimum wage in the US always seemed remarkably low to me. I have no idea how the costs of living compare – things always seemed a bit cheeper, sometimes a LOT cheaper compared to buying the same thing in Australia – but our min wage is about $18. (For me as a 21+ y/o that is.) I *think* you can get by on a single min, fulltime wage (without dependants) in, say, a one-bedroom flat in a nothing-special suburb but, eh, I live with my folks in a nice beach suburb so don’t quote me on that. Anyway – point was, I never understood how you could support yourself on $8/hour or less unless the cost of living in the US is significantly lower than that of Australia.

  5. Gabriella says

    LOL @ Homeward Bound. When I was in Instanbul, I posted in my LJ TUUUURKEY! TURKEYTURKEYTURKEY! Only my sister got it; we quote it to each other all the time. I’ve been looking for it on DVD but it’s not available in region for as far as I know. Or possibly not on DVD at all.

  6. Gabriella says

    Jennifer Kesler:
    Well, Republicans eat dogs, you know.

    You know, one of the first comments on the minimum wage article suggests we need a MAXIMUM wage. I’m not sure how to implement it, because for example, the reason why top sports and entertainment figures get such huge salaries is that all that money USED to go to the people profiting off them, and then came a move to put that money into the hands of those working the hardest to earn it (and these people do work hard). If there’s a maximum wage, where would all that money go? And why is there so much money in entertainment? Is it these CEOs and execs making huge wages who plonk down ludicrous amounts on entertainment, thereby sustaining these wages? Maybe capping them would cause a ripple effect. I dunno, I’m sure it would just end up being dodged somehow anyway, but it’s a really cool idea.

    Jenn, the Australian Football League has a cap on its *team* salary. Which means they have $x amount to distribute amongst its players. It can give 90% to one player and divvy the other 10% among all the others if it likes but even that limits how much even a single player can get. (It also has this policy where the lowest-ranking team(s?) of the season get first pick of the draft and those picks have to stay with that team for x years to prevent the most talented draftees choosing to go with the top-ranking team and keep concentrating the talent in one place.) I don’t know if that’s what you were thinking, but I believe the *idea* was to stop costs spirallying out of control and being passed onto the comsumer. If anyone knows more about AFL policy, please feel free to correct me :p

  7. says

    Gabriella,

    Here, the salaries of entertainers are determined expressly by how much profit is coming in. Capping them would just mean all that profit having to go to someone else. Now if, for example, it went to the camera people and others in film getting a good but not stellar wage, that’d be fine by me. But here’s my point in a kind of silly example: 5 people form a tiny start up, and their product catches on like wildfire, and suddenly billions are coming in. They reinvest loads of it, and give each of themselves the maximum wage, but there are still a couple hundred million in profit. Where does it go?

    I also like the idea of a ratio – the top paid person in a company can only make, say, X times what the bottom person makes. But again, what happens when a company gets things right and huge money is coming in?

  8. says

    Maartje,

    That’s another reason why a maximum wage probably wouldn’t work – people who are wealthy have so many ways to work around regulations.

    The thing that should be very clear to people in the US – and I think many other countries – is that the market is broken. Supply and demand are no longer balancing each other, because governments are solidly on the sides of suppliers. This is an inevitable outcome of unregulated capitalism – of course they side with suppliers, because it benefits them. Over time, more and more corrupt people get into government for that reason only – lining their own pocket – and eventually, no one with ethics can get into government and stay there long enough to do any good.

    Every government form has vulnerabilities like this, but capitalists refuse to see that regulation doesn’t break capitalism down – it actually keeps it functioning.

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