Monday, April 19, 2010

Not So Much Cull Day, as Think About It Links

... but since it's mostly a list of links, I'll put the Cull Day tag on it anyhow.

First, file under good news v. bad news: Good news is, a ban on unmarried couples adopting is struck down in Arkansas, thus a win for gay families; bad news is, word is coming out that Obama is ordering that the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell be halted, thus yet more proof that Obama is no friend of gay rights.

Bruce Bartlett, conservative bloviator, tells us about the day he figured out that most conservatives hear nothing outside of Fox News, Limbaugh, and other right-wing propaganda outlets. Interesting reading.

Ezra Klein points out that corporations regard contracts as sacred when they're getting paid, but not so much when they have to pay employees.

Securities and Exchange Commission investigators knew "Sir" Allen Stanford was breaking the law with a Ponzi scheme... but did nothing about it for eight years. Why? Because it was too much hard work:

We found that senior Fort Worth officials perceived that they were being judged on the numbers of cases they brought, so-called "stats," and communicated to the Enforcement staff that novel or complex cases were disfavored. As a result, cases like Stanford, which were not considered "quick-hit" or "slam-dunk" cases, were not encouraged.

But that's not all: the head of the Fort Worth office of the SEC's enforcement division was in Stanford's back pocket:

The OIG investigation also found that the former head of Enforcement in Fort Worth, who played a significant role in multiple decisions over the years to quash investigations of Stanford, sought to represent Stanford on three separate occasions after he left the Commission, and in fact represented Stanford briefly in 2006 before he was informed by the SEC Ethics Office that it was improper to do so.

And, finally, a very interesting and thought-provoking story that points out why the fundamentalists are absolutely determined to defend the literal text of the Bible as the direct word of God Himself:

Because if God wrote it, personally, then its authority cannot be questioned. And wielding authority that cannot be questioned is what this story is all about.

This is a story about control. It is about, in the unintentionally candid terms of one of the main actors, "absolute authority" and the desire to wield that authority over a text so that the text, in turn, may be used to wield absolute authority over others.

This is very intriguing to me because, in no small part, it explains why fundamentalism is so strongly associated with the South. After all, politics in the South- indeed, every single aspect of the antebellum South, and most aspects of the post-Reconstruction South- centered around control, around making sure no one got above his or her proper station in life. From colonial days right down to the present, the South was split between the few who gave the orders and the many who obeyed- the few who organized the lynchings and the many who either carried them out or became the targets, the few who controlled the government and the many who voted as they were told to vote.

For these people, religion is merely a tool to maintain their control over society- and to defend that control when it is threatened by change.

So- read these links, and think about what they have to say.

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