Hot Air

Retro Atrocity

Here’s a snappy PJ top for you:

Pyjamas

Comfy Sleep Makes You Free

Israeli journalist, photographer, and blogger Dimi Reider Tweeted this. I suppose it can be argued that the designer unintentionally paid homage to the Final Solution. Sort of like someone saying, Hey, that picture of a grinning little black boy eating watermelon looks cute and being unaware of its Jim Crow implications. It’s possible some people might be that ill-informed about world history. OTOH, there is the matter of criminal ignorance.

Taken to its ridiculous extreme, criminal ignorance becomes criminal stupidity. Take Holocaust deniers. Just for the hell of it, I googled Holocaust denial. I found this forum on Stormfront.org, which trumpets the slogan, “White Pride, World Wide.” A poster initiated a thread entitled, “Top 10 reasons why the holocaust didn’t happen” [sic]. He — I assume it’s a he; would a female be this moronic? — only lists five reasons.

I find this fellow’s miscount both funny and reassuring.

Holy Food

Sometimes I think people just don’t understand what food is. Scads of people talk as though certain commonly ingested comestibles are as dangerous as a rifle shot through the skull. The same folks go on to tout the magical properties of other fruits and vegetables that can cure everything from a bad mood to leukemia.

Broccoli

Magic

Websites like the tinfoil hat-ish Natural News espouse loads of this silver bullet/holy grail thinking. Don’t get me wrong — living on a diet of french fries and Snickers bars likely will turn your bod into an ugly corpse, no matter how enticing that eating regimen might be. Similarly, if you fill your piehole with crunchy, multi-colored plants and do your best to stay away from fatty meats and Bugles®, you’ll prob. look and feel great well into your doddering years.

There is, in other words, a middle ground.

Still, peeps gush about things like superfoods.

Hidden away in a piece on how superfoods don’t prevent cancer (in cancerresearchuk.org via IFLS) is this little nugget:

The term ‘superfood’ is used to describe foods with apparently special health-related powers. These include blueberries, broccoli, garlic, raspberries, green tea and many more. Typically, such foods are hailed as having the power to prevent or even cure many diseases, including cancer.

But the term ‘superfood’ is really just a marketing tool, with little scientific basis to it.

Just thought you’d like to know.

Union, Yes!

The Loved One points out a spot-on speech given by Joe Stiglitz, fave son of Gary, Indiana, and a Nobel Prize laureate in economics to boot.

Stiglitz says this holy land and the world which follows it slavishly have rewarded bad guys of late (read: since the dawn of the Age of Reagan). If, Stiggy implies, you’re borderline or all-the-way sociopathic, today’s unregulated, Ayn Rand economy has a bushel-full of prizes for you.

Stiglitz

Stiglitz

He gave the speech last fall at the AFL-CIO convention in Los Angeles and Bill Moyers reprinted it (via AlterNet). Yet another reason to dig Stig: he actually speaks to unionists. Most pols and economists these days avoid them as  they would a plenary session for the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Count me in as a union guy. I’ve been a member of three unions in my life: Chicago’s municipal laborers union back in the ’70s and, later, the National Writers Union and the Newspaper Guild. W/o unions, most of us’d be walking around with only six or seven fingers and our collective lung linings would be a rich bituminous coal ebony.

Stiglitz said:

Two years ago, I wrote an article for Vanity Fair called, “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%,” which really got to the gist of it. For too long, the hardworking and rule-abiding had seen their paychecks shrink or stay the same, while the rule-breakers raked in huge profits and wealth. It made our economy sick and our politics sick, too.

Later, he added:

We have become the advanced country with the highest level of inequality, with the greatest divide between the rich and the poor.

His conclusion? This:

One hundred and sixty five years ago, Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” We have become a house divided against itself – divided between the 99 percent and the 1 percent, between the workers and those who would exploit them. We have to reunite the house, but it won’t happen on its own.

It will only happen if workers come together. If they organize. If they unite to fight for what they know is right, in each and every workplace, in each and every community and in each and every state capital and in Washington. We have to restore not only democracy to Washington, but to the workplace.

It will only happen when workers realize that they own much of our country’s capital, through the pension funds, but that we have allowed this capital to be managed in ways that exploit workers and consumers alike.

I say You go, Joe!

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