Linky Friedman

Digby discusses how much fundamentalist Muslim violence is fueled by US aggression. That this is not the same as saying it’s all our fault, but our tactics overseas (supporting tyrants, supporting terrorists when it suits us, blowing innocent bystanders up with drone strikes, locking people up without trial) probably have as much or more to do with violence than any innate psychopathology in the Islamic faith. And I do think Digby’s spot on when she says that part of the difference between Christianity and Islam is that American Christians haven’t had to fight this desperately in a long time.
•At least one American company has committed to better treatment for Bangladeshi garment workers. And JC Penny says it will require tougher inspections of the buildings.
•Activists are pushing for a bill that would keep medical debts from staying on your credit report once they’re paid off.
•The idea that women and children get saved first in shipwrecks is often invoked as proof of male dominance or why women were better off in the Good Old Days. Only it turns out men do better than women, adults do better than kids, and the crew do better than passengers.
It’s also worth noting, as many feminists did after the Titanic, that being willing to let women reach the lifeboats first didn’t stop men from treating them like shit the rest of the time (sweatshop labor, for instance).
•CS Lewis on why theocracy is the worst sort of government: “If we must have a tyrant a robber barron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point may be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely more because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.
•Does AdBlock let money from advertisers influence which ads get seen?
•SawStop is an invention that turns off table saws if they touch flesh. The table-saw industry doesn’t want to use it.
•Just in case you had any doubts, the war on terror is going on forever.
•The law says payday lenders can’t hit military members with usurious loans. Here’s how the lenders get around that.
•A new computerized rifle rarely misses. Is it too dangerous to sell to the public?
•Here’s a look at how various Internet players protect (or don’t) our privacy. More recently, Apple admitted (which didn’t score well in the survey) it’s received more than 4,000 requests for customer data, but won’t say from whom, or about what, or how many it complied with.
•Stocks are doing fine, so no need to worry about unemployment, right? Digby discusses Washington comments that we’re out of a “crisis” mentality.
•Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority insists only one million Jews died in the Holocaust, and that Zionists exploited and encouraged the final solution to advance their own agenda.
•Pundit Michael Kinsley is shocked, simply shocked, that anti-gay speakers who compare gays to pedophiles are criticized and condemned for their views. With gay marriage triumphant, “it’s a moment to be gracious, not vindictive.”
Kinsley argues we’re not at the point where opposing gay marriage is inherently wrong, so we should cut them some slack. This shows, as I’ve mentioned, that for some conservatives and pundits being criticized is the same as being silenced.
Skepchick details the difference between criticizing someone and trying to shut them up quite well. I’ll just add that accusing someone of being the moral equivalent of a pedophile is a pretty in-your-face statement, yet Kinsley seems to feel that’s within the bounds of propriety. So why object only to the blowback and not the original comment?
And let’s not forget, with gay marriage illegal in more than half the states, the glorious victory is still a ways off.

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