Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday reader's roundup

Good commentary you may have missed--think of this post as a supplement to the Sunday papers, which have shrunk down over the past few years to the point that you have to think about whether you'll line the birdcage or wrap the fish...

Dana Milbank in the Washington Post on the theological ramifications of calling the BP spill an "act of God:"

This interpretation is at the very cutting edge of ecclesiastical thought. In the past, our Heavenly Father has involved himself in floods, droughts and the occasional earthquake, but this may be his first foray into industrial disasters.

The Valdez spill was an act of Exxon. Bhopal was an act of Union Carbide. But the BP spill is an act of God. Oiliness is next to godliness.

Forgive this blasphemy, but is it perhaps time to question the Doctrine of Boardroom Infallibility? In Washington, belief in corporate divinity has become a bipartisan religion, and it's polytheistic...
On Truthout, Jim Hightower corrects misuse of the word "spill":
Many news reports about the Gulf oil catastrophe refer to it as a "spill." Wrong. A spill is a minor "oops" -- one accidentally spills milks, for example, and from childhood, we're taught the old aphorism: "Don't cry over spilt milk." What's in the Gulf isn't milk and it wasn't spilt. The explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon well was the inevitable result of deliberate decisions made by avaricious corporate executives, laissez faire politicians and obsequious regulators.
Chris Hedges says what this country needs is a few good Communists:
We have to grasp, as Marx did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill and lie to make money. They throw poor families out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars to make profits, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, loot the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship only money and power. And, as Marx knew, unfettered capitalism is a revolutionary force that consumes greater and greater numbers of human lives until it finally consumes itself. The nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico is the perfect metaphor for the corporate state.

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