Friday, July 25, 2008

Scrutator: A Little Here, A Little There

This week I would like to start with a couple of updates. First, I wrote about autism treatments in a previous scrutator. This week I read a post written by an autistic man. Joel talks about the kinds of treatments autistics need in order to navigate this world more effectively. It is an enlightening read, and it is written by an adult autistic man who should know what types of supports he needs in his life. They all seem pretty reasonable to me.

Last week I wrote about churches and the people who are picketing the opening of the Mormon Temple. The Times News has written a story about the protesters at the temple, and has written a follow-up editorial. What is really strange here is that the usual atheist crowd is conspicuously silent in the comments. All of these christian (mormons are christians, they do believe in christ) religions are bickering over who is right and who is wrong. Not one of them can present any real evidence for their beliefs. It's like constructing buildings for the express purpose of begging santa for presents, then arguing with other santa believers about whether santa has 8 or 9 reindeer, picketing each other with information about how santa won't bring the 8 reindeer believers presents because they don't believe in rudolf. Folks, there is no santa - there is no rudolf. I'm sure you can figure out where this is going.

The latest message coming from the catholic front is to stop planned parenthood from disseminating information to young people. The email states:

Ok so some pro-lifers may take things too far or seem a little freaky but after
watching these links to the Planned Parenthood site for teens (still children),
can we have any doubt that we need to start standing up for our children's right
to be at least somewhat wholesome and to regard sexuality with respect. I am
blown away. Who wants their children to watch this stuff and who wants their
children to treat sex and intimacy with such a disgusting attitude. Find a
way to stop planned parenthood from using OUR tax money to promote this kind of
disrespect and filth. This is only just shy of pornography.

They then link to the Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamet site where several little skits are provided to inform young people about sexually transmitted diseases and how to prevent them. "I Didn't Spew" and "Down There Song" are apparently the most reviled skits.

You know, folks, if parents would teach their children about sex, they wouldn't need to learn it from their peers, and we wouldn't need sites like this that try to redirect that shoddy sexual learning! Unless you live in a cave, you know that kids talk like this. After all, where do you think planned parenthood came up with the interesting vocabulary?

I think it's kind of cute, and it is educational above all else.

The minimum wage increased again on Thursday. The same debate is still brewing, but this time the plummeting economy is in the mix.

Richard Vedder, an Ohio University Professor, thinks that this increase has come at a terrible time and that it will hurt the poor unskilled minority workers it is intended to help. I have to wonder where he thinks minimum wage workers work. They work at fast food restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, retail stores. I don't really see these businesses going out of business because of a housing crunch.

Arindrajit Dube, labor economist with UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment doesn't believe there will be any job losses, because we haven't seen job losses yet due to variability in minimum wage rates. As a matter of fact, most experts agree that the minimum wage increase will act as the best stimulus relief package to date. The people who work at minimum wage jobs are the people who spend their money - and usually all of it - on things like food, shelter, gasoline and retail items. Their wage increase will benefit the companies they work for, not hurt them.

Minimum wage still needs to be increased to make up for 40 years of stagnation. Once it catches up, mechanisms need to be put in place that ensure inflation rate increases every year. Leaving it up to businesses obviously doesn't work. It is a sorry commentary on our nation that people can work two and three jobs and still fall under the poverty guidelines.

It's sad that we have to force employers to do what is right, but they have left us no choice. Being forced to victimize low wage earners in the US and abroad is not acceptable. We need to figure out how to stop allowing 20% of people from earning more than 50% of the money.

I really hate capitalism. It uses and abuses people. It robs people of happiness.

A solar eclipse will take place on August first. Anyone want to go to Russia, Mongolia or China to see it with me? You have to pay for the trip of course, as I am poor.

No wolf hunts! I'll never understand the way ranchers have opposed re-introducing wolves up here in the north-west, but I'm glad they're back. I was so disappointed that they were delisted and that states were going to allow hunts. But, it's ok for now, they will be back on the endangered species list until it is know how healthy the population really is. Come on, folks, they've only been here a few years. Nothing really bad has happened. When they eat your sheep, you get reimbursed. Wolves are prettier than sheep.

And that's all I have for this week's scrutator.

1 comment:

  1. I also enjoy reading Joel's blog, as C dosnt speak i have learnt a lot from him.

    Theres an award for you over at mine :)