We did quite make it to posting on Friday. It has been a busy week here for me, so this week we have a special late night Sunday post. I know the big thing this weekend is remembering 9/11, but this post is free of that so you can feel you get a little break from the somewhat excessive jingoism. Do I feel for the victims? Absolutely? But I also loathe the jingoistic exploitation of the event and the fact that the powers that be used it to basically rule by fear. In some key ways, the terrorists won, and Americans let them do it by easily giving up many of their rights. But I digress.
We have quite a few stories this week, including a few out of Texas, a state that so far has zero days without being a fucking national embarrassment. But it is not just Texas. This week there are a lot of signs that the economy is bad, so let's get on with it.
- For a second week in a row we have a story that qualifies as The Big Fuckery This Week, and this one is straight of Texas. Texas basically has found another way to tell the poor "fuck y'all" by deciding to cut financial assistance for people in need to pay for their electric bills. Story via The Texas Tribune.
- Also out of Texas, turns out 31% of their teachers have to moonlight because they are so poorly paid. And by the way, this is not having some summer job. They are moonlighting during the school year. Story via The Rural Blog.
- However, it seems Texas refusing to pay their teachers a living wage is not for lack of money. They certainly can find money to build a $70 million dollars high school football stadium that can put many an NFL stadium to shame. Story via American School and University Magazine.
- Then again, we are talking Texas here, a state where electing corrupt Republican officials is just business as usual, such as their Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller who uses taxpayer money to fund his rodeo hobby and his "Jesus pain shots." It pays to be a GOP politician in Texas. Story via Juanita Jean's.
- On a follow up from our previous The Big Fuckery of the Week, which was the story about the epipen maker and their asshole CEO, turns out being an asshole greedy CEO does pay off nicely. Not only did she get a seriously juicy raise in her pay, but the company was so generous they even went ahead and gave her $5 million bucks so she could cover her tax bill from said raise. Must be nice. Story via The Washington Post.
- In medical news, this is depressing. You may want to put off screening your colon. It is not because it is not necessary. It is because if you do the simple screening that is usually covered by insurance as preventive, and it comes back with a positive, the follow up tests like a colonoscopy will cost you an arm and a leg, and the mofo insurance companies refuse to cover it because at that point it is no longer preventive care. They see it as you doing a diagnostic procedure, i.e. fuck you, you are on your own now. Story via NPR.
- Once more gentrification is in the news, this time for LGBTQIA people as they find themselves getting priced out of neighborhoods they helped to shape in places like San Francisco and Philadelphia. Story via The Advocate.
- Folks who are not paying attention may think there is no such thing as debtors' prisons. We have covered stories in this blog that yes, debtors' prisons are alive and well in the U.S. Well, they made the news again, and now, hell, they are putting children in prison for non-payment of debts. If a family cannot pay juvenile court fees, there goes your kid to the Big House. Story via Common Dreams.
- And here is another debtors' prison racket, this one out of Arkansas. Story via AlterNet.
- Walmart is laying off a bunch of people, mainly in the back offices, accountants, that sort of thing. Story via Reuters.
- It is becoming more and more difficult to find a psychiatrist in the U.S., especially in rural areas. This is due in part to the fact that they are often not under HMOs or such, and as such do not take health insurance because they do not have to. And who often needs therapy and psychiatric help? The poor and vulnerable for starters. Story via The Washington Post.
- Food insecurity is still a big deal in the United States according to a new report from the USDA. Story via Grist.
- Overseas, things are so bad in Venezuela that people are abandoning their pets because they can no longer afford to feed them.
- Contrary to what the privileged would have you believe, yes, there are still a lot of people who cannot afford access to the Internet. Story via The New York Times.
- And yes, also contrary to what the privileged would have you believe, there are plenty of homeless students in college. Story via Inside Higher Ed.
- And students are not the only ones in poverty in college. There are plenty of professors who live in poverty as well thanks the exploitation of adjunct faculty by colleges and universities who lack any sense of shame or morals or humanity. Ironic given I am sure they teach plenty of classes on things like ethics. Brave New films has a new documentary on the topic.
- In another story, we learn of school teachers (not in Texas this time) who have to drive for Uber to make ends meet because, again, their school districts and taxpayers refuse to pay them a living wage. Story via The Nation.
- P.Z. Myers argues that unfettered capitalism is the biggest crime in the U.S. We are putting the wrong people in prison while crooks doing things like wage theft are allowed to thrive. That's America for you and me.
- If you are in the dating scene, things may not be good for you if you have student loan debt. Turns out that potential partners are getting seriously picky, and having student loan debt is basically the latest form of leprosy or scarlet letter. You would be better off being divorced, having a child from a previous relationship, or hell, even convicted felons do better in the bad economy when it comes to dating than folks with student loan debt. Story via Inside Higher Ed.
- One more contrary to popular belief, librarianship is not a lucrative career, not matter what any stupid article tells you. The Annoyed Librarian takes that little myth of librarians rolling in money down.
- In fact, librarianship has it so bad that there is a new category of job for certain job ads you might see out there: the dumpster job. Read Gavia Libraria blog and find out what the hell that is. I am sure she will write a book someday on all these lousy librarian job trends, and if she does, and I can get a copy of it, you will get a review of it here.
However, the economy is not bad for some people. The uber rich and certain people with no ethics or morals happen to do fine. Also if you work some odd or unusual jobs (and you happen to be decent and ethical), you are probably doing well. Let's see how the other half lives and thrives:
- Learn about those who eat at the most exclusive restaurant in the United States. Story via The New Yorker.
- If you sell guns, you are very likely doing very well, specially since survivalists, specially in the Pacific Northwest, are keeping you in business by stocking up on more and more guns and ammo. Story via The Rural Blog.
- If you work in the technical side of the porn industry, you may be doing well. Porn has always been a technology innovator, so if you work in that field, odds are good you are in demand and do well. Plus, odds are good your innovations go on to live in the rest of society and technology down the road. Story via AlterNet.
- Are you a farmer stuck with some shitty old barn that is too expensive to repair or demolish? Sell it for "reclaimed wood" so hipsters and TV home development shows can use it in their fancy projects that no real people can afford. Story via NPR.
- Also via NPR, taco trucks are hot now. After a Republican operative made a racist faux pas, turns out taco trucks are getting more popular. In fact, this one taco truck racked up even more sales at a Detroit event thanks to that dumbass.
- Now college students may be homeless, and adjunct professors are living in poverty, but some schools are more than happy to spend money on all sorts of lavish things. For instance, Berkeley recently paid $200,000 to do PR and elevate the image of a chancellor who is on the way out anyhow; he is stepping down. They need to position their celebrity as a "key thought leader." I shit you not. Story via Inside Higher Ed.
- Here is one of two stories I am highlighting this week where if you lack morals, ethics, and basic decency, you can make a bundle of money and be rich. In this story, one guy ran a fake Trump site, and made thousands from
suckerssupporters sending donations. Story via Esquire.
- And finally for this evening, our second story. I always joked that I was in the wrong line of work. I had no ethics, scruples, or morals, I would set up a revival tent, preach something, and get
suckersthe faithful to give me money to give them some nice platitudes. Well it turns out you can do that sort of thing. Become an end times prophet, scare the crap out of the gulliblebelievers, and make a ton of money in the process. Lose your soul? Pshaw that is only for the gullible who believe. Story via Patheos.