Limbaugh and Varney are really taking aim at is New Deal-inspired liberal economics - which is not about Marxism or destroying capitalism. Instead, it is about saving capitalism from those bad apples that would abuse it, seeing it only as a means to create non-meritorious wealth by dint of deceit and unscrupulousness.
Part and parcel of New Deal economics is Distributive Justice. Its roots are found in the works of Aristotle, Cicero, Maimonides and adopted into Catholicism by Thomas Aquinas. And it is Aquinas who defines distributive justice as follows:
…in distributive justice something is given to a private individual, in so far as what belongs to the whole is due to the part, and in a quantity that is proportionate to the importance of the position of that part in respect of the whole. Consequently in distributive justice a person receives all the more of the common goods, according as he holds a more prominent position in the community. This prominence in an aristocratic community is gauged according to virtue, in an oligarchy according to wealth, in a democracy according to liberty, and in various ways according to various forms of community. Hence in distributive justice the mean is observed, not according to equality between thing and thing, but according to proportion between things and persons: in such a way that even as one person surpasses another, so that which is given to one person surpasses that which is allotted to another.(1)
Aquinas addresses something either Limbaugh or Varney conspicuously do not: a duty to distribute with provision to the poorest of society
That is why with the issuance of Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical, Rerum novarum (Of New Things; subtitled, “The Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor”) Distributive Justice was adopted as the heart and soul of Catholic Economics.
“The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements… The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of [sic] the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians.”—Pope Francis (via azspot)
“Children succeed in classrooms where they are expected to succeed. Schools work best when they operate with a clarity of mission: as places to help students master complex academic material (not as sites dedicated to excellence in sport, she hastens to add). When teachers demand rigorous work, students often rise to the occasion, whereas tracking students at different cognitive levels tends to “diminish learning and boost inequality”. Low expectations are often duly rewarded.”—
“…I have a lot of trouble with the word “reform” being attached to what’s happening right now. That’s why I call it the privatization movement. So if the privatization movement continues unchecked, then yes, it will destroy public education. There’ll be public education here and there in relatively affluent communities that are untouched, but it’ll be dead in the cities, and it’ll be dead in the inner suburbs. It won’t be completely privatized, but there’ll be a dual system. That’s what I say in the book. We thought that with the Brown v.Board of Education decision we’d gotten away from dual schools, but the rise of this privatization movement says, “Here’s a chance for your children to get out of the public schools and just be with kids like themselves, and if there are any kids who are trouble, we kick them out.” And lots of parents say, “Wow, that sounds like a great deal, I’ll go for that.” What’s going on right now is an effort to turn what is a public responsibility into a free market exercise. We’ve already seen the privatization movement take hold in the prison system, we’ve seen it take hold in the hospital system, and there are lots of other areas of public life where people are looking for an opportunity to make big bucks. And now their focus is on education as being a moneymaker and a place to invest and turn a profit.”—Diane Ravitch (via azspot)
“…markets don’t exist in a state of nature; they’re human creations. Governments don’t intrude on free markets; governments organize and maintain markets. Markets aren’t “free” of rules; the rules define them. The rules can be designed to maximize efficiency (given the current distribution of resources), or growth (depending on what we’re willing to sacrifice to obtain that growth), or fairness (depending on our ideas about a decent society). They can even be designed to entrench and enhance the wealth of a few at the top, and keep almost everyone else comparatively poor and economically insecure.”—Robert Reich (via azspot)
“Today I see a nation that is not upholding the principles of freedom but is instead still using 9/11 as an excuse to threaten speech and assembly, to isolate ourselves from the world, and to build closed fortresses rather than the open square.”—A sullied date (via azspot)
“Advertising is hard. This is easy. Don’t use a national tragedy as a news peg for your product or service. “Sorry for the deaths of 3,000 people, please give us money for something unrelated” is the polar opposite of clever adjacency. It is always offensive, and it never works. This is not a winnable challenge for copy writers.”—1 Simple Rule for Advertising on 9/11 (via azspot)
“Strikingly, nearly three out of four Americans say that terrorism prevention is equal to or more important a priority than things like the preservation of families, immigration, healthcare, unemployment and education. Even 12 years after the 9/11 attacks, it would seem the threat of terrorism remains a powerful public motivator in America. For example, in a head-to-head prioritization, Americans rank terrorism prevention with nearly equal importance as family preservation (40% rank it higher and 38% rank it lower. The remaining 22% said they should be equal priorities.)”—
“We must do better. We must define high-speed Internet access to be fixed service of 100 Mbps, upload and download; get away from the use of the word “broadband,” with all of its confusing connotations; and make sure that these services are available to all Americans at reasonable prices.”—
“I don’t look at those who believe as defective or damaged or somehow lacking. Faith can be a comfort and a place of strength and an impetus for justice in this world, and I’m not sure why in those cases I, as a person without faith, would need to piss all over that.”—John Scalzi (via Phil Ebersole)
The fine folks at The Incomparable organized a fantasy draft, but instead of athletes and sports teams, they selected comic book super hero characters. The episode was a lot of fun to listen to, and now that my friend A Geek in Korea posted his draft team, I wanted in on the action.
Instead of picking a random team of super hero characters, I decided I wanted to establish a theme. Without further ado, let me present the newest world-saving super team: The Metal Heads.
Iron Man (Tony Stark)
Mathematical and engineering genius and leader of the Metal Heads. Iron Man is the original metal man. He is brilliant and capable. Also, being a billionaire doesn’t hurt.
Colossus (Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin)
The mutant known as Colossus brings the brute force to the team. He is excellent in close combat and though he can’t fly (like most of his teammates) he can punch things very, very hard.
We have a man in a metal suit and a man with metal skin, so the next logical addition is a metal man. The Vision is a synthetic being. He functions as the strategist of the group and can make lightning quick calculations and analyses. His ability to phase through solid objects is also damn cool.
Cyborg (Victor Stone)
The perfect melding of man and machine, Cyborg possesses cybernetic enhancements including armor, strength, speed, flight and weapons. His New 52 incarnation also incorporates Boom Tube extra-dimensional teleportation, traveling long distances will no longer be an issue for the team.
Nova (Sam Alexander)
Nova is the youngest member of the Metal Heads, and unlike the others so far, he’s just a normal 15 year old boy… except he has a technologically advanced alien super computer space helmet. Let’s overlook the fact that he’s basically a direct copy of Green Lantern.
Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson)
The group leans heavily towards the scientific and technological, Dr. Fate brings a connection to the mystical and magical. The helmet of Nabu (along with an amulet and cloak) grant Dr. Fate powers of spell casting, telepathy, flight and invisibility.
The Drummer (Planetary)
Born with the ability to understand electronic systems down to the electron, The Drummer is the information gathering backbone of the team. His skill with electronics should also come in handy with so many computer equipped teammates.
(I had trouble coming up with female characters who fit the theme. Cybernetic enhancements and super-power helmets are a guy-thing apparently. I did come across Death Locket but, not knowing anything about her, felt I couldn’t include her on the team.)
“The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining, which is another issue altogether… No matter what is depicted or from what point of view, the overarching presumption is that it is there for our amusement and pleasure.”—Neil Postman (via azspot)
I do believe that being generous— tipping bellmen, and the guy that opens the door for your taxi— handing him some money, even though it’s clear to all parties involved that he’s not performed very much of a service— opening the door for you is not a thing that costs a…
“It looks like the icon grid and a color palette were tossed to a dozen different designers and they were asked to recreate individual app icons behind closed doors without peer interaction. The result is an icon set that looks scattered, divided, leaderless. The sentiment is that surely some of these will change before the public release. We can only hope.”—
“Spirit” comes from the Latin word “to breathe.” What we breathe is air, which is certainly matter, however thin. Despite usage to the contrary, there is no necessary implication in the word “spiritual” that we are talking of anything other than matter (including the matter of which the brain is made), or anything outside the realm of science. On occasion, I will feel free to use the word. Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or of acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”—
Carl Sagan - The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark