Thursday, October 01, 2009

Miscellania (was "Let's Make Whoopi")

The Europeans have compulsory sick pay for employees and that's why they have such high unemployment
Conservative commentator on CNN a.m. October 3

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in September (-263,000) [...] Unemployment rates for the major worker groups--adult men (10.3 percent), adult women (7.8 percent), teenagers (25.9 percent), whites (9.0 percent), blacks (15.4 percent), and Hispanics (12.7 percent)
Bureau of Labor Statistics (US)

Times Square
I was drifting in and out of consciousness, luxuriating in that delicious in-between-awake-and-sleep. Saturday morning. I'd woken earlier and put the telly on to check the news. Then back to sleep ...

Was I dreaming? No, I opened my eyes (and ears) wider. A guy on CNN was explaining about how European employers must by law, pay for sick days. With the confidence of someone who was well and truly out of it, he was telling viewers that was why Europe has such a high unemployment rates.

The far-right in the U.S. has me stumped. I can't understand how their spokespeople have the audacity to make such outrageous claims.

And for he past few months the loony claims have been coming thick and fast, coutesy of Obama's attempts to reform health care.

If I haven't lived through the health insurance debates in Australia in the 1970s I'd think the free world (yep, I am IN the free world!) had lost the plot.

From the Murdoch Press
Americans have defense forces police forces, members of Congress and schools, all of which are publicly funded. But at the mere thought of the "public option" - that's what the proposed safety net health insurance is called - than we have Sarah Palin talking about how there'll be government run "death panels" to kill off the aged, and how the whole of South America will be converging on us to get free health care for it's citizens.

But I DID live through the health care reform debate in OZ and so, it's the same old same old.

Fortunately we are relieved from the talk of death panels and unemployment figures by the frequent interruptions into political "debates", by news of sexual misdeeds, past, present and no doubt, future.

Until we found out that comedian David Letterman had been allegedly blackmailed by Robert "Joe" Halderman, a 51-year-old CBS news producer, the news was all Roman Polanski. Halderman is accused of exhorting $2 million from Letterman, in exchange for not revealing that Letterman had sex with women who worked with him on his the late-night talk show. He had plead not guilty. Letterman on the other hand has plead guilty (of having the sex).

Mr. Polanski, did in fact, plead guilty - of having unlawful sex with a 13 year old. That was 32 year's ago.

One of the many Hollywood celebrities who has come out in Polanski is Whoopi Goldberg who shocked many people when she was said to have excused Polanski on the grounds that his conduct back in 1977 with a 13 year old girl, wasn't "rape rape".

But what did she actually say? Her "rape rape" comment should be viewed in context.

In a panel session on the TV show, "The View" Whoopi Goldberg was TRYING to get her fellow panelists to address the facts. What was Polanski convicted of?

She gets a little frustrated. I don't blame her. I was surprised when the few people I've discussed the Polanski case with, have said, and I paraphrase, "I think he should be put in jail. It's wrong. What was he charged with? Has there been a trial?"

Nothing like informed opinion.

Can't people get it right? Listen to what Ms Goldberg actually said.

As in the Michael Jackson moralizing, people seem only too keen to forget the conviction and remember the charges.

Last I knew, a person was innocent till proven guilty. Jackson was never found guilty of child molestation and Polanski had no trial as he pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. But what they were convicted of seems to have no bearing on much of media opinion. As with the comments on sick leave and unemployment figures, facts have no place when it comes to the gutter press and Palin wannabes.

Looking and listening to Whoopi Goldberg, all she appears to be saying is - "let's get the facts before sounding off".

It's a case of bread and circuses, with the emphasis on the circuses.

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