Friday, November 30, 2012

Kids Really Just Want to Play with the Box

I admire the imagination behind this idea, although I do have to say that you could create the same gift package yourself instead of buying a kit. Just need some ribbons, and construction paper, glitter, glue and maybe make up some instructions for a few different box toys. Voila!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Time for the Poor to Come Out of the Closet

The time has come for poor people to stop letting other people speak for, and about, them; to stop letting others define who they are. Poor Americans need to look to black and gay pride movements. Thinkers like Malcolm X pointed out that it wasn’t enough to change the political conditions of a people; subjugated people also had to stop viewing themselves through the lens of dominant culture, had to shake stereotyped, degrading visions of themselves that they had too often internalized. To put it plainly, the time has come for poor people to have a coming out of the plutocratic closet of shame. Being broke is nothing to be ashamed of.
-Jeff Nall, Everyday Feminism

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Sin We Ignore

...even in an economy that gives and receives interest as a matter of course we can at times distinguish what might be legitimate interest from what is probably usury. Although the praxis of the Church for the past two hundred years has been not to disturb consciences on the subject, that does not mean that there is anything wrong with discussion of the matter and with attempts to identify usury where it is present. An increased consciousness of the evil and the ubiquity of usury today (cf. Rerum novarum) cannot but help to make Christians more aware of what to our ancestors was one of the greatest of sins.
Is Usury Still a Sin, The Distributionist Review

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Yucky Framing of the Day: How to Suck Money Out of Young People

I believe I have made it clear in this blog just how much I hate marketing speak that treats literature as product and author as brand.  (Rather than the more relationship/service oriented way of thinking: building an audience by creating work that has value and meaning to them.)

Clicked on a link for an article on "Reaching Tween Readers" today expecting perhaps some reflection on young people's passions and interests, their unique view of the world.

Instead, this was the first line:

"All of a tween’s money is spent on themselves so there is a big opportunity for publishers to learn how to get it."


What Happened to the Sin of Usury?

For certainly it appears that usury is no longer a sin that Christians need to worry about. But there is something curious about saying the Church’s teaching has changed. When did this occur? When did usury in the sense which we mean by it here cease to be a sin? If we look in the first half of the nineteenth century as the best place to locate such a change, we find no statement by the Church during that time that says anything about repudiating the teaching of Vix pervenit... Even John Noonan, in an article written expressly for the purpose of proving that there had been changes, or developments as he called them, in moral doctrine, admits: “Formally it can be argued that the old usury rule, narrowly construed, still stands: namely, that no profit on a loan may be taken without a just title to that profit.”[38] It is true that he continues, “in terms of emphasis, of perspective, of practice, the old usury rule has disappeared.”... One can certainly find a nearly universal practical neglect of the question of usury, but one looks in vain to find that the Church ever retracted, abrogated, or substantially altered her teaching on usury.

-Is Usury Still a Sin, The Distributionist Review