There is a sad story out of London that is a commentary on the mutating influence of anonymity on the Internet. Brenda Leyland killed herself after being confronted about her online abuse of the parents of the missing girl Madeleine McCann. Sky News tracked her down as the troll responsible for thousands of hate filled messages to Kate and Gerry McCann, whose three-year-old daughter went missing in Portugal in 2007. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Bizarre’ Category
There is an interesting, if somewhat off-putting, story out of Richmond where the Southside Cremation Services building was set ablaze during a cremation in its attempt to cremate an 800 pound man. Fire crews had to extinguish the flames caused by the excessive heat and oil from the cremation. The story stood out from an insurance stand point. I am not sure how such risks are addressed in standard insurance and liability plans. While the fire did not spread, it would have made for a fascinating proximate causation case. Presumably, the over-sized cremated man is at no liability risk.
Posted in Academics, Bizarre, Criminal law, Justice, Media, Religion, Science, Society, tagged Ferguson, Just World Hypothesis, justice, Letitia Anne Peplau, Max Lerner, Michael Brown, psychology, religion, Zick Rubin on 1, October 12, 2014 | 87 Comments »
By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger
Can religious beliefs actually retard our intuitions for justice and fairness? Research seems to suggest it might well. The Christian religion has imbued Western thought with the fundamental belief that God presides over a just world – one where sin is punished and rightly-held beliefs and actions are rewarded. We see this attitude in every aspect of human interaction. Today, in some sparkling sports stadium an earnest athlete is bound to thank his deity of choice for the good fortunes that befell his team or his game changing performance. By extension, the loser ( a value loaded word if ever there was one) will decry his lack of luck. From the Book of Job to Pinocchio and Cinderella, this belief in what some psychologists call “immanent justice” or “The Just Word Hypothesis” seeks to explain our plight and our success. It also hardens our attitudes about the poor, victims of crimes and those folks either buoyed or sunk by pure chance.
The Book of Job gets us into the mindset. A saintly man if ever there was one as the Bible itself acknowledges, God allows Satan to test Job with all manner of suffering to determine his worthiness. Stripped of his wealth, prestige and power, Job then loses his children and ultimately his health and vigor. Still, Job endures and never ever curses his fate – or his God. He does consult his friends for some inkling as to the cause of his travails. Their answer, which comes like a thunderclap is: “Behold,” one of them declares, “God will not cast away an innocent man, neither will he uphold evildoers” (Job 8:20). Classic “Blame the Victim” mentality from this coterie of advisers.
Puzzled but resolute, Job however concludes that despite his worldly righteousness, he can never know divine justice and according to the story prostrates himself silent before his Master’s “Just World.’ For that, he is rewarded with the resumption of his wealth and status. He even replaces his children with seven new ones. The clear message to the world however is the same: God handles the world’s justice and we are powerless to exact our own except on only the most superficial level.
Jesus himself gets in on the act in the New Testament. Addressing the multitude in the Sermon on the Mount, he has two distinct things to say about justice and our expectations of it: Blessed are…..those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (Matt. 5:6) and Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:10). In modern speak, “Don’t worry God will handle it in his own way and, if you let him do so, you’ll get the whole enchilada. The pearly gates, the mansions, those singing and harp-playing cherubim … you, my faithful believer, get it all.”
The concepts of traffic lanes and right of way remain as incomprehensible in Italy as the Atkins diet. As this picture taken yesterday attests, Italians continue to treat signs as entirely discretionary matters when it comes to driving or parking. In this picture, a street was virtually shutdown due to traffic when the driver in the silver car (an impeccably dressed businessman) simply parked in the middle of street and walked away. That’s it. Close enough for Rome, arrivederci! He just walked away and never looked back.
The Washington Post is reporting it as one of the most painful 40 seconds of this election cycle. Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) was asked a simple question: did you vote for President Obama. What followed in the clip below was one of the most revealing 40 seconds of how bad this election is becoming for Democrats and how radioactive the President has become. Grimes refuses to answer. She is trying to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and these mid-term elections tend to reflect the view of the incumbent president as some voters try to either add support or resistance to a president in Congress. Obama’s popularity stands at a dismal 30 percent in Kentucky. The clip is particularly interesting given the recent public statements of the President that this election is about his policies. It was an effort to rally Democrats but candidates who have been increasingly fleeing associations with the unpopular president cringed across the country. Given Obama’s national polling, an election based his policies and Administration would magnify the already great expected losses in November, including the possible loss of both houses. Even long-time ally and former campaign manager David Axelrod said that the President’s framing of the election as a vote on his policies was a huge mistake. The deer in the headlights look of Grimes reflects that point vividly.
Ashley R. Tull, 30 of Selbyville, Delaware was busted for drugs in an especially costly way. Her 4-year-old daughter mistakenly brought packages of heroin to school and, thinking they were candy, handed them out to friends. Now, Tull faces not just charges for Maintaining a Drug Property but three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (based on her three children).