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A branch of Sainsbury's supermarket chain in central London took kosher foods off its shelves to forestall activists protesting against the Israeli attacks on Gaza, The Independent reports today:

Kosher food was taken off the shelves in a London Sainsbury’s branch that became a target of anti-Israel protests amid fears it would be vandalised, sparking outrage among shoppers.

The decision to remove Jewish products came as pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered outside the shop in Holborn calling for a boycott of Israeli goods.

Sainsbury’s said there were fears the kosher area could be attacked but the move provoked outrage on social media as people accused the chain of making a “political statement”.

A witness who took a picture of the empty shelf said the section had contained produce made in the UK, Poland and Israel.

Colin Appleby wrote: “When I asked a member of staff what had happened they replied ‘We support Free Gaza’.

Unsurprisingly (and rightly, in my view) many people were outraged by this. Sainsbury's Facebook page was 'inundated' with messages, attacking the decision.

Sainsbury's explanation was almost comically inept:

A spokesperson for Sainsbury's said it was “an absolutely non-political organisation” and the food was returned as soon as possible.

He added: “It was an isolated decision made by in a very challenging situation. It was chilled food and [the manager] was simply trying to preserve it.

Uh-huh...sure...they were just trying to 'preserve' the food. Dude, please; the first rule of holes is: when you're in one, stop digging.

As much as I abhor the actions of Israel's Likud fanatics, this is not the way to go about protesting against them. 'Kosher' does not mean 'Likud'. 'Jewish' does not mean 'Likud'. 'Israel' does not mean 'Likud'.

'Friends' like these do the Palestinian cause more harm than good.

Originally posted to Retroactive Genius on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 02:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Policy Zone.

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Comment Preferences

  •  are there no cops anymore in london (0+ / 0-)
    Sainsbury’s said there were fears the kosher area could be attacked
    or have the pro-pals just been protesting
    where did the fear of violence come from
    dark hair brown skins.
    •  There are no cops in London (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gerald 1969

      generally speaking.  I was shocked to learn that my local precinct was closed on the weekends(!) when I lived there.   Granted, it was central London (well, N1), but it was very strange to me.  

      •   but did boris (0+ / 0-)

        not bought some used watercannons from us germans
        for london
        is he going to operate them ?
        but thanks for the info
        i had no idea
        all cameras then ?

        •  I was not being literal, of course (0+ / 0-)

          There are police in London (Oxford St., etc.), but they are not a large presence.  For example, I never saw one in my neighborhood.  It is true that my precinct closed on the weekends, though.  I left after Boris's first year as mayor, so I am not aware of the water cannons purchases.  

  •  but you are right (4+ / 0-)

    this is not about boycotting kosher products(jewish products?)
    it is about boycotting israel to send them the message
    that THEIR gov is on a verry wrong track

  •  Religious dietary restrictions are silly anyway (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    gerald 1969, cal2010, BradyB
    Hidden by:
    charliehall2

    They're all based on the fact that refrigeration and pasteurization didn't exist thousands of years ago. And it's not just Jewish or Muslim restrictions I find silly. I eat a bacon sandwich every Sunday, solely because Leviticus said not to.Politics and et cetera aside, I have a hard time getting worked up over what a grocery store in London does in response to some even sillier people who want to make their point by protesting food. This is the 21st century but we're all endangered because some people in this ridiculous world can't put their stupid superstitions aside for one minute.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:28:32 AM PDT

    •  It doesn't matter to YOU (6+ / 0-)

      but it DOES matter to people who observe dietary restrictions based upon religious belief.

      Israel DOES NOT equal Judaism.  

      I can easily imagine this store's action as a burden on some little old people who shop in their neighborhood, who haven't harmed anyone in Palestine.

      (Picketing synagogues makes about as much sense! Israel does have embassies and diplomatic missions that can be the focus of demonstration without the action stinking of anti-semitism!)

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:53:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  All religions are idiotic. (4+ / 0-)

      But when only one religion's practices are discriminated against, that is a problem. Now maybe you agree that it is a problem, but are saying that it's only one store somewhere so it's not a big deal. Or maybe you think it's not a big deal because it's only the Jews after all. Your comment is open to too much interpretation as written.

      •  The only way the comment is open to interpretation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerald 1969

        Is if you sprinkle it liberally with paranoia and reflexive ideology. I said I think religious dietary restrictions are silly. I SPECIFICALLY said I believe that applies to ALL religious dietary restrictions, specific denominations notwithstanding and why I feel that way. That's all. I never attempted to judge what the stupid fucking store is doing, nor did I try to rationalize their actions or inactions. I only said that I think religious dietary restrictions are silly. You're interjecting shit that isn't there. I don't treat anything with respect if I feel it isn't deserved, nor do I go out of my way to be disrespectful but if you want to IMAGINE that's what I'm doing, I doubt I can stop you. Your religion is not entitled to automatic respect from me any more than a random police officer or a politician just because he or she has a title.

        "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

        by MargaretPOA on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 02:28:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

      Your comment is silly.

      Like many things in religion, there are many religious practices that have a non-religious origin. But whatever the historical reasons for these dietary rules, they are part of the religion now.  Most people who follows these restrictions know what you're saying, and no one cares because it's part of their religion and they believe.

      And even more silly is this:

      I eat a bacon sandwich every Sunday, solely because Leviticus said not to
      Doing this makes you kind of sad and just as controlled by what Leviticus said as some one who refrains. Actually, more controlled, because at least someone who refrains believes. Eating a bacon sandwich because a religious figure told you NOT to? That's something a petulant child would do. You're like the kid who puts his hand in the fire to defy his parents who told him not to.
      I have a hard time getting worked up over what a grocery store in London does in response to some even sillier people who want to make their point by protesting food.
      Looks to me like you're doing a pretty good job of it.

      Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

      by Pi Li on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:25:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  HR for anti-religious prejudice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran

      that has no place on a progressive site

  •  So they only… (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftykook, TheDuckManCometh, PhilJD
    ‘We support Free Gaza’.
    …insofar as they are concerned about…
    [becoming] a target of anti-Israel protests amid fears [they will] be vandalised […]
    And when they get busted, they say they were just…
    [s]imply trying to preserve it.
    Do I have that about right? Or does their support for Gaza go beyond this little "mistake?"

    Regardless, I agree…

    'Friends' like these do the Palestinian cause more harm than good.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

    by DeadHead on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 03:36:36 AM PDT

  •  The Tea Party deserves no benefit of the doubt (5+ / 0-)

    for the lousy company it keeps.  Why is the "anti-Israel" movement given such consideration?  Time after time after time protests and actions are compromised anti-Semitics acts and personalities.  

  •  And one of the Israel-above-all guys (7+ / 0-)

    derails another thread with insults and generalizations, vague accusations of anti-semitism and thuggery.
    Hey rduran, are you IN Israel? Is the rest of your gang there too? Or are you American Likudniks?

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 04:39:41 AM PDT

    •  I'm an American (4+ / 0-)

      and I have no idea what an American Likudnik is beyond its use as a dog whistle on sites like stormfront.

      •  "I'm an American" doesn't answer the question. (3+ / 0-)

        Are you IN Israel?
        And if you don't know the connection between Likud and the American NeoCons, if you think that is some subtle anti-semitic comment then you need to do some studying. Look up PNAC and the "Clean Break" and get back to me later.
        And lest you think, as you so deftly hinted, that I'm some Nazi from Stormfront, my mother's mother's mother was the last synagog Jew in my direct line (I have practicing cousins), which would put me in line for the camps had I been there then.
        Call me a Nazi again and you will be HOS.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:20:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i.e., decent human beings (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward
        •  No decent human being can look at I/P (2+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          cal2010, WattleBreakfast
          Hidden by:
          JNEREBEL

          and react as y"all do, the Palestinians are sub-human and their lives are worthless. But that is exactly what y'all are putting down and all the rest of us can see it.

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:21:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Palestinians *are* human beings (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TheMagicJew, BFSkinner

            I'd thank you to remember that, and stop treating them as tools for grinding axes against a whole other set of millions of people.

            •  I'm glad you say they *are* humans (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gerald 1969, cal2010

              because your lack of regard for the value of their lives, vis a vis Israelis is shocking.
              I am not grinding any axes. I am horrified at the behavior of Israel under Likud since Sharon, Uhlmert and Netanyahu twice. For far too long, I gave Israel a pass while they tormented the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, but I can no longer be silent and can no longer tolerate the complicity of the US in the crimes against humanity that Israel is perpetrating.

              If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

              by CwV on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:09:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My lack of regard? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                debedb, TheMagicJew, BFSkinner

                I'm not the one who lashes out the moment anyone suggests opening the Rafah crossing to permit the displaced to evacuate a war zone.

                You do what you must, but at the end of the day Israel will still be here.  The shift in your support is no great loss.

                •  Your lack of regard is on display right here: (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cal2010, WattleBreakfast
                  opening the Rafah crossing to permit the displaced to evacuate a war zone.
                  First off, are the Gazans supposed to camp out in the Sinai desert? Would Egypt allow that? And why should people who were already pushed of their land allow themselves to be further compressed into refugee camps by the same people that stole the rest of their land?
                  Rafah ought to be completely open to ALL commerce without interference from Israel or Egypt, but that won't happen.
                  Gaza should be allowed to access the sea, have a shipping port, but Israel is blocking their access even to the nearby fishing banks, Nevermind bringing in a cargo ship, kids playing on the beach are even targeted, the whole place is already a refugee camp and your suggestion is to drive the Palestinians further from their land? That's barbarism, AKA ethnic cleansing, AKA genocide.
                  If Israel continues on the trajectory that are following, it is only a matter of time (and demographics) before there is a second diaspora.
                  Pull up NOW and learn to live with others peacefully or wander the wilderness for another thousand years.

                  If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                  by CwV on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:24:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Are you kidding me? (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Proteus7, BFSkinner, JNEREBEL

                    Your side is on here every day demanding Israel open up its crossings--regardless of whether or not Hamas is firing on them on any given day--and yet you pull out the "well, this won't work and that won't work" card when we talk about the one crossing not under constant assault?

                    Rafah can be opened for humanitarian evacuations, and the world can stand up receiving stations to aid and bed then evacuees.  This could be done within a week.

                    But no, displaced Gazans have to stay because if they flee for safety then that's ethnic cleansing.  

                    Well tell you what, call it whatever you want.  But for Chrissakes just get out of the fucking way.

                  •  As for Israel's future (0+ / 0-)

                    critics have offered doomsaying for seventy years.  It's as incredible as it is boring.

        •  they didn't mean to invoke (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rduran

          uber alles

          not at all.

    •  My views of the war crimes of the IDF in Gaza (5+ / 0-)

      are clear and on record here, but any action that targets Diaspora Jews for the misdeeds of the Israeli state is by definition anti-Semitic.

      The absurd reaction by Sainsbury outlined here is not as dangerous as some--no synagogues were burned, no London Jews were assaulted by enraged grocers--but the underlying mindset that Israel=Jews is no different than the recent anti-Semitic attacks in France and elsewhere.

      Fascism in the mirror is nearer than it appears.

      by PhilJD on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:03:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can't have this both ways. (4+ / 0-)

        Because if (and I agree) Israel does not = Jews, then why is every criticism of Israel's behavior automatically responded to as anti-semitism?
        The Pro-Israel folks are just as guilty of that generalization as anyone else, maybe more so.
        Y'all conflate when it serves your purpose and scream bloody murder when it doesn't.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:11:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Regardless of your personal feelings (0+ / 0-)

          your side keeps lousy company.  The Tea Party can't have it both ways.  They can't continue to enjoy the support of racists and fanatics without it reflecting on their position.

          •  "your side" is this with me or against me (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cal2010, orestes1963

            are you asking CwV to make up the tea party general direction, as if there where any conections beside relatives

            admire you style and cant resist sorry

            The Tea Party can't have it both ways.  They can't continue to enjoy the support of racists and fanatics without it reflecting on their position.
              Hammas can't have it both ways.  They can't continue to enjoy the support of racists and fanatics without it reflecting on their position.
              Israel can't have it both ways.  They can't continue to enjoy the support of racists and fanatics without it reflecting on their position.
            you simply have to fill your personal monster in
            as i said nice style
            •  Israel can't have it both ways (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Proteus7

              The legacy of 1948 and '67 is a mess of conflicting deeds that have for far too long been addressed through ad hoc housing discrimination against non-citizen residents in the territories.  Hence the need for separation and a final, all encompassing resolution of claims and counter claims.

              •  do you say the ball is in israels hands (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cal2010
                is a mess of conflicting deeds that have for far too long been addressed through ad hoc housing discrimination against non-citizen residents in the territories.  Hence the need for separation and a final, all encompassing resolution of claims and counter claims.
                because i cant see how the pals could have a say in it at the moment
                but hey it would be a start
                not the fisrt time so
                but yes israel make a sugestion
              •  The legacy of '67 is a war crime. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gerald 1969, cal2010

                Occupation and annexation, the building of settlements on occupied territory is expressly forbidden under international law.
                Pull back to 1948 borders and THEN settle the deeds. Too much of Israel is built on stolen land.
                Once again, demanding that Palestinians negotiate from a position of prostration with a boot on their necks, that they accept as fait accompli, the theft of their homeland and negotiate for the crumbs, land that can never be knitted together into an actual country of their own, shows your total disregard for their humanity.
                And nice try with the accusation of TeaBaggerism. You really have no clue, but you ARE offensive.
                And I see one of your gang is in here dispensing erroneous donuts, I guess I should have expected it.

                If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

                by CwV on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:36:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  While this does, indeed, happen occassionally… (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilJD
          Y'all conflate when it serves your purpose and scream bloody murder when it doesn't.
          …it isn't coming from from Phil when it does.

          Including him in your "y'all" isn't accurate.




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Garcia

          by DeadHead on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 09:51:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Two wrongs do not make a right. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CwV

          Those who throws anti-semitisms around do not justify equating Israeli action to all Jews. Just as Hamas lobbying rockets against Israeli civilian centers do NOT justify IDF bombing the crap out of Palestinian civilians.

  •  BDS is destined to fail (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rduran, TheMagicJew, JNEREBEL, Proteus7

    As long as BDSers target all of Israel, it will fail.

    As long as BDS protesters chant "From the River to the Sea", BDS will fail."

    As long as BDS protesters give the appearance of supporting Hamas and its brand of radical Islam, BDS will fail.

    As long as BDSers support the elimination of a Jewish homeland, BDS will fail.

    People aren't stupid.

  •  However, the feelings the IP issue evokes (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerald 1969, MPociask, cal2010

    are such that nothing surprises me any more.  In another diary, I asked the question for proof, outside of their charter, that Hamas leaders were not, above all else, pragmatic in their decisions.  After all, if both sides are pragmatic, then at some point, there should be enough incentive for both sides to sit down and negotiate.

    If, on the other hand, the sides are motivated solely by ideological zealotry, any attempt at resolution of the conflict is futile until both sides are willing to be pragmatic.  I thought this would be self evident but here is one response my question received:

    "The burden is on you to show that murderous, theocratic, Jew hating thugs with dreams of wiping Israel off the face of the Earth have ceased being murderous, theocratic, Jew hating thugs with dreams of wiping Israel off the face of the Earth."

    •  You still haven't answered the question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward, TheMagicJew
    •  I agree with some of your comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran, TheMagicJew

      I certainly think some people on both sides are motivated solely by ideological zealotry.  Your conclusion is correct as well, that attempts at resolution are futile until both sides are willing to be pragmatic.

      I believe that most on the Israeli side simply want to have a Jewish homeland and live in security that they can trust. I think there's certainly a small minority that are zealots.

      I am concerned that, on the Palestinian side, there are far more people who, based on their perception of religion, would never accept any compromise.  For Hamas, Israel is "Muslim land" that must be reconquered.  I don't believe they will ever renounce their charter.

      If that's true, you're right that resolution of the conflict is impossible and that means the only solutions are either someone winning the war or the world imposing a solution.  Forcing Hamas to de-militarize is part of the world's effort to impose a solution.

      •  let's stick to the issue of a "Jewish Homeland" (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cal2010, gerald 1969, CwV, orestes1963

        or "Jewish State".  The question is if, by Jewish, it is meant religiously or ethnically or both, since the nature of what it means to be Jewish can be quite foggy at times.  After all, in order to establish something, you need to be able to define or describe it.

        The second problem is what is meant by state or homeland and what it would mean for it to be established for perpetuity.  Does this mean, in spite of political or demographic changes, that the nation should remain Jewish (whatever that means) instead of reflecting those social, demographic, or political changes?  This is difficult to accomplish if you intend for that government to be democratic in nature.

        As you can see, the very question of Israel's being a Jewish state for perpetuity presents questions which need to be answered before progress can be made.  After all treaties are contracts between nations and the first part of any contract is definitions of all terms used in the contract

  •  I don't know who is stupider (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerald 1969, Victor Ward, rduran

    the store for removing kosher food from the shelves or the protesters that threatened to do it violently - for the simple reason that the main consumers of kosher food in Britain are not Jews, but Muslims...

    Kosher food, by def, is also Halal and the kosher supervision certification is generally accepted by Muslims. If anything Kosher standards are even more restricting than Halal.

    Queror Ergo Sum. -- Rene Descartes Shakshuka

    by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:19:45 AM PDT

    •  verry true (0+ / 0-)

      btw have your read the independent articel
      i could not find a single info about the protest,
      did they asked the store to remove it,
      were they in the store or outside and how many
      there was some violence in a Tesco store same day
      but if i have read the articel right
      there is allmost NO INFO about the protest  at sansbury

    •  Kosher meat is not halal (0+ / 0-)

      Halal slaughter requires that a prayer is said over each animal as it is slaughtered, which is not a necessity in Kosher slaughter.

      Many Muslims have accepted Kosher meat as acceptable because it has been bled out in the same way, in the absence of a Halal supply.

      "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:23:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually they do. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward, gerald 1969

        According to shulchan-Aruch (which is the standard when it comes to Jewish Halacha) section 19 clearly states that before the slaughter the Sochet should say a prayer (heck, the second rule us that the Sochet should not speak between prayer and slaughter).

        Queror Ergo Sum. -- Rene Descartes Shakshuka

        by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:55:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But not each (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerald 1969

          having seen a documentary about a Kosher slaughterhouse in the English Midlands, the prayer is said at the start of the day/session, not each time, when a number of animals are killed. Halal practices require that "in the name of God" is said at the time of each slaughter. It can be carried out by a Jew or Christian as they are regarded as "people of the book".

          Many Halal authorities now permit stunning by electricity before the neck is cut, unlike Kosher. Other practices. like mixing meat and milk, are also not shared.

          Having said that, most Muslims will accept Kosher meat and many Jews in Britain use Halal meat if it is the only available.

          "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 08:44:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think this is just corporate boneheadedness (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    richardvjohnson, rduran, gerald 1969, AoT

    Sainsbury's didn't want trouble, even trouble that nobody was thinking about causing, so some middle manager did the safe-sounding thing.  Since they didn't transmit the reason to the staff, a staff member sympathetic to Gaza made the reasonable and convenient assumption that it was a political act.  I am guessing there was no wider agenda here.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 07:31:13 AM PDT

    •  agree absolutley (0+ / 0-)

      but isnt it amazing how a twitter pic of an empty self
      can start a virtual-outrage
      the world becomes zerohedge
      were even the smalest news is armagedon every day

    •  Never underestimate the amorality of capitalism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran

      This is one such example.

      •  You know, it's not just the amorality of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        charliehall2

        capitalism.  I'm usually pretty skeptical about social psychology, but the bystander effect tracks all to well with my experience on how groups of people grow ever more efficient at eschewing positive action and diffusing responsibility as the cohort size increases.

        Put simply, I'm more worried about middle managers, idle execs, and worker drones just going about their business than monocled villains in smoky backrooms.

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