Tag Archives: House MD

Our constitution, July 2012: Economic rights

The previous constitutional posts have been based on a short list of things pretty much everyone agrees you should have in a functioning modern democracy. Politicians in government (or with hopes of being in government soon) may be less enthusiastic about some of the provisions, which are explicitly intended to restrict their power. But most of them are provisions that even the UK’s unwritten Constitution allows for and that even governments with a thundering huge majority will think carefully before overturning.

What follows is a series of ideas that would

“create a constitutional order that reflects a broad public commitment to a more inclusive, egalitarian, and communitarian way, and to mark Scotland out as a ‘progressive beacon’, the following additional provisions might be considered:”

1. Enhanced constitutional rights

Beginning with the most commonplace:

(a) Economic rights (minimum wage, right to collective bargaining)

Cait Reilly has received widespread ridicule from the right-wing press (and Iain Duncan Smith called her “snooty”) for saying her human rights were breached by being forced to work for her benefits in Poundland: I don’t know who first referred to this as “slave labour”, which is banned by Article Four of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but we can agree that being required to work 30 hours a week for £2.30 an hour may be illegal, but it is not literally slavery.

Articles 23-25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, however, were clearly breached:

Article 23: (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
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Filed under Benefits, Elections, Human Rights, Poverty, Scottish Constitution, Scottish Culture, Scottish Politics, Supermarkets

How to make a book a bestseller

Sister Margaret Farley is a Sister of Mercy (nuns, not a rock-and-roll band, unless they’re nuns who also do rock-and-roll music). She’s also professor emerita of Yale Divinity School. She’s not the kind of person who would write a bestseller that hit the top ten in Amazon six years after publication.

But she did.

The Vatican’s “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” (the Holy Office, aka the Inquisition) took six years to consider Just Love:A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, which on Monday 4th June was at 142,982 on Amazon’s bestseller list. They announced to the world, very sternly, that this nun had written a book showed: “defective understanding of the objective nature of natural moral law” and pose “grave harm to the faithful.”

Twenty-four hours later, Just Love was in the top ten list on Amazon.

To give you an idea of the kind of awful thing Sister Margaret Farley is saying Continue reading

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House MD: Everybody Dies, Everybody Lies

I’ve watched episodes of Casualty and M*A*S*H and Nurse Jackie and even ER, but I’d never say I was a fan of medical dramas.

But I have just watched the final very last no there’s not going to be any more episodes of House MD – season 8, episode 22, “Everybody Dies” … and yes, I have now seen every single one of the 178 episodes, probably 134 hours total (in fact, probably more like 400 hours, since I own a boxed set from earlier in the run and the episodes are always repeating on Sky).

“I don’t feel he was my character; he’s not like me, or I’m not like him, but I do love him. I think it’s part of an actor’s responsibility to love the character you play, and I found him endlessly unpredictable and funny and self-loathing and unhappy. I was attracted to and moved by his unhappiness, and by unhappiness in general. Unhappiness is an unfinished state; happy people don’t need our help.” – Hugh Laurie on Greg House

House was a jerk. A “medical genius“, whatever that means, but a jerk. While TV Tropes has him down as bigoted, I’m fairly sure we never actually found out if House was bigoted or just enjoyed saying the most infuriating thing possible to all of the people he met.

Spoilers under the cut. Continue reading

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Leprosy? Like where my limbs fall off?

From House MD 5.01, “Dying Changes Everything”:

Doctor Gregory House: “Those aren’t bruises. They’re mycobacterial lesions. She has diffuse lepromatous leprosy. Must have caught it on one of her overseas estrogen tours. Chemo wipes out some of the bacteria, she feels a little better. Wipes out most of her immune system, she gets a whole lot worse.”

Patient-of-the-Week: “Leprosy? Like where my limbs fall off?”

House: “Actually, this is the flattering one. It’s also known as “pretty leprosy.” It doesn’t disfigure, it makes your skin look younger, smoother. Don’t let the girls hear. They’ll all want to lick your face. Unless you’re that kind of feminist. [to Taub and Thirteen] Blast her with antibiotics and prednisone. She’ll be fine.”

Lepers. Lesbians. Who can tell the difference, really?

Today in London the Emmanuel Centre church hosted a one-day conference and another half-day tomorrow:

“The Lepers Among Us: Homosexuality and the Life of the Church”

What is this about, you may ask?
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Filed under Human Rights, LGBT Equality