Today's Blogs

No Thanks

Bloggers are galled by the lack of gratitude shown on behalf of aid workers who were rescued from their captors in Iraq. They’re also urging GM employees to take the money and run (since the cash-hemorrhaging automaker is offering a buyout), as well as reacting to South Park’s season premiere.

No Thanks: American and British forces rescued three Christian aid workers who had been abducted last November in Iraq. The body of a fourth hostage, American Tom Fox, was found dumped on a road in Baghdad earlier this month. Christian Peacemaker Teams, the group with which the kidnapping victims were affiliated, released a statement rejoicing that the three men had been found alive and criticizing the occupation of Iraq. 

“Outrageously, the press release posted at the Christian Peacemaker Teams’ website makes no mention of the U.S. and U.K. troops who saved the three hostages lives (other than to refer to them generally as a supposedly “illegal” “occupying” force, and claims misleadingly that the hostages were “released” rather than using the more correct, and obvious term—that the hostages were rescued,” blastsbusiness lawyer Gina Cobb.

“They couldn’t get in just one ‘thanks for getting three of our guys out alive’ before condemning ‘em?” asks Kathryn Jean Lopez on the National Review’s The Corner blog. The conservative blog Little Green Footballs’ thread on the topic features the requisite “send ‘em back” comments, while proprietor Charles Johnson points out that the press release features “[l]ots of groveling to the Islamic world and overly demonstrative ‘sympathy’ for the Iraqi people.”

At the Reid Report, Joy-Ann Reid is one war opponent who still thinks the rescuers deserve thanks. “I’m a bit odd in that I think it’s possible to oppose the invasion and occupation of Iraq (as I do, because in my opinion it was an unwarranted and unnecessary waste of U.S. forces and treasure) and to believe that the troops carrying out U.S./British foreign policy are worthy of honor.”

At the Jawa Report, poster WM calls for patience: “I don’t like the statements released by the CPT any more than you guys, but let’s wait and see what the hostages themselves have to say.” In fact, the family of British hostage Norman Kember released a statement thanking “everyone who has worked so hard for him to be set free.”

For more commentary on the freed peace activists, click here.

Pay day: GM offered buyouts of up to $140,000 to more than 125,000 workers in an attempt to cut costs and shore up the company, which lost $10.6 billion last year.

Michael Shedlock on Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis figures that GM will be faced with a hefty payday should even a fraction of the employees accept the buyout. Although the deal may end their medical benefits, “this is a more than fair offer and the employees should take it,” he says. “Wouldn’t $140,000 buy a lot of medical coverage if one wanted it? Those over 65 would be eligible for Medicare would they not, so why not take the money and run?”

“Part of the problem with the GM buyout is that you don’t know how many people will take you up on the offer and you don’t know which ones,” suggests Mark Graban on the Lean Blog, which touts “lean manufacturing.” He quotes a Wall Street Journal story that claims buyouts often result in skilled workers taking the money, while less skilled workers stay on.

Libertarian blog The Phalanx blamed GM’s predicament on the union, United Auto Workers. “For years General Motors has tried new strategies to reduce the cost of labor, but the UAW has consistently resisted such moves and in so doing they have crippled a once vibrant and dominant US company.”

On Write it Like Disaster, funny guy Erik Tanouye posts a generic severance letter that he thinks will cover all bases should an employee opt for the buyout or be terminated. Meanwhile, the car lover’s blog Jalopnik creates a “Choose Your Own Adventure” game out of the buyout offer.

For more on the GM buyout offer, click here.

Goodbye, Chef: South Park’s Chef was killed off violently in an episode that paid sly homage to the character famous for his chocolate salty balls and sage advice. Isaac Hayes, the voice of Chef, quit the show after he was reportedly offended by an earlier anti-Scientology episode. In the episode, Hayes is brainwashed, and Kyle, Cartman, Stan, and Kenny take Chef to see a psychiatrist, in a thinly veiled send-up of Scientology.

Defamer recounts the episode, then caps off with a short defense, er, kind of, of the much-malingered religion. “While likening Scientology to a ‘fruity little club’ may be funny in a bratty sort of way, we’re wondering if perhaps it’s giving them too easy a retaliatory target. They are, after all, a club that helped many a conflicted little fruit kick their dangerous anti-psychotic medication habits, resolve their past-life issues, and maximize their life potential.”

Meanwhile, David at Ithinktfiam compares Isaac Hayes to Islamic extremists for quitting the show only after Scientology was skewered, since the show made fun of other religions in the past. “Just as Muslim newspapers the world over continue to print disgusting cartoons about Jews and then riot when very mild cartoons about Islam are printed, Hayes has a clear double standard.” Andrew Sullivan is hopeful  that perhaps Chef could return after all. “Here’s hoping. Down with the Super Adventure Club!,” Sullivan writes.

For more on Chef’s departure from South Park, click here.