Archive for the ‘The Economy’ Category

About The Election…

December 8, 2016

This is all I will say on the election for quite some time:

As I listen to noted “progressives” and “leftists” currently bemoaning the election of Donald Trump, it becomes clear that they think we had a marvelously progressive, 180º opposite, Democratic candidate in November and we blew it by picking Hitler.

Don’t they recall what the choice really was?

In setting the record straight, a phrase beloved of Mrs. Clinton’s acolytes as they distorted her record of war and under-achievement, I can only repeat some facts:

1) Polling consistently showed that nearly 60% of Trump voters DO NOT support him. They voted for him only as a way of stopping Hillary Clinton. All the hand-wringing over the “racists” and “nazis” and “angry white people” who allegedly voted for Trump crumbles when this is taken into consideration. But it never is mentioned. It is far easier to demonize and rationalize than to analyze.

2) Scared because Trump denies environmental science? The Democrat “alternative” was also a science denier – one must be a denier in order to support fracking. So we had ZERO choice there.

3) Trump will start WW3? The Democrat “alternative” was also a war-mongering, China threatening, candidate as we witness in her own words: “Russia’s hacked into a lot of things. China’s hacked into a lot of things. Russia even hacked into the Democratic National Committee, maybe even some state election systems. So, we’ve got to step up our game. Make sure we are well defended and able to take the fight to those who go after us. As President, I will make it clear, that the United States will treat cyber attacks just like any other attack. We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses.”
And then we have her stated desire to “ring China with missile defense” to protect against North Korea and set up a no-fly zone in Syria (where she personally sabotaged a cease-fire), and to rig elections in other nations. She publicly supported the concept and execution of covert wars of regime change.  Zero choice there.

4) Aghast that Trump nominated people from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks to his proposed cabinet? Have we already forgotten the $22,000,000 Wall Street Banks paid to Clinton in just under 24 months? You think they did that with no expectation of results? Again, ZERO choice.

5) Opposing dangerous pipelines an issue? Have we also forgotten the millions of dollars Mrs. Clinton snatched up for speeches made in Canada where she spoke in direct support of the Keystone XL pipeline?  Zero choice again.

6) Libya, Syria, Honduras… and the “progressives” think we mistakenly elected a war-monger? We had no choice BUT to elect one.

7) Worried about the privatization (destruction) of Social Security under Trump? Again, ZERO choice in that regard. Clinton repeatedly spoke of means-testing social security as a way to make it over as welfare for the “neediest recipients,” as she phrased it. And she has a track record, through the Democratic Leadership Council and her support of her “co-president’s” welfare reform, of gutting the safety net. How long before she’d have talked in glowing terms of “ending Social Security as we know it”?

8) Afraid we will lose our precious constitutional rights under Trump? If so… where have you been? Hillary Clinton made her campaign a vote on continuing the Obama legacy. Look at the rights that man took away as he gleefully continued and expanded the “W” legacy. Think SNOWDEN. On this point, I agree with friend John Hubbard who noted that fighting for our rights mean nothing if WW3 busts out, and, as noted above, Clinton showed all the signs of itching to start the Big One. Trump may be a threat to many treasured government protections and programs. Hillary was, as the pentagon calls them, an EXISTENTIAL threat to our very survival. Her insane plans for a no-fly zone in Syria (where the crumbling, feeble ISIS doesn’t have a single aircraft) was meant to provoke the Russians – who in her demented view are the bullies standing between herself and the love her mother denied her. Eliminating this crazy person was priority #1. We took care of that. Now on to fighting Trump if you disagree with him. At least we are alive to do it.

9) Don’t know where Trump stands on issues from day to day? He seems “unpredictable”? Ok. How do you know where Clinton stands? I refer you to WikiLeaks and Clinton’s stunning admission that she holds one position in public and another in private. There is no way of knowing what, aside from her own ambition, Clinton believes in. Again, ZERO choice.

10) Here is the bottom line as I see it: Because of corporate media collusion with the two dominant parties, we had a pair of crappy candidates to decide between. Either way we were going to get a crappy president. With Trump, we got a crappy president AND we got rid of the money grubbing, influence peddling Clinton “dynasty” – including the atrocious Rodham Brothers (conveniently hidden this time around). That is called taking lemons and making lemonade.

—-

Acting as though America elected a despot – when there were two despots running for Imperial President – misses the point and evinces a peculiar form of denial.

Given the choice we had, not the choice we wish we had – to paraphrase old Rumsfeld – I believe the nation made the only proper decision. We shattered Bill Clinton, Inc. and showed the democrats that they cannot run hacks from the past and expect their traditional voters to support them.

Now that voters have eliminated the neo-liberal DLC candidate, we will turn our concentration to the task neutralizing the objectionable parts of Trump’s neo-Reagan agenda.

But that takes work, and it requires letting go of the constant parade of fake predictions that fill news outlets (even as they whine about “fake news”) as if we have not endured 16 straight years of the very things people now claim only Trump will suddenly bring.

Work.

Not whining about the election.

Work.

Not the Oppression Olympics, which says that only certain people have a right to say they will suffer under Trump.

Work.

If you oppose Trump, you have just UNDER TWO YEARS to flip the congress.

That is the same amount of time Hillary Clinton devoted to getting her $22,000,000 from Wall Street.
donald-and-hillary

Don’t Follow Blindly!

December 3, 2016
Much of the world hails Fidel Castro as a hero of freedom.
Here, he is reviled.
Much of the world considers Barack Obama to be a mad bomber – destroyer of people and nations.
But here he is considered a wonderful, intellectual progressive.
See how experience guides decisions?
What if Mr. Obama droned YOUR town?
What if Cuba sent much needed doctors into your town?
Nothing is as cut and dried as it appears on the surface. Or on a bumper sticker.
When American officials and the news media denounced Nelson Mandela as a bloodthirsty communist terrorist, the African continent knew who their friends were.
Cuban President Fidel Castro, right, and African leader Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the

Cuban President Fidel Castro, right, and African leader Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the “Day of the Revolution” in Matanzas Saturday, July 27, 1991. Cubans celebrate 38th anniversary of the revolution. (AP Photo/Alejandro Balaguer)

———–
News used to be called “The First Draft of History.”

Now? News is mostly thought-control which gets spoon-fed to us by multimillionaires on corporate payrolls. People like this, as many have now come to realize:

screen-shot-2015-06-05-at-8-42-18-am-1280x811

Do you seriously believe that someone who gets paid $30,000 PER DAY (yes, PER DAY) has even the slightest interest in telling us the truth?
Never forget the old adage:

“Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.”

If an informed opinion differs from my own, I try to find out why.

THAT is why all through the election I posted my objections to electing Hillary Clinton and BEGGED her supporters to correct me. I did this time and again. I even offered to vote for Hillary if anyone could overcome HALF of my objections.

None so much as tried. In place of discussing my objections they merely insulted me in the most vile ways. Then the flew off into the Oppression Olympics, saying a person whom they glibly perceived as a well-off white male can NEVER “understand.” A convenient cop-out. And these are the self-described LIBERALS!

In 1964 humorist Jean Shepherd defined a SLOB as any person who doesn’t know the difference between thinking and believing. Shepherd wisely predicted that in the future such people will shut out all thoughts that do not conform to their beliefs. This is a perfect description of BIGOTRY.  The day which Shepherd predicted has indeed arrived. Political partisans have devolved into fundamentalist religious nuts. When I opposed Hillary, I was treated like a heretic who was charged with spitting on the Holy Books. The Ignorati have discovered politics and now bigotry reigns. You are either with them or you are EVIL.

Rev. Eliot’s Law #4:
Don’t believe what you are told to believe.

Waaaaaahhhh!

November 10, 2016

crybaby

I DON’T LIKE THE RESULTS SO… ELIMINATE THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE!

I DON’T LIKE THE CANDIDATE SO… ELIMINATE THE PRIMARY SYSTEM!

I DON’T LIKE THE RULING SO… ELIMINATE THE SUPREME COURT!

I DON’T LIKE THAT OPINION SO… ELIMINATE FOX NEWS!

I DON’T LIKE THE NEWS SO… FIRE THAT ANCHOR!

I DON’T LIKE THE LAW SO… ELIMINATE THE LEGISLATURE!

I DON’T LIKE THE RESULTS SO… I WILL LEAVE AMERICA!

And these are… THE LIBERALS! The broadminded, tolerant, DIVERSE liberals…

Ok… 

To the Withers talking about leaving the country:

People who will leave because their choice lost an election should go and stay the hell out.
I, on the other hand, will continue to fight for what is right and not leave just to save the effort.
When we win and beat back the regressive tide – and these people did nothing to help because the left – let them stay where they are. Great help THEY would have been in 1776.
A little inconvenience and suddenly they want to become political refugees. 

And these are the people who called me PRIVILEGED for not supporting a neoliberal war-hawk.

“I just HATE this election! I’ll be siping Campari on the Riviera for the next 4 years…”

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Once again we see the truth in the words of Phil Ochs:  “Liberals are 10º to the left of center in good times but 10º to the right of center when it affects them personally.”

 

Never Trust a “Cold-War Liberal”

October 7, 2016

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Never trust a “Cold-War Liberal”
They are war-happy.
You can spot them by the repeated warnings they issue about Russia and China.
Mostly Russia.
Cold-War Liberals live in the past.
In a dangerous past.
But to them, in their old age, in their dotage, it is a glorious past.
They are elderly now and the past is all they have left.
It is who they are, because it is who they were.
They cannot look forward.
This is not a game.
The world needs new ideas and new plans.
The end result of the vaunted “thirty years of experience” Withers cite for their candidate is where we are right now.
The people who put us here, right here, where we are right now, did so deliberately and they will not change things.
Unless we got here by accident, in which case, that “thirty years of experience” means absolutely nothing.
And if you want to see change: YOU ARE A SOCIALIST TOOL OF PUTIN AND CHINA!!!!
You know you have heard this empty imprecation again and again.
So how can you expect change from someone who denounces change?
See how cold-war senility works?
They got away with that garbage in the 50s and 60s.
They saw their dead parents doing it.
So the Cold-War Liberals need to relive their youth.
But their youth has evanesced.
It is no more.
It is gone.
Elect a Cold-War Liberal aching to recreate her or his heyday of youth and potency, and there will be war, misery, and blood.
The day of the Cold-War Liberal is over.
THIS is what the exemplary Cold-War Liberal had to say about war:
“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge–and more.”
That means regime change.
That means war.
That is from a liberal hero.
55 years ago.
We step back to those days at our own peril.
The world is different now. We cannot attack with impunity.
People hit back.
Remember that:
People hit back.

UPDATE:

Now the NY Times reports that Hillary Clinton, in a secret speech revealed by WikiLeaks, has announced her passion for SECRET WARS (click here).
She touts the joys of “covert-intervention,” to use the NY Times euphemism.
Covert-Actions. 
CoIntelPro was covert action
Installing the Shah as dictator of Iran was covert action
Killing Salvador Allende was covert action
Overthrowing Guatemala was covert action
The Bay of Pigs was covert action
The bloodthirsty School of the Americas was covert action
LBJ’s Operation Chaos was covert action
Sabotaging the Democratic Primary was TYPICAL covert action
Henry Kissinger is covert action personified
And Mrs. Clinton LIKES THIS?
Wants MORE of it?
Is she insane?
The Times writes: “Mrs. Clinton gave a tough-minded, realpolitik answer to the question of how to handle a problem like Syria. If the best chance of success was to act secretly inside that country, she made clear, she had no problem doing that.”
Oh… She has no problem doing that?
Unfortunately THE WORLD HAS A PROBLEM WITH YOU DOING THAT, you war-crazy maniac!
Mission Impossible was FANTASY.
I will not vote for more wars.
Especially secret wars. You know, like NIXON IN CAMBODIA which led to this:

1971
This is a democracy, despite what this Cold War Neoliberal thinks.
As to the Times: saying her call to secret war is “tough-minded, realpolitik” is not journalism, it is editorializing. You are putting lipstick on that pig.

How much more NIXONIAN will Clinton reveal herself to be?
She may well take the White House, this bloodthirsty Cold War Neoliberal, but not with my consent.

new-nixon

FURTHER UPDATE:

Late in October, Tim Kaine CONFIRMED that Hillary’s first action will be to ask Congress for unlimited war powers.
As with all neocons, which the Cold War Liberals have spawned, Hillary actually believes that in wartime the nation will unite. She is a big step into the past. Cold War Liberals are in their dotage now and should just take the gold watch then go home to their republican grandchildren.
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How To Decide Anything…

August 1, 2016

Mardi Gras readings

In my work as a Tarot card reader, people frequently asked me how they can best select a personal reader for themselves.

Many factors go into this decision, but I do have one bottom line: if you feel worse after a reading than you did before the reading, never go back to that reader. A reader who fills you with anxiety and fear is preparing to fleece you. An ethical leader helps you.

The same can be said of choosing a political candidate. If you listen to a candidate or see their ads, and you come away feeling scared, that is not the person to vote for. I don’t care what party they may be in, for their age or their gender. One thing is perfectly clear: Inducing fear in you is a way to stop you from thinking rationally. Fear puts us into the Fight/Flight mode and curtails thinking. That is the only reason to put anyone in a state of fear.

You can see the fear technique in full display here:

Whether it be a Tarot reader, to whom you tell your deepest thoughts, or a politician in whom you put your deepest hopes, avoid anyone – and I mean anyone – who deliberately scares you. There is money and power in fear. It’s your money and your power that gets taken.

Speaking of The Music Man, that show is set in the year 1919. That’s the same year in which a very important book on the subject of fear appeared: Unmasking Fear by Lloyd Kenyon Jones. To read more about that book, and a new edition for which I provided the introduction, click this image:

Click this Image To Rad About The Book

Click this Image To Read About The Book

 

CRONY CAPITALISM

March 5, 2016
Chelsea Clinton, daughter of President B

“He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple.” – Ann Richards on “W”

Ms. Richards was talking about “W,” but she was also describing the worst, most corrupt, part of today’s America: CRONY CAPITALISM.
Working hard and succeeding on merit is the myth we teach our children, but for some children, the reality is Crony Capitalism. They “succeeded” not from their own efforts, but from the source of sperm and egg.
And it’s not just about Bushes. Crony Capitalism is how Hillary Clinton got handed millions of dollars for delivering a series of short speeches to Wall Street, and it’s how a pisher like Chelsea Clinton, a woman with no commensurate work or life experience, manages to sit on multiple corporate Boards of Directors.  Did you know about this? Few do, for when proud parents Bill and Hillary gush about their daughter in campaign speeches, they somehow never mention her being on Boards of Directors.  All we hear of is… Chelsea’s child who was, yes, born on third base.
Look: Chelsea Clinton sits on the boards of the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the School of American Ballet, the Africa Center, and the Weill Cornell Medical College. She is the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the “Of Many Institute” at NYU.
She’s also on the board of a conglomerate called IAC meaning she’s a Director of:
About.com
Ask.com
Vimeo
The Daily Beast (which covers mommy’s campaign)
Price Runner
…Among many other companies.

And Chelsea’s “experience”? As IAC notes in her corporate profile:
“Chelsea currently teaches at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and previously worked at McKinsey & Company and Avenue Capital.  As Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, Chelsea is a tireless advocate for the work of the Foundation.”
Then they list her college degrees.
Curiously missing from this rather skimpy resumé is any mention of Chelsea’s $600,000 a year no-show job with MSNBC.
Do the people who denounce Senator Bernie Sanders for having “no experience” hold a well-connected lightweight like Chelsea Clinton to the same standard?
As far as experience goes, I am willing to bet that…
MORE THAN HALF THE PEOPLE ON MY FACEBOOK FRIEND LIST HAVE SUPERIOR, MORE IMPRESSIVE, MORE ACCOMPLISHED WORK HISTORIES.
Are they on a laundry list of corporate Boards?

Is America a Meritocracy? 

Hardly.
Privileged Persons like Chelsea Clinton bear witness to the 
scandalous truth: We live in an aristocratic kleptocracy. Most people work their asses off for little reward (51% of us make less than $30k) while a few have it made for no justifiable reason. In exchange for attending just a few meetings per year and signing, here and there, a few documents they rarely even read, Board members pull in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from each board they sit on. And “sit” is what they do for the rest of the time, by the pool, on a horse, or on a yacht, as the checks come rolling in…
 
Lolling Off Sardinia with Hedge Fund Hubby in a Much Needed Break From The Toils of CRONY CAPITALISM

Chelsea Lolling on a Yacht, Off Sardinia, with Her Hedge Fund Hubby During a Needed Break From The Tough Toils of CRONY CAPITALISM

The men and women of the New York City’s Sanitation Department, dedicated workers who toil day in, day out collecting the City’s trash… people who perform one of the most important and dangerous jobs in any city… make less money in a whole year of backbreaking labor than Hillary Clinton scooped up for 20 minutes of palaver in front of Goldman Sachs executives. When Hillary served as Secretary of State, Crony Capitalism went into over-drive as Bill Clinton’s speaking fees tripled, and their daughter suddenly – miraculously! – became the Board Room’s newest “must-have” accessory. To this day, Chelsea Clinton remains the fuzzy dice of Wall Street. Why? What’s she done in life to merit this?


Does anyone seriously believe Chelsea Clinton EARNED her way into these highly-lucrative sinecures?
Will the Sanitation workers see such a future for their own daughters?

Is This The America We Want or Need?
CRONY CAPITALISM is THE issue of our time.
All injustices of the system stem from this callous looting of The American Dream. 
Don’t let the very people who benefit from rigging the system masquerade as populists every four years to get your vote – even as they steal the future from your children and hand it to theirs on a silver salver, not as a reward for accomplishment or hard work but as a “royal” birthright.

Do not buy their over-the-top scare tactics about terrorism or about how your life will immediately collapse if they themselves cannot be johnny-on-the-spot to nominate “caring,” “progressive” Supreme Court Justices. Other than as a tool of manipulation, they don’t give a damn about the Court – and if you don’t think SCOTUS is a crony capitalism whore-house look into their “vacations” and their spouse’s vocations.
And aside from the court, what are we to expect from the corporatist Crony Capitalist’s choices to run The Fed? The Commerce Department? The FDA? The Treasury Department? The SEC? EPA? The Education Department? These appointments have a greater effect on our day-to-day life than the Supreme Court does. Crony Capitalism is what poisoned the water in Flint. 

Clearly, CRONY CAPITALISM is THE issue of our time.

Remember this when Hillary Clinton’s campaign talks about “breaking down economic barriers” or equality and opportunities for “the children.”  Does she mean YOUR children?  Will your children have people lining up to offer them no-show 6-figure income jobs? Even as their daddy rakes in a taxpayer funded pension of $450,000 a year?

Don’t elect anybody from any party who’s in it for the sake of building a dynasty – even if it’s a dynasty gussied up as a “foundation.”

Look for candidates who live by the same rules you live by. 

America is supposed to belong to all of us, not just the entitled scions of a few money-grubbing families who have no goddamn idea what life is really like in modern America.

He’s A Cornered Animal

February 19, 2016

150709211727-trump-on-obama-birthplace-sot-cooper-ac-00001004-large-169

All the cheap “combover” jokes, all the giggles about his wives, all the silly stuff distracts from the core fact: This man has NO MEANS OF SUPPORT other than this campaign.
He is running because of personal desperation – which is why he persists and persists.
He has no other job.
Like “W” before him, he has failed at everything he’s ever done.
This is the end of the road for him.
Others may want to run.
He HAS TO.
He’s likely mired in debt again and this is the only way out.
That makes him a cornered animal. Meaning: dangerous

Beware of any candidate who has no other options 

Wall Street Eats Its Own

October 3, 2015

NY Times reports on the deluge of suicides and mental breakdowns among Wall Street hot-shots.
Headline is: 

DEATHS DRAW ATTENTION TO WALL  STREET’S GRUELING PACE

and it is quite wrong.

PC is BS. The Right Invented It To Play “Victim”

August 7, 2015


donald-trump-angry

  The thing about POLITICAL CORRECTNESS – aside from its having been passé since 1989 – is that it is a complete and total myth. PC is a mechanism which allows conservatives to claim that they are victims whenever they victimize others and say something rude, stupid, and nasty.

  As with the equally mythic War On Xmas, the conservatives need to feel victimized to justify their free-floating anger. When somebody says, “Now this is not politically correct, but…” it is always the preface to something rude and offensive. But it makes them seem brave for being boorish. Before the righties invented PC, they would start such odious statements with, “Now, don’t get me wrong but…” which implies a misunderstanding. PC removes the misunderstanding and remakes them into bold, challengers of the status quo – when they call women sluts and say African Americans are just not grateful enough to the white people who freed them. And yes, I have heard this and worse quite often. 

  Outside the minds of the whining conservatives, there is no such thing as PC. The truth behind the invention of PC was exploded a generation ago in the book The Myth of Political Correctness, and there has never been an effective retort.

  Poor Ben Carson!

  Ben Carson, a man so mired in the past that he actually complains about what he calls “Women’s Lib,” based his whole risible presidential campaign on purveying misinformation while claiming any challenge to his utter foolishness was just PC, against which he bravely stands. But, alas, last night in the FOX game-show “Who Wants To Be A Jingoistic Dimwit” the perennially broke Donald Trump stole Carson’s thunder with his own rant about being under attack for not being PC. “What a brave boy am I,” the PC brigade trumpets! At every turn. And then the brave Trump assailed Rosie O’donnell with whom he once had a public feud. This, as any shrink will tell you, is the way a Toxic Narcissist thinks. Once an enemy, always an enemy. Even Trump’s first of many wives (is the sanctity of marriage PC?) says that he never lets go. You can see it in the long suppressed documentary TRUMP: WHAT’S THE DEAL – which was supposed to be on national TV 25 years ago. Its point is: the old Trump is the New Trump – so watch out.

  Along with being opposed to PC, many Trump supporters say they find him refreshing because “he speaks his mind.” Well, hell, so does Fidel Castro – known for delivering three hour speeches. Do you Trump-ettes support CASTRO for speaking his mind?

"Fidel Castro - SAYING WHAT'S ON HIS MIND"

“Fidel Castro – SAYING WHAT’S ON HIS MIND”

  My Uncle Harry always spoke what was on his mind. Unfortunately, he spoke it to lampposts, fire-hydrants, German Shepherds, and to his radio – which he seems to have thought was some sort of intercom. You know who also speaks their mind? People with Tourette Syndrome. Drunks in the corner bar. Folks with no mental filter. If it is such a virtue to say what is on your mind, then how is it that you conservatives get angry when someone speaks what is on their mind about YOU? I mean, if I say to a Trump supporter, “You are a complete ignoramus who knows nothing about politics or the American way of life as codified in the Constitution. You are a dolt who actually believes that Trump is, as he constantly says, ‘really rich.’ Why do you believe it? Because Trump said so? You strike me as the kind of rube who will buy anything with varnish on it.” Are you angry? Well, don’t be! I was just telling you what is on my mind. Isn’t that your guy’s greatest virtue? So why knock me – or Fidel – for doing it?

I’M REALLY RICH!

  And as to the Trump refrain about being rich – which will be put to the test once he actually mounts a campaign – please keep this in mind, for it is an exact parallel:

  You want to vote for Fredo? Go for it. Personally, I support a Trump/Palin ticket. Why? Because with those two crackpots in the White House we will finally achieve the long-sought dream of a Nuclear Free America. Within days of their election, the rest of the world will unite to see to it. And the world will be a much safer place.
TS patriotic peace

  And this brings us to the main thing about today’s conservatives. As was quite clear last night, they subsist on fear. And they will manufacture fear where it does not exist:
AMERICANS DON’T WIN ANYMORE! Trump childishly bleats.
SOCIAL SECURITY IS BROKEN!  cries Huckabee, 
falsely.
WE NEED TO STAND UP TO OUR ENEMIES! hollers Canadian Rapheal Cruz – who won’t even use his real name

  Judging from the respective sizes of Trump, Huckabee and Cristie, they seemingly photosynthesize on fear. Fear is a tool that is used to stop people from thinking. This is why they whip up fear at every turn. People in a state of fear will be in FIGHT/FLIGHT mode and they will not think. This is what Meredith Willson showed in The Music Man when a flimflam artiste had a whole town in an uproar over an utterly innocuous pool table. That scene is now the conservative play-book in its entirety.

   Today’s conservatives lack ideas (have they offered any?). They lack substance. All they can do is attempt to spread fear. Interestingly, The Music Man is set in middle America in the year 1919. In that year a book came out detailing how the grip of fear is exploited to control people. 1919 was a grim year indeed! The book is UNMASKING FEAR by Lloyd Kenyon Jones. 1919 was the year of hysteria called The Palmer Raids. It was the year of many “Race Riots” – which in those days meant white people killing black people wholesale. It was a horrible time, as I note in my introduction to a new edition of this valuable book.

   To know the present, we must study the past. The people on the game-show “debate” stage last night are as old as history. They are Iago in the age of mass media, allowing them to do millions of times more damage. FEAR is their weapon of choice. It lies back of everything they do. Read this valuable book to get a historical perspective on these thugs. Yes, thugs. For that is what they are.

Click Image To See This Book At AMAZON.COM

Click Image To See This Book At AMAZON.COM

 

Worker Rights? Or The Kindness of Strangers?

April 16, 2015

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   Everyone seems to be gushing these days over Dan Price, the CEO who says he will slash his own salary and raise his company’s minimum pay to $70,000. I, for one, am not gushing. Leaving aside the details – such as he “plans” to do this (always a bad sign) and that it is supposed to happen over the next three years; not now, and that he will still personally pocket the $2,000,000 plus in profits generated by the workers – so he can well afford to slash his pay – I still think it is positively feudal to bring Noblesse Oblige into the work place. Workers deserve fair pay and not just because of “the kindness of strangers.” Unionize and force the CEO, for whom YOU do all the work, to treat you with respect and provide a fair compensation for the job. Not as a gift. As your contractual right. Worker Rights are not subject some CEO’s goddamn whim. Price, he says, read a book saying that people who make less than 70K are happier when they get more money. That was then. What if next month Price reads a book saying that more competition over less pay is even better? It is possible, when a man makes decisions on what book he just finished reading. Let him read a book by Scott Walker and see what he does after that… you may not like it one damn bit.

What one man gives, another can take from you

   So what happens when, say, the generous Mr. Price retires on a whim, after reading a travel book, and turns the store over to a brother or sister or brother-in-law? What then? Suppose the new Head of the Castle has different ideas? What do you do when he slashes compensation? That is a definite risk when workers toss aside any notion of job-security in favor of having a Tsar who dispenses goodies depending on his personal feelings at the time.

   No, this is not right. It makes for warm and fuzzy reading – but a union which represents the staff will do better. Better because pay will be codified in a contract and not just pulled out of the air. Note the language in the widely circulated meme: Price is GIVING this money to workers, not that they EARNED it. It is his GIFT. (And he had no “minimum wage” workers, BTW. His workers were pulling in around $40,000. So this is a hefty raise, but does nothing concerning “minimum wage” as the meme implies. Nydelis Ortiz, a 25-year old underwriter working there a scant 3 months, was one of the lowest paid people in the company. She was paid $36,000 a year.) 

   America boasts of democracy and tries to force it on the whole world. But is there democracy in the workplace? No. And what price did is still not democratic. This whole idea of joy because one CEO decided to reward his workers is a Plantation Mentality. What next? Will Price buy the workers banjoes so they can strum away at the desk? “I have HAPPY workers, cause I GIVE them things!” What Price has done is thoroughly demeaning. 

   People like Price need to know this: If a person is worth his or her labor, then they are worth their keep. A gift from a benevolent dictator is crap. Workers are the backbone of any business and they should not have crumbs tossed at them like pigeons in the park by a “loving” keeper. If you as a worker are worth $70,000 a year then you deserve it because you earned it. Not because some publicity-hungry corporate twit thinks THIS WEEK that it is a good idea. If your work is worth $70,000 today, then why was he paying you $40,000 yesterday? By his very act of “generosity” Mr. Price admits that he has been underpaying you. Still see this as warm and fuzzy?

   If I worked for Mr. Price, I would start sending out résumés and do so damn fast. This CEO is unpredictable and my bills each month are not. What we need, rather than highly publicized gifts to workers, is a law limiting CEO compensation to a reasonable multiple of the lowest paid in a company. This works wonders in Germany – where workers even have a mandated place on the Board of Directors. And that is just Germany. CEO compensation is out of control here, compared to the rest of the world. Yet when and workers seek to unionize and democratically level the playing field, America responds with allegations of THUGS and “Right To Work Laws” that shove democracy out the window.

   Your work is not a play-thing for someone to dole out goodies based on a whim. Workers deserve better than this.