Saturday, November 27, 2010

Of Cabbages and Kings...

Greetings good citizen,

Op/ed is indeed the ‘opinion’ of the commentator. While we have this very ‘perceptive’ offering from the razor sharp pen of Mr. Bob Herbert of the NY Times. ‘Skippy’, the editor of the conservative leaning ‘local rag’, spent his editorial ammunition pleading for judicial leniency on the behalf of ‘The Hammer’ or the criminal more widely known as Tom De Lay.

Yes good citizen, I am just as guilty as you are of not making a ‘burning example’ of a CO media outlet that so richly deserves it…mea culpa.

My ‘excuse’ is that this is the ‘Red’ portion of an otherwise ‘Blue’ state, thus my ‘nom de plume,’ which literally translates as ‘enemy/opponent/foe’.

Not that I’d switch to calling myself ‘Buddy’ if the area suddenly shifted into reverse and became a Democratic stronghold…mostly because that would change nothing.

The D and the R are meaningless if they both take their marching orders from the same cadre of selfish bastards.

Which leads us to tonight’s article:

Winning the Class War
Published: November 26, 2010

Even as millions of out-of-work and otherwise struggling Americans are tightening their belts for the holidays, the nation’s elite are lacing up their dancing shoes and partying like royalty as the millions and billions keep rolling in.

[Left to your imagination is just who, specifically, is ‘cleaning up’ off of our misery? Do you remember what I said about the ‘win-win’? Not only do they win by not having to pay ‘living wages’ but they win again by not having to pay for the standard compliment of benefits US workers (used to) expect. Now a days, your ‘principle benefit’ is you get to come back again tomorrow to see if you will win an invitation to come back the following day. That’s how ‘bad’ it has become!]

Recessions are for the little people, not for the corporate chiefs and the titans of Wall Street who are at the heart of the American aristocracy. They have waged economic warfare against everybody else and are winning big time.

The ranks of the poor may be swelling and families forced out of their foreclosed homes may be enduring a nightmarish holiday season, but American companies have just experienced their most profitable quarter ever. As The Times reported this week, U.S. firms earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter — the highest total since the government began keeping track more than six decades ago. [This is ‘Magic with Math that has more to do with ‘more with less’ than an increase in sales because overall payrolls have shrunk by roughly 20% between reductions in ‘headcount’ and company ‘grab backs’. You can rest assured that most of this ‘profit’ is due to irrationally priced stocks, driven by the Federal Reserves’ ‘dilution’ of your purchasing power!]

The corporate fat cats are becoming alarmingly rotund. Their profits have surged over the past seven quarters at a pace that is among the fastest ever seen, and they can barely contain their glee. On the same day that The Times ran its article about the third-quarter surge in profits, it ran a piece on the front page that carried the headline: “With a Swagger, Wallets Out, Wall Street Dares to Celebrate.”

Anyone who thinks there is something beneficial in this vast disconnect between the fortunes of the American elite and those of the struggling masses is just silly. It’s not even good for the elite. [It is even worse for the ‘perceived elite’, those who toil insane hours for a really big paycheck…but it’s still a ‘paycheck’ and if you rely on a paycheck to cover your expenses…YOU’RE A PEASANT! (Even if it’s a really big paycheck…)

There is no way to bring America’s consumer economy back to robust health if unemployment is chronically high, wages remain stagnant and the jobs that are created are poor ones. Without ordinary Americans spending their earnings from good jobs, any hope of a meaningful, long-term recovery is doomed. [It is SO REFRESHING to read those words knowing that I am not the one who wrote them! That aside, ‘recovery’ is NEVER going to happen if we don’t prosecute the self-interested for their crimes against society…and the penalty for treason is death!]

Beyond that, extreme economic inequality is a recipe for social instability. Families on the wrong side of the divide find themselves under increasing pressure to just hold things together: to find the money to pay rent or the mortgage, to fend off bill collectors, to cope with illness and emergencies, and deal with the daily doses of extreme anxiety.

Societal conflicts metastasize as resentments fester and scapegoats are sought. Demagogues inevitably emerge to feast on the poisonous stew of such an environment. The rich may think that the public won’t ever turn against them. But to hold that belief, you have to ignore the turbulent history of the 1930s. [Workers burned factories to the ground good citizen, that is the primary reason behind the ‘New Deal’ getting passed. The ‘BAD NEWS’ is today’s ‘degenerate rich’ think their forebearers ‘caved in’ too easily. We’ll see if they’re right. Considering it took less than a hundred years to end up right back where it all began, I’d opine that the forces of justice were too easy on our self-professed ‘betters’. Trust me, that won’t happen again.]

A stark example of the potential for real conflict is being played out in New York City, where the multibillionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has selected a glittering example of the American aristocracy to be the city’s schools chancellor. Cathleen Black, chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, has a reputation as a crackerjack corporate executive but absolutely no background in education. [While Mr. Herbert’s point is well taken, it also speaks volumes about what our elite think of education OUR children. (Our kids don’t need to be taught anything but which end of a rifle to hold and when to pull the trigger, talk about a damning indictment of widely held conservative views!)]

Ms. Black travels in the rarefied environs of the very rich. Her own children went to private boarding schools. She owns a penthouse on Park Avenue and a $4 million home in Southampton. She was able to loan a $47,600 Bulgari bracelet to a museum for an exhibit showing off the baubles of the city’s most successful women.

Ms. Black will be peering across an almost unbridgeable gap between her and the largely poor and working-class parents and students she will be expected to serve. Worse, Mr. Bloomberg, heralding Ms. Black as a “superstar manager,” has made it clear that because of budget shortfalls she will be focused on managing cutbacks to the school system. [How sad is it the ‘working and poor’ are far too often cited in the same sentence never mind paragraph!]

So here we have the billionaire and the millionaire telling the poor and the struggling — the little people — that they will just have to make do with less. You can almost feel the bitterness rising.

Extreme inequality is already contributing mightily to political and other forms of polarization in the U.S. And it is a major force undermining the idea that as citizens we should try to face the nation’s problems, economic and otherwise, in a reasonably united fashion. When so many people are tumbling toward the bottom, the tendency is to fight among each other for increasingly scarce resources.

What’s really needed is for working Americans to form alliances and try, in a spirit of good will, to work out equitable solutions to the myriad problems facing so many ordinary individuals and families. Strong leaders are needed to develop such alliances and fight back against the forces that nearly destroyed the economy and have left working Americans in the lurch. [Sadly, trying to ‘lead the clueless’ is a task akin to herding cats.]

Aristocrats were supposed to be anathema to Americans. Now, while much of the rest of the nation is suffering, they are the only ones who can afford to smile.

As you are aware good citizen, higher profits can be achieved by reducing ‘cost’.

Under the ‘fucked up’ way they currently measure unemployment, you could theoretically reach zero unemployment when NOBODY HAS A FUCKING JOB!

Once again we are expected to tolerate this kind of IDIOCY while doing nothing to correct it.

Calculating ‘inflation’ while leaving out ‘volatile’ food and energy prices is also MORONIC, but what the hell, this whole STUPID party is being run by the same clueless bunch that none of us voted for!

Not that I need to lecture any of you on the dangers of, er, ‘grassroots organizations’ especially when their ‘roots’ are funded by people with very deep pockets and very narrowly defined ‘interests’.

We don’t allow people who want to eat babies to form ‘grassroots’ organizations, we should also exercise the same ‘restraint’ over people whose ‘best interests’ are not in the interests of the general public, don’t you agree?

Every day is a new battle, keep fighting good citizen!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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