Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Rich ARE 'different'...

Greetings good citizen,

The nonsense markets are cliff-diving this afternoon as the Euro-zone continues its ‘death spiral.’

What’s that have to do with the price of tea in Boston?

Nothin…but it does leave us wondering about the value of the buck in our pockets.

Fitzgerald famously observed that ‘the rich’ aren’t like you and me…they were raised to believe differently than we do.

Which might explain why the billionaire who runs NYC is so out of step with reality.
Bloomberg would know how the free market works, after all--it apparently works by handing out millions of dollars of taxpayer money to big businesses so that they'll stick around and continue to pay low wages. FreshDirect, as we reported, got nearly $129 million in city money to stay in town, despite paying its drivers and warehouse workers around $8 or $8.50 an hour. (FreshDirect managed to get exempted from the living wage law anyway, as Council speaker Christine Quinn maneuvered to make it more palatable to business.)

Of course, Bloomberg is dead wrong on the merits--the "economic growth" that he claims to be protecting would in fact be boosted if New Yorkers could actually, you know, afford to spend some money. $8 an hour won't let them do that--nor, truly, will $10 an hour. A recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition recently noted that it would require 88 hours of work a week to afford a 2-bedroom apartment in New York working at minimum wage--the same minimum wage that Bloomberg thinks these workers, at massively tax-subsidized companies, should get.

Now ask yourself why a billionaire would think something STUPID like that? Doesn’t he KNOW the capitalist economy is falling apart BECAUSE of the ‘global race to the bottom’?

Or am I giving billionaire capitalists too much credit?

Because in order to make one billionaire you have to under-pay a whole shitload of workers!

And here’s a retard that underpays everybody…so they made him a ‘leader’!

And you have two guesses as to who made Mr. Bloomberg a ‘leader’…the rich morons who own the media!

Either these people are either stunningly STUPID (which will become their defense, they’re all gonna turn into Mickey the Dunce when they are prosecuted for crimes against humanity.)

Or they are mindblowingly greedy, greedy beyond our feeble imagination…greedy to the point of being ‘mentally ill’.

Which will be the other pillar of their ‘defense’.

Speaking of the very wealthy and their ‘mental defects’ we have this article from the libertarian leaning AlterNet

1. Higher taxes on the rich will hurt small businesses and discourage job creators
2. Individual initiative is all you need for success.
3. A booming stock market is good for all of us

We can add to that short list the other three most famous lies.
1. the check is in the mail
2. I love you
3. I promise I won’t…

The ‘toads’ of the well to do continue to parrot these lies because they want their ‘betters’ to see them as supporters, worthy of promotion instead of traitors worthy of the hangman’s noose…which is what parroting such nonsense will get one in the future.

The funny thing is how both sets of liars think feigning ignorance will save them. It will not.

So what are we to do while the world spins out of control and mismanagement becomes the watchword of the day.

Already mismanagement is being blamed for a power outage that has affected half of India.

Now, we are led to believe that this mismanagement is ‘unintentional’…just as the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina has led to numerous incidents of ‘mismanagement’ which is why it’s still not done!

But hell they’re still rebuilding Haiti three years after the earthquake so who are we to complain?

Except if we look at it from a ‘what’s taking ‘em so long’ point of view. Now the greedy slobs are divvying up the charitable donations before doing any of the work!

And the fools donating to the charities don’t realize that only pennies on the dollar from any tax deductible donation actually goes towards reparations, the rest lines the pockets of the administrators, who are very well paid indeed!

In case any of you were wondering why the ‘very wealthy’ appear to be very ‘philanthropic’…it’s a vehicle where they can ‘recycle’ their taxable income into tax free cash and pay otherwise unemployable family members for doing nothing.

Yeah, the only way to become ‘truly wealthy’ is to be born to it.

All arguments to the contrary are merely smoke…for the peasants to consume.

Just something to ponder as you watch the world falling apart, just how well this ‘worship of the wealthy has worked out for the rest of us.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Monday, July 30, 2012

Failure to plan = the plan to fail!

Greetings good citizen,

It sickens me to see our alleged ‘saviors’ pulling the same shit the capitalists pulled when they took over the ‘sustainable economy’.

We need to ‘build communities’. Isn’t that the SAME STUNT the capitalists pulled when they established industrial drudgery as a ‘way of life’ they were ‘building communities’…until they got their lapdog legislators to open the borders for them!

Then they forgot all about ‘community’ or the fact that ALL ECONOMIES ARE LOCAL!

Just look at how the scumbags dress up their new initiative!
In what has come to be called the Cleveland model, the goal is to leverage the city’s existing anchors—in this case, hospitals and universities—to provide a long-term market for new worker-owned cooperatives while providing living-wage jobs and access to business ownership to employee-owners situated in surrounding low-income, largely African American communities. The first point is to recycle purchasing power to achieve greater stability. The second—and critical—point is to target firms owned by people who live in the community and create an ongoing stabilizing effect.

The first of Cleveland’s planned network of cooperatives opened its doors for business in September 2009. The co-op industrial-scale laundry is a state-of-the-art, ecologically green commercial facility capable of handling ten million pounds of health-care linen a year. Its sophisticated business plan provides all employee-owners a living wage and health benefits. After seven years on the job, if current projections are realized, each employee will have a $65,000 equity stake in the enterprise.

Read my lips: THERE IS NO CAPITALIST SOLUTION TO OUR NOW DEFUNCT SOCIAL-ECONOMIC MODEL!

The ‘projected increase’ in ‘employee/stakeholder equity’ is based on the old, unsustainable idea of ‘perpetual expansion’ (which ties directly to ‘the greater fool dictum’.)

Second huge mistake is to continue believing the old model is still operating…it is NOT!

Um, the ‘anchors’ of our ‘new economy’ are oddly the same as the anchors of the old economy, the university/hospital system!

Tell THAT to all of the kids walking around with student debt larger than most people’s mortgages and NO FUCKING JOB!

In order to ‘fix’ our broken economy the ‘employer/employee relationship’ HAS TO GO!

A job ISN’T a ‘reward for being humble and hard-working’; IT’S YOUR FUCKING RIGHT! IT’S YOUR ABILITY TO SUPPORT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY IN A CIVILIZED MANNER!

Being deprived of this right is where ‘outlaws’ come from.

Savvy?

Which, interestingly enough, makes those who deprive you of your ‘legal’ ability to support yourself, ‘criminals’.

Yes-siree Bob, creating criminals is (and should) be a crime!

So why do our self-professed ‘saviors’ persist in parroting known broken solutions as the answer to our dilemma?

‘More of the same’ is after all, no change whatsoever.

If we keep doing the same things the same way, we will solve nothing.

Did I mention that we are on the path that leads to extinction?

And believe you me, there are more than a few of our so-called leaders who think it is precisely the path we should be on!

Worse, they believe we don’t deserve better, partly for electing and following leaders like them!

Which is to predict that the new broom will sweep amazingly clean while merely restoring us to a state we should have already been in!

Which is to (again) opine that our current society is mismanaged to a stunning degree.

And now the Progressives are telling us that the same old, same old, disguised as new and innovative is going to be the ‘way to go’.

And it is…if you’re a FUCKING MORON!

This is the exact same tired bullshit that HASN’T WORKED for thirty years but if we call it ‘community development’ that will make somehow, magically everything all better…idiots!

Which is to point out that I don’t suffer fools gladly. I will also apologize to the majority of you who have not been ‘cozened’ into thinking the Progressives are our new champions.

The Progressives are Libertarians and Libbies are only a half a degree removed from the conservo-loonies.

So the above proposal is just one more version of the ‘tough luck’ plan we are currently suffering. It’s not the conservo-loonies fault YOU took the ‘wrong courses’ in college and can’t find a job.

And this supposedly ‘export-proof’ economy…(still owned by capitalist investors) is going to save us all from the ravages of the global race to the bottom!

Gotta have those ‘free markets’ to keep the competition razor sharp. Not that there’s a capitalist alive who likes competition, they prefer monopolies.

And that’s what they have today, funny how that anti-trust stuff all goes away once you buy the justice system of the world’s nuclear superpower…

Which is just one more thing to ponder as the walls come crashing down and your told, (for the umpteenth time) that if you don’t like it go suck a rock…

And you know what THAT rhymes with…(infantile bastards.)

Thanks for letting me inside your head.

Gegner


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Respect

Greetings good citizen,

The madness persists…and sadly it persists on ALL fronts.

The subject of the video in this link is all fine and well until it is YOU or a loved one being thrown to the ground for ‘walking while Hispanic’.

Worse, the video doesn’t start until the cop goes after the young man who is ultimately arrested. What we don’t know is if there is any truth to the charge of ‘theft of services’ the young man is charged with.
Did you see a bulge in his pants before the NYPD officer put his hands all over him, body slamming him against the wall? By law, to conduct a frisk -- a light pat-down over the clothes -- police must observe a bulge they believe to be a weapon. The officer also appears to reach down into his suspect's pockets, a search that is only legal if the frisk uncovers what the cop at least thinks is a weapon.

The Constitutional apathy begins before the illegal serches, however, with the initial stop. The NYPD can only stop someone they have reasonable suspicion to believe is engaging in criminal activity. Unfortunately, the law is so vague suspicion can include "furtive movements," which apparently Black and Laitno people make a lot of.

While the lawlessness of stop-and-frisk is believed to be widespread, proving an unjust stop or search can be nearly impossible. An article in The New York Times about the young man in the video above, 19-year-old Sean Pagan, reveals the difficulty behind proving police misbehavior without a camera:

Okay, the story goes on to explain the young man in the video had 9 priors…but how many of them were like the one we see here?

There is no obvious ‘bulge’ under his clothing to indicate he was carrying a weapon or stolen goods…in fact he was accused of ‘stealing a ride’ something we’d have to watch the station surveillance video to discover the truth of.

Which begs the question, how did the cop pick this particular individual out of the crowd?

9 priors ‘suggests’ he is a ‘known troublemaker’…so did he bust him on General Principles?

Remember good citizen, the question raised here is what fucking kind of society are WE living in?

Is it one where the cops can grab you for no reason and very intrusively ‘frisk’ you in public because they feel like it…or more succinctly, because they don’t like they way you looked at them?

If the young man in this video were Al Capone do you think we’d see cops body slamming him?

No fucking way. Al would have the cops family murdered while he watched if he so much as laid a finger on him!

So why do the cops treat ordinary citizens like…well, you can bet badge boy doesn’t get that physical even if he’s dealing with animals.

So why does he feel the need to attack a citizen who OBVIOUSLY isn’t resisting. We didn’t see him ‘ask’ the young man to put his hands behind his back, hell, I didn’t see the officer ‘Mirandize’ the alleged ‘thief’.

And if you don’t read him his rights (off the card so you can prove he heard them ‘word for word’) it’s automatically a ‘bad bust’.

The Republicans have already shredded the Constitution and regularly used the Bill of Rights for toilet paper…unless one of their own comes under attack, then they are howling about how ‘big government’ is trampling on ‘their rights’!

Hypocrisy is bad and what we see in this video is the worst variety.

Because it’s only a matter of time until the police are ‘indistinguishable’ from common thugs.

Believe it or not good citizen you DO have rights and one of them is NOT to be Body Slammed because some pin-headed cop THINKS you didn’t pay for a ride on the train!

Under A Simple Plan train rides, along with every other ‘public service’ would be free. The train goes from point A to point B because it does, not because some asshole expects to be paid!

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this whole video is how the, er, ‘officer in question’ went after this obviously unarmed young man, who is also a head shorter and at least fifty pounds lighter.

If it HAD been apparent the young man was ‘packing’, would the officer have gotten away with throwing him ‘up against the wall’ like he does without prelude in the video?

Is the officer STUPID enough to even try it?

Answer…probably not.
Want to see this cop treat this kid with respect? Arm the kid and you’ll see the cop either turn his head completely or start any dealings with a very courteous, ‘Excuse me Sir!’

Which is how this should have been handled in the first place.

This is the price we pay when only ‘criminals’ carry guns (and badges.)

The ‘thugs’ don’t HAVE TO ‘respect you’. You become the unarmed sheep they are paid to ‘herd’.

Seriously, good citizen, it is time to open your eyes to the cesspool we suddenly find ourselves up to our eyeballs in.

The revolt starts TODAY!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner




Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Great Divide

Greetings good citizen,

It’s been one for the books already and today isn’t nearly over but that’s on the personal side of the ledger and I won’t bother you with the details.

Let it suffice to say that you’ve got enough on your plate already without my adding to it.

Besides, like most ‘personal problems’, there isn’t anything you can do about it anyway.

I’m supposed to be hosting a birthday party for my teenaged son but instead I’m down here, penning this post.

Probably says something about my ‘parenting skills’, doesn’t it.

But life is full of conflict. The trick is to know where the common ground lies.
We cannot reverse corrupt policies that benefit only a powerful few because our society is fragmented into rival competing groups of us and them. Too many of us care more about the beliefs and agendas of our particular group than the common threats to all groups. To be sure, we are likely to say (and probably even believe) that our primary loyalty is to humanity; that our group is not exclusive; that WE are trying to make the world better for everybody dammit but we cannot because of THEM. But the truth is, when we actually confront the difficult task of finding common ground between us and them, we tend to throw in the towel rather quickly. Sometimes it just seems easier to fight “them” than try to break through our differences in order to build a more democratic and humane political system for everybody. Perhaps some of us even fear that if we sit down at the table to make peace with “them,” the very reason for our group’s existence will dissolve and we would no longer know who we are.

That a mere 400 individuals in this constitutional republic could possess as much wealth as 150,000,000 fellow citizens, and that the government would protect their right to keep it, would be unimaginable in any other context. Our fragmentation is an almost insurmountable barrier to effective political action that would move us toward a significantly more democratic reality. There are so many different contending groups—so many different varieties of us and them—that forging a cohesive majority seems all but a hopeless pipe dream.

Although we live in an irreducibly pluralistic world, we have yet to learn how to function as a pluralistic democracy. Sadly, even those of us who belong to groups that are pledged to tolerance and inclusiveness can drop the ball as readily as those who are self-consciously exclusive. Many commentators of various ideological stripes have lately been sounding the alarm about the apparent erosion of civil discourse in our society, about the toxic negativity of our media and our elections. The level of social polarization -- and the shrillness of our rhetorical warfare -- seems to be escalating. We all feel it. Many of us worry about it. Most of us say that we want it to stop. But too often we ourselves contribute to it--including me.

I think few would disagree with the findings of this article.

Part of the reason we find ourselves sitting in this pile of shit has to do with the largely imaginary rifts opened up by the political rhetoric slingers.

Naturally, the bastards claim they have been ‘taken out of context’ when they are called on their derisive rhetoric but you know damn well they ‘mean what they say and say what they mean and it usually is precisely that, ‘mean’.

Beyond weird is how the > One Percent can convince the rest of us that the majority of us wanna be just like them!

Which is true…to a degree. We all dream of the day when we will no longer need to sweat our obligations but that is a day the will only come if we are both extremely frugal AND extremely LUCKY!

Everybody (with varying degrees of success, which is to say ‘failure’) ‘tries’ to set aside something for a rainy day…but the fucking rain refuses to stop!

(Yet another disturbing ‘commonality’, the ‘average’ schmoe is on a steady ‘bad luck’ diet.)

So, why are we so divided?

Because the corporate owned media tells us we are!

We (sadly) ‘believe’ that most of us are closeted conservatives when only one out of every five actually VOTES Republican.

So how do they keep winning elections?

YOU can’t verify who REALLY WON. YOU are ‘at the mercy and the (ahem) honesty' of the corporate owned media!

EVEN IF 80% of us are convinced they are full of shit, there’s still NO WAY to prove it!

And they aren’t about to produce the actual ballots so YOU can see just how everyone voted.

They don’t have to…and if they did there is no way to tell if a majority of the ballots weren’t forged! (The work of a few minutes in our modern age.)
Thus do we need a different, more positive method for determining the will of the people. The ‘secret ballot’ isn’t it!

If we are to have an ‘accountable’ government we need to have ‘transparency and tracability!

Only the scoundrel needs secrecy!

So the REAL question here is how long are we going to let them get away with lying to our faces?

When will we call their bluff and make them prove we are as divided as they claim we are?

>One Percent of us running the other 99% over the edge of a cliff just isn’t how it’s supposed to go down.

Which is to ask just how much BULLSHIT are you willing to swallow?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Friday, July 27, 2012

Retroactive

Greetings good citizen,

The ‘nonsense markets’ are enjoying their second day of what is apparently a global rally. And there isn’t a single news article to explain the irrational rise.

So we have these headlines from today’s NY Times Business section:
U.S. Economy Slowed to a Tepid 1.5% Rate of Growth
By SHAILA DEWAN 1 minute ago

Growth in the second quarter was held back as consumers curbed purchases and factories received fewer orders in the face of a global slowdown and a stronger dollar.

New Figures Put Recession and Recovery in Focus
Global slowdown and a stronger dollar? Geez, what planet have we been living on?

The fucking meatheads at the corporate owned media have been singing ballads about the glorious blue skies of 'recovery' since the beginning of the year!

What’s this ‘strangled consumer purchases stuff’? How dare consumers stop buying four years after the economy ‘corrected’ itself (and not a single fucking thing was done about it!)

Four years of no raises, four years of ZIRP…how dare they?

Who is gonna swat Humpty Dumpty upside the head and tell him to get a fucking clue?

Like the following:
Euro Watch
Spain and Germany Provide Reality Check on Euphoria
By RAPHAEL MINDER and JACK EWING 56 minutes ago

Countering hopes raised by the European Central Bank, Madrid reports even higher unemployment, while Berlin says it still opposes E.C.B. bond buying.

Who do we have to slap in the EU to get them to realize there is NO SOLUTION to the collapsing economic union.

It’s been a field day for the criminals in charge but now it’s broken beyond repair…because it wasn’t set up to be ‘policed’, it was set up to be ‘plundered’, by the very criminals responsible for setting it up (the EU) in the first place.

To belabor the obvious, yes good citizen, the destruction of our civilization proceeds apace.

Our last headline points to a situation that is being thoroughly mis-handled:
DealBook
Barclays' Profit Falls As New Regulatory Problems Emerge
By MARK SCOTT 13 minutes ago

The problems continue to mount at Barclays, as the British bank disclosed that it was facing a number of lawsuits related to the rate-rigging scandal and that regulators were investigating the company's financial director on a different matter.

What’s this? Criminals at the head of our banking system?

Big fucking surprise, eh?

I know I haven’t said it recently but that doesn’t make it any less true. We could bulldoze the ‘executive offices’ of any company out there and they would likely run BETTER than they currently do!

The grunts in charge of making sure what needs doing gets done don’t need any ‘oversight’, they know what to do.

Our last little link leads to a video clip that should be getting more eyeball time.

When a conservative pundit is asked ‘Where are the jobs created by the Bush Tax cuts?’ her, er, ‘non-reply’ speaks volumes.

Why the corporate owned media likes to ‘pretend’ that the conservo-loonies are singing the U.S.A.’s song is beyond comprehension, never mind reason.

Maybe we should ask Barrack, “where are all of the jobs produced by those tax cuts you refused to rescind?”

Because we know where those jobs went…off-shore…every stinking one of them.

What should be done to the criminals who off-shored those jobs?

What should be done to the criminals who proposed the legislation that enables those jobs to be off-shored profitably?

BOTH are crimes against society, only a self-centered Libertarian would argue otherwise.

It chokes me to see these clueless Republicans fawning over their so-called ‘job creators’ when there is NO SUCH THING!

The > One Percent is a pox on society, criminal frauds who exploit the weaknesses in our justice system for their personal advantage.

Someone needs to ‘step up’, close those voids and bring those criminals to justice.

Problem is the criminals are ‘organized’ and they are dispersed into every aspect of our government.

It’s going to take some mighty strong leadership to ferret the corruption out.

Are YOU up to the job?

For your children’s sake, I certainly hope so.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crazy Markets!

Greetings good citizen,

I think we can all appreciate how life sometimes conspires to hand us a hectic day, for an unemployed guy, I’m busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest!

And it ain’t over yet. I’m taking advantage of this brief lull in the action to draw up a quick post before the calendar on Blogger flips another page.

Um, following my usual format, the stock market is having one bust out beauty of a session, you’d think the recovery was on fire as the markets tacked on over 200 points for no reason I can see.

Maybe the commodity traders are all excited about the drought causing a famine, just another reason why we should abolish the markets and outlaw trading in commodities!

Anyway, today’s Business section headlines are far from hopeful:
Exxon and Shell Earnings Disappoint
By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and STANLEY REED 1:17 PM ET

The companies blamed lower prices for oil and gas worldwide, and analysts said higher production costs were also a factor.
Finding a major new oil field would certainly warrant a uptick in trading but today’s run up is more along the line of finding a new inexhaustible energy source!

Understand good citizen, the > One Percent owe most of their ‘worth’ to their stock holdings…

So guess who is taking it up the tailpipe when stocks rise ‘irrationally’ like they have today?

Yup, it’s nobody but YOU!

And speaking of gifts that keep on giving, Bush’s NY Fed chief cum Obama’s Treasury Secretary
DealBook
Geithner Faces Senate on Rate-Rigging Scandal
By BEN PROTESS 4 minutes ago

Congress intensified its focus on the interest-rate rigging scandal on Thursday, as Timothy F. Geithner, the Treasury secretary, vowed that authorities would forcefully pursue criminal investigations into some of the world's biggest banks.

Odd time to start an investigation, right before the statute of limitations expire…

Weird how some crimes ‘expire’ but anything the average man can be held accountable for NEVER expires.

Who do you suppose Timmy is going to bring to Justice?

It’s a ‘surprise’…which is to ask who is going to be surprised when whoever it is gets away with it?

No need to go there. A bag job is a bag job.

And have a look at THIS ‘joyful news’:
Alcatel-Lucent to Cut 5,000 Jobs Amid Quarterly Loss
By KEVIN J. O’BRIEN 9:33 AM ET

The reductions amount to 6.6 of its global work force. At the same time, the telecommunications network equipment maker will try to increase the revenue it gets from licensing patents.

And stocks went up how much today? Is there any way to put a ‘positive spin on ANY of these news items so far?

Naturally, that’s a ‘rhetorical question’:
Madoff Trustee Wants Victims to Get More Money
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 12:57 PM ET

Victims of imprisoned Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme could be getting back more of their stolen money.

Does anyone else find I strange that only Bernie Maddoff’s, er, ‘victims’ are the only ones getting anything out of the blatantly corrupt financial sector?

More interestingly, those who were with Bernie made out quite well (on paper) while they were with him…

Just saying, ya know?

And finally we have this item:
The New York Times Co. Posts a Loss
By AMY CHOZICK 1:06 PM ET

The company cited a write-down in the value of About.com and continuing declines in print and digital advertising revenue.

Alas, we see another victim of the gutting of the global customer base.

This working for somebody else bullshit is proving not to be worth the effort.

You are, in fact, working to make someone else rich while you impoverish yourself!

Worse, we also know ‘capitalist utopia’ don’t work either so what’s left?

A Simple Plan, an idea whose time has come!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

They KNOW!

Greetings good citizen,

Seems those who recklessly mismanage our very survival are in line for another stiff slap upside the head.

Who though it was a good idea locate the BULK of our animal feed production on the DESERT SIDE of the fucking continent?

They (oddly) don’t teach this in school but the dynamic holds true around the globe. WEST = Desert and EAST = Rainforest

So why do you suppose this is happening?
Food Prices to Rise in Wake of Severe Drought
By RON NIXON 1 minute ago

The Agriculture Department said the cost of beef would increase the most, up to 5 percent, because of the weather and rising costs for animal feed.

This is going to turn into one hell of a ‘How do you do?’ as it will hit during ‘Heat or eat’ season!

And poverty is on the rise across the nation, never mind the rest of the, er, ‘Western World’.

Those ‘wildfires’ the corporate owned media portrays as accidents or ‘natural events’ are in fact a by-product of a long running ‘war in the West’ and most of what is grown west of the Mississippi is ‘feed’ for livestock (and the grains for our daily bread.)

The bulk of food production is actually located in the southeast…because of this dynamic I mention above.

Chalk up one for the Vegans while the People Eating Tasty Animals crowd gets socked in the wallet again!

In yet another sign that the financial markets are more fucked up than we have been led to believe, we have this headline:
Ford Profit Falls Despite North American Growth
By BILL VLASIC 8:16 AM ET

While the North American business performed well, the automaker reported a loss in Europe and now expects to lose more than $1 billion there this year.

Unfamiliar Problem in China: Unsold Cars 9:23 AM ET

Sales grow but your profits fall…what do you suppose causes that? It looks like somebody is ‘giving the product away’ because otherwise their customers would let them rot on the lot.

Yet one more by-product of the Global Race to the Bottom!

The cash register don’t tell no lies…as we see in our next headline:
Euro Watch
Signs of Deepening Downturn Multiply in Europe
By LIZ ALDERMAN 7:23 AM ET

As Spanish borrowing costs continued to rise, Britain reported that its second recession in three years was growing worse and the outlook for the German economy deteriorated.
Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, testified last week before a House financial services panel.

Geez, you don’t suppose the ‘worsening condition’ they are experiencing over in the Eurozone have anything to do with customers being too cash strapped to support the economy, do you?

And what do you suppose is behind this headline?
Fed Leaning Closer to New Stimulus if No Growth Is Seen
By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

A growing number of officials have concluded that the Federal Reserve needs to expand its stimulus campaign unless the economy soon shows signs of improvement.

Thus far the Fed’s ‘stimulus program has consisted of various ‘cash for trash’ programs aimed exclusively at the banking sector.

More alarmingly is the government program to extend unemployment benefits for two years.

Tell me they don’t know what their ‘masters’ are up to?

Imagine the pickle we’d be in if they DIDN’T take such an extreme measure? The economy would have flat-lined months ago and food riots would be a regular occurrence.

So don’t delude yourself into thinking they don’t know what’s going on, they know!

Take a gander at the, er, ‘disclaimer’ before our last headline:

DealBook
William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In the wake of the crisis years, the New York Fed has beefed up oversight.

New York Fed Faces Questions Over Policing Wall Street
By BEN PROTESS and JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG

While the regulator has revamped its approach to overseeing the nation’s biggest banks since the crisis, recent black eyes suggest that fundamental problems persist.

Naturally, our modern ‘lawmakers’ are not interested in ‘correcting’ our badly broken economy because the ‘peasants’ (read you and me) aren’t looking to put heads on pikestaffs outside the city gates.

Um, the down side comes from people who are, er, ‘dissatisfied’ with the current set-up quickly find themselves on the outside looking in.

We are rapidly approaching the hundred million mark of people classified as ‘unemployable’…and we aren’t dying nearly fast enough to let this become the ‘new status quo’.

Why aren’t our, er, ‘elected officials’ interested in, er, ‘rehabilitating’ our financial system?

Inaction is intolerable…how soon will we reach the ‘tipping point’?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Politics

Greetings good citizen,

Stock markets around the globe are bleeding red ink but that’s okay considering how badly inflated share prices are.

Did I mention that we have a serious criminal problem inside the corporate world that encompasses the entire Justice System? (Which is just another name for our government.)

There are two things you never want to see mentioned in tandem, the corporatocracy and the government, whose sole purpose is to PROTECT US FROM THE CORPORATE PREDATORS!

As we all know, since the Reagan Revolution what passes for our government has done an abysmal job of protecting us, from anything!
July 24 marks three years since the last time the federal minimum wage went up. Nationwide, as corporate profits have not only returned to pre-financial-crisis levels but hit record highs, millions of workers are still trying to survive on $7.25 an hour.

A new report from the National Employment Law Project [PDF] found that more than one in four private-sector jobs pays less than $10 an hour—and those jobs are mostly with large corporations, not small businesses. Of the 50 largest employers of low-wage workers, 92 percent of those were profitable last year —and three-fourths of them are doing better than they were before the recession.

The article goes on to name the ‘usual suspects’ as the worst offenders, ironically skipping the financial sector entirely…like the person working the drive up window at the local bank is earning a living wage!

One out of four! Certain private sector jobs have ‘unusually optimistic’ income expectations attached to them making the real ratio of low wages to better than average wages is more like a fifty-fifty split. Half of private sector jobs pay less than $10 an hour and the other half only offer the potential to earn more!

How sad is it good citizen that the majority of the jobs ‘created’ since the collapse of the financial sector pay minimum wage and again, the majority only offers ‘part time’ employment?

What did I say yesterday about working for wages you can’t live on?

It’s NOT your employer’s problem; it’s YOURS!

What do the crack-heads in Congress think about these civilization destroying developments?

Pass the campaign donations please, it’s an election year!

Which is to point out that the tone-deaf mother-fuckers DON'T 'feel our pain', nor will they until we slip the noose over their greedy necks, then it will be over all too soon!

And what do you suppose the major donors to either side of the political fence are, er, ‘buying’?

More of the same!

No prosecutions for the criminals and no wage relief for beleaguered and besieged US workers.

What we’ll get from either candidate is a lot of ‘jaw-boning’.

The incumbent is a ‘proven’ do nothing and the challenger isn’t likely to improve matters any.

For the first time in my long life the choices have never been more abysmal.

It speaks volumes of the now defunct Democratic Party that the incumbent is running ‘unchallenged’ when he has to be one of the most unpopular presidents of all time!

Which is to opine that you don’t reach this level of voter dissatisfaction and expect nothing to happen.

Will we make it to November or will my prediction from two elections ago come to pass and ‘election day’ won’t happen due to too much ‘civil unrest’.

I’m still ‘favoring’ a (veiled) conservative take over of the government, which will display a stunning ‘bipartisan coalition’ in the vanguard.

And I think we all know that this unknown ‘revolutionary force’ will be the representatives of the >One Percent.

We’ll be bowing and scraping to our new ‘royalty’ before we know what hit us.

(Not for long if I’m not mistaken.)

The ‘backlash’ from this decidedly ‘unpopular revolution’ will be most ferocious.

What will our European cousins do when their armed forces are committed to supporting the fledgling royalists on a foreign shore?

I don’t think the ‘average’ European wants the royals back; although there are some who would be eager to reclaim their ‘ancient, noble lineage’.

But again we’re talking a relative handful.

Just as the > One Percent is really a tiny minority with a boatload of (mostly stolen and ‘completely imaginary’) amounts of what currently passes for ‘wealth’.

Richie Rich is only ‘paper rich’…and only as long as the (criminal) court system decides to back his claims.

Richie Rich is a ‘poser’ and it’s high time we stripped him of his ‘props’ (which actually belong to us all!)

We will NEVER achieve a sustainable society so long as ONE (asshole) is permitted to claim ‘I own this.’

And no, the answer isn’t a bunch of assholes owning anything in tandem because the non-owners always end up taking it in the jugular!

The answer is NO OWNERS and NO ‘employees’.

The question, good citizen is, ‘are we wise enough to understand this?’

The current political system has proven it is NOT!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Monday, July 23, 2012

Work...Ethic..?

Greetings good citizen,

For the few of you who have read A Simple Plan I suspect only a small portion of them saw the ‘holistic approach’ I took in laying out the economics of our ‘new society’.

While our closeted Libertarians (who call themselves ‘progressives’) have embraced the idea of ‘universal participation’ they seem prone to assume the mechanics of working less hours is going to somehow take care of itself.

It won’t.

This variety of, er, ‘neglect’ leads to some fairly dark thoughts…some along the line of how the Nazis also called themselves progressives and, more pointedly, their idea about what made someone a ‘good German’ and how that idea is manifesting itself in today’s psycho political environment.

If you are a ‘good’ Murikan, you can afford to live on half of your, er, ‘income’ (because you’re already a millionaire.)

Only ‘bad’ Murikans wouldn’t be able to handle the scarcity presented by an environment that offered ‘less opportunity.’

Maybe the stupid Libbies believe their > One Percent ‘friends’ will ‘take care of them’ but regardless of where you fall on the capitalist scale they don’t have room for all of us.

In fact they aren’t ‘planning’ on all of us surviving the collapse of the financial system.

In a few short weeks after the financial markets collapse, billions will die.

But I ‘digress’…let us return to work sharing with out expense reduction (and other sordid miracles!)
But what about an attitude adjustment to accompany those policies, or perhaps usher them in? How could workplaces and individuals reconfigure our mindset away from the most hours of work necessarily being the best toward a new paradigm? Can there be a healthy balance between productive, engaged and enthusiastic work for the most number of people, and the all-important leisure that enables and informs that work for all those people, too? I went on a search for the most recent progressive thinking on the issue of balance because I had a feeling there were ideas percolating beyond the basic need for family, medical and vacation time.

American culture is informed by (forgive my ensuing broad generalizations about American religious history) an embrace of strong individuality and the infamous Puritan work ethic the earliest settlers brought over. In traditional Protestant thinking, hard work, frugality and diligence were ways of indicating membership in the "elect," or the saved. They left England because they found it debauched and corrupt, and established strict standards in the colonies. As a look back at Max Weber reminds us, this ethic is strongly tied to the American strand of capitalism. Ben Franklin, that pioneer of American thinking, wrote that "time is money," and urged Americans to spend their time earning at the dawn of our nation's existence. And as other countries have slowed down their hours in recent decades, we have sped up. [snip]

Engler cites the work of Juliet Schor and the concept of a "plenitude" economy over a profit-driven one. It's the idea of a great slowdown to counter the Great-American speedup. But it can't happen without our help. We need a willingness to let go of the idea that every hour working is somehow more valuable than an hour of our own time. Work should not be the only arbiter of dignity and status. Essentially she posits that if we all worked four days a week, and spent the rest of our time nourishing ourselves, the environment and each other, we'd be "better equipped to weather the economic and climate storms that will be more likely in coming decades." She tells us we have no other choice:

"Ultimately a progressive economic vision is one in which our economic arrangements yield a sustaining planet, creative work and fair distribution. The business-as-usual economy is failing miserably on all those fronts."
Um, in yet another stunning example of how ‘out of touch’ the corporate owned media and their alleged opponents are, they attribute our current incomprehensible inability to solve a relatively simple problem by blaming a 300 year-old ethic that no longer exists!

The Rocky movies proved that. The theme was ‘be a thinker and not a stinker’. It was the prevailing attitude throughout the last three decades and the primary justification for outsourcing our smokestacks.

We didn’t need those ‘dirty’ jobs. We were ‘better than that’.

Now look at us…

Um, wait a second…I just spotted something that throws this whole article out the window…

Stupid thinks we can implement ‘worksharing’ by reducing the workweek from five days to four.

Four eights are thirty-two (something I haven’t seen in the past six years) Most of the current ‘workforce’ is already on less than 32 hours a week!

I’m talking 20 hours a week and even that is sliced and diced depending on the demands of the job.

Under A Simple Plan the whole housing issue (and almost all related expenses) goes away.

You don’t/won’t need a 40 hour check to survive (comfortably…even if most of today’s forty hour workers are lucky to eat regularly and live indoors.)

Yez Virginia, poverty is on the rise…in case you hadn’t noticed.

Oh and didn’t I caution you long ago that the day would come when you would be faced with the ‘futility of working for a paycheck’? (That your paycheck would no longer cover your expenses and your employer’s response to this would be ‘not my problem, it’s yours!’)

Because THEN you’d be ‘good and ready’ to DO SOMETHING! Wouldn’t you?

Well, tick, tock good citizen.

Time waits for no man and regardless of your ‘feelings’ on the matter, you WILL take a stand.

Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Wait too long and you may find yourself standing alone.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pundits

Greetings good citizen,

Outlawing guns will not stop the madness, we’d be just as safe if we outlawed insanity!

Which is to say you’d still face the same level of danger you faced prior to an outright ban.

And who ‘wins’ when only criminals have guns?

The criminals.

It staggers the mind to read stories like this one and have pundits react like a ban would have prevented it.

Don’t these FOOLS see what the ‘criminal class’ is up to? We’re talking a very fine line between stupid and corrupt here.

Either the pundits on the left are playing into the conservo-loonies’ hands by crying for a weapons ban or they are so corrupt they are parroting what they’ve been paid to say!

We’re talking a young kid here with equipment costing in the tens of thousands of dollars and nobody is asking how he got his hands on the MONEY?

Let me guess. He has a Really Big paper route…

But I digress… let’s take a look at the snippet showing us the (ongoing) destruction of our civilization:
That wasn't a question that Joe Sacco and I ever asked. It's absolutely imperative that we begin to understand what unfettered, unregulated capitalism does, the violence of that system, which is portrayed in all of the places that we visited.

These are sacrifice zones, areas that have been destroyed for quarterly profit. And we're talking about environmentally destroyed, communities destroyed, human beings destroyed, families destroyed. And because there are no impediments left, these sacrifice zones are just going to spread outward.

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean, there are no impediments left?

CHRIS HEDGES: There's no way to control corporate power. The system has broken down, whether it's Democrat or Republican. And because of that, we've all become commodities. Just as the natural world has become a commodity that is being exploited until it is exhausted, or it collapses.

BILL MOYERS: You call them sacrifice zones.

CHRIS HEDGES: Right.

BILL MOYERS: Explain what you mean by that.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, they have the individuals who live within those areas have no power. The political system is bought off, the judicial system is bought off, the law enforcement system services the interests of power, they have been rendered powerless. You see that in the coal fields of Southern West Virginia.

Now here, in terms of national resources is one of the richest areas of the United States. And yet these harbor the poorest pockets of community, the poorest communities in the United States. Because those resources are extracted. And that money is not funneled back into the communities that are sitting on top of, or next to those resources.

Not only that, but they're extracted in such a way that the communities themselves are destroyed quite literally because you have not only terrible problems with erosion, as they cause when they do the mountaintop removal, they'll use these gigantic bulldozers to push off all the trees and then burn them.

And when we flew over the Appalachians, and it's a terrifying experience, because only then do you realize how vast the devastation is. Just as when we were both in the war in Bosnia, you couldn't grasp the destruction of ethnic cleansing until you actually flew over Bosnia, and village after village after village had been razed and destroyed.

And the same was true in the Appalachian Mountains. And these people are poisoned. The water is poisoned, it smells, the soil is poisoned. And the people who are making tremendous profits from this don't even live in West Virginia--

And good citizen, this reckless destruction is being committed by the same criminals who want to take your guns away!

If we were to propose that we take away their bulldozers you’d have a hundred capitalists braying about ‘communist repression’ that was ‘hobbling’ the ‘free markets’.

No talk of the destruction then, is there?

Which begs the next question, How can the ‘noise machine’ keep getting it so wrong?

And this is the major malfunction that devils us throughout our teetering society…the inability to ask the right questions

Even when we know we’re headed in the ‘wrong direction’.

Which brings us full circle with a question I’ve asked countless times…

How do we fix this, good citizen?

Is throwing our guns away the place to start?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Disarm

Greetings good citizen,

What’s up with the stupid Batman thing? Like the High School shooters we are never given an explanation as to why kids with their whole lives ahead of them decide to ‘Hari Kari’ and take as many of their classmates with them as they can.

This, idiotically, feeds calls for ‘gun control’. Like ‘Jacko the Whacko’ wouldn’t have gotten his hands on the guns regardless of the law…

Right.

There are certain aspects of this crime that raise one’s eyebrows…like where does a kid get that much free cash? (Ammunition ‘averages’ fifty cents a round and Bobo bought and paid for six thousand of ‘em.)

That’s a ‘chunk of change’ no matter how you look at it. We have people preparing for Armageddon that don’t have that much ammo laid aside!

[When all hell breaks loose you won’t have to buy ammo; you ‘ll be able to pick it up for free from the dead.]

The corporate owned media is focused on the gun control issue, the, er, ‘other guys’ are all over the chart flailing like mad… but this particular article takes a fairly balanced point of view.
The US government considers “eco-terrorism” the greatest terrorist threat in our country. The evidence suggests this is not the case. Most people who struggle with mental illness do not act out in violence. Some convicted terrorists said to be “obviously” mentally ill do not have a diagnostic condition recognized by the medical community; while juries convict terrorists who display clear signs of mental distress. What if the few terrorists who are mentally ill are like the mine canaries, warning us of something toxic spreading the fumes of anxiety through our society?

Even the definition of the term terrorism is hotly disputed and politically-biased. Not all acts of violence—even political violence—are necessarily forms of terrorism. A broad generic definition of terrorism is using force or the threat of force to harm or intimidate civilians to advance a political or social objective. Using this definition, terrorism can be carried out by individuals, groups, or states. It can be a methodology used by the weak against the powerful, or the powerful against the weak. It can be aimed at persons or property. Using this definition, in the Middle East, suicide bombers targeting Jews and Israelis and the Israeli government shelling of Palestinian towns are both acts of terrorism.

The U.S. government rejects this definition in favor of one that assumes nation states cannot be engaged in terrorism. This is self-serving, since it excludes from “terrorism” US drone attacks that kill non-combatant citizens in foreign countries. It also excludes the World War II carpet bombing of the German city of Dresden in February 1945, and the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

You can tack the highest suicide rate ever for all of the servicemen and women trapped by ‘stop-loss’ in the never-ending conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You don’t suppose this is a factor weighing heavily on the minds of those dwelling in the economic desert formerly called the Mid-West?

We would be justified in assuming that this kid, like the kids in Columbine and Virginia Tech might have been ‘recruited’ by some covert organization to instigate calls for a weapons ban.

Otherwise this bullshit makes ZERO sense.

Um, just like the covert agency that has bought our electoral process, the same ‘criminals’ would be very interested indeed in ‘disarming the peasants’…preferably before same said peasants came after said criminals for crimes against society.

But that’s just ‘crazy talk’, right?

There aren’t any fringe groups out there looking to disarm the public, guns are just plain dangerous, right?

Unless you need one…then it’s a different story.

What do you suppose the victims of the holocaust would have done if they were armed?

Might not have been quite so easy to exterminate ‘em if they could shoot back.

Worse, good citizen, it is probably the only thing preventing them from rounding up the ‘dissidents’ right now.

Gun control is being able to hit your target…

When guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns.

Take a good look at our society and ask yourself if you believe for one second that the ‘One Percent’ aren’t all packing?

You know they are!

And they have already made it known that they think YOU are a waste of perfectly good butt-wipe.

Do you really want to deny yourself the ability to defend you life and the lives of those you love because some whacko got a gun and went berserk in public?

NO LAW can ‘protect you’ from that…but if just one of those moviegoers had a piece, the whole situation probably would have turned out quite differently…

Think about it.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner

Friday, July 20, 2012

Parasite known as Wall Street

Greetings good citizen,

This morning the markets gave back everything they gained yesterday and then some. Just like the goofy oil situation, oil has ‘rebounded’ back to $ 90 a barrel and the price per gallon has jumped back up to $ 3.50 a gallon…leaving us with the conundrum of why we could buy gas for $ 3.30 a gallon when oil was at $105 a barrel?

Vagaries of the market…riiiiight!

It doesn’t have to make sense, they charge us what they charge us because they can…

And it will really suck when they sock it to us this winter when we will have to choose between staying warm and starving to death.

Makes me predict a lot of ‘bonfires’ come the onset of cold weather this year…

But I’m projecting… winter is still a ways off yet…thankfully.

Let me clue you in to why I find the price hike in the cost of fuel so disturbing. Back in the late Seventies, you simply couldn’t get gas, there wasn’t any.

Now, in a time where billionaires are suddenly a ‘dime a dozen’, fuel is three times the price, but you can get all you want!

Worse, this brings us full circle to a phenomenon more commonly called ‘kill off’. We could also refer to it by it’s legal name where it is called ‘genocide’.
The mantra of both candidates is, “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” What they leave out is that, because they are unwilling to confront the power of Wall Street and the Pentagon, job growth in America now depends on driving labor costs lower loser and lower to attract business investment. This is the heart of the leveraged-buy out system that Romney offers to bring to the White House. And when Barack Obama cites an expanded GE plant in Kentucky as an example of the rebound of private sector jobs, the press release does not mention that workers who used to make $22 an hour are now making $14.

None of this is a secret to most of our governing class. Certainly, the CEOs and their major shareholders know it. Their economists know it. So do all but the most hopelessly ideological of policymakers. But acknowledging where future living standards are heading would require our political leaders to offer remedies that are unacceptable to Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. Safer not to look into the economic abyss and trust in good old American optimism.

Neither does the public want to stare too hard into the future. Majorities think that the next generation is going to be worse off, but they expect that they, personally, and their kids will be okay. So, while they might agree with the points made by the Wall Street Occupiers, it’s not worth the effort to join the protest. A PEW poll last fall reported that by a margin of 63-21 Americans believed that, “although there may be bad times every now and then, America will always continue to be prosperous and make economic progress.”

Often these polls leave you wondering just who the heck they asked to come up with such a distorted point of view. Are people seriously answering this way because they fear the NSA will mark them as potential terrorists if they speak the truth?

But we again digress.

With the Presidential elections coming up and the extremely disturbing prospect of ‘more of the same’ (regardless of which one you vote for) coming up, one begins to feel like a rat in a trap.

A trap with no place to go.

What will we do, good citizen?

The economy won’t improve, period, until the criminals are weeded out of the financial system and all avenues of investment are closed to speculation.

(Yes Virginia, that means shutting down Wall Street.)

Perhaps the best analogy I can offer is that of a parasite that has grown so large it is now starving it’s host to death.

That’s where Wall Street is today. It’s where Wall Street has been for the past decade. It can only ‘grow’ artificially, there’s no room in the real economy for further expansion!

How do we fix this good citizen?

Those whose livelihoods depend on the financial markets WANT YOU TO BELIEVE you can’t ‘save the host’ while destroying the parasite.

The parasite has been very good to them, they don’t want to see it harmed.

Which is to point out that those who don’t want to see the parasite go ARE THE PARASITES!

And these same ‘parasites’ are setting up to KILL you and yours.

(Make the mental loop back to the price and availability of fuel.)

Again I ask, ‘how do we fix this when neither candidate has displayed the slightest understanding of the problem(s) facing our civilization?

And the oligarchs want the bulk of us dead, no questions.

You can’t interpret the current set up any other way.

And don’t I look like a dipstick for pointing it out?

The time for a ‘huddle’ is drawing near…only everything we say or post is being monitored, and you can bet there will be more than a few ‘tattle-tales’ at any meeting larger than a handful of people.

But the road ahead is an obvious ‘dead end’.

We can’t go forward and we certainly can’t back up.

The only thing for certain is it’s always a bad time for a war.

But I personally think it is unavoidable.

If we don’t fight then we’re all gonna die.

And I don’t want that to happen either.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Progressives

Greetings good citizen,

Stock markets continue to rally for no apparent reason but considering the rampant fraud in the financial markets maybe this is a case of ‘getting while the getting is good’…

Because one need not be a genius to see that there will soon not be any financial markets, anywhere.

And yes Virginia, it will be ‘fallout’ from the collapse of the global banking network.

Um, it staggers the mind to consider what life will be like in the hours after they drop that particular WMD?

But wait! Our ‘saviors’ in the in the ‘progressive party’ want us to turn off our computers because they are making us ‘depressed’.

(Sadly, thinking has a way of doing that.)
To stay sane, Americans just might have to return to a 40-hr work week and ditch our screwed-up attachment to E-mail. According to a new study, spending too much time on the internet is disastrous for your mental health.

From CBS Charlotte:

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg recently studied more than 4,100 Swedish men and women between the ages of 20 and 24 for a year and found that a majority of them who constantly use a computer and mobile phones can develop stress, sleeping disorders and depression.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this is about as ‘out of context’ as you can get but the headline for this article reads ‘Get off the computer, it may be making you depressed!’

Not study shows, not the pressure of being available 24/7, just ‘get off the computer!’

WTF!

Most people will never read that article but almost everyone will skim that headline…

How did CK phrase it the other day? Incompetence is not a diagnosis--it’s a verdict!

Let’s parse this one just a teeny-tiny bot more, shall we? They conduct a study during one of the worst economic downturns IN HISTORY and arrive at the conclusion that some of the people in this study were ‘depressed’…

How fucking remarkable is that?

More remarkable, perhaps is the number of people who buy into the conservative meme that social contracts are no longer valid!
Recent events trace a threatening trajectory, sufficiently so that it may be worthwhile to look ahead a few generations to the millennium anniversary of one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights: the issuance of Magna Carta, the charter of English liberties imposed on King John in 1215.

The first scholarly edition of the Magna Carta was published in 1759 by the English jurist William Blackstone, whose work was a source for U.S. constitutional law. It was entitled “The Great Charter and the Charter of the Forest,” following earlier practice. Both charters are highly significant today.

The first, the Charter of Liberties, is widely recognized to be the cornerstone of the fundamental rights of the English-speaking peoples – or as Winston Churchill put it more expansively, “the charter of every self-respecting man at any time in any land.”

Let us parse Mr. Chomsky’s last comment because I have already told you about the affirmed conservative position on social contracts.

Both charters are indeed ‘highly significant’ if you want to live in a ‘civil society’.

Without a ‘social contract’ civil society is impossible…or at the very least disturbingly inconsistent.

The adhesive in a ‘non-contract society’ is fear. You live day by day doing your utmost to not be the one who pisses-off the nominal ‘head of the table’ of the day.

And I do indeed mean ‘of the day’.

Usually, the biggest and the meanest have SOME staying power (and contrary to popular belief, not everyone WANTS to be ‘king’.)

In fact the ‘head oaf’ is usually a bit of an enigma. He has a bigger and stronger rival who bosses him around behind everyone else’s back but the obvious leader let’s the Oaf wear the crown.

This is a way of protecting oneself against (stupid) rivals.

And mind you, this does absolutely nothing for the ‘average individual’. The Oaf is too stupid to care about the common man and his ersatz ‘handler’ can’t do more than suggest what the Oaf should do…and if things go poorly, he once again has the oaf for cover.

Understand what it means to live in a world without a ‘social contract’. It is Darwinism taken to the extreme.

You, right here and now in fact, would be wise to KILL everyone you see before they get an eyeball on YOU…because when they see you it is in their ‘best interests’ to kill you too.

That is life under the ‘no social contract’ mandate.

This is NOT the first time the human social contract has come under attack, nor will it be the last.

It is regularly shredded by governments of both sides during armed conflicts but it is not just governments who 'disavow' the basic human social contract, movements and whole ideologies have sprung up around the notion that there is ‘no such thing’ as a ‘human social contract’.

I also hope I don’t need to remind you that during the last global economic recession, the people who called themselves ‘progressives’ had another name…

A name that is now ‘infamous’…they called themselves Nazis.

How ironic to see the Nazi inspired Libertarians calling themselves ‘progressives’ again?

Oh, PS, by the way…guess who ISN’T defending the human social contract?

You got it! (The progressives!)

Any questions?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Martial Law

Greetings good citizen,

You know I sometimes complain about how this nation is ‘turning into’ a Banana Republic.

On further diagnosis, we’re already there!
How America Became a Country That Lets Little Kids Go Homeless
Family homelessness essentially did not exist until the 1980s. And the financial crisis has made the problem massively worse.

[snip]
Here's what happened to a family Nilan met in Florida. The parents both worked at restaurants in New Orleans, but Hurricane Katrina wiped out their jobs and their home and sent them to Nashville. When "the floods came back and upended them again," they asked their 8-year-old daughter where she wanted to go. "Disney World!" she said. Not a bad idea, they figured, since tourist traps are filled with restaurants where they could find jobs. But when they got there they couldn't find steady work (Orlando has an 8.7 percent unemployment rate). Sometimes the mom had a job, sometimes the dad did. Mostly the jobs were part-time and temporary. To make ends meet, Nilan says, they rented one of the beds in their motel room to a 53-year-old homeless vet. DIY homeless shelter.

Sure, the headline is dramatic and it could be worse…suppose the infamous they took the message of this headline to heart and decided to give these kids a roof over their heads…but just the kids.

Let the parents twist in the wind…

How many of you would let social services take your kids because YOU couldn’t find a job (at any wage?)

Which is to point out that we don’t just suffer from a ‘broken society’ we have a broken civilization on our hands!

So it’s collapse should be considered a ‘net positive’.

The problem, as we are all well aware is how the evil fucks who run things now plan on being the same ones who run things after this clusterfuck does a face plant in the dirt.

And THAT ‘will not do’.

And the struggle to insure that doesn’t happen is what will cause the largest loss of life during the ‘transition’.

Left to you imagination is what we will transition to?

Will the current oligarchy give way to monarchy or will it be something more ‘Orwellian’ in nature. A place with no rules so the term ‘lawbreaker’ can be determined on an ‘as need’ basis?

Um, just so you know, your TV set is already watching YOU. What remains unclear is if it is listening to you too.

If they can rig it so the set will transmit an image while/when it appears to be off or if a remote viewer can see in while you’re watching (a neater trick than you might imagine) it is entirely reasonable to assume they can hear you as well.

Not that it makes a difference. The big danger here is the casual observer’s inability to distinguish the ‘authenticity’ of what they’re seeing.

Or worse, to grasp the context within why the observed person is in an ‘agitated’ state.

To ‘prosecute’ much of what they observe the laws would have to be modified. If we enter into a state of Martial Law this step would immediately become ‘moot’.

Under Martial Law all legal ‘protections’ are automatically ‘suspended’.

The thing to fret about is whether or not they’d even bother to inform you that Martial Law had been declared.

Nothing says they have to tell you.

And today it would be near impossible to tell!

Just one more little factoid that should disturb you deeply.

We may well be under Martial Law right now and not even know it.

And what a woeful thing it will be to learn that your rights have been ‘suspended’ at the same time they arrest you for ‘suspicion’ of (fill in the blank.)

So what kind of society lets small children live in the streets?

One that is centered on the Haves and the Have Mores!

The Reagan Revolution (also known as the corporate hijacking of the US government) has ushered in some decidedly draconian changes in our society.

If we fail to launch an immediate counter-revolt, our children are doomed.

How’s that for putting a ‘fine point’ on things?

Don’t think the danger is ‘eminent’?

Think again.

Kids living in the streets are just the tip of a massive iceberg.

We need change and we need it NOW!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happiness...

Greetings good citizen,

Everybody knows most of what we consume from the corporate owned media is propaganda…

Which makes what I pump out a variety of ‘anti-propaganda’.

Is anti-propaganda any better than propaganda?

It is, after all, two sides of the same coin.

So it is that we have the ‘loosely closeted’ Libertarians over at Alternet struggling to get their message straight:
If you're on welfare or Medicaid or unemployment insurance or food stamps or some combination, it was obvious years ago that right-wingers hate you. But on Fox and Friends Weekend this morning, Michelle Malkin (and at least one of the hosts) reminded us that right-wingers consider you a contemptible inferior being if you "merely" pull down a paycheck:

... in the interview, Malkin slammed President Obama's supporters. "Romney types, of course, are the ones who sign the front of the paycheck, and the Obama types are the one who have spent their entire lives signing the back of them," she said.

That, to Malkin, is a withering putdown. Ha ha ha! Pathetic loser -- all you've ever done is work for a living!

Perfect evidence of why our entire financial sector is a mis-assembled abomination.

Without the grunts there wouldn’t be any paychecks to sign! If nobody does the damn work, nobody gets paid and they ALL ‘starve!’

So how is it that conservatives justify their ‘short-sightedness’?

Make no mistake about it, it is exactly this variety of short-sightedness that has destroyed the global economy!

And if you don’t think the global economy is FUBAR then economics is totally incomprehensible to you.

And again it is a simple thing, easy to understand. It is when you start projecting false motives to the actor’s actions that you produce the results you see today.

But that’s just the tip of the conservative iceberg. Turns out conservatives are ‘Happier’ than the rest of us!
Finally, there is the related argument that the conservative tendency to rationalize politically or economically unequal social systems — to overlook how the other half is forced to live, either through simple dismissiveness, or affirmation of the fairness of free markets and meritocracies — also confers happiness. In his New York Times op-ed, Brooks dismissed this argument, associated with New York University social psychologist John Jost, but that’s not so easy to do. In a 2008 study in the journal Psychological Science, Jost and Jaime Napier showed that conservatives were happier than liberals in nine countries beyond the United States (including Germany, Spain and Sweden) — and further demonstrated, through statistical analyses, that the rationalization of inequality was a key part of the explanation. “Meritocratic beliefs account for the association between political orientation and subjective well-being to a signi´Čücant degree,” wrote Napier and Jost.

Naturally what ‘slick’ overlooks here is there is more to life than simply being ‘happy’. And it is NATURAL to worry, we’d all be dead if we didn’t.

There is another part of the conservative rubic that Bobo ignores, how happiness is often the ‘side effect’ of stupidity!

Morons are happy most of the time because they DON’T KNOW ANY BETTER!

If it were up to conservatives all children would be lobotomized at birth making the planet one big ‘happy’ place! Full of mostly dead humans.

So if someone is ‘too happy’ it is a fairly safe bet that they are more than a little ‘simple’.

And don’t get me wrong, simple is fine as long as you have someone competent looking out for you.

Turning to a more serious subject we have this story about how the super rich are ‘covering their tracks here in the land of ‘captive government’.
We have discovered that sometime after January of this year, the FEC deleted a whole set of contributions totaling millions of dollars made during the 2007-2008 election cycle. The most important of these files concern what is now called “dark money” – funds donated to ostensible charities or public interest groups rather parties, candidates or conventional political action committees (PACs). These non-profit groups – which Washington insiders often refer to generically as 501(c)s, after the section of the federal tax code regulating them – use the money to pay for allegedly educational “independent” ads that run outside conventional campaign channels. Such funding has now developed into a gigantic channel for evading disclosure of the donors’ identities and is acutely controversial.

As public opinion becomes more focused on the fact that our electoral system has been hijacked by the money interests, the very people the government was established to PROTECT US FROM IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Understand, good citizen, if we didn’t NEED to protect ourselves from the predations of the powerful, we wouldn’t NEED a GOVERNMENT AT ALL!

This is why I developed A Simple Plan. It removes the levers of power from the hands of the self–interested.

Oh, back to the beginning and the crack about ‘propaganda’. I watched the 1937 film Captain Courageous last night and it’s just the kind of film Hollywood would produce to show that the wealthy were merely a ‘victims of their own circumstances’.

Hooey!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Monday, July 16, 2012

The yoke of Stalinism

Greetings good citizen,

Social obligations pressed yesterday, I apologize for the lapse. Seems many of you are on vacation if my traffic meter is any indication (although most of the time I can’t make heads nor tails of what it tells me with any degree of confidence.)

Um, looks like the foxes have turned in to dogs again, at least they are this morning as stock markets around the globe are mostly posting red ink.

I know it’s only funny the first time…yet the ‘fit’ is still so there!

Which is to state that the destruction of our civilization is indeed proceeding unabated.

The spectrum across which this destruction is taking place is breathtakingly wide as we can see from today’s offering

The New Totalitarianism: How American Corporations Have Made America Like the Soviet Union

It's not just that the corporations have taken control over our government (though that's awful enough). It's also that they've taken control over -- and put serious limits on -- our choices regarding what we buy, where we work, how we live, and what rights we have. Our futures are increasingly no longer our own: more and more decisions, large and small, that determine the quality of our lives are being made by Politburo apparatchiks at a Supreme Corporate Soviet somewhere far distant from us. Only now, those apparatchiks are PR and marketing executives, titans of corporate finance, lobbyists for multinationals, and bean-counting managers trying to increase profits at the expense of our freedom.

With tongue only somewhat in cheek, here are a few ways in which Americans are now becoming a new lumpenproletariat, subject to the whims and diktats of our new Soviet-style corporate overlords.

Reduced Choice and Big-Box Censorship

We see it most evidently when we go to the store. Back in the 1970s, the American retail landscape was still mostly dominated by mom-and-pop stores, which in turn carried merchandise also made by small manufacturers (many of them right here in the US). Not only did this complex economy sustain tens of millions of comfortable middle-class jobs; it also produced a dazzling variety of retail choices. Every store on Main Street carried somewhat different merchandise, bought from a different group of preferred suppliers. A shoe store might carry 20 different brands. The shoe store down the street might differentiate itself by carrying 10 of the same brands, and 10 different ones. The result was a very wide range of consumer choices -- though you did have to go from store to store to find it -- and a rich variety of stores that competed aggressively for their customers' attention. And if you visited a different part of the country, the selection might be very different from what you'd get back home.

Now, every Macy's in America carries the same dozen or so lines of bland, middle-of-the-road women's clothing. You'll find exactly the same stuff on the racks in Long Island as you do in Long Beach. If you're looking for something that hasn't been dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, you probably won't find it at the mall.
Yes, good citizen, even the Great Marketplace is wearing the blinders and muzzle fashioned for it by the ‘monopolists’.

You don’t see it because our useless media has also been ‘monopolized’. It doesn’t point out the one note song because its part of that one note song.

Going to start your own business and show these deep-pocketed morons how to, er, ‘do it right’?

You’d better be able to set up shop in an area where your customers have plenty of free cash…because everyone else buys on price.

Welcome to [Libertarian] free market hell.

Where the average customer can’t afford ‘different,’ they buy what they buy so they can still eat without running around naked.

Nothing like ‘dominating’ the alleged ‘free markets’, is there?

Buy my mass produced dreck or go naked, those are your choices.

Same thing with food, if they don’t stop ‘value enhancing’ the product, we’re all gonna explode!

And like the article points out, this new ‘totalitarianism’ doesn’t stop at the limiting of choice in the marketplace, it limits where you can work which in turn limits where you can live.

That’s why this capitalism bullshit has to be abandoned, tomorrow!

And the crafty capitalist would agree (while snickering that ‘tomorrow never comes, it’s always today!)

So let me modify my plea and say we need to eliminate capitalism (and all of its structures) NOW!

Better a planned withdrawal than the chaotic collapse we’re headed for!

Let me briefly go off the reservation to share this observation with you.

The pundits are all worried sick that once the violence starts, it won’t stop until the losses become ‘catastrophic’.

They preach peace while we can all see that the other side is clearly girding itself for war.

Why are our leaders (such as they are) taking this pseudo-pacifist stand?

Are we supposed to be ‘reading between the lines’ here?

There are those who want change and those who want more of the same…

There’s your ‘thought to ponder’ for this hot, muggy Monday.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bombshell!

Greetings good citizen,

Once again we see a major scandal being broken over the weekend so come Monday they can pretend it is ‘old news’.

This is one of those ‘why are they telling us this?’ kind of stories.

The implications here go deeper than just some ‘isolated criminal behavior’ at ‘some’ European banks. We’re talking the Fed here, that ‘private corporation’ that manages ALL of the United States money!

And those crooks were ‘wise’ to this criminal activity…and probably traded on the information as well!

You would imagine they would ‘dummy up’ and pretend the criminals were just ‘too slick’ for the remnants of the regulatory apparatus they have left…but no.

Instead we get a ‘confession’.

Yeah we knew and no we didn’t do anything about it.

You’d almost expect a statement like that to be followed with a gruff ‘not my job, man.’

Here’s the ‘reveal’:
The New York Fed learned about concerns over the integrity of Libor in summer 2007, when a Barclays employee e-mailed a New York Fed official, saying, “Draw your own conclusions about why people are going for unrealistically low” rates. Barclays wrote in a September report, “Our feeling is that Libors are again becoming rather unrealistic and do not reflect the true cost of borrowing.”

But the New York Fed thought the reports amounted to market chatter and did not provide definitive proof of widespread manipulation. “In the context of our market monitoring following the onset of the financial crisis in late 2007, involving thousands of calls and e-mails with market participants over a period of many months, we received occasional anecdotal reports from Barclays of problems with Libor,” the New York Fed statement said.

The regulator started to identify real problems with the interest rates several months later. In April 2008, the Barclays employee mentioned to a New York Fed official, “where I would be able to borrow” in the Libor market, “without question it would be higher than the rate that I’m actually putting in.”

That same day, New York Fed officials wrote in a weekly internal memo that banks appeared to be understating the interest rates they would pay.

Okay, if we hop back into our playback machine we’d find that the wheels had already come flying off the banking system by the Spring of 2008, the ‘gimmicked’ libor was done to protect the bankers from having to write down their shakier assets to a more realistic level.

Not that they would have anyway, the libor only served as ‘eyewash’.

Which is to point out the obvious, a small draft, a tiny one in fact would be all it would take to blow down the ‘house of cards’ the bankers built.

The Great Recession and the ongoing economic hardship…all caused by the bankers, who were in fact ‘covering’ for the capitalists who are using the crisis to cement their monopolies!

Which is to again, belabor the obvious. We need some Law and Order now!

And we won’t get any justice from the SAME ASSHOLES who looked the other way when all of this was going down…nope. We have to kick things off by ‘purging’ them first!

Make no mistake about it good citizen, we will not see either Law or Order as long as either of the two ‘lapdogs of the >One Percent’ hold the reins of power. [Conservative or Liberal, take your pick.]

While the dreamers among us pretend all we have to do is ‘roar’ loud enough, the more practical take a more pragmatic view.

Those reins won’t get surrendered without our pointing a gun at their head.

Anything less will be a charade.

Again, the results will speak for themselves.

Which is to ask, what do YOU think should be the ‘penalty’ for betraying the public trust? (Technically called Treason.)

The longstanding punishment for this crime is death by hanging…but the criminals running this pop stand have re-written a lot of the rules.

Which only strengthens the case for returning to the ‘old way’ of doing things.

Now, the question to ask yourself is whether or not this ‘admission’ by the Fed constitutes a violation of the ‘public trust’…

They KNEW there was criminal activity and they took no action…so the crime, as it stands, is one of ‘omission’. They didn’t act when they should have.

Treason is a real slippery slope, those guilty of it would like to make it a crime to accuse anyone of committing treason…that pretzel logic problem of being a traitor for turning a traitor in.

Which is to arrive full circle at a large question, good citizen.

We have definitely arrived at a time when we desperately need to discuss the kind of society we want to have…and the operative word here is WE!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner


Friday, July 13, 2012

Last Call!

Greetings good citizen,

The day is hardly over and things could turn back around but it must be getting close to last call if the stock markets of the world are any indication.

And all of them ‘dogs’ have miraculously become ‘foxes’ again.

Go figure…

And while you’re pondering the imponderable we have yet another ‘book review’ serving as an editorial on the state of our civilization

The following snippet comes from just after the intro to this story which explains how it was spawned by the Twilight Saga:
Invisible Handcuffs

This has been coming for some time. Ever since the Reagan era, from the factory to the office tower, the American workplace has been morphing for many into a tightly-managed torture chamber of exploitation and domination. Bosses strut about making stupid commands. Employees trapped by ridiculous bureaucratic procedures censor themselves for fear of getting a pink slip. Inefficiencies are everywhere. Bad management and draconian policies prop up the system of command and control where the boss is God and the workers are so many expendable units in the great capitalist machine. The iron handmaidens of high unemployment and economic inequality keep the show going.

How did this happen? Economists known as “free-market fundamentalists” who claim Adam Smith as their forefather like to paint a picture of the economy as a voluntary system magically guided by an “invisible hand” toward outcomes that are good for most people. They tell us that our economy is a system of equal exchanges between workers and employers in which everybody who does her part is respected and comes out ahead.

Something has obviously gone horribly wrong with the contract. Thieving CEOs get mega-yachts while hard-working Americans get stagnant wages, crappy healthcare, climate change, and unrelenting insecurity. Human potential is wasted, initiative punished and creativity starved.

Again we find ourselves wondering (and if you aren’t you should be) just who these Democratic Replacements really are.

First they pick a lame, Ayn Rand inspired pseudo horror story as a ‘mirror’ of our society when the truth is far more horrific.

And I will again remind you that you won’t end up with the right outcome if you aren’t fighting the right battle.

We ain’t fighting vampires or zombies here. While the ‘enemy’ is indeed ‘soul-less’, it is not ‘supernatural’ nor is it ‘independent’…as the antagonist in the book is (or claims to be.)

(If I’m not totally goofy here, the girl is the ‘protagonist’, the ‘villain here is the ‘anti-hero’. But some twisted people would be inclined to reverse the two…)

But who is who is unimportant, it is the circumstances we need to pay attention to.

Let’s start with the ‘pauperization’ of the workforce.

Prices go up but your paycheck doesn’t…and there’s no place you can go to correct this situation.

(The age-old solution to stagnant income has been to get a ‘better’ job, but these days those jobs are being shipped overseas wholesale.)

In most cases, the shiftless boss knows he’s got you over a barrel.

Hell, he could fire half of you and force the survivors to pick up the slack (and if they couldn’t, he’d fire and replace them too!)

It’s the old ‘more with less’ situation…the sad part of this arrangement is it’s YOU who end up dealing with the ‘less’ part of this proposition.

YOU get ‘less’ pay for more work.

And again Mr. Boss-man is ready to show you the door if you don’t ‘like’ this situation.

Worse, the asshole honestly believes YOU’RE ‘overpaid’.

Now, he isn’t about to make you wear a ‘butt-plug’ to extract ‘more value’ from what he’s paying you…but he is equally disinclined to shower you with gifts even if you have agreed to be his private meat puppet on the side.

Because he has YOU over a barrel.

He holds what you ‘need’ hostage. (For this he should be hung…but we aren’t up to that part yet.)

In the future it will be a crime to hold anyone’s job hostage. In the future, your job (a.k.a. ‘the ability to support yourself’) will be one of your rights!

Yes, good citizen, we need a new definition of the word ‘criminal’.

Because many things that are (wrongly) ‘celebrated’ today should be crimes against humanity.

And if we succeed, they will be!

But I digress.

It all comes down to ‘choices’, good citizen.

The circumstances we live our lives under are of our own choosing…to a degree.

The criminals among us have, er, ‘tilted the playing field’ to their advantage, it is up to us to tilt it back…forcibly. (It is no longer a question of ‘necessity’, it must be done!)

Nobody can live in an economic desert (which our politicians did nothing to prevent!) and now it is up to us to correct this situation!

[Sidebar: the bulk of my readers are from outside the US and this advice applies to them as well…]

YOU must break the monopolist’s grip on the global economy and restore ‘local’ balance if you or your children are to ever experience ‘prosperity’ again!

2012 is as good a time as any…and what comes next promises to be more ‘draconian’ than anything we’ve seen thus far…which is more horrific than any horror novel!

The part you SHOULD BE marveling over is how our politicians flaunt our well-being with impunity!

Corruption is not a ‘game’, it’s a DISEASE and we must eradicate it!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

Gegner