Friday, January 18, 2013


Greetings good citizen,

Once again we find ourselves on the cusp of that relic of the New Deal formerly referred to as ‘the weekend.’

We still call them weekends but the week no longer ‘ends’ for the vast majority of us. For the unemployed the weekend represents two bad days to prospect for a job despite the best chance of finding work being in the 24/7 service/retail sector…where it is impossible to get forty hours, never mind forty-one.

So, yeah, the unemployed usually suspend their search for work on Saturday and Sunday because they retain hope that their new job will provide them with those two days off.

Call it ‘tradition’ but we have the Sabbath built into our psyches. (The fact that one is Jew and the other Christian is of no consequence, we have ‘become accustomed’ to having those two days off.

Ironically, our brave new world seldom provides ‘days off’ period.

Some of us are expected to report to work seven days a week but only for a few hours a day (usually ‘peak time’.)

So you only work 28 hours but you have to go back & forth 14 times to get even that little bit!

And you don’t have a ‘day off’…

Now, if you only work four hours out of twenty-four you have most of every day off BUT, in the relentless world of retail, the only days off you get (for now) are Thanksgiving and Christmas.

How ironic is it that you (as a part-time employee) don’t get paid for either of them?

Isn’t capitalism great? (All capitalists think so!)

363 days a year you must wake up and make yourself presentable. Drive yourself to the work place to perform your duties (as assigned that day.) Stay on the job until you are granted permission to depart…(can’t just up and leave come quittin’ time in retail!) and all of this for a minimum wage job that has absolutely zero loyalty.

Screw up even once and you’ll be out the door so fast your head will spin.

But that’s the (broken) ‘make yourself useful’ meme of capitalism. People are ‘disposable’. (And if the people you have disposed of become ‘troublesome’ you have the police shoot them down.)

Sort of going off the rails here when it was my ‘original intent’ to point out that weekends are rapidly becoming ‘a thing of the past.’

And this phenomenon is not restricted to the ‘rabble’ doomed to work short hours for shorter money, people who are routinely dismissed with the threat, ‘be happy you have a job!’

That threat extends to the ‘rank and file’ workers in cubicle land as well. Now the pay is slightly better and the atmosphere (slightly) more ‘professional’ than retail but the threat remains the same…or perhaps it gets turned on its head when the boss asks ‘how many of you can speak Hindi?’

Which might explain inexplicable stories such as this one:
Morgan Stanley's $481 Million 4th-Quarter Profit Beats Estimates
By SUSANNE CRAIG 42 minutes ago

Morgan Stanley reported adjusted earnings of 45 cents a share on Friday, driven by gains in wealth management and investment banking.
On a planet with a broken financial system, how the, er, heck does any bank ‘earn’ 45 cents a share without committing fraud?

Banking is (irretrievably) broken good citizen. The imbalances in the global economy CAN NOT BE ‘corrected’ without a complete overhaul that starts with a ‘clean slate’ (across the board.)

So ‘fictions’ like the one above are exactly that.

Which leads us to our next, er, ‘questionable data’:
Economix Blog
Lifting the Veil on the Fed's 2007 Discussions
By DAVID LEONHARDT 27 minutes ago

The Federal Reserve has just released the transcripts of its meetings in the pivotal year of 2007, when the housing bubble started to burst and the global financial crisis began.
Now that they’ve had five years to ‘muddy the waters’ naturally this work of fiction will have gaping holes in it but it will be downplayed as a side effect of the ‘whole truth’ being ‘unknowable’.

Here is another episode of 'the story that refuses to die' despite the corporate owned media not even hinting that globalization is responsible:
Praised but Fire-Prone, Battery Fails Test in 787

Lithium-ion batteries are popular because they are powerful and charge quickly, but Boeing has had serious problems with the technology on its new Dreamliner.

Powerful Chemical Cocktail, With a Drawback
And anyone who didn’t see the ‘design-flaw’ card coming needs a serious reality check.

Of course it was a design flaw…but why did the design flaw occur?

Was it because the system was designed in Bejing and built in Seattle? It goes without saying that there was ‘no need’ to test it because it is ‘proven technology’…in the end, stupid is as stupid does.

Yet again, this old dog doesn’t need new tricks, the old ones still work fine!
G.E. Profit and Revenues Top Estimates

General Electric reported a better-than-expected 7.5 percent rise in fourth quarter profit and a sharp increase in its backlog of equipment orders, sending shares up in premarket trading.
Funny how profitability is easy when you’re half manufacturer and three-quarters bank! If you don’t ‘turn a profit’ from sales you just have the banking arm ‘cook the books’!

Speaking of cooked books and their ‘unintended consequences’:
Shell’s rig was grounded after being set adrift in a storm.
As Shell’s Arctic Drilling Hopes Hit Snags, Its Rivals Watch


Shell’s drilling program, the subject of two federal inquiries, has had problems environmentalists say highlight the dangers of prospecting for oil in the severe Arctic environment.
Talk about your ‘common threads, for years environmentalist have been screaming about the dangers of arctic drilling BUT the ‘too stupid to listen’ crowd goes ahead and does it anyway!

Will they have the chutzpah to say they’re ‘sorry’ after they despoil the arctic chasing what little crude there is?

No, I doubt it, nor will anyone be executed for their ‘hubris’ as has happened here:

At Algerian Oil and Gas Fields Once Thought Safe, New Fears and Precautions

Local oil executives said foreign oil service companies were in the process of quietly removing several hundred workers until they were confident that the security situation was stable.
Odd how the article implies there was some kind of intelligence indicating the security situation was less than ‘ideal’ but apparently that ‘memo’ was, um, ignored a few moments too long with hostages being taken and killed.

Well, we all know the capitalist credo, ‘profits before people!’ (Power to the shareowners! And oh how they hate the O word! Which is why I use it every chance I get!)

What O word is that, you ask?

The one they can’t defend, ‘Own.’

And for our last entry:
Chinese Economy Expanded at End of 2012, Data Shows

Though there was improvement, economic data also underlined the view that the pace of future growth is likely to remain well below that seen in recent years.
Geez good citizen, I was going to cut this and the story above it off but as it would turn out, they are the two most important stories in today’s offering.

Especially this last offering because it translates to the One Percent’s ‘acceptance’ that the economy as it exists today will constitute the ‘new normal’.

Unemployment will remain as it is as energy prices climb beyond the reach of marginalized citizen.

Which begs the more basic question of whether or not you are still a citizen if the capitalist can’t find a use for you?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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