Category: Business

Burden of Proof…

Burden of Proof…

This nugget showed up on a friend’s FB post, which I can now no longer find. Chances are, either the friend decided it had to go, the genius who posted it blocked me, or I blocked him.

At the time, (sometime just after Christmas, I think) I thanked the guy for posting virtually every propaganda-driven talking point Alex Jones and Fox News have shoved into his brain in the name of truth. Here it is, folks. GOP trash talk, all in one convenient comment. Continue reading “Burden of Proof…”

Goodbye, Amazon: A cancellation story in seven PDFs and a phone call…

Goodbye, Amazon: A cancellation story in seven PDFs and a phone call…

“Hey, Amazon.com!”

Sorry, but you don’t get to market HATE objects to me or my kids. I’ll be sorry to see Woot and IMDB go, and Prime was useful for a while there, but it’s time to part company. Continue reading “Goodbye, Amazon: A cancellation story in seven PDFs and a phone call…”

No vast right-wing conspiracies here. Nope.

No vast right-wing conspiracies here. Nope.

And here we are, at the end of the first full week in January. That didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would.

Koch-backed political coalition, designed to shield donors,
raised $400 million in 2012

“The political network spearheaded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch has expanded into a far-reaching operation of unrivaled complexity, built around a maze of groups that cloaks its donors, according to an analysis of new tax returns and other documents.”

It’s almost as if…as if…

But wait. That can’t be right. Can it?

Well, yeah, it can. And folks are finally starting to notice. It’s about time, after 30 years of Conservative howling about deregulation. 2014 promises to be a nasty, nasty year, if we can’t figure out how to force Corporate America to let our people go.

So here’s a preview. Watch what this year looks like, because with the mid-term elections, we’re still three years away from the real deal. The big question I have right now: How do we get rid of Citizens United so this nonsense stops for good? That’s an excellent question. Here’s what the Huffington Post has to say on the subject:

Well here. Let’s see how the Dark Money likes it when we get all uppity and try to make things better for ourselves. Wait. You mean we can’t? Whut?

Right. Because while corporations are people, my friend, people AREN’T corporations. And that, dear friends, is the sum total of what’s wrong with America right now. You heard it here…well…now, really. I’m just spreading the Word. It’s what I do.

And here we are…

And here we are…

At 11:58 pm on Monday, September 30, 2013.

Lest there be any question or confusion in anyone’s mind over who is directly responsible for the closure of our national parks, the sudden and explicable shutting down of services far and wide throughout the country, and the eternal brinkmanship of the Tea Party, this article sums it up for you:

Boehner Refuses To Allow Vote on Popular Democratic Bill That Would Avoid Government Shutdown

That’s right, kids. The Hydra is just about ready to eat itself, and all because political theatre is more important than running the country.

But why? Why?

Here’s what’s been brewing in my head the last two weeks, thanks to yet another mass shooting, in my neck of the woods. Better buckle your seatbelts and hang on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis driven by delusions

On September 16, 2013, something remarkable happened. Again.

13 people died, including a mentally ill man, aged 34. Those are the details you can gather from the article above. Additional details have surfaced about how Alexis’ behavior was cause for concern, but not sufficiently off to justify actual medical treatment. He was, as far as anyone knew, fit enough to hold a security clearance and to purchase guns and ammunition. And as soon as the act was over, and it was clear the shooter was dead, all we had left was a series of clues that added up to a head-scratchingly vague image of what drove this man to commit random murders that morning.

This time, the discussion of gun control ended before it even had a chance to start, because the timing was so close to the end of the government’s fiscal year, even this tremendous loss of life, just a short mile or so away from Capitol Hill, was insufficient to jumpstart the discussion of sane guidelines for owning and operating a firearm.

Stunning, really, because one short week later, all the news reports could talk about was whether there would be compromise.

I could have told them then that there wouldn’t be. There’s no reason for compromise. You can’t compromise with terrorists.

These senselessness acts of violence and mayhem are no less vile than the one perpetrated by the members of our House of Representatives against this country and our people. Republicants, Thuglicans, Tea Publicans – call them what you want, but whatever, you need to wake up and realize that the whole group is suffering from a case of paranoid schizophrenia, and we have left the disease untreated because we can’t seem to figure out what to do with the mentally ill.

These citizens, armed with hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars are telling the rest of us that we’re to blame for the mess our country is in.

A ‘post-democracy’ phase

Really?

Why are we in this mess today?

Because people in Ohio (a state bought and sold by ALEC) elected John Boehner again in 2012.

Boehner has zero interest in working the differences out. It’s not why he was elected.

The extreme Right elected him and his ilk because they don’t WANT the rest of the country to know that the way to fix the problem is to reverse 30 years of Trickle Down Damage, brought on by people who believed the horse hockey Saint Reagan fed them when he said all we needed to do was make it easier for the rich to spend their money and everyone would win.

It took 30 years for us to get where we are today, and the plutocracy like what they have just fine. Keep the scum down and they can’t rise up like they did in France because they’re too busy chasing turban-wrapped shadows and uppity black Presidents. 

When Mitt Romney made those ill-timed comments and the nice guy waiting tables caught him on camera, he wasn’t talking to the general voters. He was talking to his infernal brotherhood. And now, his puppet masters are mad because they didn’t get their way last November, so here we are, 45 minutes after midnight and not a budget in sight. 

The only way this has to do with the Democrats is that they are not the Tea Party. Ergo, they are W.R.O.N.G.

And the worst thing is, every last one of the Tea Party’s supporters has swallowed the crap the Koch brothers have fed them through the last 30 years. Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves.

The only difference between what Aaron Alexis did and what the House Republicans are doing now is that he was shot for his crimes. Instant retribution. The House of Representatives is still getting a big, fat paycheck (more in a year than I’ve made in the last 10 years, combined). They’re not going to see anything happen – at least until November 2014. (See that countdown ticker to the right? That’s how long we have before we can fix this mess.)

The last time the government shut down, Newt Gingrich was in the driver seat. Even Newt has figured out this is wrong-headed.

Newt Gingrich: ‘No Grand Strategy’ Around Possible Government Shutdown

Maybe the Affordable Care Act will do what we haven’t been able to accomplish since the GOP sucked the life out of the House in the 1990s – finally win the government back so that we can rise back up to our former glory as a compassionate country that takes care of its own. Instead of throwing our most vulnerable citizens under the bus, perhaps we can find a way to make it possible for us to enjoy life again. But first, the Tea Party has to go.

Someone needs to stop the insanity.

And the sooner, the better.

Two days to armage…Government Shutdown…Again…

Two days to armage…Government Shutdown…Again…

Ya know, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t going to matter one bit, once the rest of the polar ice melts and all the fresh water gets mixed up with ocean water, but in the short-term, I’ve had about enough of the Tea Party’s brinkmanship and Ted Cruz’s 21-hour hot air festival. The Grand Obstructionist Party wants the Affordable Care Act to fall and they think what they do now to shut the government down will matter. The miscalculation (and it’s huge), is that President Obama already signed the act into law, and no matter how many times they vote to repeal it (42 at last count, including the current Budget fiasco in process this weekend), it’s still the law and they don’t have enough votes in either the House or Senate to override it.

Their fantasy land will cost the country big time in the next few weeks, but if the ACA has the effect I suspect it will, come 2014 (just a little over a year from now), we’re going to see a sea change in the House, because the little people who put these Tea Party bullies in office are going to begin to understand the real ramifications of the fight to keep the American People from the benefits of the law.

Frankly, nothing would please me more than to see a clean sweep of the House and Senate, though we have a solid four years before we can really clean house, thanks to the Class of 2010, but there’s a bunch of folks rooting for the government shut-down to happen so the GOP can finally get their comeuppance, and I’m right there with them.

And you know why I’m certain this is going to happen? Because President Obama has nothing to lose.

Nothing.

He’s already gone through the second term election. No matter what, he’s good till he steps down in 2016. And by then? That’s three years of education, along with more time spent bolstering the economy. (You have noticed how it’s improved, right? I mean, I had to take money out of my IRA, which will serve to affect my tax situation almost not at all, thanks to my current miserable financial situation, and lo, it’s back at the same level it was before I pulled the cash out.

So when you get right down to it, there’s a lot the government shut-down will do, but I’m okay with it, if the long-term benefits are that we can finally eject the insanity and start doing something about our current crazy situation.

What do I want?

I want an end to both Citizens United and the Patriot Act.

I want the Voting Rights Act restored or at least fixed so that it addresses our current reality, because otherwise a whole bunch of brown people and poor people and old people and young people are going to find it difficult to vote in the Tea Party states come next year.

I want women’s rights respected.

I want Marriage Equality throughout the country, in all 50 states, so my friends who want to be married don’t have to worry about which state they’re in.

I want the poor to have their protections restored and the safety nets fixed so that people can stop worrying about how to feed their kids and they can concentrate on getting jobs.

I want the jobs to come back from China and India, and all the loopholes closed so that we stop bleeding our good jobs overseas and rewarding companies for reducing their overhead at the cost of our own people.

I want sane gun-responsible legislation in place, so we can finally start addressing the gun owners and stop blaming the objects for misuse, before another toddler shoots her cousin or another undiagnosed psychiatric thug goes off randomly and takes more innocent lives at random.

I want the War on Drugs to become a Discussion on Responsibility and I want the prison system to become a public responsibility again. No more work-camps.

I want sensible and practical Immigration laws that protect our workers and give them opportunities.

I want people to receive the pay that they need so they aren’t relying on public assistance because they don’t need it.

I want free and easy access to birth control and better education about, well, just about everything, including real world life skills (pregnancy, relationships, marriage, money, lifestyle and practical skills, not just math and reading). Without context the education is meaningless.

And more than anything else, I want the rich to stop being greedy assholes who are just as happy to count their money in their comfy second homes offshore as they are living apart from the squalor of everyday existence for the rest of us.

We need the Tea Party and their neo-fascist leadership (read: ALEC) out of power. We’ve got three years to do it, by my calculations. Here’s hoping this is the start to the end.

Government Closure?

Bring it.

 

Realignment…

Realignment…

Okey dokey. Here’s the thing. I’m pretty sure I’m suffering post-semester burnout, but after spending 10 weeks cozied up to the aristocracy and the totalitarian governments it spawned in Europe, I’ve had about enough.

Continue reading “Realignment…”

The value of a college education…

The value of a college education…

On my way to class on Wednesday last week, I tuned in to the Diane Rehm show and got an earful about what’s wrong-headed about college education.

The show, broadcast on NPR, is here:

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2013-05-08/who-benefits-college-and-why/transcript

As is often the case, I found myself talking to the radio, which has cathartic benefits but fails to solve any real problems other than to raise my blood pressure.

I’ve stewed on the discussion since then, having completed finals in the first two college courses I’ve taken since 1987, when I failed to grasp the reality behind attaining a Master’s degree in Costume Design. (Western Civilization and the Modern World and 2-Dimensional Basic Design, thanks for asking. I have As in both classes.  Apparently I’ve learned a thing or two about college since 1985. But I digress.)

So why, I ask, did it take almost 45 minutes before anyone mentioned the Human Resources requirements for college degrees? In fact, why hasn’t anyone focused attention on the database method of hiring? If we have to spend hours customizing every job application to fit each job listed, perhaps we should spend more time looking at the specialization movement instead of asking why college is so important.

Lord knows, college isn’t for everyone. The bureaucracy alone is enough to turn many people’s minds to mush. Endless paperwork, boring lectures that are best handled with judicious combinations of textbook reading combined with constant searches on Wikipedia (yes, my professor insisted this was a way to manage in his class) and the ultimate test – the written essay question – are unrealistic as real-world examples of what we’re expected to do…unless, of course, we’re working in an office environment, where we are constantly expected to write, research on the Internet, and listen quietly to boring speeches about whatever topic(s) our boss(es) think are vitally important to our jobs.

So, yes, if you’re destined to be an auto mechanic, a trade school might be more appropriate for you, and no, college isn’t necessary, but if that’s what the entire population of the US is destined to become – a nation of auto mechanics, waitresses, retail workers and hairdressers, then by all means, eliminate college as an option except for the very wealthiest of us.

But if we do, we shouldn’t expect these people to be able to purchase automobiles, eat out at restaurants, or buy a lot of clothing, because there won’t be much of that when the working class spends most of their money on food and shelter.

If we want to enjoy an economy that works for everyone, we need everyone to work at a living wage that pays more than just for the basics. The sheer waste of food, manufactured clothing and goods outweighs our ability to enjoy these things. And Congress has found ways to make the decisions even harder for us.

In just the last month, the House has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (for the 37th time) and to take away overtime pay. They have done more damage to the working class than anyone can possibly imagine, and threaten to do more if they get their way. It’s not just about voting against anything President Obama wants. It’s about hurting the people who put them in office.

We all need to wise up and throw them out. All of them.

Then, maybe, we can go back to concentrating on earning a living so that we can actually enjoy our lives.

Connecting the Dots, Part 2

Connecting the Dots, Part 2

United States of ALEC from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

On October 11, 2012, I wrote the following post: Do you know ALEC? If not, you should. And you should be afraid. Continue reading “Connecting the Dots, Part 2”

dis·in·gen·u·ous

dis·in·gen·u·ous

Your word lesson for the day:

dis·in·gen·u·ous

Adjective: Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.

Synonyms: insincere – false – devious – hollow-hearted

Okay, so I’m going to put this out there and get hammered for it, but I said almost a year ago that the GOP can’t complain about something THEY voted for in the first place. 

Forbes (2/7/2012): Congress Welcomes The Drones

My question is: Would this complainiing even be happening under a Romney/Ryan administration?

I’m sorry but signs point to No. The ACLU was unhappy with the first authorization back in 2012, so it’s no surprise they’re taking this up now. What’s surprising is how “suddenly” vehemently opposed everyone is about domestic drones. Shouldn’t they have thought about that last February? Really?C’mon, folks. Really.

And while we’re at it, this tidbit hit a couple of days ago too. Cue “I told you so” commentary:

Politics USA: The Koch Brothers Take Credit for Imposing Economic Hardship on Millions of Americans

Daily KOS: Americans for Prosperity Cheer on Sequester, claims Ownership

Just in case it wasn’t clear by reading the above, David Koch IS Americans for Prosperity (Wikipedia).

Why do we have Sequestration? Look above.

And remember, because in 2014 we have our first opportunity at payback…If we still have a country and people are still allowed to vote by then.

It’s all there. All you have to do is look…

It’s all there. All you have to do is look…

Sedition:

In lawsedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.

Continue reading “It’s all there. All you have to do is look…”

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