Thursday, July 31, 2014

They won't come back 'til it's over, over here

There is this:

The republicans aren't even trying anymore. On Jon Stewart last night I saw Orrin Hatch flatly saying that corporations have a responsibility to their shareholders to make a profit. He might as well say that he, and certain other members of Congress, have a responsibility to the shareholders of the GOP- corporations- who have bought stock in Congress.

I've long since already heard dumbasses in the threads regurgitate the "responsibility to shareholders" line as if it were gospel or even Constitutional. It's been used to defend not raising the minimum and, of course, eliminating it as well. How can you meet the fiscal responsibility of shareholder profits if greedy employees demand wages?! I just wonder how soon before the thread trash starts in on how Obama is punishing success with our corporate taxes being the highest in the world. Oh- already? Sheesh, that was quick.

I think the corporate rate is 39%. I also think that no corporation actually pays that. We already know that many corporations pay ZERO in taxes and that some, like Exxon, actually pay nothing and get billions in cash from the Federal government. I think that any company actually paying 39% is (a) stupid and/or (2) too cheap to get halfway decent accountants. Maybe Walgreens was filing the 1040EZ?

During the Eisenhower years (the last great republican) the tax rate for the Richie Rich crowd was 90%. They had accountants in the fifties so, no, Uncle Sam did not get $9 out of every $10 that Scrooge McDuck or General Motors made. But, they got more than they are getting now and I bet that no one had lobbyists working to ensure they paid nothing, like we have today. And we the people reaped the rewards of that corporate responsibility to America. There was no internet at the time and no idiotic assholes with avatars to say the gubmint was "punishing success".

John Steinbeck noted that American's would never truly embrace socialism because each of us considers themselves to be a temporarily embarrassed millionaire. Or, like Lewis Black sums that up, we all believe we are going to win the lottery. To that end, we don't want harsh taxes to be there when we get there. We really think like that.

My God- how can these assholes feel sorry for rich people? Numerically, the 1% IS a minority but, who in their right mind could complain? You may not want to be black or gay but, you damn sure would change places with a rich guy. Even a gay, black rich guy.

Since the Reagan years, companies have been shipping jobs over seas for tax advantages but, primarily for cheap labor. With the current "inversion" trend with corporations like Walgreens, they don't have to physically move out of the country. There's nothing to be gained by building a Walgreens on every corner in Bangladesh. Do they even have corners in Bangladesh? Walgreens has simply bought themselves into a foreign country and out of a responsibility to ours. They make their money here, camped out on our intersections but pay no dollars for the upkeep of the roads leading to their stores. That's your job. Your dollars.

I think their endgame is to bring the corporations home. And bring the jobs home. All they have to do is make America more business friendly. No Unions. No minimum wage. No corporate taxes. I've said it before and here I say it again: There is NO reason we can't be the third world labor.  Your corporate masters do not care. They do not know you or love you. You either exist to buy their products or to make them. That's it.

It's all over but the shouting for the American Dream. And the shouting- which is for the rich- will end as the middle class cuts it's own goddamn throat, silenced for forever.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Business of America

Ever hear the phrase: "It makes perfect sense..."? All things being equal, shouldn't things also make imperfect sense? Maybe even stupid sense? You know, sense that sounds good if you don't really listen or think too much about it. Stupid sense!

Leading up to the 2012 elections, Mitt Romney told a story about visiting a factory in China that- according to him- had a fence with guards around it to keep people from breaking IN to work the desirable 98 cents per hour jobs. Mitt wondered aloud how America could compete with that, in the global economy.

Mitt is an asshole but, he's not an idiot. I really doubt he thought the jobs were so great that the fence and guards were there to keep out job seekers whom he said would sneak in to work for free in hopes of earning a position. Mitt just thought that you were an idiot and/or he hoped that you would also be asshole enough to accept the practical logic of Americans (but not you) working for less for the betterment of all. People had been hearing for years that "unions (had gotten) too big for their britches" and that meant they were the culprits behind high prices. So, disband the unions and lower wages and the result will be a a stronger and more competitive America in the world markets. Right? It just makes sense.

Well, it makes stupid sense to stupid people. I swear- I don't think anyone hates Americans more than Americans themselves.

Do the math. How does tens of millions of Americans making next to nothing, make your life better? Isn't that what the other countries are for? There are people in the GOP advocating for the elimination of the minimum wage. Yep, while most are fighting for or against raising the minimum wage, some are advocating there be no minimum at all.

$7.25 is "too much"....but you can do BETTER if there is no minimum....

Huh? That doesn't even make stupid sense. How can they want you to make more when they think you are already making too much? Who falls for that?

I think that mostly the idiots who regurgitate that  economic vomit fall for that. They are also ignorant and egotistical enough to believe that such an economic scheme wouldn't happen to them, just the lesser Americans. It's odd but, where rich people are concerned, they ask how you can say an income is "too much". Yet with unions, teachers, the working poor- everyone but the rich- they readily deem whether those folks make "too much". It's like the axiom about alcoholics and drinks: "One is too many and a thousand is not enough." So, excess is success and the poor should just never get started. Now, that is some stupid sense.

There is no reason that the United States of America shouldn't be the third world labor source for the world. In fact, for *our* corporate leaders, it makes perfect sense. All we have to do is work cheaper than competing nations. How will Australia, for example, with their $16 an hour minimum compete against our NO minimum?

Don't give me American patriotism as a reason that this could never happen here. Profits trump patriotism every day. They always will. We will be in FEMA work camps and believe with all our hearts that " 'Merican work camps are THE GREATEST IN THE WORLD!!!!"

Tell me why else the greatest country in the world would kill unions and wages, neuter the EPA and conspire to sell off federal land if not for profit? It's nothing personal, America. It's just business. It's what we do, just usually to others. Now it's our turn-again- to be exploited.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

First, do no harm.

I watched a nice piece of video by Lawrence O'Donnell from his show "The Last Word", from the night he returned after recuperating from a car accident in the Virgin Islands. It was about 18 minutes long and he covered a lot more ground than I will cover here so, I'm too lazy to link it. No real need. You may like to google it though.

One of the things he talked about was the respect he had for the nurses who had been such a huge help to his recovery. He spoke about their dedication to helping people and saving lives and how, aside from making a living doing what they love, they wanted nothing beyond a "thank you" for doing just that. It's just what they do. They save lives. They do it without demanding everyone bow and scrape before them.

It got me to thinking how awesome that was. On any given night, anywhere in the world, untold numbers of nurses (and doctors, of course) are going about the business of saving human lives. That is cool. I mean- what do you do? Not to pick on you but, I bet you're like me and rarely, if ever, save lives. It's not that you or I suck. It's just that, as far as life =-saving goes, the best we can do is not kill people. That's a good thing but, in life's ledger, you're not adding, you're just not subtracting.

While I watched Lawrence talk about that, I thought of how useless politicians are. On the humanity scale they shouldn't even be on the same chart with nurses. If ever you start to feeling like your life is stagnate, wasted or lamentable, think about John Boehner. He is the Speaker Of The House and a career politician. He is in a position to actually DO good for an entire country, and the fuckwad chooses instead to sue the President Of The United States! You could be that useless fuck! Yeah, I know- he makes millions each year doing the bidding of the shareholders of America while he shirks his responsibility to the citizens who elected him. If that is your idea of success, you are no better than him. If it's not, you are!

Don't you feel better already? I know I do!

Mr. up that wall!!!!!

Goodness, how times have changed! It seems like just yesterday Ronnie Reagan was telling Mr. Gorbachev to "...tear down that wall..." thus, ending communism as the world had come to know it. As if it were that easy.  Now, the party of Reagan wants a wall built on the southern border of this country! Walls used to be bad. Now they are good? What the Hell happened?

I think maybe one party has construction contracts? Maybe Haliburton  is in the wall business now that the wars have pretty much played out?

The current crisis is children from Central America crossing the border hoping to find humanitarian aid in the United States and finding republicans' instead. They are not exactly cheery, Walmart greeters.

The border is no more a crisis today because of these children, than it was five or twenty years ago. In fact, I think building a wall is less important now than it was twenty years ago. We have better border security now than then and we have better methods for controlling immigration both legal and illegal. But first, we have to understand why (mostly) Mexicans' came here in the first place. The answer is, money and a better way of life. See: "Why did all other people's emigrate to the US?" The story of Mexican immigration is not much different from Italians or Irish. Mexicans are just closer. No ships or planes were necessary.

Mexican migrants have been crossing legally for as long as  we've had immigration laws. For decades they have picked fruit and other crops- the jobs that most Americans' didn't want to do. Though the work didn't pay well, it paid better than was available in Mexico. For generations, Mexican workers have gone back and forth between home and America and no one really cared. It was how the lettuce got picked. And from my personal experience in the bar and restaurant business it was how tables got cleared and dishes got washed. Beginning in the 80's when Reagan was president and tearing down walls was the thing to do, illegals started coming over in greater numbers. Both parties including the republicans noted that the illegals "(were) doing the jobs that Americans' didn't want to do..."

For the most part, that is bullshit, political rhetoric. Is there any other kind?  In the case of construction, for example, illegals were willing to work for far less pay than Americans.It didn't take long for companies all over the country to replace American workers with untrained but eager and cheap illegals. This helped expedite the erosion of unions and across the board hindered the pay of tens of millions more Americans. Well, did you think they were going to stop at the Trade Unionists? Why stop there?

So, now many of the same folks who welcomed illegals with arms open at arms length the past few decades, no longer want them around. Illegals served their purpose. Unions are well in decline, wages are stagnated for millions and while some are calling for an increase in the minimum, many in the GOP are calling for ending the minimum. They are doing that with straight faces, I might add.

So- a wall? Now? I don't know that it's personal. Seems more like business. I bet some very influential people would profit from the walls construction, just like they've profited from the actions that caused the wall to be...necessary... to be deemed as necessary....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Certified Trolls

I never intended to register on Topix. Back in the day, when Troll Mod Susan was Angelique770, she was always harping on people to register with Topix profiles. I figured early on that, if it was important to her, it was important to her and that couldn't be good. S/he claimed that registering would keep one safe from trolling. To illustrate this, she trolled a couple of people until they registered and then quit trolling them. Problem solved!

I did eventually register and it was as a result of being trolled. The former Terri at home had made a big production out of getting something out of (her) closet that amounted to a proxy server. She then made posts in my name, matching my location. People bought it. I don't know if she had done that to others or if Angelique had. I like to think she innocently got duped into thinking that she was (somehow) doing the (seemingly) *right* thing. But, I don't know. People get caught up in group think. Sometimes willingly, sometimes not.

Regardless of her intent, people thought her false Ferrerman posts were mine even though her Ferrerman impersonation was not at all good. The thing is that, with the general Topix population, you don't have to be a Rich Little wordsmith to impersonate someone. You can be like the drunk guy at the party whose impersonations all sound the same. It's the thought that counts if everyone else is wasted as well.

I was thinking about this when Hegel noticed that long after she had been banned the "Game Over" badge had been added to her deleted profile. We gathered that was supposed to be ironic since she had never played the game and, well, getting banned was "game over". Kinda bitchy on Troll Mod Susan's part. I have no such badges, BTW, because Troll Mod didn't ban my avatar, just my IP. Thus, I can't post gray.

It's a control thing. Topix doesn't require people to register except on the new political forum because they make their money in the sheer volume of (mostly) gray posting that goes on all over the world. It is the Troll Mod's idea that everyone post simply so s/he can track you easier.  That's it. The mods know who is who. That's why we don't take the advice of long time posters to re-register using new email addresses and getting new profiles. The mods and Troll Mods know. And they talk...

That's the game we won't play. A lot of posters brag about losing profiles. Lose one, come back with one.Repeat the cycle.

As I pointed out here several months ago, even this little ol' blog is privy to people's IP addresses. Once again, it doesn't mean I know your home address or your shoe size, but it gives me a pretty good idea who is who. And that's even true in some cases where the person is viewing with a proxy. I check IP addresses from time to time and some come up in other familiar locations. I gather proxies get better the more you spend?

The thing is, if my little ol' blog can gather such info, what kind of stuff can a huge operation like Topix gather about you?

I don't know. But, corporations are people, my friends, and surely they are friends just like imaginary people are. What could go wrong?

If you are registered with Topix, quit using your profile. You can't quit your profile- unless you know someone... Only Topix can delete a profile. There are still dead people who have active profiles. Evidently, Topix transcends death! Post gray. Use a proxy if you must as that would at least thwart the Troll Mods. Since they don't do their jobs anyway, why not make it harder for them?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Shaking Off the Trickle Down

It has long bemused me that conservatives take a hardline against immigration when they were so enamored of it when illegals were driving down labor costs and driving up profits. I guess that things have leveled off and now that illegals have served their purpose, they are no longer needed. Besides,they might stay, become citizens and vote! With nearly half of eligible citizens voting, the last thing we need is more pesky voters to thwart! But, I digress...

I've never really blamed illegals for coming here.If you are lucky to make a dollar a day in your home country but can make $5 an hour in America, why wouldn't you go there? Much of life is at least taking an imaginary stroll in the shoes of others and, as a young man in the bar/restaurant business, I realized that if the circumstances were reversed, my friends and I would have been going to Mexico to bus tables and wash dishes.

That was in the late 70's and early eighties. By the mid-eighties, construction contractors were discovering that those busboys could be taught to swing hammers and sling paint at low, low prices. It wasn't about migrants doing the work Americans didn't want to do any more, it was about them doing the work that Americans wanted to be paid to do. Illegals, primarily Mexicans, were a bargain. Everybody loves a bargain!

However, those low, low labor costs were rarely (if ever) passed on to customers or consumers. Nobody ever advertised that they could beat anybody's price because they used cheap labor. For some reason, business doesn't work that way. The way business does work is that if you build a half million dollar house using largely cheap labor, you make more profit. Duh! It's still a half million dollar house you are buying. You'll just sleep better knowing that the contractor saved thousands in labor costs? I guess that's it....

Maybe back during the Reagan years some conservative think-tankers engineered this but, I doubt it. Cheap labor is pretty much the history of the world. It's nothing new. The novelty, I think, was this country's experiment with the middle class. This was something the world had never seen before. We exported it to the rest of the world and they seem to like it. Our corporate overlords think it's "not cost effective".

So, no genius conservatives discovered cheap labor in Latin America and tapped into that. Probably. It did come in handy though for them with their plan to decimate unions.I think they caught on to that pretty darn quick though.

You see, folks, America is a business and the business of America is business. Need I remind you to buy low and sell high? I trust, not.

The busting of unions and the insane fight over a minimum wage (whether to raise it or shitcan it) is the most important issue we have to consider in America. It's even bigger than BENGHAZI!!!! Our whole future rides on what we pay the least of us. It doesn't really effect what we pay for Big Macs as I mentioned here before. Ronald McDonald will get his. We are dealing with Americans here, nearly half of which (voting wise) are republicans and believe that businesses only hire when generous tax breaks free up enough cash to hire people. Fuck that supply and demand shit you've heard about in business school.  Tax breaks and low, low wages now make this country great.

Tax breaks for the wealthy free up more profits is all. Same with low, low wages. The new business model is the old business model of screwing as many people as you can to get ahead. There have always been slaves, toiling away their existence for the man, whether paid poorly or not at all. It's really the only way the rich can get by. They can't do it without us or just with tax breaks alone. It's always been this way, except for a 35 year period after WWII when, much to the horror of the wealthy, we learned it didn't have to be that way. The American Dream just turned out to be too expensive to maintain. The big money is in exporting it. Tax breaks and low wages, ya know. The new business model for America. They haven't been pissing on our backs like we thought. Turns out it was just raining.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pro Boner Trolling

I found this to be rather entertaining:

"There is nothing you can do on here, tho. Even mods are impotent. Other than deleting posts quite some time after they are posted, there is nothing that can be done, because they just switch IP addresses.

I believe it is possible topix could have standing to sue people who continue to post on here after being banned and told they are not welcome... for cyber-harassment. The laws, especially in California are quite strong. Topix does suffer a direct injury because of such behavior and if you have told people they are not welcome to post, a court would be sympathetic, especially with the behavior of some of these people. It would be a novel claim, but a lot of lawyering is thinking outside of the box like this. Topix has really been harmed by trolls"


This was a post by Lifestyles And Entertainment editor of Topix, Sublime1. With absolutely no irony felt, he was making the post to Troll Mod *Susan*. Though not even licensed to practice law in the state he works in, he's contemplating the merits of representing Topix- clear across the country-  in a case against various trolls. If this were a Perry Mason case, it would be called: "THE CASE OF THE IDIOT POSTER TRYING TO KILL THE GOLDEN GOOSE EVEN THOUGH NO ONE ASKED HIM TO BECAUSE THAT WOULD JUST BE A DUMB, STOOPIT THING TO DO."

You see, folks, the business model of Topix was built on anonymous trolling. That would be some yummy irony if they did sue anonymous people for "injury" because, that's their business! 

But, forget about that. Ain't no jackleg patent attorney suing anybody (FOR FREE!!!!!!) on behalf of Topix. Sub musta had a five martini  lunch and started believing his own press because he went on to say that the Chicago lawyers he beat up for mishandling his daddy's case are refunding every single penny daddy paid them (teach them not to not do as good a job as Sub would) and they'll re-sue (at their expense!) and win this time or Sub will sue them for malfeasance for losing again. Some shit like that. One more martini and he's surely be balling their wives....

Anyway, as a poster pointed out, Topix COULD require people to register to post and that would stop unregistered people from posting. They could do that but, they won't. They want grays posting. Duh! Another poster pointed out that Sub was using a fake profile of his and that he was making the complaint to the Troll Mod Susan who, his/herself has a couple hundred profiles. Him/her may be a real-life Sybil but, not to the tune of 200 legitimate profiles. But, that's Topix- people claim over and over that they had the "guts" to register and post with their "real" profile. Huh? Show me your drivers license with "Hillbilly Dragon Dick Licker" on it. Now THAT would show some guts!

Sigh. So, the Speaker Of The House is suing Barack Obama. Sheesh. Lot's of butthurt idiots out there. Hey Boehner! I know a fiscally conservative lawyer out your way that will do the job FOR FREE!