Watching the decline...

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Stupid Poll of the Week

1 out of 4 Americans would be open to succession. Really?

I don’t think anyone would have to strain their brain so far to guess where the majority reside. Or try too hard to guess what the demographic makeup of those who would vote yea would be.

According to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released last week, 1 in 4 Americans would vote for their respective state to succeed from the union. No shit.

Now as with all ridiculous polls, and this one is certainly by all accounts ridiculous, you have to take the results with a grain of salt. First off, how many Mericans’ really understand what succession would mean? Secondly, have any of these knuckleheads read the history of their own country because if they did they would know how that worked out for the south, who pushed for the south to succeed, and who paid the price for it when they did.

The same wealthy, slave holding, landowning oligarchs who presided over the destruction of the union then, the same who used the poor whites who outnumbered them 2-1 as a bulwark against the slaves who in some states outnumbered all whites 5-1, are calling the shots this time as well. Mr. and Ms. Tea Party, don’t tread on me while I collect government disability payments probably make up at least a sizable portion of those polled. If you are going to believe the incredibly bias confirmation-ing of the Huffington Post’s retelling of the Reuters story they made up close to 50%, but I don’t but that, there is far too much stupid in this country to have that much concentration in one stereotype.

Now granted it IS a poll, and polls often reflect what our worst face fears, but judging by this poll our worst face is not only stupid but ignorant as well.

I love my Country, Feel Okay About My Government and Am Terrified of My Fellow Citizens.

Here we go again: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/22/eric-matthew-frein_n_5860800.html

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-pa-trooper-eric-frein-manhunt-sunday-20140921-story.html#page=1

http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/22/justice/pennsylvania-suspected-cop-killer/

The $1 Tax Dodge

Beware the $1 CEO. Revere the $1 CEO.

CEO’s, entrepreneurs, the super-rich are our new heroes. They are  Zeus, Apollo, Jesus, King…they outrank sportsmen and women in trustworthiness polls, even though the institutions they run are the same that are ranked consistently untrustworthy. They are our new icons. The self-made man, the great American myth is back with a vengeance.

The $1 CEO’s are particularly crude about garnering our favor, John Mackey famously remarked that he made enough money and wanted to work for the joy of it. An interesting remark coming from one of the most ardent libertarian businessmen, or at least one of the few who will publicly address and defend their pure market capitalistic beliefs. The Koch brothers, Adelson and the other notables under this big green tent espouse no such pussyfooting, so are exempt in this case.

Personally I do not believe that these people deserve our admiration, respect or even pity, especially the ones who publicly tout their $1 salary. Mackey started his company from investments (gifts) from friends and family and started it as a small cooperative and grew (as most Übermensch businessmen would tell, organically) into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.  Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, who started the company from his HARVARD dorm room (a) lucky enough to go to college b) smart and lucky and wealthy enough to go to Harvard c) went to fucking Harvard) as a “hot or not” style hookup site. Or the founders of Google Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Stanford students, Page’s pedigree includes a father who was a leading computer scientist and Brin’s father and mother are also scientists, all are tops in their fields.

All these men have taken the $1 CEO route. Though Mackey has been most vocal about the reasons, all of them have allowed the more important reality of their decision be buried in a sea of crocodile tears generated by the financial press and sympathetic politicos.  They’ve become revered as generous and selfless when exactly the opposite is true.

As Robert W. Wood writes in Forbes, the reason these guys do what they do has more to do with good old-fashioned tax dodging than any altruistic motive. After all, altruism is bad, greed is good. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2014/04/05/tax-smart-billionaires-who-work-for-1/

So instead of paying a fair portion to the taxman like the rest of us, they get off taking alternate means of compensation in the form of shares and other non-cash payments that are taxed at a substantially lower rate. All the while allowing the PR machine to crank out puff piece after puff piece about how generous and selfless these guys are. That line of bullshit also only adds to the veneer of untouchability and John Galt heroism that the establishment narrative reinforces in us plebes.

And what you say? But these guys work hard, are self-made and do good work. Well I say that their “work” is in no way proportionate to the exorbitant scale of their pay, however it comes. None of these people were “self-made” they had nurturing environments massive financial assistance from family members, damn good educations or all of the above. They may be extraordinarily smart people but they are all extraordinarily smart and at least in some way, extraordinarily privileged.

 

In a way, its kind of like pulling back the cape and discovering that Superman has been rescuing humans is because he’s been pimped out by the guys from the “To Serve Man” episode of the Twilight Zone.

Heroes indeed.

Battle For The Net

If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do? Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10thEveryone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

via Battle For The Net.

Disgusting meme of the week award. (Happy Fucking Labor Day!)

http://images.sodahead.com/profiles/0/0/2/6/2/6/1/1/3/Minimum-skills-motivation-Minimum-Wage-131969229611.jpeg

Ever since the minimum-wage debate has been raging across social media we’ve had a string of ridiculous claims that ignore the fact that the minimum-wage is not a static number, was never designed to be a static number, and was meant to increase as the cost of living increased. This one especially has popped up a number of times on feeds from friends, and friends of friends. Many of these people I know for a fact grew up in union households with parents who benefited from the postwar economy which they conveniently forget was highly government driven.

 

There are so many conflicting facts to the above statement that they should be, like so many other memes, obviously, demonstratively proven wrong by its existence. But somehow, someway we’ve managed to create a bizarro world, a world in which paranoia, fear, and indoctrinated beliefs, trump logic almost every time.

 

There is more than enough for everyone. That is a fact. Not to get into numbers here after all this is supposed to be a terse response to a terse, ridiculous graphical statement. But I will say this; that if the people who are posting these things really remembered what it was that allowed their parents to pass on the prosperity that they enjoy, they would’ve fought harder when American corporations started shipping jobs offshore, they would’ve opposed Reagan’s union-busting, opposed the  relaxation of regulations that eroded workers rights, and any other governmental action, Democratic, or Republican that removed the structures that created their prosperity.

 

Happy fucking Labor Day!

It’s beginning to look a lot like post-Weimar Germany

Up in here, up in here.

Anger, resentment and scapegoating. Are we seeing the opening for the rise of new Fascism?

Potentially, I think so.

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