The Empire’s Dog Feces: Many job openings for bombing paupers remotely

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, Permanent Fail at 7:44 am by George Smith

The structural thing, at Newsweek, increasingly used as a rationalization to stop worrying about massive unemployment. It’s all the fault of stupid workers with atrophied, obsolete skills.

There are plenty of jobs and employers can’t fill them fast enough:

[One] survey for the National Association of Manufacturers in 2009, near the recession’s nadir, found that a third of companies still faced shortages. These were largest for engineers and scientists and among aerospace, defense and biotechnology firms.

Arms manufacturing and bombing others in our detached wars is bully.

Newsweek allows a little doubt to creep in at the end. Won’t corporate America take a chance? Brother, could you spare a dollar?

There is no instant cure for today’s job mismatch, but it might ease if America’s largest companies were a little bolder. Surely many of them — enjoying strong profits — could make a small gamble that, by providing more training for workers, they might actually do themselves and the country some good.

We know the answer to that.

Readers will remember that last week Jeff Immelt of GE, he of the Prez’s job council, recommended pushing tourism — America’s a great place to visit (!) — and community college.

Anyway, where are the dependable jobs of good wage?

Obvious, really, if you read the New York Times. Border patrol and building more robots to bomb the have-nots of the world.

The US government and Pentagon successfully removed the citizenry for the equation for war. That has made the market stable.

Now the national security apparatus is involved, practically speaking, mostly in money-making and plinking off a wide variety of paupers it finds around the globe. And only very stupid people believe that killing scruffs in AfPak or Yemen or Libya, no matter how bad some of the individuals may be, does anything to defend basic freedoms and promote American value. (Yes, dronifying the pantywaists really has done the trick.)

The mightiest military in the world is for wealth-generation as well as plutocracy and toady protection schemes, from which no fruits are generally shared. While it’s out picking off bad guys and civilians too close to the action, the stuff at home worth defending blows slowly away in the wind.

From the Times today, another story on the wonder of military robots and drones, their exploding market, and so on:

From blimps to bugs, an explosion in aerial drones is transforming the way America fights and thinks about its wars. Predator drones, the Cessna-sized workhorses that have dominated unmanned flight since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, are by now a brand name, known and feared around the world. But far less widely known are the sheer size, variety and audaciousness of a rapidly expanding drone universe, along with the dilemmas that come with it.

The Pentagon now has some 7,000 aerial drones …

There’s the official designated expert cheerleader on drones, Peter W. Singer — Brookings man, to vouchsafe something meant to sound clever and wonderful:

The Pentagon has asked Congress for nearly $5 billion for drones next year, and by 2030 envisions ever more stuff of science fiction: “spy flies??? equipped with sensors and microcameras to detect enemies, nuclear weapons or victims in rubble. Peter W. Singer, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and the author of “Wired for War,??? a book about military robotics, calls them “bugs with bugs.???

Had to throw the “victims in rubble” part in to make the technology sound a little like it’s making the world a better place.

If you’re structurally unemployed and not able to get into arms manufacturing, perhaps you aren’t leveraging your iKit and cyberpersona enough.

At Mashable, no link, a consultant tells what you must do:

1. Leverage Your Social Graph

2. Use Augmented Reality and Job Search Apps

And don’t don’t don’t be short on Klout —

In today’s world, not only do you need strong hard and soft skills, but you need to develop online influence.

Online influence is measured in how many connections you have, who those connections are (and how influential they are), who and how many people are sharing your content and backlinking to your website and more. Klout.com, a site that measures online influence and gives you a “Klout score??? … [Klout, incidentally, seems to be nothing more than an elaborate parasite economy app for digging into your life on Facebook or Twitter. If you don’t consent to logging onto it through these accounts, you can’t use it.]

5. Turn Yourself Into an Advertisement

Dan Schawbel is the author of Me 2.0 and the founder of Millennial Branding, a full-service personal branding agency. He’s spoken about personal branding at Google …

Eleventy-thousand three hundred six and a buck two eighty “like” it on Facebook.


Tales from the Artisan Economy

Posted in Made in China, Permanent Fail, Rock 'n' Roll at 2:05 pm by George Smith

Taylors are high end acoustic and electric guitars. The company was always artisan. Now it’s a perfect fit for the new economy, high end instruments — like the Fender and Gibson custom shops — for old classic rockers, Nashville artists and the servants of the upper class who acquire them to fiddle about with in their spare time.

A story on Taylor, from the Los Angeles Times, pretty much describes the artisan economy standard and its high button clientele:

At Taylor’s 200,000-square-foot El Cajon factory, which is open for public tours, the company’s mixture of delicate hand craftsmanship and cutting edge technology is on display. One example of the latter is a robotic painting machine, built by Pinnacle Technologies Inc. of Italy for $250,000, which uses an electrical charge to increase the amount of spray paint that adheres to the instrument …

A roster of Taylor guitar owners reads like a guest list from the Grammys: Katy Perry, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, Taylor Swift, Prince, John Mayer, Jackson Browne, Sting, Paul Simon, Stanley Clarke, Bryan Adams and many others …

Scientist Joyce Jones, administrator at the Vaccine Research Institute of San Diego, owns two Taylors and is contemplating a third. She recently strummed an eight-string baritone at the company’s factory store that she said was “divinely inspired. I am basking in its glory.”

Taylor’s least expensive guitars — those costing around $300 to $1,300 — are made in a 300-worker factory in Tecate, Mexico. But the bulk of the company’s revenue comes from guitars that range from $1,900 to $10,000, and to as much as $20,000 for specialty jobs. Those are made by the 400 employees in El Cajon.

“Divinely inspired,” said the weekend ham & egger near the beach front Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course.

If Taylor rings a bell it’s because it’s currently featured in a commercial for the wonderfulness of GE Capital corporate financing.

Dad Rock: The punishments and excruciations

Posted in Permanent Fail, Phlogiston, Rock 'n' Roll at 12:40 pm by George Smith

Pretty much all jump-on-the-grenade material for anything over 40 seconds.

This one has the added bonus of a strong Taliban-like religious message: Women should shut up in church, or something.

Dad punk rock and death metal isn’t any better than Dad classic rock.

All worship church bands are virtually be definition, Dad rock. This one tries to ameliorate the stain by putting motorcycles on the stage of the superchurch tabernacle. Or something like that. Couldn’t get much past the Life in the Fast Lane parts.

My dad rocks harder than your dad, says the description. Aiming low. I like that.

This is accidentally decent. And short. Sadly, it’s the kid who messes it up with enough overenthusiasm to make your neck sweat. If you’re the Dad.

If there was a button to push …

The zenith of Dad rock — rock fantasy camp with Slash.

Dad rock to the max: Playing a Kiss song with Paul Stanley. Dig Dad, looking a little like Bruce Ivins, on the keys.

Sadly, some women lack the usual female wisdom and cleverness which steers them clear of the shoals of Dad rock fantasy camp.


Shit on shit

Posted in Permanent Fail, Phlogiston at 7:33 am by George Smith

It was a toss-up between what was the more unintentionally hilarious thing on Yahoo this morning, the headline and the hapless editors at the place or the piece on a man named “Allinvain” who’d just had all his Bitcoins — half a million USD’s worth — swiped by malware.

2602 Facebook recommendations, the world arbiter of all that is worth a circle jerk good.


Fig leaf free trade

Posted in Made in China, Permanent Fail at 7:05 am by George Smith

Free trade is taken by everyone not in power to mean rip-off and misery. All you American guitar belong to China. And so on.

Except for weapons.

Here’s a coincidental laff riot on a free trade with America agreement waiting the go-ahead for Colombia, earlier in the week:

Earlier in the week: Wisconsin bill stripping labor’s bargaining rights goes into effect in August.

Representative Sander Levin, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, has been one of strongest proponents of using the trade agreement as a carrot to encourage Colombia to make additional labor reforms.

Under the plan, Colombia committed to hiring 480 new labor inspectors, including 100 this year.

It also pledged a number of actions by June 15, including enacting laws to establish criminal penalties for employers who undermine the right to organize and bargain collectively.

Other actions due by then included publication of regulations prohibiting the misuse of worker cooperatives to circumvent labor rights; the start of an outreach program to inform workers of available remedies in labor rights cases as well as criminal penalties for employers who violate the law; and a series of inspections to ensure employers are not using temporary services agencies to thwart unions from forming and exercising their labor rights.

Earlier in the week: Wisconsin bill stripping labor union rights goes into effect in August.

Our primary “trade export” to Colombia: Military training and arms.

Economist Dean Baker on the Colombia, Panama, Korea “free trade” deals.


The Empire’s Dog Feces: US Arms sales explode, wow, big news

Posted in Permanent Fail at 11:31 am by George Smith

The Los Angeles Times tried to catch up to DD on the arms manufacturing beat on its front page today. In the process, the reporter misses the obvious — how the rest of the middle class not involved in arms manufacturing and the economy is shit in a can.

Instead, many intelligence-insulting facts and quotes are delivered.

Everyone wants US arms. And most of them go to pantywaist militaries.

There are two types of pantywaist militaries in the world.

Type 1: Our “allies” in NATO. That would be Little Tommy Atkins (Britain), Norway, Denmark, Canada, Australia — all the nations engaged in Bombing Moe. Currently, they’re in the process of making Lockheed and Raytheon CEOs happy because they must keep up the orders for smart bombs, cruise missiles and what not.

Type 2: Tyrannical nations in the Middle East, all uniformly detested by their civilian populations. That would be Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the little US toadies on the south side of Persian Gulf, and — of course — the biggest and most troublesome pantywaist of all, Pakistan.

Technically, there’s a small third class, too. Really small countries — think a few golf courses for wealthy people, maybe a zoo and high rises in a place the square mileage of Manhattan — with lots and lots of money and absolutely no reason to have massive US arms shipments except as shiny trinkets. That’d be Singapore, the famous wart on the tip of Malaya.

Some excerpts from the newspaper:

The largest-ever U.S. foreign arms deal was announced last October, when Saudi Arabia ordered $60 billion in military hardware in a multiyear pact. The Saudis’ laundry list of weaponry included Raytheon Co.’s 2,000-pound bunker-busting bombs, Boeing’s F-15 fighter jets and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.’s Black Hawk helicopters.

Orders are also in from Morocco, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.

Egypt is one of the largest customers for U.S. arms. But questions about its purchases were raised by critics in recent months when a column of American-made Abrams tanks rolled into Tahrir Square as protesters rallied against President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. [Ya think?]

The Obama administration has embarked on an initiative to reform export control that will roll back many of the restrictions on the way weapons are sold to foreign countries. Northrop, which specializes in systems such as drones and cyber security, is supporting the change, saying it will help U.S. companies win contracts.

“We have been so focused on protecting our technological edge that we have actually done severe and unnecessary damage to our defense industrial base,” Northrop Chief Executive Wesley G. Bush said at a recent conference in London.

The last statement is eye-opening, primarily because it’s a bald-faced brazen lie. Secondarily, because no one at the newspaper thought to blink or even attempt to frame it in the real world of the floundering US economy.

The only industry that has been protected in the US is the arms manufacturing and exporting base.

Everyone else has been sent to Hell, C.O.D.

Post note: There was a feeble attempt to interview someone in Washington from an arms control agency. However, even that was a pointless gesture. Arms control was thrown out the window a decade ago. Even the people still involved in it essentially gave up in the face of the onslaught.

From the wires:

The ongoing movement of jobs to countries where labor is cheaper, plus the development of new technologies, may mean fewer opportunities for some well-paid positions in the U.S. over the next decade, said Larry Katz, an economist at Harvard University.

“Employment growth has stopped, or even declined, among many middle-class jobs that are high wage” and don’t require a college degree, Katz said.

“A lot of traditional middle-class, upper-middle-class jobs have been disappearing … .

Workers making about $40,000 to $80,000 a year constitute the bulk of labor costs for many companies, and these workers may be on the chopping block, said Jeffrey Joerres, chief executive of ManpowerGroup, a Milwaukee-based staffing services firm.

“That’s your middle class,” Joerres said

If you had a push button that would have administered a short, sharp electric shock to the editors at the Los Angeles Times today, you would have used it.


The Sheriff for stamping out the trivial

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Permanent Fail at 11:02 am by George Smith

When incapable of the significant, take another page from the GOP playbook. Wave your arms and make a big noise about how you’re stamping out trivial stuff that costs the taxpayer pennies when compared to the money being blown out the exhaust pipe for endless war.

On Sheriff Biden from the wires:

In a message on the White House website entitled, “There’s a New Sheriff in Town,” Biden addressed potential cuts to spending.

“And I bet you didn’t know that your tax dollars pay for a website dedicated to the Desert Tortoise. I’m sure it’s a wonderful species, but we can’t afford to have a standalone site devoted to every member of the animal kingdom,” Biden wrote in the message also sent via email to supporters. “It’s just one of hundreds of government websites that should be consolidated or eliminated.”

Stamp out wasteful webpages. How daring and against government excess. Next he’ll be on Fox with John Stossel telling us how he’s heroically eliminated the sucking hole that’s endangered species entitlement spending.

It could happen to you!

Posted in Permanent Fail at 9:15 am by George Smith

DD at a dinner with the Prez for $10. I think you must agree that would be astonishing.

The way I see it is you have few choices in 2011 America. Two of them are lotteries and getting in as early as possible on Ponzi schemes.

Since I’m already too late for Bitcoin mining and speculation, today I’m choosing the first.


What the other guy said

Posted in Permanent Fail at 12:22 pm by George Smith

From EZSmirkzz:

According to our reporter in Washorkingtonsofcash DC major political parties are hoping to hold the 2012 election before Armageddon or the revolution .

“It feels like 1770 around here,” one pol told reporters, “people are really angry about the economy, wars, and chicklet white teeth with dollars bills stuck in them like parsley flakes.”

“We intend to continue holding circuses until next year when the number of clowns we have to fit into the magic bus is small enough that reporters can go along for the ride with VSPs.”

There is, of course, more. So follow that link.

The President has left the building (continued)

Posted in Permanent Fail at 11:51 am by George Smith

From the LA Times:

Obama said he would even use the “bully pulpit” to spread the word that nerdy is cool and that students should work toward degrees in the hard sciences.

“I want the pocket protector to be the new sex appeal,” said Obama, who held the meeting at a company, Cree Inc., that builds high-efficiency LED lights.

The other approach is to emphasize how much worse the recession could have been.

The President will be nearing eighty by the time the new “nerds” are reaching their peak in the hard science, assuming a certain number will even get there.

As for “nerdy being cool,” it has always depended on what kind of nerd you are. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates became cool (as for the latter, it depended on who you asked) when they rich. In the US, nerds only get a cool dispensation if they have bags of money.

In well over four decades (with the assumption you can’t be much of nerd in the low single digits) “nerdy” has never worked for me.

Here’s the rock bottom line: If you’re nerdy and you don’t have a fat wallet, you’re slightly less than wholeheartedly shunned. Always.

Anyway, it’s just more of the President putting up a smokescreen for 2012.

He may be around for another term even if the economy is still tanked because of what’s obvious — almost all the Republican candidates are unelectable by dint of being crazy, loathsome or both.

From a Politico piece:

Newt Gingrich faults big government for the lamentable absence of manned stations on the moon. Rick Santorum wants to “a system of discipline??? to “punish??? gay soldiers, which suggests that his problem with pornographic Google results is not likely to abate. Tim Pawlenty views Iraq as “one of the shiniest examples of success in the Middle East.???

However, those Democrats not running for President don’t have Obama’s luxury. They can all still get their necks rung in favor of local extremists by constituents.

At Pine View Farm, readers are pointed to an article in the Asia Times which indicates that current US economic activity is 40 percent transfer payments. It calls this a “zombi economy,” one where the banks sit on their cash, not dead and not alive, making money slowly on their toxic assets.

“Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned on Tuesday that a failure to lift the government’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling risks a potentially disastrous loss of confidence in America’s creditworthiness,” reads the lede of a Reuters piece today.

Deep inside there’s a niggling desire, getting stronger, that maybe it would be better if the GOP pulled the pillars down on top of themselves and Washington. In the resulting turmoil and economic crash, the government might fall.

Then there would be a big enough excuse to get on with things.

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