11.18.16

Inspiration

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, The Corporate Bund, War On Terror at 4:12 pm by George Smith

From the archives, “That’s Logistics,” satire using a ubiquitous v commercial ditty and one of the deadening news stories from America’s war on terror.

If you’been here all along it now seems like ancient history.

What should be obvious by now is that it’s inspired by a longstanding admiration for Tom Lehrer.

From his Wiki bio:

In 1953, inspired by the success of his performances, Lehrer paid $15 for some studio time to record Songs by Tom Lehrer. The initial pressing was 400 copies. At the time, radio stations would not give Lehrer air time because of his controversial subjects. He sold his album on campus at Harvard for $3 (equivalent to $27.00 today), while “several stores near the Harvard campus sold it for $3.50, taking only a minimal markup as a kind of community service. Newsstands on campus sold it for the same price.”[20] After one summer, he started to receive mail orders from all parts of the country (as far away as San Francisco, after The Chronicle wrote an article on the record). Interest in his recordings was spread by word of mouth; friends and supporters brought their records home and played them for their friends, who then also wanted a copy. Lehrer later recalled, “Lacking exposure in the media, my songs spread slowly. Like herpes, rather than ebola.”

The album—which included the macabre “I Hold Your Hand in Mine”, the mildly risqué “Be Prepared”, and “Lobachevsky” (regarding plagiarizing mathematicians)—became a cult success via word of mouth, despite being self-published and without promotion. Lehrer embarked on a series of concert tours and in 1959 recorded a second album, which was released in two versions: the songs were the same, but More of Tom Lehrer was studio-recorded while An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer was recorded live in concert. In 2013, Lehrer recalled the studio sessions:

“The copyist arrived at the last minute with the parts and passed them out to the band… And there was no title on it, and there was no lyrics. And so they ran through it, ‘what a pleasant little waltz’… And the engineer said, ‘”Poisoning Pigeons in the Park,’ take one,” and the piano player said, ‘”What?”‘ and literally fell off the stool.”

10.15.16

On the Money with the Old White Coot

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Shoeshine, The Corporate Bund at 12:37 pm by George Smith

Today: “TREATING THE WHOLE voting thing as a formality, serious political players are now pondering how exactly President Hillary Clinton can pass what Sen. Elizabeth Warren has called ‘a giant wet kiss for tax dodgers’ … So even as regular Democratic voters are concentrating on beating Donald Trump, the serious people of Washington are quietly putting the wheels in motion for what those same voters will find to be a highly unpleasant 2017 surprise.”

from The Intercept, D.C. Hivemind Mulls How Clinton Can Pass Huge Corporate Tax Cut

None of this surprises even the slightest. Expect the worst, then go out out and embrace it with open arms.

But you can have a free download for the offshore corporate tax holiday, coming soon, courtesy of the “Old White Coot” soundtrack!

And remember, this is my retraining program!

10.12.16

Riding the elevators on Wall Streets

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Shoeshine, The Corporate Bund at 11:51 am by George Smith

Lloyd Blankfein Joked “I’m Proud That The Financial Services Industry Has Been The One Unifying Theme That Binds Everybody Together In Common.” “So it’s important that people speak out and stand up against it, and especially people who are Republicans, who say, look, that’s not the party that I’m part of. I want to get back to having a two-party system that can have an adult conversation and a real debate about the future. MR. BLANKFEIN: Yeah, and one thing, I’m glad—I’m proud that the financial services industry has been the one unifying theme that binds everybody together in common. (Laughter.)” [Goldman Sachs Builders And Innovators Summit, 10/29/13]

Hillary Clinton Said She Would Like To “See More Successful Business People Run For Office” Because The Have A “Certain Level Of Freedom.” ““SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a really interesting question. You know, I would like to see more successful business people run for office. I really would like to see that because I do think, you know, you don’t have to have 30 billion, but you have a certain level of freedom. And there’s that memorable phrase from a former member of the Senate: You can be maybe rented but never bought. And I think it’s important to have people with those experiences. And especially now, because many of you in this room are on the cutting edge of technology or health care or some other segment of the economy, so you are people who look over the horizon. And coming into public life and bringing that perspective as well as the success and the insulation that success gives you could really help in a lot of our political situations right now.” [Goldman Sachs Builders And Innovators Summit, 10/29/13]

Hillary Clinton Said There Was “A Bias Against People Who Have Led Successful And/Or Complicated Lives,” Citing The Need To Divese Of Assets, Positions, And Stocks. “SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah. Well, you know what Bob Rubin said about that. He said, you know, when he came to Washington, he had a fortune. And when he left Washington, he had a small— MR. BLANKFEIN: That’s how you have a small fortune, is you go to Washington. SECRETARY CLINTON: You go to Washington. Right. But, you know, part of the problem with the political situation, too, is that there is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives. You know, the divestment of assets, the stripping of all kinds of positions, the sale of stocks. It just becomes very onerous and unnecessary.” [Goldman Sachs Builders And Innovators Summit, 10/29/13

Originally.

09.12.16

Domain does not exist

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, The Corporate Bund at 12:34 pm by George Smith

Imagine my surprise on Sunday upon finding I know longer existed. Something had whisked dickdestiny.com off the net. (Perhaps you didn’t even notice. It’s not like I get a lot of traffic.)

My hosting account was still there. My directory structure and files intact. All bills paid. But something had taken the domain out of DNS look up.

It was Tucows, the large domain registrar in Toronto. It handles domain name upkeep for my provider. Or it was my provider. (Which was unlikely since I get every other notice from them.) Or both.

I’ve been at dickdestiny for 16 years. And after all this time, some robot or procedure or someone at Tucows had decided I needed to verify that I indeed was who I was. Even though the bills have been paid, on time, for over a decade and a half.

And their corporate e-mail telling me I had to confirm that I am who I am never arrived. So Tucows pulled the plug.

And I had to waste two hours on Sunday talking to my provider to get it straightened out, to return from the dead, to “verify” that I am who I am. After sixteen years.

Remember:

You can alays count on a Corporate Fuck All to come out of nowhere and foul things up.

Shit happens. Accidents bring chaos. Stuff blows up. It may be in Canada, but the corporate American way of just doing something to you, has spread everywhere.

09.11.16

Technical problems

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, The Corporate Bund at 12:00 pm by George Smith

Just so you know. Became aware of outage. You can alays count on a Corporate Fuck All to come out of nowhere and foul things up.

09.06.16

Tell me about it

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, The Corporate Bund at 3:10 pm by George Smith

From the New York Times, something obvious but germane to our Culture of Lickspittle:

Why, then, are well over a million and a half Americans over 50, people with decades of life ahead of them, unable to find work? The underlying reason isn’t personal, it’s structural. It’s the result of a network of attitudes and institutional practices that we can no longer ignore.

The problem is ageism — discrimination on the basis of age.

“Age discrimination in employment is illegal, but two-thirds of older job seekers report encountering it,” it continues.

Lots of practices in our corporate Bund are illegal. But you have to have agencies willing to police it and take corporate America to the mat. None of that structure exists. And so we have a civilization that marinates its people in a daily sauce of banal contempt. Which is what the article documents, in vignettes.

Finally:

Recruiters say people with more than three years of work experience need not apply. Ads call for “digital natives,” as if playing video games as a kid is proof of competence. Résumés go unread, as Christina Economos, a science educator with more than 40 years of experience developing curriculum, has learned …

Discouraged and diminished, many older Americans stop looking for work entirely. They become economically dependent, contributing to the misperception that older people are a burden to society …

It’s a grave social ill, so to speak, right?

So let’s get back to that and again read from the wisdom of someone at the American Enterprise Institute:

What do unworking men do with their free time? Sadly, not much that’s constructive. About a tenth are students trying to improve their circumstances. But the overwhelming majority are what the British call NEET: “neither employed nor in education or training.” Time-use surveys suggest they are almost entirely idle—helping out around the house less than unemployed men; caring for others less than employed women; volunteering and engaging in religious activities less than working men and women or unemployed men. For the NEETs, “socializing, relaxing and leisure” is a full-time occupation, accounting for 3,000 hours a year, much of this time in front of television or computer screens.

The AEI scholar, is Nicholas Eberstadt. His essay assumes most of the subjects he’s writing about are uneducated and without training.

This is largely horseshit. There are huge slices of American workers, sophisticated, science-trained and able, all dislocated from the American experience. They range from computer science programmers and engineers to science instructors and all points in between. The Times piece anecdotally hears from another miscellaneous bunch, this time focused on age disqualification.

Ageism is only one of a slew of problems. What is required as remedy is to literally destroy all the received wisdoms about capitalism, its alleged lubricant to democracy, and work in America ingrained in the last few decades and to recognize that there has never been a shortage of human capital here.

What we have is a system, an establishment, that is fine with discarding that, as long as it does not personally affect them, the entropy is monetized, and maintains an illusion of standards and opportunities.

“Age segregation impoverishes us, because it cuts us off from most of humanity and because the exchange of skills and stories across generations is the natural order of things,” writes Ashton Applewhite. “In the United States, ageism has subverted it.”

Yeah, nice words from a wise person. The rest of the time, grave social ill or NEET?


On the money or what?

09.02.16

The American Labor Day tradition — to attack labor

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Shoeshine, The Corporate Bund at 1:22 pm by George Smith

For the past couple of years I’ve posted on the corporate dictatotship’s great tradition — publishing anti-labor opinion oieces as good cheer on Labor Day. Despite inequality so high it menaces social cohesion nationwide and has brought on an election featuring the two most unpopular candidates in my lifetime, there’s never a shortage of white male douchebags from the right or some worthless corporate-cheerleading business institute pushing opinion pieces insisting the working man and labor has it too good on Labor Day. And the great thing about them is they’re all passed off as well-wishing or defenses of the rights of the commoner.

You could hang a few of America’s CEO’s from lampposts and set them on fire with napalm and white phosphorus, viewable by streaming on the web, and these guys would still be at it, railing about socialism, the necessity for more right-to-work legislation, the need for increased tax incentives/bribes for businesses (so they’ll allegedy hire more — which somehow never happens) and the holy sacraments of America’s free market and entrepreneurialism.

So roll this year’s selection…

Here’s Idaho’s governor insisting that firing local government workers during the Great Recession was virtuous.

Even in 2009-2010, when the private sector was taking it on the chin to the tune of an actual 1.1-percent decline in Idaho jobs, our State government reduced its employment by 5.3 percent. — the governor of Idaho, C. L. Butch Otter

Here, a simple and straightforward pack of lies from Paphlygonia on Shit Creek in Arkansas.

Labor Day signals need for labor reform … the labor movement is now turning its back on employees
. — The Mountain Mail of Upper Arkansas

From someplace in New York pretty much like the middle of Pennsylvania.

I championed cutting taxes on small businesses and manufacturers so they can have the capital they need to expand and to create good jobs … I will continue fighting to create and keep good jobs in Central New York
. — Madison Cunty Courier, New York

Can’t or won’t find anything nice to say about people? Pimp for mega-corporate beer owned by foreign interest.

The Budweiser Labor Day USA Survey touts itself as “a new national study that dares to ask the toughest questions about America’s most flag-waving, beer-drinking and charcoal-grilling end-of-summer holiday
. — Watertown Public Opinion

With private sector membership in labor unions at its lowest in my lifetime, thats still too much. Competitive enterprise, my foot.

With Labor Day around the corner, a traditional holiday honoring American workers, it’s an apt time to take a hard look at the value of labor unions
. — Newsday, opinion contributed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute

While workers here in Michigan can now refuse to pay dues, even while working under the terms of a negotiated contract, thanks to the signing of the Right to Work law in 2012, most feel intimidated and are afraid to exercise that right to resign from the union due to implied repercussions from union bosses and union loyalist coworkers. — Two page letter to the editor by a Right-to-Work anti-labor rep in Macomb County, Michigan

Then there’s the middle-aged white guy who imitates your grandfather at Sunday dinner get together to keep himself in good stead with the local chamber of commerce or whatever.

In fact, my father worked there during the 1950s and ’60s for a whopping $1.50 per hour (around $9 in today’s money), and that was some 30 cents higher than the minimum wage at the time … In my opinion, hard work is something to which a lot of modern Americans today seem to be allergic, for lack of a better description … I come from a long line of hard workers. There was no privilege in any branch of my family ..
. A corporate businessman we-ate-shoe-leather-and-we-liked-it type, G. L. Deer in the Point Pleasant Register of Ohio

And the cranky old white guy from way way out in flyover country who quotes from someone you’ve never heard of from 80 years ago because America is a socialist colony of quislings sucking the lifeblood of liberty and money-making.

Clark’s talk often referenced the roots of socialism that were planted by Roosevelt, the roots that have grown in size and today threaten to replace the Founder’s “Tree of Liberty,” the tree the Founders planted in 1776 … When Americans think of treason, betraying one’s county, they often think of Benedict Arnold. Today, America has its Benedict Arnolds. They are in the unions, in management, and in government …old man named Conkey in the Cherokee Tribune Ledger News of Georgia

Right wing business cheerleader think tank most people have never heard of, even in Michigan.

The state took a brave step forward by passing a right-to-work law in 2012. That reform did wonders for economic growth … More of this, please. The more we can root out many of the entrenched problems associated with compulsory unionism, the better. While much has been done in private sector unions, it’s important to move serious union reforms further in the public sector.opinion in the Detroit News, contributed by employees of the right wing anti-labor Mackinac Center for Public Policy

This one is great because it’s an uncomplicated fuck you, I’ve got mine. Shut up, get a job, because life’s hard and then you die.

Let’s stop telling young people to find their passion and start telling them to find a job … The work you do in the world is not supposed to make a fulfilled individual; it’s supposed to make you an employed individual.“Get a job!” type in the TCPalm of Stuart, Florida

I include the next one precisely because IT IS NOT like the others. Here’s one honest man.

Can we stop with the platitudes about celebrating the workers and face the reality of America?

For starters, let’s do something about the name of this three-day weekend. Instead of Labor Day, let’s call it Plutocrat Day or maybe Oligarch Day. — Bob Franken, The Sun Prairie Star, Wisconsin


And the very last, from the Wall Street Journal, deserving of very special notice. Because IT’S ME and 10 plus or minus a couple million more!


What do unworking men do with their free time? Sadly, not much that’s constructive. About a tenth are students trying to improve their circumstances. But the overwhelming majority are what the British call NEET: “neither employed nor in education or training.” Time-use surveys suggest they are almost entirely idle—helping out around the house less than unemployed men; caring for others less than employed women; volunteering and engaging in religious activities less than working men and women or unemployed men. For the NEETs, “socializing, relaxing and leisure” is a full-time occupation, accounting for 3,000 hours a year, much of this time in front of television or computer screens.

Clearly big changes in the U.S. economy, including the decline of manufacturing and the Big Slowdown since the start of the century, have played a role. But something else is at work, too …

Regardless of its cause, this new normal is inimical to America’s national interests … In short, the American male’s postwar flight from work is a grave social ill.The Wall Strret Journal, contributed by the American Enterprise Institute, corporate policy and ideology of which, over the decades, have contributed to the condition described

I fully intend to devote the remainder of my life to living up to the reputation of being a grave social ill.

08.31.16

“American Exceptionalism” and the High School Training Camp for Bootlicks

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism, Shoeshine, The Corporate Bund at 1:42 pm by George Smith

Hillary Clinton spoke in front of an American Legion audience today. She gave a special shout out to its Boys Nation thing:

“You help raise the next generation of American patriots. I want to give a special shout out to Boys Nation, which meant so much to my husband when he was growing up.”

And it was a small part in a longer pep talk about American exceptionalism and an extended pandering to military service (which the Clintons like the vast majority of Americans including myself had and hve no part of) and patriotism. This goes hand and hand with the America never stopped being great meme. which from the vantage point of the Clinton class, the wealthy and their still employed enablers, is all true. You see, America is always great, never stops being so, shame on you for thinking it, you must want American Hitler to be President.

“[When] Vladimir Putin, of all people, criticized American exceptionalism, my opponent agreed with him, saying, and I quote, ‘if you’re in Russia, you don’t want to hear that America is exceptional’,” Clinton continued. “Well maybe you don’t want to hear it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.”

I’m not from Russia. But the exceptionalism shtick is drivel. But it is surely tailor-made for HRC’s kind of audience.

I was dragooned into attending the American Legion’s Boys State/Boys Nation thing when I was in high school. I did not care for it. But it was a great thing for budding fascists, bullies and bootlicks, though, so it makes sense to me that the Clintons would think highly of it. It was probably perfect for them, being real American “meritocracy” stuff.

You’ll surely get a kick out of my tribute to it, too, so here’s a reprint/dredge-up from about a decade ago.


JUNE 2007 — [Summer camps] must be about pain and embarrassment. It’s also important they be totally useless. It’s a bonus if they’re scarring, too.

Boy Scouts of America summer retreat in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, was good for all three decades ago. You went, more accurately — were sent — to be physically purged and have a week gouged from your summer.

It reliably meted out punishment to those who had committed no crime.

If you slipped up in even the pettiest way — made the biscuits wrong — you had to do push-ups in front of the troop leader, a thirty-something man with an icky fondness for watching his charges do physical training with their shirts off.

On a par with Boy Scouts of America summer retreat was Keystone Boys State.

Keystone Boys State was a one-shot, eligible to you only when you were between junior and senior year in high school.

This year’s Keystone Boys State is at Shippensburg College (Shippensburg State Teachers, originally), running between June 24-30. (That was for 2007. -ed) Perhaps Keystone Boys State campers will Google this essay and be persuaded to threaten their parents with reprisals should they be forced to fulfill their commitment later this month.

Kids, don’t go!

DD is giving it to you straight. Keystone Boys State is not the Army but you’ll get a little dose of it later this month. Except you won’t be able to drink heavily, shoot guns or patrol foreign boulevards for prostitutes. You won’t be made Army Strong.

Naturally, DD did not volunteer for Keystone Boys State. I was drafted by irresponsible vainglorious parents and members of the local American Legion who thought of me as a utensil, an honors student at Pine Grove Area High School, something to be offered to the state Legion leadership. In a small town like Pine Grove, kids didn’t have the luxury of snubbing their noses at “gifts” from the local American Legion-VFW. Parents wouldn’t have it.

My Keystone Boys State was held at State College. It is a tribute to Penn State University that the American Legion sponsored operation wasn’t capable of bringing out a loathing in me for all things Nittany Lions. I remain a fan of the college football team and Joe Paterno.

Indeed, it’s astonishing that Penn State University would have allowed the use of its facilities to an organization and operation which determinedly obstructed any efforts by campers to enjoy Penn State, or even get to know about the school.

You see, attendance at Keystone Boys State didn’t give camp-goers much of a glimpse of the university.

When I attended, Boys Staters were restricted to two dormitories, a nearby cafeteria and attached playing fields.

How Keystone Boys State managed this in the Seventies was nasty business.

Upon arrival in State College, campers were separated into platoons, with each platoon being assigned a nominal city, named after some Pennsylvania government functionary.

DD was assigned to “Bethman City.” Each city resided on one floor of a dorm. Each city’s adult minders were from the active ranks of the US military. Bethman City’s minder was a USMC man from Parris Island. I’ll call him Gunny, although that was not his real name.

Gunny was a power drunk with a talent for cussing, neither of which DD thinks could be any liability in the Marines, although it was momentarily surprising to see him lay it out so plainly within 60 seconds of arrival.

The first thing Gunny told us about was screening at Parris Island. He was specific in his description of a Marine Corps recruit found with a rubber dildo in his rectum. Why this was important to tell a bunch of high school boys, other than it being an X-rated shaggy dog story, was not immediately obvious.

More pressing, Gunny said, was that we campers recognize we were to stay within the bounds of Keystone Boys State. Under no circumstances were we to take walks to downtown State College, described as a potentially dangerous place.

At this point, DD’s high school eyes rolled, having already been to State College a number of times to see Saturday football. Since I was in the back, Gunny did not see the contempt in which I held him and his developing tale. If he had, perhaps I would have been ordered to do some push-ups without my shirt on.

Gunny explained that there were women who were pros in downtown State College and they were eager to take advantage of us. It was such an outrageously stupid story, a few of us assumed he’d been told to tell it by someone old and weird and higher-up from within the American Legion.

The current website for Keystone Boys State advertises it as “non-military.”

Whether this is true now I don’t know, but in the Seventies the claim was utter horsecrap.

The camp was functionally administered by US military men. Every morning there was inspection — the kind in which a military man examined your bed and opened the drawers of your empty desk to see if there was any dust in them. If there was dust in an empty drawer, it was scooped up and put on your bed or on the top of some of your property to teach you a lesson. Whatever miscellaneous lint or dirt was found during inspection was always deposited on your belongings or personal space. This kept up until our military counselors realized we’d stopped giving a shit about what they thought and did, around mid-week.

How well a Boys Stater’s city did in inspection determined in which order you would eat lunch during the day. Bethman City always did poorly and, as a result, we always ate lunch last or near to last.

In late afternoon, after some worthless class on state government and a round of compulsory softball in the sweltering heat, the camp retired to the drill field to practice calisthenics, marching in formation and pass-in-review. During the exercises, each city was judged on its form and ability to follow orders snappily. That determined in which order you ate dinner.

Bethman City, you guessed it, often finished last.

By mid-week, Gunny had reported in for Keystone Boys State duty drunk or with savage hangover too many times. He was dismissed and the slack taken up by an USAF man.

At that point, the boys of Bethman City made the decision to stop paying attention to cleaning up bathrooms, sweeping rooms atomically clean and making beds quarter-bounce-worthy for inspection. Then we always finished last.

Being snappy on the drill field went out, too. On the last day of camp, when all the thugs from high-school football teams and their assorted camp lackeys had been “elected” leaders of Keystone Boys State and allowed to go into the reviewing stand as the elite who watched the rest of the lumpen pass-in-review, we dropped our pants while trudging past the bleechers. We ate last.

The people who ran my Keystone Boys State liked nothing better than to order around teenagers, mostly for what appeared to be the sheer sake of it.

“A week at Keystone Boys State condenses what might take several months in real life to less than 168 hours,” informs the official KBS website. “This compressed simulation helps people learn lessons about the actions and consequences of leadership in a very realistic way.”

Yes, one thinks learning to suck up, march in formation and follow pointless orders does teach something about life but one ought not to ask teenage kids to give up a week of summer to learn it. The current website seems to indicate Keystone Boys State is big with those junior ROTC operations which haven’t yet been run off public high school properties.

“The effort to get everyone involved at [KBS] manifests itself by having every ‘citizen’ elected, selected, assigned or appointed to leadership positions throughout the week. Each citizen also is provided with text materials based on organizational science and personal development exercises. Much of what we do is a spin-off of the Stephen Covey text, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective [People],” the boys camp proclaims.

“All citizens should become familiar with parliamentary procedures, ‘Robert’s Rules of Order’ and Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – NOW ! ! !”

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” wasn’t required reading when DD attended Keystone Boys State, probably because it hadn’t yet been written.

It is another in a long line of publications from the self-help industry, filled with the kinds of slogans and advice people used to following orders and doing pointless institutional or corporate busy work for work’s sake think will help them improve their attitude so they can earn a quick million dollars, get promoted and exit the logjam of daily life.

Some of its tenets: Think Win/Win! Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood! Synergize!

Adoption of such a thing indicates the Keystone Boys State experience is, more than likely, an even more annoying and brainwashing experience in 2007 than it was in the Seventies.

It was true that every “citizen” of Keystone Boys State had to hold a “political” position by the end of the week.

This meant that as the inner core of apple-polishers was exhausted during the awarding of positions of “leadership” within the quasi-state camp apparatus, other positions were handed out on the basis of an ad hoc cronyism until, by the end of the week, everyone had one. It was mandated that everyone hold a public office.

I was made Bethman City dog catcher on the last day of formal camp operation. It didn’t require a vote.

For kids stumbling into this, if you must go to Keystone Boys State (and you SHOULD NOT if possible), I recommend you take a musical instrument, even if you aren’t in the high school band. Campers with instruments got to be in the Keystone Boys State community band. Perks were associated with it, like getting out of marching-in-formation and being allowed to eat ahead of everyone else, regardless of how badly your city did during inspection.

In the weeks following Keystone Boys State, I was able to make productive use of the camp one time and only once.

Everyone from Pine Grove High School who attended KBS was required to attend an American Legion dinner at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars banquet hall. After dinner, the campers would be asked to speak about their experience at Keystone Boys State.

I had no interest in attending and told my parents that if they forced the issue, like they’d forced KBS, I would tell the Legion dinner audience exactly what KBS was like. I would start with Gunny and his stories about a Marine recruit with a dildo up his ass and hookers patrolling the streets of State College looking for fresh-faced young boys.

That was all it took, really. When Mom and Dad asked what they should tell the organizers of the dinner, I told them to say I was at … another camp for the week.


Now that it one hell of a story, isn’t it? Real gonzo journalism. There ain’t nothing the Clintons could put down on paper to top it.

Anyway, moving on, about halfway through her speech today, Clinton gave a little spiel on computer security for the 1 percent. Computer security for the 1 percent is the years old story of China stealing all the intellectual property of America’s wealthiest companies, particularly it’s arms manufacturers

More recently, Russian hackers have taken their place. Worse, from the meritocratic and all-knowing point-of-view of the Democratic Party, Russia is attacking the DNC in cyberspace and possibly setting up to jigger the vote so as to throw the election to Trmp.

HRC is on the case:

We’ll invest in the next frontier of military engagement, protecting U.S. interests in outer space and cyberspace. You’ve seen reports. Russia’s hacked into a lot of things. China’s hacked into a lot of things. Russia even hacked into the Democratic National Committee, maybe even some state election systems. So, we’ve got to step up our game. Make sure we are well defended and able to take the fight to those who go after us.

As President, I will make it clear, that the United States will treat cyber attacks just like any other attack. We will be ready with serious political, economic and military responses. And we’re going to invest in protecting our governmental networks and our national infrastructure. I want us to lead the world in setting the rules of cyberspace.

If America doesn’t, others will. So in short, we have to be ready to win today’s fights and tomorrow’s.

iAvoid

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Rock 'n' Roll, The Corporate Bund at 10:12 am by George Smith

Owen Jones, from the Guardian:

Tax avoidance epitomises an unjust social order: one in which different rules apply, depending on your wealth and power; and where societies are rigged in favour of shamelessly greedy elites.

That’s why today’s ruling by the European commission – to force Apple to pay up to €13bn (£11bn) in unpaid taxes – is so significant. Apple is one of the world’s biggest companies. Its arrangement with Ireland allowed it to pay little tax on income earned across the continent: this, the commission says, violates rules on state aid. It also represents a defiant rejection of US attempts to defend tax-avoiding corporations.

The New York Times also ran an op-ed, urging action on Apple and other shirking American corporates. No link, because it only emphasizes the general unwillingness of the country to move on the issue in any way that benefits the 99 percent.

The grievance, now from the US government on the European Commission/EU grasping at US corporate sovereignty, only makes the moral character of the country look worse. The EU moved against Apple while the US would not, staking a claim in a claback ruling to money the US government had been hoping to wring out of Apple in some future repatriation/tax holiday scheme sold as fairness to the richest of American corporations.

“But the money won’t be repatriated and taxed under American law if Europeans, in the course of enforcing their own laws against tax havens, get their hands on it first,” reads the Times. “And that, in a nutshell, is why members of Congress and Treasury officials are so upset about the Apple ruling.”


And the song, folksy and acoustical as opposed to electrical, is another cut from Old White Coot, an album you will surely enjoy.

08.24.16

Retraining Camp (continued)

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Made in China, The Corporate Bund at 1:17 pm by George Smith

In the discussion of the rise of Trump the only thing the six figure explainers consider is the anger of those left behind by the great leap forward of globalism. They’re the factory workers displaced by offshoring and trade deals written to hand power to corporate leadership at the expense of everyone else. They, the angry, are the unskilled and uneducated. And white, of course.

But if you’ve paid attention the educated and over-educated have gotten a rum deal, too, depending on where you stand and if you’ve been able to read basic English and understand minus numbers most of your life.

So today’s post considers a note from a reader, one that keys in on the domestic information technology worker, citizens considered to be pretty far from uneducated and unskilled.

An introduction, by way of an excerpt from Computerworld:

When a company decides to outsource IT jobs overseas, there is no protection for U.S. workers. Professional accomplishments are irrelevant. Degrees — whether in computer science, mathematics, or in some field that has allowed them to figure technology out — do not matter. The internal awards of merit, the five-star performance reviews are meaningless. The unpaid hours, at nights and on weekends, make no difference. The workplace turns cold, hostile, indifferent.

“The Democrats, having sold out to corporate America years ago, have no choice but to fall back on the retraining fallacy,” e-mails a blog reader. “Otherwise they’d have to point out that their donors are screwing us and doing that might stop the money train.”


It’s a common story. And one wonders why it hasn’t occured to the six-figure explainers that this very educated class of workers is also really angry about the alleged “meritorcracy” of America and the universal benefits of globalization.

For example, from last year, a story in the LA Times, one of many on a Disney maneuver, one curtailed by its increasingly bad optics:

Disney has canceled recent plans to replace employees in 30 technology positions with workers from an agency known for outsourcing jobs to immigrants on temporary work visas.

Employees of Disney/ABC Television in New York and Burbank first heard of the layoffs in late May. In recent weeks, before the company reversed course, some of the employees were asked to help train their successors, mostly via teleconference but also in person in some cases …

Keith Barrett, who had been a technology employee at Disney World for more than a decade until he was forced into retirement earlier this year, posted on his Google+ account that companies should address skills shortages by repositioning or training existing employees.

“In short; if you are laying off your good performing and long term staff, especially in bulk numbers, and replacing them with inexperienced, cheaper non-hires, you aren’t using the H-1B program to increase your staff by hiring rare skills,” Barrett wrote. “You are using it to cut costs.”


At the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Dean Baker is not particularly impressed by a LA Times article on how post-NAFTA, Mexico has boomed and this has been good for American workers.

It means, Baker says in the post’s hed, the you redefine “boom” as “downward:”

[The] promotion of the post-NAFTA Mexican boom continues. The latest guilty party is the Los Angeles Times which devotes a lengthy piece to telling us how the boom is not just good for Mexico, but also the United States. Mexico’s per capita GDP growth since 2008 is less than 0.7 percent. This is a growth rate for a developing country that would more typically be described as “pathetic” than a boom.

Made curious, I went to read the LAT’s piece.

The newspaper’s reporter and editors interpret graphs in a very unusual way. If you page down, you’ll see a graphic labelled “US factories slowly climb back …”

The climb back, for this year being a negative 0.2 percent in employment. That would be a loss, in arithmetic class.

And the values preceding it are not particularly impressive. From 2011 – 2015, alleged good gains in employment seem to hover around 1 percent or less, hardly anything to crow about. On the other hand, there are nice pictures of Mexican workers in automotive factories in Nuevo Leon and San Luis.

There is a great bit in the piece:

“In the process, workers like Zarate are being lifted into the middle class by the thousands … That sounds like an exported version of the American dream, circa 1965, in places such as Dearborn, Mich., or Marysville, Ohio.”

That’s some soaring description. And so don’t you think, if you’ve stumbled in here by accident and still have a well-paying job, that you, like, ought to selflessly sacrifice it right now so that somewhere else in the world a ca. 1965-like middle class American dream might bloom?

What crap.


Warning: Tasteless.

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