09.18.12

Tosser, dickhead, wanker, or gobshite?

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Made in China at 7:42 pm by George Smith

It just gets worse and worse for Mitt Romney (edited for brevity):

“When I was back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there. It employed about 20,000 people. And they were almost all young women … about 18 and 22 or 23 … they made various uh, small appliances … the pittance they earned, living in dormitories with uh, with little bathrooms at the end of maybe 10, 10 room, rooms. And the rooms they have 12 girls per room … And, and, and around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire and guard towers.”

No emergency public relations team can fix what’s wrong with Mitt Romney. It’s the smirking, happy tone of voice that’s the trick.

Also, see

toff

From the Urban Dictionary:

A wealthy person of English origin that also happened to be born that way.

Usually you will find Daddy paid for his education and his Dad paid for his, they also get their jobs because of their Fathers/Uncles pulling strings, yet still have the gall to look down on the millions of unemployed people due to their efforts.

In David Cameron’s case all said Dads of Dads who got him where he is were stock brokers or so he told other stock brokers at a particular conference.

They rarely have any problems in their lives …

They have an awful tendency for getting involved in politics, law, finance and big business despite having very little clue about the real world and holding extremely derogatory views about ordinary people. The world is in a far worse state because of this.

The Moochers

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Extremism at 3:15 pm by George Smith

I’m sorry to harp on it (well, no, not really) but Romney’s “47 percent pay no income tax” puts him in the role of the protagonist I satirized in “Rich Man’s Burden.”

It is a song for the Republican Party. And it trots out a line of thought very common, the world belief of a special kind of fucked-up white paranoid, one with a resentment for “others” who pay no taxes. And are on food stamps, to boot. And that would be everyone who votes for Democrats or Obama. Which apparently leaves a middle ground of unfocused pure white voters, salt of the earth working people, who can still be persuaded to vote Republican.

I’ve some collected quotes from the account of one of my local Pasadena friends on Facebook, a fellow who keeps in touch with old acquaintances from prep school in one of the tonier places of Connecticut.

And they chat on his wall, going on extended whines about taxes,
the unfairness of alleged cheaters who pay none, and the corruption and shame of a government that enables the lazy and untalented.

To them, this is one of the big things dragging the country down:

[The] 60 million who don’t actually file taxes (and should) is a huge problem.


There is an estate tax for estates valued at over $5 million dollars, but that pretty much excludes the middle class and the poor.


With an income tax, millions … get off not paying.


[Who] should get [the tax money]? The government? To waste or to feather the Pols nests or the people who were less successful, not as smart or maybe just lazy?

Call them part of the White Toffs Preservation Society. And this aggravated cant dominates their political discussions, dogged beliefs that shirkers are stabbing the ideals of old America in the back, taking the honest sweat of the white noble people and giving nothing back.

And so it has come about that the singularly libertarian Ayn Rand usage — moochers — dominated the news on Romney’s secret speech today.

Even though he did not use it, when he picked up Paul Ryan as VP and all the Atlas Shrugged baggage, the pump was primed, “moochers” and the regular denunciation of those not believed to pay taxes coming along for the ride.

And Romney’s chances are destroyed by this toxic meme rubbed in everyone’s face, one the party embraces, a thing that has rotted the extremist GOP from the inside out.


At the Centre Daily Times, the newspaper of State College, PA, an editorial writer named Steve Lachman exhorts “mainstream Republicans” to vote for Obama:

We may disagree about fiscal and tax policy, abortion and gun control.

And as important as those issues are, we do agree about something a lot more fundamental. We agree that democracy is the cornerstone of our nation.

Your party has been hijacked by reactionaries who have subverted democracy for the sake of power.

He’s a gentleman, too gentle. Civility was destroyed a long time ago. Fuck the GOP, left, right and center. As I’m from among the alleged moochers, I’m not for agreement on anything unless it means more mooching.


At Rolling Stone, Randy Newman unfurls a new song, “I’m Dreaming (of a White President.)”

It’s about the Republican Party and is very good. I like mine more. But I’m not someone anybody gets peer points for recommending.

Cybercrime, Wall Street shoeshine, financial crime

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Cyberterrorism at 1:39 pm by George Smith

Wall Street was responsible for the economic collapse in 2008-2009. That collapse inflicted more damage on the American middle class in lost income and jobs than any amount of cybercrime.

I’ve long argued all newspaper stories in which “experts” show up to maintain Wall Street needs to be protected from “cybercrime,” that the nation is at risk from a calamity-causing attack on the financial system, are shoeshine for the 1 percent.

It’s a covering tactic, one with almost no basis in reality, trotted out when there is legislation on the table that would increase business to arms manufacturers and computer security firms.

Global cybercrime is very real. But it is not one of the primary problems threatening the existence, even the day-to-day well being, of what’s left of the middle class in the US.

So if you took an honest poll and asked people if they wanted the US financial system to be protected from digital Pearl Harbor or to simply be protected from the US financial system, themselves, I bet you’d get many more for the latter.

At Rolling Stone magazine, Matt Taibbi briefly discusses an insider book which purports to explain why the US government would not take on Wall Street over the economic collapse.

There is a quote near the end, one in which Taibbi mentions cybercrime. And it’s pure shoeshine:

Again, those interested in understanding the mindset of the people who should be leading the anti-corruption charge ought to read this book. It’s the weird lack of concern that shines through, like Khuzami’s comment that he’s “not losing sleep” over judges reprimanding his soft-touch settlements with banks, or then Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Ray Lohier’s comment that the thing that most concerned him – this is the period of 2008-2009, the middle of a historic crimewave on Wall Street – was “cyber crime.”

09.17.12

The Psychopath Vote and Mitt Romney

Posted in Extremism, Psychopath & Sociopath at 4:52 pm by George Smith

These videos are hard to watch. The first is the most soul-destroying collection of frightened, paranoid white bigots and heevahavas you’ve seen in your life.

The second is Mitt Romney, being taped surreptitiously, letting out his inner creep.

It’s his appeal to the wealthy and the pyschopaths in the first video, the Tea Party, the far right, one reliant on contempt for about half the country, explaining the only reason people vote for the president is because they are moochers with no personal responsibility, who pay no income tax and are on food stamps.


Doin’ God’s work, rhymes with ‘jerk’

Posted in Extremism, Ted Nugent at 10:09 am by George Smith

At 26 seconds — Interviewer: “You’ve just gone about how all the liberties in America, doors being beaten down for people using the wrong type of bow and arrow … you’re an accomplished writer.”

At 2:09 — Nugent: “[The] America haters hate me. That proves I’m doing God’s work because the devil is upset.”


Did you ever wonder what happened to old Saturday Night Live comic, Victoria Jackson? She has a web show. Here’s an episode.

09.15.12

Halliburton, Texas, fracking … what could go wrong?

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 12:00 pm by George Smith

This.

Halliburton loses a high-intensity neutron source.

Laughable quote from lickspittle chosen for hard public relations job:

“It’s not something that produces radiation in an extremely dangerous form,” said Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services. “But it’s best for people to stay back, 20 or 25 feet.”

One example of how broken the American system is that no matter how loathsome politicians, public figures or corporations become, they keep being rewarded.

(Click the links.)

In November Mitt Romney will be run off permanently but that will be only an exception to the rule.

09.14.12

US hate speech book promotional details

Posted in Extremism, War On Terror at 11:01 am by George Smith

How Fatima Started Islam, the anti-Islam hate speech book covered yesterday, ads for which were spammed into e-mail a few weeks ago, relied on anonymity and the global web. Unsuccessfully.

The spam campaign’s aim was probably publicity and sales through Amazon.

The spoofed mail to DD blog, henrylswartz@yahoo.com, was identified by The Honeypot Project here. It came August 26.

It was sent through a mail server in China, perhaps one operating off the cn.com domain, to about 1000 recipients, using a variety of spoofed originating addresses.

Six of the book’s seven “5-star” reviews were placed before, during and just after the spam campaign.

This could indicate stimulus from the spam, or perhaps more likely, astro-turfed reviews placed to take take advantage of curious clicks by those who received the spam.

Fatima received a total of 122 reviews on Amazon. 111 were “1-stars,” the others all “5-star.” It is a distribution with no middle.

All of the “1-star” reviews came in the time frame of the book’s spam,
reacting to it, some so noting with imprecations to cease and desist. They indicate the reviewers had no interest in buying it although they may have seen enough from Amazon’s “search inside … ” option to get the gist.

Indeed, I’d find it remarkable if the book sold any copies. But some rotten game was afoot.

The book was originally published in 2009 and ignored. So why the renewed push?

From news reports on “Innocence of Muslims:”

Early yesterday morning VICE was anonymously furnished with documents that link a California man named Robert Brownell (aka Robert Brown) to the pre-production of Innocence of Muslims, the F-grade anti-Islamic film that has resulted in violent protests at and around US embassies in Sanaa, Yemen; Cairo; Tripoli; and Doha, Qatar. He is a man who has, as of yet, not been named in association with the film.

The documents clearly state that in 2009 and 2011 Robert Brownell purchased pre-production services related to Desert Warrior, which has been widely reported as the working title of the film that the world now knows as Innocence of Muslims.

The YouTube “Sam Bacile” account uploaded two videos that ignited the “Innocence of Muslims” riots on July 1 and 2.

Coincidences? Maybe. Probably. Or not.

Keynesian

Posted in Decline and Fall, War On Terror at 8:11 am by George Smith

Remember! Government spending on sissy civilian jobs programs does not work and increases the deficit!

Government spending on military and defense contracting budgets works! And leads to jobs!

Fiore. Run, don’t walk.


The same thing, long form, at DD blog — from the archives.

And here.

09.13.12

I don’t do business with Amazon

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 10:10 am by George Smith

Most fawning and pretentious quote this year, easy:

“[Jeff Bezos] thinks on a planetary level,” said David Risher, a former Amazon senior executive …

It comes from an article on Amazon Web Services, an operation that sells cloud computing worldwide. Recently the subject of a puff piece in the New York Times, it was essentially described as a business to change the world.

However, when you read the fine print, the world-changing seemed fairly trivial, use of massive cheap computing for stuff that ain’t special at all:

Another start-up [that uses Amazon computing], called Cue, scans up to 500 million e-mails, Facebook updates and corporate documents to create a service that can outline the biography of a given person you meet, warn you to be home to receive a package or text a lunch guest that you are running late.

Underwhelming.

“Millions of people in Africa shop for cars online, using cheap smartphones connected to A.W.S. servers located in California and Ireland,” reads the piece.


Hunger, in millions, by world region.

But Amazon computing services, by Jeff “Planetary” Bezos, is selling cars to a small percentage at the top in Africa.

Amazon is the world computing business model of destruction of wealth in populations easily attacked and liquidated, for the near instant self-gratification services of the upper slices of the world. Amazon does not solve world problems, it does not alleviate hunger, it does not boost human health.

Amazon’s massive computer resources do not noticeably advance science.

However, Amazon Web Services have been an alleged boon to “sales leads:”

GoodData, based in San Francisco, [uses Amazon services to analyze] data from 6,000 companies on A.W.S. to find things like sales leads. “Before, each company needed at least five people to do this work,” said Roman Stanek, GoodData’s chief executive. “That is 30,000 people. I do it with 180. I don’t know what all those other people will do now, but this isn’t work they can do anymore. It’s a winner-takes-all consolidation.”

Sales leads.

Amazon enables massive computing to destroy jobs in making and selling things, so that it can sell all the most trivial objects in the US.

It smashes professional publishing for mass vanity publishing, which makes little for the people sucked into it, but potentially quite a bit when you take a slice of every book a self-published author sells to himself or members of the immediate family.

It builds warehouses nationwide, where temporary workers with no benefits earn sub-standard wages and are worked into heat strokes, so that it can sell razor blades or other household goods and consumer electronics to lazy Americans who could just as soon buy in the shops in their towns and cities. It wishes to out Wal-Mart Wal-Mart, one of the biggest liquidators of the worth of labor and manufacturing in this country.

From the Times, yesterday:

[A] multibillion-dollar [warehouse] building frenzy comes as Amazon is about to lose perhaps its biggest competitive edge — that the vast majority of its customers do not pay sales tax. After negotiations with lawmakers, the company is beginning to collect taxes in California, Texas, Pennsylvania and other states …

“We want fast delivery,” Mr. Bezos said. At a minimum, “we can work on making it the next day.”

It is a monumental bet, even for a company that consistently defied skeptics on Wall Street and Main Street as it rose to become one of the country’s largest retailers. Amazon’s delivery of everyday objects needs to be fast enough and cheap enough to wean customers from their local stores.

Weeks ago the Times ran a piece on the mass making and selling of fake five-star book reviews … on Amazon.

A follow-up piece by the journalist was even harsher:

I’ve tried to talk to Amazon about this, but in general it is unwilling to discuss — well, just about anything, in my experience. An executive there briefly dismissed the problem, telling me that it would be easy to fake one or two reviews but when an item had hundreds, you could trust that the reaction was authentic. Then I wrote about a case for the Kindle Fire where the manufacturer was secretly refunding the price if readers wrote a favorable review. Just about every review of that case was fake, and there were hundreds.

On the basis of that story and others, I got a lot of messages from Amazon customers about suspicious review activity. Amazon, it seems, is not overly interested in policing its own site. Authors buying book reviews to establish their credibility is one thing; manufacturers trying to juice sales of their new products is much worse.

There’s a larger point here. Technology companies visibly improve people’s lives and sometimes talk about their higher purpose (think Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto) but in the end they are profit-seeking corporations. Amazon may in some ways be replacing the public library, but unlike the libraries of yore, it is not a public service.

It is not a surprise that the world Google, Amazon, and social networking has made promotes faking and rigging. The reduction of all measures of quality to web ranking by numbers has created a winner take all environment where there is always very strong incentive to cheat. In fact, cheating often seems like the only way to survive if you’re not already sitting on top of the pile of lucre at the web tech giants.

In fact, Jeff Bezos and Amazon have a piece of the cheating business, too, covered by the Mechanical Turk service.

If you spend time testing Mechical Turk’s Human Intelligence Tasks world bazaar, a Bezos/Amazon creation, you quickly grasp that much of the work advertised in it is in the generation of astro-turfed content to websites in articles, ratings and posts done for copper slivers of a penny per word. And the only purpose this work, or “product” serves, is to contaminate the web environment with oceans of phony, obscuring all else, in the aim of rigging the purchaser’s of it into the top returns of internet search.

From here, last year:

Another great category of [Amazon Mechanical Turk] work, which you should probably stay away from if you’re a sweat-laborer, is article creation.

“Write an article containing x-number of words on [you name it]” they read.

Most of these appear to be ads by a variety of scumbags in the business of uploading astro-turfed content pushing businesses, services and products on the web.

You can tell they’re scumbags, and that they expect scumbags to work for them by the screechy commands, demands and veiled threats inside the solicitation.

The commands warn the sweat laborer not to “plagiarize” because the content will be checked by “plagiarism checker” software [meaning it’s run through Google] which seems to mostly indicate the employers are trying to generate stuff that won’t get downgraded by the search giants robots in spam blogs and miscellaneous insta-sites …

Also in this category, the jobs for virtually nothing in which one writes phony posts and articles for web places trying to gin up the appearance of actual use and enjoyment.

I used to buy books through Amazon and still have an account on it. And it’s possible, if things keep condensing and shriveling, that Amazon will be the only agency to do certain kinds of web businesses with, in the future.

But Jeff “Planetary” Bezos and Amazon are poison now.

One waits for all the wonderful things said to be coming because of Amazon:

[Amazon] is also a philosophy of enabling other people to build big systems. That is how Amazon will make a dent in the universe.

Don’t hold your breath, “make a dent” meaning it just gets more and more of the pie at everyone else’s pooled expense.


Jeff Bezos and Amazon — from the archives.

09.12.12

Baby, Eat Pink Slime — or we’ll sue

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Predator State at 10:01 pm by George Smith

UPDATED

Whenever you think corporate America can’t be more odious/ludicrous, you are surprised:

“(AP) LINCOLN, Neb. – Beef Products Inc. plans to file a defamation lawsuit in the wake of a publicity storm over a meat product that critics have dubbed ‘pink slime.’ The Dakota Dunes, S.D.-based company said Wednesday that it will announce a lawsuit Thursday. A company executive and lawyer refused to name the defendant … The term ‘pink slime’ was coined by a former U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist.”

Baby eat pink slime, damn you, or we’ll nuisance litigate!

Beef Products, Inc. took a savage hit in the marketplace when it’s reason for being was rejected by the American consumer.

In a reasonable world, they’d have taken their hiding and disappeared.

But the USA isn’t a reasonable world. Corporations are mechanistically vindictive, encouraged to operate as if godly. The ‘inventor’ of pink slime knows what’s best.

The company will only be interested in suing someone with deep pockets. That means either ABC, the company that broadcasts Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, the program that generated viral media destroying pink slime in the market. Or the US government, specifically the USDA.

This isn’t about getting the product back into its market position. That can’t happen. The squeezed-out pink mess won’t go back in the tube. It’s about revenge and getting a payoff to go away.


Predictably, the target is ABC:

Beef Products Inc. filed a defamation lawsuit Thursday against ABC News for its coverage of a meat product that critics have dubbed “pink slime,” alleging that the network misled consumers to believe the product is unhealthy and unsafe …

The reports cited in the lawsuit include 11 that aired on television and 14 that appeared online in March. Webb said the reports had “an enormous impact” on the company, forcing it to close three of its four U.S. plants and lay off more than 650 workers. Webb said the network also published a list of chain grocery stores that had stopped selling the product, and that this pressured others to end their business relationship with BPI.

The company states that television connected with the pink slime biz caused a loss of 80 percent of its business, claiming the impact “catastrophic.”

Can you reinstate your company in the public mind in court? No.

Ultimately, it’s more self-made bad publicity for Beef Products, a company trying to punish others and extract its pound of … pink flesh … for rejection.


Not doing much for the image.

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