10.20.16

When Your Computer Security turns parasite

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 2:54 pm by George Smith

The SoundCloud hivemind forces nuisance password reset on all users who’ve had their passwords “leaked” by other unnamed worthless gigantic Internet name sites because default is to assume you stupids use the same one everywhere. So bad people and “hackers” can’t steal your already free shit.

10.18.16

Always too late

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Shoeshine at 3:33 pm by George Smith

Three years ago the six-figure explainers were ambivalent about the stupendous frauds corporate America has imposed on the economy in the name of the bottom line. To say they were serious villains was to be anti-capitalist, to not understand finance.

Now it’s all changed. And today, we have David Leonhardt, going from NYT economics reporter, defender of the riches, [1] to opinion page writer, wealthy whitemansplaining how, yup, American corporate tax dodgers are leeches.

This is about like seeing the town whore signing up for Church Universal and Triumphant correspondence courses. You can’t help but be slightly impressed while at the same time wondering how long it will last or if its really just a frantic hedge against a coming time of bloody pitchforks and raging bonfires.

Leonhardt:

The most affluent and powerful parts of our society have too easy a time legally avoiding taxes…

How does Amazon get away with this? A tangle of tax breaks and loopholes, some enacted in the name of creating jobs despite meager evidence that they do. For many companies, the key move is opening offices in a low-tax country like Ireland and then claiming that much of their business flows through those offices.

Put all these tax breaks together, and you end up with our system. AT&T and General Electric each paid a combined tax rate of only 18 percent since 2007, according to the S&P data. Coca-Cola, Apple and IBM paid 17 percent, and Alphabet (Google’s parent) is at 16 percent. Boeing is at 8 percent, Facebook at 4 percent…

The inequities contribute to the great American stagnation …

And the national stagnation has set great anger loose to roam the land with the result — Donald Trump! And it now every good American’s duty to join the fire brigade and send the man down to defeat before we can get on with fixing things:

[The] stagnation looms over life. It breeds political dysfunction, and it helps explain why so many Americans aren’t swayed by facts. When you have been struggling for decades, you tend to lose faith in society’s institutions and their sober-minded experts.

Without that faith, all of our other problems become harder to solve …

Obviously, the past year has highlighted the depth and breadth of the frustration. It takes different forms and crosses demographic and political boundaries…

Most dangerously, Donald Trump has captured a presidential nomination with one of history’s oldest tricks — using economic frustrations to attract political support by igniting ethnic hatred …

The country’s immediate task is to reject Trump — for each of us to help ensure that his deeply un-American campaign remains un-American. I’d encourage everyone to find one concrete way over the next four weeks to play a part.

Fuck that guy and his blandishments. And his behavior is part of the why behind the revenge vote, the desire to throw a monkey wrench into the unbalanced engine of rigged America, the desire to be a group Samson bringing down the temple on top of himself and the Philistines.

So last night a friend graciously took me out to dinner. And in the course of our conversation she came and asked, “Do you want Trump to win?”

And I paused before saying “No.” I told her I’d thought about not voting at all, the favored candidate being what she is — more of the same that has led to this.

Anyway, Dick Destiny electric folk was there before everybody else with “Taxavoidination.” And you can still have it, free, without even signing up.

Download and listen or I’ll contribute to killing the dog.


[1] Old Leonhardt, defender of the status quo:

Most voters in [the United States and Europe] have yet to come to grips with the notion that they have promised themselves benefits that, at current tax rates, they cannot afford …

The increasing claims come from the aging of the population, while the slowing growth of available resources comes from a slowdown of economic expansion over the last generation. A complex mix of factors, varying by country, has slowed growth, and the slowdown has been exacerbated everywhere by the worst financial crisis and global recession in 70 years.

And here, chronicling the losses of poor rich man, John McAfee:

Any major shift in the financial status of the rich could have big implications. A drop in their income and wealth would complicate life for elite universities, museums and other institutions that received lavish donations in recent decades. Governments — federal and state — could struggle, too, because they rely heavily on the taxes paid by the affluent.

Perhaps the broadest question is what a hit to the wealthy would mean for the middle class and the poor …

If anything, these economists say, any problems the wealthy have will trickle down, in the form of less charitable giving and less consumer spending. Over the last century, the worst years for the rich were the early 1930s, the heart of the Great Depression.

Other economists say the recent explosion of incomes at the top did hurt everyone else, by concentrating economic and political power among a relatively small group …

But if the rich have done well in bubbles, they have taken enormous hits to their wealth during busts. A recent study by two Northwestern University economists found that the incomes of the affluent tend to fall more, in percentage terms, in recessions than the incomes of the middle class. The incomes of the very affluent — the top one ten-thousandth — fall the most.

Over the last several years, Mr. McAfee began to put a large chunk of his fortune into real estate, often in remote locations. He bought the house in New Mexico as a playground for himself and fellow aerotrekkers, people who fly unlicensed, open-cockpit planes. On a 157-acre spread, he built a general store, a 35-seat movie theater and a cafe, and he bought vintage cars for his visitors to use …

In 2007, Mr. McAfee sold a 10,000-square-foot home in Colorado with a view of Pike’s Peak. He had spent $25 million to buy the property and build the house. He received $5.7 million for it. When Lehman collapsed last fall, its bonds became virtually worthless. Mr. McAfee’s stock investments cost him millions more.

One day, he realized, as he said, “Whoa, my cash is gone.”

His remaining net worth of about $4 million makes him vastly wealthier than most Americans, of course.

10.17.16

Damned by faint praise

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 3:39 pm by George Smith

From Canada, via the New York Times:

“’We’re just up here in Canada talking about how great you guys are down there, and we thought we’d just send you a little bit of a love note.’ … His testimonial is followed by two dozen more Canadians warmly praising the United States for things like its diversity, its space program and for being the birthplace of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur.”

Seriously!? Didn’t quite come out as intended, I guess. The space program! That does what, exactly?

And two black entertainers, million-sellers, but dead, both due to gun downs, the murders unsolved.

Wait, not addicted to porn — instead, addicted to painkillers and on disability

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall at 3:25 pm by George Smith

Not even close to getting it right, the New York Times tackles the grave social ill of the vast pool of out-of-work American men, seven million of ’em:

Economists have long struggled to explain why a growing proportion of men in the prime of their lives are not employed or looking for work. A new study has found that nearly half of these men are on painkillers and many are disabled …

Surveys taken between 2010 and this year show that 40 percent of prime working-age men who are not in the labor force report having pain that prevents them from taking jobs for which they are qualified. More than a third of the men not in the labor force said they had difficulty walking or climbing stairs or had another disability. Forty-four percent said they took painkillers daily and two-thirds of that subset were on prescription medicines …

The connection between chronic joblessness and painkiller dependency is hard to quantify. Mr. Krueger and other experts cannot say which came first: the men’s health problems or their absence from the labor force. Some experts suspect that frequent use of painkillers is a result of being out of work, because people who have no job prospects are more likely to be depressed, become addicted to drugs and alcohol and have other mental health problems.

I can assert I’ve never had a vicodin, an oxycontin or a hypo of heroin. And I am not on disability. I have not been diagnosed with depression. As to “other mental health problems,” who can say?

More research is needed, admits the newspaper. In the meantime, maybe “some things could be done to help workers who’ve given up.”

Thoughtful.

From the archives, on “the grave social ill.”

If you read the fine print, economist Dean Baker attributes the unemployment to lack of demand in a slack or stagnant economy, citing statistics that across the board, all demographics have seen rises in mass unemployment, although to differing degrees depending on positioning.

“While [the Times piece references] interesting work, implying that the problem of people dropping out of the labor force is a story about men is seriously misleading,” writes Baker today.” Both prime-age men and women have been increasingly dropping out of the labor force in the last 15 years.”

“The more obvious source of the problem lies with the people (disproportionately men) designing economic policy.”

Ouch. Could our great leaders be secretly nursing opioid addictions?

10.16.16

The latest from “Old White Coot”

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, WhiteManistan at 12:39 pm by George Smith

My kid beat up your honor student.” — seen on a bumper sticker.

An old field recording from the archives. Perfect for any device in the culture of lickspittle as well as fostering more social division and unrest.

10.15.16

Going Full Hitler

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Made in China, WhiteManistan at 1:01 pm by George Smith

From the Guardian today, two of the six-figure swells go full Hitler: “Accusations of betrayal. Demagoguery and hatred. The bunker in Berlin. Comparisons with Adolf Hitler have been tempting throughout Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for the presidency – never more so than at its mad, destructive climax.

“The Republican’s presidential bid appears to have become the campaign equivalent of the last days of the reich, when Germany’s leadership raged at bearers of bad news from the battlefield, ordered non-existent divisions to launch counteroffensives, and embraced a nihilistic plan to burn it all down and take everyone along.”

Real close to our predicament, huh?

Berlin was in ruins, encircled by three or four tank armies, not Americans, but the Red Army which had been left to take down the Fuhrer for obvious reasons. It had born the vast weight of casualties inflicted by the Fuhrer’s armies in the war.

And Germany’s leadership, plural, was not involved. It was the Fuhrer and only the Fuhrer who moved “non-existent” units, OKW — the supreme command of the Wehrmacht, and OKH, the general staff of the German army, had given up. There’s was to stand idly by and send out the Fuhrer’s senseless commands.

In the US, the capital is not rubble. And young school boys are not everywhere, manning 88’s at street corners and jumping out of hiding places to fire Panzerfaust’s (rocket propelled grenades) at the Red Army. The GOP higher ups are not going to be captured and tried as war criminals. And the entire country is not in ruins.

There are no real similarities between the last days of the Third Reich and election 2016. C’mon. Tthe digital flights of fancy are just a matter of the pampered taking the time to make themselves the center of attention, in comparing the catastrophe of the election to what was the climax of the inferno of World War II.

No, collectively, we’re just not that important.

This is going to pass and after November and when Barack Obama finally leaves the scene, the United States will still have no effective government. And there will be no fighting of global warming because the global chemistry is in, we’re way too late. Wall Street will go on as usual because the new President appreciates that they live successful, sophisticated and complicated lives there.

But our lives will continue to be boiled down by tech in synergy with corporate America. The police will continue to kill African Americans at will and acquire armored fighting vehicles.

Eighty percent of evangelicals will have voted for the man, in spite of everything. The majority of the US military will have voted for him, in spite of everything. Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona, Indiana and quite a few more states will have voted for him, in spite of everything. The six figure swells will be stunned, just stunned by the number of people who, even in losing, voted for Trump. And there will be no more mood to join together and accept things, even if only for a little while, than there is now. There will be less, much less.

The most expensive global military in history will keep behaving as if nothing is going on at home and continue to bomb the poorest places. That is, until maybe we stumble into a war with Russia, that country that took down the Fuhrer. And then we’ll have a great new series of events to write stupid similes and metaphors about, up until rubble-ization comes home.


They’re never going to get it until things begin to get torn down right around them.

From Taibbi, at Rolling Stone:

Trump’s shocking rise and spectacular fall have been a singular disaster for U.S. politics. Built up in the press as the American Hitler, he was unmasked in the end as a pathetic little prankster who ruined himself, his family and half of America’s two-party political system …

That such a small man would have such an awesome impact on our nation’s history is terrible, but it makes sense if you believe in the essential ridiculousness of the human experience. Trump picked exactly the wrong time to launch his mirror-gazing rampage to nowhere. He ran at a time when Americans on both sides of the aisle were experiencing a deep sense of betrayal by the political class, anger that was finally ready to express itself at the ballot box.
The only thing that could get in the way of real change – if not now, then surely very soon – was a rebellion so maladroit, ill-conceived and irresponsible that even the severest critics of the system would become zealots for the status quo.

In the absolute best-case scenario, the one in which he loses, this is what Trump’s run accomplished. He ran as an outsider antidote to a corrupt two-party system, and instead will leave that system more entrenched than ever.

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!

Out and about in Pasadena

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Phlogiston at 12:19 pm by George Smith

Lunch from The Slaw Dogs on N. Lake in Pasadena.

“The Traditional,” a quarter-pound chili dog with cheese and onions. Filling, one was all I needed. The dog has a good snap to it, too. The chili is also just the right consistency. You can eat the dog by hand without the topping glopping all over.

I love chili dogs and I’m not fussy. The Slaw Dogs’ passes muster — A.

10.14.16

Voters apparently don’t believe the training/re-training shtick either

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Shoeshine at 11:49 am by George Smith

From Pew:

As the demand for high-skilled workers continues to grow, American voters express relatively little confidence in either major party presidential candidate when it comes to their ability to help American workers prepare to compete in today’s economy …

When asked what kind of job Donald Trump would do when it comes to helping Americans get the skills and training they need to get a well-paying job, roughly three-in-ten voters say he would do an excellent (15%) or good job (16%). A solid majority say Trump would do only a fair (18%) or poor (47%) job.

Hillary Clinton’s ratings are similar.

The titling for this post is a little off. And that’s due to the questions posed by Pew.

What I’d like to see are answers to whether or not voters have taken to retraining over the past couple of decades and whether or not it has worked for them. My suspicions are that many have re-trained. And they’ve either gotten nowhere, been ripped off or had to settle for positions of much lower pay than before they were persuaded to participate in new training for great jobs of the future.

You know what I think. Do you know why I post the tuneage? Reprogramming. And it’s the only retraining I can afford.

Right to left: Jimmy Buffett, Jon Bon Jovi, HRC, Paul McCartney. Not undergoing training for jobs of the future.


This week’s Gold Cup Culture of Lickspittle Moment

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Rock 'n' Roll, Shoeshine at 11:29 am by George Smith

Laugh at all the special bootlicks and shoeshiners, n.B., the New Yorker and music journalists.

The gold cup winners:

The writings and posts on Bob Dylan winning a Nobel by people who’d have a hard time naming even one of the many scientists in the last 70 years or so who won Nobels for work that pushed civilization much farther ahead than lyrics from classic rock and pop.

Yay, Bob.

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