Posts filed under ‘Don't Get Ripped Off’

Poor Florida Seniors: Get Ready to Die

Apropos of this, there’s this:

rick Scott

(Image via Wikipedia)

Fla. Medicaid Privatization Plans Moving Forward

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Federal health officials said Wednesday they expect to approve Florida’s request to privatize Medicaid statewide as long as the state resolves several outstanding issues, including hiring an independent entity to monitor the process and having a robust plan to measure the quality of patient care in the controversial program.
More…

Rick Scott, Florida’s Tea Party Governor, the guy who’s moving this along should be in prison.  If you’ve got time, read this:  Rick Scott’s Dirtiest Deeds.

I predict Scott will privatize Medicaid in Florida right into the hands of his hospital chain / insurance company buddies and three, four years from now the “Medicare” system in Florida will be a corrupt mess. And people will have died as a result, including Tea Partiers who voted for this narcissistic monster.

 

February 20, 2013 at 8:15 PM Leave a comment

Wall Street Execs: Breaking the Law Key to Success

(Image via Wikipedia)

If the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes were to go out with his lantern in search of an honest many today, a survey of Wall Street executives on workplace conduct suggests he might have to look elsewhere.

A quarter of Wall Street executives see wrongdoing as a key to success, according to a survey by whistleblower law firm Labaton Sucharow released on Tuesday.

In a survey of 500 senior executives in the United States and the UK, 26 percent of respondents said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, while 24 percent said they believed financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it, according to Labaton Sucharow. And 30 percent said their compensation plans created pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law.

More…

So I guess the moral of the story is the whole system is corrupt.  Greaaat.

July 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM Leave a comment

Citigroup Providing Free Bicycles — Don’t Buy it World!

This is from the “liberal” The Independent of London:

Hello, New Yorkers, if you’re there. In a few weeks you’ll welcome to your streets 10,000 bicycles that will make you, says your fellow New Yorker, the writer David Byrne, “rethink your city and rewrite the mental maps you use to decide what is… possible.”

Manhattan will become the latest city to adopt a bike hire scheme, deploying the same machines we use in London. Here’s some advice before you hop on: Get a cheap helmet; consider the effects of sweat before riding to social engagements; start saving – the scheme is more than five times the price of London’s – and never get run over (taxis may be your nemesis).

More…

This photo accompanies the article:

(Image via TheIndependent.co.uk)

Citibike?  As in Citigroup.

Citigroup was one of the five or six banks who crashed the global economy.  They aren’t our friend.  But they want to be.

Beware.

This photo disgusts me.  Come on world, let’s not fall for their cheap effort to woo us.

 

 

May 28, 2012 at 8:35 PM 1 comment

CEOs Profit By Screwing Companies Up and Laying People Off

Capitalism:

Yesterday:

Sears to Close 62 Stores in 1H to Cut Costs

Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD), the department-store chain controlled by hedge fund executive Edward Lampert, plans to close 62 retail stores in the first half of this year to reduce expenses.

The closings include 43 Sears Hometown stores, 10 Sears Hardware stores and 9 The Great Indoors stores, the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on March 14. The company, which also owns the Kmart chain, had 4,010 stores as of Jan. 28.

[...]

Sears fell 1.1 percent to $82.55 at the close in New York. The shares have more than doubled this year after plunging 56 percent in 2011.

The only mention in the article above about job losses is this:  “Brathwaite said in an e-mail that he didn’t know how many jobs may be affected because most of the closing stores are independently owned and operated,” and of course, the wimpy reporter let him get away with that BS.  Hey, how about asking for a guesstimate?

Today:

Sears Awarded CEO $9.9 Million in 2011

U.S. retail giant Sears Holding Corp. said it paid its top executive, Lou D’Ambrosio, $9.9 million in 2011.

That was D’Ambrosio’s total pay package, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Crain’s Chicago Business reported Saturday D’Ambrosio received $793,000 for “personal use of chartered aircraft,” which covered, essentially, his commute from the Philadelphia, where he lives, to Chicago.

People bought everything from towels to homes and cars from the Sears catalogue.  I remember — this is probably more than you want to know about me — sitting on the toilet leafing through the 500-some-page Sears catalogue as a kid in the 60s.  It was like the Amazon.com of its time.

Sears’employees didn’t drive the company into the ground, the managers and owners did.  Yet while the honchos are raking in millions workers are being laid off and fired.

But hey, Wall Street’s happy so we should be too, right?

March 17, 2012 at 8:43 PM Leave a comment

Athens is Burning

People in Greece are reacting to economic cuts along the lines of what Republicans want to do here:

Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s parliament has approved an austerity and debt-relief bill, crucial for the country to avoid bankruptcy and remain in the eurozone.

Lawmakers voted early Monday in favor of the bill that imposes harsh new austerity measures in return for a euro130 billion ($171 billion) new bailout agreement and related deal with private creditors to shave euro100 billion ($132 billion) off the country’s national debt.

The vote occurred after extensive rioting and looting swept through the Greek capital.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Demonstrators set buildings ablaze and fireballs lit up the night sky in Greece’s capital on Sunday amid widespread rioting before a historic parliamentary vote on harsh austerity measures designed to prevent the country from going bankrupt.

The clashes erupted after more than 100,000 protesters marched to the parliament to rally against the drastic cuts, which will ax one in five civil service jobs and slash the minimum wage by more than a fifth.

At least 10 buildings were on fire, including a movie theater, bank and cafeteria, and looters smashed dozens of shops in the worst riot damage in years. Dozens of police officers and at least 37 protesters were injured, and more than 20 suspected rioters were detained.

More…

See more photos here.

February 12, 2012 at 6:14 PM Leave a comment

Mitt Romney Campaigns For His Millionaire Donors

Who is Willard Mitt Romney campaigning for?  You?  Me?  No.  He’s campaigning for the folks who give to his SuperPAC, Restore Our Future, Inc.

Restore Our Future Inc.?  A more appropriate name would be, Restore Rich People’s Future Inc.

Don’t be fooled.

Details here

January 31, 2012 at 10:45 PM Leave a comment

Iowans Applaud Rick Santorum for Saying He’ll Cut Social Security

I just watched (@ 7:52 p.m. ET) a live clip of Rick Santorum speaking to senior citizens in Iowa, telling them, when president, he will cut the deficit by $5 trillion, “including entitlements,” which means Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid.

Like idiots being lead to slaughter, THEY APPLAUDED.

Ahhh!

P.S.  Let’s start referring to “entitlements” as earned benefits.  The money we get back for those things came out of our paychecks, dammit.

January 3, 2012 at 8:03 PM Leave a comment

Enough of This Pink Stuff For Girls!

Here’s an approximately 3-year-old girl named Riley who thoroughly grasps how corporations market to little kids:

I never much liked pink either.

Riley for President!

December 29, 2011 at 12:38 PM Leave a comment

Stores Targeting People Who Shop While Drunk

Don’t know why we should be surprised by this:

Photo: Los Angeles Times

After enjoying a few drinks, some people go dancing. Others order food. And for some, it’s time to shop online.

“I have my account linked to my phone, so it’s really easy,” said Tiffany Whitten, of Dayton, Ohio, whose most recent tipsy purchase made on her smartphone — a phone cover — arrived from Amazon much to her surprise. “I was drunk and I bought it, and I forgot about it, and it showed up in the mail, and I was really excited.”

[...]

“Post-bar, inhibitions can be impacted, and that can cause shopping, and hopefully healthy impulse buying,” said Andy Page, the president of Gilt Groupe, an online retailer that is adding more sales starting at 9 p.m. to respond to high traffic then — perhaps some of it by shoppers under the influence.

On eBay, the busiest time of day is from 6:30 to 10:30 in each time zone. Asked if drinking might be a factor, Steve Yankovich, vice president for mobile for eBay, said, “Absolutely.” He added: “I mean, if you think about what most people do when they get home from work in the evening, it’s decompression time. The consumer’s in a good mood.”

[...]

At QVC, the television shopping channel, traffic and viewers rise around noon, then quiet down until after 7 p.m. Then items like cosmetics and accessories sell briskly. “Call them girl treats — they seem to attract a really strong following once you get past dinnertime,” said Doug Rose, senior vice president for multichannel programming and marketing for the company. “You can probably come to your own conclusion as to what’s motivating her.”

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Take a look at QVC after oh, say, 9:00 p.m.  Chances are they’re hawking rings that sell for over $200.00 that are so gaudy I can’t imagine anyone actually wearing them.  It’s sad.

December 28, 2011 at 12:58 PM Leave a comment

Another “Mega” Shopping Day

It looks like the media has coined yet another term for the days on which the corporatocracy wants us citizens consumers to concentrate on buying stuff:  “Mega-Monday.”

It’s “Mega-Monday,” and retailers expect the day after Christmas to be one of busiest shopping days of the year.

[...]

“The day after christmas is now considered to be up there with ‘Black Friday’ as one of the hugest shopping days of the year,” Yarrow points out. “Gift cards really fuel a lot of the day-after-Christmas shopping. It used to be, primarily, returns.”

Ah yes.  “Black Friday,” “Cyber-Monday” and now “Mega-Monday” (next year it’ll be “Mega-Tuesday”).  They have us right where they want us.

December 26, 2011 at 12:05 PM Leave a comment

Verizon: This is What Happens When You Hire Undereducated Kids at the Minimum Wage

You get what you pay for:

 

Not quite the “War Of The Worlds” broadcast of a Martian invasion in New Jersey, a Verizon “emergency” alert Monday that the company texted to its wireless customers still jangled some nerves and triggered hundreds of calls from concerned residents to local and state offices.

The company sent the alert to customers in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, warning of a “civil emergency” and telling people to “take shelter now.” Trouble was, the message was meant to be a test but it wasn’t labeled as such, Verizon later admitted.

More…

Geezus.  How hard is it to begin a text message with:  THIS IS A TEST?

December 12, 2011 at 7:30 PM 1 comment

We’re Gonna Get Ourselves a Prison

Take a look at this video from the 1980’s.

Flora, Illinois was competing with at least 33 other communities to become the site of a new prison. Unemployment was high. In a bid to promote the town as a prison site, Flora’s former police chief recorded a song titled “All We Want’s A Prison,” but the town failed to win its bid.

So sad.

Corporations set the stage such that we beg them to come to our towns.  They demand tax breaks and subsidies and this and that, all in the name of jobs, jobs, jobs.  We give them those things, nixing parks and schools and roads, etc., and when they’re done sucking the life out of us, poof, they’re gone.

Bottom line is we make fools of ourselves while we in essence set ourselves up to let them make fools of us.

December 6, 2011 at 9:22 PM Leave a comment

Schools in the United States Are Literally Falling Apart

Yesterday we learned that the United States of America’s 2012 discretionary budget allocates 59% to defense spending and 6% — 6% — to education.

That said, schools in the United States are literally falling apart:

FORT COLLINS, Colo.—Timnath Elementary School is closed after a ceiling collapsed over the Thanksgiving holiday.

School district crews and a structural engineer are working Tuesday to determine the cause.

Poudre School District spokeswoman Danielle Clark says teachers discovered the collapse when they returned to school on Monday, an extended holiday for students.

Thank God this happened over the Thanksgiving weekend.  What if it hadn’t?

America:  We get what we pay for.

November 29, 2011 at 8:36 PM Leave a comment

Occupy the Supreme Court: Scalia and Thomas Have Got to Go

I’m a former paralegal so I have some inside knowledge as to how the legal system should work but never mind that.  It doesn’t take a former paralegal to smell the unethical rot, and the collusion amongst the 1% that’s going on here:

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

The people of the United States must know and believe  that their system of justice is fair.   They must know and believe that all men (and women) are treated equally.

Tonight we learn that two of their premiere lawmakers are open to being bought and sold.

They have got to go.

November 14, 2011 at 10:28 PM Leave a comment

Joe Paterno Was in Line for the Presidential Metal of Freedom?

Do they vet people who are in line for the Presidential Metal of Freedom, or not?

Photo: Time.com

I guess not:

Pennsylvania’s senators on Thursday announced they no longer support awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Joe Paterno, the former Pennsylvania State University football coach.

[...]

“In light of the recent events in State College, we are rescinding our support for the nomination of Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Sens. Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R) said in a joint statement.

More…

WTF?  Did they do their “do diligence” in nominating people or is it all about being star-struck?

I think I know the answer.

What.  A.  Racket.

What. A. Farce.

November 10, 2011 at 10:54 PM 1 comment

Michael Bloomberg – We Want Our Money Back

Michael Bloomberg — a 1%-er — thinks We the People are idiots:

November 1, 2011:  “It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis. … It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and to give mortgages to people who were on the cusp” and who “pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent; they were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody.

More…

But the always-wonderful Matt Taibbi fights back:

In order for this vision of history to be true, one would have to imagine that all of these banks were dragged, kicking and screaming, to the altar of home lending, forced against their will to create huge volumes of home loans for unqualified borrowers.

In fact, just the opposite was true. This was an orgiastic stampede of lending, undertaken with something very like bloodlust. Far from being dragged into poor neighborhoods and forced to give out home loans to jobless black folk, companies like Countrywide and New Century charged into suburbs and exurbs from coast to coast with the enthusiasm of Rwandan machete mobs, looking to create as many loans as they could.

And here’s the icing on the cake:

“Well, you know what, Mike Bloomberg? FUCK YOU. People are not protesting for their own entertainment, you asshole. They’re protesting because millions of people were robbed, by your best friends incidentally, and they want their money back.”

Yes. We.  Do.

November 3, 2011 at 9:06 PM Leave a comment

Herman Cain, Federal Reserve

This would be Herman Cain before he was a presidential candidate who talked about hating big government:

Herman Cain (born December 13, 1945) is an American business executive, syndicated columnist, and radio host from Georgia. He is the former chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and served as chairman and deputy chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Before his business career he worked as a mathematician in ballistics as a civilian employee of the United States Navy.

He lived on the dole as an employee of the United States Navy and — big time — as a member of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City for God’s sake.

Yep.  “Big government” is a very bad thing.

October 30, 2011 at 9:32 PM Leave a comment

Herman Cain Isn’t Someone You’d Want to Have a Beer With

It was a slow news weekend but now we have this from Politico, an arm of the corporate-owned DC estblishment:

Exclusive: Two Women Accused Herman Cain of Inappropriate Behavior

During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

And then there’s this, in all its delicious sarcasm:

Exactly.

Herman Cain may have indulged in “inappropriate behavior” but his real sin was being a TOBACCO INDUSTRY lobbyist for God’ sake.  I mean, he lobbied on behalf of an industry that put profit$ above people’$ health.

Haven’t we had enough of that?

What a guy.

October 30, 2011 at 8:54 PM Leave a comment

Hey, Let’s Be Slaves to “Shadow Work”

I hadn’t heard of “shadow work” until today, when I read this article, though I’ve done plenty of it without knowing it had a name, and so have you.

So, what is “shadow work?”

Photo: Flickr via Bluesman 854

Examples abound, helping drive unemployment rates. Airports now have self-service check-in kiosks that allow travelers to perform the jobs of ticket agents. Travel agents once unearthed, perused and compared fares, deals and hotel rates. Shadow-working travelers now do all of this themselves on their computer screens. Medical patients are now better informed than ever — as a result of hours of online shadow work. In 1998, the Internal Revenue Service estimated that taxpayers spent six billion hours per year on “tax compliance activities.” That’s serious shadow work, the equivalent of three million full-time jobs.

Once upon a time, retail stores had employees who were not cashiers but roamed the floor, assisting customers. Go into a Wal-Mart or Target or Staples and find someone to help you locate and choose a product. Good luck. You’re on your own, left to wander the aisles in search of an unoccupied staff person. (Meanwhile, you might stumble on and purchase some item you hadn’t planned on buying.) Here, it’s not technology, but a business tactic that cuts payroll expenses by trimming the service provided to customers — and prolongs the time those customers spend rambling around inside the store. Regardless, the result is still more shadow work, as customers take on the job that retail salespeople once did.

Shadow work isn’t always unpaid; sometimes it shows up at one’s salaried job in the form of new tasks covertly added to one’s responsibilities. Not long ago, human resources departments kept track of employees’ vacation, personal and sick days. In many organizations, employees now enter their own data into absence management software.

The American corporatocracy has surreptitiously conned us into doing things for it that it used to do for us. And, far as I can tell (hello!), they aren’t reducing what they charge us to compensate for that.

So they win again and we go along with the program like dumb drones.

Welcome to a new week of doing that (me included).

October 30, 2011 at 7:27 PM Leave a comment

How Mitt Romney Made His Millions (in 32 Words or Less)

Here’s how Mitt Rommey, the guy who claims to care about you and your job (or a lack thereof), made his millions:

Romney was CEO of Bain & Company – a private-equity fund that bought up companies, fired employees to save money and boost performance, and then resold the firms at a nice markups.

So, when you hear him talk about “creating jobs,” remember his expertise is actually in destroying jobs.

 

October 30, 2011 at 4:48 PM Leave a comment

A “Kitty Throw?”

I’m in the market for a throw to spread out on my couch so when Mr. Al (pictured above) lies on top of the back cushions (yep, that’s what he does) they stay as clean as possible.

So I’m looking around today for the nicest looking but cheapest throw I can find and I come across this “Kitty Throw” at The Company Store.  Check it out:

Photo: TheCompanyStore.com

This is a “throw?”  They’ve got to be kidding.  It looks like a doily or a place mat.  It looks like a piece of burlap with an applique slapped on it and, get this, they’re selling it for $40!  I think I could make it for about $3.

Geez Louise.

OccupyWallStreet and stop corporations from ripping us off is all I can say.

October 15, 2011 at 8:19 PM Leave a comment

Wall Street Occupies America

I’m fading fast but check out this article and juxtapose it with what you’re seeing and hearing tonight on the corporate media about what an ungrateful bunch of whiners the Occupy Wall Streeters are:

Wall Street’s long occupation of the middle class

[A]n increasingly volatile American financial industry

Photo Via Flickr: Wallyg

is helping and hurting average Americans to an unprecedented extent. The middle class is more entangled in Wall Street than ever before in U.S. history. And the American middle class is losing.

I will spend four hours tomorrow morning volunteering at a my local food bank, handing food out to people who Wall Street ripped off.

Ugh.  I’m heartsick.

October 13, 2011 at 8:24 PM Leave a comment

The Most Important Thing in the World

If you read nothing else today (or this week or this month), read this from Naomi Klein regarding OccupyWallStreet.

I’m serious.  Take eight minutes and read it because, what’s happening with OccupyWallStreet is “the most important thing in the world,” as Klein says, and I agree.  This is make it or break it time for all of us — we humans, the animals, the planet.

I’m copying Klein’s thoughts in their entirety from The Nation’s website.  I hope they don’t mind.  Chances are they agree that this has got to get out:

I love you.

And I didn’t just say that so that hundreds of you would shout “I love you” back, though that is obviously a bonus feature of the human microphone. Say unto others what you would have them say unto you, only way louder.

Yesterday, one of the speakers at the labor rally said: “We found each other.” That sentiment captures the beauty of what is being created here. A wide-open space (as well as an idea so big it can’t be contained by any space) for all the people who want a better world to find each other. We are so grateful.

If there is one thing I know, it is that the 1 percent loves a crisis. When people are panicked and desperate and no one seems to know what to do, that is the ideal time to push through their wish list of pro-corporate policies: privatizing education and social security, slashing public services, getting rid of the last constraints on corporate power. Amidst the economic crisis, this is happening the world over.

And there is only one thing that can block this tactic, and fortunately, it’s a very big thing: the 99 percent. And that 99 percent is taking to the streets from Madison to Madrid to say “No. We will not pay for your crisis.”

That slogan began in Italy in 2008. It ricocheted to Greece and France and Ireland and finally it has made its way to the square mile where the crisis began.

“Why are they protesting?” ask the baffled pundits on TV. Meanwhile, the rest of the world asks: “What took you so long?” “We’ve been wondering when you were going to show up.” And most of all: “Welcome.”

Many people have drawn parallels between Occupy Wall Street and the so-called anti-globalization protests that came to world attention in Seattle in 1999. That was the last time a global, youth-led, decentralized movement took direct aim at corporate power. And I am proud to have been part of what we called “the movement of movements.”

But there are important differences too. For instance, we chose summits as our targets: the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the G8. Summits are transient by their nature, they only last a week. That made us transient too. We’d appear, grab world headlines, then disappear. And in the frenzy of hyper patriotism and militarism that followed the 9/11 attacks, it was easy to sweep us away completely, at least in North America.

Occupy Wall Street, on the other hand, has chosen a fixed target. And you have put no end date on your presence here. This is wise. Only when you stay put can you grow roots. This is crucial. It is a fact of the information age that too many movements spring up like beautiful flowers but quickly die off. It’s because they don’t have roots. And they don’t have long term plans for how they are going to sustain themselves. So when storms come, they get washed away.

Being horizontal and deeply democratic is wonderful. But these principles are compatible with the hard work of building structures and institutions that are sturdy enough to weather the storms ahead. I have great faith that this will happen.

Something else this movement is doing right: You have committed yourselves to non-violence. You have refused to give the media the images of broken windows and street fights it craves so desperately. And that tremendous discipline has meant that, again and again, the story has been the disgraceful and unprovoked police brutality. Which we saw more of just last night. Meanwhile, support for this movement grows and grows. More wisdom.

But the biggest difference a decade makes is that in 1999, we were taking on capitalism at the peak of a frenzied economic boom. Unemployment was low, stock portfolios were bulging. The media was drunk on easy money. Back then it was all about start-ups, not shut downs.

We pointed out that the deregulation behind the frenzy came at a price. It was damaging to labor standards. It was damaging to environmental standards. Corporations were becoming more powerful than governments and that was damaging to our democracies. But to be honest with you, while the good times rolled, taking on an economic system based on greed was a tough sell, at least in rich countries.

Ten years later, it seems as if there aren’t any more rich countries. Just a whole lot of rich people. People who got rich looting the public wealth and exhausting natural resources around the world.

The point is, today everyone can see that the system is deeply unjust and careening out of control. Unfettered greed has trashed the global economy. And it is trashing the natural world as well. We are overfishing our oceans, polluting our water with fracking and deepwater drilling, turning to the dirtiest forms of energy on the planet, like the Alberta tar sands. And the atmosphere cannot absorb the amount of carbon we are putting into it, creating dangerous warming. The new normal is serial disasters: economic and ecological.

These are the facts on the ground. They are so blatant, so obvious, that it is a lot easier to connect with the public than it was in 1999, and to build the movement quickly.

We all know, or at least sense, that the world is upside down: we act as if there is no end to what is actually finite — fossil fuels and the atmospheric space to absorb their emissions. And we act as if there are strict and immovable limits to what is actually bountiful — the financial resources to build the kind of society we need.

The task of our time is to turn this around: to challenge this false scarcity. To insist that we can afford to build a decent, inclusive society – while at the same time, respect the real limits to what the earth can take.

What climate change means is that we have to do this on a deadline. This time our movement cannot get distracted, divided, burned out or swept away by events. This time we have to succeed. And I’m not talking about regulating the banks and increasing taxes on the rich, though that’s important.

I am talking about changing the underlying values that govern our society. That is hard to fit into a single media-friendly demand, and it’s also hard to figure out how to do it. But it is no less urgent for being difficult.

That is what I see happening in this square. In the way you are feeding each other, keeping each other warm, sharing information freely and proving health care, meditation classes and empowerment training. My favorite sign here says “I care about you.” In a culture that trains people to avoid each other’s gaze, to say, “Let them die,” that is a deeply radical statement.

A few final thoughts. In this great struggle, here are some things that don’t matter.

- What we wear.

- Whether we shake our fists or make peace signs.

- Whether we can fit our dreams for a better world into a media soundbite.

And here are a few things that do matter.

- Our courage.

- Our moral compass.

- How we treat each other.

We have picked a fight with the most powerful economic and political forces on the planet. That’s frightening. And as this movement grows from strength to strength, it will get more frightening. Always be aware that there will be a temptation to shift to smaller targets – like, say, the person sitting next to you at this meeting. After all, that is a battle that’s easier to win.

Don’t give in to the temptation. I’m not saying don’t call each other on shit. But this time, let’s treat each other as if we plan to work side by side in struggle for many, many years to come. Because the task before will demand nothing less.

Let’s treat this beautiful movement as if it is most important thing in the world. Because it is. It really is.

 

October 6, 2011 at 6:07 PM Leave a comment

Comcast “Ref Code 50900″

This is happening to me right now:

Roughly three hours ago I clicked on Comcast Channel 183, one of the channels that’s included in my $80.00+ monthly bill.

I got this message:

ONE MOMENT PLEASE

This Channel Should be Available Shortly

REF Code 50900

I’m still getting that message.

Earlier today I turned to I-forgot-which-channel and there was no sound.  I had to turn the TV/cable off and back on again before the sound came on.

Bottom line?  They’re Comcast and I’m not.  I’m one of their serfs.  They have lobbyists.  I don’t.

God I hate Comcast.

October 3, 2011 at 10:43 PM 4 comments

About #OccupyWallStreet

If you haven’t heard about #OccupyWallStreet, you’re watching the corporate media.

Check it out at the link above.

Here are some of my favorite tweets about what happened today:

October 1, 2011 at 7:37 PM Leave a comment

“Job Creators” Care More About Bonuses Than Jobs

Memo to the GOP:

Don’t talk to me about how the so-called “job creators” need fewer regulations and tax cuts in order to create those jobs we’ve been waiting for for the last ten years.

Far from creating jobs, the big boys are even downsizing their drinking cups for God’s sake to save money — not to create jobs — but to give bigger bonuses to their already filthy rich CEOs:

Wall Street is planning to lay off thousands of workers in a supposedly underperforming quarter, and Goldman Sachs is no exception, saying that it plans to cut $1.2 billion in costs by laying off 1,000 people, roughly 3 percent of its workforce. The mega-bank is also going after small savings by downsizing its drinking cups.

Even plants aren’t safe from the bank’s tightened budget. The London office removed potted plants, reportedly causing “disquiet” among employees and led “to a stand-off between the plant pickers and staff.” Morgan Stanley has also cut back on office foliage, while Bank of America skipped an annual field day.

However, the real measure of whether Wall Street is serious about cutting costs will be if bonuses go down during lean times. And so far, the chances do not look good. The New York Times’ Dealbook reports that banks, including Goldman, have set aside $65.69 billion for bonuses at the end year, an 8 percent increase over last year.

When was the last time you got an 8 percent raise?

 

September 27, 2011 at 6:13 PM Leave a comment

Money Pours Into Banks Again — Never Mind the World’s Peons

If you aren’t paying attention to what’s going on in the world-wide banking system, you’re missing another huge bailout. A bailout that, as usual, will benefit the very, very rich and leave the middle class and poor behind.  What’s happening is “the world’s central banks” are showing a “display of firepower” which is “intended to prevent an escalation of financial market tensions.”

Shorter:  “Financial market tensions” means rich people (bankers, stock market speculators, etc.) might lose a lot of money so the “world’s central banks” are using their “firepower” to bail the poor babies (also known as “job creators” here in the U.S.) out.

Must be nice, huh?

The message from the top?  Fuck you peons.  We’re using our money to rescue us, not you.

As an aside — but not by much — this is The Breakers, the summer cabin build by the Vanderbilt clan (Anderson Cooper is a descendant) during the roaring 20’s, when the income disparity was just about as bad as it is now:

More here:  TARP for Europe; more stimulus for U.S.: bankers:

Europe must take immediate and decisive action to safeguard its banking system, while the U.S. economy  is at stall speed and needs a dose of fiscal stimulus [to keep its bankers from losing money], top bankers and investors said on Thursday.

September 15, 2011 at 6:56 PM Leave a comment

The GOP Hates Jesus

I can’t wait to hear what winger Republicans say about this, assuming the “liberal media” asks:

Pope Demands Greater Ethics in Economic Policy

Pope Benedict XVI warned Thursday at the start of a visit to crisis-hit Spain that Europe won’t be able to emerge from its economic woes unless it realizes that economic policy cannot be guided by a profit-driven mentality alone.

He said the continent must take into account ethical considerations that look out for the common good.

[...]

“The economy doesn’t function with market self-regulation, but needs an ethical rationale to work for mankind,” he told reporters traveling aboard the papal plane. “Man must be at the center of the economy, and the economy cannot be measured only by maximization of profit but rather according to the common good.”

Ah, yeah.

Far as I can tell, the GOP hates Jesus.

August 18, 2011 at 5:52 PM Leave a comment

Get the Mark Halperin ExxonMobil App Now!

Mark Halperin is a commentator on MSNBC’s “liberal” morning show, “Morning Joe,” starring GOP’er Joe Scarborough.

He is also the “senior political analyst” for Time magazine and for Time.com and oh, a few weeks ago he was suspended from MSNBC for calling President Obama “a dick.”

Read more about the alleged professionalism (cough) of this “journalist” here.

Anyway, Halperin’s got a new gig and a new app and guess what?  It’s sponsored by ExxonMobil!

So, the next time you see Mark Halperin on the teevee, remember:  He unabashedly — he’s proud of it —  takes money from ExxonMobil. I.e., they own him so he just might, you know, (for example) advocate against global warming because it’s ah, “controversial.”  And he might say a Democratic president is a dick because that dick doesn’t capitulate to the corporations who want to have their way with our planet.

USA!  USA!  Where corporations control the news so they can fuck the people who watch it.

August 9, 2011 at 9:39 PM Leave a comment

Father’s Day Gifts for the Fathers Who Wrecked Our Economy

Hey, wondering what to get the father in your life for Father’s Day?  Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal has some suggestions as to what the fathers who wrecked our economy might want:

An Alfred Dunhill Aquarium “table lighter” — $12,000:

A Portofoino Chronograph watch with Alligator strap — $5,400:

“Vintage” cast iron piggy banks — $750:

Start drooling peasants.

June 11, 2011 at 8:03 PM Leave a comment

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