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Member since: Fri Aug 13, 2004, 03:12 PM
Number of posts: 24,461

About Me

If anyone's wondering why I haven't been here much lately, it's because I feel no one is learning anything from 2016. Neoliberalism is a thing and it doesn't win elections in the 21st Century. People want a candidate that's going to take strong, non-waffling stands on human rights the rest of the world enjoys. Enough living in the goddamned Reagan 1980s. Enough taking solar panels off the roof. Enough introducing more rightwingedness into American economics. Enough medical bankruptcies. Enough governing by mythology. Enough science denial. Enough of spitting on women, children, veterans and the LGBTQI community. Enough kicking the can. ENOUGH. America needs to move past it's "everything has to be about making a buck" bullshit. I'd prefer a candidate not born during the FDR/Truman administrations. No offense, but you had your time . . . and you got us Trump. Plus, I can't take another one of these still-Capitalist Boomer codgers yap on about "bootstraps" when college now costs a mortgage, necessity costs have been outpacing wage growth for 20 years and automation promises to kill more jobs than it creates. I don't want to hear what is or isn't "politically achievable". Kick-the-Can economics was never asked "How is it going to be paid for?". Tax Cuts for the rich were never given a spending limit. Folly wars were never asked "Why is this necessary?". Corporate Pork by the billions was and is always approved. America's safety net needs to be greatly expanded and retirement age needs to be drastically lowered. This country throws out far too many people that still have a decade or two of prime contribution left. If life doesn't get fairer for you or I pretty goddamned quickly, we aren't going to have much of one.

Journal Archives

I watched "Where to Invade Next" last night.

Much of it was viewed in utter disgust, particularly during the Italy and Germany segments on how they work to live (2 hour lunches, off at 2:00 PM, 5-7 weeks mandatory vacation, "13th month salary", 5 months maternity leave, workers and unions have a say in a Democratic workplace, etc, etc) while America is drowning in overwork, under-wage and little & less to show for their efforts.

Don't even get me started on the segments revolved around children and teens.

Anyway, I read something MM said in an interview for the film that got me thinking:

Iím not trying to inflame people by saying everybody should have health care, or that we need to stop school shootings. What are my political positions in my films? That G.M shouldnít be moving jobs to third-world countries and exploiting them while destroying the middle class of this country? If thatís inflammatory, weíre in deep trouble, yet for so long I was considered a radical. Things are getting better. I love this country, I canít stand what I see, and I ainít going anywhere.

When is America going to stop politicizing things that should just BE?

When is America going to get out of the Reagan 1980$, out of the plantation hierarchies, away from the Protestant Work Ethic and concentrate on labor, human and civil rights and restore human dignity?

Judging by news articles, the Republican Party is apparently "being destroyed".

Although I'm kind of confused.

Last I checked, they run the House (and barring a massive deprogramming of rural and suburban voters, I don't see that changing any year soon), the Senate, the media, The Supreme Court (well, at least they DID until Scalia inconveniently died), corporations, religion, economics, state governorships, state legislatures, congressional districts, etc. etc. etc.

Oh, and their reality-TV, CEO carnival barker, openly racist, sexist and birther candidate is a serious contender for President.

So, is this an "any day now" glacial long-term destruction we're talking about or is it a right-away destruction . . . ?

I'm just not sure. Facts kind of contradict the narrative. I don't think Americans are as sick of Republicans as pundits SAY they are.

We hate them . . . . buuuuuuuuuuuuut we can't QUIT them. Is that right?

Either way, America is NOT going to survive "Republican control of All Three Branches", so it better wise up sooner rather than later.

Is anyone else sick to death of the "Liberal Smugness" snarl that's going around lately?

Let me get this straight:

Democrats thought that a turn to the left was bad news in 2000, so Al Gore moved away from the positives of the Clinton Administration and brought on as his VP the Worst Democrat Next To Zell Miller, Big Insurance-backed Holy Joe Lieberturd. It's a given that, between Republican Lite and Republican, the latter wins that battle every time.

And, of absolute course, when The Failure Fuhrer became president, a handful of progressives were blamed for voting Nader (never mind the roles Jeb Bush, Kathy Harris, Karl Rove, Sandra Day O'Connor, Fox News, Jack Welch and Joe Lieberman himself played in that defeat).

"Grow a spine", they said. "Stop kowtowing to centrists", they said. "Stop bringing knives to gunfights when taking on the right", they said.

Oh, but now it's "don't be TOO mean . . . because nobody likes "SMUG".

So what's the message here, "be dishonest"? "Be nice to grown adults who refute science to believe stories and narratives from Reaganite Australians and purchased pundits?" "Stop being mean to people who make the demonization of nations, races and genders a way of life?"

Here's the thing: I will let up on the gas sometime when the Earth crashes into the Sun. In case you need that translated, I'm NEVER going to stop calling out Conservatives on their sexism, racism, anti-science, proven disaster economics, red-baiting, logical fallacies or their wholesale need to never compromise.

These people are grown adults. I don't have time to recalibrate the fuckered parts of their head, I have my own problems to deal with.

If they want to believe bullshit fairy tales like trickle-up socialism will lead to the benefactors and handlers being more benevolent or an invisible sky daddy will make their lives better while blowin' up the Mooslims and Commies, that's on them, not me.

If they want to believe they're better than someone because they're white, fuck them.

They need to wake up, grow up and OWN up. Don't sit there and call me "SMUG" to compensate for the fact that you think President Donald Trump is an awesome idea. Don't tell me how to conduct myself in political debate while engaging with people who think the loudest shouter wins. These people believe "the Reagan Legend" will solve everything and a 7-2 Roman Catholic Supreme Court will put them "wimmins libbers in thur place", but I'M the "bad guy" here?

My kid's generation doesn't really have a shred of hope, does it?

Between all of these articles on how Automation is going to destroy at least 40% of blue collar, retail, industrial and manufacturing jobs in the coming decades and how AI poses a serious threat to take over a decent percentage of white collar work within the next two decades, I'm just not getting why anyone should even bother trying if there's no hope to be had.

So much doomsday . . . and let's use that word, DOOMSDAY . . . talk. It's simply depressing.

It's depressing because while some of you think this is going to lead to some grand progressive Elysium where we'll finally move beyond the idea of a person's success being tethered to how gainfully they're employed, I see it quite differently.

I see an America that's NOT moving past "Protestant Work Ethic". I still see an America that's NOT moving beyond "Plantation Mentality". I still see an America that still believes the "Horatio Alger" nonsense. I see an America that still buys into Republican economic and social positions (even people who say they're "Democratic". I see America that wants to patrol bathrooms but not boardrooms. I see an America that thinks paying workers 8 dollars an hour is unaffordable, but paying a privileged scion eight thousand dollars a minute is perfectly OK. We're expected to just "rugged individualize" our own way in life, and that's simply THAT.

In this robot-run future, I'm seeing "Dystopia". I'm seeing a wealth-demanded and enforced CULL. I'm seeing biblical catastrophe and disaster. I'm seeing wealthy and upper middle class people that will never stand for "PAYin FER LAZY BUMS THAT SHUD BE WERKIN!!". I'm seeing a corporate controlled nation that's going to leave millions to fend for themselves, and those millions won't even know what they should be fending for since most every tangible subject they'll be studying will offer them either no employment or having thousands of people apply for each low-paying job.

Love will not win out in the end. America has never been about love. Americans think life is one big competition, and if you're not actively kicking someone's ass and taking what they have, it's YOUR fault. If one looks around, there's obviously plenty that NEEDS done, but without public or private dollars backing it, it's not going to be accomplished.

So in this inevitability, what should I tell my kid? Give up?

Nobody's giving me a reason to tell him otherwise.

How I went from middle class to homeless - CNN

Keep ignoring "the new unemployables" at your own peril, America. We used to not have to worry about older workers. What happened (you know, BESIDES "Reagan"??

Unless "a miracle happens," Joe will likely live in his 2001 Chevrolet Venture minivan by the summer. He removed the seats in the back to make space for a sleeping bag, his laptop and some clothes.

Soon to turn 61, Joe never imagined he would be in this position.

"When I was a kid growing up...America was the greatest place on planet earth. We were the envy of the civilized world. I never thought this could happen here," Joe says. CNNMoney agreed not to use his last name because he worries potential future employers will Google him.

Joe's big fear is that people assume he's lazy. He wore a suit for his interview with CNNMoney and hid his eyes behind big dark glasses because he is ashamed his life has come to this.

Joe's worked all his life, starting at age 11 pushing a broom around an uncle's shop. He earned two associate's degrees in electrical engineering technology and mechanical engineering technology and built a "blue collar" career as a technician, tester and machine operator. He loves factories and figuring out how things work.

When manufacturing jobs dried up in southeastern Pennsylvania, Joe moved to Minnesota. By the late 1990s, he earned $15 an hour, what he dubs a solid "lower middle class" wage. He figured he would work his way up, get a few raises and maybe buy a home. The American Dream seemed within reach.

Then his mother got sick. As the oldest child, he moved back to Pennsylvania in 1999 to care for her. Never married, Joe bought a trailer home with his mother. He managed to get jobs through temp agencies, but the work was never steady. He never earned $15 again.

Since being laid off in April 2013 from a manufacturing job, he's worked on and off a total of only seven months. He has drained his savings and retirement accounts and his mother is now in a nursing home, funded by what remains of her life savings and Medicaid.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump, a heavy favorite to win Pennsylvania, brings up the plight of people like Joe often in his stump speeches. He recently pointed out that the Keystone state has lost "35% of its manufacturing jobs since 2001."

I see two issues here that are vexing.

One, that this example and many others makes the case for the urgent need to institute a Guaranteed Minimum Income. The notion that a person's survival is chain-tethered to how gainfully they're employed has got to go the way of the dodo. You know, either get a GMI going or start caring less about "profit and shareholder value above all" and start bringing manufacturing, industry and business back here again. I mean, unless we want to see millions starve and die. Then wondering where to park their yachts this season will be the least of the wealthy's worries.

Two, that there's any notion of Trump being some kind of populist that's magically going to fix our economic ailments. It's been said that the rise of Roadkillhead parallels what "Reagan Democrats" were on about in making that addled tit president in 1980. Exactly how is a union-busting hypercapitalist CEO who's filed for bankruptcy on his businesses four times going to fix this? I really would like some specifics. Stop selling the mystery and start selling the mastery.
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