I love it when the first song of an album immediately proves to you that the entire thing is worth whatever you paid for it. Welcome to America.
I love it when the first song of an album immediately proves to you that the entire thing is worth whatever you paid for it. Welcome to America.
“U.S. billionaires have collectively become $1.1 trillion – nearly 40 percent – richer since mid-March . Forty-six people have also joined the ranks of billionaires since March 18, 2020, the week after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic.”
This from CNN. Currently the Senate is arguing over a $1.9 trillion bill that would help bring us out of the pandemic economy, create jobs for regular Americans, keep individuals and small families from losing their homes and going on to food stamps and much more. Republicans say it’s too big. Do I need to reiterate that what U.S. billionaires have personally made in the last 11 months would cover 65% of it (note that they’d still have all the money they had before the pandemic); and with those newly minted billionaires, plus the other stupidly wealthy Americans, could easily cover this thing. How is it too much for the whole nation if it’s not enough for the chosen dozens?
We’ve lost touch with money in this nation. We have so many people with billions and hundreds of millions of dollars, and yet millions on food stamps. Those with the billions tend to associate with one of our political parties that seems to think that is perfectly fair. Remember that their wealth is the nation’s wealth. All of our wealth is the nation’s wealth. That is always true in a decent society, and so the question, of course is how much should those with everything share with those who have little or nothing? We need to make sure that those who do amazing things be compensated and suck up to the fact that we will always have some very wealthy and some not. The “nots” should have good lives, and the hard-working rich should have more.
How much more?
Hand me a billion dollars, and I will pay the taxes, keep five million for myself, and give the rest away. I’ve brought that up with multiple people and they all agree they’d do something similar. One said, I’ll give 90% away. He’d be left with $100,000,000.00. Why does anyone, or better yet, how can anyone sit on obscene amounts of wealth, knowing the suffering in the nation and around the world? What stops them from wanting to do amazing and wonderful things? I know they tend to love owning amazing and wonderful things. How much is enough? Somewhere in the Bible it says something about “To whom much is given, much is expected.” “Don’t give me that do goody-good bullshit.”
My mechanic works as hard or harder than 90% of those billionaires.
This is old. But it deserved the light of day.
Congressman Ted Yoho, “proudly serving Florida,” is obviously one troubled man-child. You’ve probably heard the story that this old fool accosted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term Democrat from New York, also known as AOC. This young woman is quite brilliant, fiercely dedicated to her constituents, a true believer in justice and fairness, no matter how much you agree or disagree with her opinions. Not sure what Yoho brings to the table, but it appears to be not much of anything good.
Yoho, like a pimply eighth grade bully, came after Ms. Ocasio-Cortez ON THE STEPS OF THE CAPITOL, and among many other things, called her a “fucking bitch.” Think about that. An old guy congressman accosted a fellow congresswoman on the steps of the capitol. If she were my daughter, Mr. Yoho would be in the hospital right now.
However, that is not the case and in fact Ms. Ocasio-Cortez herself performed surgery on Yoho with one of the most well-spoken pleas, not for any additional apologies (Yoho tried that and fell squarely on his fat head with the most pathetic “apology” – or non-apology – ever given), but instead a plea that this sort of behavior needs to stop for ALL WOMEN. It’s an amazing speech and if I were Yoho I’d resign now. These guys are dinosaurs and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and all the young people who are growing up to respect one another are the meteor that will end their time here on earth.
Watch it here:
Yoho’s got a new hole.
I heard a ruckus up in the trees this afternoon and looked up and saw a big crow lift up and fly away with a baby squirrel in his claws; judging by the fact that there was a frantic squirrel sprinting down the branch toward the ascending crow.
I watched as the crow dropped the baby squirrel not 50 feet away and circled up and landed in a tree above it, screeching. I looked back lost the squirrel. It’s the squirrel I really wanted to see. Despite the fact we don’t need any more squirrels around here, ever. Those little bastards cost me serious money at my old house in the city. But this, no, this is a mama losing her baby to a flying black goblin. No, that sweet mama squirrel’s gonna be fucked up in the head.
Maybe there’s a COVID-19 fund set up for squirrels that lose their babies to flying black goblins, screeching, creepy, clever flying black goblins.
Just be mellow. Until you need to be otherwise. For now, though, work toward the election in November, bring together people you know who love other people – all people, no exceptions (unless someone good is wronged); come together, love all, be smart, always be good. If they fight with fires, we fight back with water, education and dynamite, whatever it takes to suck the power from hate and make more love, less suffering, and a better Earth. This is the future. Dumbshits are the past.
They are the voice of the few, the proud, the billionaires.
The whole thing is fuckin’ brilliant. Rupert Murdoch emigrates to America from Australia, has a look around and realizes that there are a bunch of disaffected people who feel left out, have watched the great jobs they or their parents once had evaporate all around them, who are angry and looking for something to direct that anger, who are what he even refers to as “low information voters,” and who are ripe for the picking, and so Rupert picks away. Murdoch is at one level a genius and another P.T. Barnum.
Murdoch knew these things to be true:
Oh, and wrap it in a flag, keep underfunding education, and voila! The Oligarchs get richer and richer at the expense of regular American individuals and families, even those who’ve been weaponized (otherwise regular Americans) in their war against regular Americans. That’s the genius part.
FOX began with that “no bullshit,” “we tell it like it is” attitude right out of the gate. People liked that. And FOX dumbed everything down, simplified, spoke only in terms of black and white, and repeated beliefs, ideas, slogans, taglines, nicknames over and over. And FOX had the incredible audacity to refer to itself as “fair and balanced.” Who knew a mostly biased news source could refer to itself as fair and balanced and people would buy into that? The genius, and the one-born-every-minute guy.
So instead of people watching the news to learn why we have new healthcare programs, how they work, who they help, how they are paid for and all the rest, they watch news that tells them that the new healthcare programs are made up by crazy liberals who are out to hurt them and give them worse care for more money, take away their choices, freedoms, guns, whatever. “Death Panels” was all they had to say, and like a flash of lightening, the viewership all turned and never turned back. Why not? That is so much easier to understand than the intricacies of the Affordable Care Act, and so the “low information voter” keeps it simple and remains low on information, but even better for FOX and the Oligarchs, now has “fake” information to replace it and a bucketload of anger and hate around the issue to hurl at their supposed enemies.
Vladimir Putin’s main aim in his work online here in the U.S. is to drive wedges between Americans, to create more anger, strife and misunderstanding, because a divided country is a weak country, and Russia wants nothing more than a weak America.
At FOX, everyone (other than themselves and their viewers) is the enemy – liberals, immigrants, black people, Chinese people, the media, scientists, teachers, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, queers, kneeling football players, gun law advocates and on and on. This keeps the FOX news watchers back on their heels. There is always another outrage to get pissed off about – an outrage that strikes to their very livelihood. These people are trying to take this away from you! FOX knows well enough to frame everything as an us versus them issue. People love having enemies.
Who’s the enemy du jour? Think of the recent Chloroquine issue as it relates to COVID 19. FOX talks about this as if liberals and scientists want to keep it from FOX News viewers, whereas the real people who don’t want everyone taking this are, yes, scientists (they understand the dangers – this thing has not been tested) and the people who actually do need the drug for other reasons. They don’t need a run on a drug they truly depend on by a bunch of people fooled by FOX.
What the FOX viewer is expected to think is that, for some unfathomably vile reason, liberals and scientists want people to die unnecessarily – those people being the FOX viewers who want the Chloroquine. Liberals want to keep it from them so they die.
If this wasn’t something that happens on FOX every day, it would cause real outrage. Imagine, in a more rational world, one group of people in a nation (with a giant media corporation behind them) claiming another group would rather they die than allow them access to a drug that would save their lives, with fake and stupidly wrong information as proof. We would all be calling for, and receiving, a huge apology from the network. Editors would be fired.
Yeah, not here in the 21st Century with FOX News. They made that shit up, and they know it doesn’t matter if they did.
FOX is powerful stuff. Their viewers are in deep with their emotions; they are angry, appalled and righteous because FOX tells them over and over that they are right. That righteous anger is a huge buzz. The brain goes nuts, fight or flight is on high alert, the sense of entitlement ramps up and a good zinger against any of the many enemies releases a flood of serotonin that makes the FOX viewer feel even more righteous and satisfied and downright stoned. And so they come back for more and more and more. Like my twelfth trip to the liquor cabinet back in the day.
This is what toying with people’s emotions really means, plain manipulation. FOX tells the viewers what to think, but more importantly, they tell them what to feel.
I don’t have any answers. My discussions with FOX News watchers quickly devolve into FOX talking points, ergo, often bald-faced lies. When I point that out and show them absolute proof that they are wrong, they devolve further to: “Fake News,” “I don’t believe it,” “That’s not what I heard,” etc. Faced with being actually factually wrong, they punch their heads into the ground and basically just yell, “La La La La La!”
The left has some of this also with MSNBC, but if this is an arms race, MSNBC is firing a BB gun at FOX’s aircraft carrier.
There was a Simpson’s episode years back in which for some reason the televisions stopped working in the town and so there’s a scene where all the pale and weakly kids come out on their front stoops, shielding their eyes and are looking around as if they just landed on a different planet. Of course, they are soon having a blast together out in the street.
This could happen here if FOX news would just be kind enough to go off the air for a couple of weeks. Probably not. The Australians need to keep sucking money out of the United States and the FOX viewers, as does the Republican Party (who I’ve not mentioned so much but is the true beneficiary of FOX News) and also the Oligarchs (a lot of overlap there).
I’ve argued that the Australian multi-billionaire and owner of FOX News, Rupert Murdoch, is the most powerful man in American politics and I honestly still believe that is true. What FOX News has done through misinformation, manipulation, repetition, fake news, fake patriotism and all the rest has been a thousand times more detrimental to this Democracy than anything little Vladimir Putin can do from over there.
But they use the same game plan and want the same outcomes so does it really even matter? The billionaires, the oligarchs, the powerful republicans will ultimately make a shitload of money off the coronavirus and move more of the nation’s wealth to the very few.
More for them. Less for you. Think outside the FOX.
CBO Chart, U.S. Holdings of Family Wealth 1989 to 2013. The top 10% of families held 76% of the wealth in 2013, while the bottom 50% of families held 1%. Inequality worsened from 1989 to 2013. Fox News started in 1996 and while we can’t claim a straight causation, the incredible redistribution of America’s wealth from the rest of us to the top 10% grows right along with FOX News viewership.
For some evolutionary reason, we need conflict in our lives; it’s kind of what keeps us alive and moving, right? Take away all conflict and we’re floating like protected manatees in some rich Floridian’s backyard, or our future selves on the spaceships sucking on Big Gulps in Wall E.
Conflict is in very decision we make. Yes or No, damn it!? We even crave conflict. A story without conflict is like sex without any real connection. Sure, it works, but who are you?? And why did you do that to me?
Toss in a gun, a car chase, fire, a screaming match and you got a deal!
Don’t think for one second that our nation and in fact, world, is not acting more and more like the guests on Jerry Springer from the 1990s. Add in the Internet and just imagine the endless and egregious stupidity.
Then you got Trump and the Republicans weaponizing the very idea of conflict to control their base. “Everyone’s your enemy, my MAGA adherents! Hate the libs! Own the libs.” And it works. Scarily well.
Love, accept, give more, take less.
Religion is happiness placebo. Sometimes it works.
I cannot tell you how sorry I am for the folks protesting the current stay at home orders around the United States as here in MN. I can totally see how terrible it has been for them in the last few weeks only being able to go to the grocery store, the liquor store, Menards, Home Depot, restaurants for take out, the post office, and so on. These people have suffered enough! Can’t the rest of you see that? They’re victims! They are victims of this liberal plot to destroy the economy because, well, liberals don’t need jobs, or an economy, or something like that! That’s what the libs are doing! And George Soros. “Lock someone up!”
Lemmings come to mind.
I’ve been on a news blackout since I learned Prince died. I haven’t read a thing, ignored social media; I’ve even avoided talking about it. I feel silly, but it seems personal somehow. I was a huge fan from Dirty Mind through about Diamonds and Pearls, but did sort of lose interest after that. That’s another reason why this all surprises me so much.
When I learned he died, I was sitting at my desk, just finishing about four hours of working on a large writing project. It’s been over a year in the making and I made my last edit before I would send it off to an editor and friend to read. It was a really wonderful moment. I felt confident and proud – and just plain happy that I’d reached this milestone in the project. I marked the final page, put the manuscript down, and basked in my little glory. Then flipped over my phone, which I had been ignoring, and there they were. Text after text: Prince is dead.
That’s not why this is personal, but the timing was something to be noted. I went then to the Internet news feeds, read a headline, and turned it off. I just couldn’t take it.
Prince grew up in my hometown. He’s five years older than me, but went to neighboring high school and even then there were tales of this kid across town who was a rock and roll genius, could play any instrument, guitar virtuoso and all the rest. And his name was really Prince. That was cool.
There were wonderful celebrations for Prince here. I couldn’t imagine going to any of them. I just needed to process this, and especially in the wake of Bowie’s death. Another of my heroes of youth – and adulthood. Toss in Harry Nilsson and we have three dead of about five. Maybe that’s why it feels personal?
Funny how we mourn celebrities. Generally we don’t know them, have never met them, and only do know them through their work and often very tailored image, but we do. We feel deep sadness. Are we mourning the stoppage of their work, that they will never create again, the passing of an era, or mourning ourselves?
In school, many years ago, I wrote a paper on Prince. (I apologize for the errors, I had to type it in from a printed doc.) It’s a sort of Jungian analysis of Prince. If you know Jung, you know Prince was ripe for it. It was a joyful experience. I even made a cassette of the music that I referred to for the professor, David Smith, who was extremely encouraging and even suggested the tape for him to listen to. Some years ago I put it on the web, wondering if Prince would call and say, “Take it down!” I wish he had.
I also made an online copy of it and then through night after drunken night, added links and pictures and so on. Weird stuff.
It’s personal because it actually does hurt when a celebrity dies, and especially one of your celebrities. These are real emotions, obviously. Complex emotions.
The world is a little less funky. We’ve lost an irreplaceable artist and incredible talent. And while we’ve lost Prince, the man, his music will live on and on and on.