So how about, in the name of public safety, we flip this? New Rule: If you plan a DOORBUSTER STUNT you need to put up a $10,000,000 bond to cover the costs to the community and to cover the injuries and deaths of the people.
Lets go to cities and get them to pass laws, “Doorbuster stunts will cost ten million dollars for each store, payable in advance. If nobody is injured or dies the store gets part of it back.” Suddenly the cost effectiveness of this media stunt goes away and they will need to figure out a different way to get press and sell crap.
“But Spocko!” I hear you cry, “The Chamber of Commerce thugs will wail! This is a tax on business!” Well sure, but the companies don’t have to pay it if they don’t do one. Plus, if they do, the communities can get back some of the revenue their city fathers gave away with all those tax breaks they gave them. Money that didn’t go back into the community, but to the richest people in the world.
Speaking of corporations taking money out of communities, do you suppose that the richest communities have lots of Black Friday Doorbuster deaths and injuries? I doubt it. These sales are targeted at the people who are squeezed. If a community requires those Wal-Marts to pony up, to that community, that money is coming from Wal-Marts in the rich communities, not their local community.
Doorbuster sales are PR stunts for the Media. I’ve worked in PR and marketing for decades. I know a stunt when I see one. I’m kind of old fashioned Vulcan though, a stunt in which customers get injured or die was considered bad PR in my day. In the beginning I’m sure it was fun. “Give the TV cameras something to focus on, get them out to the store! We are making the news!” That was until it went horribly, tragically wrong. Again and again. But they still didn’t stop. Why not? Was it, “Nobody could have predicted…” even after the first few years?
A Maryland judge barred Walmart protesters on Tuesday from company property in advance of widespread demonstrations planned for Black Friday.
Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul Harris also ordered activists to post a $10,000 bond, which they would forfeit if they violate the injunction before the trespassing case brought by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in September goes to trial.
“This is yet another move from Walmart to try to bend the law to its liking. Walmart has made it a practice to pursue over-the-top legal maneuvers to try to avoid hearing the real concerns of workers and community members,” said Derrick Plummer, spokesman for the organizer, Making Change at Walmart, in a statement.
Harris’ order also restricts activity that disrupts access to the stores, even if it does not occur on Walmart property.
Remember the good ol’ days when companies would hire goons to physically bust up union protests? Sadly the corporations can’t do that in public anymore, what with all the cameras, plus I think the goons demanded Blackwater-level money. But some companies still want to bust up protests and organizing attempts so now they hire lawyers to restrict their protests and PR goons to beat up the organizers in the media.
My buddy Lee Fang of The Nation just put out a story, Former Walmart Exec Leads Shadowy Smear Campaign Against Black Friday Activists where he links to a video sponsored by the Worker Center Watch (WCW), a new website dedicated to attacking labor-affiliated activist groups like OUR Walmart, Restaurant Opportunities Center, and Fast Food Forward. WCW won’t tell people who their sponsors are, but The Nation found out the site name was registered by the former head lobbyist for Walmart. Color me surprised.
In one video sponsored by the group, activists demanding a living wage and better working conditions for workers are portrayed as lazy “professional protesters” who “haven’t bothered to get jobs themselves.”
It turns out that Parquet Public Affairs, a Florida-based government relations and crisis management firm for retailers and fast food companies, registered the Worker Center Watch website.
The firm is led by Joseph Kefauver, formerly the President of Public Affairs for Walmart and government relations director for Darden Restaurants. Throughout the year, Parquet executives have toured the country, giving lectures to business groups on how to combat the rise of what has been called “alt-labor.” At a presentation in October for the National Retail Federation, a trade group for companies like Nordstrom and Nike, Kefauver’s presentation listed wage theft, minimum wage, and mandated paid time off as the types of legislative demands influenced by the worker center protesters.
The presentation offered questions for the group, including: “How Aggressive Can We Be?” and “How do We Challenge the Social Justice Narrative?”
- Lee Fang, The Nation
Start watching for the character assassination of Black Friday protesters. I predict with a 94.3% confidence rate that the media will lap up Walmart’s smears when they cover Black Friday protests. I’ll return next week to see how accurate I was.
BTW, I LOVE those presentation titles! I reminds me of the people who are fighting the war on Hippie Jesus. Speaking of which, did you see the latest from Pope Francis? He put out a document where he criticized the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare”.
He also called on rich people to share their wealth. “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills…”
As Digby notes, this is a switch from puritan Jesus or John Galt Jesus:
I want to know who the hell put this Christ in Christmas? The new pope talking about Hippie Jesus’ message will no doubt lead people to attack the church’s wealth, their pedophile priests and their views on women’s bodies. But, like Digby, I’m excited to see it. It’s a reminder that the people pushing the concept of profit above all have to destroy the true messages of Jesus in order to meet their profit needs. That’s why they want to figure out “How do We Challenge a Social Justice Narrative.”
A social justice narrative doesn’t lead to growing profits for a select group. It leads to a more equitable situation for all. And they just can’t have that.
Flash back -2 A.D.
Fade in a wedding out side of Jerusalem. It’s four weeks before the pagan Festival of Lights.
A drunkwedding guest approaches Jesus.
“Hey Jesus, think of how much money you can make from turning this free water into expensive wine! If we combined this water wine with your loaves and fishes trick and my marketing savvy we could make a fortune! We’ll open up a restaurant. We’ll call it, er um, ”The Needle’s Eye” and we’ll put it in that empty building over on 3rd. You know, the big brown one you get to when pass through Cameltown. I’m serious! With free wine and free food our only costs would be labor. But if we get people to work for you for free, say we call them disciples instead of waiters, it would be pure profit. That’s it! Jesus H. Christ, the Pure Prophet! Oh My God, I’m a genius. I’ve got to get this idea to Matthew, Mark and Luke so we can get some coverage on this. I just hope they get the story straight. The gospels are so easily manipulated. Gotta run, partner. Give my best to Mary.”
Suddenly, Charles held the piece of rubber up high above his head and shouted, “I found the secret! Now I know the secret!” He looked at the men around him, his eyes burning. He began to dance around the store. Don’t you see? This is the secret!” – William F. Keefe, Rubberman The Charles Goodyear story
When I was a child I loved reading about inventions and scientists. I devoured stories about them found in our Childcraft encyclopedia set. Last month at a library by the ocean I found a complete set someone had abandoned. I opened the box and was assaulted by the smell of mildew–not surprising for this part of San Francisco.
Paging through them I was amazed at how many I remembered. The details came rushing back with a glance at an illustration. Like the creation of the sewing machine needle, ”Elias exclaimed, ‘The dream gave me the answer! The hole has to be at the top!’” You won’t be surprised to learn I loved the story of the vulcanization of rubber.
Now, as an adult I admire the skill of the storytellers to pull me in with the imagery and excitement of discovery and creation. I also realize they used myth making and artistic license. You’ve probably heard the horrific fights between Edison and Tesla to control power distribution or the forces that gathered wanting to control new markets and disrupting inventions.
Recently a friend of mine launched a crowd-funding project for a self-sharpening razor. (Full disclosure, I’ve advised him because I think it’s a interesting product and I know what it is like to challenge powerful forces. Here’s a link to the Indiegogo page the funny bit at the very end of the video was my idea.)
Talking to him reminded me how much I like working with makers and creators and helping them tell their stories vs. railing against the finance industry’s fakers and takers. He told me about the 3D prototyping process using plastic then metal and all the testing they did to get just the right kind of durable blade. It’s very different designing something that can last for years or decades than for days or weeks.
About a year ago I got a Soda Stream, a machine that allows me to make my own soda. I compared the prices of Coke vs. the cost of the machine, CO2 and syrup. The Soda Stream soda was less, but if I brought Brand X cola the savings were just okay. But Mrs. Spocko pointed out all the costs I wasn’t including, ”How many plastic bottles didn’t need to be created? What’s the carbon footprint of hauling flavored sugar water around the country?”
We’ve been trained to think only of the most obvious costs and viable benefits to us. Certain groups and companies strive to hide costs from us by not talking about them or pushing them off to someone else. (I was kind of blown away by the EPA figure that every month 200 million blades and cartridges are thrown away in the US.)
The idea of “give away the razor, sell the blades” has become shorthand for a certain kind of business model. It is described as common sense Economics 101. But common sense for whom? The company that “sells the blades,” not the end user. Of course there are benefits to the end user with lower up-front costs, but most people don’t think in terms of “total cost of ownership” and if they did, they might make other choices.
I hope the product gets funded, it looks good and the greener solution makes a lot of sense to me, but I especially like the idea of subverting a wasteful, entrenched economic model with a more sustainable one. Especially a model whose external costs are literally hidden in landfills around the country.
My friend the inventor didn’t have an epiphany like Charles Goodyear did when he figured out how to vulcanize rubber. But like him, he has created something new through a lot of hard work. My concern is what happens whenever anyone gets between a big company and their revenue stream. My guess is he’ll be ignored and dismissed by the big boys. They are busy adding a 6th blade to their razors. MBAs will dismiss the model because they can’t imagine a company in the razor business not hooking the people on a disposable product. But if enough people see that this makes sense and share his view, he might get a Childcraft Wikipedia entry in the future.
Garrison Bespoke weaves nanotech into a snazzy suit that looks sharp and keeps bullets from getting through. -CNet
This past year, Garrison Bespoke worked alongside suppliers for the US 19th Special Forces in developing the custom bulletproof suit. Using nanotechnology, it’s comprised of the same carbon nanotubes designed for the US troops’ uniforms in Iraq. Yet, the patented suit material is a lot thinner and flexible; fifty percent lighter than Kevlar (the material commonly used in bullet-proof gear). The entire suit acts like a shield, with nanotubes in the fabric hardening to block force from penetrating through. – Garrison Bespoke
After every major shooting the media contact gun sellers in the area who gleefully report, “Sales have gone up!” They explain, “People are buying guns for protection.” Because as we all know from the NRA, the answer to gun violence is more guns. This conveniently sells more guns.
The NRA, like all trade associations, want their clients (in this case gun manufacturers) to sell more product.
What if there was a trade association that believed that protecting people from gun violence should be just that–protecting people from the bullets that come out of the guns. Their products would provide a different answer to the question, “What can we do about gun violence?”
When buying a gun people say, “It’s for protection.” But if you dig deeper you find that meaning isn’t complete. Meanings range from, “It makes me feel safer.” to “I feel more powerful and in control when I’m carrying it or have it handy.” and even to, “It allows me to imagine killing bad guys and being the hero.”
A handgun will give you protection from incoming bullets if they happen to shoot you in the holster area. However it does protect you if by showing it you stop someone from shooting at you. I’ve read dozens of examples of this in American Rifleman. “I showed them my gun and they walked away.” Ta da! It worked! Score one for a powerful visual, a bad guy who could see it and who will back down. I completely acknowledge this protection effect.
But imagine after a major shooting if the National Body Armor Association (NBAA) came forward and said, “We clearly aren’t going to do anything about getting rid of guns in the US, so let’s do something right now about protecting people from bullets. Check out our new lightweight bulletproof body armor and our low-cost conventional body armor. For less than the cost a fancy gun you and your loved ones can be protected. No licenses to get, no classes to take and no deadly accidents waiting to happen.” Conveniently, talking about this after a shooting would sell more of their product.
“But Spocko, isn’t this taking advantage of peoples’ fear to sell products without addressing the underlying issues?” you ask. Why yes, yes it is. Let’s think about another group that makes money by using fear to sell products. They seem pretty successful. I suppose saving lives in this passive way is weak or in bad taste. I can hear the critics now, ”What about head shots?! Stop politicizing body armor! The bodies aren’t even cold and you are trying to sell stuff that would prevent people from dying in the same situation. Sick! This is just a prelude to grabbing guns, because if you think you are safe with body armor you won’t carry a gun, but without the gun you can’t stop the bad guys from shooting all the people who aren’t wearing body armor! Argle bargle!”
For some, having a handgun acts as a talisman. It changes the way you “feel” when walking in a dangerous area. Now I’m all for talismans to evoke attitudes, but as we learn from history, a handgun isn’t going to stop a bullet, especially when you aren’t expecting it. If people were to start wearing bulletproof clothes it would be more than just a talisman, it would actually protect them. And because it is defensive, and not offensive, it wouldn’t necessarily lead to escalation.
Now I could go into all the pros and cons of body armor, but instead I want to bring up something that a gun gives people that no life-saving body armor can. Having and carrying a gun can give people years of enjoyable fantasies about using the gun. Sure you said you bought it “for protection.” but the cool things is you can constantly write yourself into the role of hero with a gun. With body armor you just keep living, and who wants that? Boring! I mean what’s Iron Man without the ability to shoot stuff back? The best defense is a good offense, good guy with a gun, yada yada yada.
All these thoughts were triggered (ha!) by the above article. What does it trigger in your head? Shoot me a line with your thoughts.
Now the National Body Armor Association doesn’t exist. But if they did at least the media could talk to someone who can make money on gun violence, while also saving lives. And isn’t making money what’s it’s really all about? With that kind of money they could make selling body armor they could hire me to be their spokesperson. I think I’d look good in one of those suits. Next up, a bulletproof fedora.
My friend Alex Lawson, of Social Security Works, dressed up as a corporate pirate and showed up at the public launch event for “The Can Kicks Back” a subgroup of the billionaire funded front group “Fix the Debt” movement.
What is great about this action is how Alex used the organizations’ own PR push and event to subvert their message. They hired a PR firm to get the word out to the press. They probably had to pay the 30 people who attended it. (Grass roots movement my ass). When it came time to write a story about the event, the press who attended wrote about Alex and his message vs. the selfish billionaires and their message.
So what have we learned? I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again because repetition is good. Is good. Is good. Is good.
1)Flip their narrative with actions that co-opt their events. This works because the press feels obligated to run the “both sides” message. Use this to your advantage. Think about all the anti-war rallies in the past with hundreds of thousands of people. Then remember the stories that came out of them. The TV cameras gave 20 seconds out of a 60 second piece to the 10 “Support our troops!” counter protesters in the crowd. Because of their formula to hear from “both sides” no matter what, TV gives a tiny number of opponents more air time that their numbers warrant.
2)Humor. Humor. Humor. I know this, why don’t I do it more often? I realized that sometimes I’m embarrassed doing something silly or funny on a serious topic. I desire to be taken seriously, yet I’m funny. What if humor helps more people hear my message? Do I “win” more if nobody notices my very serious comment?
Do you know WHY people who watch the Daily Show or the Colbert Report are better informed than people who watch mainstream news? It turns out that the set up to the joke is a better way to condense the information than nightly news. In order to get the joke Jon and Stephen need to explain what’s happening, then the humor helps us remember the story better. Double win.
If I wanted to push this story further, what could I do? Maybe interview the guy wearing The Can Kicks Back costume. “ How much they paying you for this gig? Are you also in charge of security and crowd control? Did you want to kick him?”
There is a old pirate saying, “When your enemy is drowning throw ‘em an anchor.” Pete Peterson and his buddies have millions to spend, but a cheap costume, with the right message at the right time just messed up their multi-thousand dollar event. Brilliant.
They may have the Quatloos, but they don’t have our brains, folks. Use ‘em if ya got ‘em.
Have you ever had food poisoning? Remember what it was like? The cramps. The pain. The fever and chills. And who could forget the explosions from the north and south? Good times.
Okay, now while holding that in your mind (sorry), imagine finding out that the person who made the food said, “Sorry you got sick, but we are going to keep making that tainted food. We’ll try to be better, but we aren’t going to recall it. In fact, we’ve cut a deal with the guys who are supposed to be looking out for you so we don’t have to recall it.’
Now let’s say the person who sold you the food (not the maker, but the food seller) determines that rather than upset the food maker, she decides to throws her “highest priority”–food safety– out the window and agrees to keep selling the food. Remember, this is the food that had you driving the porcelain bus for three days.
How does that make you feel about the food maker and food seller? How might you act based on their actions? Does it bother you that nobody seems to be looking out for you and 18171 * of your friends who also got sick?
What I’m describing is what is currently happening with Foster Farms’ fresh raw chickens sold via Safeway stores. The chicken that was contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg was not recalled.
Foster Farms convinced the USDA that they are trying really hard to implement “a series of new safety measures to reduce the instances of salmonella on its poultry parts to significantly below the industry standard.” In exchange for these “new safety measures” Foster Farms didn’t have to recall the chicken. They simply issued a “Public Health Alert” telling people that fresh chicken, “when handled and cooked properly, is safe for consumption.”
Now I understand why Foster Farms would cut this deal with the USDA, but why did Safeway go along with it?
Robert L. Edwards, Safeway President & CEO, is supposed to decide what is best for the company after hearing from everyone. In this case Edwards decided that continuing to sell tainted chicken was the correct thing to do. Then someone went to the communications staff and said, “Wordsmith our decision to keep selling tainted food.” They produced this document. It’s really a marvel of passive voice “it has been determined” and contradictions, “Food safety is our highest priority.”
Now I could focus on Foster Farms here, but they already made a deal with the USDA. Stacy Finz at the SF Chronicle has the latest on them. But I want to reach out to the decision makers at Safeway. I have a history of alerting advertisers suggesting they stop associating their brands with toxic products (SF Chronicle link) So now I’m going to do something similar, I’m alerting three women at Safeway.
Diane M. Dietz, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Kelly Griffith, Executive Vice President Retail Operations
GOP Government Shutdown Death Toll. Total As of Day 8: __
Hello. If you came here looking for a number and a list I don’t have one, as of Day 8. I wrote this headline in advance of the death(s). I will update the post upon confirmation of the dead.
Soon the media and the GOP will be talking about the people who died as a result of the current government shutdown. I’d like to suggest we talk about those future dead people now, in order to assign responsibility and force change.
If dealing with the right wing media and the “guns everywhere” crowd has taught me anything, it’s that right after someone is killed or dies because of a gun, it is not the time to talk about guns. Especially the ones used in the most recent mass shootings.
The people who want to get and keep guns everywhere have a standard response following a mass shooting. I anticipate the same will happen when people die because of the GOP orchestrated government shutdown. After a shooting we hear:
“Now is not the time to score political points! The bodies aren’t even cold. The families need to grieve!”
This is a very effective method to maintain the status quo because they know that the emotion following death is a window to change. The further the disconnect from the action and from the people who helped or supported the action, the harder it is to change.
The day the death(s) happens the media will be asking questions: What happened? Who died? Why did this happen? Who is responsible? In anticipation of these questions the GOP are working hard to make this about “both sides” As my old boss at the machine shop said, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses a life.”
Step One: GOP will deny it, “There is no connection between the death and the shutdown”
The GOP media machine will step up after the death(s) and do what the NRA and their supporters always do after a shooting. Confuse the issue by pointing out how this specific round of shootings would NOT have been prevented if certain forms of gun control measures were in place. For example, “Ah ha! He killed people with a shotgun, not an AR-15! So a ban on semi-automatic weapons wouldn’t have helped! And, the shotgun is what Joe Biden told Americans to get!”
Today Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing did a story about a woman with a rare form of cancer who won’t be getting a NIH treatment because of the shutdown. This could lead to her death. The people at Fox News will point out something like, ‘This was a clinical trial so there is no guaranteed it would have saved her life.” They will attempt to put the blame elsewhere and weaken the link between the shutdown and death.
Step Two: Flip the narrative
They will use the death, because of a shutdown government, as an example of Big Government failure! “If anyone is to blame, it’s Obama. We begged him to negotiate, he wouldn’t. Also, if the government would just ease up on restrictions the drug companies wouldn’t have to wait for the NIH. The drug companies would have already made a pill to cure her! Socialized medicine fail!” (It makes no logical sense, but that is not the point, the point is to reverse the narrative to the usual talking points. Running government bad. Stopped government good.)
After the denial they are connected, and the evading of responsibility, they will attack the people who point out the GOP’s culpability. They will say we are “playing the blame game.” (I’m always amused that this somehow shuts people up. Hell yes I want to play the blame game. Especially when they are to blame!)
Step three: Use Media’s Fear of Access Loss
No one in the mainstream media will ask the representatives if they are going to stop the shut down now that their stunt has lead to death. To ask that question is to guaranteed loss of access. The response, if someone dared to ask, will be umbrage. “That is a ridiculous assertion! We are not to blame for that person’s death. How dare you even suggest it!? It is the President who is to blame. He failed to negotiate with us. Go ask him if this death will cause him to change his mind.”
Step Four: No Change. No Action.
After each big mass shooting the NRA implies the following, “These deaths, though tragic, do not mean anything has to change.”
Let’s say that Rachael Maddow points out to Boehner the direct connection from the actions of the Republicans to shut the government down to the death(s). Would that be enough for them to stop and change their policy? Again, let’s look at the history of the NRA for anticipated actions.
One thing I leaned working with corporations and their brands, is you do not want your brand to be associated with death, especially the death of women and children (Unless your business is death, like the gun manufacturers, then you brag about the speed and distance you can project death.)
So if the progressive left tries to point out to the “both sides do it” media that this death can be tied directly to GOP shutting down the government, the push back from the tea party and the RW media will be,
“They are using the death of this poor woman/child/man to score political points! The bodies aren’t even cold. The families need to grieve!”
There is a general view by many people that using the dead to “advance a political agenda” is distasteful. I understand that, so by bringing this up it in advance I’m trying not to be a ghoul. However, I also know that harnessing the emotion that happens right after the death can be the exact right thing to do. While the the righteous anger and cry for justice is in the air is the time to push for change.
I want to remind the people writing about this that these deaths should have been anticipated by the people who shut down the government.
Boehner and his staff have an acceptable loss of life number. You can NOT shut down something as complex as the government without some death and complication. After all, just running the government leads to death all the time, some of those deaths might not happen, but new ones will. I would bet that someone even calculated that fewer deaths will happen with a shut down and will point that out to the media. “Out of the thousands of government employees, X people die just going to and from work each week. So even with the deaths because of shutdown, there is actually a lower total death toll with the shutdown.” Slick eh? (And pretty sick. All deaths are not created equal.)
If they use Condi Rice’s, “No one could have predicted” line, then they are either lying, incompetent or both.
The question to ask Boehner and the republicans following the shutdown deaths, is NOT the standard, ”Do you feel like you are to blame?” since we know the response. The smart question is, “In your decision to shut down the government what were the number of deaths you anticipated?” If they say, “Nobody could have anticipated…’ then the follow up is. “Really why not? Are you telling me that you carried out an action this consequential without anticipating any lose of life or other serious damage?”
Someone somewhere sent out a memo with worst case scenarios. Which, like the Presidential Daily Brief memo, was ignored. This would be a nice smoking gun, but even without it, if you tie their actions to the consequences of death that will serve as a way to prevent future actions like this.
And that, my friends, is why I’m writing this post before the confirmation of people dying from the GOP orchestrated government shutdown. I want to score political points.
I don’t want to hear just, “The shut down inconvenienced people and it might cost the GOP the house, but I want us to say, “People died because the GOP wanted to act like a 3 year old. This can not be allowed to happen again, let’s hang these deaths around their necks and let it drag them down–and out of power.”
What if, after a disaster, Big Government treated people with the same cruelty that right-wing conservative Christian politicians say they want? What would that look like?
Dear Crushed Homeowner:
In the past you bitched about Big Government. That’s me. You voted people in place who said they hate Government. You have constantly railed against all Government spending–except War. Well, now is the time when you need Big Government. I’m betting today you have changed your tune since it is YOUR turn for help. Well guess what? Fuck you! HA!
For years I have been keeping track of what you said you wanted and who you voted into office. You said, “I don’t want Big Government!” Congrats! You win! No Big Government help for you!
Your neighbors, the dirty hippies who voted against the war, for a safety net and for people who believe in government, they will get help, but you won’t. As Thomas Friedman would say, ”Suck. On. This!”
I can hear you screaming now, “But I’m a TAX PAYER!” Here’s the thing, I have implemented, at your insistence I might add, PAYGO and tax revenue profiles matched specifically to viewpoints. You can now know what each tax payer’s dollars were used for based on what you have said you want.
With my new accounting software I can see that the taxes you paid in last year have gone to pay for one tail fin assembly of a GBU-31. This bomb was used to blow up a building. I can’t tell you which building or why because you didn’t pay enough to know that. However, we did exactly what you wanted, none of your tax dollars were spent on any kind of food programs, safety net or aid programs for anyone, including you. Maybe you should have been more specific on who you were denying help to. Too bad you forgot the phrase, “There but for grace of God go I.”
BTW, stop trying to get your neighbors (or Blue states) to help you. Is that what John Galt would do? They should not give you anything. Being good liberals they will ignore me and still help you, kind of like the Christian you pretend to be. Being generous outside your tribe is different than being generous inside it. For a long time I’ve tried to see the entire country as “my tribe.” But I’m listening and learning from you, It’s all PAYGO now, I can’t afford to carry you. You said you don’t want me. Fine. I won’t show up.
You think you will get help from your church? Ha, as if they can scale for this disaster. I can scale, after all I’m Big Government, and I could do it without discrimination too, but why should I? You said you don’t want me. Okay. No help from me. (I still give then a break by not requiring they pay taxes for all the services I provide, maybe I should reconsider their free ride.)
The NSA folks tell me what you actually say and do. I know you love Ayn Rand and her fictional character John Galt. I’m curious, which corporations will step in to make money on your disaster? Remember, unlike me, they have to make a profit. Could any of them do it without my support? I see you didn’t buy any flood insurance, even the expensive non-government backed kind. That was stupid. You gambled that some poor sucker liberal blue stater congressperson will make me cover you. Wrong! I’m taking a page from your book, Atlas Shrugged. Who’s the parasite now?
I’m sure you’ll stick to your Rand and will shun any company looking for government handouts in this disaster. If you see any company getting money from me, run away from them and the tainted Government Welfare money! I’ll bet a bunch of them will ignore their “hate” of Big Government–if I send them checks. Saying they hate me in public while taking my money in private is very fashionable. Disaster Capitalism is the New Black.
Remember your dream of a Government so small that you could “drown it in a bathtub?” I’m drowning here trying to help everyone as well as getting my wars on, so I have to cut some dead weight. You. Would you help people who hate you and keep trying to kill you? I might be big but I’m not stupid. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m sitting outside in a cafe on a rare sunny day in my part of SF, reading a fascinating book, Nexus, about the next stage in human evolution. Will we use our technology for creation or destruction? To lift people up or enslave them? Will we lead with compassion and love or hate and anger?
Two guys sit next to me. One, late 20′s Asian in a tee shirt, the other a “bro” in sunglasses and a faux tux shirt. Think 20-something, less-handsome Christian Bale from the movie American Psycho.
Bro starts talking about a girl he met while with his girlfriend, Hailey, at a bar. He describes her as “ugly, like Windows 8″ (which was kind of clever, but clearly it was a new joke he was working) and talks about giving her advice on men and suggests she lose weight. He sells it to her with the line, “I wouldn’t be telling you this if I didn’t think you had potential.” His girlfriend, “Gave me a talking to about this, but it felt good though to tell an ugly girl to lose 20 pounds.” he said laughing.
Then he the proceeds to talk about what women “really like.” It starts with them knowing they have lots of competition. “I got three fresh new numbers the night after I first met Hailey and she wouldn’t hookup with me.” She complained when she found out, ‘Why wouldn’t you wait for me?’ He points out, “Women, SAY that they want you to be nice but they really don’t. They don’t respect a guy who stays home waiting for her call.” And he gives the advice of an abuser, “You make them feel insecure then you open your arms and they come back. And then you’re the man, you’ve got the power again.”
Asian guy describes his pick up technique in cafes, “I tell the girl I want to meet to watch my laptop while I go to the bathroom.” (Holy crap, now I understand why all the people I asked to watch my laptop kept giving me their phone numbers!) He describes the older woman that Bro spotted him with at a Japan Town cafe. Asian guy kind of likes her, thinks she’s “high level.” Bro thinks he’s getting too emotional, and explains how he could “sweep in” on this older women by “removing yourself from the whole situation, kind go on ‘autopilot.’” Bro says, “She will probably hook up with you on the first date and take you back to her place.” (BTW, how did they know she was older? Her confidence. Plus her shoes, socks and hair. “Did you see her hair? She definitely had older lady hair.“)
Bro asked Asian guy, “Do you like white women? Because if you do, you totally want to go to Walnut Creek.” Why? That’s where the dumb blonde girls are. They make plans to go down to Walnut Creek with “fake stories” and score with some “slutty suburban girls.”
Next he talked about this woman he broke up with, Stacy, who was “crazy” and contacted his old employer accusing him of “crazy stuff I never did.” After the HR department told him they had received info from her he said he could prove it was all made up and he was going to the police department to file a restraining order on her.
So, already I think this guy is a major jerk on multiple levels. Then he proceeds to describe how Asian guy can game the system at Levis by spending $250 on jeans to get 40% off the purchase, then returning three of the jeans so he can get the one he wants at 40% off. It’s a system that the Levi’s “cashier lady” was too slow to understand how he was going to get his 40% discount on one pair of jeans. He’s a financial genius!
Finally he talks about his interview at JPM and how he hadn’t heard back from them. At first I heard JPL and wondered, “Jet Propulsion Lab? Really?” But then the Asian guy asked, “Would you ever work in “Wealth Management?” Bro said, “Only if it was for a name firm like Blackrock or Pimco, not some D-Bag Assets place” So JPM is clearly JP Morgan since he mentioned two other firms he had interviewed with.
The “Qualities” of the Wall Street Mindset
So this guy in one conversation proceeded to show the following that mirrors many WS corporations:
“The phrase containing, ‘Guns and outlaws’ and all variations thereof is copyright Blammo Ammo Camo Media, LLC and is subject to reciprocity agreements in all 50 United States and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa. Also included is Guantanamo Bay Detainment Camp and all black and non-black sites. Using the phrase on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan is also covered as well as in any occupied oil-producing countries.
“By using this statement you agree to pay the creators of said statement $5.00 for each use on a blog post or comment section (Purchase of a bumper sticker enables one free use.)
“You also agree that you have trouble thinking for yourself and will seek medical advice.
“If you do not pay for use of these statements, Blamo Ammo Camo Media LLC will be forced to place a lien on your house, mobile home, boat or shed. Failure to pay enables us to use 3rd party debt collectors suchs as “Guido and Sons, NJ; Collect All Saul Inc.; or I Want My Money, Bitch. LLC” who are licensed to collect on our behalf.
Research via Internet Archive and Google will calculate your total fees to date, beginning from the date of first use. If you are unable to pay the fees we have the legal right to seize your property as per this agreement which you consented to when you first started using the phrase. Sale of forfeited assets will be used to pay our fees (minus expenses used by our collection agents).
By using the phrase beyond your first time, you have agreed to these terms and conditions. Please send your check or money order to:
Blammo Ammo Camo Media, 500 K Street, Washington DC, 20001
A. A. Ron Balakay
Senior Legal Counsel
P.S. We are also the copyright holder to any bumper sticker phrase beginning with, “Guns don’t kill people…” be advised that your comment history will be checked for use of this phrase and variations thereof.
Note: We are NOT attempting to censor you. You have your First Amendment rights. Blammo encourages use of our complete line of gun bumper sticker arguments, but we believe we should be compensated for our creative work. Using our ideas without paying is stealing. Picture in your mind how you would you act if someone tried to steal your things. We will act the same as you would, using the same methods and tools you just pictured.
Finally, if you come up with an original bumper sticker phrase you are welcome to use it, but please check to see who owns that phrase, it might be us. And then pay us if you are using it. You wouldn’t want to stiff us, would you?
MyFDL is the community site of progressive political blog Firedoglake. Anyone can participate by writing a diary, commenting on others’ diaries, or joining groups to find other people in your area. Content posted to MyFDL is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to Firedoglake.