Re-Enforced Cynicism

December 5, 2010 at 4:28 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Last week, I took my 5 year-old granddaughter to McDonald’s so she could play on the indoor playground. While she romped, I became so bored that I read the Happy Meal box. To allay my guilt at supplying the yellow-arched juggernaut with more money the box proudly proclaimed, “Now with every Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal purchase, a donation is made to Ronald McDonald House Charities.

My sensitivity to corporate weasel-speak immediately set-off my bullshit detector. “…a portion…” eh? How large a portion of the $3.09 I paid for the Happy Meal is McDonald’s going to donate? I suspect most sheeple would give the matter little thought & expect perhaps 50 cents, a dollar, maybe 2 dollars to be channeled to such a worthy cause. But if that were the case, then the box would proudly state the generous specific amount.

“Probably a penny.” I said to myself with a smirk.

Within a split-second I berated myself for my cynicism. I reminded myself to give McDonald’s the benefit of the doubt. No wonder my wife, Myrtle, teases me about being such a pessimist. I felt shamed.

And then my eye fell upon the tiny footnote at the bottom of the box: “McDonald’s donates a penny per Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal sold.”

So McDonald’s trumpets its benevolence & then gives the smallest coinage possible. Once again I am reminded that I was not born a cynic but became one through long years of experience.
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I saw in today’s headlines that official unemployment has “leaped” to 9.8%. That is a laughable statistic in light that actual joblessness in America is easily double that figure. And two years into the economic depression, the only reliable solution our pathetic so-called leaders have devised is to let unemployment benefits lapse for the long-term jobless as they’ve been letting happen since summer. The jobless who are no longer eligible for unemployment payments are no longer counted as “unemployed.” Viola! “Unemployment” problem solved.
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About once a year I re-read Kurt Vonnegut’s brilliant 1990 novel, Hocus Pocus, a prescient satire about America in 2001 when the nation has been thoroughly raped by its Capitalist owners & sold-off to other countries. Here is a brief excerpt taken from where the college-professor protagonist recollects a speech given by the college’s Writer in Residence. A speech that causes consternation among the college’s Board of Trustees:

He predicted, I remember, that human slavery would come back, that it had in fact never gone away. He said that so many people wanted to come here because it was so easy to rob the poor people, who got absolutely no protection from the Government. He talked about bridges falling down and water mains breaking because of no maintenance. He talked about oil spills and radioactive waste and poisoned aquifers and looted banks and liquidated corporations. “And nobody ever gets punished for anything,” he said. “Being an American means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Could have been written in 2010, huh?
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Somewhere along the line I read that President Ohwhatabummer plans to let the Bush tax breaks for the rich keep on rolling for another few years. That is, long enough that he will have been voted out and then the new Republican president can finally make the tax breaks permanent. Also, I see B.O.’s Deficit Commission is getting bolder about letting us peons know just how much they are going to hammer us. Gotta pay for the billionaires’ tax breaks so wave goodbye to Social Security!

And you can be sure that in 2012 a whole bunch of liberals will still delude themselves into believing that Obama is worth their vote.
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I am curious. Just when did you finally realize that our system simply exists to work-over every non-wealthy sentient being in the Milky Way? For me it was last summer when all that oil kept gushing into the Gulf of Mexico & millions of ex-workers were losing the lifeline of their unemployment benefits & the multiple wars were grinding on and the attitude of our government toward those crises was one of… peaceful detachment.

The U.S. has now reached the level of the old Soviet Union. Our economic, government, & social systems are completely wrecked & getting worse by the day & instead of fixing the mess the elites in charge spend their time grabbing all they can. And the common people have divided into 2 camps: a small percentage who still believe the lies or at least hope those around them still do & hope to grab some swag for themselves & the majority who know it is hopeless & we are going off a cliff.

If you are one of the shrinking minority who thinks our democracy will repair itself, I urge you to take a look at what is happening surrounding the revelations of government & corporate lies exposed by Wikileaks. There is a clear-cut case of “shoot the messenger.” It is enough to make baby Jesus cry.

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One More Outsourced Job

November 15, 2010 at 3:31 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This week during his visit to India, our inspiring leader spoke of the necessity for Americans to embrace global economics (big surprise, huh?). Mr. Obama, as one of those who can be comfortable that his job will never be shipped abroad, is convinced that globalism is just terrific.

But the smug attitude of our Republicrat politicians makes me pause & think: Since our domestic “leadership” is pf such poor quality, perhaps America should outsource it to some place cheaper like we have so much else. And after all, the Chinese, Mexican, or Sri Lankan politicians who would take-over the job of running America could not possibly have less consideration for the needs of ordinary citizens than have the U.S. politicians for these past 30 years.

The irony of the global economy is that it has turned into a real-life version of one of those corny movies like “The Prince and the Pauper,” where two people, one rich & one poor, trade identities & the next think you know the poor one is getting rolled in some seedy tavern. In this version, countries like India get the high-tech jobs and get to have a middle class while America winds up unemployed & mugged in some Detroit back alley.

So much for Barry renegotiating the free trade agreements or passing legislation to stop rewarding companies that ship their jobs overseas. Remember how he promised to do those things during the 2008 campaign? Yeah, well he was hoping you wouldn’t.

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Maximum Capacity, Part 1

November 15, 2010 at 1:37 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I entered a very disconcerting phase of my life 5 months ago. All those things large, small, & in-between that made my 50 year’s of life a tough slog finally caught-up with me. And so, I checked myself into the psychiatric ward of one of the local hospitals.

Notice I said they were the things that made my life a tough slog. We each have our own menu of situations & encounters that we react to either positively or negatively. Some persons are devastated by a hangnail, others barely slow down if their arm gets amputated. I admit I am closer to the hangnail end of the spectrum. And not only would the pain of the hangnail itself bother me but I would want to know why I got a hangnail in the first place and why God allows anyone to suffer with hangnails and the whys of all hangnail-related questions in our universe.

During the week I was locked in the booby-hatch one of the group-therapists said I “ask far too many whys.” I responded that I had always hoped that, if I could understand why things are as they are, I could tolerate it better. “Things are what they are; just get over it!” was his answer. I still fail to see how that attitude is more therapeutic (or actually any different) than the religionists who say we must just accept whatever happens to us as inscrutable God’s will.

Thirty years ago, I went to my family doctor (one of those luxuries back in the days when I had health insurance) and told him I was extremely stressed-out. “Why are you stressed-out?” he inquired in his best bedside manner. I replied, “Over money.” He offered this advice as he immediately directed me out of the examination room to pay the receptionist $35: “Learn to relax.”

Sage wisdom, indeed! But not so easy to practice in a world that is determined to put us under unbearable pressure.

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George W. Bush Admits the Obvious!

November 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

By Reverend Hothoneywater, Special Correspondent

Making my rounds of the internet news-sites today, I found an article on Crooks and Liars headlined as “George W. Bush Admits He’s A War Criminal in New Book.”

I must admit that this supposed news evoked nothing but a big yawn from me and, I suspect, from most every other reader.  OF COURSE HE’S A WAR CRIMINAL! Every thinking person on the globe already knows that. Bush might as well have admitted that grass is green or the sky is blue.

The galling thing is that nothing will ever be done about Bush’s criminality. Even W realizes that; which is why he is not only willing but proud to admit it. The admission is no-risk. There is no down side. His deranged fans love to hear it and the sane crowd who hates him can only impotently gnash their teeth in frustration as W’s war criminal successor insures Bush-Cheney & Company can continue strutting the world stage comfortably.

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Headlock on the Body Politic

November 4, 2010 at 4:27 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

As I expected, the mainstream media is busily pushing absolutely wrong conclusions from Tuesday’s election massacre.

Coming from their topsy turvy universe in which economic depression is recovery & right-wing views are centrist, the corporate news analysts churn-out coverage such as this, which sagely blames voter disgust with Obama & Company upon his forcing rapid change upon America. Change that “was was too much, too soon.” Having apparently just returned from a two-year voyage into outer space, where she has been completely out of communication with Earth, this particular bloviator assures us that the American people wanted to send an “overriding message” to President Obama to “slow down.”

Slow down? Too much change too soon? I don’t know whether to laugh or throw-up! B.O. & the Democrats lost overwhelmingly because they promised us big, constructive, genuine change and for two years they have done nothing of benefit for ordinary citizens. As soon as they got control of Congress & the White House the Democrats promptly spun their supporters around & gave them a series of swift kicks in the ass. So when the next election came around their erstwhile boosters found better things to do than go to the polls. The next two years of increasing Democratic cravenness & further enabling of the Republican agenda will simply erode liberal support in 2012.

Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, & Harry Reid have likely done a reverse FDR. After 3 years of the Great

Depression caused people to turn to Democrats to save them in 1932, FDR’s courage, vision, & actions assured that Republicans were shut-out of the presidency for 20 years. Thanks to B.O. & his gang no Democrat is likely to be president for another 20 years.

When I voted on Tuesday morning here in Ohio, I cast my ballot for the Green Party candidate for governor & the Socialist Party candidate for senator. Those candidates garnered only 1 or 2% of the votes. It amazes me that even in the midst of the obvious theft & widespread ruination our nation is undergoing at the hands of the fat-cat criminals, an overwhelming majority of voters are still stuck voting for only Democrats or Republicans.

What will it take to break the Democrat-Republican headlock on the body politic?

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Beyond Partisanship

November 2, 2010 at 4:42 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

These past two years have certainly helped my personal growth.

The sell-out of Obama & most Democrat office-holders has schooled me in the total hypocrisy & destructiveness of politics based upon “party above all.”

Policies that should & would evoke unrelenting condemnation from all liberals if perpetrated by W.Bush are tolerated from B. Obama. Democrats plead for patience in the face of neglect of the jobless, growing poverty, continued war, environmental catastrophe, etc. Would they be so patient if President McCain’s track record were so dismal?

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans despise Obama & label him a Socialist, Nazi, anti-Christ, etc. But oddly enough he has done nothing that, under George Bush (or President McCain), would not have been tolerated if not happily welcomed.

As for me, I plan to follow my conscience & good sense without regard of political party. I will support & vote for only those candidates whom I can count upon to protect my interests. All Republicans certainly have failed that test & so have most all Democrats. Therefore, to Hell with both parties.

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Sisyphus Shrugs

November 2, 2010 at 3:59 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

During these past two years, overheatedly indignant Libertarian/Republican wackos (indignant, of course, about the election of black Communist Barack Obama to the presidency) have harkened-back to their college-days’ admiration of flaky author Ayn Rand’s work. Indulging their inner-brat, they fantasize the “truly productive” members of society (that is, the criminal-Capitalists) enacting the scenario from Rand’s homage to greed, “Atlas Shrugged” : The virtuous & brilliant owners of big-business, tired of bearing the weight of the world (like Atlas, get it?) while being unappreciated by the masses, reach the end of their patience & go on strike (shrug, get it?), withdrawing from society & causing the total collapse of the financial & industrial world.

Sales of Rand’s screed have been climbing since the 2008 economic collapse. Apparently, Social-Darwinist dunderheads find solace in its message that ordinary people are robbing the rich of deserved compensation for providing the rest of us with their leadership. All those pesky rules & regulations are dragging-down the supermen & we best be careful or the mighty just may go off someplace & sulk, leaving we lesser-humans to ruin civilization much like “Planet of the Apes.”

What is most laughable about this threat is the threatener’s absolute lack of awareness that the heads of big-business & finance are exactly the ones who repeatedly rape the environment, crash the economy, and continually feed-off the masses while providing very little (if anything) of real value to society. Time after time it is the peons who must pick-up the pieces & clean-up the mess caused by the crony-Capitalists.


If anyone should “shrug” (strike) it should be the masses who toil day after day, year after year, trying to get ahead in a system that swindles them at every turn. After a lifetime of work, most people cannot rely upon having sufficient income, retirement, & health care in a culture that strives mightily every day to knock them back to square one. America’s workers are like Sisyphus, whom the gods punished to toil exhaustingly each day pushing a huge boulder up a mountainside and when reaching the top watched helplessly as the boulder rolled down to its starting point.

All those vultures who style themselves as put-upon Atlases wouldn’t last two weeks without the people who do the real grunt work of this world.

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Get Out & Vote!

October 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Election Day is next Tuesday. I have voted in every election since I was first eligible in 1976. I have never been an ideologue for any political party, so I’ve voted for candidates from a variety of viewpoints. There have been some times of satisfaction with the politicians & many more times of disgust with the politicians. But never have I been so thoroughly disillusioned as I am now with our system from the top in Washington to the bottom in our local communities.

I know there are concerned, competent, & compassionate people wanting to lead our cities, states, & nation. But they usually lose-out to the crooked & self-aggrandizing.

I am sure most the people working in our government bureaucracies are dedicated & hard-working. But I think they are sabotaged by the lazy & uncaring.

I believe a large portion of the business community still plays by the rules & wants to positively contribute to a better world. But they are outmaneuvered by a huge & growing culture of shysters & slave-owners.

Leading-up to this election, we have seen an even stronger emphasis than usual on a message of blindly boosting one of the two wings of America’s big-business party (known as Democrats & Republicans). While I respect the rationale for voting once-again for Democrats who are just Republican-lite, I just cannot do it anymore. I cannot vote again for Democrats who have not earned my vote by standing-up & speaking-out for ordinary citizens. Our system will never change as long as we keep only electing candidates presented by the two wings of the big-business party.

In any race where a left-leaning third party candidate is fielded, then I will back that candidate over Democrat or Republican. Obviously, that means the Libertarian & Constitutional Parties are not under consideration. If a race has only Dem or Rep options, then I will vote Democrat only if that incumbent candidate has FOUGHT for people of my socio-economic class or the non-incumbent Democrat has publicly strongly pledged to do so.

If the choice in a race is between a Republican & a DINO, then I will leave that race blank on my ballot. I cannot imagine voting for any Republican & Democrats are no longer my default choice.

Here in Ohio, I intend to vote for the Socialist candidate, Daniel LeBotz, for U.S. Senate.

For Governor, my vote is going for Anita Rios of the Green Party.

And so, my fellow Americans, I urge you to ask not only what you can do for your country but what your country can do for you. VOTE. But not for the lesser of the two very evils that are generally presented to us by the Republicrat Party. Shake things up by making our leaders EARN your vote!

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Hail Caesar!

October 3, 2010 at 2:46 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A while back, I read a few postings that propounded President Obama is frustrated & bored with the presidency. White House insiders say the day-to-day tasks of governing fill him with ennui and he perks-up only when focusing on sports or campaigning or hob-nobbing with celebrities.

Yep, it shows.

Here, definitely, is a disinterested worker who finds his job tedious to the point of incompetence. I have seen it many times. The Prez is the kind of place-holder who does just enough and does it just well-enough to barely get by while reserving his real attention for playing-around on the job. In the average American workplace, Barry would be the guy who spends most of his time running the office sports betting pool, ducking-out early, & talking about golf. I once had a boss like Obama: an intelligent physicist whose workdays were filled with working on his antique clock collection, reading joke-books to his subordinates, & tracking his investments. Meanwhile, his entire department was in chaos because he spent virtually no brain-power on managing. Eventually, he was moved-aside where he could play without harming the organization.

But I called this essay, “Hail Caesar!” And that is because there is an historic personage who puts me in mind of our Commander-in-Chief: Emperor Nero, ruler of the Roman Empire 54 to 68 A.D.

In what way does Obama’s character resemble Nero’s? Well, Nero, who assumed office at the age of 16 had little interest in running the vast empire… he left that to his subordinates. Instead, he saw himself as an artist and concentrated on his love for music, theater, & poetry. He regularly entertained Roman audiences by singing on stage & performing in classical Greek plays. He loved to be the center of attention and wallowed in the power of his office but dodged the actual work.

In the beginning, Nero’s subjects loved him but grew embittered as he ignored problems such as famines in favor of having fun. In 64 A.D. 70% of the city of Rome burned to the ground. At first, Nero refused to return to help during the catastrophe because he & his entourage were vacationing at the seashore. It is a myth that Nero played his violin while Rome burned; the fiddle wasn’t invented until the 1700’s. But the myth probably got its start from Nero spending his time immediately after the fire plucking his lyre (a type of harp) and composing a song about the tragedy. Some of Nero’s enemies spread rumors that the by now-unpopular Emperor had set the city afire. Nero distracted the public’s attention by blaming the fire on followers of the new Christian religion. He held huge gala mass executions of Christians accompanied by the Emperor, dressed as the god Apollo, driving a chariot through the streets.

In 67 A.D., near the end of his reign he undertook a year-long tour of Greece where he entered singing competitions & chariot races. To feed Nero’s deluded ego, his aides filled the audiences with paid applauders. His weary subjects felt betrayed by negligence. He returned home to be overthrown (& commit suicide).

Am I the only one who can see echoes of Nero in our president? Faced with our economic collapse, our corrupt & creaking system that is grinding people around the world to bits, and an exploitative ruling class that thinks only of enriching itself, Obama seems disinterested in tackling the problems. He is distant & disengaged & his eyes glaze-over. But his eyes brighten during vacations, fluffy tv talk-show appearances, & events with Hollywood stars. I honestly think he was more interested & involved in the recent Oval Office redecorating than he was in creating the odious healthcare “reform” legislation.

Not that Barack Obama would be alone in evoking comparisons with the oppressive rulers of the latter-day Roman Empire. In fact, our entire aristocratic class has assumed the mantle of the decadent monsters of old Rome. Whereas Nero had much competition for the title, he is widely considered worst emperor in Roman history. I believe future historians will examine deserving competitors such as both Bushes, Buchanan, & Grant but they will settle on Obama as the worst president in American history.

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The Jobless Recovery

September 26, 2010 at 1:47 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

I went to a job fair on Thursday in a local hotel ballroom. It was scheduled to begin at 10 am and so I arrived 20 minutes early. By then there was a group of a couple hundred people waiting at the locked doors. When the doors opened, I was swept in with the tide of job-seekers.

The fair consisted of 15 “exhibitors” of which 5 were colleges & training schools looking to recruit students. Most of the remaining exhibitors were for companies that do things like paste advertising billboards onto automobiles.

I had attended so as to apply at a local retailer that was seeking management candidates. When I entered the fair I made a beeline for their booth, where I was 2nd in line to receive a job description & application package. By the time I filled-out the paperwork 10 minutes later, I found that I was well over 100th in line to hand it in.
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For this past week, a local grocery had a flier posted in its window saying cashier applications would be taken this morning. I arrived a half hour before time and was, therefore, 4th in line. Since I shop at the store regularly, the cashier on duty recognized me on my way out & I stopped to talk. She said she must have given-out 1000 applications during the week.

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