Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Existing in New York City: Where Billionaires Cockily Rule the Roost

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2013
Say Goodbye to: Frank Wess, master jazz saxophonist & flautist.  Wrote "Big Shiny Stockings." I got to see Frank earlier this year with Bill Charlap at Lincoln Center.  Frank Wess, 91, American jazz saxophonist and flautist. 
Life Among the New Serfs (Peasants (Pissants) Are We All)
Chris Hedges has been writing some thought-provoking pieces over the past week, pieces that for me hit the old reality nail square on the head and drove it straight home.  Chris Hedges has been writing thought-provoking pieces and books for several years now though how many heads he's turned in the right direction is a matter of argument.  As the late great Al Lewis said many a time, it isn't enough to preach to the choir, if we are to salvage our lives from the overlords who have taken us over (the Bushes, the Clintons, the Corporate executives, the billionaire class and their millionaire lackeys (i.e., the Koch Brothers and their faithful ass-kissing followers, like Karl Rove, Trans-Canada executives and stockholders, etc.), our millionaire Congress, our new millionaire President...and on and on the list can go) the masses have to get off their asses and fill the streets with revolution.  We are all now living on the New Plantation.  No matter our specialized expertise, we are all shuttled off to the corporate fields to do field work (some fields are battlefields).  No matter how many college degrees we hold aloft with pride, Mr. Charley, boss of the New Plantation, puts a pick and shovel in our hands and says work your ass off for low wages and like it or DIE!

Hedges writes about his experience of attending a famous Ivy League prep school (he excused it by saying he was there on a scholarship) and the multiples of spoiled brat rich sons who attended that school with him.  He writes piquantly about how these spoiled brat rich sons' fathers would visit them once a year trucking along photographers and front men whose job it was to show the world what great fathers they were.  I can relate to Hedges' experience with spoiled brat rich kids having grown up in a West Texas oil-rich city where nearly all of my best friends' dads were in the oil business.  My best friends had their own cars from the time they were 14 (you could get a temporary driver's license in Texas at 14) on until they graduated high school.  One of my best friends was given a Corvette for his birthday when he was a junior in high school; another of my friends was given an MG (this friend was later killed in his MG right around the corner from my house (my parents' house was one street over from where the wealthiest people in my hometown had their mansions)).  These friends had the best of everything: clothes, stereos, motorcycles, golf clubs, swimming pools in their backyards, a rich inheritance when their parents died or they became 21.

Later in my life, my brother would become a multi-millionaire and hang with some of the richest people in the world, many of whom I met over the years.

Hedges says rich people first of all hate poor people, including those people who like to imagine they're in the Middle Class (I say there is no longer a true Middle Class in this country).  This is true.  Rich people hate poor people, a lot of them because they come from poor people.  And rich people who come from rich people definitely hate poor people.  One of the biggest fears rich people have is LOSING THEIR MONEY (or wealth).  Poor people pose a threat to them because they know poor people while admiring the rich in terms of wanting to be rich themselves also hate the rich subconsciously and are prone to anti-rich movements such as Communism and Socialism.  Due to rich people being protective of their wealth, they also hate the government because the government taxes...taxes income; taxes capital gains; taxes business transactions.  The rich hate taxes.  Since even poor people hate taxes, the rich can pull a lot of poor people into their political corral by running campaigns against taxes, against big government, and against what the rich call entitlements (Social Security; Medicare, etc.), which really aren't entitlements at all but are safety net accounts paid into by We the People of the US via FICA payments over the full span of our working lives.  But rich people since they hate the poor, see Social Security and Medicare as Socialistic threats to their wealth because as Social Beneficial programs they truly really work.  Why billionaires like Paul Peterson and this hedge-fund crook, Stanley Druckenmiller, are spending millions of dollars promoting anti-Social Security campaigns in political circles and on college campuses goes way above my head since Social Security has nothing to do with them (they make so much money they're excused from paying into Social Security or Medicare) and has nothing to do with the debt.  In fact, if these two crooked sons of bitches paid the same taxes as the poor, our debt could be wiped out in a matter of NO TIME.  Druckenmiller is now going about the country spending millions of his 2.5 billion-dollar worth trying to convince college students that seniors are robbing their futures through Social Security and Medicare.  Such bullshit.  But then BULLSHIT got them rich, didn't it.

My generation called these rich assholes Capitalist Pigs and that's what they are.  Have you ever witnessed pigs eating at the slop trough?  They eat with a vicious ferocity, squealing madly for more and more as they gulp down the slop.  And thus do our Capitalist Pigs, too.  Squealing madly as they gobble up wealth through trickery, creative accounting, out-and-out crooked dealings, tax loopholes, foundation founding, limited partnerships, insider trading, bribing government officials, laundering drug money, foreclosing on properties, bankrupting cities and nations, lobbying, etc.

My ex-wife, a woman who impressed the rich with her practical outlooks, worked for rich men all her life amassing for herself millions of dollars that were revealed when she died.  Here in New York City she worked for a Lebanese guy who had connections with the Saudi-Arabian royal family and whose best pal was Adnan Koshogi, at that time the world's richest man, and she would come home at night cursing what she called these "Paper Cowboys."  Paper cowboys because all their wealth was tied up in paper: in contracts, in mortgages, loans, advances.  She complained many a night about having to cover for her boss with credit card firms donning him to pay his immense credit card debts.

Check Out These Guys' Salaries

Here is the Top Ten Highest Paid CEOs 2012 (Source: GMI Ratings):
Company NameCEOTotal Actual Compensation
Facebook, Inc.Mark Zuckerberg$2,278,668,214
Kinder Morgan, Inc.
Richard D. Kinder
Sirius XM Radio Inc.
Mel Karmazin
Liberty Media Corporation
Gregory B. Maffei
Apple Inc.
Timothy D. Cook
Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc.
Edward W. Stack
Liberty Interactive Corporation
Gregory B. Maffei
Starbucks Corporation
Howard Schultz
$117,562,601, inc.
Marc Benioff
Verisk Analytics, Inc.
Frank J. Coyne

I've often wondered how is Facebook worth billions of dollars?
Don't ask how much in taxes these dudes loophole out of paying.  You work your ass off while a nerd like Mark Zuckerberg earns more in a day than you'll ever earn in your lifetime.  One of my personal favorites on the above list is Mel Karmazin, a nice Jewish boy from NYC who riding on the back of the popularity of Howard Stern made his fortune via Infinity Broadcasting. And these worthless CEO-types want to do away with your Social Security and Medicare.

So, hey, enjoy your peasantry...and trust me, if you make even $100,000 a year, you're poor to these Power Elitist Capitalist Pigs.

Note: The $13 billion dollar fine poor J.P. Morgan-Chase (pirates) had to pay is only 1/2 of their profits from their criminal activities last year.  Remember, this fine doesn't affect Little Jamie Dimond's salary or bonuses (in case you've forgotten, Jamie is one of Obama's favorite bankers).

for The Daily Growler

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Existing in New York City: Low Down Among the High Rises

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2013
How 40 White nutjob moron House jerks from low-population rightwing weirdo states are bringing down the government and sending 99% of us into CHAOS (Ruin)President Obama could end this immediately by declaring the government essential and by using the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.  Will he?  Probably not since he's a Reagan Republican at heart. [Sad Note: Ted Cruz's (a true off-the-wall sociopath) popularity has risen among his Texas racist backers and his political coffers have gained $800,000 because of his tomfoolery.  The 1% is dancing with glee over this.  Remember, this is all about driving down the dollar and lowering our standard of living so we'll work for these Capitalist crooks for any wage they offer.  It's all about CHEAP LABOR!]
Standing Low Among Giants
How insignificant one feels when almost run down by a young man driving a BMW sports car.  And how insignificant one feels double-parked alongside the Alvin Ailey Dance studios watching a good-looking White babe getting out of a BMW SUV with her splendid little privileged White daughter, both escorted into the Alvin Ailey studios by a Black nanny.  And nostalgically I think about times past when I drove Jaguars and Mercedes and was upwardly mobile and now how low and below the horizon of life I am.  And the stock market continues to soar upward to heights never before reached by this legalized gambling casino and then my niece, a Harvard grad, confesses to me she's highly invested in Google stock.  And I'm always thinking everybody's on the brink of disaster when in actuality they're not.  And all during this recent government shut down and debt-ceiling bullshit, Manhattan Island and its islanders rolled on along as if nothing's going on that affects us, topped off by a pop star bragging about renting a $32,000-a-month apartment just up the street from me.  And me remembering Thorstein Veblen's writing about the Power Elite and "conspicuous consumption" and how that's the American be conspicuous consumers.

And I'm back in my low-rent apartment I've lived in for 32 years composing music no one will ever hear; writing on a novel no one will ever read; writing short stories that will never be printed; yet, in spite of such a depressing possibility I'm joyous, I'm pleasantly optimistic, I'm regaling in my own death-beating existence I've entitled, "The Best Years of My Life."  So that son of bitch driving that BMW sports car almost ran me down.  So I live cheaply among millionaires and billionaires.  So what I'm a dwarf among giants.  I'm lucky to be existing in New York City where everyone's pretending the world is free of calamities.  While out in the hinterlands there must be awful suffering. Homes being foreclosed on by cruel bankers.  Kids graduating from high school whose only hope for success is in joining the military.  And ex-military vets holding pistols to their foreheads ready to end their lives.  And young mothers having babies they don't want and perhaps thinking of dumping them in dumpsters or leaving them in paper sacks on doorstoops.  And husbands deciding they're tired of their boring wives and spoiled brat children; and wives cheating on their boring husbands after getting tired of dealing with spoiled brat children.

 A rocker friend of mine wrote a tune called "Alien Zoo," in which he implied we all were living in such a place, a zoo created and managed by aliens from some other world.  Aliens to my rocker friend would be people like John Bonehead, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Allan Greenspan, Paul Wolfowitz, Hank Paulson, Sarah "Paleface" Palin, John "Failed Mission" McCain, Jimmy Carter, Henry "War Criminal" Kissinger, the Bushes, the Clintons, and, yes, Barack Obama (and those are only a few...this list should also include all of Congress, Little Billy Gates, Warren Buffett, Mike Bloomberg, the Krotch (Koch) Brothers...and on and on the list goes).  And that's what these people are: zookeepers.  And We the People are the zoo animals.  We are locked in our cages and when we're let out, we're under the animal trainers' whips...Be Obedient, that is the warning signs placed all over the Alien obedient to your Masters.

FYI: According to the 14th Amendment, our government must pay its bills.

Life goes on on the New Plantation.

for The Daily Disobedient Growler   

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Existing in New York City: The Jive Goes On

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2013
How utterly stupid are our politicians on both sides of the aisle.  Paul Ryan...a cheesehead dumbo; Mitch McConnell, an old Kaintuck bozo; John Bonehead a chicken whose head has already be cut off.  Republican thinking: "If we're going down then so's the whole nation."  In all of this District of Corruption quackery We the People of the USA are getting totally FUCKED.  President Obama will Uncle Tom in the end and cave in on cutting Social Security, a program that workers and their employers have paid for above and beyond taxes and has nothing to do with the debt, and Medicare, a working system that also has nothing to do with the debt, while the too many spy agencies waste billions upon billions of dollars taking away our privacies, while our military squanders trillions of dollars on unwinable wars, while the Federal Reserve wasted trillions of dollars on bailing out our openly crooked financial institutions, while the largest corporations and wealthiest human beings on earth pay no the meantime, We the People of the USA will get double fucked, left broke and left to die in a ditch of poverty...yes, the whole Congress and President Obama should be impeached, but We the People of the USA being so dumb as to our power will wither on the Neo-Con vine and wake up on October 18th and find ourselves in one horrible Hell of a Mess.  Of course, our millionaire Congressmen and our millionaire president and millianaire ex-presidents and billionaire pirates will not be effected by a default...they can all move to China and become Capitalist Pigs over there...because, folks, if we default, Red China will own our asses lock, stock, and barrel.  Such a shame!
Before You Read Me, Read This Truly Enlightening Greg Palast Piece on the World's Leading Bastard, Larry Summers, and What His Influences Have Caused Around the World
Neo-Con Intentions Being Implemented
It's hard to believe the comedy of errors going on in Washington, the District of Corruption, these days.  As I sit and knock this out, John Bonehead and our Republican-sympathizing President have locked horns while We the People of the USA are getting FUCKED!  Can I be any clearer?  Evidently, we are enjoying being fucked by these well-heeled political clowning sociopaths since while all this political jive is acted out in our faces, we remain on our asses and not in the streets marching against these booby-hatch rejects.  The Republicans, still steaming over FDR waxing their asses in the 1932 presidential election and saving our grandparents and parents from the attempt of the big-buck Republicans to then sink the majority of Americans into poverty and into the status of a Third World nation, are determined to carry out the Neo-Con Manifesto that boldly stated its intentions to drive the dollar down to worthless paper and at the same time to sink us via Milton Friedman economics down into the depths of a Third World nation.  And again, I emphasize what only a very few of us pundit-minded thorns-in-the-flesh know, it's all about CHEAP LABOR; in fact, it's all about SLAVE LABOR, the cheapest labor there is.

Also, did you ever stop and think how influential the Christian right wingnuts are in this Republican revolt against Obamacare (I call it Baucuscare)?  That Texas imbecile, Ted Cruz's old pappy is a mad-raving Fundamentalist Rightwing Christian money-grubber, and there are so many things about Obamacare that go against the teachings of these imbeciles' Big Daddy in the distant sky.  Like contraception and abortion and stem-cell research.  They believe your poverty and illnesses are due to your not accepting the Raving-Mad-Ass-Mean-Military-Like Jesus Christ (their version) as a real person, as the Son of the Real God, this Jehovah-Gyro of theirs who is a vindictive bastard who'll kill your ass on the spot if you CROSS his nonexistent ass.  Nate Silver, back in July, predicted (and he's famous for predicting election results) that the Republicans will take over the Senate in the 2014 elections and, Jesus X. Christ, even though Nate's an ex-baseball statistician type, We the People of the USA, being the dumbest and most misinformed and illogical people on earth, are just liable to show by doing such a fool thing just how White and racist and rightwing we truly are in this doomed country.  [Of course, ye who know me, know that I think electing Hillbilly Hilarious Clinton president is the same as electing a Republican rightwinger to the job.  Obamacare is actually Hillarycare when you stop and think about it.]

for The Daily Growler