I tend not to jump on the newly minted greatness bus whenever the media deems someone to be saintly and above reproach. One example is that I’ve read, quite extensively, that Mother Teresa may not have been the saint that the media have made her out to be, and I’m not far from being persuaded of this potentiality.
However, I did see Malala Yousafzai on Colbert last night and, I must say, she is quite an impressive young woman. One of the most salient takeaways from that interview was her comment that after having been shot in the face, after having experienced the pain of an enemy’s bullet, that those who would kill her have, by their actions, taken away her fear of those actions. How profound for an 18 year-old-girl to be able to stand up to such hatred by dispensing with the fear of their only weapon.
The expulsion of the fear of death from the mind drives many of the more sinister among us to do terrible things-terrorism for one. When you don’t fear death you can achieve many things, including taking down two huge buildings.
But Malala Yousafzai has also dispensed with this fear and is doing good work, like using her celebrity to meet with word leaders to persuade them to feed their people and build schools for their children. I must say that I was brought to tears by her calm, intelligent, humble mannerisms and at the same time the confidence and conviction in her voice.
The next time you drive into your gated community, lock your front door, set your alarm system and make sure the Glock in the nightstand is loaded, consider whether you would improve yourself, as a human being, by divesting yourself of all your phoney protections from pedestrian, banal fears of contrived evils.
You know, be more like Malala Yousafzai, an 18-year-old girl.
When I see how modern cops use symbolism like their uniforms, medals, weaponry and comments about “brotherhood” and standing up for one another…
When I see how they defend one another at all cost, right or wrong…
When I see the vehemence directed at anyone who would say anything negative about cops, as well as the defensiveness directed at anyone who would point out one of their many shortcomings…
When I see the above traits it reminds me of the biker gangs of the 1960s and 1970s. Tough, arrogant, often racist and tribalist, self-assured and convinced of their infallibility and entitlement to their power they wield. Thoroughly convinced of their superiority to others, as well as the smirking confidence that they will likely get away with anything they do.
Just something I’ve been thinking about.
Carly Fiorina has been running for President based on her executive experience, citing her tenure at computer giant HP as indicative of her business prowess. The fact that running a company, irrespective of how large, has little to no relationship to running a country, (companies can’t print money, change interest rates, go to war, or demand revenue in the form of taxation, among other things), seems to be irrelevant to those in her camp.
Well, if one were to look at her time at HP, (Hewlett-Packard) one would see a train-wreck in the making, one where 30,000 people ended up being laid off, the stock price tanking, and profits plummeting to less than 1/10th of what they had been. Carly will tell you that revenues at the company almost doubled after it took over Compaq, and that is true. But for my friends who are not business school graduates, she is purposely misleading you by telling you this. Of course, revenue increases when you merge with another company since you’re now getting the money from two companies. That kind of revenue is referred to as top-line revenue. It represents that money that comes in, not the money you get to keep.
The revenue which you keep is familiarly called bottom-line revenue. That’s the important one. That, as mentioned above, after a merger which increased top-line revenue by 100%, was less than 10% of what the company had been making prior to the merger. Let me say that again. The merger which she promoted and oversaw caused the company to bring in twice as much money, but keep less than 10% of what it had been earning before. This was due to the costs or running both companies which she, as chief executive, had not anticipated. Most Wall Street types were vehemently against this merger. They were right. She was wrong, at the cost of the 30,000 layoffs that became necessary to keep the company from going under. The stockholders disliked her leadership so much that, once it was announced that she had been fired from the company, they made the stock price jump so high that it added $3 billion to the value of HP in a single day.
She was also known as someone who demanded the utmost in luxury, having requested a $30 million Gulfstream IV jet be purchased by the company for her personal use, whereas prior executives were happy to fly commercial.
Carly recieved a $21 million dollar “golden parachute” when she was kicked out of HP, having earned over $100 million during her short tenure with the company.
Carly Fiorina has had more and bigger failures than successes in her executive career and has lost every other election in which she’s ever run. She is among the most elite of salary earners, residing somewhere in the top 1/10th of the one percent. How much understanding and sympathy for the middle class and working poor do you think that she’ll bring to the Whitehouse?
So, of course, she’s running for President…
Interview with PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Reporter: “President Trump, Vladimir Putin said today that your threats about him supporting Syria could lead to war. How do you respond?”
Trump: “Putin’s mother is a whore”.
Reporter: “President Trump, the chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, today said that she will allow interest rates to rise slightly over the coming months to stave off inflation. This might hurt the stock market just slightly. What is your response?”.
Trump: “Have you seen Janet Yellen? She should stave off eating so many cheeseburgers, I mean, have you seen her ass?”
Reporter: “President Trump, the Congress has approved the nomination of Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, who has been a very active voice for gun control. What is your reaction to his approval?”
Trump: “That guy’s family is from India, they’re a bunch of camel jockeys. I own golf courses bigger than India. Oh, and his mother’s a whore”.
Reporter: “Thank you President Trump”.
Trump: “Sure sweetie. Hey, you’re cute. Almost as cute as my daughter. Who I would date if she wasn’t my daughter. You know, I’ve made A. LOT. OF. MONEY. Did you know that..?”
I heard Donald Trump again this morning complaining that Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are owned by the billionaires and international business people, which is what will presumably make them beholden to those types, selling the country out so that those sinister individuals can profit.
Out of the other side of his mouth Trump has said, repeatedly that he will never be in the pockets of these billionaires and international business people because it is one of them himself, and he has paid for politicians to do his bidding for him in the past. Of this he has bragged quite often.
So doesn’t it make sense that Donald Trump is the wet dream of every billionaire and international business person for the simple reason that through him, all these oligarchs and monopolists no longer have to spend so much money buying politicians? They will just put one of their own in the White House. Trump!
It’s as if we were electing one of the Koch brothers for President. We are basically giving them a shortcut to controlling every aspect of our lives, through market manipulation, price fixing and enacting trade legislation which favors them, not the U.S. Koch Industries, as well as Donald Trump do business all over the world. It makes no difference to them if the money comes here or to China, since they both do business in China.
Sheldon Adelson is a staunch Conservative and mega-billionaire casino operator in, among other places, Macau, which is a protectorate of China. Anything that favors China favors him. Trump and the Koch brothers are the same way. Their allegiances are to their corporate bottom lines, and they care not which in country they make their money.
To give you an example of how this works, the fact that China recently devalued their currency has been traumatic for the U.S. stock market, but a major benefit for Adelson, who will now benefit from increased tourism due to the cheaper Chinese currency and the fact that his dollars will now pay for a lot more Yuan than it did before. Land will be cheaper, as will building materials and labor.
People like this can invest in any country in which they chose and trade any currency that is currently cheap. It is not, ever, in their interest for the United States economy to do well other than for their U.S. investments. That’s all they care about. If they’re heavily invested in Europe, that is where their financial allegiance lies, patriotism be damned.
Donald Trump as President would not only be the fox guarding the hen house…he would be living in it and collecting rent from the chickens…