The Inhumanity of Corporate Profits

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Thieves, the goddamn lot of you! Thieves and leeches! Fucking vampires sucking the will from people whose only goddamn crimes were to be frightened and tired! And you don’t help them! You don’t listen to them! They get no truth from you! All you do is scare them with stories of something that doesn’t exist! And you bastards are winning! Hundreds more of you every day!

Spider Jerusalem; Transmetropolitan

 

Corporations. Many people look at the corporation as one of the greatest inventions of modern civilization. Others will tell you they are a pox on all our houses. Journalist Matt Taibbi, profiling the bank, Goldman Sachs for Rolling Stone magazine in 2009:

“The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” 

Let’s review just a couple of things that look broken once you get past the basic erroneous premise that allowed them to exist today. That premise is they are necessary, they are providing a service and the market will bear what they do, no matter how they do it:

  • Corporate-run prisons: A prison system that works by insisting on a quota for the number of prisoners to be found within. Corporate prisons insist on an “occupancy rate” such that if the population drops below a certain number, the state must PAY THE PRISON for its lost revenue. This is an incentive for a state TO FIND SOMEONE TO ARREST, rather than putting fewer people in prison. America already has the highest rate of incarcerated individuals per capita than any place else in the world. Corporate prisons will NOT be reducing those numbers, only INCREASING them.
  • Corporate manufactured food: What if I told you all of the manufactured foods you ate were addictive. Whether it came in a can, was processed for a box or found its way into a fast food restaurant, they were designed by food scientists to BE addictive by taking manipulating your pleasure center and your body’s natural tendencies to seek out fat, sugar and salt. What if I told you, it was the very fact that foods have been over-saturated with these three ingredients which accounts for the current crop of debilitating diseases sweeping most modern countries today: Obesity, diabetes, and hypertension/stroke. Since China has embraced Western ideals, in the last ten years their number of diabetes cases has reached over 300 million people. (That number is almost the same in India.)

Are you surprised no corporations have chosen to pay attention to the rate of diabetes increase in those countries, in relationship to their fast food boom? NO? Neither am I.

“It is this very cognitive dissonance which should make you pay more attention to corporations when they tell you, they are concerned about the environment BUT not enough to do anything about it. If your kids die from starvation due to climate change, its not our problem. We are only worried about the next quarter.”

Would a bank launder money for a crime cartel? Would they poison entire ecosystems to save money on a part for a refinery? Would they pay into contingency fees, to settle, in case someone died rather than replacing a five cents part? YOU BETCHA.

Here are a few other things happening in your neck of the woods, wherever you live…

  • Does their product pollute groundwater which might be used for farming? YES. (hydraulic fracturing)
  • Does their product require millions of animals to live in poor conditions to lower their cost of production? YES. (Fast Food Industry)
  • Does their product contaminate plants downwind of where my product is used? YES. (Monsanto and other genetically engineered seeds companies)
  • Does their product produce coal ash, which is highly toxic and need specialized technologies for disposal? YES. (Big Coal)
  • Does their product have a chance for spills, causing catastrophic yet, never considered, damage to the environment? YES. (Big Oil)
  • Does their product have a list of side effects a mile long yet still advertise it on television, telling people they NEED IT? YES. (Big Pharmaceuticals)
  • Does their product cause unrest and wars in foreign countries by needing rare earths and special minerals? YES. (Any Tech corporation)

And the list goes on. I could do this all day. So why do I bring it up? For the simple reason that corporations are never going to tell you what they are doing is harmful to YOU or yours. They will list the stock exchange and its variables as if it were a way to judge how profitable Humanity has been that day.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Stock Exchange is an indicator of how much wealth is being made at your expense, how much of your environment is being destroyed, how much money is being made from the loss of lives in conflicts over raw materials in a foreign country. The Stock Exchange could just as easily be called the Murder and Mayhem Exchange because corporations have basically said they are willing to make profits OVER YOUR DEAD BODIES.

If they were being honest about it, they might make a video like this one:

So now you know. What can we do about it?

Get back to regulating these corporate fuckers. This video is a parody but the real corporations just haven’t been willing to say this as directly. But the harm they do to your environment is just as real and just as long lasting.

They don’t give a fuck about you. Don’t wait for them to say FUCK YOU in plain English. It’s only a matter of time.

Instructions: Weaponize and Discard After Use

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War is Hell.

As the world’s policeman (or at least protector of natural resources we want from other countries) we are ready, willing and able to make war whenever we want. Ready to provide “freedom” at the drop of a hat and a ring of the cash register. War is good business, Dick Cheney can certainly attest to that fact. (See: Halliburton Company, Dick Cheney)

War is good. War is profitable. We are protecting freedom and democracy everywhere.

At least this is what we are told to justify the release of military forces all over the globe. This is how we rationalize the creation of living weapons whose job it is to pacify, kill or destroy whatever opposing force they are directed at.

With no thought to the minds, bodies or well-being of the soldiers who live and die in those conflicts. Strange, the people most in favor of as much war as the budget will allow are often the same men and women who avoided military conflicts when they required more grist for the military mill.

But worst than that, we pay almost no attention to the mental health and well-being of those who SURVIVE as a shell of their former selves. Warfare on the scale that Humanity does it today corrupts every part of the psyche of the men and women who engage in it.

War brutalizes even the survivors making them barely suitable to exist in the society they have fought for. Without help, training, support services, weaponizing human beings and then releasing them back into society is irresponsible, dangerous and in most cases, the leading cause of suicide among these veterans.

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Are we as a nation going to continue making men and women into military weapons of war, and don’t be confused, it is the people that are the weapons before the tools they utilize, or will we realize the cost of war in terms of damage to our economies, damage to our social status as citizens of the world community and most importantly damage to our veterans returning from these wars is simply too damn high?

Or will we treat veterans like we do any other natural resource? We use up our young, best and brightest minds leaving them as wreckage on the pyre of our nation’s economic conquest and destruction of the EARTH and life as we know it.

I know which way things are leaning at the moment and it’s not a good sign.

Soldiers need treatment from the constant battles, the extreme stress, the questionable orders, the impossible tightrope between morality and survival. These are stresses beyond what most people will ever face. Should you run that light or pay your taxes, or pick your kid up from school even under the most adverse of conditions will never equal the stress of one terrifying firefight after your vehicle is flipped over by an IED.

If we really want to thank a veteran, how about making it possible for him to have the mental health he needs to reducing the scars that turned him into a weapon of war. Or the scars he acquires should he survive whatever war front we have placed him in. These walking wounded are taking their lives because they cannot cope with what they have seen or what they feel they have become: less human, less the men and women we loved when we sent them to war. We need to start caring for them. Giving them back their hope since we can’t give them back their humanity intact.

Or better yet, how about we just stop making veterans…

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Thaddeus Howze is a veteran of the United States Navy. He can be reached on Twitter at @ebonstorm.

REFERENCES:

The Guardian: US military struggling to stop suicide epidemic among war veterans

TakePart: Why Should We Make Vet Mental Health a Priority? Because One Dies by Suicide Every 65 Minutes

Am I Going to Have to Declare ‘Make Mine Marvel’?

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Dear DC Comics/Time Warner Executives,

We know that you are scrambling in light of Marvel’s recent releases from their new Cinematic Universe, starring the Avengers and those associated properties.

In light of the blockbuster releases of Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, and most recently Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we can understand why you might be in your boardrooms cussing and drinking like sailors in a burning whorehouse trying to figure out which direction to escape.

Marvel’s recent movies have been both lucrative in terms of establishing those properties as money makers but more importantly, they have converted a large yearning in terms of comic aficionados who have always wanted to see comic heroes in the proverbial flesh and found a pent-up demand of other viewers who are hungry for well-crafted stories with larger than life heroes.

Marvel has hit both of those, in spades.

Marvel

Now I know what you’re thinking: It was Superman that established those yearnings, was the first comic hero whose demand led to further stories and greater financial earnings. Superman proved people could believe a man could fly (and lift heavy stuff).

Keep hoping people forget Bat-nipples...

Keep hoping people forget Bat-nipples…

And he did it several times. Then you went to the second leg of your Trinity of heroes and put Batman back on the map. Gone was the campy Batman of the Sixties with his teen-aged sidekick, Robin. The return of Batman still had a bit of camp but was darker, richer, and more satisfying than the Dark Knight had been in decades. Alas, someone reactivated the Camp-o-meter and by the time Mr. Freeze and the Bat-nipple suit arrive, interest in Batman was flagging faster than a transplant victim in a health spa.

Batman_Superman_Wonder_Woman_TrinityBut you didn’t give up. You decided, as the master of reboots (See: Crisis on Infinite Earths) you would reboot your first two legs of your Trinity. Superman got younger, a new suit, a kid, and a revised Lex Luthor. He lifted more things, flew really fast and blocked bullets with his eyeballs. Nice look but still nothing happening there. People were cool to this new reboot.

You pulled out all the stops and went to your backup, Batman. Nolan’s vision of the Dark Detective were regressive, he rewrote a bit of history, working Ra’s Al Ghul and the League of Shadows into the pastiche of Batman’s already convoluted history. No one complained because it made a kind of sense. Batman was reborn under Nolan’s hand and despite (or perhaps because of) Heath Leger’s Joker, a depiction that was a tour de force, almost overshadowing the Bat, this Batman was not just a hit, he became a force that altered Bat history on and off the page.

You were saved. The Dark half of your Duo had saved the financial day.

And yet, there was no sign of the third part of your Trinity. What Trinity you ask? The DC Universe has always looked more like a pantheon of Gods than a group of superheroes. Their arch-typical nature present for anyone familiar with Greek or Roman mythology to see. Superman is Zeus, all-powerful, literally the father of the genre and the most powerful member of the pantheon. Batman is Hades, dark lord of the Underworld. Wonder Woman was Hera, queen of the Gods, feared and loved in equal measure.

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Yes gentlemen, where AM I? Think before you answer…

So gentlemen, I ask you where is Wonder Woman? Why has she been neglected for so long? Why do I keep hearing tales that it is too hard to write a movie where Wonder Woman would be the star? She has, as one of the only female heroes to ever manage, to keep a running title for almost forty years. In the comic industry, she is the most popular female hero and the most well known. She is also one of the only female superheroes to have ever had a presence in live action on the little screen. A well-loved, well-received, fandom who will still turn out to meet and greet Linda Carter anywhere at any time.

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Guardians of the Galaxy features a mobile tree (Groot) and a gun-toting, spaceship stealing Raccoon (Rocket). Wonder Woman is hard? How?

So I ask you in all seriousness: What is your major malfunction you can’t manage to find your way to the bags of money that are sitting on your doorsteps if you were to create a reasonably well written treatment of Wonder Woman? Her animated movie did well. So did her animated appearances in the most awesome of your animated properties, The Justice League and Justice League unlimited. What are you afraid of? Marvel has a movie coming out with a walking TREE and a RACCOON in it. Only one of those will be a speaking part.

If now isn’t the time for Wonder Woman, when exactly would be the time? When a horrible spaceborne virus kills 99% of all the men on the planet? (For the record, that wouldn’t work either, women would demand a movie of the only remaining men left…)

downloadIn Wonder Woman’s defense you don’t even have to reinvent anything. We all know who she is and we are all aware of what she can do. As a matter of fact, you just have to decide how powerful you want to make her. Somewhere between Batman and Superman would, in fact, be perfect. Give her half the strength of Superman and the fighting skills to beat Batman in a fair fight and you have a winner. You don’t even have to write anything. Adapt George Perez’s famed run on Wonder Woman and you are set for at least three movies.

She has a rogues gallery, granted its not as extensive as Batman’s, but a woman who can make enemies of Gods and monsters, and survive, should surely not lack for opposition both from the real world and the magical one; she could fight terrorists one day, Minotaurs the next.

Fans have managed to create incredible depictions showing her fighting street level crime to fighting gods and monsters in equal measure. So I have to ask you again: What are you waiting for? A sign from on high?

Yes, I heard you are putting some bony actress up there and calling her Wonder Woman. But I have to say to you: That is a mistake. You are mistaking name recognition with the ability to draw an audience. This isn’t about the Actress, this is about Wonder Woman. You want to remember, anyone you put there will one day have to contend with being in the same room as Batman and Superman and any other superheroes you later create. The last thing you want is a Wonder Woman who looks as if she could use a good meal or twelve.

Wonder Woman from Rainfall Films

When fans are doing better than you are, you suck.

This is particularly a case of working backward toward the depiction. Find someone who would make me believe she could BE Wonder Woman just standing there and my mind will fill in the blanks for just about everything else.

Bullshit you say? What if I told you Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the worst actors ever? Yet, NO ONE imagines a Terminator without seeing him in the role in their minds. This was a case of the Right Look doing the heavy lifting even if he spoke with Marble-mouth most of the time. You guys are in desperate need for a win because I hate to say this to you, Marvel/Disney is kicking your asses up and down the street. And nobody has called the cops yet. You can expect to be beaten for quite a bit longer.

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Yes, he has entered witness protection for killing in Superman’s name.

What about Man of Steel, you say? Let’s not and say we did. It made money, googobs in fact; otherwise I would call your movie future dead on arrival. Man of Steel gave you a chance to revitalize and reboot the Big Blue Boy Scout one more time, now with a bit of murder under his belt. (Bad move on your part but I am over it.) About the only saving grace you have going for you at the moment is television. I am going to skip over the cancellations of Young Justice and Green Lantern, the Animated Series, the wounds are still too fresh.

In the live-action category you have Arrow and its been doing well on television. Arrow has managed to build a continuity that has been both respected and admired for its continuity and designs, if not its depth of acting talent. Arrow has now spun off the Flash series and this is a good sign. Now you have two venues to show off both evil agencies and supervillains of the DC Universe. I expect we will see Aquaman and a few other potential Leaguers before too long. This is a good thing.

But you have been found guilty of shortsightedness, hubris and arrogance in your decision to think Wonder Woman was unnecessary in the scheme of things. She was considered to be part of the Trinity of DC Pantheon for a reason. Strong, wise, brave, and capable of holding her own against either of the other two members,she has been a lynchpin in the DC Universe for decades.

How such an inspirational character has sat fallow on your tables is a testament to the lack of vision to be found in your headquarters. Perhaps you need to rent out the Legion of Doom headquarters down in Louisiana. It might inspire you to consider your business in a more world-conquering perspective.

Scott Disick throws money on crowd, swings fake axe at friend at Halloween bash in Las Vegas!

Marvel executives making it rain with their franchise runoff…

Movies are about magic. The magic to make me believe that what I am seeing could be true somewhere. Your current candidate for Wonder Woman is a mistake and I will stand by it. You will replace her in time for the Justice League movie you are hoping for. Yes, you are hoping to make a Justice League movie for the simple fact that the creation of the Silver Age Justice League inspired the writers over at Marvel to create the Avengers in the comics industry back in the day. And the money if you pull it off successful could challenge even YOUR dreams of financial avarice. (See: Avengers executives making it rain…)

But it looks like, unless DC/Warner gets its game in gear, and creates an integrated framework to build your movies around, something good, cohesive, strong and yet flexible, Marvel will be inspiring the next generation of heroes, not you. That would be a shame since you have THREE of the most recognizable icons ON THE PLANET; talk about squandering natural resources.

Sincerely,

The World’s Most Rabid DC Comic fans secretly dusting off their “Make Mine Marvel” No Prizes in their basement.

PS: Brainiac and Solomon Grundy wanted pants and got them.

P.P.S: Can Wonder Woman get some pants, they can be yoga pants if that is all you can afford, but is there any reason she has to walk around half dressed in a room full of men who are wearing tights and body armor? In the age of internet porn, a naked legged superheroine should be considered almost puritanical by comparison. Put her in a costume that dignifies a character whose longevity, in an industry of flash-in-the-pans, warrants an outfit worthy of her age and experience.

P.P.P.S. Otherwise this Wonder Woman here (wearing pants) on the right from Injustice might make her way to your boardrooms. You wouldn’t want that…WONDER_WOMAN

Are you STILL looking for the Illuminati? Really?

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I say we organise a protest against how ineffectively the Illuminati secretly run the world.

Are you still looking through the internet at pictures and myths talking about the Illuminati? Are you still wondering about the triangular sign Beyonce made at some award ceremony?

Are you still hoping to discover facts about the mysterious shadow organization that is supposedly controlling the world’s resources for their own private amusement and domination over the human race and has done so for hundreds of years? Really?

If so, stop doing that. Stop right now. Why, you ask?

Because you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand the Illuminati does not need to exist to do exactly what they are reputed to be doing. How about we look at what I call the Modern Illuminati and see what they’ve been doing RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES.

MODERN ILLUMINATI

We don’t need medieval shadow organizations to take over the world anymore. The world has already been taken over. If you want to see the architects of that world, take a look:

ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council)

Yes, their name means absolutely nothing. The organization claims:

“With over 2,000 members, ALEC is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, individual membership association of state legislators. ALEC is one of America’s most dynamic public-private partnerships with nearly 300 corporate and private foundation members. ALEC provides its public and private sector members with a unique opportunity to work together to develop policies and programs that effectively promote the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty.”

What ALEC really does is help corporations to determine how they may best avoid paying taxes, creating legislation to get around regulations and policies which control or mitigate the potential damage corporations may cause to people through their quest for profit.

If you want to look at an organization responsible for giving control of your world as you know it to people whose interest in the world is strictly profit-oriented, you need look no further than ALEC. ALEC and its backers are a direct pipeline to the world’s most powerful and elitist organizations, mega-corporations.

ALEC is the policy wing of the Modern Illuminati. They lobby government, they recruit and seduce legislators, they gather shadow monies and organize SuperPACs. ALEC holds councils where they create policy models which are beneficial to big businesses in a local region, and holding hands with legislators, they help craft legislation which often undermines unions, undermines the worker and their rights, and help corporations find new ways to avoid paying taxes or paying into the community adequate wages capable of sustaining a family.

BANKING AND FINANCE AND LEGISLATION (OH MY)

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Jamie Dimon (head of Goldman Sachs) before his testimony

The next member of the Modern Illuminati is the finance and banking architecture of the world at large. From creating money out of thin air to “reduce inflation” during the recession to making commodities out of junk in order to sell them to unsuspecting dupes at inflated prices.

These purchases were made with fraud in mind. Mind you we will never see anyone TRIED for fraud because what they did, these bundled commodities, violated no specific law on the books. However, no attempt was made to arrest the creators of these clearly bogus and overpriced “commodities” which drove the world into “austerity” which is another word for “screwing the poor while paying the rich”. This includes the mega-money corporations such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman’s Sach’s, HSBC, Bear-Sterns (RIP), who have been accused of a number of corporate crimes including insider trading, conflict of interest, fraud, money-laundering, price-fixing, and foreclosure abuses.

“In January 2013 the Federal Reserve announced that Goldman and Morgan Stanley would together pay $557 million to settle allegations of foreclosure abuses by their loan servicing operations (Goldman’s share was $330 million).”

That is a tiny bit of the giant pile of money spent by Goldman Sach’s in its predation on unsuspecting clients worldwide. Goldman Sach’s has billions in fees to avoid being held culpable for any wrongdoing. This is unfortunate because the message it sends is, if you have enough money and are in a position of economic power in the United States, you do not have to worry about going to jail. Your stay out of jail free card looks like a stack of Benjamin Franklins. All you need to be is “too big to fail” and you’re set.”

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Add to this mix, the lobbyists who work for major corporations, the Congressmen who become lobbyists before they return to being Congressmen only add to the confusion at figuring out whose on our side. The people who should be protecting your interests, since you voted to put them in office, are instead, making money serving as lobbyists which then empowers them to run for office. First they recommend the policy, then they clean up after it.

There are more millionaires in Congress than in the History of the United States. So if Congress isn’t looking out for you and the Supreme Court has basically been a tool of big corporations since the FEC vs Citizen’s United case which allows corporations to be treated a person with regard to how much money they can donate to a particular candidate. (But not when it’s time to throw someone into jail for assault, like when your unregulated, unmonitored silo dumps poisonous materials into your main water supply or coal ash, or oil spills…

So who is looking out for you and I?

The answer? No one. The Government is too divided, the people are too poor, and the rich just don’t give a damn. (Pass me some more of that Grey Poupon…)

MEDIA (BOUGHT AND PAID FOR)

Media Giants

Keep in mind, this chart is old…the landscape has changed quite a bit since it was first created.

Another leg of the Illuminati stool is the continued and pernicious attempts to control all forms of media communication and work toward complete domination of the Internet and all technologies connected to it. This battle appears to be all but won as Comcast recently purchased Time-Warner to become arguably the largest, most powerful and most influential cable company in America, having dominion over 30 million households cable options. Between Comcast controlling the cable-stream, NBC Universal (a subset of Comcast) and six major media houses owning the remaining 1200 media outlets in America, there is a complete lack of non-corporate, non-partisan news and reporting in the US.

We don’t need to look for the Illuminati.

They are already among us, putting people out of work, reducing their wages, increasing their prices, fostering dependency, manipulating media and mindsets, manipulating information, gathering data in order prevent any form of independent thinking.

Stop looking, we’ve found them. We know where they are. The question is: What are we going to do about them?

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We just got here and look at the mess…

ENVIRONMENT | PRIORITIES | COMMENTARY

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Planet Earth is 4.6 billion years old (give or take)

If we condense this inconceivable time-span into an understandable concept, we can liken the Earth to a person of 46 years of age.

Nothing is known about the first seven years of this person’s life, and whilst only scattered information exists about the middle span, we know that only at the age of 42 did the Earth begin to flower.

Dinosaurs and the great reptiles did not appear until one year ago, when the planet was 45.

Mammals arrived only 8 months ago; in the middle of last week man-like apes evolved into ape-like men, and at the weekend the last ice age enveloped the Earth.

Modern Man has been around for four hours. During the last hour, Man discovered agriculture. The industrial revolution began a minute ago.

During those 60 seconds of biological time, Modern Man has made a rubbish pit of paradise.

He has multiplied his numbers to plague proportions, caused the extinction of 500 species of animals, ransacked the planet for fuels and now stands like a brutish infant, gloating over his meteoric rise to ascendancy..

- GREENPEACE

The Future is Unsustainable – Tell everyone, the revolution happens soon, or not at all.

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Maker Of Candy Crush Saga App Trademarks The Word ‘Candy’ (Other Companies Rush to Follow Suit)

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In news you simply couldn’t make up, The makers of ‘Candy Crush Saga’ King, have trademarked the word ‘Candy’ in order to prevent other app makers from using it in the titles of their games.

The trademark was authorized by the European Union for the word “Candy.” British game maker King is still awaiting word on a similar trademark request in the U.S. Candy Crush is a wildly-popular and addictive puzzle-game app, featuring little colored candies.

A screen image of the Candy Crush Saga game. (King)

A screen image of the Candy Crush Saga game. (King)

King is now sending cease and desist orders to other app makers that have that word in their titles. For example, All Candy Casino Slots was forced to change to All Sweets Casino Slots.

Not to be outdone, Apple Computers has trademarked the letter “i”! The letter ‘i’ is no longer able to be used in relationship to any kind of computer or digital technology. The harshest fines possible will be assessed.

*ntel (*NTC), currently in compliance with the Apple lawsuit, is filing a countersuit indicated this would prevent anyone from being able to identify or speak the name of their company aloud. Dell Computers has joined in the suit to protect their ‘Al*enware’ line of computers from becoming ‘Alenware’ (but sensing which way the wind is blowing, Alenware will also call up Al*enware in most common search engines, try it!)

Monsanto has decided the words ‘seeds’ and ‘corn’ should belong exclusively to them (corresponding to their motto “no food grown we don’t own”) and as such Kelloggs is now forced to call their signature product “Kernel Mash Flakes”. Other yellow or white kernel-related products are scrambling to rename their products as quickly as possible, with such catchy names as FRUCTOOS, replacing longer and now legally incompatible name of “high fructose (redacted) syrup.”

Comcast has locked down the words ‘cable’ and ‘digital distribution’ beating out Netflix. In their race to the patent office in downtown Washington, DC, 12 bike messengers, 4 pedestrians and 2 police officers were run over or injured. Netflix response was to consider themselves beaten and sell their service over Comcast set boxes, neutering the Roku and rendering its technology obsolete in the process. Roku’s representatives are unavailable for comment, something about a cease and desist order from Apple and their AppleTV product over the words ‘d*gital med*a rece*ver’.

And to prepare for their future against impending lawsuits, the Koch Brothers along with their Big Oil oligarchy have trademarked the term ‘climate change’ and released cease and desist orders against all scientists and major media outlets except Fox News who released no information on climate change in 2013 and isn’t expected to do so in the near future.

#humor #news #wtf

Dissonantly Yours, with a Perspective

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Let’s start the year off with one of my favorite ideas. Good mental health and the idea of cognitive dissonance. I am a believer that one of the reasons our nation seems to have slipped its gears is the overwhelming number of dissonant events they are forced to accept just to make it through the day. With our news media in the tentacles of the great vampire squid of corporate power it becomes harder to put the pieces together and know what makes sense anymore.

So that we are all on the same page, we should start off with a more official point of view…

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE:

Social psychologists refer to cognitive dissonance as the presence of incongruent relations among cognitions (thought and understanding) that frequently results in excessive mental stress and discomfort. Ultimately, individuals who hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas and/or values frequently experience cognitive dissonance. This stress and discomfort may also arise within an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory action or reaction.

For example, an individual is likely to experience dissonance if he or she is addicted to smoking cigarettes and continues to smoke despite believing it is unhealthy.

Leon Festinger’s theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. When inconsistency (dissonance) is experienced, individuals largely become psychologically distressed. His basic hypotheses are listed below:

  • “The existence of dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, will motivate the person to try to reduce the dissonance and achieve consonance”
  • “When dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance.”

With this lovely explanation in mind, (thank you, Wikipedia) I am going to engage in a bit of cognitive dissonance discovery after reviewing the last few months of what passes for news. If you find yourself in agreement, you too may be experiencing a tiny bit of STRESS due to your inability to process the incongruencies of our times…

You have a right to an education…as long as you aren’t a six year old hugging another classmate and being accused of sexual harassment or unless you chew a pastry into the shape of a gun, or unless you are a Black kid who might be hungry, or distracted, or harassed by gangs or any number of other reasons you have difficulties in school; or unless the School-to-Prison pipeline is clogged and they need fresh bodies to keep those corporate prisons full…

And while we are on the topic of education, you have the right to an educationas long as we don’t need stealth bombers or tanks or any other kind of infrastructure necessary for bombing brown people all over the world. In which case, screw your education, there are people that need to be “freed” somewhere else.

You have the right to buy and smoke up to an ounce of marijuana…in Colorado. Everywhere else in the nation, you can expect to spend ten to twenty-five years in prison (if you haven’t already) for carrying that same ounce of that sweet cannabis sativa. If you’re brown expect a longer sentence, if you’re not, expect that “Affluenza” ensures you find your way into a rehab facility for…help.

You have the right to privacy…as long as you don’t expect it from your government’s intelligence agencies, your employer, the police or your spouse. The development of social media and the strange vanity of an insecure nation allows people to put everything they know, everything they do, and everything they are on public display for people who would happily exploit that information for profit. Privacy is dead, anyway.

You have the right to media representation, the ability to see yourself reflected in your local media…unless you are some shade of brown. Then you can expect that newscasters will be white men, experts on said news about brown people will be white men, consultants on the behavior of brown people will be white men, and even when the issue is about women, let’s say female reproduction for instance, the person they will be interview will be a, you guessed it, a white man. The only time you can expect to see a brown face is if it’s being married to a white one (or selling Cheerios, fighting monsters on science-fiction movies, or rejecting each other in night time dramas for their white co-workers…)

You have the right to eat food…as long as you don’t expect to know how it was raised, where it was genetically modified, or what artificial chemicals are pumped into the vat its processed in. Megacorporations like Monsanto (a chemical company, not a food company) don’t want to label their products because you might want to hold them accountable when your grandchild has three eyes attributed to genetically modified food. Don’t expect to eat healthy anymore. Frankenfoods are becoming more inevitable than ever.

You have the right of free speech…unless you are protesting the rapine corporate practices which bankrupted you, or if you happen to be a whistleblower reporting on government malfeasance. Or you say the wrong thing to a cop and he shoots you and gets a three week paid vacation before going back to work.

You have the right to remain silent…unless the cops can convince you to confess by any means necessary BEFORE they read you your Miranda or can plea bargain you into cell avoiding a trial altogether or they pay a backed up police lab to mix up your DNA and some other convicts so you can do a cool stretch in prison for a crime you didn’t commit.

You have the right to clean water…unless you live downstream from a chemical plant which spills its effluvia into your water supply causing sickness, mutation and death, or live next to a fracking facility which will poison your water supply in its quest for clean natural gas, or unless your a performance artist who really prefers your water to catch on fire.

You have the right to an attorney…not saying you can actually afford one. Some states are even considering getting rid of public defenders altogether. Not that having one will matter if your judge is being paid by prison corporations to put you behind bars to fulfill a quota and a receive a tidy payoff.

You have the right to a fair and impartial government…unless you happen to notice that half of your government is comprised of millionaires who are voting primarily for their corporate interests instead of your public safety or when you notice you work 290 days a year and are called lazy by said officials who work a mere 90 days and make $175,000 a year plus Cadillac benefits packages.

You have the right to own a house…unless you give up the right when your banking institution runs a scheme which collapses the banking industry and disrupts the world’s communal economy while forcing your property values to drop to zero, putting your house underwater and which further destabilizes the economy and puts you and everyone you know out of work and ultimately out of your home which the bank will then sell for an excellent profit to a corporate real estate agency. The circle of corporate life…guess which end you are on.

You have the right to a fair justice system…unless you are a banker who destabilizes an economy with commodities fraud, or insider trading with government officials or launders money with criminal cartels, or you get the idea. No bankers will ever be penalized as long as they can pay a fine with three weeks of earnings to the justice department. Only the protesters who stand out in front of said banks will ever be sent to jail.

You have the right to expect that when confronted by the police and unarmed you will be taken into custody…unless you happen to be handcuffed, face down, surrounded by police and get shot in the back, by accident, of course, or unless you happen to be a child walking through a field and get shot by an gun expert who couldn’t tell the difference between a real gun and a toy or unless you happen to be an unarmed but mentally disturbed man who after running from the police gets shot at and is subsequently charged with assault after the police’s bullets (from their guns) hit two innocent bystanders.

If you are driving down the road, you have the right to expect that if the police stop you, they will speak to you before they start shooting…unless there is a manhunt going on and extreme measures are necessary, as in the case of the Los Angeles police who shot up three vehicles (with people not related to the case in any way) in their hunt for a fellow officer, REPUTEDLY on a rampage. While no one, besides the rampaging officer who was set on fire and burned alive, was hurt, I am certain none of the people who were shot at for driving a vehicle that resembled the dead officer’s were pleased to be a police target without so much as a warning before shooting at them.

You have the right to discriminate…wait you don’t have that right… unless you are a highly religious zealot who believes God doesn’t want you to make cakes for homosexual couples and would rather you burn your business to the ground rather than sell a wedding cake to gay people. We will ignore all the cakes you may sell to gay party planners, corporate event, private parties and to anyone who happens to NOT announce they are gay when they come to your store. Perhaps when this case makes it to the Supreme Court, you can make a case for a “religious right” to discriminate based on their constitutional interpretation.

Can hating minorities as a “religious right” be too far behind?

Now ask yourself, when you walk out the door on any given day, how many of these do you have to put out of your mind before you can make it to your job only to engage in a different set of dissonances necessary to make it through your work environment…

Next on our list of social-psychological dysfunctions: Cultural Schizophrenia!

Dissonantly Yours,

Thaddeus Howze

PS. Normally, I tag and link all the articles these are referenced from, but I decided to let you, the reader have the fun of figuring out where and how these things affect your life, without any special news bias from me. If you can find other samples of cognitive dissonance which affect your life in particular, share them in the comments. Keep it clean, folks.

A Parting Shot

Legislative Dissonance: The Affluenza Defense: Judge Rules Rich Kid’s Rich Kid-ness Makes Him Not Liable for Deadly Drunk Driving Accident

Criminally dissonant

Sara Jessimy Kruzan (born January 8, 1978) is an American victim and survivor of human trafficking. In 1995, at the age of 17, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of her alleged pimp, George Gilbert Howard. She was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. As a result of her status as a convicted juvenile sentenced to life without parole, Kruzan has received national attention from individuals and judicial reform groups, who advocate for a new trial. On January 2, 2011, as a result of the media attention, Kruzan was granted clemency by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who commuted her sentence to 25 years with the possibility of parole; she remained incarcerated at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla. In January 2013, her sentence was reduced to second-degree manslaughter and 15 + 4 years, effectively time served, making her eligible for a parole hearing. She was found suitable for parole on June 12, 2013, and the decision was forwarded to Governor Jerry Brown. On October 25, 2013, Brown took no action on the parole board decision, thereby effectively confirming it, allowing the parole board to proceed with the parole of Kruzan. On October 31, 2013, she was paroled from Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla after serving 19 years.