Wednesday, September 24, 2014

(Irony Dead) Why Obama (Assumed the Least Likely) Bombs (Lone Nuts Assaulting In Battalions?) Employing Wimmenz Is Cheaper (Surprise Us!) Obamas Avoid NC (Like the Plague) Donald Trumps (Taxpayers/Workers Slump)

US Now Props Up Assad Regime. Irony Dies.

Apocalypse Now. Fighting in Iraq Until Hell Freezes Over.

Before we begin today's essay proper, Bob Reich has some words to keep in mind about what's still happening to people in the U.S. (During the "overseas" bombing runs.)

And I don't mean the Big Boys. (Our democracy is not for sale.)

No bankruptcy for you!

There’s no starting over for millions of people laden with student debt . . . .
Student loan debt has more than doubled since 2006, from $509 billion to $1.3 trillion. It now accounts for 40 percent of all personal debt – more than credit card debts and auto loans.
But the bankruptcy law doesn’t cover student debts. The student loan industry made sure of that.
If former students can’t meet their payments, lenders can garnish their paychecks. (Some borrowers, still behind by the time they retire, have even found chunks taken out of their Social Security checks.)
You might say those who can’t repay their student debts shouldn’t have borrowed in the first place. But they had no way of knowing just how bad the jobs market would become. Some didn’t know the diplomas they received from for-profit colleges weren’t worth the paper they were written on.
A better alternative would be to allow former students to use bankruptcy where the terms of the loans are clearly unreasonable (including double-digit interest rates, for example), or the loans were made to attend schools whose graduates have very low rates of employment after graduation.*

Many of us hope ("keep hope alive"?) that Obama's decision to all-out attack middle-eastern clearly designated bad guys is not really what he'd like to do to address this current propaganda-driven foreign affairs situation.

Some knowledgeable people think there are many other less transparent reasons for why he is driven to do this. And why George W. Bush was so evidently bumfuzzled as he marveled at the events of 9/11. (Makes you want to have another beer with him, doesn't it? Poor George.)

Russ Baker has written about the circumstances surrounding American presidents who differ from the decades-long corporate strategy of causing chaos and then declaring war to clear it up. (Click on the link and read the entire mind-boggling (if you haven't encountered these arguments previously) essay - get a tall drink first, friends.)

I recommend Russ' books and essays for deeper enlightenment. All of them. (Yes, I'm a big fan.)

Another person who suddenly became mentally ill was a fellow named George de Mohrenschildt. I devote a chapter to him in my book, Family of Secrets.

Like Hinckley, he was a longtime friend of the Bush family. De Mohrenschildt had, coincidentally, been a close friend of the former marine, Lee Harvey Oswald, another “deranged loner.” In 1976, de Mohrenschildt had written a letter to then CIA director George Bush, saying that he believed that some unknown parties, possibly FBI, were following him and tapping his phone, perhaps because of some things he was trying to write about Oswald. Bush wrote back that he had nothing to worry about. Shortly thereafter, de Mohrenschildt was forcibly treated for a period in a psychiatric institution — and within a year, he was dead, from what police said was a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.
Coincidentally, 1976 was in the period in which Congress was holding hearings on terrifying covert CIA experiments, including using LSD on unsuspecting citizens as part of tests on mind control — the so-called MKULTRA program. (For more on mind control experiments on unwitting and unwilling subjects, see our article on MKULTRA.)
It would be revealed that the CIA had effectively partnered with various hospitals in the research.
Now back to Dr. Torrey, the psychiatrist who told The Times that the recent White House shooter was likely schizophrenic. The following is from a Wikipedia entry on him:

He has been criticized by a range of people, including federal researchers and others for some of his attacks on de-institutionalization and his support for forced medication as a method of treatment. He has also been described as having a black-and-white view of mental illness and as being iconoclastic, dogmatic, single-minded and a renegade.
It’s worth taking a look at St Elizabeth’s where Dr. Torrey once worked, and where Hinckley is being treated. It came under criticism in an investigation by the Justice Department for a wide variety of practices.
St Elizabeth’s is especially interesting for its strong connections to the military, intelligence agencies, and historical association with mind control experiments. Its director in the 1940s, Winfred Overholser, headed a “Truth Drug Committee” and oversaw extensive testing of mind-altering substances in association with the intelligence services. One goal was to see if false personalities could be imposed on victims to make them susceptible to commands.
Such cooperation between St. Elizabeth's and the government continued over the years. Currently, the Department of Homeland Security is converting much of St Elizabeth’s “campus” —  which is only now partially used by the hospital — as its new headquarters. (For more on St. Elizabeth's and its role in mind control and “personality profiling,” see the book Search for the Manchurian Candidate, by John Marks.)

It is therefore interesting to note that the person the New York Times quoted identifying the White House shooter as a lone nut, Dr. Torrey, was himself associated for nine years with a hospital historically involved with experiments on the ability to make people do things they might not otherwise do. Dr. Torrey is an advocate of involuntary treatment and critics have contended for years that he exaggerates the threat that mentally unstable people represent for the rest of us.
The fact that Dr. Torrey’s own privately funded institute is in Arlington, near the Pentagon, brings to mind another fellow who seemed fine and then became increasingly deranged in recent years:   Jared Lee Loughner, the young man who opened fire at a political event in Tucson earlier this year, killing several, including a federal judge, and badly wounding Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).

Loughner, like Ortega, is described as having listened to “conspiracy” type radio shows. Loughner had apparently tried to enlist in the military but been rejected. We never did see any releases of military files on the exact nature of his interactions with the Army that resulted in his rejection — or whether those grounds would have drawn interest of the authorities. Such disclosure is of course crucial in public assessment of the particulars behind such seemingly demented people involved in politically destabilizing events. 

I'm pretty sure that Obama of the Harvard education has no trouble understanding this. No matter how hard he may try to ignore it.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Ready for a surprise in "employment of wimmenz" literature?

Me too. Particularly after being employed for decades at far less money than paid to surrounding men . . . many far less qualified than I in technical acumen, education and background . . . and suffering throughout retirement for this under-paid employment.

Here's a guy patting himself on the back hard for his insight and brilliance (for a while, anyway).

“Like Men, Only Cheaper”:  Tech Exec Gives Shocking Reason for Wanting to Hire Women

Evan Thornley, multimillionaire founder of LookSmart, an online advertising company, explained at a tech conference in Sydney, Australia, why he hires women:  They’re cheaper.

He illustrated his point in a slide displaying the word, “Women: Like Men, Only Cheaper.”

“The Australian labor market and world labor market just consistently and amazingly undervalues women in so many roles, particularly in our industry,” he stated, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

“Call me opportunistic,” Thornley continued. “I thought I could get better people with less competition because we were willing to understand the skills and capabilities that many of these woman had.”

Not only does Thornley acknowledge that there is a gender wage gap, but also basically states that he exploited it for less expensive labor.
“And [they were] still often relatively cheap compared to what we would’ve had to pay someone less good of a different gender,” he stated.

. . . Thornley later apologized for the comment. ”Yep, stuffed that up. What I was trying to say folks was ‘gender inequality sucks everywhere but esp in tech – I do what I can to combat it.’ Sorry it didn’t come out that way. ET,” he wrote online.

. . . As Bloomberg Businessweek points out, this falls in line with a recent Harvard University survey, published in the "Crimson," that found that women in tech and engineering made far less than men.


@langley park @Bladernr1001  Gender pay disparities have been looked at many times. My sense of the literature is that gender pay disparities are explained by the differences in attachment to the job market. Some women do take time away from work to bear and raise children. Women who have backgrounds matching men tend to earn a tad more than men.

I hired two high GPA girls in my shop to take advantage of the pay differential. They were disasters. One was obsessed with wedding plans, and the other needed mental care.
The economic principle of equilibrium says that you can not sell the same good in the same market at two different prices. Greedy businessmen will bid up the lower cost items to get a share of the differential in price.

@WestchesterBill @langley park @Bladernr1001  That is not true across the board. College-educated women who are in their 20's and live in a large city tend to make a small amount more than men. By the time they are in their 30's their salaries have been surpassed by men even when they are single and childless. In less populated areas of the country they always make less than men,

If you hired two disastrous employees, it's likely that you aren't very good at picking employees or training employees. The fact that they were both women means nothing. I have worked with men who were obsessed with football, golf, hunting and.or getting laid and I've certainly worked with and for men who needed psychiatric care. Those are not gender specific problems.

@WestchesterBill @langley park @Bladernr1001 But if you had hired two high GPA boys and they turned out to be disasters, you'd turn around and hire more boys, wouldn't you? You wouldn't say, 'well, that's it for boys."

That's the difference. 

And, you know, none of us has ever seen incompetent or lazy men in the workplace. None of them have ever been hired or promoted. Oh, no. 

@Bladernr1001  The economic studies do bear this out. Did you not read the entire article? Clearly, it is you who has the agenda.

Old joke--"I was thinking of getting a sex change operation but couldn't afford the 30% cut in pay"

Both Obamas are keeping their distance from the North Carolina Senate race, which now has Kay Hagan with a fighting chance of survival against the Koch-funded Tillis money machine. Yay!

  • President Obama told Democratic donors in New York on Tuesday that he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that Democrats keep the Senate, but "Politico" reports this morning that the president has no plans to campaign with Senate candidates in any state besides blue Michigan, where Democratic Rep. Gary Peters has held a steady lead against GOPer Terri Lynn Land. The White House may deploy First Lady Michelle Obama to key Senate battlegrounds, however. Despite plans to steer clear of most Senate races, Politico reports that Obama is expected to campaign with Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Wisconsin, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, and possibly Massachusetts.

*Wonder how the Big Boys in questionable finance/investment gambits continue to survive through hard times?

Come onnnnn. You know this game.

Thirty years ago, on its opening day in 1984, Donald Trump stood in a dark topcoat on the casino floor at Atlantic City’s Trump Plaza, celebrating his new investment as the finest building in Atlantic City and possibly the nation.
Last week, the Trump Plaza folded and the Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy, leaving some 1,000 employees without jobs.
Trump, meanwhile, was on twitter claiming he had “nothing to do with Atlantic City,” and praising himself for his “great timing” in getting out of the investment.
In America, people with lots of money can easily avoid the consequences of bad bets and big losses by cashing out at the first sign of trouble.
The laws protect them through limited liability and bankruptcy.
But workers who move to a place like Atlantic City for a job, invest in a home there, and build their skills, have no such protection. Jobs vanish, skills are suddenly irrelevant, and home values plummet.
They’re stuck with the mess.
Bankruptcy was designed so people could start over. But these days, the only ones starting over are big corporations, wealthy moguls, and Wall Street.
Corporations are even using bankruptcy to break contracts with their employees. When American Airlines went into bankruptcy three years ago, it voided its labor agreements and froze its employee pension plan.
After it emerged from bankruptcy last year and merged with U.S. Airways, America’s creditors were fully repaid, its shareholders came out richer than they went in, and its CEO got a severance package valued at $19.9 million.

But American’s former employees got shafted.
Wall Street doesn’t worry about failure, either. As you recall, the Street almost went belly up six years ago after risking hundreds of billions of dollars on bad bets.
A generous bailout from the federal government kept the bankers afloat. And since then, most of the denizens of the Street have come out just fine.
Yet more than 4 million American families have so far have lost their homes. They were caught in the downdraft of the Street’s gambling excesses.
They had no idea the housing bubble would burst, and didn’t read the fine print in the mortgages the bankers sold them.
But they weren’t allowed to declare bankruptcy and try to keep their homes.
When some members of Congress tried to amend the law to allow homeowners to use bankruptcy, the financial industry blocked the bill.

And do we need one more take on the rightwingnut Biblers? (H/t to Lawyers, Guns and Money.)

(No unintended snark. Please (for your daily snicker - okay - laugh out way too loud) read the comments.)

Reverend DUMBledore


Malaclypse says:  September 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

In a just world, this would instantly go multi-media in a Jack Chick tract. Because if you must be raised in a world of batshit insanity, the belief that the Catholic Church is the Great Whore of Babylon and is run by actual demons at least lends a certain color to the worldview…

How about Eternal Lie?

(Click above link for answer to everything.)

Thanks, Bob, we needed that!


Yastreblyansky said...

Thanks for the shoutout!

Cirze said...

You're very welcome.

Thank you for being such a great source of information and commentary.