Ten Anti-American Businesses to Boycott this Christmas Season

We live in a world filled with bad actors. As individuals, we can rarely affect their behavior. We are but a single vote… a single voice… a figurative grain of sand. I am voting anyway, and here is my list of companies I am singling out to never patronize and why.

Honorable Mention. Gillette – For engaging in blatant misandry. Proctor & Gamble is so large they are virtually impossible to boycott. They are everywhere, like an enormous, underground fungus. BUT you sure as hell should stop using all Gillette products. Click the link above. It will route you to an advertisement Gillette ran earlier this year. This ad is the definition of the hatred of men. If you think this sexist piece of trash is anything but a gross mischaracterization of manhood, you need to watch Cassie Jaye’s documentary, The Red Pill, then start your Gillette boycott.

10. Target – For continuing their fifteen-year ban on Salvation Army bell ringers during the Christmas season. During the holiday season of 2004, Target decided to ban one of the Salvation Army’s biggest charitable fundraisers, the Salvation Army bellringers and their red kettles. The Salvation Army is a charitable organization that helps the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of all teeming shores without thought of race, religion or status. If have you forgotten Target’s douchebaggery over the years, and stopped boycotting this soulless company and their odorous stores, it is time to start afresh. Oh Yeah, Target, I have not forgotten you took Christ out of Christmas.

9. Google’s YouTube – For demonetizing and outright banning content simply based on the publishers’ political viewpoints. This is a tough one. Rather than an outright boycott, I encourage everyone to search and watch as much conservative content on YouTube as possible, just to poke a stick in Google’s eye. You should still dump Gmail and all Google’s other products.

8. Pinterest – For blocking pro-life, anti-abortion publishers, calling them internet pornographers. If you are a Christian and/or a person of conscience, please quit using Pinterest and start using your own imagination. Seriously, do not sell out for “a million and one cute ideas.”

7. The NFL – For taking a knee during America’s National Anthem. Frankly, the NFL is so full of cheaters, thugs, and assholes, I stopped being a fan years ago. Now that, as an entity, the sum total of the NFL is catering to a few players who suffer from terminal Richard Head disease, the rest of America should follow by turning their backs to the NFL product. Go play with your children and grandchildren and teach them that America is a truly unique and great nation.

6. Facebook – For being rotten in every way. You (did not) read the amorphous terms of service and ever-shifting privacy notices, yet you know, deep in your heart, that Facebook is (an unnecessary) evil. It is time. DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT! I promise, you will not only survive, you will actually thrive.

5. Google – For stealing the copyrighted material of our lives and shadow-banning conservative voices. Boycotting Google is easier than you think. For pennies a day you can purchase your own private e-mail account where you are the customer instead of the product. You can also use privacy advocates such as startpage.com or duckduckgo.com as your search engine, and Firefox is a great browser. Absolutely painless. Fudge Google!

4. Comcast/MSNBC – For reasons very similar to boycotting AT&T/CNN. Americans should do their patriotic best to avoid using Comcast services and viewing Comcast subsidiary, MSNBC. MSNBC, especially the pathological Rachel Maddow and her oversized thumbs, have volunteered their time and talents to propagating the Deep State’s and the DNC’s gross misinformation campaign against the duly elected President of the United States. You can delete both enterprises from your life without consequence.

3. AT&T/CNN – For aiding and abetting the attempted soft coup against the duly elected POTUS and trading American values for those of the communist Chinese government. AT&T, the telecom/media giant, owns the failing Barony of Fake News, the alethephobic CNN, and therefore supports the Kingdom of the Deep State and a soft coup against the duly elected president of the United States of America. AT&T also owns Warner Bros Studios who, like Hollywood’s five other major movie studios, actively adhere to strict communist China censorship requirements when producing films for American consumption in order to profit off of Red China and its estimated 3,800,000 million slaves. SKIP THE THEATER THIS YEAR and read a book. George Orwell comes to mind.

2. Nike – For ignorantly disrespecting the Flag of the United States of America, and then willfully disrespecting the Flag of the United States of America. In a matter of a few short years, Nike went from being All-American to unapologetically un-American. Nike 86ed their planned release of a shoe featuring the Betsy Ross flag, not because placing our flag on a pair of sneakers disrespects the flag (it does, by the way. Only a profoundly ignorant person would place a flag where it will inevitably get left in the dark and dragged through the mud. Just saying), rather Nike pulled the plug on their ill-conceived attempt at patriotism because an overly indulged, failed athlete named Colin Kaepernick, gets triggered and melts down when he sees anything remotely pro-American. Kaepernick cried and Nike’s Betsy Ross flag shoe died. There is nothing Nike makes that you can’t purchase from their competitors. SHOP ELSEWHERE!

1. The NBA – For sacrificing freedom for profit. After Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey briefly tweeted support for Hong Kong’s efforts to remain free of Communist China, Lebron James, speaking for the entirety of the NBA organization, put the values of Communist China and its approximately 3.8 million slaves, above Truth, Justice and the American Way… for money. Welcome to Uncle NBA’s Cabin, where rich, pampered black men profit from one of the globe’s biggest slave plantations. With a little luck, one day the descendants of the people of Communist China will be free so they can sue for reparations from these people of (not yellow) color. If you want a basketball fix, go support your local high school.

Welcome to Social Government: How the Left Plans to Bypass Democracy – Spinquark.com

This is tampering with our electoral process in the most insidious fashion through suppression of the average American citizen’s access to conservative voices on the internet. I encourage you, the reader, to click through and read Spinquark’s research. It is the exposure of the reality of shadow banning and it is frightening.

“Progressive Democrats using big tech companies to stifle our free speech should be the most important discussion of this generation.”

#SocialGovernment

Source: Welcome to Social Government – Spinquark.com

Rumors of Shadow Banning

This chart links to Google Exec Jen Gennai's Orwellian mission

Left hand axis is the number of posts. Right hand axis is Google referrals. After four years of steadily improving traffic, the coincidence between the election of President Trump, Google executive Jen Gennai’s comments, and the decline in this blog’s visibility is hard to overlook.

Who knows if my blog is being shadow banned or not, as it is a just minor conservative endeavor, but my Google referrals have dropped over 70% in the last 18 months despite steady publication of quality, rational, well researched conservative articles. In light of Google Exec Jen Gennai’s comments about “Preventing the next Trump situation,” it may be more than a coincidence.

For further reading, please visit Project Veritas through this link. Thanks.

10 Lies That Shape the Minds of Social Justice Warriors and NPCs

We are individuals as long as we all think the same.

1. Conservative, White Men are the Source of “Toxic Masculinity,” Social Violence and Murder in America.

This is definitive proof that conservative, white, men and women live somewhere else and mind their own business. Stop blaming us.

There are fifteen American communities, the bastion’s of America’s Progressive philosophies, that uniformly voted for Hillary Clinton and everything she represents. It is no surprise their cities are Hell on earth. There are seventy-six American communities that are uniformly rejected Hillary Clinton. Can you imagine living in a place where you really don’t need to lock your door?

Continue reading

Leave the Zuck and Facebook Alone!

I do not use Facebook. I dislike the company and would never agree to their terms of service. There is a long-standing rule on the internet that, if it is free to you, you are the product. It is the same with broadcast television and radio, and if you think the paltry sum you pay for your newspaper subscription cover the cost of production, you are mistaken. Advertisers pay for our eyes and ears, they target our demographics, and blast us with adverts in hopes of selling us everything imaginable. That is the game.

Here is the bottom line. We need air to breath, food, water and shelter. We need energy. We need transportation, whether it is our two feet, a horse, a car, or a bus. We need reliable means of communication. Telephones and internet access are necessary in our society. These are all things we “need.” NO ONE NEEDS FACEBOOK.

Facebook serves no real need or purpose. It is a toy. It is an insidious toy, but it remains a toy. It is not a public utility, an investment bank, or a drug manufacturer. Facebook does not manufacturer anything. It is just a public forum where people voluntarily sign away the copyright of the their lives in what amounts to a very public Christmas letter they update every day. Deep down inside, every adult user knows what Facebook is, and they accept the terms of service in exchange for the fancy toy. If you are suddenly having a crisis of conscience, delete your account. You might go through withdrawal, but that just means you are an internet junkie. Zuck is not to blame. He is just running a business, and you agreed to the terms of service.

Fake News!!

This video by Andrew Klavan is a brilliant, concise explanation of American and global journalism’s intellectual dishonesty. When fake journalist Mika Brzezinski mocked the size of genitalia of the duly elected President of the United States of America, equipment she has NEVER seen, the INTERNATIONAL, GLOBAL STORY was not about what a stupid, disrespectful bitch this vain, fake blond with brown eyebrows is, but about that the POTUS smacked her right back, calling her vain and old. Two real truths, since she is a FIFTY YEARS OLD WOMAN parading as a twenty-nine year old Marilyn Monroe clone. At least Trump’s tweet was truthful.

Does Raising the Minimum Wage Cause an Increase in Unemployment?

Between 1950 and 2012 America’s unemployment rate has been between a low of 2.9% in 1953 and a high of 10.4% in 1983, with a median of 5.7%. The Federal minimum wage, adjusted for inflation (2013 dollars), has ranged from a low of $5.95 in 2006 to a high of $10.70 in 1968, with a median of $7.47. The government has increased the minimum wage 14 times between 1950 and 2012. According to many right-wing, capitalist voices, such as radio journalist Lars Larson, every time we raise the minimum wage, unemployment rates will rise and businesses will fail as a result. Is it true?

The quick answer is no, but that is not necessarily a justification to raise the minimum wage beyond small adjustments for inflation.

Between 1950 and 2013 the government raised the minimum wage 14 times. Unemployment rates actually fell 8 out of 14 times.

Between 1950 and 2013 the government raised the minimum wage 14 times. Unemployment rates actually fell 8 out of 14 times.

Originally, our government enacted a minimum wage standard to stop wealthy industrialists from raping the American worker. Today the purpose of a minimum wage is to provide a young kid with no skills, or a disabled worker, a base wage that gives them a sliver of human dignity. It is a place to start, not a long-term survival strategy.

The national rate of unemployment does not seem to respond to raising or lowering the minimum wage.

The national rate of unemployment does not seem to respond to raising or lowering the minimum wage.

Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage today is about the same as it was in 1950, the buying power of about $7.25/hour. Between 1950 and 1969 America’s full time, minimum wage was about 95% of the median wage. That means, for those two decades, almost 50% of jobs in America were essentially minimum wage jobs.

While it does not reflect increases in worker productivity, and has not kept pace with the raises the top 1% have afforded themselves, since 1980 the gap between minimum and median wage has steadily grown.

While it does not reflect increases in worker productivity, and has not kept pace with the raises the top 1% have afforded themselves, since 1980 the gap between minimum and median wage has steadily grown.

Today’s median American income is the same as a full-time, $13.00/hour job. That is $3.50/hour better than the nation’s highest minimum wage, Washington D.C.’s rate of $9.50/hour. Only 4.3% of American workers are paid the federal minimum. Once you factor in the cost of non-wage compensation, things like employer subsidized health insurance, today’s yearly wages and benefits are significantly better for 96% of Americans than in 1950. That is why America’s “poor” can usually afford lattes, smart-phones, high-speed internet, Xbox and Netflix, in addition to the traditional beer and cigarettes.

While wages certainly have not increased at the same rate as worker productivity, and the wealth gap between the top 1% and the rest of us has become vast chasm fueled by extreme greed, no one can rationally say that America’s working poor, as a group, are not better off today than 30 or 60 years ago. All that time, the minimum wage, adjusted for inflation, has essentially been flat.

Plenty of states with high minimum wages have low unemployment while plenty of states who use the federal minimum wage have high unemployment.

Plenty of states with high minimum wages have low unemployment while plenty of states who use the federal minimum wage have high unemployment.

In today’s America, most minimum wage jobs are found in small, Mom & Pop operations run by your next-door neighbor, like restaurants, landscaping services, small retailers, family farms and the like. These businesses often run on very thin profit margins, and their owners are rarely fabulously wealthy. These are the businesses most affected by increases in the minimum wage. They can handle inflationary increases, but if you think a small, independent business can suddenly absorb the difference between $8.00/hour and $15.00/hour, think again. Unfortunately, when they go out of business, they hardly make a statistical ripple in the economy. While their existence is important to the spirit of America, they do not mean spit to our GDP.

Years with low unemployment rates have the same affective minimum wages as year with high unemployment.

Years with low unemployment rates have the same affective minimum wages as year with high unemployment.

And that is why raising the minimum wage does not now, nor has it in the past had a statistically significant impact on unemployment and business failures in America. No one in their right mind can pin any economic bust on the wages of the least among us. It is the captains of industry and banking, along with political spendthrifts, who are responsible for all our busts, not some kid stocking shelves at the local market.

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer Says That Only By Increasing the National Debt Can We Save America

Despite maintaining a personal appearance similar to Bill Nye the Science Guy, Congressman Earl Blumenauer is Oregon’s most progressive, left-leaning D.C. politician. In an open letter to his constituents February 2nd, 2015, America’s favorite marijuana advocate railed against our government’s failures over the past six years. Corporate profits have doubled and America’s top 1% have given themselves hefty raises every year since President Obama took office. Technological developments are up, worker productivity is up, and profits are up, yet middle-income wages are stagnant or in decline. Student debt is crushing our young generation. Our highway infrastructure is crumbling. The Social Security Trust Fund is rapidly approaching insolvency. Our tax code is in disarray. Our government is an inefficient bureaucracy. Blumenauer thinks he knows how this happened.

We’ve created more jobs since 2009 than throughout the entirety of the previous 8 years. The Obama Administration did this despite inheriting an economy in free fall, shedding one to two hundred thousand jobs a week and despite Congress making a foolish decision to ramp back spending in the government sector which virtually all independent experts agree would have speeded the recovery.” EB

That is right folks, Congressman “Marijuana” Earl says that our left-wing, progressive legislators and our left-wing, progressive president, a group that added nearly $8 trillion to our national debt in six years, did not “borrow and spend” enough to properly get this great country back on track. Fiscal responsibility is the problem and debt in the answer. I am here to tell you his bow tie is too tight, and this squirrelly loon’s brain is oxygen deprived. Our growing Federal debt is the root system that is feeding America’s demise.

While our National Debt has increased nearly 18 fold over the last 34 years, our per capita interest payment on that debt has remained virtually flat.

While our National Debt has increased nearly 18 fold over the last 34 years, our per capita interest payment on that debt has remained virtually flat. Today every man, woman and child in America owns a $56,000 share in our National Debt.

This is the reality of our Federal Debt. The 2014 median income for an American household is about $51,000. The Federal Debt per household about $141,500 – almost three years wages. In 1980 the median household income was $16,354. The Federal Debt per household was $10,000 – less than 8 months wages. That money is owed and that money has to be paid back. The problem is that the Federal Government currently only makes interest payments. It never pays down principal. Without a plan to pay off this debt, the only other way to get it off the books is to devalue our currency with inflation. For instance, $1 trillion of 1981 money bought $1 trillion of 1981 goods. Fast forward to 2014, and that same $1 trillion only buys $380 billion of 1981 goods. Through the use of inflation the U.S. Government effectively paid off $620 billion of debt without actually paying a dime of principal.

Our Federal Debt is made of Treasury Securities (notes, bills & bonds) that people purchase at a guaranteed interest rate. In essence, people around the world lend the U.S. Government money at a certain interest rate. As long as the rate of return on Treasury Securities exceeds inflation, they are a very secure way to grow your money. The Government has to pay the interest on the note for its duration and then return the loan when the note is due. It is the annual interest payments that are the immediate problem for our Government. The Government cannot afford ever-increasing interest payments on an ever-increasing debt. The historic solution has been to cut interest rates as the debt grows to make the payments manageable. As a matter of fact, if we present the National Debt in 1981 dollars for the last 34 years, every time our National Debt doubles, the rate on 10 Treasury Notes has been halved.

In terms of inflation adjusted 1981 dollars, the rising National Debt and falling rates on 10 year Treasury Notes are inversely proportional. This keeps the cost of servicing an ever increasing Federal Debt affordable for a government that is having increasing cash flow problems.

In terms of inflation adjusted 1981 dollars, the rising National Debt and falling rates on 10 year Treasury Notes are inversely proportional. This keeps the cost of servicing an ever-increasing Federal Debt affordable for a government that is having increasing cash flow problems.

There are only so many times you can cut interest rates before the rates fall below the inflation rate. Once interest rates fall below the rate of inflation, loaning money to the U.S. Government actually becomes a money loser. Right now the rate on 10 year Treasury Notes is about 2%. If the rate of inflation is higher than 2%, then whoever owns that note is actually losing money in terms of its buying power.

This why the Government spends so much time tweaking the Consumer Price Index. Regardless of what the real inflation rate is, they have to come up with a reportable inflation rate lower than the rate on 10 year Treasury Notes. The trouble with this is that by the early 1990s our National Debt had grown to such a point that the reported inflation rate was higher than the return on 10 year Treasury Notes. So the Fed created a new way of calculating the Consumer Price Index. Instead of comparing the price of prime-rib from year to year and coming up with the rate of inflation for prime-rib, the Fed decided to compare the price of prime-rib to hamburger. If prime-rib gets too expensive, consumers are supposed to switch to hamburger. If hamburger gets too expensive, consumers are expected to switch to fried dough. As long as there exists a cheaper alternative, inflation does not exist until such time as the cost of fried dough exceeds the cost of prime-rib. Call it a Means-Tested rate of inflation. If you are poor, and never had the money to buy prime-rib in the first place, your inflation rate is higher than the inflation rate for the rich, who can switch from prime-rib to hamburger to save money.

This is why some people at The Economist very cleverly came up with the “Big Mac Index” as a way to monitor real inflation. The price of a Big Mac sandwich at McDonalds represents a composite of the cost of wages, energy, transportation, basic food stuffs, productivity and profits. Since 1990, the average annual inflation rate of the Big Mac sandwich has been 3.45%. The pre-1990 CPI calculation method says the average annual inflation rate since 1990 has been 6.0%. The Federal Government, using their new Means-Tested CPI  has reported an average annual inflation rate since 1990 of 2.63%. The average return on a 10 Treasury Note since 1990 is 4.86%. It appears as though the Government is intentionally under-reporting inflation, so I decided to average the new Means-Tested CPI, the pre-1990 CPI, and the Big Mac Index and come up with a “more accurate” estimate of inflation. For the last ten years the rates on 10 year Treasury Notes have been lower than this “averaged” rate of inflation. That is really bad news. If the government continues to deficit spend, the rate on Treasury Notes will have to continue to decrease if this game of smoke and mirrors is to continue. Unfortunately, you cannot go much lower than 2% interest, so there is little room to drop Treasury Note interest rates. If interest rates start to rise, then the cost of servicing the debt will bankrupt the country. This, folks, is the trouble with “Marijuana” Earl’s solution of spend, spend, spend.

In 2005 the rate of return on 10 year Treasury Notes fell below the real rate of inflation. The same goes for 5 year CD rates. The LIBOR rates fell below the rate of inflation when President Obama took office.

In 2005 the rate of return on 10 year Treasury Notes fell below the real rate of inflation. The same goes for 5 year CD rates. The LIBOR rates fell below the rate of inflation when President Obama took office.

The really bad news is that chronically suppressed interest rates royally screw the middle-class. Big Business is using this unprecedented access to cheap loans to further automate their businesses because low interest capital is cheaper than labor. This drives wages down as people desperately attempt to compete with machines for jobs, while driving corporate profits up. Ronald Reagan was wrong and George Bush was right. Trickle-down economics really is Voodoo economics because greed rules the world. The super-wealthy simply are not sharing these massive profits with the common man. Since Obama and his left-wing cronies took power in 2009, the wealthiest 1% of Americans have increased their wealth from 34.6% of America’s total wealth to 40% of America’s wealth, creating the greatest wealth gap since 1929. This means that new college grads, kids with massive debt at ridiculous interest rates by today’s standards, will not be able to find a good paying job courtesy of our massive National Debt.

Thanks to the National Debt, there are no “safe” ways for the middle-class to grow their money in retirement. While the super-wealthy can afford to lose risk capital, most of America’s middle-class cannot, and few middle-class Americans have the kind of investment savvy required to take investment risks after retirement. For every retired investor winner there will be a slew of retired losers. With 10,000 Baby-boomers retiring every day, how do you think their collective future is going to look from an investment perspective?

While “Marijuana” Earl accurately identifies many critical problems facing today’s America, his “deficit spending” solution is simply not viable. Perhaps the reason Congressman Blumenauer is such a strong marijuana advocate is he is counting on the drug’s ability to neutralize critical thinking skills. Perhaps he is hoping Oregonians will be too stoned to notice just how far left he has drifted.

Why You Should Support the Net Neutrality Legislation

The Internet is a digital world. You can buy, sell, travel, communicate, work, and play. When you sign up with an Internet service provider, in essence you are purchasing a piece of virtual property in the digital world. The size of that property, its “speed,” depends on how much you want to pay your ISP, but it is your property. You use it however you want. You can purchase a domain name and create a website or blog, and you can hire contractors, like Netflix or Hulu, to bring content to your property. How much you can do simply depends on the size of the property you bought from your ISP.

The reason for needing Net Neutrality is simple. Companies like Comcast want to make lots of money. Once they sell you your piece of Internet property, Comcast then wants to resell your property to anyone else who steps foot on your property. For example, the piece of property I bought from my ISP is big enough for me to hire Netflix and stream movies. I bought the IP address and enough speed to stream movies to three devices. Then I hired Netflix to deliver content to me.

What companies like Comcast want is to sell me Internet speed, then resell that same Internet speed to Netflix. They just sold the same piece of property twice. If they get their way, no matter how much I spend for Internet service and speed, Netflix will never work unless Netflix pays the ISP for the Internet speed I already purchased. That is why your support of Net Neutrality is important. ISPs have no more the right to pick where you can go and what you do on the Internet than VISA or MasterCard have the right to pick where you drive and where you eat.

Who is Loyal to Whom? – Retail Loyalty Cards and American Privacy

I am privacy wonk. I do not like faceless people peering into my life anymore than I like peeping Tom’s peering into my windows. People who peek give me the creeps. They are the cockroaches in the walls of our lives. I am also a copyright wonk. I own everything I think up, whether it is has immediate value or not. I own the copyright to my books, my blog, my habits and attitudes as well as my shopping list. Anyone who copies my shopping list or my e-mails or my anything without my express permission has both violated my privacy and the copyright of my life. By virtue of my birth, I own the patent and copyright to my genetic material. Its value does not matter – it is not for the taking without my permission.

There was a time, not too long ago, where this discussion was not relevant. It was not possible for Corporate America and Big Government to record our every word, movement and purchase. No one could use our DNA for anything interesting. That time has come to an end. Today, through the unethical use of rapidly emerging technologies, corporations across the globe are copying and tabulating who we are for their own personal gain without our express permission or any compensation. What should be a seller’s market, where I set the price for my goods just like I set the price for my books, has become a thieves market where Big Business simply takes what they want… and then discriminates against consumers who have the unmitigated gall to try to protect their private information.

I live in a cookie-cutter copy of Every Town, USA. I have the same strip malls with the same chain restaurants and chain retailers that dominate the American shopping experience from sea to shining sea. I can divide these retailers into two rough groups. Those who require customers to sign up for a customer loyalty card in order to get advertised prices, and those who will honor their best price without discrimination of any sort. The goods and services they all sell are the same. They sell the same brands names from the same manufacturers. The everyday prices and advertised sales are generally similar, and there is not a discernible difference in quality of service. If anything, the everyday prices are higher and the service is worse at shops that require loyalty cards. The only real difference between the two groups is that one steals a copy of your shopping list, tabulates your purchasing habits, and attempts to create a hidden revenue stream using the copyright of your life without your permission and without compensating you, while the other offers you the same goods and services at the equal or better prices without spying on you and stealing from you. It is ironic that the companies demanding loyalty are in fact betraying their customers, while the ones who do not demand loyalty are actually demonstrating that very virtue.

Obviously, I do not use loyalty cards, but the average American consumer has eight. The only time I shop at businesses that require loyalty cards is when time and convenience outweigh the ensuing fight. Last month I was in such a situation. I was traveling out of town and needed fuel and a drink, and was not willing to drive out of my way to find it. I stopped at a major national grocery chain with a gas station in their parking lot and went in to get a soda and a snack. I picked out a couple of sale items and went to the register.

“I am not a Club Card member, but I want you to honor your advertised price,” I told the cashier. I was friendly, but firm.

“If you are not a Club Card member, I am not going to do that!” he was just as friendly and just as firm. He had a haircut that made him look like Princess Toadstool and ear gauges so big I could have drove my truck through them.

“Then I want to talk to your manager.” I smiled. I have had this fight before.

When the manager arrived, I explained I felt his company was discriminating against me, and that he should honor his advertised price. He grumbled and he frowned and he smoldered, but in the end, he pushed the Club Pricing button on the register and I got my soda and snack for the advertised price… but not before that asshole made me feel like I was a back-of-the-bus, second-class citizen. He really did not want my business if I refused to give him my name, phone number, address and e-mail address. So I paid cash, just to piss him off. I refused to even give him my credit card number.

Today, if you want the aggravation of that kind of fight, you can get most of these chumps to honor the sale price without the loyalty card. Tomorrow, I am not so sure. I can easily see a future where it is extremely difficult to buy, sell or trade, without registering first. If that is the future we get, it will be of our own making. Just check your key-ring and wallet and count all the retail loyalty cards. Why aren’t you shopping at the competition and rewarding them for respecting your privacy? In today’s world it is not possible to make yourself invisible, but that does not mean you should sell your soul for a buy-one-get-one 50% off vitamin deal. That is just 25% off each, after all.

Russia Facts Compared To Other Countries – Business Insider

Russia Facts Compared To Other Countries – Business Insider.

This is a simple reminder of how great America still is when compared to the rest of the world. What makes America great is our Constitution as written by our forefathers and respect for the rule of law. We only diminish as politicians, corporations and special interest groups seek to undermine and ignore the rule of law.

Slackers: Both Alien and Domestic

My great-grandfather, John C. Gabourel, was one of the more colorful characters in my family tree. He served with the British army during the Boer War, and with the American army during WWI in France. I have the good fortune of having original copies of a series of letters to the editor he wrote in the years following WWI. While the letters are a snapshot of events long ago, his concerns mirror the concerns of many Americans today.

For some time past articles have been appearing in the newspapers advocating the deportation of all alien slackers. This presupposes that being a slacker is a crime. If this be so, then how much more of a criminal is the genuine American slacker, the man who willfully and deliberately evaded the service of the country in her need?

We have heard of many such cases being disposed of with absolutely inadequate punishment, and today many of these “yellow dogs” are walking on our streets and holding their heads as high as though they had gone through the Hell overseas. Is there not some way in which these men can be made to feel the contempt in which they must be held by every patriotic minded citizen? Surely (the American slackers are) more guilty than these alien slackers, just as a professional thief is morally more guilty than a man who steals a pair of shoes when his feet are bare.

Thousands of names are said to have been turned into our Department of Justice for investigation as to presumptive evasion of military service. With what result? A few men have been hauled into court and then either the cases against them dismissed or totally insufficient punishment to fit the crime meted out. The poor aliens are thrown into prison, there to wait until the deportation question is decided, while the more culpable offender, the real genuine native slacker laughs in his sleeve and considers that he has been real smart. The Country seems to be asleep on this question which doubtless suits the policy of some people, but the ex-service men are beginning to ask “WHY?” and perhaps before long they will demand an answer.

JCG 1919

Back in the day, a slacker was a person who shirked their duties to society, especially their military duties. Today, right around 50% of Americans are tapping social services of some sort. Instead of taking the job they can get, they abuse unemployment while they wait for the job they want. They make themselves as unappealing as possible to employers with piercings, tattoos, ear gauges, and a generally slovenly appearance, and they cry foul when their jobs are lousy and their pay is low.

Much of America’s work force regularly call out sick to get extra vacation days, refuse to work hard when they are on the job, and do little to improve their lot in life because food stamps and other social services are such low hanging fruit. They spend a lot of time bemoaning it all, but if you suggest they take a bath, get a decent hair cut, clean up their language, work hard, and stop dressing like a 1978 Soho Punk, they will rip into you, screaming, “Don’t you dare judge me!” It is like Honey Boo Boo has become America’s norm.

Anyway, the more things change, the more things stay the same. The existence of slackers, both alien and domestic, is nothing new. That the government caters to slackers is also nothing new, as is proven by a ninety-five year old letter to the editor.

BBC News – Facial recognition: Shop where everybody knows your name

BBC News – Facial recognition: Shop where everybody knows your name.

Big Business’s obsession with tracking our every habit and every movement knows no limits! And I thought customer loyalty cards were creepy. The inevitable arrival of facial recognition software at my local retailer makes my skin crawl.

The Ugly Secret Behind Retail Receipt Surveys

I took my truck in for routine service the other day. As the young kid at the service desk went to hand me my keys he asked me to fill out an online survey grading his performance.

“You did just fine,” I offered.

“Well, if you fill out the survey, make sure to give me a perfect score. If I get anything lower than a perfect score, it goes against my performance review,” he explained, “I need a 10 out of 10. If you give me a 9 out of 10, I might not get a raise.”

“No shit?” I asked, “So you are either Bo Derek or the ugliest girl at the dance? No in between?”

“Yup,” he smiled, though I am not sure he really knows who Bo Derek is.

“How does that make you feel?”

He laughed softly and gave me my keys without answering.

If this were the first time I had heard this story, I would think he was pulling my leg, just trying to game his score. He was a nice kid, and he did his job competently with a smile on his face, but it was an ordinary transaction. Average. Just like every other transaction I have had at the dealership over the last fifteen years, and the very reason I keep coming back. Consistent competence. A 10 out 10, a perfect score, is like seeing a woman who is so beautiful or a man who is so handsome, that you actually give yourself whiplash when you snap your head around for a second look. That is 10 out of 10. On a scale of 1 to 10, the average person is a 5.5. I would give this kid a 6 out of 10, and feel good about it. To have this kid tell me that, if I generously give him a 9 out 10, his boss will put a bag over his head because he is just too damn ugly seems a little wacky. Nobody is that big a dick, are they? The kid has to be lying, right?

Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard this story. As a matter of fact, just about every shop I do business with has the same sort of survey request on the bottom of the receipt. Whenever a cashier mentions the survey, the story is always the same. Their scores have to be beauty-pageant perfect, or they will suffer some sort of consequence. A bad review. A demotion. No raise. Get fired. That sort of stuff. As a matter of fact, some poor sap begs me to give them a “review” almost every day. If I log into some web account or another, they are always wringing their hands, asking me to “take a minute to rate their performance.” I get these desperate, attention seeking requests in my e-mail all the time (one just popped into my inbox as I am typing. I cannot even write in peace without some drama queen CEO shopping for compliments). I get literally hundreds of survey requests every year. It is as pervasive as garlic and heavy perfume at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Get me some fresh air, please! And if I applaud the employee, but criticize company policy in my review, it is the employee who gets hurt because the score is not perfect. So when this poor kid at the auto repair shop begged me to give him a good review, he really meant it. His livelihood will be on the line if I do not tell his boss that this $11.95-an-hour kid could star on Broadway and that the boss is the most handsome devil west of the Mississippi. Crazy, huh?

I have a lot of empathy for that poor kid. Sympathy and pity, too. It is hard to have someone with whom you have such a close, personal relationship put such unrealistic expectations on your performance every minute of every day, then berate you on a daily basis when you are not cover-girl beautiful (those photos are always airbrushed and photo-shopped, by the way). It is even harder when the person telling you that you are ugly is in a position of authority over you, and threatens your future as a punishment for failure. So now I have to make a decision. Do I lie and help this poor kid with the cooking and the chores, and get him cleaned up for dinner… making him out to be better than he is… so that when the Old Man comes home drunk the kid does not get a beating? Or do I tell the truth, and screw the kid? Do I punish the boss by taking my business somewhere else on principle? Or do I walk away and say nothing, refusing to play the game at all?

Well, I am no liar, so any review I give will be an honest review. Unfortunately, an honest review will result in a good kid getting punished for treating me decently. I cannot be a party to someone being punished for basic decency, therefore I cannot, in good conscience, give any sort of feedback whatsoever. If I take my business to the dealership down the street, their boss is also using the same review process to browbeat his employees (true fact! I know guys at both shops), so that would be like robbing Judas to pay Pilate. The only choice I have left is to not play the game at all. That poor kid is on his own. I am not going to hurt him, but I cannot save him. Nor can I save any of the other millions upon millions of $10 an hour employees just like him.

What I have noticed in recent years is that corporate America has become obsessed with being told they are beautiful.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most beautiful of them all?

If you say ‘tis other than me, I will punish my employee!”

It is as though these companies know they have a history of not being good citizens and are so desperate to put lipstick on the pig that they are attempting to coerce our compliments so they can report to the world that they are truly loved. It is a sort of Wonderland madness, really. Instead of them worrying about getting 10 out 10 on their surveys, perhaps they could start doing right by their employees and their customers instead of treating them like property. (Hey, stop laughing! I am being serious here!)

As for me, I am everyman. I do not complain. I do not fill out surveys even if you offer me free tacos, coffee, or car washes. If I come through your door, you have already passed the test. If I don’t come backif I am spending my time at your competition… I guarantee you it has more to do with your culture at the top than with some poor kid at the bottom, so stop being “that guy.” Your employees might actually learn to like you, instead of being terrified that the beatings will continue until morale improves.

 

ps. I just have to add this – I was just driving home a few minutes ago and my phone rings. Luckily I was not in Beaverton city limits yet, so was able to use my hand-free system and answer the call. It was a robo-call asking me to rate the service of business I had recently used, “Were you satisfied with our service? Please answer YES or NO,” so I roll my eyes and say loudly, “YES!” The robot computer (think free labor and zero personal touch) responded, “I am sorry, I did not understand your response,” so I hung up. Sorry there, boss man, the service was fine, but I am only going to give you a 1 out of 10 for being so flipping needy and annoying, and, according to loads of researchers and investigative journalists, the vast majority of your customers feel the same as I do.

The Best Gift Ever

Just as I enjoy listening to the radio for news, sports, and music, I also take an interest in the advertising. Radio advertising has far more explicit language than other advertising mediums because it lacks any visual aids. I find a unique social commentary in the language and music advertisers use to create these products whose singular purpose is to get the listener to take some sort of action that usually includes spending money.

Currently Mercedes-Benz is running a Christmastime advertising campaign touting their vehicles as “The Best Gift Ever!” The ads feature what we assume to be a man between the ages of thirty-five and fifty years blathering on about lame gifts, then sharing with the listener that what he really wants is a Mercedes, because that would be a gift unparalleled in his entire life.

After rolling my eyes at the utter ridiculousness of Mercedes’ claim, I began thinking about our middle-age man’s claim, and what sort of man he must be to consider a new Mercedes, which are very fine automobiles, the best gift he had ever received. Who is this man, let’s call him Mr. Mercedes, where such a gift would be so extraordinary, and how does he compare to me? This led me to make some very basic assumptions about this man’s life, and the gifts he never received.

Whether or not Mr. Mercedes parents are divorced, he grew up in a dysfunctional household. His relationship to his parents was painful and he had little love as a child except what he earned by attempting to live up to an overbearing father’s irrational expectations. If he ever won any athletic contests or sports championships, it was a gift for his father instead of a personal achievement. Mr. Mercedes also discounts his academic achievements in a similar fashion. While he is intelligent, well-educated and successful, he does not see all the opportunities of his life as gifts per se. He is simply living up to expectations.

Mr. Mercedes is likely married, but is more in love with his image than his own wife. He may dabble in the occasional infidelity, or the occasional prostitute while traveling, because it truly means nothing to him. While he is surrounded with associates, he does not have any real friends, men outside his class with which he shares a bond of love and brotherhood.

While he may have a bit of spirituality, Mr. Mercedes scoffs at the weakness of Christians, and does not feel any sense of universal obligation to his fellow-man. Instead, he believes the man with the most toys wins the day.

He has children, but little understands them and certainly does not consider them gifts from God or anywhere else. He may either mimic his own parents’ failings, or spoil them with material goods and indulge them with permissiveness. Either way, he will fail to give them the firm, but loving guidance a good father provides.

All this wondering about what sort of man Mr. Mercedes is, a man who believes the best gifts are bought and sold, actually made me a bit sad. It is a sad thing that the target demographic for Mercedes-Benz’s advertisement is a very real, very large group of consumers. Mercedes-Benz knows from the get-go that I am not their target audience. I buy used Subarus and keep them until they die. All the greatest gifts I have ever received exist in the depth of the relationships I have with my faith, my family and my friends. Mercedes knows who their consumers are, and they also know who their consumers are not (ie. me). As much as I am not swayed by their advertisements, I came to understand the practical theory behind them. It they want to sell, they have to target those who really believe Mercedes-Benz might be the best gift ever.