Bloomberg Leaves Behind Strong Legacy

Dec 20 2013 Published by under politics

Bloomberg's Legacy

New Yorkers dealing with Bloomberg’s shitty legacy

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August 6

Aug 06 2013 Published by under media

On August 6, 1945, The United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, making the United States the first, and still the only, nation to use a nuclear weapon against another nation.

I live in the United States, and I did not see this acknowledged anywhere in any media at all today. So I thought I would acknowledge it.

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How to Destroy the Middle Class

Sep 22 2011 Published by under politics

Check out these two stories that came out within days of each other:

Mayor Bloomberg is the second richest person in New York, while 1 out of 5 New Yorkers lives in poverty. I don’t think Jay-Z or that annoying chick who does the chorus are among those.

Blatant doublethink. None of the major media outlets makes the connection between these two items. It’s as if each of these facts exists in a vacuum from the other.

Bloomberg’s New York is the blueprint for how to destroy the American middle class. His tenure has seen the greatest city in the country turned into a banana republic. He has overseen the implementation of omnipresent surveillance, yet somehow has allowed Mexican and Salvadoran gangs to take control of the city. He has laid off scores of skilled workers, while declaring the city a haven from American immigration laws. While welcoming these illegal immigrants, many of whom are involved in identity theft and trafficking of hard drugs, he has overseen increased, needless enforcement of outdated marijuana prohibitions at great cost to the taxpayers.

Bloomberg destroyed or cut back many services once considered crucial to the survival of the city, while funneling much of the civic business that survived to his own companies, run through shadow corporations. In the meantime, he allowed what was once the greatest infrastructure in the country – subways, buses, bridges, tunnels – to crumble. The last time the city eliminated multiple subway routes was when President Ford famously told us to go to hell. Bloomberg turned the city into his own personal coffer – far worse than anything the notorious Boss Tweed ever did to this city. He not only used his office as Mayor to personally enrich himself, but managed to also destroy the quality of life of middle class New Yorkers.

New York doesn’t exist anymore. It’s just a marketing concept. In reality, it’s little more than a third-world resort, without the beach, but with Spider-Man the Musical and five dollar coffee. If you want a glimpse of what will happen to the middle class in the rest of America in the coming years, take a look at New York. The plan has been effectively implemented here, and it is coming soon to a town near you.

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Can’t Deal With the Blathering: The Secret Service Hates Fox News, Too

May 19 2011 Published by under media, politics, Technology

It looks like the Secret Service hates Fox News just as much as I do. [via Gawker]

The most probable scenario is that someone with Secret Service Twitter access sent this from their device, thinking it was their personal Twitter account. As far as I’m concerned, this is about the evils of multitasking. It doesn’t work. Ever. In any situation.

Then, the Secret Service went into publicity-damage-control mode. They deleted the tweet, though not before many people re-tweeted it, or nabbed some screen shots. I don’t think they should backtrack or apologize on this one. For me, this humanizes the individuals who work for the Secret Service. It made me think it’s possible free-thinking individuals with fully functional brains could be employed by our government somewhere along the line.

I can’t deal with the blathering, either. No, seriously – It is impossible for me to watch Fox News for more than 40 seconds without developing the desire to rip out mine own eyes.

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Royal Pain

May 01 2011 Published by under media, Our World, politics

So, did the United States declare independence from England, or not?

The Prince No-hair and Kate Mini-tits wedding was on every TV channel Friday morning as I tried to get ready for work without spitting up my breakfast. If not for the Weather Channel, I would have gone mad. And these jive-ass Robber barons have been on every corner of the Internet all weekend.

No, seriously – how is it possible in the 21st century there are billions of people who worship monarchs? The media carpet-bombs us with coverage of the ceremony, and for days afterward follows-up with strategic strikes of over-analysis of the ceremony. Still, billions of peasants choose – many of their own free will apparently – to watch. And people don’t just watch, they actually obsess and get caught up in all that nonsense analysis of bullshit minutiae like the dress and decor and makeup.

Contrast the pomp and circumstance of this ceremony against the backdrop of an international economic crisis and global attacks on working people, and it would seem this is just more of the same arrogant, opulent, let-them-eat-cake crap we’ve been getting for centuries.

And I thought the Internet was supposed to democratize the world. Well, thanks go yet again to the capitalist media corporations, for their continued control of information and ongoing effort to keep humanity in the Dark Ages.

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Fox News to broadcast stories based on facts for April Fools’ Day

Apr 01 2011 Published by under tweets

Fox News to broadcast stories based on facts for #aprilfools day

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Socialism: Utopian and Science Fiction

Mar 23 2011 Published by under media, politics

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says capitalism wiped out the Martians. [Reuters, via Yahoo]

¡Alo, Presidente! If Chavez had said something like, capitalism can destroy a planet that has only finite resources, he might have had me there. But I guess this is what you come up with when you spend so much time chewing Bolivian coca leaves.

Sure, it’s probably just some cokehead’s lame attempt at simile. But predictably, the fright-wing media are all over this, adding their peculiar brand of spin, truthiness, whatever the kids call bullshit these days. Nevermind Glenn Beck is just as bat-shit crazy as Chavez, and Fox News touts him as one of their marquee personalities.

The corporate-controlled mass media devotes less time to discussion of actual issues, in favor of focusing on the most outrageous talking points. Whoever comes up with the most ridiculous quote is rewarded with the most airtime. Whether those points are used pro or con depends on which corporation is reporting, and how they ultimately decide to edit and present it to the mass audience. This is how public opinion is manipulated in America.

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Hypocrite Bloomberg Calls Obama Arrogant

Dec 04 2010 Published by under politics

Picked up by numerous media outlets, including here, originally reported here. The New York Times, needless to say, uses its blog to spin it pro-Bloomberg.

Pot … Kettle. Kettle … Pot.

Mike Bloomberg bought out democracy, and bought out public office in what used to be the greatest city in America. He is the epitome of arrogance, the very incarnation of it.

I cannot imagine many acts that could be construed as more arrogant than using billions in accumulated personal fortune to purchase the deletion of a law voted into effect by the citizens you purport to represent.

And then the person who was so arrogant as to use his personal wealth to bribe the City Council of New York to overturn term limits which were voted into law by the citizens of New York spent the better part of the last decade in a fight against the forces of democracy. He staked a claim on the public office of the largest city in America, destroyed the cultural fabric of that city by pushing through a series of crooked real estate deals, and then turned the entire city into his own personal investment scheme by outsourcing all city business to private contractors that are nothing more than dummy companies set up to funnel profits back to him. He consistently and blatantly advocates sympathy for the extremely wealthy, who are easily the least likable group of people on the planet.

He installs cronies in decision-making positions throughout the city, including choosing a millionaire zombie who never sent her children to public school to run the public school system straight into the ground, further ensuring only rich people in New York will have access to quality education, and further ensuring that every office in this city that once existed for the good of The People is now controlled by minions who are overpaid to allow his leviathan tentacles to spread across the city and envelop all within.

Mike Bloomberg is beyond arrogant. He is arrogance personified. Maybe when you’re a billionaire, anyone who fails to be a Yes-Man, or fails to indulge your egotistical whims and fancies for a token buyout, is seen as arrogant.

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Processed Food Is Killing Us

Nov 06 2010 Published by under Our World

Found this sobering article at The Atlantic. It’s a great summary of this original commentary at the World Public Health Nutrition Association website.

OpenAllNiteThese don’t stick to the usual, obvious health reasons, such as that processed food is high in fat and calories and lacks nutritional value. These also examine the marketing aspects of food – how ultra-processed foods are pushed on people, and how corporations design this low-cost junk to be habit-forming.

This is very much in line with Michael Pollan’s observation that “Instead of food, we’re consuming ‘edible food-like substances,'” and that the ways we consume food have also changed to our detriment. Even the act of nutritional sustenance has now gone postmodern.

It is the 21st century lifestyle corporations have imparted on us – We’re overworked, pressed for time, and lazy. This creates the need for quick, low-cost caloric intake. Less exercise and more stationary work have turned us into mere consumption and production machines. Combine this with ultra-processed foods designed to be sold anywhere at any time, and you have a recipe for an overweight and under-nourished population.

Don’t expect to see the widespread availability and consumption of ultra-processed foods to go away any time soon. The lifestyle which leaves us little time or energy to prepare food, and the society which prices processed food cheaper than real food, are spreading and entrenching, rather than going away or facing resistance.

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Revolution in the Digital Age

Oct 03 2010 Published by under Blogging, politics

Check out this article at the New Yorker. Read it all the way through. It will be worth your while. [via Slashdot]

The author challenges the assertion that social media can foment and hasten social and political change in a society. The author contrasts the loose ties of “networks,” with the structure of “hierarchical organizations” and examines how each of these function to illustrate his point. He also cites examples from American history – the fight against segregation, and the movement to end the Vietnam War. Segregation was not defeated because people got together to merely say it is wrong. They undertook boycotts, sit-ins, and protest marches. The Vietnam War did not end because millions of people just professed the belief that it should. Organized groups of people stopped it. Large chunks of the population mobilized to take action against a government that failed to listen to the will of the governed.

I agree that social media in-and-of-itself does not represent an upgrade in the tools of political activists. I will add that social media hampers not only total upheaval, but even intermediate levels of change. It preserves status quo. Real change in a society’s power structure requires that at some point individuals have to take action directed against those who hold power. People need to organize and establish a real-world physical presence in order to even contemplate this possibility.

Social media accomplishes zero in the area of organized action. There is nothing active about it. It keeps people locked at the level of merely expressing opinion, which others ‘like’ and ‘re-tweet,’ but no one ever ventures out from behind the computer to take real action. Social media allows people to express an opinion, and build agreement around that opinion, but there is no link to click that attacks the system. It can create consensus, and bring together like-minded individuals, but it offers nothing in the way of tangible action. While social media may give a voice to the oppressed, that voice grows hoarse if the oppressed cannot take action against their oppressors.

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