Recently in Corporate Fascism Category

Puts It In Perspective

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It is not often that Wil posts anything political. So when he does, it is really about something he strongly believes, or that is really quite good. This is really quite good.

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Lack Of Control

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One of the things that really irritates me is the lack of control over certain aspects of my blog. This blog is just like my home. Freedom of speech is fine in the public square, but for someone to rudely enter into my home to supposedly speak freely is an invasion of my privacy.

If you are wondering what I am talking about, just remember that some time back advertising was ruled free speech. Fine, but I still should have the right to refuse entry of those whom I do not wish to speak freely in my home.

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

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If this really happens, I suspect we will see a restoration of sanity on Wall Street, with an improving economic situation for Main Street. Not immediately, obviously. This is a long-term move that would keep our economy from experiencing the consequences that results from the rash impulsiveness of the investor class.



Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- A one-page proposal gaining traction in Congress could turn back the clock on Wall Street 10 years, forcing the breakup of banks, including Citigroup Inc.

Lawmakers in both parties, seeking to prevent future financial crises while soothing public anger over bailouts and bonuses, are turning to an approach that's both simple and transformative: re-imposing sections of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial and investment banking.

Those walls came down with passage of the Gramm-Leach- Bliley Act of 1999. A proposal to reconstruct them, made by U.S. Senators John McCain and Maria Cantwell on Dec. 16, would prevent deposit-taking banks from underwriting securities, engaging in proprietary trading, selling insurance or owning retail brokerages. The bill could also force the unwinding of deals consummated during the financial crisis, including Bank of America Corp.'s acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co.

Hat Tip: Susie Madrak via C&L

Freaks

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I don't believe just how soulless corporations really are.



Honestly, I am speechless.

I Thought So!

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I always believed the cell phone companies used the extended voice mail instructions to take even more money from me. Now, David Pague has an article up verifying my belief.

In 2007, I spoke at an international cellular conference in Italy. The big buzzword was ARPU--Average Revenue Per User. The seminars all had titles like, "Maximizing ARPU In a Digital Age." And yes, several attendees (cell executives) admitted to me, point-blank, that the voicemail instructions exist primarily to make you use up airtime, thereby maximizing ARPU.
What the hell happened to customer service in this country? It use to be, at least it seemed to me, that ripping off customers was a good way to lose business. I guess when you are able to spend the money to buy a few politicians, you can rig the system to be able to overtly rip off consumers and still make a profit. The above is one example of corporations knowingly ripping off costumers.

Then there is the health insurance industry, which has taken it even farther, buy not only ripping off their customers, but by dumping them, thereby increasing their profits. Not exactly a sustainable business model. Eventually, no one is going to buy their service. Then were do they get the money? Oh, duh, I forgot, mandatory laws forcing people to buy their crappy health insurance coverage.

Bastards.
I'm working on getting my medical bills caught up. With Medica Insurance being one of the worse to have, my bills were not immediately paid. For some reason, I had to do some extra paperwork, the exact same paperwork I originally filled out when applying for coverage to begin with. So, now that that log jam finally cleared, I am now facing secondary co-payments.

You see, I made the standard $35.00 co-pays for every visit, only to discover additionally co-pays after the fact. It's those damn deductibles, I guess. But it's in the fine print. You know, the same ones that they are allowed to change without immediate notice. Anyway, I've still got a ways to go. But, I managed to pay a large chunk of my bills and now have a bit of a monthly payment to make.

In case anyone is wondering, I believe that should hell really, honestly exist, the deepest, darkest level is to be reserved for insurance company executives, board members, and bond holders. Because making an obscene profit off of my, and all other people, illnesses is the worse behavior in which a human can engage.

Look, I understand the need for putting food on the table, and a roof over the heads of family. But when people start requiring a profit level of such magnitude that I can not put a roof over my family, or food on the table, there is something fundamentally wrong with the system. That rich bastards believe they are entitled to obscene profits at the expense of hard working, middle class people...... well, fuck them.

Oh, and one last thing: don't even bother calling them health insurance companies. If they were truly about a persons health, they would not be about profits at all, but simply about helping people to get healthy. Do that, and they'd naturally see a profit. Honestly. Sell a good product and word of mouth alone would bring you business. Isn't that the of the free market place? Of course, the whole thing about the market place is there's no room for free. Free market place is an oxymoron.

More Recalls

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Man, is peanut butter taking a hit. Susie Madrak over at C&L has a link to an OregonLive.com about the plethora of recalls that have happened over the weekend.

Federal officials have released a tidal wave of fresh recalls in the past 24 hours as they connect the dots in the supply chain of tainted peanut-related products.

The latest recalls by 25 companies listing dozens of items include Walgreen's chocolate candy with peanuts, Best Brands peanut butter cookie dough and Hain Celestial's frozen pad Thai dinners, including one made for Trader Joe's.

On Saturday, Harry and David of Medford joined the recall, pulling Olympia Delight Trail Mix products, and Berkeley, Ca.-based Clif Bar and Co. pulled eight more of its protein bars.

The recall has reached a fever pitch since it was expanded to include all products - from roasted peanuts to peanut butter -- from Peanut Corporation of America's plant at Blakely, Ga., where Food and Drug Administration investigators found two strains of salmonella and evidence that on 12 occasions in 2007 and 2008 the company sold food even after it had tested positive for salmonella.

In a startling revelation on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution said the president of Peanut Corp., Stewart Parnell, serves on an industry advisory board that helps the U.S. Department of Agriculture set quality standards for peanuts.

Despite calls to the contrary by the corporate arm of the Republican Party, self-policing does not work. If the human animal was as pure and selfless as they like to profess, the need for the war on drugs is also not needed. If the markets are self-correcting, so to would the human race self-correct on the use of drugs.

What we have here is the usual bigotry and class warfare of the aristocratic rich. They believe they are above petty human flaws and failings. Yet, as always, the truth wins out. We are in an economic crisis of monumental proportions approaching the levels of the Great Depression. And make no mistake about it; the mind set that has caused this lax in self-policing and the sale of poisoned food (and not in China, but in our own country, no less) is the same mind set that has resulted in our current crisis.

This is not because of the influx of illegal aliens (because if it is, damn, talk about poor insight and planning by our economic geniuses on Wall Street), or fraud on the part of lower income class people to buy above their ability. This is about the greed and selfishness of the aristocratic rich. In their rush to accumulate wealth, they poisoned the very pond they live in. Unfortunately, we live there as well.

Right now, I am not in the mood to be forgiving. However, I am also aware that these same people are still clamoring to be able to fix what they wrought. Seems it's somewhat along the lines of letting a murderer counsel the family of their victim. Oh, okay, might be a bit of a stretch. Still, I would rather let someone else at the table than the idiots that held the reins of economic power at Wall Street.

A Sign O' The Times

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MSNBC

BAGHDAD - Iraq will not authorize Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. Embassy's main security company, to operate in the country anymore, a senior Iraqi official said Thursday.
Nothing warms my heart more than to see Blackwater lose an account. If ever there was a clear example of modern fascism, Blackwater Worldwide fits the bill. Now, if we could just eliminate other privitization companies. There are simply some things the goverment ought be doing, not private corporations. If for no other reason than the astronomical costs of contracting out services.
For the love of all that is Holy, or Unholy! When I call to cancel my service, and report I've already signed up with another company, would you please just shut the hell up and get my service with you canceled. That fact that for the 20 minutes (using up my minutes) of supposedly going through the various steps of canceling my service, you used high pressure sales tactics to try and get me to return back to you has ensured that I will not, in fact, be returning to you.

And that 20 minutes was after having put me on hold to switch me to another department.

And corporations wonder what the hell they did to earn the animosity of their customers.

Oh, and for the record, that is 20 minutes of perceived time, not actual time. I'm exaggerating. It's my blog, I can exaggerate if I want. If you don't like that, than what the hell are you doing reading my blog? Sheesh.

The Arrogance Of Microsoft

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Carl, please tell us how you really feel about Microsoft.

CNN

He said many of the evictions involve renters who are paying their rent on time but are being thrown out because the landlord has fallen behind on mortgage payments.

Mortgage companies are supposed to identify a building's occupants before asking for an eviction, but sheriff's deputies routinely find that the mortgage companies have not done so, he said.

"These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don't care who's in the building," Dart said. "They simply want their money and don't care who gets hurt along the way.

"On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today."
Good on him. Especially the part about taxpayers having to fund their investigative work for them. And get the heartless corporate bank response:

The Illinois Bankers Association opposed the plan, saying that Dart "was elected to uphold the law and to fulfill the legal duties of his office, which include serving eviction notices." The association said Dart could be found in contempt of court for ignoring court eviction orders.

"The reality is that by ignoring the law and his legal responsibilities, he is carrying out 'vigilantism' at the highest level of an elected official," it said. "The Illinois banking industry is working hard to help troubled homeowners in many ways, but Sheriff Dart's declaration of 'marshal law' should not be tolerated."
What we have here is a budding example of fascism returning to America. When innocent people -- who have done nothing wrong except rent from someone financially insolvent -- are thrown to the street without warning there is something wrong with our country.

Furthermore, where are the cries from the Conservative Christians, the partners of the Corporate American arm of the Republican Party? Why are we not hearing about the abandonment of the teaching of compassion? Why are they not up in arms about an obviously overt, unjust, and heartless act of greed? Is it possible that these God Loving Christians believe Jesus is more sympathetic to corporations than to the meek? No. Can't be. I would never expect such blatant hypocrisy from the...... OUCH!

Damn, there I go, biting my tongue again.........
New York Times

In short, in a nation that holds itself up as a citadel of free enterprise, the government has morphed from lender of last resort into effectively the only lender for millions of Americans engaged in the largest transactions of their lives.
All things said and done, it is the government that controls the money. From printing, to distribution, to control of credit, etc., etc., etc. The government is the Alpha/Omaga. There is just no way to get around this simple fact. That is why the cry about getting government out of our lives makes no sense. Without it we have no security, no safety, no pursuit of happiness.

Also, if free enterprise is so damn self-sufficient and efficient, why the hell are we encountering a recession? Why are we seeing one financial crises after another?

And yes, all the following are rhetorical. If I had the answers to those questions, I would be a billionaire to rival Gates.

Actually, I do have a hunch. It has to do with leadership and competence. The state of our country has much to do with who sits in the Oval Office.

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