Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving New York Times Kvetching Edition

Get all your bitching out of your system today. There will be plenty of time for forced bonhomie and fellow-feeling tomorrow.

I am in the middle of baking, so I am just going to list a few items  to inspire, enrage, or possibly just contribute to your profound state of numbed apathy.

First of all, here are two things that the New York Times is not covering today:

Thing One: the Gray Lady threw a hissy fit when a satiric Twitter site illegally used its trademark snooty Old English font "T" in tweets making fun of the newspaper's insipid trending stories. The paper of record sent its army of lawyers after law student Benjamin Kabak  and forced the shutdown of his account. It later relented, but only on the condition that the obviously satiric site officially identify itself as such. Because, we had no earthly idea that tweets like these were satire:

GUYS, there are *gasp* fake profiles on Facebook, and The Times is ON IT.

Thing Two: the Gray Lady did not see fit to print the fairly blockbuster news that the United States Government allegedly hacked into the personal computer of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy of France as he fought his losing re-election battle against Francois Hollande. According to a French newspaper, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a non-denial denial: " We have no greater partner than France; we have no greater ally than France. We cooperate in many security-related areas. I am here to further reinforce those ties and create new ones.”

 Napolitano, according to a White House statement, dismissed the hacking accusation out of hand with much cackling and guffawing laughter because she considered it “preposterous.” Yeah -- she just assumed it was, like, satire or something. She and her BFF DiFi wouldn't know Stuxnet if it hit them in the face.

But back to that humorless, yet hilariously funny, New York Times. Thomas Friedman's latest column is written in that trendy new genre known as Austerity Porn. It is all part of media-industrial complex's propaganda campaign which seeks to convince the masses that suffering is not only good for us, it will provide epidemic orgasms if we only give it a chance. A choice Friedmanesque tidbit:
There is a huge amount of innovative thrust building, bottom-up, in the U.S. economy today. If Washington could just get the macro picture right, you could see a real growth surge in America. We’re just a couple of grand bargains away from something big.   
The Times chose to  suppress my comment by quickly performing the Times Pick Segregation Trick. If they don't care for a popular comment, they simply highlight their own picks from the rest of the pack by presenting them in the first layer. Most people won't bother searching for their rejects. So in case you missed it, here is mine:

So, Mr. Friedman is advocating a massive government propaganda campaign to convince the proles that cutting back on our Social Security and Medicare and other "middle class" goodies will be fun for us. Something like a Mary Poppins for grown-ups. A spoonful of sugar in the form of better internet connections will help the medicine of retiring at 70 go down. Or some such nonsense.
CEOs and pundits throughout the land are serenading us with the same tired old tune called "Love the Pain." And Friedman's use of such words as "thrust-building" and "bottom-up" even add a sexy new slant to the genre of fiscal S&M. The plutocrats wield the whips, and we will swoon under their lashes. The president will do his part by making austerity excitingly patriotic. Friedman's multimillionaire financial guru is at the ready to impart some economic Viagra, keeping that dreaded deflation at bay.
Risky start-ups, here we come! But, if the addition of an Amazon warehouse to the Chattanooga landscape is your idea of boom-time, think again. These fulfillment centers have a less than stellar reputation in how they treat their poorly paid, no-benefit workers.
You know what would really stimulate the economy? A national living wage law to lift retail and warehouse workers out of poverty. Scrapping the cap on FICA Social Security tax contributions to make the trust fund solvent for generations to come. Medicare for All.
Forget the shared sacrifice. We should be demanding some shared prosperity.
Deficit Scold Theatre is playing out on virtually every TV station and in every corporate-controlled newspaper in America. Friedman is just going with the noxious flow. 

Now excuse me while I go check on my pie.


Kat said...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Today I am thankful that Karen wrote a response to the usual drivel from Tom Friedman. He is a more effective evil sort.

Outsida said...

Wish I had Karen's talents, but here goes anyway.

A Plutocrat's Thanksgiving

The corporate owned Duopoly is nearly done roasting their Turkey of privatizing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This Thanksgiving Day it looks ready for public consumption.

First the Powers-That-Be (PTB) set the table by convincing all the young people that Social Security would not be there for them and that they'd never collect a dime. That helped enlist the youth on the side of those who support ending/privatizing it, since they now believe if they can't have it, no one should either.

Then the PTB convinced us that the bologna/baloney on the table was a big delicious Turkey when they renamed those programs 'Entitlements' - socialistic giveaways for those who are always expecting a handout. The media consistently applies that label for no good reason except as part of the campaign to privatize them.

The next step for the PTB was decorating the table to help convince us that Social Security was contributing to the debt, when in fact it was the treasure chest the Washington pirates have completely plundered. The more they 'strengthen' it, the more there is to steal. They don't even have to pay it back if they can increase the benefit age to beyond life expectancy between now and then.

Now the PTB is encouraging us to drink some intoxicant to cloud our judgment and believe in 'economic patriotism', with austerity being something actually good for the country. The CEO big guns are appearing in the national media every day now, serving up some austerity drink to whet our appetites.

Now that the 'Turkey' is ready, the real drama begins as we fight each other for our piece. Anyone who dares correctly identify it as a bunch of baloney rather than a delicious turkey is attacked with knives and forks. As we are busy fighting each other, the PTB sit back and savor the name-calling of unpatriotic, lazy, dirty, and un-American dregs (Occupy) who only want handouts and aren't willing to work for anything. You know how nasty family fights can be! The PTB couldn't ask for more - divide and conquer.

For dessert, instead of pie we will lick the icing off the rock-solidly legal cake of the Individual Mandate, served of course on a sparkling silver platter etched with the name Privatization. Purchase of private retirement products will be required in addition to private health insurance when Medicare is rolled into the state exchange systems.

Be sure to take a mint when you leave the Thanksgiving table. It will eventually replace the tax credit/voucher promotional enticement that will go out with the trash, although the stock market will surely soar.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Kat said...

Outsida-- I've enjoyed your comments very much.