As Black Friday, the unofficial corporate created holiday of greed systematically encroaches on more and more of Thanksgiving, the official holiday of family, thankfulness and gratitude, I thought that I would compare the two.
I really don't have to explain Thanksgiving to you except to remind you that most of all, you're probably thankful for the wonderful feast that brings family together and for the joyous sense of gratitude that fills your heart. The Thanksgiving experience is one to be cherished because each Thanksgiving feast makes memories that last for years to come. Sadly, many American big box store and department store workers will have to forgo the joys of the holiday because they have been enslaved by a pseudo holiday called Black Friday.
The phrase Black Friday was originally used pejoratively years ago to describe a situation in Philadelphia that occurred on the day after thanksgiving when so many people were out shopping that it caused traffic snarls and violence. The term “Black Friday” was recently rehabilitated by corporate marketing people who turned it into an unofficial shopping holiday. Their take of the term is that the Friday after Thanksgiving is the day of the year that massive sales take them from the red into the black. My take on the term is that it has become a day of salivating consumers, some of whom camped out for days, trampling each other to get a “bargain.” In other words, a corporate dream day. I'm waiting for some corporate owned congressman to propose Black Friday as a National holiday.
At this point, you might ask me why I'm comparing Thanksgiving to Black Friday? Well that's because greedy big box stores, department stores and other retailers keep starting it earlier and earlier. Many stores started their Black Friday sales as early as 6:00 PM on Thanksgiving night. If that trend continues, Thanksgiving, the National holiday of family, gratitude and prayerful reflection will be overshadowed by Black Friday, the corporate holiday of greed, envy and exploitation of workers. Black Friday just might become The Corporate Monster That Ate Thanksgiving!
Boycott Black Friday!
Every time I turn on a network or local newscast that has a story about the Affordable Care Act, I feel like I am walking into an old, dingy strip club. The pounding drone of endless corporate advertising sounds like the sleazy, cheesy music that provides the pulsating rhythm for strippers to ply their wares. The newscasters who jump from sensational story to sensational story remind me of leering strip club hosts. Their viewers remind me of the typical strip show customer staring at the stage, mouth open, totally entranced.
The Affordable Care Act started out respectably enough fully clothed with the best of intentions to fix a broken healthcare system and extend its lifesaving protection to people who have been left to fend for themselves in a country that seemingly didn't care. During the Affordable Care Act's proud younger days, her manager was talking about her becoming single payer healthcare or having a public option. That didn't sit well with the people sitting in the first row who looked like GOP politicians and kept yelling take it off, take it off every time corporate types, possibly insurance people who were siting behind them whispered in their ears. Even though her manager promised to keep her act dignified, he prompted her from backstage to take off a few layers of requirements.
The hoi polloi sitting in the cheap seats took their cues from the club host who kept saying things like remember, if you don't like this act, her manager promised that he would let you see last week's act. The guys in the cheap seats started booing and joined the big shots in the first row in chanting “take it off, take it off.” The manager prompted her to take off more to appease the hoi polloi who were instigated by the host and the guys in the first row. She kept being badgered. Finally, she nervously and reluctantly complied.
This cycle kept repeating itself until The Affordable Care Act was stripped bare and became deathly ill. The corporate types in the second row whispered to the politicians in the first row, “good, now we can get our favorite act back.” The moral of the story? Draw your own conclusions!!
Let's face it, possibly because our country, unlike most industrialized countries, really didn't have a mechanism of providing healthcare for all, we have a plethora of disease-specific charities. Those charities represent a spectrum of individual diseases literally ranging from A to Z. Now one would like to think that all of those charities would want to help those who suffer from the diseases they address get the benefit of healthcare. If more people had access to healthcare, more people could have potentially life threatening illnesses diagnosed earlier leading to better, possibly lifesaving outcomes.
The Affordable Care Act has the potential to extend the security of healthcare to tens of millions more people who are currently uninsured. For one reason or another, through no fault of their own, when it comes to getting the medical benefits that a civilized nation is supposed to offer, they have been on the outside looking in. Now they have a chance to get insured, get diagnosed & get well!
If I ran a disease-specific charity, I would do everything that I could to get people who suffer from the disease that my charity addresses and allegedly wants cured insured, up to and including using some of the TV ads that my charity buys to promote ACA instead of just continually asking for donations. I've been waiting to hear one of the major disease-specific charities take a position supporting the Affordable Care Act but thus far, the silence is deafening. If you know of any disease-specific charities that are supporting the Affordable Care Act, please let me know because in this case, I would like to be proven wrong.
The government shutdown is a callous abuse of power by elected representatives from a political party that has taken on the elimination of The Affordable Care Act as its primary objective. The GOP obsession with ACA is self-serving because they know that if it has a chance to become successful, their constituents will realize that they were deceived by the Republicans! If you feel that the best interests of our country shouldn't be sacrificed for a one-sided political agenda, visit my Listen Here! page.
The current political tantrum that our corporate owned electeds are throwing over ObamaCare has been the source of some very intense "conversation" here at the Wade household. Providing healthcare for more people should be a no-brainer, but in our anything for a buck country, it becomes controversial. Holding our economy hostage to stop healthcare reform is a traitorous act!
My Wife would like you to read the following open letter that she wrote to our electeds:
Tonight I decided I have had enough. I may not be the best speaker or the most eloquent of writers but know this, what I will say comes straight from my heart.
To Our Senate & Congress: I am a proud American Citizen and I was taught respect for our
leaders. You all make me sick by how you are behaving! You do not respect the American people. You do not respect or care about those of us who voted you all into office. If you did you would not put the burdens on the people. You would unite and decide how long you all can do without all your perks, how long you can stop voting yourself raises, how long you will lag your pay and above all, how long you can be civil human beings and Not Greedy snobs!
How many times have you taken perks from lobbyists and listened to the CEO's of corporations' gophers promising you positions in their companies if you do this or that for them? The American people are a lot smarter than you give us credit for. We have been led down the garden
paths way too long thinking our Political leaders will do the right things. How about the “No Tax
increase for the 1% because they are “job creators?”
Please, you people are willing to lag pay for our Military or try and hold “Obamacare” hostage so they can be paid. They should be paid, because without them, you would not be able to have the freedom of Greed that you all live for. Paraphrasing Ms. Pelosi, “If we do anything to our salaries it will diminish the dignity of our positions.” Well Lady, You lost the dignity when you said that and set yourself on your high horse. Or how about you all voting for Non disclosure on where your funding comes from, a little information where a typical citizen of the USA would be charged with insider trading.
You all make a mockery of what Our Founding fathers stood for. Please tell me when did the NRA become part of the governing body? They clearly have great influence over quite a few
of you. You sign a paper, not to do this or that or the “so called” author of the unmentioned paper threatens you with no funding & you will be voted out”. I have a little bit of news for you., 2014 is right around the corned, kiss your cozy seats Goodbye.
Get all you can now,
I was raised to be a
Good American Citizen And I am. Oh Yes, This falls under My “Freedom Of
If you've been reading these posts or listening to my show for any length of time, you know that I was and am strongly in favor of nationalized healthcare. Unfortunately, due to well funded corporate financed external influences and Democratic "compromise" that bordered on complicity, so called ObamaCare was diluted into its present state. My theory is that something is better than nothing. As it stands now, the plan protects us from what, in my opinion are some of the nastier excesses of the health insurance industry like refusing to insure people who have many pre-existing conditions or raising their premiums above the threshold of affordability. All in all, it is a giant step forward that protects us from many of the excesses that made the pre-ObamaCare health insurance corps resemble the death panels that the GOP claimed ObamaCare would create.
Thanks to GOP lies and that of shill organizations who buy deceptive advertising on the mainstream media, ObamaCare was greatly whittled down. Even that wasn't enough for many members of the GOP who became obsessed with obliterating ObamaCare at any cost, even if they take down our economy with it. After many, many attempts, they decided to use the debt ceiling as a club to hold over the Democrats' heads. What we need to make clear to them is that they are holding it over our heads and we won't stand for it!
The GOP has already rammed their extortionary bill through Congress. Hopefully, the bill will be dead on arrival in the Senate, but if it isn't, we need to let our Senators know how we feel and let those electeds who voted for defunding know that we will vote them out on election day. Funding our country shouldn't be contingent on letting the GOP and the corps who own them destroy something that clearly is long overdue and will literally protect America's health.
If you were looking for your favorite corporate engineered fast food meal today, you may have noticed that various places had picket lines outside their doors. Those workers have jobs that are long on hours and short on pay and benefits. Many fast food and big box store jobs also have limited medical benefits, so their employees wind up needing state assistance. Translation, taxpayers are saddled with paying for things that should be the responsibility of employers! Fast food and big box workers have pride and want to be paid a fair wage so they can pull their own weight and that's why they are striking!
Sadly, thanks to the Democrats and Republicans who keep supporting "free" trade agreements, our nation has devolved from an economy that had the high paying, unionized manufacturing jobs of an industrialized, developed nation to that of a third world country which can mainly sustain low wage service sector jobs. American workers have been brainwashed and mentally beaten into submission for so long that they have forgotten what it means to stand up for their rights! It is a pleasure to see the fast food workers stand up for theirs, especially in Southern "right to work for less" states. Therefore, I ask that you honor the picket lines of the courageous striking fast food workers who are reminding organized labor of their roots and could revitalize the movement. Remember, if you decide to cross the picket line just to get a burger that you may wind up working there someday.
How many times have you heard your electeds, the people who are supposed to be looking out for YOUR interests explain away the fact that most of the well paying manufacturing jobs are gone in this country with some smug throwaway comment about the American workforce lacking the skills required for today's job market? The truth of the matter is that most of the new “job growth” in our economy has been in the service sector, specifically in the high paying fields of fast food burger flipping and big box store “associating.” The reason for that is obviously because at the expense of working Americans who voted them in, our electeds helped the only constituency that really matters to them, the corporate and super rich backers who paid for their campaigns. Those well-heeled backers got much more than their money's worth from our electeds in the form of lowered trade tariffs, a seemingly endless number of “free” trade agreements and legislation deregulating anything that stands in the way of the aforementioned corps. making a buck.
Since our electeds brought it up, let's look at their bogus claim that American workers lack the skill set needed for today's manufacturing jobs. That skill set is primarily obtained on the job because by and large, different companies do things differently because of differing manufacturing techniques and trade secrets. That's why one brand of a product category can be very different from another brand. You can get general training in a particular industry through higher education or trade schools, but will not get the practical and marketable industry specific knowledge that you get from on the job training. That's why we have many new college grads flipping burgers in a fast food place instead of working in the industries that their costly education covers.
At this point, I'm sure that you can guess that many American corporations still provide on the job training that leads to the “skills required for today's job market" except that they do so for those workers in third world nations who are willing to work for next to nothing. The real story about corporations who manufacture offshore instead of here is that they are not interested is finding people with “skills” that aren't available here, they are only interested in shopping the globe for cheap labor. Similarly, politicians who spout nonsense about Americans lacking “skills for today's job market” aren't interested in telling us the truth about their complicity in job offshoring, they are only interested in getting us off their backs with a quick, convenient lie!
What? You say that you've never heard of the “Two” Party Two-Step? Well you are in luck because I'm going to put my dance instructor's hat on and we are going to spend a little time tripping the light fantastic together. Yes, that means that I am going to teach you the easy to learn, hard to forget steps to this deceptive political dance. Alrighty then, just put on your dancing shoes and let's go.
Just stand in the middle of this room and we're ready to go. This dance has a caller just like a square dance and all you have to do is to listen to him and do exactly what he says. Here he goes now: “Ya take two steps to the right and a small step to the left, Two steps to the right and a very small one to the left, - - SLAM!! Oops, it looks like we just hit the right wall of the room and can go no further.
Holy mackerel, we have gone so far to the right that we are pinned to the wall with nowhere else to go! Let's take it step by step taking a look at the way we danced in slow motion to see how we got here. Ya take two steps to the right (Ronald Reagan who actually took us way to the right, George H.W. Bush and a little one to the left (Bill Clinton, even though he's really a Democrat with mini Republican ideals). Two steps to the right (George Bush took both steps and then some himself) and a little one to the left (Barack Obama squandered his potential with intentional compromise with the GOP).
By now I think that you are getting the picture and hopefully, see a pattern there. The post LBJ crop of Democratic presidents, especially the last two didn't or never intended to offset the damage to ordinary, non- wealthy Americans that was done by the preceding Republican administrations. I like to say that Bill Clinton did more to enable and advance the future GOP agenda than most Republican presidents and Barack Obama, a man who has appointed a multitude of CEO's and Wall Streeters as “advisors” always seems to make soaring speeches that promise everything, but lead to watered down legislation that benefits the wealthy far more than it benefits ordinary Americans.
At this point, you are saying, “How can I change things? What can I do?” The answer to that is to use the analogy of buying a car. If you bought a car from a manufacturer that has, over the years given you lemons that caused you nothing but problems, you'd be looking for a different car manufacturer. Selecting a president is a far more important a decision than your next car because that selection can affect every aspect of your present and future life. You owe it to yourself to find or help your fellow Americans form a third party that looks out for ordinary Americans, not corporations, big banks and Wall Street. America, it's time for a new set of wheels and to learn some new dance steps!
Americans and American families are the cells that make up the living, breathing body that we call The United States Of America. Commentators like yours truly are the amateur physicians of politics who give the body politic of the U.S.A. its annual and many times daily physical. My political diagnosis is that the United States Of America is afflicted with toxic big lie syndrome with complications of denial and indifference, which were brought on by a mass infection of corporate unfriendly bacteria. The commonly used over the counter temporary pain reliever for this malady is sold under the brand name of Idiotic Mainstream Media Programming which only provides symptomatic relief and has severe side effects like mass ignorance, a false sense of well being, political amnesia and ultimately a loss of freedom.
Since I didn't take the Hypocritic Oath that was given to many of my mainstream media brethren by the one percent, it is my duty as an amateur physician of politics to prescribe my cure for the previously mentioned mass illness.
Prescription #1: Special Home Litmus Test – How does it affect me and my family?
Whenever you see an elected official or a politician running for office or a mainstream media commentator promoting or attacking a proposed law, existing law or issue, ignore any patriotic rants, partisan blathering or appeals to your personal fears or biases and ask yourself this question. How does it affect me and my family? Since what's good for the American family is good for the nation, that one question is very powerful and will put America on the road to recovery.
Prescription #2: End Job offshoring!
Job offshoring is toxic to American working families and to the future of America! It allows greedy corporations to shop the globe for slave labor to assemble what used to be American products, displacing American workers who can't work for third world wages. The side effect of job offshoring is that it depresses the wages of people working in every sector of our economy by causing a glut of displaced labor. The corporate owned electeds of both parties have supported lowering trade tariffs and have promoted, passed, signed and are still attempting to sign “free” trade agreements that enable job offshoring! They are undermining the American way of life and should be replaced with labor friendly, family friendly electeds who put America's future before the profits of their corporate contributors.
Prescription #3: Cut war spending by ending frivolous and costly wars!
Our corporate owned electeds seem to jump to the tune called by the military/industrial complex, instead of the other way around. Bush used 9/11 to ramp up our global military involvement to an insane and I might add, unsustainable level. President Obama and our current crop of electeds may have disengaged slightly in some places, but have ramped things up in other places. When I last looked, engaging in wars all over the world isn't “defense”, it's blatant aggression and hegemony! The cost in lives and dollars is too high and is destroying our country by sapping its lifeblood. Think of what we can do with that money to build our country here instead of tearing things down overseas. Besides, it would give us mere taxpayers a break.
Prescription #4: Carefully examine who the elected's appointees are.
What was their last job? Are they regulators from the same industry that they regulate? Are they corporate CEOs, Wall Streeters or banksters? One glaring example would be an elected appointing a job offshoring CEO to a council that is supposed to create jobs in our country! Gee, didn't President Obama do that? Come to think of it, most of his appointees are CEO/Wall Street/bankster types. If an elected appoints any of the previously mentioned types, he doesn’t have your interests in mind because he is too busy looking out for the bigwigs who financed his campaign, support someone else!
Prescription #5: Beware of incursions on your Constitutional rights.
If your electeds support laws that violate your constitutional rights, they are unworthy of their office! This is your freedom and what makes America the land of the free we're talking about, vote accordingly!
Prescription #6: Beware of the social issue trap and smokescreen:
While many social issues are important, most politicians use their support of or opposition to various social issues to distract you from the fact that they are harming the future of you and your family on fiscal issues. They do that because they know that social issues are highly emotional issues that tend to polarize people, you're either for them or against them. So when the corporate owned elected of your choice wants to make you forget that he or she wants to cut your Social Security or help corps offshore your job, he or she will come out in favor of or in opposition to birth control, abortion, gay rights or environmental issues to get you worked up enough to make you look the other way while you get shafted! The interesting thing about social issues is that they cost the corps. that own our electeds nothing. The next time your elected springs a social issue on you, look for the hidden weenie.
To sum it all up, always ask yourself this question. What has my elected done for me and my family lately? Make no mistake about it, it's not selfish, but honorable to look out for your family and your fellow Americans. What's good for Wall Street and corporations isn't what's good for America, what's good for American families is what's good for America!