Well folks, looks like when it comes to military spending, the U.S.A. Has money to burn. Juxtapose that with John Boehner planning to do the patriotic thing by bringing our economy to the brink of collapsing by instigating yet another budget crisis and we have some solid food for thought. The ironic thing is that the austerity measures that his party supports call for cutting various kinds of domestic spending, but makes damn sure that not a penny is cut from the war-making part of the budget, otherwise known as “defense.” If recent pat history is a guide, the Democrats will offer up various domestic spending items on the table to placate the mean, nasty Republicans and get them to come to an agreement before Moody's lowers America's credit rating.
The thing that ticks me off about that Republican/Democratic comedy act is that budgetary allocations for the corporate war profiteering machine A.K.A.“defense” are a sacred cow. President hope and change extended our stay as "advisers" in Afghanistan to 2024 with little objection from the Republicans who would do the same thing if their guy was in the White House. The best way to sum up this situation is to say that our electeds want to take away the Social Security and Medicare money that's saving the lives of our seniors and spend it to take the lives of whoever is the enemy du jour overseas! Don't we, as taxpayers get a say in how our money is spent or is that reserved for corporate lobbyists and shady corporate shill organizations? Look that is only my opinion, everyone is entitled to one. If you agree or disagree with me, please let me know. These days, I get the strong feeling that I am talking to myself.
So now I hear, via Think Progress, that NBC's David Gregory is going to be the keynote speaker at a conference that is run by a Republican advocacy group that will also have notorious notables like Karl Rove and John Boehner. One of the fundamental tenets of journalism is that reporters must maintain their integrity by avoiding conflicts of interest that could bias their reporting. Could Mr. Gregory's appearance at that conference mean that the mainstream media has given up hiding behind their charade of impartiality?
About three years ago, I made a comment (that grew legs and became part of our political dialog) on the Working Family Radio Network that we should make our Congressmen and Senators wear NASCAR style blazers bearing the logos of the corporations that own them. Perhaps we can get the FCC to enact a rule that forces broadcast "journalists" to wear blazers that have the logos of their conflicts of interest and biases? If nothing else, old school style broadcast news blazers, with a few additional logos added, will make the talking heads look like the Ted Baxters that they really are!
The New York Times article about Apple's (perfectly legal under current laws) tax avoidance got my wheels turning. When you combine that with Apple's record of off-shoring their manufacturing to China, it looks as if Apple wants to squeeze out every penny of profit possible, even if it hurts our country in the process. Though what they are doing is prevalent in American industry, it is endemic to Silicon Valley in particular. I feel that the culture of Silicon Valley has engendered a particular mindset that makes the acts of job off-shoring and legal tax avoidance perfectly acceptable to their hi-tech CEOs and execs.
Silicon Valley's real product isn't computers, smartphones, MP3 players, hardware, software or websites, it's intellectual property! In the 1980s/1990s, entrepreneurs became very rich building their empires from mere ideas. The cost to bring many of those concepts to life was mainly paid in research and development man/hours and in many cases, bought with stock options. The majority of those concepts were virtual only and existed as software routines running on computers or pieces of dedicated hardware such as mobile phones.
Ideas that only exist in virtual space do not rack up large manufacturing expenditures. Silicon Valley CEOs are most comfortable with things virtual and least comfortable with things physical. After all, unlike virtual products, physical products cost real money to manufacture and can't be conjured up out of thin air. Is it any wonder that most of Silicon Valley contracts out its hardware production to factories in China?
Are the people who run and manage America’s hi-tech industries cold, calculating and self-centered? My theory is when they spend most of their time working in the virtual world, they tend to see everything in life as an abstraction. They put infinite value on their virtual intellectual property, but want to get their physical products manufactured for the lowest possible cost. They are not concerned about little things like putting their country first by manufacturing in the USA or the fact that many of their Asian sub-contractor factories pay low wages and have oppressive working conditions. They can't see the suffering that it takes to hand make their luxury-priced products in those factories or the unemployment that we face here, those are concerns of the physical world.
When it comes to non-virtual products that must be built in a factory, they know the price of everything and the value of nothing!
Have you noticed that there's no one on Talk Radio who speaks for John and Jane Q. Public? I want to change that situation. When I go into the studio and get on the air, I say the things that you've always wanted to say. The big corporate interests have their lobbyists, I want to be your voice. Just think of me as your guy fighting for your interests.
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