I’m Locked Down – Local Businesses Will Be Gone

I’m in one of those “shelter-in-place” counties in the Bay Area. I suspect a lot of people don’t get it until they’re actually in it. Every business is closed except certain essential services like groceries. You need to see it to believe it (risking being puled over if you drive to see it, though.)

The first thing to say about it is, we’re in lockdown and most of the country is not. That means the virus will continue to spread and until everyone is locked down it can circle back to us, so we’ll be staying in lockdown. (I’m sure China feels this way right now.)

The second thing I see that I think people not in lockdown don’t see, a significant number of local businesses are going to run out of money very soon. They’re closed. Lots of smaller businesses are notoriously undercapitalized, just like how lots of people can’t come up with $500 for an emergency. So this means sending cash to people is NOT going to help these businesses because “more people with money coming through the door” doesn’t work if the door is closed in a lockdown. Again: A significant number of local businesses will not be coming back.

Remember how financiers bought up foreclosed houses after the 2008 crash? And now we have a rent crisis? That is what will happen to local/regional businesses if we don’t have a plan ready to put the local owners back in business. The giant companies will be getting bailouts. Wall Street is itching to use their bailout money to buy up these businesses. We need a plan.

Fascists Eat Donuts

From 2003, Make these donuts with extra grease. This batch is for the chief of police.

Does anyone remember a tune from the early 80’s that was a lot of guitars strumming a monotonous tonal thing for a long time, and then, just once, lyrics, shouted, “Make these donuts with extra grease. This batch is for the chief of police!” and then guitars again for a long time?

Found it:

This seems relevant today.

It’s Intimidation, Not “Moderation”

The Nation has a great piece by By Guy T. Saperstein and Joe Cirincione, titled, Americans Want Jobs, Not War. It describes how to talk about war spending in ways that move the public toward progressive positions. Please read it.

Dems “Afraid” of how they will “Appear”.

One early line stood out to me, “Democrats are afraid of appearing weak on defense.”

This line says so much about our national discourse. We are so used to hearing it. Democrats do things because they are afraid of how things they do and say will “appear.” They don’t want to “be seen as” holding certain positions that trigger a certain response.

Just how does that “appearance” reach the public? Through our nation’s information channels. Think about this. In a supposed democracy members of the country’s majority party are “afraid” of how they will be “made to appear” if they do not conform to certain positions.

It’s Intimidation

Let’s call this what it is: it is intimidation. They are intimidated.

Instead of providing the public with objective information to help citizens govern themselves in a democracy, our nation’s information channels are structured to enforce a system of allowable do’s and don’ts. The dominance of the right-wing/lobbyist intimidation machine is so pervasive that we no longer understand it could be different.

“Imagine If A Democrat Did That”

Every time a Democrat says, “I don’t want to be seen as” not being supportive of our troops we are acknowledging that we are living in an environment of intimidation. Every time Republicans do something and we all say, “Imagine if a Democrat had said/done this,” we are acknowledging an intimidation machine. But we are not saying the words

“If a Democrat did this” really means our information sources are intimidated into making a big bru-ha about anything a Democrat does and ignoring when a Republican does it because careers and reputations are destroyed. And therefore the targets of this are intimidated as well.

A “moderate” Democrat is simply a Democrat who gives an appropriate nod to being intimidated and therefore controlled by the corporate/right intimidation machine.

Show Up

REMOVE TRUMP

Join us: We are rising up for Trump’s removal.

Trump’s crimes against our Constitution, our democracy, our humanity, and our future make him utterly unfit to serve as president.

Impeachment is just the first step. Trump must be removed from office. And we the people must lead the way in calling for this removal.

GATHER AT THE WHITE HOUSE

We are gathering at the White House every day from Nov. 2-11 at noon and 6pm to call for Trump’s removal.
Join us! We will meet at 16th & H. Bring signs, banners, whistles, noisemakers, your friends, or just yourself. We are committed to a nonviolent convergence.

I Told You So

I hate being a dirty hippie blogger with nothing left to say except, “I told you so,”

I started “telling you so” in 2004,

Jeeze. These stupid, incompetent, ideologically insane, hateful, arrogant, cultish, corrupt, right-wing, ignorant CLUCKS got duped, sold us out, made fools of us, betrayed us, destroyed our honor, besmirched our good name, bankrupted us, sold us up the river, destroyed our reputation, undermined our integrity, and killed thousands.

Then there was the Housing Bubble… I wrote lots and lots of posts warning about what would happen, starting in 2005.

So MANY warnings, and I told you so

2013, Filibuster: Hate To Say It But We Told You So,

One side is being nice, always caving, compromising and conceding. The other side uses every smidgen of its power — and more — to advance the interests of its constituency.

The result is always the same: more for the billionaires; We, the People lose out.

Anyway, the bloggers were right. We told you so.

Imagine Economic Democracy

This post first appeared at the Imagine Democracy blog.

We don’t have to “bring back jobs from China.” Economists explain that exporting low-level jobs and automating free up resources so “we” can have more $ and free time. And places climbing the jobs ladder get jobs.

The problem is how “we” are distributing the gains. Right now a company ships jobs away or automates and a few already-wealthy people in charge of the company get all of the gains. The workers a shit out of luck. They lose homes, etc.

AND on top of that the owners of companies use those job losses to break unions, etc, forcing wages down. “Shut up and accept the pay cut or we’ll fire you.”

Imagine Democracy

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Imagine if “we” all shared the gains, and received more $ and free time. And as those other countries automate, etc., they also get more $ and free time.

What we need is democracy (aka “socialism”,) so we can GET that $ and free time.

Imagine if we had an economic system designed to be of, by and for We the People, where we require that automation and job exports mean those economic gains go to US – We the people – instead of an already-wealthy few.

A company improves efficiency by automating, etc., and the gains go into a fund. As all the companies do this, the fund provides income to working people. People get the same pay and reduced hours because the efficiencies mean there is less work to do. Or they can move up the ladder to more-skilled jobs for more pay.

In other words, imagine democracy

Voting Systems

How did we move from a voting system where you could be sure who won to voting systems where you have to trust what private companies tell you the results are?

This is good:

“Andrew Appel explores the history of voting and voting fraud as we have transitioned from paper ballots to mechanical voting machines.”