Tag Archives: Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose

Automation and Secularization

One of the reasons The Deplorables elected OMP was his promise to make America great again; in essence, OMP vowed to bring back back-breaking labor (coal/mining), manufacturing, sales and other menial jobs that require little education, something many of The Deplorables lacked. 1

Technology will put paid to that canard:

Automation is accelerating. The software powering these robots becomes more powerful every day. We can’t stop it. But we can adapt to it.

Bill Gates recommends we tax robotic workers so that we can recapture some of the money displaced workers would have paid as income tax.

Elon Musk recommends we adopt universal basic income and give everyone a certain amount of money each year so we can keep the economy going even as millions of workers are displaced by automation.

And I recommend we take some of the taxpayer money we’re using to subsidize industries that are now mostly automated, and instead invest it in training workers for emerging engineering jobs.

Truck Driving Man

As of 2014, “Truck Driver” is the most common job in almost every state in the US.

The Deplorables, like everyone else, will have to adapt to the inevitable.

Historically, however, the problem has always been that a certain segment of society, of which The Deplorables comprise a large portion, is resistant to change; they want things “just as they are” or “the way things used to be.” Even worse, many of them combine these Luddite tendencies with a dogged effort to defy the West’s ongoing secularization. This is especially true when egged on by foaming at the mouth religious zealots.

This does not bode well for the future.

Sure, the governments of the world could initiate long range plans of re-education/training of their populaces, along with providing monetary support in an effort to minimize the impact of the coming transition. That is, at least notionally, what governments do; provide for the welfare of their people.

But history teaches that what will most likely happen is dictators/autocrats/despots(and undoubtedly OMP) will instead use the attendant rising unemployment and dissatisfaction of The Deplorables as a tool to further inflame societal gulfs, while at the same time claiming that The Other is the root cause and we must engage them in The Forever War.

In other words, plus ça change plus c’est la même chose.

Wake up, people.

Automation and Secularization

Show 1 footnote

  1. Yes fear, xenophobia, misogynism and racism all played a part, but we’re not speaking of that at the moment.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Ticketmaster’s $400 million settlement over jacked-up fees for things like “order-processing” and shipping costs has been approved and finalized, more than a decade after the class-action suit — Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster — was originally filed.

To collect on the settlement, fans will have to spend more money on tickets.

You are one of the 50 million class members if you purchased a ticket on Ticketmaster’s website from Oct. 21, 1999, through Feb. 27, 2013. If you haven’t received an email notice yet, buyers are told to check their accounts on or around June 18 to retrieve discount codes — one for each transaction during the class period, with a cap of 17 — that are good for a $2.25 credit on a future online ticket purchase…

As part of the settlement, Ticketmaster changed the language on its website to clarify that order-processing and delivery charges may include a profit for the company. That said, Ticketmaster “denies any fault or liability, or any charges of wrongdoing that have been or could have been asserted” during the case.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2003, when Ticketmaster was part of IAC/InterActive Corp. Live Nation bought the ticketing firm for $2.5 billion in 2009.

Yet another reason why we can’t have nice things: Ticketmaster drug out a lawsuit for over a decade and managed to convince a judge to allow them to pay damages in coupons.

We wonder – were all the lawyers paid in coupons? 1 2

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Hahahahahahaha! Just kidding; the lawyers were paid millions of dollars! You know, for getting you those $2.25 coupons.
  2. And, hey! Monopolies, amirite?

Same Ol’ Story

We made a pit-stop in Salina last night 1, either at a Love’s or a Pilot’s truck stop: it is hard to differentiate since they’re both comprised of acres of concrete sprouting fields of gas pumps, as well as being home to the sort of gew-gaw selling, in-and-out stores (What the fuck is that? A billy-club? Who needs a 3′ billy-club to “check their tires”? And is that a shrunken head?! Jesus, Marge, let’s get outta here) that cause indigestion in the occasional bewildered NY or LA traveler.

Last night the gas oasis was host to a tidy caravan of Tom Joad’s decedents, the sparkling cabs of their Ford F-150s stuffed with random dogs, dirty children and smaller household goods, with the larger pieces – plasma TVs, barcaloungers and settees and such- piled high back in the truck beds. Headed east they were, escaping the state before Brownback launched another offensive against them: the latest rumors spreading among them concerned a tax on beards, scutage (it is said that Brownback intends to make enlistment in the state’s National Guard mandatory for all adults…unless you pay the annual scutage) and a new tax on pissing in any public place. No one was sure how this last, Vaspasian notion would be enforced (metered urinals?) but it spoke volumes that everyone took the possibility seriously.

While the adults browsed through the store’s unlimited supply of crap food for their journey, a handful of the dogs (and two or three of the littlest children) were busy scarfing up the plentiful cicadas. Seriously, covering what must have been an actual section of unrelieved concrete, with nary a tree, shrubbery or dirt clod in sight, there must have been several thousand cicadas walking, crawling and semi-flying about. It was an amazing sight. 2 Disgusting, but amazing.

These folk were all from central Brownbackistan, too far from the state’s borders to shop elsewhere. Western Brownbackistanis can just drive to Burlington, CO, for their shopping – tax rate: 4.9%. Those on the northern edge of Brownbackistan can cross over to to towns like Du Bois, Nebraska – tax rate 5.5%. Even those Brownbackistanis on the southern and eastern edges can find some relief by shopping in Oklahoma and Missouri. But central Brownbackistanis don’t have any options but to stay…and pay. And pay…and pay. Or to migrate to a new home. So it was round ’em up and head ’em out time for these besieged people.

Many of them were headed to New Hampshire, others to Wisconsin, with few of the more hard-headed among them migrating all the way to Maine. They were all cheerful enough. As one woman put it “Hell, at least we won’t have to pretend any more. You know how hard that is, defending someone like Brownback? When you know he’s nothing but a jackass slurping up the Koch brothers spunk and pretending it’s all for our own good? Damn hard, I’ll tell you.”

She lowered her voice some and leaned closer to me.

“Don’t let it slip but we and a couple of other families have had enough – we’re headed for Vermont. Bernie Sanders just makes more and more sense. I’d rather live someplace where the politicians don’t try and rape you on a daily basis.”

Which was our introduction to what Brownback had got up to while we were away. Jesus H. Fucking Ke-rist; it’s plus ça change plus c’est la même chose, regardless of the century, amiright?

Same Ol' Story

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Yes, we’ve returned from the mountains; apparently one of us still has to work for a living.
  2. Nope, have not seen even 1 cicada about the Charles manse or anywhere on the grounds – apparently it hasn’t yet been hot enough to bring the little buggers outta their holes. We’ll see what the coming week’s hot weather brings.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

BlackwaterYou’re thinking we’re winding down. You think we’re out of Iraq? Maybe boots and uniforms we might be, but we’re probably 30,000-plus strong contractors. You think we’re downsizing in Afghanistan? We are. Military. We’re still 100,000-strong contractors.”

Senator (D) Joe Manchin

This passed almost unnoticed in the “stir” surrounding whether President Obama is a worthy comic with impeccable timing, just has great joke writers, or some combination of the two…The Correspondents Diner – woo hoo!

Such passes for “news” these days.

In any event Sen. Manchin’s statement is worth pondering as it highlights the fact that the U.S. is not only not out of Iraq and Afghanistan, it has no intention of ever doing so. There’s lots and lots of money 1 in the permanent “peace keeping” business, regardless what Blackwater is calling itself these days.

Which puts Syria in another light, yes?

Sure, if “chemicals” can shown to have been used, we’ll put in Marines, the Army etc etc etc, but in the long run? More and more and more contractors.

It almost looks -almost, mind you – as though the current Administration (abetted by an venal Congress) is institutionalizing a bunch of ‘for profit’ conflicts initiated by another President.

WNBTv - Good TV!

Show 1 footnote

  1. And paid for Cheney’s new heart.