Author Archives: goldenbeetle

About goldenbeetle

John is the humble genius who created GB mag. He sometimes writes about himself in the third person.

Sacrifice

Trump claims that he’s made great sacrifices for America, as a job creating businessman. He recounts two specific incidents to support his claim, that his dedication to business came at great cost to himself personally: his first divorce and his second divorce, where he sacked an aging model wife for a younger trade in. It is good to know that Trump is willing to sacrifice aging trophy wives for the greater good of creating jobs.

WikiLeaks

For those wondering why the white working class is gonna vote for Donald Trump, with gusto, it may have something to do with the casual racism directed their way, the casual segregation of an entire community of uneducated and underprivileged people who are white. The question should be, how can we include them?

But instead it is…

Who will get the white trash vote (i.e., blue collar whites)?

If you doubt that’s how the Democratic Party views poor whites, then consider the issue from another perspective… How does the Democratic elite view race relations in America, and class divisions in America?

They show their commitment to equality, and meritocracy, not through charity, or self sacrifice, but by buying tickets to shows like Hamilton.

Ticket prices for Hamilton peaked at an average of $10,900 per seat. Those who believe America has transcended race are living in this world, of 10,000 dollar seats to a Broadway musical. These same folks run the Democratic Party. They believe in “trickle down” integration, from the top down, and have absolutely no understanding of the real world that 99% of us live in…

The Democratic Party is not reaching out to the white working class, and this is a direct consequence of its allegiance to its donor class – the folks who can afford to pay 10 grand to see Hamilton. The Democrats are the party of trade deals, and the TPP.

The recent document dump by WikiLeaks is profoundly important. The docs show that the DNC colluded with the mainstream media to defeat Bernie Sanders. This is important, amongst other reasons, because it proves that the primary goal of the DNC was to elect Hillary Clinton, and that the DNC did not focus on any of the attendant risks of pursuing that single minded strategy. Defeating Donald Trump was definitely not the primary goal of the DNC.

The consequence of the DNC’s allegiance to Hillary Clinton, and the donor class that she and the DNC rely upon for cash flow, is the disconnect with white working class voters, specifically in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The TPP is the issue that will motivate voters in these states, and Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine have no credibility on the issue. These states will determine the outcome of the election.

This gamble, by the DNC, is the political equivalent of the gambling that sunk the US economy in 2007-2008. It’s too early to tell, but the choice is already having political consequences. The base of supporters that fueled the Sanders insurgency, in those states listed above specifically, are alienated from the Democratic Party. The corrupting effect of big money, over several years, if not decades – that separated the Party from its working class base – left the political vacuum that secured Trump the Republican nomination.

The Democrats are now the party of Wall Street and free trade. The Republicans are the party of the white working class that have no place in the Democratic party anymore.

The DNC made its bet…

Politics

There’s a small but vocal minority of folks who openly express disdain for political posts to Facebook. I can’t say whether they speak for themselves or if there is, in fact, a silent majority of folks who hate all political rants on social media. I suspect there’s a lot of people who don’t object to politics on FB, but politics is a bit like pornography – you’d rather keep it separate from your public persona (though in reality it occupies a lot of your private life).

I plan to post more politics – at GB Mag – in the next few months. I’m not ashamed to be political, because it’s my nature to be political. But I get the opposition to politics on FB: I’m a leftist, tree hugging, progressive type, which is a subcategory of politics that may be offensive, even if you like politics generally; it’s sorta like the “water sports” section of Porn Hub that you don’t read, even if you got the premium membership Porn Hub account. People want to choose their political content, in the same way that they choose their porn content. I get that…

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Marketing 101

You can learn a lot from the marketing department.

Look at this item for sale on the Infowars website. It’s the third version of the t-shirt:

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The same marketing people who are selling that, think their customers also need this:

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Perhaps they know something about their customers that I don’t, although I’m not sure it makes sense, rationally, to make a connection between men who’d like to lock up a woman and men who need the super gonzo vitality pills.

But it’s an interesting thought and possibility.

For me, I’d just buy the gonzo vitality pills, without the shirt.

But the marketing department ain’t a room full of dummies, and they think they can sell both the shirt and the gonzo pills to the same dude.

They think they can sell this to that dude too:

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You think the marketing department is right to think they can sell a “Hillary for Prison” shirt to the same white conservative dude, who needs BOTH boner AND brain pills?

Is that the target demographic for the t-shirt?

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Some thoughts on a bad week

In my state, our governor pledged not to raise income taxes on the rich to make up revenue shortfalls. He prefers regressive taxation, like gas taxes, or raiding pensions, including police pensions, btw. Now our governor claims he supports police, while he raids their pensions, and even worse, shifts the burden of raising revenue – the most difficult part of the governor’s job – to our police force. So naturally politicians everywhere rally behind the police, because they’re using the cops to do the most difficult and dangerous job in history: tax collection. Our governor is a pioneer in the abuse of the police force in this manner, an outright fraud. How he was considered a presidential front runner at one time is mind boggling, considering what he’s done as governor. The bridge scandal was the least of it.

Our policemen are good union workers, for the most part, but the municipal court systems in many parts of our country (not just my state), of which police are an integral part, are used to make up revenue shortfalls that should be addressed by elected representatives through tax policy. So the police spend their days in urban communities across the country raising revenue, which puts an inordinate amount of stress on the urban poor. Here they issue alternate side parking tickets, for example, and nobody likes the tax collector, though parking enforcement fines are as significant a source of revenue, in urban neighborhoods, as property taxes. They raise huge money, and they’re totally regressive. They are oppressive and burdensome on the working poor. The complete abdication of the legislative branch, to raise revenue through taxation, is evident in other areas. There are yellow light cameras that cause more accidents than they prevent, but because they raise huge revenue, are everywhere.

Police no longer protect and serve, at least in lower income urban communities – they’re wandering tax collectors with guns, like you’d find in a third world country. And it isn’t an accident, and it isn’t their fault. It’s sad, actually, because poor people worry about routine traffic stops these days, and many feel targeted based on race, and I wonder whether the cops are just so over stressed, doing the work of raising revenue that the politicians won’t do, i.e., the hard work of raising revenue that, in a functioning system, properly results in politicians being held to account, by being voted out of office. But big money has corrupted our politicians, and corporate taxes and personal income taxes are off the table because of it. So, while we’re not paying attention, the politicians have been bought and abdicated their role, as tax collectors, and put that terrible burden on the backs of law enforcement. If we’d just reestablish that it is the legislator’s job to raise revenue, and not the policeman’s, and also take money out of politics, you might see at least some of the stress that’s causing so much harm dissipate…

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DJT

In the 90s, after I graduated college, I took a job at a small brokerage firm on Wall Street because I needed a job. I worked there for 7 months, and hated every minute of it. During my 7 month tenure at the brokerage, however, I met Donald Trump and shook his hand.

During the winter of 1996-1997, Donald Trump went on a promotional tour intended to inspire stock brokers to sell his stock. I’m not sure if he just visited us, or whether he visited brokerages of every size and shape, so long as they would sell his stock like we did. But it’s possible (educated guess, based on the volume of shares involved here) that he visited many brokerages, so I’ll use the expression “brokerage(s)” to indicate my uncertainty in that regard.

So the Donald went on a tour of brokerage firm(s) that were kinda like the one you saw in The Wolf of Wall Street. He made a presentation to a bunch of starving brokers, packed with promises he never kept, but to an audience of salesmen who were hungry to make a dollar during the bull market of the 90s. He made his pitch to teams of hundreds of salesmen, in a high turnover industry, to cover his ass and perpetrate a blatant fraud. His presentation – that I saw – wasn’t in a prospectus. It wasn’t subject to audit by the SEC. It was a presentation he made, off the record, to a bunch of schlock house, starving, amoral and drunken stock brokers.

Again, I don’t know for certain if he toured the circuit of schlock house brokerages other than the one I worked at. But I am willing to speculate that he did just that, and that his bs plans to build glass tunnels under water along the Atlantic City Boardwalk, connecting his new construction projects that would make Atlantic City great again, were fraudulently concocted to cause stock brokers to pump and dump his stock, at 27 bucks a share (it was trading at 27 as of his visit), to unsuspecting clients of our brokerage in the months before he knew that the company would inevitably go bankrupt.

This story is true. The man is a total scam artist and I witnessed it in the 90s.

He presented all kinds of huge construction plans for Atlantic City to us, and he had drawings of all his plans that were pretty exciting to the brokers who wanted to make a commission selling stocks with such exciting stories. Now I left the firm after 7 rotten months, but I kept following the stock, DJT, as he had sold me on the story and I had to watch his plans unfold and for Atlantic City to be, ahem, made great again! But, the story ended with DJT declaring bankruptcy within a few years or so of the Donald’s incredible presentation. None of the things he promised to build, however, were built. (But I’m sure he managed to dump a lot of worthless shares of his company’s stock by using a bunch of dumb brokers and leveraging his celebrity to do it…)

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Trump University

The Donald’s campaign for President is his latest scam.

Before that, it was Trump University. If you look up “Trump University” on Google, you’ll see this:

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You don’t need to be a graduate of the now defunct Trump University to know that Donald J. Trump is a fraud. We know enough about him now to know he is a scammer.

I don’t blame the graduates of Trump’s real estate program, or suggest they should have recognized a fraud back then before falling victim to Trump; but sadly, they learned to spot the fraud at some point after paying $35,000 for a seat in the conference room at a local Holiday Inn or convention center, and are suing the Donald now to get their 35,000 dollars back…

In the video below, the Donald explains the Trump University concept: it’s about success! The same shit you’d learn at America’s best universities, like the Wharton School, but much, much better.

Why is Trump University better than Wharton and Harvard?

Trump’s explanation goes something like this:

The business schools take all of your time. They also take all of your money.

Trump University is better, he says, because it doesn’t take much of your time, although, according to filings in California district court, it still takes all of your money.

He pretty much admits it all in the video…

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Consumerism

JK and I have been talking about the issues below for some time now, and the best ideas are his. The article below is my summary of our discussions…

We live in a culture where the inconvenient truths of science are suppressed if they get in the way of capitalism.

Here’s a quote cribbed from an article covering the reforms proposed by House Republicans, to solve the terrible problem of the EPA “twisting the science” for its anti-capitalist, regulatory purposes:

“EPA has an extensive track record of twisting the science to justify their actions,” and so reform is needed, said Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), head of the House science committee, in a statement supporting one of the bills.

So Congress passed a rule in 2014, suppressing expert scientific testimony to the EPA, and elevating the testimony of insider, industry lobbyists – to stop science from being twisted.

This is the context in which narratives develop in the United States, that purport to solve the problems of consumption in a capitalist society.

Birds covered in gooey oil after a spill need a bath in soap and water – definitely not government regulation.

The solution?

Dawn liquid detergent. It’s made from petroleum, coincidentally, but buying more of it is the best way that we, the consumers, can help clean up petroleum after a spill…

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Does it make sense that we, the consumers, buy petroleum products (like Dawn), to solve one of the many problems of petroleum mining (oil spills)?

Is an oil spill an opportunity for an effective commercial advertisement for another petroleum product?

Read my post on Rock Snot! and also the comments to that post.

This NPR article is also worth a read…

Click here for NPR story.