Monday, April 28, 2008

Week of 04/28/2008

America’s No-Win Situation
– by David Matthews 2

There is nothing more unsettling for me than to be in a no-win situation. It is one thing to be given choices where even one of the options is correct and the rest are wrong and you end up making the wrong choice. Then at least you can admit that you screwed up and that you deserved whatever punishment was the result. But it is another to be put into a situation where you KNOW that no matter what you do, you WILL lose.

I know people like to think that we should just choose the “lesser” of the evils being presented and just deal with the consequences, but that really doesn’t work in a society that glorifies winning and believes that winning is a matter of making the “right decisions”. How can you make the “right decisions” when you are given nothing but the “wrong” choices?

Here’s a great example: you get your identity stolen. In most instances, it’s really not your fault. Some clever crook uses a palm-scanner and swipes your credit card, or someone copies your name and address and phone number from a phone book, or maybe they hacked the purchase list of some local store… either way, they have all the information they need to take over your identity. Suddenly you get hit with all sorts of bills and bill collectors are calling you about purchases you never made. You call the police, you call the credit card companies, you call the credit reporting companies, and you do everything that you need to do to let people know that your identity has been compromised and is being used by scammers and thieves all around the world.

But it still doesn’t stop, does it? No, the bill collectors STILL come after you. The police start hassling you because your name is now some crook’s new alias. You have to spend thousands of dollars and countless hours of your personal time to defend yourself, and you get driven into bankruptcy.

And then here comes some success “guru” who tells you that the only reason why you’re in bankruptcy now is because YOU made “bad choices” in life. And he should know, shouldn’t he? He should know because he supposedly made nothing but the “right choices”. That and he probably never had his identity stolen and had to spend countless man-hours and every penny he owns trying to defend himself.

And what would this “success guru” say was your fault? What “bad choices” did you supposedly make that would put the blame of identity theft on your head? He’ll say that you really shouldn’t have gotten a credit card, or that you really shouldn’t have made any online purchases, or that you shouldn’t have had your phone listed in the phone book. These are all things that our society tries to make impossible. Banks give out check cards nowadays, and even your local grocery store wants you to sign up for their services by offering discounts, which means that they want your personal information, which they PROMISE to keep secret, unless they’re hacked of course. And if you want your name out of the phone books, that actually costs you EXTRA. And even then that doesn’t guarantee that your personal information won’t get stolen and hijacked by someone, because there are plenty of ways that it can happen.

Either way, the “success guru” is full of it, and yet he’s making out like a bandit because he’s out there telling folks that success is all about making “the right choices” even though YOU were given nothing but wrong ones and then told to simply make do with what you have.

Unfortunately we seem to be stuck with nothing BUT no-win situations, and it’s gotten progressively worse over the months. It seems like NOTHING we can do is right.

Take, for instance, trade policies.

We LOVE free trade… at least in theory! We LOVE the idea that free trade gives us access to goods and services all around the world and that we can keep prices low and affordable because of competition.

Yeah… competition… unless we happen to have free trade with a country that puts in draconian limits on the good being exported from us while we happily accept all sorts of products from them. Countries like China… that are so rich in trade exporting that they have the largest trade surplus in the world, and the only things they eagerly buy from us are the bonds used to fund our deficit spending. We love getting cheap goods from those countries, until those goods are TOO cheap and they end up poisoning us. Or they become so cheap that we can’t afford to keep our own businesses operating in this country and we lose our jobs to people in countries like China.

We love free trade, as long as we’re doing the free trading. We love cheap goods, until we find out how cheap they are. And we love the free market, until that marketplace takes our own jobs away. Either way, we can’t really win.

And we can’t really say “Buy American” anymore, because even the flags are being made in China, never mind all of the materials for the protest signs!

THE number one no-win situation in the world today is energy! We spill blood for oil all around the world, and by “we” I don’t just mean the United States. America may be the number one gluttonous pig in the world in terms of oil, but we’re not the only ones. China and India are actually moving up in the gluttony. Having newfound wealth does that to people… it causes them to buy really expensive cars with really crappy gas mileage, which they don’t mind because they can afford to pay extra for gas.

America is STUCK with a monstrous oil addiction, and we just can’t seem to shake ourselves off it, can we? Our elected and appointed grifters and shysters brokered deals with foreign groups like OPEC and APEC to make sure that we get as much oil as we want, never mind what we need. And now we NEED that oil and we’re having to compete with China and India and any kind of hostile activity, be it man-made or from Mother Nature, ends up with price spikes.

So now we’re looking for alternatives, aren’t we? We want cheap oil and cheap gas, but we’re not going to get them anymore. And it seems like ANY kind of alternative is not viable!

Raise the Gas Mileage: The automakers bet their futures on huge bulky urban assault vehicles and pickup trucks back in the 1990’s. They burn through fuel faster than a frat boy goes through a keg at Spring Break, but back then nobody cared because the price of oil and the price of gasoline were so low. And even when it DID start to matter, the spin machine prevented people from realizing that they were digging their own economic graves. They were conditioned mentally and emotionally that they NEEDED to buy an urban assault vehicle for safety and convenience and POWER. Hey, you go through at least one blizzard and see how many SUV owners gloat that their purchase was somehow “worth it”.

But raise the standards, you say? Oh no, no, no, no, no can do, according to the automakers. You see, in order to make the urban assault vehicle so “safe” and so POWERFUL, the automakers had make the urban assault vehicle HEAVIER. Heavier metals, which made the vehicle as safe as the military vehicles they were modeled after, were needed to support the heavier truck engine, which gave it the power. That’s the reason why it chugs so much fuel. So to make them fuel-efficient again, the automakers have to make the vehicles lighter, which mean that they have to sacrifice “safety” in the form of lighter construction or “POWER” in regards to engine capability, both of which are that kind of vehicle’s key selling points.

PLUS in order to do these things, you have to make some serious changes to plant operations, which mean you have to get the unions to sign off on them, or you have to work with the manufacturing plants in the countries that you exported your jobs to. Either way, it’s not a quick or easy task.

In other words, you can’t win.

Build more refineries & Stop messing with the mix: There has not been a single new oil refinery built in the United States in well over two decades! That is a very painful fact when you consider the number of times refineries have to be shut down for maintenance and for making changes to the fuel mixture as required by federal laws and regulations. Every six months we have to go through this game of prices going up and up because of these shutdowns and changeovers.

So why can’t we build more refineries? Or at the very least, stop messing with the mixture every six months?

One word: Environmentalists.

Every time we talk about building a new refinery, environmentalists start screaming bloody murder about the damage done to the environment. They throw up rules and regulations to actually PREVENT new refineries from being built, which then forces the oil companies to work with the ones they currently have no matter how old they are.

Then of course we have the “Not In MY Backyard” crowd… and they also scream bloody murder about putting up oil refineries that might interfere with their property values or with their lovely viewing of the nearby area.

Mind you, both groups DEMAND cheaper gas prices, and in all likelihood they will drive those urban assault vehicles or pickup trucks, but they would rather have someone ELSE refine the oil into the fuel they need.

And forget about trying to stop the changeover of fuels… because it was the environmentalists that lobbied Congress and the White House to REQUIRE the special seasonal blends AS WELL as the regional “boutique” blends in the first place!

Drill closer to home: Sounds like a good plan, right? We still have got plenty of untapped and unexplored oil resources here in this country. We certainly could use it to help stave off our dependency on foreign oil and thus prevent us from being subservient to those foreign lands and have the price of oil shoot up anytime an oil sheik stubs his toe. So why can’t we just tap into what we have at home?

One word: Environmentalists.

Yes, these guys again!

While we were striking deals with OPEC to keep oil prices low, low, low, the environmentalists were getting the White House to sign dozens of Executive Orders which declared hundred of thousands of acres as “endangered property”, which meant that nobody could touch the land. Some of these areas may or may not have oil, but we’ll never know for sure as long as they are “endangered”.

Plus, of course, these are the folks that will scream bloody murder if you start talking about putting oil wells up either on the land or on the sea. Never mind, though, that it will mean still more dependency on foreign oil. In fact they will travel long distances… in urban assault vehicles and pickup trucks no less… to protest the creation of a single new drilling rig, wasting more valuable fuel for the job.

Convert vehicles to natural gas: Switching to natural gas seems to be a good alternative, right? The MARTA busses in Atlanta all run on natural gas. It’s better for the planet according to the environmentalists.

There’s just one little problem… to bring in natural gas in the levels needed to convert everything over from gasoline you need more than just tapping into natural pockets of natural gas. You need… OIL FIELDS!

Well, so much for appeasing the environmentalists… not to mention the NIMBY crowd comes back into play. After all, who wants to live next to a place that smells like rotten eggs? Who wants to live anywhere near a place that smells like rotten eggs?

Convert gas from coal: Sounds crazy, I know, but there is a guy who actually developed, perfected, and patented the process by which COAL can be converted over into oil! Nobody paid any attention to it because at the time, it was just too expensive to implement, especially when oil was selling at $20 per barrel. Now that it is selling well over $100 a barrel, conversion from coal would be cheaper and easier.

So who would be against this idea?

Do I REALLY have to tell you?

Yes, the environmentalists would once again be screaming bloody murder over this idea. They would object to the pollution used for the conversion process, the strip-mining of coal to make the conversion, and of course the pollution that would result. To them, it would double the damage to the planet.

Convert from gas-powered to electric-powered vehicles: Sounds good as an idea, but the downside is that the electricity still has to come from somewhere. Gas-powered, coal-powered, and even nuclear-powered electrical plants are all quickly condemned by “you know who”.

And if that’s not bad enough, now the so-called “CLEAN” alternatives are under attack…

Windmills: Windmills! CLEAN energy! NATURAL energy! You would think that environmentalists would be ecstatic about using the power of Mother Nature for good right?


In Massachusetts, a proposed windmill farm, which would help provide clean and natural energy to help the area, is being opposed by… who? Environmentalists! WHY? Because the giant blades can slaughter whole flocks of songbirds that stray in the area! Never mind that the bird inhabitants in that area are rare, if any, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. No, birds are somehow more important than people.

Hydropower: WATER! How about WATER? Another NATURAL energy source when used in a hydroelectric dam! How can you take issue with that?

You can when there is a drought.

In recent years the State of Georgia suffered from a drought. Too much demand, not enough rainfall. The water coming from the Chattahoochee River does more than just provide hydroelectric power… it also provides the drinking water for the metropolitan Atlanta area. You would think that THIS would be important enough, right?

Well, no, apparently there is something FAR more important than the continued survival of people in the Atlanta area… namely some freshwater fish and muscles. And the government didn’t mind if they drained the river at the Buford Dam until there was nothing more left as long as any remaining water ended up in Florida for those fish and muscles. And who were the ones pushing for this displaced sense of priority? Yup, the environmentalists again.

And now, we have yet another alternative that is getting shot down…

Biofuels: We’re not just talking about ethanol, although that’s the key item of contention right now. Biofuels… making gasoline from something OTHER than petroleum! Something organic. Something good, right? Something the environmentalists have been wanting for DECADES now, right?

But here’s the problem… with more and more demand for ethanol from countries all around the world, farmers are deciding to grow corn and sugar for FUEL instead of for FOOD. More corn for ethanol means less corn to feed the cattle, less corn for the grocery store, and thus less corn for families. And of course if the companies are paying big bucks for corn for ethanol, the farmers would rather grow corn for fuel than for other essential items such as rice. So now FOOD prices are soaring along with FUEL prices, and people are once again screaming bloody murder that the masses are starving to fuel up some “rich elite American’s vehicle”.

Well at least this time it’s not the environmentalists doing the bitching and crying, although they were when the discussion turned to genetically-modified food.

Sorry Europe, but the “rich elite Americans” don’t bother with biofuels. They’re still driving their custom-made urban assault vehicles using premium city-polluting gasoline so they continue to pollute the world as they smoke their cigars and count their money. The rest of us Americans… the ones that work for a living that you Euro-snobs seem to forget exist… are the ones that are suffering with the higher food prices and the higher fuel prices just like the rest of you.

We just can’t seem to get a break when it comes to trying to resolve this energy problem can we? If we continue to suffer with the current problems with petroleum, everyone screams bloody murder about the damage to the environment and the growing cost on society. If we try to change our ways and come up with alternatives, then the same groups STILL bitch and cry and scream bloody murder!

It’s truly a no-win situation for us! Not matter what we do, we bankrupt businesses, bankrupt society, bankrupt whole institutions, slaughter creatures, pollute the environment, and cause us to starve. Take your pick, but we’re going to be the bad guys no matter WHAT we do!

Let’s get brutally honest here… no matter what we do, we’re going to piss some special interest group off. We had might as well accept that. The name of the game, therefore, is NOT to appease everyone, but to come up with an option that WORKS and then to deal with THOSE consequences later.

In order for us to deal with the problem of oil and the problem of depleting energy resources, we need to bring in actual SOLUTIONS. It is NOT right for us to simply say that our current mess is the way that it needs to be. That is UNACCEPTABLE! The civilized world, if not humanity itself, will not survive with the way things are going today. That is a fact that we need to deal with.

I hate no-win situations. I hate being put into them. But in terms of resolving this matter, SOMEONE needs to bear the burden of this mess, and so far the WRONG people have been the ones doing it without any kind of resolution. It’s high time that someone ELSE bears that burden.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Week of 04/21/2008

Elitism and the Common Man
– by David Matthews 2

“Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people, to discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.” - Robert Louis Stevenson


Now that’s an insulting term.

It’s insulting, divisive, polarizing, and it is meant to BE taken that way.

Accusing someone of being an elitist is to accuse them of being a snob, of being arrogant, and putting themselves above others for whatever reason.

Elitism is something that you hurl around when you want to side with “the masses”, and when you want to isolate the accused from the rest of the group.

The accusation of elitism is used to start revolutions by demonizing the other side. The American Revolution and the French Revolution both had a small group of “elites” that were the immediate target of scorn and bile. These were the people that were blamed for the suffering of “the masses”, whether through excessive taxes or through a lack of food. During the American Civil War (or “War of Aggression” or whatever you want to call it), the accusation of “elitism” was thrown by both sides to describe each other and to condemn their positions.

Elitism was easily thrown about during the rise of the Industrial Revolution, with big corporations making money by exploiting the masses and by hoarding power of governments large and small. Just about every antitrust rule and regulation out there today was put in place upon the accusation of “elitism” by big business.

During the Great Depression, banks were the new “elites”, as they were the ones holding all of the money, all of the power, and delivering nothing but misery for the struggling Americans. In fact, part of the reason why stories of bank robbers were romanticized was because of the demonization of banks as being “the elites” in America.

Today, though, “elitism” is bantered about by pretty much all walks of life. It’s no longer the tool for revolution or romanticizing bank robbers or rallying for controlling government. Instead, it is used to demonize ordinary people and local groups.

And most notably, it is used all-too readily in politics and in talk radio.

Conservative and neo-conservative talk show hosts LOVE to foist the banner of “elitism” against liberal groups and anyone they passionately oppose. According to Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and the rest, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the People for the American Way and any organization that champions individual rights and fights for the U.S. Constitution are considered “elitists”. They’re branded and condemned as “limousine liberals” along with the Democrats in Congress and civil rights workers and unions.

The hypocritical part, of course, is that these guys are FAR from having anything to do with being a “common man”. They make millions, and they have access to the things in life that allow them to make millions more. There are plenty of struggling and starving writers that would sell their souls to get so much as an appointment with a publisher, while talking heads like Limbaugh and Hannity can get a lucrative book deal in a heartbeat and have it be instant bestsellers. Most people are lucky to get a form letter supposedly from the President of the United States. These guys get private invitations to the White House to spend lunch with the President in person.

But that doesn’t matter, does it? No, what matters – at least according to these neo-con media demagogues – is that the ACLU and other like-minded people are “elitists” that are “out of touch” with the rest of the country. THAT is the message they are spreading. They are the “THEM” in the “Us Versus Them” game.

And it’s not just the conservatives playing this game either! CNN commentator and media personality Lou Dobbs does the same thing on his nightly TV show. He claims to champion “The middle Class” and claims there’s a “war” being waged on it. He also waives the flag and scolds Washington politicians for their ineptitude, and all on the claim that he is doing this on behalf of the millions and millions of hard-working Americans.

And maybe there is truth to some of the things he says and of the accusations he makes, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t also foisting the divisive charge of “elitism”. He is claiming with every broadcast that federal, state, and local politicians and businesses large and small are all elitists that are “out of touch” with the rest of society and that HE is speaking on behalf of the “common man”.

Now we have the 2008 Presidential Election season, and once again the word “elitism” is being foisted about by people who really have no business using the word.

Senators Hillary Rodham-Clinton and John McCain, and their myrmidons and surrogates, are accusing fellow Senator Barak Obama of being an “elitist” when he described small-town life in Pennsylvania as full of people who are “bitter” and cling to guns and religion. All the while, of course, both Clinton and McCain claim to champion the “hard-working Americans”.

Hypocritical? ABSOLUTELY! McCain is a career politician worth MILLIONS of dollars, and while Clinton herself is only a fledgling career politician, she has been the wife of a career politician for many years and she too has also raked in MILLIONS of dollars. There is NOTHING “common” about these so-called “champions of the common man”.

But that brings up a few things about both the charge of “elitism” and the cult-like worshiping of the “Common Man”.

First of all, let’s get brutally honest here… we are ALL guilty of being elitists at some point in our lives! We ALL are! We HAVE to; because it’s the only way that we can differentiate ourselves from the others.

All throughout life, we are herded into little groups based on any number of criteria. Age, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, hair color, genealogy, geographic region, personal preferences, hobbies, financial income, marital status… we are all judged and stereotyped and pigeonholed into all sorts of different demographics.

And the problem begins when that is ALL that we see people as being! Instead of seeing them as individuals, we see them as Christians or Muslims or Jews or Hindus or Atheists. We see them as a skin color, or a hair color. We see them as rich or poor or somewhere in-between. We see them as being men or women, children or adults, straight or gay, right-handed or left-handed, US or THEM.

It’s all about GROUP identity. And the name of the game here is to be on the side of “US” instead of “THEM”.

The downside to group identity and the “US Versus THEM” mentality is that in order for the collectivist mentality of “US” to win out, you have to crucify progress and achievement. You can’t win. And if you do win, then you can’t prosper from it. You have to be penalized for winning. You can’t even be recognized for winning. The moment you do that, you differentiate yourself from the “US”. You’re no longer “common” or “average”. You’re a winner, and that makes you stand out. That makes you “elite”.

Look at America’s current tax system! The more money you make, the higher the percentage you have to pay in taxes. You buy certain things that are clear signs of success and you get taxed EXTRA on them. What sort of message does that send people?

You have to work harder and harder to achieve the same. People are asking “who moved my cheese” and then rather than encourage people to go find the “cheese”, you’re told that it’s okay and that you just need help getting some more, and oh-by-the-way it’s all the fault of those “elites” that you don’t have your cheese.

Collectivism makes a religion out of mediocrity. It tells people that your whole purpose in life is to be just like everyone else. You can’t succeed, you can’t progress, you can’t achieve beyond “the norm”.

In other words, it worships losers. It celebrates FAILURE; because that means that you’re just like everyone else.

So when Hillary Rodham-Clinton, John McCain, Barak Obama, Lou Dobbs, and even Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity claim to champion “the common man” and the “average Americans”, they’re really advocating for mediocrity. They are advocating FAILURE.

And suddenly it all makes sense why Obama’s comments drew so much criticism by the demagogues. It’s not that what he said was false or wrong, but because it reminded the “common folk” of the REALITY of their situation. The demagogues don’t mind you talking about the “common folk” as long as you’re PRAISING them and CELEBRATING the concept of being “average” and “plain”. They need to constantly indoctrinate people that it is okay to be that way, because that makes you part of the “US” instead of being one of “THEM”.

At the same time, though, the demagogues that are pushing for the collectivist mediocrity really aren’t “US”. And no matter how many times they pretend to be like “US”, no matter how many times they enjoy a beer at your local bar, or show up at a local bookstore to sign copies of their books, or talk about their “poor upbringing in the woods”, or pretend to enjoy the restaurants that they plug on TV and radio, they’re really not “US”. They may put their pants (or their pantsuit) on one leg at a time, but that’s really all that they have in common with the great unwashed. They can’t be like the rest of the collectivist “common man”, because they happen to know the truth about this twisted web of logic and hypocrisy that has been woven from generation to generation. They know that the only way they can continue to succeed is to continue to spin the collectivist myth that it is okay to be mediocre.

The only way out of this trap, then, is to abandon the idea that you’re “common” and embrace individual achievement. Rather than say that you are JUST a Christian or JUST from Pennsylvania or JUST whatever demographic is being celebrated, you need to proudly proclaim that you are MORE than that! YOU ARE AN INDIVIDUAL!

And once you do that… and once you believe that… then the power that the demagogues have over you disappears. Their combative and divisive arguments lose any meaning because you demonstrate that you are more than JUST whatever demographic you identify with.

We are ALL guilty of being elitists and of advocating elitism. It’s called an identity, and it separates us from everyone else.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Week of 04/14/2008

Are You In A Bitchocracy?
– by David Matthews 2

“Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.” – Sophia Loren

Here’s a really good word for you learn…

Bitchocracy: a group or organization run by one or more people who are self-centered, self-absorbed, and generally complain a lot about even the tiniest detail until they get their way.

A bitchocracy is a miserable form of organization. It is corrupt to the core, heavily narcissistic, and it literally sucks the life and the joy out of anything it infests. There is nothing idealistic about a bitchocracy, and the only goal of a bitchocracy is the satisfaction of the person or persons who complain the most.

In fact, complaining is the coin of trade in a bitchocracy. You are nobody in a bitchocracy until you bitch about something! That is your only means of identity in a bitchocracy. You’re either the bitch or you’re the one being bitched-at, and it is FAR better to always be the bitch!

Most bitchocrats are women, and there is a very simple reason behind it: male bitchocrats tend to get their asses kicked if they bitch too much. Men bitch too much and they’re asked to either “step outside” or told to “grow a pair”.

Women, on the other hand, are considered protected. Men cannot beat up a female bitchocrat no matter how many times they are so provoked. It’s considered wrong both socially and legally. Female bitchocrats know this and they actually count on this to protect them. The only thing that they have to worry about, then, is another female bitchocrat, and any good bitchocrat knows how to keep another one of them in line if they have to.

Besides, men in general don’t make good bitchocrats. They always want to find ways to fix the problem, which is something that bitchocrats don’t like to do. Bitchocrats are lazy. They expect OTHER people to do all their work for them.

Unfortunately, civilized society has served as the great equalizer when it comes to balancing the male and female bitchocrats. Where once satisfaction was achieved through dueling pistols or rapiers or at the very least three rounds in a rented boxing ring, our demand for “non-violent” resolutions have eliminated the only means to corral male bitchocrats. Now the only way to corral them is to provoke them to be violent, which is something that they are far more skilled at inflicting.

At the heart of a bitchocracy is POWER. When a bitchocrat asserts himself or herself in a situation, it is done so on the perceived notion of POWER. “I am more important than YOU!” THAT is the statement that a bitchocrat makes through his or her actions. It is the persistent insistence that YOU are there to serve THEM. And not just in general, as in customer service has to serve the needs of the customers; no, it means that YOU are there to serve THEM, the bitchocrat, specifically and above anyone else.

Bitchocrats thrive on personal satisfaction, especially when something is wrong. If their world is upended, then it is treated as a crime against HUMANITY itself! Worse if this is something that happens more than once.

Bitchocrats love to exaggerate and exasperate the problem. If something fails once in every a blue moon, the bitchocrat will falsely claim that it fails EACH AND EVERY TIME. Or they’ll claim that it fails every other day, or every other week, or they’ll say that it never really ever worked at all. And don’t bother trying to prove them wrong, because they’ll never admit to it, even when the facts are on your side and you can present those facts at a moment’s notice. FACTS don’t matter in a bitchocracy. SATISFACTION matters; and specifically the SATISFACTION of the bitchocrat.

Bitchocrats LOVE to assess blame on others. It is always someone else’s fault, even if they themselves had something to do with it. In fact, they will easily CAUSE problems simply to assess blame on those people.

Bitchocrats love to bring as many people as possible into a problem. Things aren’t working so they want to set up a meeting or a conference call with fourteen people, including your boss, their boss, five other departments, and anyone else who might possibly be involved so that you can go over the problem with them and set up multi-level procedures to supposedly “prevent” the problem from ever happening again with no less than five follow-up meetings about it. And it doesn’t matter what the problem is in the first place. It could by a typo on a memo and it will invoke the same kind of response.

The movie “Office Space” has the best example of this when the central character forgets to use the new cover sheet for his TPS report, which results in everyone in some kind of managerial position talking to him about it and everyone sending him “the memo”.

Bitchocrats love the word “escalate”… as in their insistence that you need to “escalate” the problem if it cannot be resolved immediately. Bitchocrats wait for NOBODY as far as they are concerned. If you can’t deal with their problem immediately, then they insist that you find someone that can. Preferably that “someone” is your supervisor so they can be told just how inept you are because YOU aren’t resolving THEIR problem in a timely manner. In fact, it can be said that the greatest triumph of a bitchocrat is to destroy another person’s career.

But perhaps the worst thing about bitchocrats is that they inspire others to be like them, even if they don’t want to.

Bitchocrats set a precedent that says that if you BITCH loud enough and persistently enough, that you will get whatever you want. It is a precedence that tosses out courtesy and politeness and encourages outright rude behavior. And no matter how many times people will deny doing it themselves, if they are in a bitchocracy, then they have no choice but to follow the lead of the bitchocrats, because that is the only way that things get done in that environment.

THIS, my friends, is what happened to customer service in the business world! When people complain about shoddy customer service or non-responsive customer service, then you need to understand that these are the FIRST victims of bitchocrats. They have to deal with lazy, inept, self-centered, ignorant, narcissistic bitches and bastards that REFUSE to read instructions, that REFUSE to follow directions, and expect to have everything handed to them and have everything work out right out of the box, and they have to deal with these people CONSTANTLY for even the smallest of details.

Here’s a good hypothetical example… You buy a DVD player and it comes with a book of instructions. Page 5 will walk you through the extensive process of setting up and programming your new toy. But most folks ignore that and will toss out those instructions and harass the customer service people WHEN – not if – they have a problem with setting it up. So the manufacturer of that DVD Player adds on a smaller set of instructions and calls it a “Quick Start Guide”. Usually this will be a one-page publication, filled with pictures that even a two-year old could understand. Same problem; it gets tossed along with the other instructions. People don’t want to READ, they want to WATCH. So they will continue to harass customer service. The manufacturer then sets up a website with the same information and sets up a recording that tells callers to view the website first. Doesn’t work, because it will get ignored and they will STILL call customer service. So now they have to set up a long, extensive, automated phone referral service that tries to capture the real source of the problem and to weed out the bitchocrats, but that also falls flat because bitchocrats figure out ways to subvert the system. And all because the bitchocrats REFUSE to follow directions or instructions and would rather be hand-held through a simple process.

After explaining all of that, NOW do you understand why customer service people are they way that they are? And do you also now understand why companies try to outsource their customer service calls to third-world nations?

This is precisely how extensive bitchocracy gets. It literally affects whole sections of a business environment, causing micromanagement and bureaucracy at a level that is nothing less than inhumane.

And you can’t turn off being a bitchocrat. That’s the worst part about it. You can’t just turn it on and off automatically when you go from work to home. You take it with you. You go home from a long day of being a bitchocrat and you take it out in the car during your commute when faced with bad drivers. You become more aggressive and more arrogant while driving. You take it out with the kids and with your spouse. You go to the grocery store or to a restaurant and you expect everything to be perfect to YOUR satisfaction. If it works at the workplace, then it can work on the deli worker who seems unable to measure a pound of sliced turkey… or the auto mechanic who may or may not have done ALL forty-two points of inspection… or the restaurant chef who doesn’t seem to know how to cook steak to YOUR specifications. You apply it to your child’s teachers when his grades start to slide, and then to your children when they forget to do the chores you set out for them. And then, eventually, to your spouse, who simply has to sit there and take it.

All the while, of course, you complain about the bitchocrats you work for and work with and you tell yourself that you don’t know how manage to get through the day with them around, and that YOU would NEVER be like them! No, you would be different, wouldn’t you? You just can’t understand why people seem to get snippier with you and why there seems to be way too many inept and incompetent people all around you.

Let’s get brutally honest here… bitchocrats are a CANCER on society! They prey on our good nature, they capitalize on our passive demands of a “civilized society”, and they encourage others to be just as demanding to an absolute fault as they are, and worse yet to do so as the only means of success.

Even more dangerous is that so-called “polite society” really has no means to address the damage caused by bitchocrats. As mentioned previously, duels and outright fights are prohibited. We’d like to think that karma, the fates, God, or some other mystical force in the universe, will somehow mete out justice and that these people will get precisely what is owed to them in ways that they do not expect. They serve as poor substitutes for true justice. Unfortunately, bitchocrats are rather skilled at deflecting any kind of subtle forms of cosmic justice and in fact turn it into more fuel for their fire. With no real means for satisfaction, people who feel victimized by bitchocrats believe that they are compelled to take drastic, more socially destructive personal measures.

I want you to ponder this for a moment: a good decade before school shootings were the media’s favorite “epidemic”, there were workplace shootings. The term “going postal” originally came from the rise of mass-shootings related to postal workers, but it wasn’t long before it spread to other places of employment. The stress of the workplace was seen as the source of many of these attacks; stress caused by unrealistic demands, unrealistic expectations placed on workers, and by a poisonous workplace environment. Many of these people who went “postal” weren’t powderkegs just waiting to go off, or at the very least they didn’t START out that way. How many of these socially caustic workplace environments were brought out by a bitchocracy? I don’t think that too many people would want that kind of study to be done. It would be much easier for the “fragile psyches” of the bitchocrats if they just simply said that the late Peter Guncrazy simply “snapped”.

It is one thing to be assertive in a competitive world, to know what you want and to try to get what you want, but living in a society means that you don’t necessarily GET what you want simply by bitching enough times to get it. The only reason why it seems to work is that “polite society” does not allow for that kind of rude, self-serving, egotistical behavior to be corrected. It presupposes that people will RESPECT each other, and bitchocrats respect NOTHING that is not done to their satisfaction. That has to change, one way or another, or else that “polite society” will implode in a mass of bitterness and anarchy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Week of 04/07/2008

Will Hillary Kill The Democrats?
– by David Matthews 2

Poor Hillary… she just can’t seem to get a break, can she?

I mean that with all sarcasm, of course.

Here’s an ambitious politician who believed that the whole primary process was nothing more than a formality for her. That SHE would not only be the de facto nominee for the Democrats, but that she would BECOME the next President of the United States, and that she could have these things at any time she wanted. All she had to do was say “I’m in” and EVERYTHING would be handed to her.

Sure she would have to campaign. Sure she would have to “compete” against other nominees. But this would all be for show. Just like the storylines in professional wrestling, no matter what happens in the meantime, the ending would still be the same. The people would love her, the media would love her, she would win all of the votes in the primaries and caucuses and all of the other candidates will drop out when they realize that their attempts would be for naught. She would be handed the nomination and she would win in November.

Well as of this column, neither one of these things have happened. Of course it’s still just a few months away from the Democrats having their convention and making everything official. But as it is right now, things are looking bleak for the pantsuit princess.

Sure she has her staunch defenders in the media. She has her friends like Keith Olbermann over in MSNBC who are eager to throw his fellow media personalities under a bus if they ask legitimate questions about the Clintons that the pantsuit princess deem “insulting”. She still has her friends over at CNN, who feign impartiality while going into discussions about whether or not SHE is being given the “proper attention” in the media.

But while the Queen of Carpetbags is sitting around WAITING for that official nomination to be HANDED to her, the voters and the media have noticed this Senator from Illinois – her birth state – named Barack Obama. And they like what he talks about. They like his message of HOPE. They like his idealism and his optimism.

And… perhaps most insulting for “She who will not be denied”… is that they are voting FOR HIM! Which means that they are NOT voting FOR HER!

Oh not a problem, she says… she’ll be a big winner in those “key states” like Florida.

Until Florida broke the rules and held their primary in January, forcing national party officials to strip that state of their delegates… all of whom were pledged to Clinton.

Not a problem there, she’ll get Howard Dean to relent and she’ll have them seated in the convention. After all, Dean is her bitch, right? Well, good luck on that one, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Besides, the whole “key states” tactic is a failure from the get-go. Rudy “The Thug” Giuliani tried the same tactic over in the GOP and it blew up in his face.

Okay, well then she may not have all of the NEEDED delegates, but she will STILL have all of the SUPERDELEGATES on her side! You know… all of those “rockstar” Democrats who hold titles like governor and senator and who were given SUPERPOWERS for the national convention. They LOVE her! Guys like Georgia Congressman John Lewis… who switched allegiances to Obama… and Elliot Spitzer… who was just forced out of office after admitting to hiring a hooker. Oh and don’t forget former Energy Secretary and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. You know… the same Richardson who was running AGAINST Hillary just a few months earlier… the SAME guy who just switched his vote to Obama. Oh, and former President Jimmy Carter seems to be leaning towards Obama too.

Hmm… suddenly that’s not such a good idea either.

And now the best projections are that even if she sweeps the remaining ten states in their primaries and caucuses, she will STILL not have enough to catch up to Obama, much less secure the nomination before the national convention.

“Poor Hillary…”

And it’s not like she hasn’t been TRYING to shut down Obama and sabotage his message of hope and optimism! She’s been pulling every Chicago-style dirty trick that she can come up with.

She can hurl the charge of plagiarism at him for some of his speeches. Never mind, of course, that the words in those speeches were also lifted off other speeches.

She can flat-out accuse Obama of participating in dirty dealings…presuming of course that people will forget about her own scandals of the 1990’s. Remember Whitewater? The Rose Law Firm records? The White House Travel Office?

She brings up the incendiary messages of Obama’s former minister, the Reverend Wright, while passively fretting about the incendiary message of her good friend and former Vice-President hopeful Geraldine Ferraro.

She shrieks “SHAME ON YOU” whenever a demeaning flier is sent out by his supporters but says nothing when her own people accuse him of being unpatriotic simply because he doesn’t wear a lapel flag. She says nothing when Internet rumors circulate accusing Obama of being a Muslim extremist… while at the same time castigating his CHRISTIAN minister for his “God DAMN America” speech.

She accuses Obama of lacking the experience to lead, even though her resume is basically nothing more than being a globe-trotting tourist. That’s about as credible as Paris Hilton’s claim that her “dumb blond” personality is really a marketing tactic. She claims that she would know how to answer infamous “3am phone call”, but doesn’t explain why she would be able to answer it in full makeup and wearing her pantsuit and pearls.

And, to top if off, her people then claim that although Obama lacks the “experience” to be president, that he could somehow get the “qualification” to become her Vice-President if he can somehow pass some kind of “threshold” that would be determined by “She of the Shrieking Banshees” some time after the primaries and caucuses but before the national convention. A claim that even supporters like Olbermann have to look at and say has more manure in it than a fertilizer factory.

She is hurling everything she can at Obama… and yet SHE is the one getting the calls to drop out.

“Poor Hillary…” indeed.

Now the talking heads are asking if Hillary’s ruthless ambition to become the next President will actually destroy the Democrats as a national party. And given her campaign tactics to date, it’s a pretty legitimate question to ask.

It was, after all, Hillary’s group that have been telling folks in Florida and Michigan to hold their primaries in January anyway, in outright defiance of national party rules, and that she will personally ensure that they will be seated in the convention. It was her group that pretty much shot down any attempt to hold a second vote in those two states that WOULD allow delegates to be seated in the convention, believing that since she won those states by hook or by crook that she should be allowed to HAVE those delegates backing her in the convention. She has been shrieking about the national party “disenfranchising” voters… even though her groups has had more to do with that than does the national party.

There’s even talk of Clinton pulling “a Lieberman”, which means to run as an independent candidate, much like Joe Lieberman did in 2006 when he lost in his state’s primary and ran for his own re-election against the Dems. That would certainly fragment the Democrats much like they were in 1860 when the issue of slavery split their party in half and Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans first scored their official win.

And the longer that her people and Obama’s people are busy snipping away at each other, the more polarized the factions are getting within the party. Now voters are talking about actually voting for a REPUBLICAN or not bothering to vote at all if either Hillary or Obama become the nominee.

Now it’s one thing to hear that sort of talk from the Republicans… the conservatives have long held a ruthless control of their fictional “big tent” party, and they have made it clear that they really DO NOT want the presumptive candidate, Senator John McCain, to become president. That, of course, has led to neo-con talking heads to vow to vote for HILLARY (but not for Obama) in November.

But let’s get brutally honest here… the 2008 Presidential Election is the Democrat Party’s election TO LOSE! It’s been that way since McCain picked up the Bush Imperium’s banner and ran with it as the unofficial “third term”. It’s a losing strategy because the voters are sick and tired of hearing fear-mongering masquerading as policy, especially when they’re hearing it amidst a sinking economy. They are HUNGRY for change, they are THIRSTY for an alternative, and the Democrats are in prime position to capitalize on that IF they can provide someone who IS that alternative and not just claiming to be one. The voters heard that in 2006 and ended up with a lemon of a Congress in 2007.

In truth, my friends, the atmosphere is ripe for a THIRD PARTY or INDEPENDENT candidate to come in, but that is a subject for a different time. Right now we’re looking at the Democrats and their viability in the short run, and right now that viability is about as strong as the US Dollar.

That probably explains why the talking heads are also floating a few alternatives around. The Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama idea is pretty much a dead subject as neither candidate want to be the co-star, so they are talking about possibly talking former Vice-President and 2000 wannabe Al Gore into being the “dark horse” candidate for the party. Maybe third-tier wannabe John Edwards could be “the uniter”? How about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg? He just stepped away from an independent run. How about a bi-partisan ticket? A Democrat with a Republican running mate?

Unfortunately all of these ideas are ultimately meaningless if it doesn’t involve one Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton. This is HER ruthless ambition that we are talking about here. Everything that she has gone through since 1992 has ALL been the groundwork for her to become THE FIRST Woman President of the United States of America. Every pain that she endured… all of the allegations made against her and her husband… all of the embarrassing moments of her husband’s peccadilloes either alleged or proven… her claims of being the “co-president”… the careers and bodies that have piled up since 1993… her entire career as a United States Senator for a state that she didn’t even LIVE in before 2000… have ALL led her to THIS campaign. Right now. 2008.

And SHE WILL BE DAMNED if anyone or anything gets in her way! That is the message that the Democrats are being told. This is HER campaign. HERS. Not the Democrats. Rules don’t matter! Laws don’t matter! VOTES matter, and specifically VOTES FOR HER.

And as long as that is the message being given, that the party is there for HER and not the other way around, then not only will she ENDANGER the chances of the Democrats to win in a race that is theirs to lose, but she could very well be the fracture that splits the Democrats apart and eventually KILLS it as a political party.

Will Hillary Clinton kill the Democrats? Well the only one who can truly answer that question is the one wearing the pantsuit and pearls. As long as she places HER ambitions and HER desires over the party that she claims to cherish, she could very well be the one that costs them far more than just the election.