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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two Slaves for the Price of One

A sad aside is that when a woman went to work to “supplement the family income” she added nothing at all to the standard of living to the family which she was abandoning. Instead, we have seen prices and taxes increase, because of the two income family, at a rate where the family now uses the mom’s entire income just to cover the increases and they are financially worse off than they were in the 1950’s, when mom stayed at home! We have sacrificed the foundation of our society, the family, on the altar of the feminist god of unisexuality. It is absurd, destructive and suicidal but still we brainwash our children into believing that there are no differences between the sexes and that their roles should be identical. At the same time they are taught by the TV female role models, that either women dress for sex, think only of sex and are used for sex and little else or, even further from reality, women are men: evenly matched in in a fair fight, able to beat men up and are physically equal in every way. (From such stupidity has come the laws forcing lower entrance standards and thereby creating the female pseudo-soldier, the female pseudo-policeman and the female pseudo-fireman.) The mother at home is ridiculed and only the working woman has any real value. Whence has departed the dignity of the wife? Indeed it has been traded for the ridiculous and the profane and the whirlwind will be our just wage - The Chauvinist Corner.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Female Chauvinist Pig - Feminism

A Middle-Aged Princess Grows Up

On the cusp of my 45th birthday, I made the mistake of looking in the mirror. It wasn’t the bathroom mirror, it was a photo I had from graduate school. I looked at myself 20 years ago and had a startling and clear epiphany. It wasn’t a happy moment. It was a terribly sad moment. It was so sad that I involuntarily burst into tears, something I haven’t done since the dark days of my divorce.

I looked at the photo and came to the conclusion that I had made a real mess of my life. I felt the utter misery of my life come in waves of sadness, regret, anger, and loneliness. For almost an hour I cried as I looked at the photo of a younger me. I was 24 with a fresh MBA from an excellent school. I was eager to conquer the business world. I was eager to prove that women could do anything. I was so much thinner. My clothes looked stylish, almost sexy. Of course the hair style was awful but that was the 80s and such styles could be forgiven. I saw the brightness in my eyes, the sparkle of life, of the great opportunities that were open to me. The world was there for my taking and I was ready.

But somehow, some way, it never came to be. My life evolved into something painful and difficult. But until that moment when I looked at my photo from over two decades ago, I always blamed someone else. It was never my fault for the bad decisions I made. Typically, it was the fault of men - my father, my boyfriends, my husband, my boss, my sons. Never, ever was it something that I had done. When I commiserated with my women friends, they always supported me. They even supported me when I had my affair, telling me that my husband was not giving me the attention that I needed. I read the women’s magazines and every article was about how women were always strong, intelligent, morally righteous, unable to make bad decisions. Worse, I believed that any of my needs, no matter how frivolous, no matter how many times I changed my mind, no matter how miserable I made the men in my life feel, were more important than anything - motherhood, career advancement, a healthy marriage, whatever.

I hate the world for teaching me those lessons. I remember complaining about how my husband never grew up. But as the tears streamed down my face, I came to the conclusion that I had never grown up. I never learned about compromise, trust, tolerance, niceness. I was a bitch, pure and simple. I know now that being a bitch is not about strength or independence. Being a bitch is about being repellent, unpleasant, unhappy, and lonely. Being a bitch is nothing more than being a spoiled princess who is too selfish or stupid to accept the joy in life.

I had become a fat, unpleasant, middle-aged princess because I had refused to grow up. Sure, I had taken on grown-up responsibilities (marriage, career, house, motherhood) but at the core of my psyche was a 13-year-old girl who stamped her feet and whined when she didn’t get her way. Of course, I had stopped whining years ago but I simply replaced the whining with emotional manipulation and ornery bitchiness. No wonder I was still single and my two teenaged sons spent all their free time with their father.

When I was growing up, being a dilettante feminist, I swallowed the standard line that women can have it all. I wanted it all and I wanted to make no compromises, to assume no sacrifices, and to feel completely validated in all of my lifestyle choices. The biggest mistake in my late teens and early 20s was to let other women - women whom I thought to be strong, independent, and intelligent - determine which lifestyle I was to follow. I was simply too spoiled and lazy to look inward, to embrace the kind of introspection necessary to find one’s own path in life, the path that could lead to real fulfillment and happiness.

I remember college well. It was a fun time and I thought, at the time, an enlightening time. The parties were exciting, the political debates intense, the string of boyfriends and casual sexual encounters pleasant. I studied hard and I played hard. I attended the campus feminist meetings and listened to diatribes from sturdy and self-righteous peers about the evils of masculinity. I learned to scorn men when I didn’t need them for selfish reasons - study partners, shoulders to cry on, willing sexual partners. But I was never hesitant to bat my eyelashes or let my skirt ride up on my then-slender thighs if I needed something from a man. Men were handy to have around occasionally, but certainly not required, as my female peers kept insisting.

I learned that the only place for a woman was in the boardroom and that motherhood was beneath my intelligence. I “took back the night” at a few after-dark rallies with hundreds of young women eager to prove to the world that all men were rapists and potentially violent criminals.

When I got pregnant my sophomore year, it was easy to get an abortion. The campus health center was almost eager to make sure the procedure was done quickly and quietly. I never told my parents. I never told the fellow who made me pregnant. I don’t even remember his name, I only vaguely remember a wild night with the college hockey team at an off-campus party. Only now do I consider the irony of how I was attracted to college athletes in school - the type of men who liked being in control.

Pursuing my MBA once I completed my undergraduate studies was a foregone conclusion. I was destined for the board room, or so I had convinced myself. Graduate school was tough. I was competing with some very bright people, mostly men. Those men were destined for success and they knew it. But I had something that I exploited. I had my femininity and I used it ruthlessly when I had to. I tried to convince myself that the affair with my married finance professor had nothing to do with grades. Of course, finance was the most difficult course and when I managed surface at the end of the semester with a B it was hard to rationalize that the secret trysts with the professor had nothing to do with it. But the ends always justifies the means and there was no way I would not succeed. The other few women in my class were doing the same if they could get away with it. We never talked about it, but it was understood and we sometimes giggled about it and gloated that we had something the men would never have.

I met my husband that last year in graduate school. He was pursuing a degree in sociology. The chemistry with him was quite intense in the beginning. He had long hair and a motorcycle. He was the classic bohemian and I felt the need to rein him in, to make him a better man (or at least my definition of a better man). He was irresponsible and sometimes unruly but I loved him with all my heart and soul.

After graduating, I found work in a big corporation. Every day I went to work with my power suit and shoulder pads under my jacket. I walked in my sneakers and changed into work shoes when I got to the office at 7AM to put in another 12 hour day. I was married by then in a wedding straight from Modern Bride magazine. My husband had finally cut his hair after much insistence from me. He would later call it severe nagging but I got my wish so it didn’t matter.

He found work in a consumer research organization. He didn’t get paid as much as me but that didn’t matter. My income was big and growing bigger. We bought a house I found in the suburbs. He had recommended something more modest and closer to downtown where we both worked. I would have none of that. My success had to be readily visible with a big, traditional house and a big lawn. I made sure he took care of the lawn despite his resistance.

After five years, I felt the need to have babies. It wasn’t a mutual decision. I wanted babies. No, I desperately needed a baby. I felt empty inside without kids. It was a completely irrational feeling for a high-flying career woman hell-bent on being the next corporate CEO. My husband was cool towards the idea. He asked how we would balance the demands of being parents and supporting a rather expensive lifestyle. I didn’t care. My womb was empty. I had needs. Neither reason nor logic affected my needs or my feelings.

So, the first baby came. Instantly, life changed. I couldn’t put in the hours I needed to maintain my career trajectory. My husband changed as well. He quickly lost his bohemian attitudes. He sold his motorcycle and became a devoted father to our son. Of course, I had been pushing for this since we had gotten married. His words, as revealed during the divorce, were “shrill, nagging harpy who relentlessly pushed me into fatherhood”. But he loved our first son and even offered to work only part time to allow me to keep on with my career. That would not do. I was the mother, the queen, the all-knowing and wise creator of my son. My husband was clearly an incompetent boob who didn’t know a diaper from a car seat.

My boss saw that I was distracted with my new duties as super-mom. He looked at my productivity and knew I couldn’t perform like my single or childfree colleagues. So, I was “mommy-tracked”. They didn’t call it that then. But when a male colleague was promoted over me, I knew what was happening. I hated it. I was livid. How could I not have it all? So, I played the feminine card again, this time with a stick, not a carrot. I paid a visit to Human Resources with a veiled threat of a discrimination lawsuit. It didn’t work, of course, because it was very clear that I was putting in fewer hours with the resultant loss of productivity. It was all documented and defensible. I was furious. How dare they. I summoned up all the righteous wrath I could. I consulted an outside attorney, a ferocious female lawyer who was quite prepared to sue until she made a pass at me. Open-minded I was, but certainly not a lesbian. I let the legal issue drop and sullenly accepted my reduced role at work. After all, we had expenses to pay and my salary was certainly needed.

I watched my husband evolve from bohemian to responsible father. He was astoundingly good with our first son. Of course, at the time, I didn’t recognize that. I thought everything he did was wrong. Only I, the supreme mother, could raise our first boy. We struggled for a couple of years. It wasn’t easy. So, when I got pregnant again - unplanned by my husband, completely planned by me - the stress continued to grow. Money wasn’t tight but the pressure to maintain our lifestyle and that big house was mostly on my shoulders. I resented my husband for that. He had chosen a career he loved but the pay was not nearly as much as mine. I really had to work and with being on the mommy track, there was no way I could achieve what I had expected in my career.

We did use day-care and a part-time housekeeper. Actually, we went through eight housekeepers. They were never good enough for me. Nothing was good enough for me. My shoes didn’t fit, my clothes looked bad, the car wasn’t clean enough, my husband wasn’t up to my standards. Looking back in brutal honesty, I was a stark, raving bitch. I don’t think I said a nice word in years. I am amazed that my husband put up with me. I didn’t take him seriously, he was just a man, after all.

In my limited social life, I spent time with women like me. We were an unhappy group of 30-something moms with powerful careers. But we also smiled and pretended that life was perfect. We all had the right homes, the right cars, the right schools, the right careers. We convinced ourselves that we did have it all. Occasionally, one of us might vent some frustration at the situation. When that happened, we always had convenient scapegoats - our husbands, our bosses, our housekeepers, the schools, whatever. It was never, ever our fault because we were female.

With one son at five and the other at seven, it fell apart. Rather, it exploded. My husband just gave up. He had been supportive to me and good with the children. So, it caught me by surprise when he just gave up. I guess I should have seen it. I was always using sex as a weapon with him. If he didn’t do exactly what I said, if he didn’t bend over backwards to fulfill my every whim, he didn’t experience any kind of sexual pleasure. I remember I caught him playing with himself one night. I was furious. How could he experience sexual satisfaction without my control being somehow involved?

As a healthy woman, I did have my own sexual needs. So, rather than enjoy sex within the context of a marriage, I had an affair. It was easy. I was still somewhat attractive. There were men around. “Why not?” I easily rationalized to myself. My husband doesn’t give me enough attention, it’s all his fault. The affair was inconsequential, just some sex on weekends and on business trips. I needed it so therefore it was OK. While my husband was being a father, I was being an empowered, independent woman visiting cheap motels with a man who could give me orgasms.

The affair lasted three months. My husband never found out. He didn’t need to, he just gave up. Interestingly, he channeled his efforts into a side business as a marketing consultant. This proved to be quite lucrative for him. Within six months his income had exceeded mine. Our savings account grew substantially. “It’s for the boys’ college tuition” he told me over and over again.

I was unhappy. My career was stressful and unrewarding. My two sons were closer to my husband than to me because of all the hours I was working. He had quit his full-time job and was thriving as a marketing consultant, a job that he could do out of the house with just his computer and a phone. I felt frustrated and unfulfilled. My female friends recommended counseling. So, we gave that a try. I subtly picked a counselor whom I know would be sympathetic to me. The sessions were actually fun in a very unpleasant way. The counselor and I spent 50 minutes picking on my husband. He quietly sat there and took it, apologizing and promising to change. I didn’t have to promise to do anything. The counselor - a woman much like me - made it very clear that my needs were paramount and his needs were completely irrelevant.

Naturally, the counseling didn’t work for us. My husband retreated into fatherhood and his growing business. I contemplated another affair. Unfortunately, I was gaining a lot of weight. At a size 12, it was hard to get attractive men to look at me. My friends recommended that I consider divorce. I look back and think about my “friends” from that period in my life. They were a group of unhappy women trying so hard to validate their own, poor life decisions. I let them influence me when I should have been strong. That was an enormous mistake.

I didn’t hate my husband I just didn’t love him like I used to. I wanted a new and better life. I could raise my sons without him. I had been reading that kids really didn’t need fathers. I was feeling so unfulfilled. When I served my husband with divorce papers, he didn’t seem surprised. I had consulted with a good divorce attorney and she strongly recommended that I go for everything - house, cars, custody, alimony, child support, everything. “It’s a war and as a woman, you have to win” were her words.

The divorce was ugly and despite the fact that I did get the house, the car, the kids, child support, and the savings account that he had filled, I ultimately lost. My ex moved out, leaving me to take care of the house and kids. He moved into a very modest apartment and we agreed that he could see the boys on weekends. The court actually ordered that to happen. I was happy to force him out of their lives completely but he was rigidly insistent and that damned judge agreed.

I was single again. I was ready to date again. But at 38, dating was not like the wild times in college and graduate school when I was young, alluring, and desired by men. No, I was a single mom now. I had cut my hair short and my figure was almost past the point of no return. The kind of man I wanted to date had no interest in me. Those powerful and successful men had younger, prettier, nicer girlfriends.

The divorced men were the worst. They were either so disillusioned that they couldn’t handle a relationship or they were just hopping from bed to bed, not willing to be exclusive. I so much wanted to be swept off my feet into the arms of an attractive man to take care of me and make my troubles go away. I still thought of myself as a princess. I was still silly, stupid, and immature.

Yet the men I was attracted to wouldn’t give me a second thought. The men who did want me were totally unsuitable. It was astounding to me that I wasn’t attractive any more. So many men in college were after me. I remember mocking all the guys who approached me at parties. If they had the slightest flaw, I pushed them away, usually with a pointed insult or two. I never thought twice about the men I rejected, some of them decent and sweet when I look back on it. My girlfriends and I called them “mamma’s boys” while we let ourselves be taken by the cocky, arrogant pricks who always made us feel overpowering attraction and lust.

To make matters worse, I couldn’t fix anything in the house. My husband had tended to all those matters. My boys were pre-teens and very difficult for me to handle. They hated the fact that they could only see their father on weekends. Their grades dropped. They started having discipline problems in school. Naturally, I blamed their father. It was all his fault that we divorced and that he lived apart from them. I tried not to say bad things about him in front of my sons but the feelings were just so strong. I said terrible things about their father, especially when I was drinking, which I did a lot of back then.

If I was unhappy when I was married, I was now wretchedly miserable as a single mom looking for love again. I tried hard to convince myself that I was a strong, independent, and intelligent woman. Sometimes it worked, especially when I was browbeating subordinates at work. I actually hated my job. I made a good living, yes. Yet I had reached the zenith of my career and the board room was not one bit closer. I still felt terribly conflicted about being a good mom and being the corporate woman.

I had lots of blame to dole out. There was no way that the current state of my life was the result of my decisions. My single girlfriends all told me that, many, many times over copious cocktails in sundry singles bars. I read a lot of women’s magazines and the advice I got said pretty much the same thing - a woman is never to blame.

I tried to lose weight but it was so very difficult. When I was hungry, I simply had to eat, usually ice cream or something with chocolate. I had to buy new clothes, again, because the weight kept piling on. I was set up on a blind date and the man had the sheer audacity to say “I’m sorry, I’m just not attracted to you because of your weight.” I never thought about my own hypocrisy about trying to find a man to whom I was attracted to physically. Men must be attracted to me, I am a woman, after all.

The past few years have been kind of a blur. My ex husband had found a new love of his life and I naturally hated him for that. I tried to increase the child support payments. When that didn’t work, I tried to prevent my sons from visiting him. They fought me on this. I took out my frustrations at work. My boss threatened to fire me. Only my girlfriends gave me any support. We had boozy nights where we ate and drank too much. Frankly, we were a bunch of fat, unhappy, single women who heaped blame upon the world for the state of our lives.

So when I saw the photograph from college, the epiphany hit hard. Through the tears of anguish, rage, bitterness, and denial came the incredibly painful realization that I was responsible for my own unhappiness. I finally figured out that I had not grown up and had not truly embraced adulthood. This was six months ago.

I’ve made some profound changes in my life since then. First and foremost, I stopped blaming everyone else for my own problems. This was the hardest. For my entire life I was told - and I believed - that as a woman, I could do no wrong, that I was not responsible, that I was always the victim in some way. Over and over I had to tell myself that only I am responsible for my happiness.

Once I learned to stop blaming the world, I taught myself to be pleasant and nice. This was hard as well. I had always mistaken pleasantness for weakness. This is not the case. A new colleague at work - a woman from the South - showed me very clearly it’s quite easy to be nice and be strong at the same time.

I also dumped my girlfriends. This was easy. This group of unhappy and negative women was actually encouraging me to do stupid things like divorce a perfectly good man because of my selfish and very arbitrary feelings of the moment. I finally learned that acting solely on feelings is the realm of children, not adults. Maybe those women will finally learn that. But I doubt it.

I’m at the gym every day. After being rebuffed by so many attractive and decent guys, I decided to apply standards of real equality to the whole dating thing. After all, if I believe in physical attraction, why should not I understand that men are the same way? Being fat means not being physically attractive to many, many men so it’s up to me to do something about, not be angry with men about the situation. The weight is coming off. It’s a battle, to be sure, but it’s coming off. I’m also letting my hair grow and getting rid of that awful “mom” hair style.

I no longer read those loathsome women’s magazines nor do I watch a lot of TV. When I freed my mind from so many complete misconceptions about men, I learned that men are actually wonderful people. My sons saw my transformation. As they grow older and become men in their own right, I have stopped nagging them about “feelings” and “sensitivity” and encourage them to be men. I doubt I’ll ever mend fences with my ex husband, all I can do is hope that he finds happiness and joy in his life. I have a new respect for him, a respect born from understanding that men are very different, not worse, just different. My ex is also an excellent father, I am blessed for that.

I’ve learned to accept that my needs aren’t the center of the universe. That was actually quite liberating. No longer am I a slave to the whimsy of my often shallow emotions that can’t be reasonably fulfilled. This means I complain less. If I can’t change the situation, why complain about it? Winter is cold, my complaints about the temperature will do nothing to warm the air.

The biggest regret I have in life is being so weak as to not to have made the serious introspection until this point in my life. If I were truly strong, truly intelligent, I would have really thought about what is important to me instead of following the herd. In retrospect, clawing my up the corporate ladder was a very bad decision. Exploiting my femininity to manipulate men was even worse. I love being a woman but using sex to get what I want is no better than a man using brute strength to get what he wants.

I’m still single and dating still eludes me. There is a glimmer of hope, however, a very nice man complimented me on my smile. At 45 years old, that was the first time anyone has noticed my smile. My eldest son noticed it too, “Mom, I’ve never seen you smile until now.” Life must get better for me. That’s my responsibility, no one else's.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Corporate America for Corporate Monkeys

Corporate America Really Really Cares About Its Employees (Really) 
(June 17, 2011 - by Charles Hugh Smith)

Scrape away the Human Resource Department rah-rah about "our mission" and how much your loyalty is "valued," and what's left? A paycheck and a sucking sound.

Let's state the heretical obvious: Corporate America, you suck. We could count the ways--subverting democracy via your lobbying and campaign contributions, your sabotage of competition via regulatory capture, and so on--but what really matters is how you treat your employees.

We know: you really really care about your employees. Really. The propaganda would be laughable if it wasn't so bald-faced. Do corporate managers really believe in the Big Lie theory, that the bigger the lie, the easier it is to sell?

Here is reader C's experience of Corporate America's transition to wonderfulness and caring. An outlier or "what everybody inside knows"?

I occasionally read your postings linked to Jesse's Cafe Americain and I just want to confirm what you posted about corporate bankruptcy. ( The Bankruptcy of Corporate America) I was disappointed with the Reagan administration which imo was the beginning of the takeover of our government by corporations and elites. Still, having a new family, I was fortunate to get an union job at the big telco and now work in the belly of the beast.

At first it was a great place to work, proud of our knowledge & expertise helping customers, but after 2-3 mergers, the overlords have increased our workload 100% (shutting down depts. in other parts of the country and giving us their work), reduced benefits, monitor everything and have rolled out methods & procedures that have totally dehumanized the workforce; we're just button pushers. Nearly everyone there is now miserable and it's a soul crushing, mind-numbing existence. Sorry that I have nothing good to say about it all, just hoping & praying for it get swept away and that my preparations to be free of the system work out ok.

Correspondent K.R. recently submitted this account, and some advice for young people:

In March 2000, I was working for a fairly large biotech company in pharmaceutical development, many of my co-workers were PhD's. When I got out of my car in the company parking lot one morning I saw many of my coworkers walking back the their cars. I asked "what's the matter?" What we discovered that morning is that if your swipe card that gave you access to the building did not work you were laid off. If your card worked and the door opened, you still had a job.

Best advice I could give a young smart person? Skip the corporate rat race altogether. Do not get car payments, mortgages and all the other debts that chain you to your debt enslavement. Enrich your life, work for yourself or for an important cause. Nobody should waste their life on corporate Amerika.

The modern global corporation devotes considerable attention to creating a simulacrum of common purpose via human resource department’s empty cheerleading. But participants know it is only a hollow, cynical ritual that everyone shuffles through in order to keep their jobs. The reality in Global Corporate America is that every employee is dispensable, and their position is inherently contingent. The purpose is the deliver profits to shareholders, and the corporation buys a facsimile of loyalty and presents a fa├žade of purpose to keep the work environment from becoming overtly depressing to the human spirit. The reason they must play this game is the profits, of course; dispirited workers aren’t very productive.

Given that 13% of global Corporate America’s revenues are pure profit ($1.67 trillion last year, or about 12% of the nation's GDP) and another significant percentage is overhead to support the grossly overpaid corporate bigwigs, a vast command-and-control structure and a costly Panzer division of crack tax attorneys to keep income taxes paid near-zero, then it’s clear that smaller enterprises could easily beat the Corporate America Plantation Store in price and service because a third of the corporate expenses are overhead needed by a massive, costly hierarchy and 13% net profit margins demanded by Wall Street and the Financial Elite owners.

Since the top 5% of households collect 72% of corporate profits and bond income and the top 10% collect 93% of the nation’s financial income, the immense profits skimmed from local communities do not flow back to the communities. They flow instead into the elite enclaves of those who own the vast majority of the nation’s financial assets.

The vaunted “efficiency” of Corporate America's cartels is largely a myth. The Plantation Store’s “edge” is not efficiency but these four factors:

1. exploitation of global wage arbitrage

2. access to cheap Wall Street financing

3. eliminating taxes and competition via capture of regulatory and legislative governance

4. a reliance on cheap oil to fuel their global strip-mining operations.

Take those away and much of global Corporate America is revealed as high-cost, uncompetitive sitting ducks awaiting slaughter by lower-cost decentralized competitors.

Local residents lose twice when global cartels collect much of the local income and send it to centralized corporate headquarters, as a percentage of the profits are spent subverting democracy with lobbying and millions of dollars in campaign contributions to political factotums. Local residents lose not only control of their income streams but of their political rights as cartels sabotage democracy by capturing regulation and elected officials.

A key feature of local enterprise is that it retains and recycles local income in the community, rather than sending it to some distant and unaccountable corporate headquarters tasked with maximizing profits globally. Thus even if local earnings decline in recessionary times, local enterprises can still thrive simply by taking some of the cartels' vast income stream and returning it to the community.

As investors, we have been brainwashed into seeing ourselves as disembodied zombies who float around the world, seeking higher returns wherever we might find them. We are disconnected from where we live, and are constantly told that our self-interest is only served by investing in fast-growing global corporations making money from goods and services generated elsewhere. Those who eschew investments in evil are mocked and derided; the only god for investors is maximizing profits, and how those profits are reaped and where they are reaped makes absolutely no difference.

This is how we end up with what we have now: a glorified Colonial Plantation Economy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Equality in the Workplace for Men

Equality in the Workplace? Don't bet your life on it!
by NiceGuy

Women have fought a commendable battle to win 'equality' in the workplace... and the workplace is far from equal (in America).

Realize this: women swear that they are just as capable in the workplace as a man... yet they also swear up and down that a man does not know how to cook, clean or raise a kid nearly as well! That's hypocrisy: women say they just as good at doing traditional 'male' work, but swear that men are inept when it comes to traditional 'female' work! (Heh, on the same note, I know more than a few gals who say this- but have messy houses and frankly, can't cook worth shit!)

Here's another factoid about equality in the workplace: men are the victims of 98% of all job-related deaths. Men die at work in huge numbers every year! Ever been to a steel mill? Chunks of white-hot metal are flying everywhere, and typically there's not one woman on the factory floor! There are a thousand ways you can die on a construction site! Hundreds of male policemen get gunned-down every year while doing their job of protecting both men and women! Coal miners, fire-fighters- the list goes-on for miles. It's men who do the majority of the jobs at which you can get killed!

How about workplace injuries? Furniture-moving is a male-dominated industry: do you care to guess how many furniture-movers injure their backs and knees on a daily basis? Carpentry and logging are male-dominated industries- in the average lumber mill, fingers and toes can get chopped-off right and left! The 25 worst jobs in the U.S. just happen to be male-dominated by some mysterious coincidence... I've never heard any woman ever complain about the lack of female coal-miners.

What fields do women most often enter? Things like psychological counseling, education, publishing, accounting, medicine. In short, service-oriented jobs that don't involve carrying heavy loads or accidentally chopping-off a hand. Maybe I'm generalizing. Some women do work in factories after all... Why don't you go visit a local factory sometime?

I visited a local factory a few weeks before the time of writing- the factory owner is a friend of my dad. They make custom ceramic tiles. I walked-around with the foreman, and he showed me the production process. Hundreds of pounds of clay gets loaded-in to huge hoppers. The clay gets molded with large extrusion machinery, chopped-up, fired in kilns, glazed and fired again. Both men and women worked on the factory floor, but I immediately noticed: all the heavy, dangerous work was being done by men. Men were working near the blazing-heat of the 400-degree kilns. Men were loading heavy sacks of clay on catwalks and climbing on the machinery to operate it. The women were sitting at benches doing the polishing, glazing and smoothing. The men worked in hard-hat areas, while the women were clearly out of harm's way. I looked for a woman with a hazardous job, I did not see one. There were also plenty of women in the factory's administration offices doing computer-design work, accounting work and the clerical work. The most dangerous things these women ever touched on the job was sandpaper and keyboards! No wonder men die on the job so often! (P.S., there appeared to be a good safety record at this particular factory... but just imagine this type of division-of-labor multiplied a million times across the planet. And not all countries have good industrial-safety standards- I've visited some of the nicer Chinese factories, and the safety record there is not enviable. A lot of potential for male injuries globally.)

Oh, sure, you might point-out that the owner of the factory was a man- but you know what? He practically built the place with his bare hands! Do you think that's easy for any man to do? He almost went bankrupt 4 times before his business started making real money. Do you honestly think there's a smoke-filled club where a bunch of old men gather-around a table over brandy saying "Well, good old Richard is one of us- let's give him a factory or two!" (note: women are generally more risk averse and there are no "invisible" barriers keeping them from starting their own businesses. this is a fact... it is not female discrimination that veer them away from starting companies or fighting on the front lines of wars).

Friday, November 11, 2011

Indoctrination - Education

Indoctrination - Education
People are not being educated they're being tested for levels of obedience. School is about memorizing what you are told short term and repeating it. The bulk of how you are graded is by completely daily busy work. This is for the work force the most important quality in a worker bee actually is obedience.

(video: Ken Robinson - Changing Education Paradigms; RSA Animate)


Famous 2010 valedictory speech by Erica Goldson
June 25, 2010

This is the dilemma I've faced within the American education system. We are so focused on a goal, whether it be passing a test, or graduating as first in the class. However, in this way, we do not really learn. We do whatever it takes to achieve our original objective.
       
Some of you may be thinking, “Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn't you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.
       
I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination.

I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I'm scared.

John Taylor Gatto, a retired school teacher and activist critical of compulsory schooling, asserts, “We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids into truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then. But we don't do that.” Between these cinderblock walls, we are all expected to be the same. We are trained to ace every standardized test, and those who deviate and see light through a different lens are worthless to the scheme of public education, and therefore viewed with contempt.
       
H. L. Mencken wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not...

to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. ... Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim ... is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States. (Gatto)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Federal Reserve - FED - Scam

The Federal Debt As Criminal Scam, The Federal Reserve As Criminal Syndicate 
(Sept 19, 2011 - oftwominds.com)

Is the Federal debt a criminal enterprise, enabled by a criminal syndicate? Read on before you pass judgment.

Correspondent Doug laid out a compelling case that the Federal debt is fundamnentally a criminal scam, operated by the criminal syndicate of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve:

The Federal Reserve is a criminal syndicate buying debt that the government eagerly creates and sells for spending money that dumps the debt on us civilians. What perplexes me is that the scam is so simple and all the intellectuals either don’t get it or are handcuffed by mega-corporate media owners.

    The scam in simple terms...

1. Uncle Sam borrows money from The Fed, China, oil exporters, Bank of England, etc
    by selling Treasury bonds
2. You are responsible for the bonds, i.e. IOUs
3. Uncle Sam collects taxes and pays the bondholders
4. The debt is breaking us; life will not be the same in the years to come

Uncle Sam borrows all its spending money from the non-government Fed and others, and spends only borrowed dollars raised from exchanging bonds for dollars as a debt plus interest on your back.

Uncle Sam collects income taxes and funnels the money to the holders of these criminal Treasury bonds.

The Fed/Treasury is an evil axis defunding you and me: the debt is $14.5 trillion; this is our debt, not the government’s debt. The government does not generally earn money; we do. Therefore every criminal debt certificate (Treasury bond) the Treasury exchanges for cash is a debt on you and me--a promise to pay for which citizens are responsible to pay, IOUs in simple terms. If the government printed the money instead of the criminal Fed, there would be no debt.

Uncle Sam borrows bucks and you become automatically indentured to pay back the bond and pay the vig! How is this not a criminal enterprise?

More on Bond Dealers:

The FED buys bonds from all the primary dealers in an auction. The primary dealers are the same institutions that are eligible to buy from the U.S. Treasury during monthly bond auctions: banks like Goldman, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Citigroup, etc.

Here's how the process works...

- A few days in advance of the auction, the U.S. Federal Reserve provides a list of the specific bonds and amounts they'd like to buy.
- At a specific time, all the primary dealers submit their best offers to the Fed, i.e. they submit the lowest price at which they'd be willing to sell.
- The Fed buys from those dealers who offer the lowest price.

Primary dealers serve as trading counterparties of the New York Fed in its implementation of monetary policy. This role includes the obligations to: (i) participate consistently in open market operations to carry out U.S. monetary policy pursuant to the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC); and (ii) provide the New York Fed's trading desk with market information and analysis helpful in the formulation and implementation of monetary policy. Primary dealers are also required to participate in all auctions of U.S. government debt and to make reasonable markets for the New York Fed when it transacts on behalf of its foreign official account-holders

List of Primary Dealers:
Bank of Nova Scotia, New York Agency
BMO Capital Markets Corp.
BNP Paribas Securities Corp.
Barclays Capital Inc.
Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC
Daiwa Capital Markets America Inc.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
Jefferies & Company, Inc.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated
Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC
Nomura Securities International, Inc.
RBC Capital Markets, LLC
RBS Securities Inc.
SG Americas Securities, LLC
UBS Securities LLC

- Federal Reserve

Are the Federal Reserve and Its Primary Dealer Banks Manipulating the Stock Market?
(by Gary D. Barnett)

After the market collapse of 2008 and 2009, where losses were generally around 55%, the markets have gone up substantially. During that same period were QE1 and QE2. This is no coincidence. Bernanke took full credit for the rise in the stock markets, and for good reason. The "Quantitative Easing" programs were structured to transfer money (out of thin air) from the New York Fed to its primary dealer banks. This is done when the Fed purchases treasury bonds from these dealers, some of which include Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, along with 18 others. This process infuses the banks receiving this money with instant liquidity. During QE2 for example, from November 3rd of 2010 through June 30th of 2011, the New York Fed bought from its primary dealers $770 billion worth of treasuries, not the $600 billion it claimed. These banks acquired many of these treasuries during the bailouts by trading worthless securities for full value treasuries. This was, by the way, at taxpayer expense.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eugenics Program - North Carolina

Victims speak out about North Carolina sterilization program, which targeted women, young girls and blacks - Mon Nov 7, 2011 9:09 AM EST

By Michelle Kessel and Jessica Hopper - Rock Center

Elaine Riddick was 13 years old when she got pregnant after being raped by a neighbor in Winfall, N.C., in 1967.  The state ordered that immediately after giving birth, she should be sterilized.  Doctors cut and tied off her fallopian tubes.

“I have to carry these scars with me.  I have to live with this for the rest of my life,” she said.

Riddick was never told what was happening.  “Got to the hospital and they put me in a room and that’s all I remember, that’s all I remember,” she said.  “When I woke up, I woke up with bandages on my stomach.”

Riddick’s records reveal that a five-person state eugenics board in Raleigh had approved a recommendation that she be sterilized. The records label Riddick as “feebleminded” and “promiscuous.” They said her schoolwork was poor and that she “does not get along well with others.”

“I was raped by a perpetrator [who was never charged] and then I was raped by the state of North Carolina.  They took something from me both times,” she said.  “The state of North Carolina, they took something so dearly from me, something that was God given.”

It wouldn’t be until Riddick was 19, married and wanting more children, that she’d learn she was incapable of having any more babies. A doctor in New York where she was living at the time told her that she’d been sterilized.

“Butchered.  The doctor used that word…  I didn’t understand what she meant when she said I had been butchered,” Riddick said.

North Carolina was one of 31 states to have a government run eugenics program.  By the 1960s, tens of thousands of Americans were sterilized as a result of these programs.

Eugenics was a scientific theory that grew in popularity during the 1920s.  Eugenicists believed that poverty, promiscuity and alcoholism were traits that were inherited.  To eliminate those society ills and improve society’s gene pool, proponents of the theory argued that those that exhibited the traits should be sterilized.  Some of America’s wealthiest citizens of the time were eugenicists including Dr. Clarence Gamble of the Procter and Gamble fortune and James Hanes of the hosiery fortune.  Hanes helped found the Human Betterment League which promoted the cause of eugenicists.

It began as a way to control welfare spending on poor white women and men, but over time, North Carolina shifted focus, targeting more women and more blacks than whites.  A third of the sterilizations performed in North Carolina were done on girls under the age of 18.  Some were as young as nine years old.

For the past eight years, North Carolina lawmakers have been working to find a way to compensate those involuntarily sterilized in the state between 1929 and 1974. During that time period, 7,600 people were sterilized in North Carolina.  Of those who were sterilized, 85 percent of the victims were female and 40 percent were non-white. 

“You can’t rewind a watch or rewrite history.  You just have to go forward and that’s what we’re trying to do in North Carolina,” said Governor Beverly Perdue in an exclusive interview with NBC News.

While North Carolina’s eugenics board was disbanded in 1977, the law allowing involuntary sterilization wasn’t officially repealed until 2003. In 2002, the state issued an apology to those who had been sterilized, but the victims have yet to receive any financial compensation, medical care or counseling from the state. Since 2003, three task forces have been created to determine a way to compensate the victims.  Officials estimate that as many as 2,000 victims are still alive.

Riddick was one of several victims to speak at a public hearing this summer. It was the first time that many survivors had told their stories publicly and that others heard of North Carolina’s tarnished past.

“To think about folks who went in…and their doctor told them this was birth control and they were sterilized…the folks who didn’t have the capacity to make the decisions, the uninformed consent,” said Perdue.  “Those types of stories aren’t good for America and I can’t allow for this period in history to be forgotten, that’s why this work is important.”

Only 48 victims have been matched with their records, something necessary for them to eventually be compensated.  State Representative Larry Womble has been advocating for the survivors of the state’s sterilization program for nearly 10 years. He helped fight for the repeal of the state’s law.

Womble said that if the government is “powerful enough to perpetrate this on this society, they ought to be responsible, step up to the plate and compensate.”

In August, a task force created by Gov. Perdue recommended that the victims be compensated, but they were unsure how much to award the victims. Previous numbers pondered range between $20,000 and $50,000. The task force also recommended mental health services for living victims and a traveling museum exhibit about North Carolina’s eugenics program.

Perdue said it’s a challenge to determine how much money each victim should be given.

“From my perspective, and as a woman, and as the governor of this state, this is not about the money.  There isn’t enough money in the world to pay these people for what has been done to them, but money is part of the equation,” she said.

Riddick once sued North Carolina for a million dollars.  Her case made it all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, but the court declined to hear the case.  “I would like for the state of North Carolina to right what they wronged with me,” she said.

Some victims and their advocates have questioned whether North Carolina is procrastinating in compensating them, hoping they’ll die before a solution is reached. “It’s an ugly chapter in North Carolina’s book, we have a wonderful book, but there’s an ugly chapter,” Womble said. “We must step up to the plate and we must realize and take responsibility.”

Perdue, for her part, said that she is committed to helping the victims.

“I want this solved on my watch.  I want there to be completion.  I want the whole discussion to end and there be action for these folks.  There is nobody in North Carolina who is waiting for anybody to die,” Gov. Perdue said.

Despite the state social workers who declared Riddick was “mentally retarded” and “promiscuous”, she went to college and raised the son born moments before she was sterilized.  Her son is devoted to his mother and a successful entrepreneur.

Elaine is proud of her achievements.

“I don’t know where I would be if I listened to the state of North Carolina,” she said.