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Income Inequality in 60 Seconds

Until I searched for it on the net, I thought I was the only one irritated by the AAG reverse mortgage commercial starring former Senator/Prez candidate/actor Fred Thompson. Then I saw comments with adjectives such as “arrogant”, “condescending”, etc.

Let’s take a moment to break it down. Fred is walking down the street talking about a financial instrument that only real estate owners would have any interest in. We are talking about middle class and up.

As he passes the local newspaper salesman, he asks “Jesse” to agree with his pitch. “Right, Jesse?” as he tosses change at the dude, grabs his newspaper and keeps walking.

First, since Fred starts his pitch before he is anywhere near Jesse, clearly Jesse couldn’t know what the hell Fred’s talking about. And therefore Fred doesn’t really give a damn how Jesse feels about the matter.

But let’s suspend judgment for a moment on the logistical absurdity of the ad. Let’s say Jesse did hear the start of Fred’s pitch. The answer to “right, Jesse?” should have been:

I wouldn’t know much about reverse mortgages because I can barely pay my f$&@ing rent. Do you think everyone is contemplating financial instruments to help in their retirement? Do you realize I will NEVER retire much less own a home? Do you realize I’ve peaked? Do you understand I will die selling papers on this damn street? Do you have ANY idea how I and people like me struggle every day, living paycheck to paycheck?

Keep your money, take the paper and shove it up your 1% ass. Right, Fred?

Not only does this ad illustrate income inequality in 60 seconds, it also shows how oblivious the privileged are to it. What purpose does “Jesse” serve in this ad other than to show Fred is on a first name basis with the unwashed underclass? The stark contrast between Fred in his tailored suit and Jesse is so gratuitous you have to wonder what the producers were thinking.

It prompts the rage that fueled Occupy Wall Street, a movement that fizzled as fast as it started. As we head into the election season, will any presidential candidate address the vast gap between the haves and have nots? Hillary will certainly not do so credibly. Liz Warren and Bernie Sanders don’t stand a chance.

So the poor, basically, will continue to be screwed. Right, Jesse?

What do you think? The bar is open.

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Various and Sundry

Are Protesters Fungible?

One of the things you hear whenever violence emerges from an otherwise peaceful protest is “they don’t represent us” or “they weren’t protesters, they were just hanging around”. Aren’t the organizers of a protest responsible for the outcome of a protest? And if the protest has no formal organizer maybe we’re off to a bad start to begin with.

Two cops got shot during a Ferguson protest. The suspect in custody claims that he was actually trying to shoot someone else, not the cops (there’s some consolation for you). If the environment surrounding a protest is so fundamentally volatile, perhaps protective measures need to be taken, such as limiting protest to daylight hours.

Bottom line: I’m not so disposed anymore to letting protesters off the hook when someone among them breaks bad.

The End of the Movement

Several months ago at least one of my bar patrons remarked that “movements” are self perpetuating and resistant to termination. I was reminded of this when I watched this week’s Face the Nation. Host Bob Schieffer asked two representatives of the increasingly irrelevant NAACP why protests were still going on in Ferguson when the verdict on rampant institutional racism was in, was damning and was being addressed. The answer was that there was still work to be done. Maybe there is but when will we know the work is done?

How will we know when the civil rights movement has succeeded? When all white folks like black folks? When all discrimination has ended? How do we know when discrimination has ended? How do we know when a man is treated poorly because he’s black or because he’s an asshole? As long as folks have different skin color won’t the doubt always be there?

If we could set some metric that tells us the goals of civil rights have been reached, what would that mean for those whose life work (and compensation) depend on getting justice for the aggrieved? No more aggrieved people, no more movement, no need for the advocates.

Do goalposts move in order to perpetuate the movement? Can any movement be immune to organizational self preservation?

If Words Matter, They Matter for Everyone

The frat Sigma Alpha Epsilon is in hot water for one of its chapters being caught on tape singing racist chants with references to lynching and the N word. A side note has arisen from the national conversation on this but it’s an important side note.

Over the past 30 or so years, billions of dollars have been made by ignorant blacks rapping and singing N-this and N-that. How did this ever come to pass? Why was the outrage when the first “nigga-song” was produced insufficient to nip the whole thing in the bud?

How can we expect whites to treat us with respect when we self denigrate for profit?

Not Ready for Hillary

Finally some thoughts on email-gate. As the liberal media turns up the volume on the laugh track, the facts point to no laughing matter.

1) Clinton violated standards set by the administration and applied to her subordinates.
2) Clinton thinks we are idiots. She made this about “devices” but we all know multiple email accounts can be accessed from a single device. Her “convenience” argument is an insult to our intelligence. Besides when have any of you been able to tell your boss that convenience trumps company standards?
3) We have no proof that she turned over all work related materials before leaving her post. If she signed exit papers that, equivalent to being under oath, claim that she did, when she did not, then she actually committed a felony.
4) The campaign has not yet started and already we have scandal. This is par for the course. An HRC administration will be immersed in scandals, real and invented, on a regular basis.

It’s high time we had a woman president but Hillary is not that woman.

What do you think? The bar is open.