Archive for the Pogo Plight Category

The “Free Rider” Challenge (July 14, 2014)

Posted in Community, Pogo Plight on July 14, 2014 by e-ssay.org

. . .

C1          “Sounds like an endurance bicycle race or some such sporting event.”

C2          “Does it cost to play?”

. . .

C1          “Before this year, they did not list the names of all the unsuccessful applicants publicly in addition to the names of those who were drawn for the group permits.  Revealing.”

C2          “They rarely draw from those who don’t apply.”

. . .

C1          “Fables guide many of life’s choices.  When I first heard the story of ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper,’ I was certain that we would be told that the diligent ants invited the profligate grasshopper inside for a cold beer and a warm meal.  And then she announced that . . . the ants booted the grasshopper off the island if you will.”

C2          “Sort of an O. Henry twist for a young impressionable mind.  We were inculcated with the tale told to folks about ‘The Little Red Hen’ who sought without success to enlist others to assist her sow the field and then declined their entreaties to join in her bounty.”

C1          “At this time, we are all fat, not too smart and somewhat blissfully clueless.  And we are so profoundly unprepared.  Before things get even more squirrely, we need to get in touch with our inner ant.”

. . .

[Bastille Day]

[See the e-commentary titled On Community (June 3, 2013).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Be prepared.

Look out for bicycles.

 

Unionizing Athletes And Adjuncts (And Sherpas) (April 21, 2014)

Posted in Education, Pogo Plight, Schooling, Slavery, Sports, Unions, Wages, Work on April 21, 2014 by e-ssay.org

. . .

1          “They say you need three things to run a college:  sex for the students, tenure for the faculty and football for the alumni.”

2          “That’s about it.  The sex is self-executing.  Tenure for the faculty is now tenuous with the adjuncts impressed to assume the laboring oar.  That leaves the futball team – the sine qua non that justifies the existence of a college in America today.”

1          “The young gladiators are relieved of paying some of the lease payments for the classrooms they may not frequent and the coliseums they fill and toil in for the benefit of the ‘lums.  Granting tenure might foster academic freedom and independence.  Adjuncts can be underpaid and overworked along with the gladiators.”

2          “Today all the money is deployed for administrators who are bureaucrats with shiny pedigrees.  Someone needs to develop a percentage formula to limit the amount spent on the administrators who exist to collect big pay checks and approve tuition increases.”

1          “Humans seek to enslave other humans.  We need to resist our basic impulses.  Unless the athletes organize and unless the adjuncts organize, they will be exploited.  And the Sherpas too.”

. . .

1          “Kids who do not understand their own mortality do not understand that their student debt is immortal.”

2          “The solution is simple.  After high school, youngsters are still engaged in the emancipation process from their parents or parent.  A two-year break allows them to flirt with adulthood rather than go to college and extend their adolescence.  A summer with the Civilian Conservation Corps, a stint in the military, a go at something out of their community or comfort zone provides critical perspective.”

1          “Even one year.  The kids in college who took a year off before starting college were three years more mature than the others.”

. . .

2          “If fewer students attend college, the unused dorms can be used for housing of others in the community to allow students to interact with other members of the community and develop a sense of community.”

. . .

2          “We paid the lead Sherpa the equivalent of two year’s wages via a stack of Benjamins for our climbing fee.  He paid his countrymen and women a few Rupees a day to do the work and carry the load.”
1          “Humans seek to enslave other humans.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” titled "Is College Worthless? (July 25, 2011)."]

Bumper stickers of the week:

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

I have let my schooling interfere with my education.

Occupy Namche Bazaar

Earth Day

NATO: Nations Aggressively Taking Over (March 31, 2014)

Posted in Foreign Policy, Military, Pogo Plight, War on March 31, 2014 by e-ssay.org

. . .

1          “How about Nations Advancing Territorial Objectives.”

2          “Or Nations Aggressively Taking Offense.”

1          “Or Nations Aggressively Giving Offense.”

2          “That is it.  NATO became NAGO.”

. . .

1          “When the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States was in the rare position of being able unilaterally to create some semblance of world stability.  Expanding NATO was threatening and counterproductive.  The United States should have concluded more trade agreements and created additional student exchanges.”

2          “Create more economic interdependence so that war is unprofitable.  Foster student exchanges so that a leader is reluctant to attack a former beer drinking compatriot.  Yet that is the underlying and overriding problem.  War is so bloody profitable.”

1          “After the Christmas present in 1991, the United States transitioned from one of the superpowers not to the world’s policeman but in many ways to its bully.  America undermined its and the world’s security and well-being.”

2          “War is so bloody profitable.  And there are so few individuals and institutions with an economic incentive to speak the truth.”

. . .

1          “We need the good old days when NATO meetings assembled the French, British and Americans who could be condescending, dismissive, arrogant and petty toward each other and perhaps keep the Russians in the bay.”

2          “The French could be French, the British could be British, and we could be us.”

1          “And the Germans could be German.”

2          “We need to figure out who is us.  Have we met the enemy.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

What if war became unprofitable?

Bombing may be a tactic, but it is not a strategy

If Bush can invade Iraq without any good reason, can Putin invade Ukraine without any good reason?

“No one deserves it.” (February 10, 2014)

Posted in Estate Tax, Pogo Plight, Taxation on February 10, 2014 by e-ssay.org

. . .

C          “No one gave me anything.  I worked for everything.  I had three jobs and did not even get the minimum wage for one of them.  They expect everything.  They have already spent it many times over.  I am not even dead yet.  I feel that way.  They act that way.”

L          “I understand.  You are among a small group who really did it the old-fashioned way by taking risk and working hard.  And it is yours.  In your eyes and in the eyes of the law.  It is also your decision.”

C          “I didn’t build my business out of a garage.  I didn’t have a garage.  We hardly kept a car on the road.  We built it from our dinette table.  They’ll sell that Formica® table for a few dollars at a yard sale.  If they even have the gumption to have a yard sale.  What if I don’t give it to ‘em?”

L          “It is yours to give or not to give to them or to someone else.”

C          “That would be givin’ it to ‘em.  Know what I mean.”

. . .

L          “Probate and estate issues like this are among the most frequent legal matters and concerns for older folks.  Trillions of dollars are transferring to the next generation.”

C          “I heard someone call it ‘entitlement’.  I don’t know who’s entitled to my money, but I know it’s not those kids.”

. . .

L          “Probate is not evil.  However, probating a will is expensive, protracted and public.  By putting your assets in a trust, you create a legal entity that survives you and eases transfer.  The process is cheaper, shorter and private.  Many trusts are designed not just to ease the transfer but to elude creditors and avoid taxes.  Many of the trusts designed to avoid taxes are legal theft, but that is where America is in the arc of this country.  This basic trust is simply a mechanism to make the transfer simpler with some tax portability and a layer of creditor protection.”

C          “That all sounds good, I think.  So you think it’s a good idea.”

. . .

L          “You could set up a foundation.  The goal is usually virtuous, yet the smaller personal foundations usually do little more than feed an ego and pay administrative expenses.  The folks on the payroll are pleased to have the job and the paycheck.  I was impressed that Warren Buffett did not establish his own foundation and instead gave most of his assets to the Gates Foundation.  That approach saves on administrative costs and focuses efforts.”

C          “What group should I give it to?”

L          “Which group do you want to give it to?”

C          “I don’t know.  That’s what I pay you for.”

L          “I am here to determine what you want to do.”

. . .

C          “What if I give it to you.  You said it’s mine to give to anyone I want to.”

L          “With a very important proviso.  You cannot give your money to your attorney who is obligated to represent your interests.”

C          “Then I’m not absolutely free to give to anyone I want to.”

L          “For these purposes, I am you.  You cannot give it to yourself.  And I cannot take it under rules that are in your best interest.  For what it is worth, there was a time or two when you were reluctant to pay attorney’s fees that were earned twofold.”

C          “I figure that if you are not able to make sure that you get paid then you are not able to make sure that I get paid.  I’ll throw nickels around like manhole covers until the day I die.  You know me.”

. . .

C          “Those kids didn’t have to work very hard to be entitled to my hard-earned money.  But they don’t want to work.”

. . .

[See the “e-ssays” under http://e-commentary.org/category/estate-tax/.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Easy come, easy go; Hard come, easy go; Hard come, hard go.

Boycott Futball? (February 3, 2014)

Posted in Boycott Series, Consumerism, Football, Hypocrisy, Pogo Plight, Sports on February 3, 2014 by e-ssay.org

. . .

F1        “Are you crazy?  Apple pie and motherhood are as American as futball.”

F2        “Soccer Moms wielding mini vans hold the keys.  Will they make a motherly pitch to the kids and drive them to the pitch or accede to pressure and deposit them on the gridiron.”

. . .

F1        “Watching it for the ads seems akin to buying a girlie magazine for the articles.” 

F2        “Spectacles are always spectacular.  A brand is a story.  This year the brands really tried to tell stories over a number of ads throughout the extravaganza.”

F1        “Seemed to be fewer ads for ED medication and the usual number for EtOH self-medication.”

F2        “Capture the audience and then captivate the audience.”

. . .

F1        “The NFL is the big winner.  They scored non-profit tax-exempt status long ago.  The public pays for the millionaires to play for the billionaires.”

F2        “And the public finances most of the coliseums.  The teams are tantamount to unregulated public utilities.”

F1        “Perhaps citizens should pay a monthly bill for water and sewer, telephone, gas, and for futball.”

. . .

F2        “Football is counterproductive because it destroys so many gladiators along the way.  Society is left weaker.”

. . .

F1        “Sports has always provided every society with a forum to train warriors and titillate the populace.”

F2        “ROTC with colorful, multi-color uniforms, cheerleaders and beer.”

F1        “Tiddlywinks simply does not train warriors or titillate the public.  Few aspire to a career in the NTA – National Tiddlywinks Association.  Our need for blood sports is hard-wired into our dna.  Coursing is coarse, but the desire courses through our blood.”

F2        “Auto racing appeals to our love of speed and lust for a crash.  The most skilled drivers are at the wheel to maximize the speed and minimize but deliver the inevitable and cherished crash.”

F1        “Satisfying our need for immediate gratification led them to accelerate the process and fashion the ‘demolition derby’ that provides what the fans really desire – a string of premeditated crashes – without the wait.”

F2        “Rather than going in circles, they go right at each other.  Perhaps football could be reduced to fifteen minutes of uncontrolled mayhem with the gladiators going right at each other.”      

. . .

F1        “The ideal winter sport is the biathlon . . . shoot and ski in the winter and then run or bicycle or pogo-stick in the summer to stay in shape.  The ideal summer sports are soccer and women’s rules lacrosse.  Men’s rules lacrosse is for insecure sissies.”

F2        “Men’s rules lacrosse is the outdoor version of ice hockey.  Is there women’s rules ice hockey?”

F1        “What about co-ed inner tube water polo played indoors in the winter and cricket played in the summer?”

F2        “Moms may need to select among competing pitches.  Cricket Moms would emerge as another target demographic for advertisers.”

. . .

F1        “What would happen to Monday morning quarterbacking?”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

“Is Dylan a Cadillac shill or a Chrysler shill?  . . . . . . .  or a Ford shill?”  “I think he was a Victoria’s Secret model.”

Humanity’s Motto: To Enslave And To Colonize (January 27, 2014)

Posted in Blue States / Red States, Economics, Immanentizing The Eschaton, Markets, Pogo Plight on January 27, 2014 by e-ssay.org

. . .

A          “You can now add Bezos to the legendary ‘CDEs’ of exploitation – Carnegie, Disney and Edison – who made their fortunes exploiting others.”

B          “And the kingpins of exploitation – the Waltons.  As humans, we seek to enslave and to colonize, not to nurture and to develop.”

A          “Take one’s liberty and take one’s property.  It’s the human way.  We established a Constitution to protect life, liberty and property.”

B          “He too seeks to enslave.  Amazon has become the CyberWalmart.”

A          “Like Walmart, the prices are very low and allow some shoppers to afford to make it through the day.  Some of the customers may be the same employees who cannot subsist on Walmart wages.  The Amazon prices are usually lower and the guarantee is objectively better than the guarantees offered by locally owned businesses that may be going out of business in part because of Amazon’s competition.”

B          “By contrast, Costco pays a living wage and offers health care and retirement to its employees while offering very low prices and an unconditional guarantee to its customers.” 

A          “Walmart is a Red State company headquartered in a Red State.  Costco is a Blue State company headquartered in a Blue State.  Amazon is an anomaly – a Red State company headquartered in a Blue State.” 

B          “Look at the state they leave the employees in when a company pays slave wages.  Slaves don’t make profitable consumers.” 

A          “If there are no consumers, you can’t have seventy percent of economic growth fueled by consumer spending.”

. . .

[The author has no financial interest in Amazon, Costco or Walmart and has shopped at all three institutions.]

[Pete Seeger - May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014]

[“Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.  The World Economic Forum has identified economic inequality as a major risk to human progress, impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale.”  http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

To Enslave And To Colonize.  Hey, it’s who we are.

The American Menu: Three Food Groups (January 6, 2014)

Posted in Consumerism, Food, Health Care, Market Solutions, Plastic, Pogo Plight on January 6, 2014 by e-ssay.org

. . .

The Gyre of Death:

Breakfast:     Sugar, Fat, Salt

Lunch:            Fat, Salt, Sugar

Dinner:           Salt, Sugar, Fat

Rinse and repeat and repeat and repeat.

. . .

A          “New Year’s resolutions are one of the earliest examples of recycling.  The list of resolutions could be stored with the holiday decorations and reused each year.”

B          “We need to reduce.  Hope springs eternal, particularly in the winter.  Better to have propounded New Year’s resolutions and lost than never to have propounded them at all.”

A          “We need to resolve to shed calories responsibly all year.”

B          “Better to have lost pounds.”

. . .

A          “Disregard the class and cultural arrogance and condescension that underlies the discussion and the problem still weighs on us.  We as a people are too chunky.”

B          “Too many Americans drive around all day poisoning themselves at the food shacks that litter the highways and byways and then drive to a bar and poison themselves with liquid intoxicants before taking that last drive of the day late at night back home.  We need to change our life style.”

A          “Obesity imposes a staggering additional tax on health care costs.  If the government chimes in and proposes something, someone whines about the ‘nanny state’ interfering in our lives.”  

B          “Granny may have been right about these things.  Moderation always in all things.”

. . .

A          “Beer companies seek to decant 11 rather than 12 ounces into a bottle and grocers now package five rather than six avocados in the bag.  How do you create the market conditions so that a sugar water company reduces the ounces in the bottle and the purveyor of French fries puts fewer spuds in the bag?”

B          “And change our life style so that no uses plastic bottles.”

. . .    

[See the “e-ssay” titled Back Door Inflation (July 16, 2007).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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