Fraudulent Frequent Flying Fiascos.  Oh, And Happy Canada Day and Independence Day! (July 2, 2018)

Posted in Airlines, Aviation, Boycott Series, Less Government Regulation Series, Price, Transportation on July 2, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “In the past, an airline descending into bankruptcy protection did everything to pull out its frequent flyer program.  Now, many of the programs are a fraud and a ruse and . . . morally bankrupt.  United Airlines and Delta Airlines are among the worst offenders.  By contrast, Alaska Airlines still believes that a mile is a mile is a mile is a mile.”

J          “I suffered a stall and spin in March.  After an almost 6000 mile trip in a sardine can in the air, I was iron fistedly begrudged about 1500 ‘miles’ on the ground.  For each 21,120 feet I endured in the air, I ended up with a ‘mile’ in the program.  The new calculation of ‘ground speed’ today is perplexing and vexing.  Some byzantine formula discounts the actual mileage based on purchase price, whether you had a middle seat, whether you ate peanuts, whether the flight was delayed, sun spot activity and other irrelevant factors first foisted on impressionable ‘b’ school students to foist on the public.”

K          “At least the observant traveler who missed the form letter that starts “For your convenience . . . ” becomes aware of the fraud and the ruse each month and can shift loyalty accordingly.  If each consumer acts diligently, the market works adequately.  If consumers are involved, the government does not need to get involved.”

J          “Most of the statements are electronic and not likely reviewed by the consumer with any care.  We are tolerating far, far, far too many M.B.A.s flying around the country.”

. . .

[See the e-ssay at “An Airline (Partial) Survival Guide (January 24, 2005)” discussing the absurd and inefficient pricing scheme for tickets and “Going The Extra Mile:  Today’s Airline Mileage Programs (August 19, 2013)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

21,120 feet in the air = 1 mile on the ground

Fly the unfriendly skies

The first thing we do, let’s imprison the M.B.A.s

Economic Nuremberg Trials?  The War On Economic Terrorism.  Oh, And Happy Solstice! (June 25, 2018)

Posted in Collapse, Democrats, Kleptocracy, Republicans, Rule of Law, War and Wall Street Party on June 25, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The victors prosecute war crimes against the vanquished.  When he had extra ordinance after a mission, Chuck Yeager followed orders and strafed innocent German civilians on the way back to the air base.  He later commented that he counted on America winning the war so that there would be no untoward consequences.  In America today, the economic criminals are given carte blanche to commit crimes without consequence.”

J          “They are free to strafe the public.  ‘Economic Terrorism’ is the problem and the crime.  We the people are the vanquished, but if we are ever victorious we need to conduct public trials.  The Republicans are owned lock, stock and sinker by the financial interests; the Democrats are owned hook, line and barrel by the financial interests.  Neither party will ever hold those who commit economic terrorism accountable.”

K          “The ‘Economic Nuremberg Trials’ are the only answer.  The political system is too corrupt to offer recourse.  The legal system is too corrupt to offer recourse.  The only way there will be change is if the change is demanded and pursued by the populace.”

. . .

K          “Look.  Listen.  The public is restless and restive.  And may not continue to rest.  A restless friend remarked that the lights may not work in the near future, but the light posts will always work.”

J          “A co-worker says he regularly sharpens his semi-automatic pitch fork.”

K          “When the Collapse comes, there will be little public appetite to conduct something as dainty as a trial for the brigands who circumvented the rules and the laws and the rule of law in a country without the rule of law.”

. . .

J          “The grievances are percolating and festering, but too many are avoiding and opioiding.  At this time, the anger and the outrage are being directed inward not outward.”

K          “The populace is just barely getting by economically and psychologically.  God bless them, but they do not have the understanding, the fortitude, the energy or the courage to get behind the effort to combine due process and justice in a country without due process or justice.”

J          “When you get right down to it, the people are dispirited and defeated.  Nothing will be done.”

K          “Broken and broke.”

J          “But the truth and justice thing sure was a good idea while it lasted.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Residue of Unrelenting Fear:  PTSD Afflicts The Populace (August 28, 2006)”, “1000 AUSAs (February 9, 2009)”, “Close the Harvard Business School (February 23, 2009)”, “On The Digital Revolution (March 22, 2010)”, “High-Frequency Trading = Cybercrime (June 5, 2015)”, “The Court Of Truth And Justice (CTJ) (August 29, 2016)”, “Assigning Blame:  The Lawyers: 50 Percent; The Non-Lawyer Public: 50 Percent; The Judges: 100 Percent (December 3, 2012)” and “Perjury, the American Way (February 20, 2006)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

You show me a great fortune; I show you a great crime.

“Those who make peaceful revolution [resolution] impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”  John F. Kennedy (Ted could have polished/improved/cadenced the statement by saying “peaceful resolution” rather than “peaceful revolution”.)

“I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing.”  Thomas Jefferson

We live in a country with many, many, many rules and many, many, many laws, but we do not live in a country that believes in or adheres to the rule of law.

You cannot get out of bed in the morning without violating some section of title 18 of the United States Code, the federal criminal code.  In fact, and as a matter of law, you cannot stay in bed in the morning without violating some section of title 18 of the United States Code, the federal criminal code.  In practice, the United States is a system of men not laws because men and women opt from the panoply of laws that punish all behavior and decide who is and who is not imprisoned.

There is no law.  There is only ideology.

Let’s call a truce in the war on drugs, on poverty, on women, on blacks, on browns and start a war on economic terrorism.

When the mountain calls, don’t let it go to voice mail

What Use [Are] People?  Oh, And Happy Father’s Day! (June 18, 2018)

Posted in Community, Consumerism, Kleptocracy on June 18, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “They function as consumers yet do not engage as citizens.”

J          “Exactly.  Someone remarked that Americans should be described as ‘consumers’ propelling an economy but not as ‘citizens’ participating in a Republic.”

K          “The kleptocracy does not desire citizens but does demand consumers who demand unreflectively the things they supply.”

J          “The kleptocracy or the kakistocracy?  What happens when they have consumed all they can afford to consume?  Are they consumed?”

K          “When they have spent all they can spend and have borrowed and borrowed and borrowed and borrowed all they can borrow, they are spent . . . and exspentable.”

J          “It is a very real question.  If they could not consume, would they be allowed to exist?  Do they exist?”

. . .

J          “They would be starved.”

K          “Aren’t 80 percent of them being starved?”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Is The American Consumer Irrelevant? (December 12, 2011)”, “The ‘Superfluous Consumer’ (July 27, 2015)”, “Kids As Consumer Durables (August 6, 2007)”, “Consume, Don’t Invest? (November 9, 2009)”, “Henrietta And Henry O, Two Young Lovers: The Contemporary Gift Of The Magi (December 27, 2010)”, “On Community (June 3, 2013)”, “On Roiling And Rolling Collapse (March 9, 2015)” and “The Taxonomy Of The American Economy (May 21, 2018)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Fathers are people too, sort of

I consume, therefore I am

I consume, ergo sum

National People’s Radio?; National Public Radio?; National Petroleum Radio?; National Propaganda Radio? (June 11, 2018)

Posted in Boycott Series, Journalism, Neoconservatives, Newspapers, NPR, Press/Media, Radio, Technology, Television on June 11, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “As long as they broadcast Saint Terry Gross, I will support them.”

J          “Too often they are really just a house organ for the neo-liberals in domestic policy and the neo-conservatives in foreign policy.  National Propaganda Radio, I once broadcast.”

K          “Their message is fundamentally ‘analog journalism’ rather than ‘digital journalism’ even if the transmissions are in a digital format.”  

. . .

K          “They are caught in a sticky dilemma.  They cannot get too far ahead of the listeners or they could lose listeners.  But if they get too far behind the listeners, who will lead the listeners.”

J          “I asked an NPR fund raiser in a red state if they change their advertising strategy after they receive a donation from one listener in an effort to attract the other two listeners in the state.  Tough sell.”  

. . .

J          “Do they broadcast ‘Alternative Radio’ or ‘Counterspin’ or ‘Democracy Now’ or ‘51 percent’ on the play list?  That is the benchmark of commitment.”

K          “One option is to support programs not stations.  Contribute to stations in America that broadcast enlightened programs not necessarily to one’s local station.  And then listen to podcasts rather than the local station on your own time.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Medium Mandates The Message.  Analog v. Digital: Monopolization & Monetization. Oh, And Happy World Press Freedom Day! (May 7, 2018)”.)

Bumper stickers of the week:

The ‘narrative’ is the story

The medium mandates the message

Economics And Finance:  Girls v. Boys (June 4, 2018)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Federal Reserve, Gender, Greenspan on June 4, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “What do Nomi Prins, Terry Gross, Yves Smith, Lynette Zang, Catherine Austin Fitts, Nicole Foss, Ellen Brown, Danielle DiMartino Booth, Brooksley Born, Sheila Bair, Janet Tavakoli, Gail Tverberg, Gretchen Morgenson, Michelle Singletary and Lionel Shriver have in common?”

J          “ . . .  How many guesses?”

K          “Who’s counting?  Take your time.  The face-off does not fall for an hour.”

J          “ . . .  They all have vowels in their names.”

K          “To a person.  Nothing gets by you.”

J          “Nothing.  No.  a.  chance.”

. . .

J          “And consonants, too.  Two consonants, too.”

. . .

K         “No ‘Québec’ in any of the names.”

. . .

K          “What do Allan Greenspan, Philip Gramm, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulsen, and Robert Rubin have in common?”

J          “They too have vowels in their names, but they never should have been allowed to get near the bowels of the body politic.”

K          “They never should have been allowed to have any proximity to the bourse, the boardroom or the blackboard.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Kids (At The Fed) Are Not Alright (January 30, 2012)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Girls are alright

From available sources, Ben Bernanke made the following statements and prognostications:

July 2005:  “We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis.”

November 2005:  “With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly.”

March 2007:  “All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.”

October 2007:  “It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions.”

January 2008:  “The U.S. economy has a strong labor force, excellent productivity and technology, and a deep and liquid financial market that is in the process of repairing itself.”

And last but definitely not least when it comes to misleading and dangerous drivel:

January 2008:  “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”

Plow Shares And Swords.  Oh, And Happy Memorial Day! (May 28, 2018)

Posted in Draft, Hypocrisy, Iran, Iraq, Kleptocracy, Perjury, Perjury/Dishonesty, Security State, Society, Syria, Terrorism, Vietnam, War on May 28, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “A sword in one hand, a plow share in the other.”

J          “On this planet, you cannot carry one without the other.”

. . .

K          “I’ll put down the plow and pick up the sword in defense of the village, but not based on a lie.”

J          “If not for lies, there would be far fewer wars.”

K          “They lied, kids died.”

J          “But not their kids.”

. . .

[See the e-ssay titled “The Flag (May 31, 2010)” and the e-commentary at “In Memoriam (May 26, 2014)” and “Reinstate The Draft; Reduce The Demand For War (Somewhat). Oh, And Happy Veterans Day! (November 6, 2017)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:  [Big bumper]

When considering the reliability of information provided to you by the government of the United States of America, it is important that you recall and reflect:

They fibbed about Viet Nam.

They fibbed about Cambodia.

They fibbed about Laos.

They fibbed about Cuba.

They fibbed about El Salvador.

They fibbed about Nicaragua.

They fibbed about Guatemala.

They fibbed about Panama.

They fibbed about Honduras.                                                    

They fibbed about Venezuela.

They fibbed about Chile.

They fibbed about the Spanish American War.

They fibbed about the Mexican War.

They fibbed about Pearl Harbor.

They fibbed about 9/11.

They fibbed about Osama bin Laden.

They fibbed about Afghanistan.

They fibbed about Kuwait.

They fibbed about Iraq.

They fibbed about Saddam Hussein.

They fibbed about Libya.

They fibbed about Muammar Gaddafi.

They are fibbing about Yemen.

They are fibbing about Somalia.

They are fibbing about Sudan.

They are fibbing about Syria.

They are fibbing about Palestine.

They are fibbing about Iran.

They are fibbing about Ukraine.

They are fibbing about Niger.

They are fibbing about the War on Terror.

They are fibbing.

They do not seem to be telling the truth.

Things really did not turn out so super in Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama, Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria, but who is counting?

But who cares?

The Taxonomy Of The American Economy (May 21, 2018)

Posted in Class, Economics, Kleptocracy, Race on May 21, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The economic and political system exists for the benefit of the one one-thousandths of one percenters (.001 %) and the remaining members of the One Percenters (.999 %).  The Four Percenters (4 %) include the schooled servants squiring to the needs of the One Percenters.”

J          “The tax lawyers, obeisant judges, lecherous lobbyists, teeth whitening dentists, pliant politicians, public relations spin doctors, officious bureaucrats, tummy-tuck plastic surgeons, and their ilk.”

K          “As long as they obey and play, they get the pay.”

J          “They say.  The Fifteen Percenters (15 %) may stay a pay check or two ahead of calamity, yet many are never really economically secure or free of the nagging concerns that haunt them at three in the morning.”

K          “The butcher, the baker and the candle stick maker.  The good old Middle Class.  The good old Middle Class has been badly butchered, baked and left in the dark and the dirt.  Is it even as high as fifteen percent if you factor in the insecure position of so many of them?”

J          “Beneath them are the Eighty Percenters (80 %) who have desperately little chance of ever participating in the American dream.”

. . .

J          “The Dow and the Russell 5000 Index and such metrics measure the economic situation and security of the Five Percenters, not of the general public.  Assessing the real economy requires one to study metrics such as the U6 measure of unemployment of those who were making under $50,000 when they were fired or laid off, opioid use, child mortality rates, consumer debt loads, etc.”   

K          “The poor, the dispossessed, the downtrodden, the unwashed masses, [the] hoi polloi, the sheeple are summoned on election day for an hour to vote their fears and hopes and summarily disregarded the rest of the time.”

J          “Seems we could do better.”

. . .

[See “Shadow Stats” collected by John Williams and navigate the site and the sources.]

[See the e-commentary titled “The Microeconomics of Suburban Subsistence (February 7, 2005)”, “The Microeconomics of Suburban Subsistence: Three Years Later (February 4, 2008)” and “Justice Is a Middle Class Creation, Delusion and Aspiration (March 20, 2017)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Feed the homeless to the hungry

The beatings will continue until morale improves