No column last week. My bad. I got involved with a wedding and it became rather…all-consuming. By the time the dust settled, I had missed my own deadline by nearly a week. The pay remains the same, though, so…no worries…
It seems to me that putz Putin has gone full-on Dumbass. Now, the truth is, I’ve never been able to decide if Donnie is evil and stupid or evil and a wily schemer, or both. Evil, of course, is a given. But Putin is using trumpery in his Ukrainian invasion to full effect. Okay, so, to no effect. Nobody, except perhaps some Russians, believe anything Putin is saying. Really, in order for the Russians to even have a chance to believe it, Putin had to block every dissenting voice he could. And STILL, too many Russians know the truth. Some of the talking heads on Fox “News” seem to believe it, too, but it’s equally likely they’re just parroting whatever position-du-jour Fox is pushing in the moment.
Still, these days, when Putin speaks, it’s the words of the Orange Moron that come out. Oh, they HAD to invade Ukraine…uh…well…uh…to root out the Nazi’s. Yeah, THAT’S the ticket! The NAZI’S! The only thing I’ve ever heard about Nazi’s in Ukraine is when TrumPutin started whining he had no choice but to invade because Ukraine’s Jewish President was a Nazi! Yeah, right. He told the Russian people that Russia had no choice but to “defend itself” from Ukraine. He told his people that Ukraine wanted to end the Russian state. Of course, there’s not evidence of any of this but evidence is not important to fraudsters. In fact, they rely on the absence of evidence to continue whatever evil scheme they’ve initiated.
Now TrumPutin is telling the world that what they’re seeing with their own eyes from Bucha isn’t what they’re seeing at all. Pure trumpery…
A little while back, Texas passed a law, SB 8, that allows private citizens to sue anybody who helps somebody get an abortion. No government employees, just private citizens. Texas thinks of it as a “work-around” to the “problem” of women having a choice regarding control over their own bodies. (I note they did NOT require the emitter of the sacred sperm to begin child support payments after 8 weeks.) I don’t like the law. Texas feels like they can’t officially enforce abortion bans, so they tried to empower private citizens to the job for them, whether said private citizen can show damages from the actions or not. It essentially creates a bounty of $10,000 per abortion. Lovely. It’s a trick I suspect they learned from the Federal government when 43 wanted to spy on all Americans. They realized it was illegal for the government to do it so they got private cell phone service providers to do it FOR them and just turn the information over. Cons, always on about infringements of their rights, didn’t seem to care about THAT particular infringement.
When I first heard about it, I immediately wondered if some other, smarter, state might use the same stupid tactic to enforce laws THEY can’t enforce but want action on. Take, for example, guns. One wants better regulation of guns but can’t achieve it because cons pretend it violates the Constitution? Hey, just ignore the part of the Second Amendment that reads: “A well-REGULATED militia…” (emphasis mine) and empower private citizens! Let THEM violate the Constitution for you! Why, it’s not a government action at all. It’s simply a civil action used to enforce legal preferences.
Enter California. They’ve done it, or, rather, they’re threatening to doing it. The California legislature is using the same tactic to address the problem of “ghost” guns and parts – guns with no serial numbers. If you know someone participating in the movement or ownership of such parts/guns, you can sue them for up to $10,000 per gun. I kind of love it. Not so much because of it’s issue but because it highlights the absurdity of allowing private citizens to violate the constitution on behalf of the government while pretending it’s not the government at all.
Now red and blue states can empower their citizens to violate the Constitution in a wide variety of ways! See a black person trying to vote? Sue them! There’s a church down the street with a message you don’t like? Sue them! A transgender human needs to pee? Sue them! Someone wants to associate with a group you disapprove of? Screw that, sue them! I think a clever politician could find a way to allow private citizens to violate the Constitution on behalf of the government on just about the entire Bill of Rights – which will, of course, effectively eliminate the Bill of Rights. Genius, right? An effing “work-around” for the Bill of Rights.
In truth, I don’t like either law and I think they should both be struck down but, nowadays, we live in a very stupid, very corrupt country and I’m not holding out hope. (I hope I don’t get sued for expressing my opinion, here…)
I like that unions seem to be making a comeback. It seems that even conservatives have figured out, despite their conditioning to the contrary, that labor is a commodity and can be managed – like all the other commodities. It’s funny, so many people believed for so long that unions were only bad and that people should just trust their employers to do the right thing. But the right-wing disinformation machine can convince cons of just about anything – right up until they experience it themselves. THEN they see the detail. THEN they understand how they’ve been misled.
What I believe – and have always believed – is that employers will do ANYTHING to reduce the “burdens” they suffer from the employees, that is, the very people who do the work that make the owners SO incredibly rich. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a (brief) look at history. In history, “employers” used to bring workers down to the Caribbean islands and work them in the sugar cane fields until they died! Then, they’d just replace them with new “employees.” Yes, these were slave owners and slaves. But the very concept of slavery proves beyond question that some people will DO anything, can justify ANYTHING, in the name of profit. Jeff Bezos takes turns being the richest man in the world. HE, personally, doesn’t do anything to “earn” ANY of that money. He just keeps it – because he’s in a position to do so.
Amazon cheated in the unionization attempt in Birmingham, Alabama. They cheated so badly, in fact, the courts threw out the final vote and ordered a re-vote. Amazon had less success in New York where a recent union vote went for the union. Amazon is trying to fight the outcome. ANYTHING but treat the people who bring Bezos SO much like human beings. In the article I read in the Guardian, ‘Amazon fights to overturn union’s historic win at New York warehouse,’ there was this little tidbit: “In a filing last week, the company disclosed it spent about $4.2m last year on labor consultants.” $4.2 MILLION dollars trying to keep from having to do the right thing. Hey, the South went to war to try to prevent losing their free labor pool. Some people will do anything. Labor organization is the only tool workers have.
For years, corporate media convinced it’s consumers that all the “good” jobs – the manufacturing jobs, they claimed – had gone overseas, which was true. But these weren’t the “good” jobs because they were manufacturing jobs. They were good jobs because they were union jobs. Greedy, self-serving employers were forced to do the right thing, like it or not. Of course, they’re SO greedy, they just moved their operations overseas where they could take advantage of an even LESS powerful population and reported back to the American people they’d just have to get by on service jobs – with no unions. Ever since, our “service economy” has become poorer and poorer and more and more desperate while the Kleptocrats just keep taking more and more and more. The American people are going to have to organize and rise up and I’m glad there may be a way to fight back without widespread bloodshed…