Saturday, September 22, 2012

'Slick Willard' Isn't So Slick Anymore

By Manifesto Joe

After the past couple of weeks, I'll have to stop using the nickname of "Slick Willard" to refer to Mitt Scumney. He hasn't been slick at all, and some of the American people are getting a chance to see whom this really is.

I suppose his asinine behavior while visiting the Summer Olympic Games in London should have been enough foreshadowing of this. Like Obama's predecessor, this is a doofus, a son of privilege whose main talent seems to be for making a fool of himself.

He followed up on insults to America's closest ally with the Libya debacle, attacking alleged weakness in the Obama administration even before the victims' families had been notified. Even many top Republicans were aghast at that one.

Then there were the "47 percent" remarks, which appear to show Romney as the ignorant plutocrat he really is. The only "redistribution of wealth" that people like him object to is the kind that travels down the socioeconomic ladder. When it comes from the bottom up -- as it usually does -- it's called "smart business."

'Incompetent' was polite

Even prominent plutocrats are upset. Peggy Noonan, the onetime Reagan speechwriter who's now with The Wall Street Journal, said she was being polite when she called the Scumney campaign "incompetent." What she meant, she said, is that it is more like a "rolling calamity."

Here's a link to a story about Noonan's dismay.

Many polls are now showing Obama in the lead, reversing previous trends. One factor, I would say, is a closing of ranks among America's "center-left." Obama's lack of fight, at least for a long time while faced with Republican intractability, was disheartening to many. But the Republican Party has come so much under the spell of its kook element that the "center-left's" potential dissidents realize that Obama is the only person standing between us and utterly irresponsible right-wingers.

I worry, though, remembering an old adage that nobody ever lost a dime underestimating the intelligence of the American people. It has surprised even me, just a bit, how many people are still obsessing over where Obama was born when the U.S. is being faced with such a grave choice in November. The "birthers" always deny this, but I think the fact that there's an uppity n----r in the White House is what bothers them most. I would have thought that the Il Doofus (Bush 43) disaster would have spoiled the "Republican brand" for at least a generation, but the election of a black president seemed to make a lot of Il Doofus' damage invisible to many middle-class white people.

Scumney may still be able to make it close enough for the Republicans to steal it with their voter disenfranchisement strategy, and so forth. But at least the latest gaffes are giving people a chance to see whom he really is. As Massachusetts governor, he talked like a moderate, and even governed like one to a great extent. But recent missteps, plus his choice of Paul "Ayn" Ryan as his running mate, make clear that this is merely a privileged, opportunistic dork who's willing to tell anybody anything to have the office to which he obviously thinks he's entitled. The Republican right wing owns him now, and they also will do anything to grab power.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Manifesto Joe's Great Moments In Conservative History, Part 12: Right-Wingers Rewrite U.S. History

I can't add much to this link, so here it is.


I got my tower back several hours ago, so I'm back in action. -- MJ

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Computer Woes Again

I'm out of commission, yet again, with PC issues. My tower is in the repair shop. Hope to be back in the saddle soon. -- MJ

Saturday, September 8, 2012

This Is 'Gone With The Wind' For Birthers

By Manifesto Joe

Someone I know urged me to watch this, so I did, all 76 minutes of it:

The bottom line seems to be the insistence of one Verna Lee, 95, that neither she nor her office could ever have made a mistake on a birth certificate in her official capacity in Hawaii back in 1961 (not 1960, as the investigator repeatedly says).

A number of years back, I had to get a copy of my own birth certificate. I was most surprised to learn that I was born at 3:25 p.m. The doctor recorded it as 3:35 a.m. My mother recalled that the event occurred in the dark of the early morning hours, and I think that she was there. In any case, my Texas birth certificate was screwed up by an incompetent person on the day I was born. So was my mother's -- her name was misspelled on hers.

But in Texas, they make such mistakes all the time. The officials in Hawaii were perfect, every time, even back then.

The person who urged me to watch this said it convinced him that President Obama's long-form birth certificate, as presented to the public in PDF format, is a forgery. It raises a couple of interesting questions, but ultimately, he got me confused with someone who actually gives a shit.

I really, honestly don't care if Obama was born on Jupiter. His opponent has a running mate who's a disciple of hag selfishness cult leader Ayn Rand, and who has proposed to convert Medicare into a voucher system. The "GOP" ticket has me worried about a great deal more than where Obama was born.

The whole "birther" thing seems to me like a diversionary nonissue, the kind that right-wingers just love. They were floating these the full eight years that Bill Clinton was president. Now, with them horrified at the prospect of a second term of President N----r, can we expect any less?

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Labor Day Warning About Job Scams

By Manifesto Joe

Ever heard the old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is?

I recently joined the ranks of America's unemployed, and that bit of wisdom is coming in quite handy for me as my job search heats up. There are job scams galore out there, and if you've got e-mail addresses involved in your search, you're certain to be getting all kinds of offers from con artists.

With as many nervous and vulnerable job hunters as there are out there, there are countless vultures ready and willing to prey on them and put their unemployment benefits in a different bank. I can identify several types of these scams.

1. Insurance companies

However good their pitch, and however reputable they sound, this is one of the most common scams. Oh, it's legal, and they tend to merely stretch the truth rather than outright lie. If you've uploaded a resume, any resume, on any kind of a site like, you've either gotten these kinds of offers or will soon get them. The requirement for their interest: a pulse.

I almost fell for one of their common ploys -- a presentation that serves as a sort of preliminary interview. I decided recently to accept an offer to do this, so I suited up, printed out my resume, got my briefcase out and used this as a "dress rehearsal" for a one-on-one interview.

The presentation was good, I had to admit. But I looked around the room. These prelim events generally have five to 15 prospects in the room. I was one of 10, so we were very average. There were people there from all walks of life, all levels of education. Most already had jobs and were looking for a different sort of opportunity.

It all sounded pretty good, until you are told that it's going to cost quite a bit of money to get licensed by the state. It's also 100% commission, and they avoid telling you that most "agents" don't survive the first year. Even among the ones who do, there's a trainer there who's going to help you build a call list, and that person is very likely to take the lion's share of the money. They say it's not a pyramid scheme, but you eventually find that's how it works.

When a company sends you an e-mail, Google the company's name and then type in "scam." I'll bet you get numerous hits on that every time.

I'm not going to name names, but I'll go so far as to say that it's every single one of them that directly contacts resume posters. Here's a good rule of thumb: If you didn't send a resume directly to this company, chances are 99.44% that this is a scam.

2. Franchises

Again, these outfits will send you an e-mail and lay lots of flattery on you about your "experience." They will tell you how much money you can make, and how you can be your "own boss" as a franchisee.

Delete, with extreme prejudice.

3. Work-at-home schemes

Again, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. A common one of these is how one can make $77 an hour working at home on one's PC.

Do yourself a favor and get rid of it.

4. For-profit colleges

Ever gotten into what looks like a job-search website, then get bombarded by pop-up ads for those "for-profit" online colleges?

They'll gladly take your money for a degree that, in the end, you may be unable to use.

Exit these, post haste.

One problem that's not exactly a scam, but is a disgusting time-waster, is when you're trying to apply for a company's advertised job, and your software isn't communicating with the company's. This is tied in with how unhealthily dependent companies have become on computer programs. In this case, the company's IT people haven't updated their system to be compatible with a wide range of PC software. So, you get taken around in circles until you realize that this is an exercise in futility.

Perhaps the worst scammer of all is Corporate America itself

This is happening where I used to work, and it's common all across the U.S. People get laid off from full-time jobs with benefits. Then, six months to a year later, if they're still available, the same company offers them a part-time job, with no benefits, of course.

Also, have you noticed how many of the advertised job openings are part time, or for temporary contract posts, etc.?

We live in the age of the Throwaway American Workforce. More than ever, people are being replaced by computers, and employee pension plans are being abandoned so that corporations can "afford" to pay lavish executive pensions.

The official U.S. unemployment rate has generally been 8-9% for years. If you take into account the number of people who are underemployed, stuck in no-future jobs with no benefits, I think you could double that percentage for all practical purposes. And then, there are millions who have just plain given up.

Bottom line: If you are hunting for a job, be careful out there.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Clint, God Is Not On The Republicans' Side -- He Hates Stupid People

By Manifesto Joe

Hard-core film buffs may recognize the title of this post as a paraphrase of a line that "Blondie" (Clint Eastwood) speaks to "Tucco" (Eli Wallach) in the quintessential spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967).

As an actor, Clint was OK, but always a bit more archetype than character, sort of like John Wayne was to an older and less-hip audience. As a director, he blossomed into a world-class auteur, aided by the tutelage of cinematic masters like Sergio Leone and Don Siegel.

It was tragi-comic to see an 82-year-old Eastwood make a doddering fool of himself before a prime-time TV audience Thursday night at the Republican National Convention.

For one thing, I thought Clint had learned a few things about his "friends" on the right. His reaction to having right-wing critics like Michael Medved spray bladder juice all over his 2004 boxing masterpiece Million Dollar Baby was angry and defiant. The film seemed, in the view of right wingers, to support euthanasia. Clint seemed at the time to have distanced himself at least somewhat from the political right, with his obvious and apolitical question about any script: Is it a good story?

But he's always been a fiscal conservative, and was a Republican as mayor of Carmel, Calif. Old habits die hard.

Back to the post title -- God may not be on the Republicans' side, but from what one can tell, He, She or It often doesn't seem to be on ANYBODY'S side. The deity, presuming that one exists, doesn't usually intervene in human affairs. Jews and other victimized groups were not spared holocausts, and black people were not rescued from slavery, at least not for centuries.

Humans are mostly left to their own devices. They can do things to make the world a better place -- or they can make it a hell on Earth, which they quite regularly accomplish. It's often sad to watch, but that's what free will is all about.

God didn't even stop Il Doofus (Bush 43) from being president for eight long years, declining to step in as apparent election fraud was committed. He, She or It didn't stop 1.4 million Iraqis from being killed over official lies.

And, perish the thought, He, She or It may not prevent Slick Willard Scumney and Paul "Ayn" Ryan from being "elected" to the Nos. 1 and 2 offices in the land. Atheists and agnostics seem to expect the deity to intervene in human affairs, but that seldom happens. We can foolishly and avariciously screw things up just as much as we please -- I learned that from watching "Blondie" on the Big Screen when I was just a lad of 11. It's up to us.

He, She or It may hate stupid people -- but that's never stopped them before.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.