This article’s headline reads “People Return to Offices, Productivity Plunges,” and though I would warn against worshipping at the Altar of Productivity, I’m quite glad to hear someone in our “liberal” media finally blaming bosses instead of workers. And when I hear that bosses are installing “productivity-tracking software” on their workers’ computers, I am reminded, yet again, that the good boss inspires more productivity while the bad boss acts like a damn fascist trying to control what he can’t control.
Right before midterm elections, we pick up another victory over monopolists, as a King County (WA) Superior Court Commissioner granted a temporary restraining order preventing two banksters from essentially looting the grocery chain store corporation Albertsons in advance of its proposed merger with Kroger. The banksters in question – the private equity corporations Cerberus Capital and Apollo – made the tactical error of making their looting, ahem, dividend recapitalization, a part of the merger, which puts the entire proposed merger in danger, if our government will be aggressive enough. And they might!
Ho hum, right-wingers push another activists-are-the-real-fascists narrative by saying the hundreds of writers and Penguin employees who spoke out against Justice Barrett’s $2 million book deal are the real “censors,” the real “book bann(ers),” and the real “cancel culture” practitioners, though we all know right-wingers are the actual censors, book banners, and cancel culture practitioners – as right-wingers themselves prove by calling for the “firing” and “blacklist(ing)” of everyone who has (so far unsuccessfully) protested the future Barrett book! Anyway, do publishers have a First Amendment obligation to publish every single conceivable manuscript? No, they do not. The end.
When I hear that Texas Republicans have been trying to suppress the vote by confiscating smartphones, looking over voters’ shoulders in voting booths, and going around to voters’ homes to tell them they’ve voted illegally when they haven’t – and I think that last item merits a slander lawsuit! – all I can say is that this is where the feedback loop of masturbatory rage leads. I’m also reminded that William S. Burroughs used to say all a junkie wants is junk – not food, not water, not sex, just junk – and today’s rage-addled right-winger is little different than a junkie. I guess that should call for more compassion on my part, but rageheads do a lot more harm than junkies do.
Elon Musk has run Twitter for a week and already he’s fired a bunch of employees after failing to give them the notice required by law, and now they’re suing him. These bazillionaires all think they’re so great – too great for our laws, apparently! – when in reality they trip over their own dicks more than you or I ever will. And though one hates to say bad things about someone who popularized the electric car, note well how that electric car hasn’t gotten any cheaper over the last 10 years. I’m old enough to remember when the Toyota Prius was too expensive for working families, but I’m also old enough to remember when it wasn’t anymore.
Whoa Nelly: the Republican candidate for North Carolina’s 13th U.S. House District actually wants to create “a community-level review process outside the jurisdiction of the federal government” that would evaluate whether a woman can get an abortion because of rape or incest, and though his campaign thinks that’s a compromise position (you know, from NO ABORSHUNZ EVAHZ!!!!), Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall had another name for it: a “rape panel,” which I expect will stick, though “Star Chamber” wouldn’t be a bad name for it, either. Think it might be much easier to, gosh, I don’t know, let the woman and her doctor decide the matter without state interference? Think that’d be a more small government solution than any “rape panel” would? Barry Goldwater would have said so.
Finally, Emily Oster at The Atlantic thinks we should “declare a pandemic amnesty” so we can all “move forward,” and, ah, no. There is no equivalence between yelling at someone who got too close to you on a hike in April of 2020 and the millions of Americans who simply wouldn’t get a vaccine in 2021 out of rage – the former may have hurt your feelings, but the latter reignited the damn pandemic. The author doesn't explicitly mention these latter folks, probably so we'd all avoid making the comparison I just made. I lump those latter folks in with all the other folks I’ll never forgive, like (for example) the Iraq war hawks who called me “traitor.” Don’t worry, God’ll sort me out in the end.