Friday, October 14, 2016

Wells Fargo's CEO Stumpf Steps Down, Platinum Parachute Intact Despite Some Givebacks

--after the scandal about ethics-plagued "sales techniques"
utilized by employees burst over the media world wide.
Mr. Stumpf, haled before the U.S. Congress, shamed and
exposed, could not remain CEO of the nation's largest
mortgage banker, especially after his sales staff fell on their
swords, 5,300 of them summarily fired. Either way, these
hapless workers were doomed, obeying OR disobeying
orders to carry out the massive illegal scheme.

The disgraced CEO walks away with ~130 million big
ones, reported by He can presumably
avoid the nation's righteous indignation/opprobrium by
coloring his hair and flying to another nation, retiring
from American business altogether. Will he?

Platinum parachute at the ready, anything is possible;
problematic indeed, however, is the restoration of his
good name. Only  "objectivist" followers of Laissez Faire
(the Ayn Rand version) can  approve of this man's
method, therefore, him.

The Trumps' Anti-Women War: Ugly Americans are Legion

The latest reveals re: the Trumps and their anti-women
wars plainly show two sad, salient facts:

(1) The Donald Trumps, pe're et fils, do not respect
women; both are on electronic record bragging about
their right to demean, insult, intimidate, objectify and
rate females in the workplace where employees are
trapped. Toxic behaviors ought to be permitted,
opined several males including DT JR. broadcast over
a recent Buzzfeed "bull session".

(2) Apparently, American men share the Trumps'
misogyny, shown via a very recent poll: men will
vote for Trump overwhelmingly on November 8,
while a majority of  women are voting for Clinton.
--The gender wars continue, down the centuries to
today! (England's Queen Elizabeth I was wise to
remain unmarried, wasn't she, girls? Henry VIII's
daughter, she lived long, prospered, remaining large
and in charge for decades....)

Even with better laws and the "civilizing", tempering
effects of education, far too little has changed. The
Trumps, father and son, are actually to be thanked for
exposing their own contempt for women so openly--
while allowing all to see support for the anti-women
wars is far from minor.

Ugly Americans in 2016: they are legion.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The USA's Favorite Ferengi, Donald Trump

If you've never seen the TV free series "Deep Space
Nine" ( a Star Trek franchise) you'll not know how
apt this "Ferengi" comparison really is. The several
hundred "Rules of Acquisition" (distilled down to
anything for a buck, no holds barred) are ruthless,
immoral and amoral, actually criminal in many
places boasting a concerted rule of law, to say
little of plain consideration of others.

I imagine the Donald watching Quark, the most
ambitious and greedy of the lot, largely sympathizing
with the Ferengi bar owner when many of his nefarious
and ill-thought out schemes come to naught. Like
Quark, Trump experiences many failures, but manages
to scramble up from them employing every tactic
available on Earth (legal loopholes). Quark utilizes
his planet's "rules", which are simply more hidey
holes and justifications for the rich and aspiring.
Peals of laughter accompany any successful gambits,
never any remorse. Ruinous or harmful fallout  (AKA
collateral damage) seems so much sweeter AND

Trump and fictional Ferengi Quark both say it's
smart to get a leg up on everybody else;
witness the first face-to-face a few days
back between the Don and the Hill. Lies,
obfuscations, deleting relevant facts, denials--
all to get rich quick, buy ostentatious but
tasteless property to regale friend and foe
alike, hosted in a semi-social setting.

Trump has strange facial expressions many
have noticed; Quark's are actually more
normal, alien physiology notwithstanding.
Both are amusing and amused in one stroke,
if one can shunt aside the dangers to the
rest of us, unwary or not...

Wait, wait, I've got it! How about a
"Saturday Night" TV episode with Quark
and Donald, sitting side by side, relishing
all their canny, money-making tricks, busily
applauding each other on their splendid business
acumen. I might just call the producers there in
NYC and forward a suggestion for just such
a skit.

The USA's favorite Ferengi, Donald Trump:
oblivious to the obvious as well as to the
profound, or to what's generally deemed
decent. May he never gain the White House.

October 3rd, 2016: Sen. Kirk and U.S. House Rep Duckworth--A Civilized Debate at Last!

The hour and a half spent watching the candidates
vying for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat via the
Chicago Tribune's video was well worth it. The
only flaw occurred with the Trib's mike placement;
the two candidates' comments were adequately
audible, whereas the Tribune editorial board's
interviewers could barely be heard.

What I wished for so ardently but failed to see
during the 2016 Presidential Primaries DID
happen at the IL state level: the two U.S. Senate
candidates behaved with dignity, largely steered
clear of personal attack, sticking substantially to
the issues. Yes, Tammy hammered hard on "wrongs"
she identified in Kirk's record, but kept it a civil
critique all the same.

I'll be voting for Ms. Duckworth, as she appears
more capable; she's younger, survived being shot
down and captured in Iraq, while Sen. Kirk sadly
shows hallmarks of his physical and mental challenges.
His survival and progress toward normalcy is quite
remarkable indeed, yet the stroke adversely affects
him even now, which the Tribune video plainly
illustrates. Tammy could speak at length, cogently
with detail and extempore'; Mr. Kirk seemed far
more subdued...still, he acquitted himself admirably.

We would have seen a similarly civilized exchange
between Gov. O'Malley (D) and Gov. Kasich (R)
if the media and our electorate had allowed it--
to our detriment, we've gotten circuses and
scandals instead.

Thank you both, Mark and Tammy, for letting
us see sanity, dignity, demeanor and respect
resonate with you--as it does with some of us.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Identity Thief Wells Fargo Hits Rock Bottom

Have others put it so baldly? The shocking scenario
at Wells Fargo, with unauthorized accounts opened,
complete with fake debit cards, etc. is identity theft,
PERIOD. Execs Stumpf and Tolstedt are forced to forfeit
millions of their inflated salaries/bonuses to recompense
robbed customers. 5,300 employees have been fired in the
wake of these allegations, which sadly appear accurate.

This is a frightening expose' of the USA's largest mortgage
lender, and a black mark on our national reputation--
ruthlessly reflecting shame on us all. Who in the business
world can we trust these days? My answer right now is:
do business locally, with people in your community you
know, not some faceless corporation giant long distance.
My bank is NOT a big, "prestigious"  bank, i.e., Chase,
which has had a number of scandals internationally and
domestically. But pride goeth before a fall, and banking
on prestige with "premier, historic firms" like Wells Fargo
is proving to be ruinous.

Bipartisan outrage has haled WF CEO Mr. Stumpf
before the U.S. Senate's Banking Committee; Senator
(R) Bob Corker's indignant ire is especially heartening
to see...more hardline penalties presumably to follow.

Morality may have sunk to a new low in American
business; where's Teddy Roosevelt when you need
him? Even though wealthy, he revered his father, who
imbued him with concern and values sadly lacking
in this era. His trust busting, ending egregious
business combines, still childhood required reading.

Wells Fargo: let's let 'em have it, identity thieves
now at rock bottom.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Texas, a Shooting Gallery Yet Again: Nihilism and Chaos Today in Houston

Before 7 a.m. today (09/26/'16) a run-amok attorney
shot at least six people in Houston TX. Our gun-crazed
society has one of these outrages now at about a daily
clip. This "lawyer" with his car full of weapons is believed
down, "pronounced dead" (per CNN), yet reporters
at the scene still referred to this sad scenario as active,
with police officers being shot at as well as firing back,
complete with dated film footage. --WHAT?? How about
broadcasting events and official statements in possible
(chronological) order?

This is what lack of leadership and cynical, staying in
office at all costs, pandering to the ignorant, desperate
and disaffected has brought us: Gun Carry, legal now
in all 50 states, whether open or concealed, has pushed
the danger dial firmly into the red right zone. No one
is safe, no amount of "formal education/credentials"
is any guarantee against future shock, death and chaos.

How many years have I warned about this, how many
decades have the even more studied tried to explain
to American adults just what is required for a people to
attain reason, justice and peace?  Check historians of
note, journalists of probity; you will see all that I have
described in various screeds has come to pass.

If fun and material possessions were not the greatest
foci of time and passion, the USA would be far better
off, but the epidemic has morphed into new/now normal.
TV free and cable, online, etc. prove observant others
all too correct. Texas is one of our country's worst
exponents of  reality-evading, dangerously demented
denying and lack of sustained, serious effort. Beef and
oil profits still constitute prestige and royalty there even
in 2016, a very wise woman from there recently
reminded me.

Here we are, "once again, into the breach", with
nothing more than some sweet hopes to sustain us
...come ON, America! Get sense, buckle down,
NOW is the hour.

Texas, meanwhile, did it again, Houston a shooting
gallery of nihilism and chaos.

Donald Trump's Supporters Have Weakened World Confidence in the U.S.

--A dangerous development, especially in this
destabilized, "Post Cold War" world era. When
representatives of our country meet with other
nations' officials, some have asked about "crazy"
Trump, with worried misgivings. Stability in the
international political arena is as highly sought as
it is in the economic sphere; when it begins to
teeter, international relations, wars and trade will
surely deteriorate. Obviously, our overseas opinion/
reputation suffers when we can't really be counted
on in former, reliably positive ways.

Beyond the shallowness, lack of experience, oddities
and meanness ad infinitum Trump blithely broadcasts
around the world, a deeper, even more troubling
phenomenon exists: the stupidity married to arrogance
of much of the USA's electorate is now regarded as
proven, whereas before the Donald's ascendancy,
that was mere suspicion. Other countries, friend and
foe alike, will be aiming for an advantage at our expense.

Donald Trump and crew, irony supreme:
"Make America Great Again"--?? They have
weakened others' confidence in us, NOT

OR better, sadly.