The Start Of Something Big

The data of our move is nearly set. If things go well we will move on April 2nd. I am very excited about the move but sad to leave a place we like so much. Unfortunately, the costs here are just getting too high to stay. 

Earlier today the mover we have worked with before came by and he will send us his latest estimate. We don’t expect any complications from him. In the meantime, Hal and I are beginning to box things up that we won’t need before we move.

We have moved many times through the years and this won’t be a problem for us. We are both looking forward to a new place and new adventures for us and The Stooges. We will always survive and prosper, the friends that will be further away aren’t that critical because we seem to be too far away for them to see us even now.

The first of April cannot get here soon enough!

A Valuable Lesson

Lessons are another word for learning from our mistakes, or from the mistakes of those who came before us. It usually doesn’t matter if others have already made the error; humans have the gift of wanting to make the same mistake again themselves. My story involves a genuinely one-way love. I was younger and thought that I knew everything necessary about life, and I considered myself a good judge of character. I didn’t realize some people were much better at acting than I was at spotting them. I fell head over heels in love and was busy making plans for a beautiful future together while the other person was making plans to abscond with my bank account and everything in it.

Luckily, my friends convinced me that I needed to see for myself what was going on and what I saw shocked me. The person I loved thought I was out of town or a few weeks. In reality, I was staying with friends and surreptitiously watching my significant other. I was only shocked the first time when I saw how they showed no regard for our relationship. I quickly built up my defenses and prepared to face them over their behavior.
When the time came to confront them, I was ready. I didn’t let the subject change because the confrontation was about their behavior, not mine. In less than 10 minutes, I had effectively ended the relationship and cast them to the curb. The pain was unbearable at the time, but I knew it w. I knew then that the mistake had been in allowing someone to win my trust and affection so easily. I swore that it would never happen to me again, and it hasn’t. I learned to be more wary of people and to delay putting my trust in them until I felt at ease.

Now I am happy after 20 years with Hal (person), and I am glad that, in hindsight, I learned the valuable lesson about trust and love.

Be Careful When You Choose The Hill You Want To Fight On…..

There is an old saying that you must be careful when choosing the hill that you decide to fight on because it might end up being the hill that you die on. I was reminded of this old saying when I saw an email from one of my bosses. He stated that the project wasn’t proceeding in the way he thought it should. He also indicated that the customer was completely wrong in their approach (his words, not mine) and that if there was no change in the next 60 days, he was going to resign. He has planted his flag on this hill, and he might very well see his career die on that hill in full view of everyone.

My first thought that the email must have been a mistake. However, more than two days later, there has been no recall or subsequent email explaining away the email. In a way, I can understand some of how he feels. It is frustrating to have a vision that looks so wonderful and seems to meet every expectation that the customer has. However, the customer is always right, and the customer pays the bills. If the customer has restrictions on how to improve their product that we create, we have to work with what the customer is willing to support, or we need to stay quiet. 

Watching a train wreck is never pleasant, but it has a morbid fascination and seems to draw attention to itself. I hate to see someone make a pointless sacrifice, especially when it becomes a public spectacle.

The Worst Should Be Over

Every year since Hal (person) and I moved to the DC area, we have lived with the knowledge that Winter would throw its worst tantrum at or around Presidents’ Day Weekend. We have had feet of snow 10 years ago, but now we have temperatures in the upper 50s with no cold weather in sight. I’m not complaining because I wish that we lived somewhere warmer in general, but everyone who has lived here for more than 10 years is talking about the change to the weather this Winter in particular.

Climate change is real and it is happening right in front of our eyes.

Mission Accomplished Rather Unexpectedly

On Saturday morning, Hal (person) and I ventured out to look at apartments because we will be moving in April. The place we live now has lost its damned mind and tried to jack our rent up by more than 10% if we signed up for a new lease. 

As soon as we stopped laughing we decided that it was time to get really serious about the apartment search. We had been looking in a rather abstract way for a few months, but now we are serious. 

The good news is that the first place we stopped had a beautiful apartment that will be available at exactly the right time for us. Rather than spend all day running around and comparing places, Hal (person) suggested that we just close the deal on the apartment we both liked. 

Mission accomplished. Now we can focus on preparing for the move on or just after the first of April. 

Absolute Truth

The Escalating Class War Against Bernie Sanders

In American politics, hell hath no fury like corporate power scorned.











With very few exceptions, the loudest voices to be heard from mass media are coming from individuals with wealth far above the financial vicinity of average Americans. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
More than ever, Bernie Sanders is public enemy number one for power elites that thrive on economic injustice. The Bernie 2020 campaign is a direct threat to the undemocratic leverage that extremely wealthy individuals and huge corporations constantly exert on the political process. No wonder we’re now seeing so much anti-Bernie rage from leading corporate Democrats — eagerly amplified by corporate media.
In American politics, hell hath no fury like corporate power scorned.
Flagrant media biases against Sanders are routine in a wide range of mainstream outlets. (The media watch group FAIR has long documented the problem, illuminated by one piece after another after another after anotherjust this month.) In sharp contrast, positivity toward Sanders in mass media spheres is scarce.
Big media are continually amplifying the voices of well-paid reporters and pundits whose jobs involve acceptance of corporate power, including the prerogatives of corporate owners and sponsors.
The pattern is enmeshed with the corporatism that the Sanders campaign seeks to replace with genuine democracy—disempowering great wealth and corporate heft while empowering everyday people to participate in a truly democratic process.
Big media are continually amplifying the voices of well-paid reporters and pundits whose jobs involve acceptance of corporate power, including the prerogatives of corporate owners and sponsors. And, in news coverage of politics, there’s an inexhaustible supply of former Democratic officeholders and appointees who’ve been lucratively feeding from corporate troughs as lobbyists, consultants and PR operatives. Their corporate ties usually go unmentioned.
An important media headquarters for hostility toward the Sanders campaign is MSNBC, owned by Comcast—a notoriously anti-labor and anti-consumer corporation. “People need to remember,” I pointed out on Democracy Now! last week, “that if you, for instance, don’t trust Comcast, why would you trust a network that is owned by Comcast? These are class interests being worked out where the top strata of ownership and investors hires the CEO, hires the managing editors, hires the reporters. And so, what we’re seeing, and not to be rhetorical about it, but we really are seeing a class war underway.”
Routinely, the talking heads and go-to sources for mainline news outlets are far removed from the economic pressures besetting so many Americans. And so, media professionals with the most clout and largest megaphones are quite distant from the Sanders base.
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Voting patterns in the New Hampshire primary reflected whose economic interests the Sanders campaign is promising to serve. With 10 active candidates on the Democratic ballot, Sanders “won 4 in 10 of voters with household incomes under $50,000 and nearly 3 in 10 with incomes between $50,00 and $99,000,” the Washington Post reported.
Meanwhile, a trio of researchers associated with the Institute for New Economic Thinking—Thomas Ferguson, Jie Chen and Paul Jorgensen—found that “the higher the town’s income, the fewer votes cast” for Sanders. “Lower income towns in New Hampshire voted heavily for Sanders; richer towns did the opposite.”
The researchers saw in the data “further dramatic evidence of a point we have made before: that the Democratic Party is now sharply divided by social class.”
It’s a reality with media implications that are hidden in plain sight. The often-vitriolic and sometimes preposterous attacks on Sanders via powerful national media outlets are almost always coming from affluent or outright wealthy people. Meanwhile, low-income Americans have virtually zero access to the TV studios (other than providing after-hours janitorial services).
With very few exceptions, the loudest voices to be heard from mass media are coming from individuals with wealth far above the financial vicinity of average Americans. Virtually none of the most widely read, seen and heard journalists are on the low end of the nation’s extreme income inequality. Viewed in that light—and keeping in mind that corporate ownership and advertising dominate mainstream media—it shouldn’t be surprising that few prominent journalists have much good to say about a presidential campaign fiercely aligned with the working class.
To the corporate elite, goals like that are unacceptable.
Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death and Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State.” He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.
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