Day 222: No Charity for the Rich

Tax cuts for the already wealthy do not bring more or better jobs. Just handouts for the well off for being well off. 

The bottom 80% move the Earth to generate the riches. We don’t deserve less for the more taxes we pay each year. We don’t deserve stagnant wages for higher productivity since 90.

A 20 percent corporate tax cut isn’t draining the swamp but an expansion of it. 

-E.C. Fiori

Day 174: The Government is not a Business

Trump and his family are self described business folks. While their legacy in business is debatable, that they come from the corporate world not political becomes more obvious everyday. We don’t know yet if Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia last year but the Trump family isn’t making it easy for innocence to be considered. 
This week Donald Trump Jr. became the center of the Russian storm. After days of having his ever changing story disproven by leaks, he released the emails in question. They did not vindicate him. When asked if he would like information on Clinton gathered by Russia to aid his father, he says he would love it. He brought Kushner and Manafort to the meeting, the Russian lawyer ended up not having anything on Clinton. Leaving us in a situation where we know that the Trump campaign would have colluded but not if they did. 
Ignore the discussion of impeachment for a moment. What other implications are there? One is a revelation behind the curtain. Political operators have long been portrayed as ruthless anything goes types in movies but the real political world always had norms and bounds. I’m not saying they are knights of the round table. Yet even the Gore campaign called the FBI when someone leaked Bush’s campaign bible to them. This event shows the business world core of the Trump universe one where damning emails end in a fine and mea culpas but in politics things end differently just ask Abramoff.
The anti-left media keeps yelling Ukraine like its Benghazi (as a waste of time). A low level former staffer is not the same as a high campaign advisor and candidate’s child. Manafort did in fact lobby for pro Russia candidates in Ukraine and was unable to hide it. Whether the decision to remove support for Ukraine in its war against Russian invasion from the GOP platform came from Manafort is unknown. In the end, evidence from a foreign public investigation is not close to the same as a foreign nation stealing documents from a political opponent to aid a candidate. As Watergate taught us having your own countrymen steal documents is damning without foreign involvement. 
The emails aren’t a smoking gun for criminal proceedings but they without a doubt bolster Mueller’s investigation. One can only wonder what subpeonas will uncover.
-E.C. Fiori

Day 151: Found Them

Day 41: The Importance of Being Earnest

I hope 11/9/16 marked the end of postmodernism’s control over popular culture. The end heralded with the publication of Infinite Jest seemed to come at the peak, the amount of youtube Trump satire will fill majors one day. A meme is a medium native to postmodernism. Not to draw a conclusion but articles have replaced memes on my personal newsfeed. The problem with memes and irony in general is they are communication without communicating. Irony is great against despots because the subversive message is lost without the decoder ring.  Irony rarely widens the circle.


Sincerity can. Caring about another’s welfare not just believing you know better changes minds. I would argue one of the main differences between the Democrats and Republicans is that the dems tell you they know best and the GOP says you know best. Both are hyperboles targeted at the young and old respectively. Neither addresses the luxury we carry in our pockets. Avoids the uncomfortable truth behind the free of it and the wealth. Donald Trump said we would be tired of winning if he was elected. Maybe he will be right for once, perhaps we could try governing.
-E.C. Fiori

Day 40: What is the Ministry of Truth?

Facebook’s announcement of an experimental partnership between third party fact checkers: Snopes, PolitiFact, the AP, ABC news, and Where people request certain links to be factchecked and if they are and found to be false or misleading a warning without reasons behind the warning will pop up before the article opens. Many people on the left and right are wary of this development. For many conservatives, a third of the fact checkers (AP and ABC news excluded) have a liberal bias. For many on the left, this is an expansion of corporate control of media trying to take away their “truth”.


Facebook has the legal right to control its platform that it lets us use. I do think that it can be worrisome to think that there will be blind faith in the warning. I think that this is an opportunity for us all to challenge our dogmas. We all could use a hand in expanding our worldviews and many times that hand needs to come from the opposition. Not saying we are all wrong all the time, but we need to be fluid in our responses. Adapt to the situation at hand not the one in the mind. I think that this experiment is a good step forward and should be expanded to include more viewpoints. We need some radical changes but those changes aren’t possible without agreement and I am speaking about Climate Change. It truly is a bipartisan problem that will alter every human’s life. In the age of Elon Musk, no one can question the possibilities in renewable energy that could occur. I believe we need to support if not with funds than beneficial regulations that aid his innovations while improving the quality of life for his labor. We need to use Capitalism to challenge ourselves for real innovation rather than use our money for novelty add ons. We need the hoarded wealth to be reinvested into the American Dream. None of which is possible without dialogue. If fact checking and discussions not in comments but in researched detail can engage us with each other than it is worth trying. Facebook as a form of communication and a company must respect their power. I think this is a step towards a better social media environment in the age of bullshit heralded by Trump and Putin.
-E. C. Fiori

Day 32: A Rose by Any Other Name

Identity politics has always existed. White Supremacy is perhaps the oldest modern form. In all forms it relies on tribal dogma to create a world view. This world view does not always conform to the world. In an piece for NPR, Tasneem Raja writes “why it’s never been more important to continue talking — and arguing, and complaining, and venting — about identity in America. To continue interrogating whiteness as a construct, even as we discuss the economic woes of many white Americans. To continue asking why so many of our superheroes are white and male, even as we push to better understand the defeat and humiliation felt by many flesh-and-blood white men in our country.” Superheroes aren’t real. Movies and television aren’t real. The media wastes an incredible amount of time watching other media and reporting on what the media tells them. No wonder we built our own echo chambers, the mirror that was journalism has become a fun house. There are serious deep seated economic ills that affect all Americans that creates a fear of the other. While diverse entertainment options are important. Everyone should be able to share their voice. Art is not as important as economic stability. Few liberals argue that many of the goals of identity politics aren’t noble, but the tactics are ineffective at best. As television moves from viewership numbers to subscriber totals, the actual viewership of any given program matters less. Thus the explosion of perspectives on pay or SVOD entertainment. These shows at their peak with the rare exception have a twentieth of the viewership of the classic model flagship CBS. If content can shape the viewership than the viewership matters. Identity politics by dividing citizens based on birth features encourages white nationalism. If being matters then Whiteness matters. If what was pop culture is white culture then the Whiteness of it matters too. In a country that is still majority white for the next three decades and depending on immigration changes longer, that demographic has power.

The average American white male was the loser of globalism. The Trump supporter is similar to a study on rats as written in the New York Times, “The best verified animal model of depression consists of social defeat. A dominant rat is placed in a cage with a younger, stronger rat from another group. When the dominant rat is defeated, several features emerge. The defeated rat is reclusive, hyper-vigilant, avoidant, and shows an incapacity to experience pleasure.” The Obama coalition was a moment for a future America. A moment of change. The now reviled and then reviled as well white American male was an important piece of the coalition, the Midwestern firewall. The professional class has always been dominant; the working class had their fiefdoms maybe not to the charm of a New Yorker but a loving community home to the residents. That has been stolen and the working class re-dominated. The recession recover deepened the destruction of their middle class world of the last thirty years. Longer than many of the preachers of Identity have been living. 2016 will be remembered as the year that Americans first had the chance to elect a government focused on all citizens but both Trump and Clinton relied on identity. Trump did the math and Clinton expected shame to continue to hold the peace. The basket of deplorables comment probably ended her campaign. Trump did a barebone dog whistle to be sure but Clinton attacked the one group she needed because of identity politics. Being a first isn’t an enough, a campaign is more than a self- esteem booster. That last part is intended to the Trump voters and the chaos they chose as well.

We are a broken people divided. The New York Times has an op-ed about not going easy on the failures of men.  Especially taking aim at the concept as men as the breadwinner and that being the sole responsibility. While I agree that men and woman should do portional housework based on earnings level. The problem is not just that men do less housework or are selfish about the tasks. It is that the stay at home dad is an undesired solution. Here is an interesting Dear Sugar on the subject. Women are more likely to cheat and divorce as the breadwinner. This dissonance is tearing apart our families. We cannot just shame a better tomorrow. So much of the strife and divisions center on money and for some luxury. I think if the pay ratio dropped from the average of 204: 1 CEO to worker to 50:1 at every company, we would see an American renaissance. I think that it would aid the race and gender and sexuality pay gap and earnings gap. I think it would ease the financial burden on families and save marriages.  It would rise up all peoples and exclude no American from the better tomorrow. New divisions will not heal the old ones. Shame is not persuasion.

-E.C. Fiori

Day 26: There is no House

Everyone knows the house always wins. The American republic may have an elite, but as this election show, they don’t own the system. Trump showed that for both media output, both left and right publishers endorsed Clinton. They might pay eighteen bucks to see a celebrity, but they won’t let that celebrity decide their fate. There is no house in America, just we the people.

-E.C. Fiori

Day 13: Why do you Build me up Buttercup?

Beyond the great wall with Mexico, Trump spoke often of our crumbling infrastructure. Some of our reactions to the comments highlighting the disparity in America, “third world airports”. Bannon may be a despicable man, but it is hard to hate his push for a trillion dollars in infrastructure investment. Yet from what we know Trumpworks will be something akin to the Big Dig with favored contractors using public funds to make big profit. Though if Trump runs the country like his business maybe no one gets paid. I forgot to mention the real kicker, it will all be privatized. Any new road, bridge, you name it would have tolls that line the favored contractors pockets with us footing the majority of the cost with tax breaks. So we should we not pay to enrich the already wealthy?

Public works are about not just boosting wages and spending in suffering areas, but ensuring the quality of American life. Think of the interstate highway system. Now imagine paying your neighbor to use it after paying to build it yourself. Not only that but if it was a private road system, would the easy of mobility that allowed for the expansion of the American middle class? Roads are far from the only projects we need either. From leevees to water systems, public works make up a diverse range of public property. Can there ever be a fair market solution when we are limited by pipes in the ground? By granting private monopolies over needed resources, we invite profiteering. Coca Cola could ensure water was never cheaper than soda.

The urge to privatize is dangerous. Remember the Bundy siege in Oregon. Malhuer exists not just a home to some of America’s most varied and rare birdlife. It is a space for affordable grazing, native people’s sacred ground, and recreation use in hiking, fishing, and hunting. It has been this way for a hundred years. Those who tried to steal it from us with force did it out of greed. No different than Saddam’s foray into Kuwait. They believed that they were the only Americans deserving that land, but if the public lands were sold. I doubt they would be the new owners. No the person who pays the fortune for that price would most likely increase public useage fees. Federal land can be some eighty percent less than private land. Our public lands do not restrict our freedom as much as guarantee our ability to share the awe that is our natural wonders. The tale of the Malhuer occupation reminds me of another American class: the arrival of the Puritans to New England. When they first saw the ancient forests that once grew across the northeast They believed God prepared the land for them. The well kept trails through the elder groves usually connected to game paths made the wilderness incredibly habitual. However it wasn’t the Lord who had shaped the lands, but the Native American tribes. Those forest culled long before my birth to feed the mills that dot the rivers leaving the young woods as a memorial. The lesson for all fables contain one is we are often wrong on how much and where the help, we received came from.

In our time of division, I doubt the solution is to create new barriers between citizens and increasing the cost of living. I cannot phantom how privatizing and restricting access for profit to public works projects makes us great again. I do see how it could make a select few rich again. We must not undermine what is left of our communities by giving up the last of our connections to a new class of robber barons.

-E. C. Fiori