Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

By R.C. Seely

NEXT MONTH IS the midterm elections, the chance to feel you are important and being heard. We are told the patriotic thing to do is “go vote” if we don’t; you are deplorable, hate this country and all is lost… It’s the END OF ALL CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT! Easy there, this is never the case. That’s how duopoly politicians and supporters want you to see the world. There’s only two options and in some way the opposition is evil. Truth is both right and wrong policy choices, and there are other options.

Despite all their propaganda, this is not the fall of the United States. It survived, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it will survive the Talking Cheeto AKA Donald Trump.

The Democrats have been apoplectic since his election, going on pretty much every tangent–no matter how flimsy the evidence to support the claim. And if they can’t win with their “Russian collision” they are currently trying with their luck with the Saudi Arabia debacle.

Since that hasn’t–and probably will continue not to work–they will more than likely be turning back to the duopoly’s other major tactic, obstruction. They are been attempting this in pretty much every policy and with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. None of which has really been effective, even with the Twitter calls of action by Taylor Swift or protests by Alyssa Milano.

Despite all this, the Democratic Party has stood tall in their declaration that a “blue wave is coming” and it’s the “end of the GOP.” Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Heard this before from both sides, it hasn’t happened yet. Could it happen? Maybe, if so it would more than likely be that both parties are abandoned.

Here is the major obstacles for the duopoly:

Diminish the opposition support. That’s more difficult to do when the opposition is in power. And with the controversial manner they handled the Kavanaugh nomination, the Republican base is at a fever pitch. They are extremely angry and that will surely carry over to the midterm elections.

Excite their own base. That’s difficult when your party are mostly activists. They have a habit of not following their protests with actions. Due to their unreliability, they pose a serious problem for the “blue wave.”

Enlist the Third Party and independent voters. This is actually problem the biggest obstacle for either duopoly party. Neither one is particularly effective at reaching out to the independent voter. They are an enigma to them and what’s more they don’t seem to listen to them. Both are accustomed to telling their base to get out and vote, or else. An independent voter will simply ask them, “or else what?” When they clearly can’t answer, that’s when they lose them.

The Democratic Party had an opportunity to be the bigger man, they chose not. If they want to grow their party with independent voters they are going about it all wrong. They have to actually listen and be genuinely engaged in a discussion with an independent voter. No shallow sound bites or doomsday hyperbole. Offer real solutions and answer questions, give the independent voter security that you are sincere and at least heard them out. And this all goes to the Republicans as well.

There are a few that understand this and can reach out, Rand Paul is one them. Polls taken after the presidential election showed he could have taken out Hillary Clinton, with a gathering of Republicans, Democrats and independents. If his campaign had the funding of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Trump and the Republican elite hadn’t pushed him out, he probably would be our president now. But then we wouldn’t have the entertainment of another pop culture president or the call for blue wave, that appears to by nothing but a light rain.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, with an upcoming new book Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible in the works.

Happy Unions Awareness Day

Posted: September 3, 2018 in Social Commentary

By R.C. Seely

LABOR DAY, FOR MANY IT’S a three-day weekend, the last big hooray for the summer. The last big barbeque, maybe go to the lake with the family. But do you really know why we celebrate Labor Day? It’s a celebration of organized labor, or unionized labor. Isn’t that wonderful.

Actually if you’re a consumer advocate, like me, you will generally be opposed to unionization and with good cause. Labor unions have a bad history, much of it with many acts of violence against their employers and property.

The first national labor day celebration was in 1909, but states had been commemorating the since 1885. Many nations observe their own labor days and more than 80 celebrate Internation Workers’ Day. This is a holiday established by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist leaders to observe an act of union violence after the Haymarket affair. While the events at Haymarket square started off a peaceful protest, as is common with unions it ended in violence–a bombing in this case, being hurdled at police.

Studies have shown that while union violence does occur in other nations, the United States is the leader in union violence. Although the federal union movement has never openly advocated violence, violence has been systematically used by the Western Federation of Miners and the International Association of Bridge Structural Iron Workers.

Union violence was very common during the industrial revolution, with Carnegie Steel suffering the worst. With the attempted assassination of Carnegie’s business partner Henry Clay Frick (although bringing in Frick was a mistake, so this could be considered righting a mistake) and the protests at the plant.

The violence has continued on in the United States until a series of assaults in the 1980s and 90s. In 1986, protests by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547, turned violent against the non-union workers; assaulting them, spitting at them, sabotaging equipment and shooting guns towards them. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled against the union saying they committed “ongoing acts of intimidation, violence, [and] destruction of property.” In 1990, The New York Daily News delivery trucks were pelted with sticks and stones, at times burned and the drivers beaten. This was on the first day of a strike at The New York Daily News. The strikers also damaged the newsstands burned copies of the paper. It was alleged that 700 acts were perpatrated but 229 were confirmed by police. In 1993, a non-union contractor, Eddie York was murdered for crossed a United Mine Workers picket line. In 1997, teamsters Orestes Espinosa, Angel Mielgo, Werner Haechler, Benigno Rojas, and Adrian Paez violently assaulted and stabbed UPS worker Rod Carter for refusing to go on strike. This was after receiving a threatening phone call traced to the teamsters president.

Union supporters use the flimsy excuse that this all this is acceptable because they “being exploited.” Your employer offers you a job, you don’t have to take it. Advocates of collective bargaining claim that employers put non-compete agreement in you contracts, so what? Don’t go work for that company. I’ve turned down jobs because I didn’t like the terms. Where is the exploitation?

They also might claim that the employer has all the power and the courts behind them. After all the have the Hobbs act to protect their property. Of course then again, the union anarchists have the Enmons case, on their side with validates says they can destroy property if it’s associated with their union priorities.

Today President Donald Trump was blasted for his comments against current Richard Trumka, president of the United States’ largest federation of labor unions. Saying via Twitter:

“Some of the things [Trumka] said were so against [sic] the working men and women of our country, and the success of the U.S. itself, that it is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly.”

The rift between Trump and Trumka started with the negotiations of NAFTA and the impact on jobs. Will more be outsourced under the Trump administration? Doubtful. The current administration is a nationalist after all. More than likely Trumka is just another Obama zealot mourning the loss of their god king. Even though Trumka has said he will ,”keep trying to find areas where we can work with him.”

But should Trumka should be concerned about unions though? Yes, there membership has drastically plunged since the 1970s where it was about 25% to less than 11% in 2017. But their image–as defender of the downtrodden–is unfortunately still intact with 61% approval rating, according to Gallup polling.

The political power of unions hasn’t lessen either and unions are still the one of, if not the largest financial contributors to political causes and the Democratic party.

Unions try to portray themselves as heroes, protectors against this big bad capitalist system. Protectors of national jobs, not just here in the US but in many nations, keeping out those “damn foreign workers.” When you start to look a little closer you see what they really are, bullies plain and simple.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture his newest–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–soon to be released.

Dating Sites Scams?

Posted: July 22, 2018 in Social Commentary

By R.C. Seely

WE HAVE ALL SEEN the eHarmony ads on TV, featuring the doctor (who looks too much like the late Don Knotts to be credible for me) saying that he guarantees that he can find you a romantic match. Yeah right! Then there is match.com that makes similar promises. Uh-huh. And the list continues on forever, of online sites dedicated to getting you married or the very least a sexual liason (that’s a more classy way of saying a “hook up” for younger readers unfamiliar with the term).

Finding someone for an hour online is easy, for a lifetime is a far bigger challenge and dating sites don’t make it easier. This is from my own personal experience so admittedly this is subjective, but I do feel that dating sites are a scam. That’s not something I casually through out their either but being a consumer advocate, it’s my duty to give my personal in matters where I do have experience. If you’re serious about dating, don’t join a dating site it’s simply not worth it.

There are many reasons why they don’t work and most have to do with human behavior that isn’t as predictable as we’ve been lead to believe. If it were the site developers would have foreseen the issues and employed countermeasures. The biggest problem is that many simply don’t seem to know how to act appropriately online. Many either come on too strong, get too easily offended because they have to deal with too many coming on too strong, are unwilling to take a chance or have too high of standards.

That’s why so many stay single and because of such complications get frustrated and opt for staying single. That’s another reason why so many stay single: attitude. They are hyper vigilant–which isn’t a bad thing itself, you should be cautious when talking and meeting people online–but this vigilance has become extreme trust issues in far too many. It makes them incapable of even taking a risk on another person. So why even bother joining a dating site?

The last major concern with dating sites is proximity to others. Some simply don’t have the time or energy to attempt a relationship with someone on the other side of the country, or even a foreign country. That’s a commitment before the commitment. Plus if your stimulation is touch there’s no way to get close unless one or both of you move. If your interest isn’t an hour or two away, it can be a challenge for many.

There are people who dating sites do work well for, sadly I would wager they are more extroverted and don’t really need the help. These are the extrovert who can control themselves online, I should say. The ones that can have civil discussion in Facebook pages or other social media sites.

That’s where I honestly had the best luck with online dating, Facebook. But it’s even more important not to come on too strong on such sites, since even the singles sites there are less about dating and more about meeting new people. If they are not interested in dating, respect those boundaries or suffer the consequences.

Facebook is where I met the woman I’m currently seeing. It was on a singles page and neither one of us was really looking anything at that moment and it just sort of happened. The page wasn’t a dating site, but a social networking one. This is how life in general seems to work, don’t fixate on the problem too much, just be patient and let it happen.

So the best piece of advice I can give: don’t let frustrated of being single make you join a dating site. Try any other option. Find out what’s going on in your community, move to another larger town or city, just do yourself a favor and don’t waste your time or money. Swipe left.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture with new book–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible, due to be released.

By R.C. Seely

ONE OF THE WAYS THAT Republicans and Democrats are noticably similar is their misunderstanding about free speech. Both seem to think it is like a river that flows only one direction and ways their way only.

That’s why they get baffled by some Libertarians (such as myself) who adamantly defend the opposing views, believing we agree with them. Just because I stand behind a person’s right to say stupid and even downright offensive opinions doesn’t mean I agree.

I find racism and bigotry just as disgusting as progressives do, but the only thing worse is any form of legal action against it. That’s why I question the legitimacy of Hate Crime laws, for example. Such legal standards divert the focus from the merits of the criminal act and places on the personal attitudes of the suspect. Their attitudes are relevant for motives in the crime but it should not be the focal point. In civil case that maybe more acceptable, but not in a criminal one.

The most recent example of this political dictomony which I’m referring to, look at the case of the Christian baker who was asked to “bake the damn cake” for a gay couple.

The Supreme Court did the right thing and ruled in the baker’s favor. This left a few people angry, one was actor Andrew Garfield who publicly commented his dissatisfaction with the results. He’s not entirely wrong but he’s also not right.

I don’t think the baker was right–morally or from a sensible business standpoint. Turning down any customer, based on their lifestyle or any immaterial choices like that has business risks that should be carefully considered. Word of mouth is so important in the information age and if you deny services for such reasons everyone will hear about and there will be consequences. But that is how freedom of association works.

The belief that an organization needs to be punished by big government is where Garfield and those who think like him are wrong. The consumer will punish them, by not supporting them with their patronage and spreading the word through social media. Since the consumer generally comments the complaints more than the kudos, it’s a fair conclusion to make that others will be kept in the know.

This defending only the singular perspective is common and not simply isolated to homosexuality. Gun rights ends up being an “Us versus Them” senario, as does, drug prohibitions, abortion and immigration. While in gun control, drug prohibitions, and abortion, I disagree with any legislative intervention, immigration does have a sort of compromise.

Increasing worker visas for immigrants would solve so many immigration issues, but this passionate reactionaryism prevents that. With immigration the progressives take an absurd stance trying to appease both their union base and immigrants, failing miserably to satisfy even reality. Unions members are afraid of immigrants “taking their jobs” and that creates the stalemate on that side. Republicans are right in their dislike for unions, even though they agree with them in this case.

You might be asking yourself what do gun rights, drugs, abortion and immigration have to do with free speech? The baker turning away a customer is a clear demonstration of free speech but how does an immigrant being denied a job play into the discussion?

Legislative action is either a defense or denial of the voter’s views–it’s the practical real life application of your opinion. Whenever a prohibition of any kind is introduced it’s an inhibition of someone’s free speech. Basically you’re building a dam against a real discussion. Gun control, the war on drugs and the current immigration system are all restrictions of free speech, which are neither practical or working effectively. Before building a dam–or a wall–the other options should be up for debate. That way genuine free speech, not only your view is protected.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture with new book–Confused Yet? Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–soon to be released.

By R.C. Seely

IS OBEDIENCE TO a bad law moral? Or what about defience to a leader asking you to do an immoral command? We all know that issues of moralty can be difficult, as they should be, but are indoctrinating conformity when that’s the more harmful decision? I think the answer is a clear yes and always have felt that way. And I’m not alone in this. Ira Challeff the founder of the International Leadership Association’s Followership Learning Community and has studied the topic giving his take in his book Intelligent Disobedience. In the text he gave multiple examples of times when the inclination to obey has wrong and fatal, and other times when disobedience saved lives.

We know that many of the worst atrocities have been justified because the perpetrators were simply “doing their jobs” but what of those who didn’t obey because it wasn’t the right course of action.

Challeff talks about a young nurse who attended one of his lectures of her experience with Intelligence Disobedience. It was shortly after getting out of nursing school and she was assisting a cardiac patient in the ER. She was ordered by the emergency room physician to administer a medication that was questionable. After she objected, she was given the typical response from an authority figure to “just do it.” Her final response was:

“I hooked up the IV bag to the patient, and… injected the medication… ordered into the bag. Then I called the doctor over and told him the medication was ready to be administered. All that was needed was to open the valve on the IV bag, but that… violated my training. He would need to open the valve himself.”

Should the nurse have done what she were told, simply because her superior told her to? In this case it might have killed patient and her actions got the doctor to reconsider the treatment and the patient lived. If things had ended differently, there would have been a review and she would have to defend that act of insubordination. That is an admitted heavy weight which needs to be countered against your confidence in what your doing is right.

Challeff offers this as the simplest test of whether disobedience is valid: “Based on the information we have and the context in which the order is given, if obeying is likely to produce more harm than good, disobeying is the right move, at least until we have further clarified the situation and the order.”

We shouldn’t disobey because of power struggles. Challeff has his own experience with that in the dentist chair when a defient nurse kept second guessing him in front of Challeff and kept drilling the tooth getting a cavity taken care of. The end result was the tooth was damaged from the treatment and required more repair. Disobedience because ego satisify this definition.

Another example was the children who were told not “to leave the room for any reason” while their working mother had to give a speech at a work conference. The building caught fire and if the children had obeyed the would have perished. Or the commercial flight that wouldn’t have crashed if the co-pilot had been more insistent in his concerns. The investigation’s assessment even found his disobedience would have been the right choice.

Law enforcement and military are not immune to these issues either. Because of the power and extended legislative immunity they hold, it makes it even more important. The pressure to stay compliant is even more rigorous than for civilians but lives are on the line. It’s important to remember that as a police officer or soldier you face a tribunal for wrong doing. Military is extremely efficient at accountability too, law enforcement needs work.

Most occupations have watchdog groups keeping an eye out for misconduct. It makes society safer for the most part, but even they are not infallible. They are created and filled with flawed humans acting as our advocates, and occasionally they fall short. Maybe someone will come up with a perfect system but I doubt it. In the mean time we will have to settle for what we have and at times practice the Intelligent Disobedience to expose the flaws in that system.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture and has new book–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible soon to be released.

Data Driven

Posted: May 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

BETWEEN THE NEGATIVE coverage in the media and the comments by the president, internet giant Amazon is getting beaten up in the public eye. And it’s all because of a lie perpetrated by their rivals. Many companies didn’t plan for the internet when it was new and over built on outlet stores. That’s why they have been losing money and had to contract.

You talk to the emerging online giants, they see brick-and-mortar stores as still a viable option, they weren’t properly utilized is all.

Take specialty glasses and sunglasses online retailer Warby Parker, it launched in 2010, and is expecting major growth. “By the end of 2016, it had 36 stores… Today, it has a total of 63 locations across the US and Canada, with plans to hit 90 by 2019,” reported Entrepreneur magazine, in its March issue.

How is this possible? You may ask. Retail stores are dying off so fast they may need to be placed on the endangered species list. Real estate firm Crushman Wakefield tallies the numbered of closed stores in 2017 at 9,000 and an additional 12,000, or more, by the end of 2018.

And Warby Parker isn’t alone in thinking store expansion is a sound idea. The Canadian company, Tease-Tea, plans on opening doors in New York. British based athletic brand Gymshot is considering opening stores in Los Angeles.

What do these companies know that the larger retailers don’t? Nothing really, they simply have proven better with the knowledge. It’s a system referred to as Deep Data, a set of algorithms based on the previous buying habits of past customers. Mostly it’s a s common sense sociological analysis–monitoring where they have the most sales when they were online only and only building there. Sounds like a practical model to me and like a winning strategy too.

E-commerce companies Birchbot, Everlane, Bonobos are talking about taking about going brick-and-mortar as well. Even though there’s a certain amount of risk to this strategy, Warby Parker maintains it worth it and appears they are not the only one.

In the Entrepreneur interview they also argue there are lessons to be learned:

“The physical store also creates data that no online store ever could. For example, Warby Parker recently tested a kiosk-style pop-up in … a mall in lower Manhattan… The company learned something unexpected: Customers don’t like trying on prescription glasses in a public setting: it’s too intimate… But sunglasses sold well.”

Deep Data science is comparably new, but it already appears to be an effective tool to avoid overbuilding and while some retail insiders say be cautious, ignoring Deep Data might be a missed opportunity. Used efficiently Deep Data may lessen the gamble.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture and has an upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.

By R.C. Seely

WHAT IS THE POINT OF CONVERSION OF unions and conservatives here in America? American protectionism in the economy. That warm feeling, they get to see that “Made in America” seal of approval. That seal has a great cost and it’s a loss of freedom in the free market. It also demonstrates that conservatives have less faith in the free market then they claim. I don’t share such sentiments, of course I’m a consumer advocate not a labor advocate.

Advocates on the conservative side are making basically the same arguments as unions too, that’s the confusing part! Both are claiming it’s better to only have American labor made products in the American market and keep out those cheap inferior foreign alternatives: A collective agenda. Free market advocates, on the other hand, recognize that a true free market isn’t one that favors labor or nationalism of any kind but empowers the consumer: That’s an individual agenda.

Even when they enjoy the fruits of foreign labor, they still complain about it. And fruits are one of the most common of all foreign labor, even with the diverse climates of California much of our produce comes from Mexico where it can be grown year-round. Keep that in mind when you are having an avocado or orange in the middle of winter.

Produce is not the only product that is made the US takes advantage of, those steel tariffs proposed by Trump will also increase costs to construction, which will increase costs to the consumer. Just because we pay more, doesn’t mean we end up switching to “American Made.” Foreign products are bought because there’s an economic advantage to it; if a consumable product, it’s either available year-round somewhere else or not, has a superior flavor from the foreign environment, or isn’t available at all in the US; with other products, other nations might also have environmental advantage or a developed a more effective manufacturing technique. If it’s the latter, that puts the burden to change on the US not the foreign competitor, which tariffs discourages.

Just like brick-and-mortar stores have to constantly evolve to compete with online challengers, so too the domestic markets need to alter their plans to compete with foreign competition. That’s the only way to achieve a free market.

As for the much-maligned NAFTA agreements, no it’s not a bad thing and is simply a contract between countries, a fact that I’m sure Trump knows. And like any contract, it can be renegotiated, so if the presidents not satisfied with the terms, he should do so and stop stirring up resentment.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture and has a upcoming new release–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible.