Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ 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.

By R.C. Seely

IS BURGER KING THE king of burgers? Hard to say since the Burger industry has so many choices. And the king has decided to go social activists rather than focus on their product.

Starting with a misleading video on Net Neutrality, the chain now introduced an anti-bullying PSA.

Now what’s wrong with that? You might be asking. It could be nothing, but it gives the impression that they care more about social justice than their customers.

Take the new ad, they have teen actors pretend to bully another teen and send their customers “bullied” burgers, and record the reactions. Will the customers be more upset about the burgers or the bullied? If it were me, I’d be furious that they care more about catering to activists than to paying customers.

I don’t go to Burger King often, so losing my business would be imperceptible to their bottom line but that they value their customers, so little is troubling. Especially when the market has so many options and burgers, are not their only competition. Fast food and restaurants are a demonstration of the success possible in the free market.

If examined, there are probably already signs of distress within the company because this. Keep in mind this merely speculation on my part.

Besides the willingness to dismiss their customers, the causes they are advancing, and the marketing campaigns are baffling. So far, Net Neutrality and bullying are their causes. And both campaigns have issues; the Net Neutrality one is blatantly wrong in their analogy and the bullying one is inviting a lawsuit.

Either they don’t understand Net Neutrality, or they are on the wrong side. To do their concept accurately it would have to be, the customers getting more than the asked for. Net Neutrality using their burger analogy would be the customer orders a a burger and they are served the burger and a chicken sandwich, fries, a chocolate shake, a dessert and everything else off the menu. Or they never get the burger at all and only get everything else that you don’t want.

As for the other ad, I’m confused exactly what they were expecting the customers in their establishment to do. Verbally confront the “bullies?” But what if the patrons turned violent on the actors? That’s not even all that unlikely given how passionately people have gotten on the issue. Or worse what if one of the patrons were armed? Is the little impromptu theater worth the life of one of these actors? It’s not the patrons’ responsibility to make and keep a safe environment, it’s the business owners.

However you look at it, this idea by Burger King management is asking for trouble, starting with that it appears both ads are online only. The chain could have put these ads online and on TV, a plan that would make more sense. Maybe it’s just my skeptical nature, but when things don’t add up, it generally is because of the worst case scenario. In this case, I suspect they are trying to reach a specific demographic, the youth. Those passionate youth, that will cause “the next social revolution” and won’t question these causes. Can we just get the fries and hold the social justice, please?

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

AS PERPLEXED AS I GET from Democrats who vehemently hate Trump or the Hollywood Republicans that continually dismiss his faltering there is a group that confuses me more than both combined. The Hollywood Republicans who hate Trump. Most of them seem confused on the Republican part.

The two most noteworthy are Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Both are confused about guns in the party platform. Stallone calling for an all-out ban that makes Michael Moore sound reasonable. He adopted this attitude shortly after the death of Phil Hartman. Arnold’s not much better but has a far less benevolent justification saying he’s a “peace loving kind of guy.” If that’s true, then start by leaving us gun owners alone.

This is not the only issue the “Terminator” is confused on, he’s also a hard-core environmentalist. And he’s eager to take on the oil companies with full force. He charges that the oil companies are intentionally and without regards “killing people all over the world” by providing manipulated data on environmental change, and he’s determined to take them to court currently meeting with private law firms.

From The Hill:

“Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is planning to sue oil companies, alleging they are ‘knowingly killing people all over the world.’

‘This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it. Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that,’ Schwarzenegger, a global environmental activist, said.

‘The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill.’

Schwarzenegger accused oil companies of being irresponsible and vowed to go after them.

‘It’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco,’ he said.

‘Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.’

He said he hopes to spread awareness about the harmful effects of fossil fuels.

‘I don’t think there’s any difference: If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first-degree murder,’ he said during the interview.

‘I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies.’ “

I don’t put stake on the opinions of celebrities when it comes to the issues anyways but this idea of “labeling all fossil fuel” consuming products and taking out companies is particularly absurd. That will cost them massive amounts of money in a pointless Kabuki theater for egotistical means.

Schwarzenegger may believe what he claims or he’s simply trying to get attention, I don’t really care his goals, I do care that if he succeeds this will cost the consumer at the gas pumps. I care that he’s not using his influence to privatize the energy market, giving the consumer better access to alternative fuels. Getting rid of the federal subsidies on energy would force them to listen to the consumer and start manufacturing products that are more environmental friendly. Because that’s what the consumer demands.

When Trump cut the funding for social services–Meals on Wheels and after school programs–Schwarzenegger stepped up and started his own charity program to aid them, I applaud him for that. But why not do that for other issues he feels passionately about?

Instead he would rather side with the environmental activists and Trump haters. Parroting the “Russians make him say certain things” and condemning his failure to call out racists after the Charlottesville shooting.

Trump and Schwarzenegger have been having a very public feud for quite a while now on Twitter. It’s covered both men’s shortcomings, and both have had bruised egos. It makes sense that Schwarzenegger is holding a grudge but get over it and start researching.

He derides Trump if he wants to bring back more coal mines that it would be detrimental to the since it’s “dirty energy.” Actually, it’s not, and majority of our energy is coal. Our energy sector is based on a system that utilizes fossil fuels, changing that takes time and money, a cost that taxpayers shouldn’t have to burden. Environmental activists are the ones concerned, they should be the ones to take the burden. The “warning signs” of environmental calamity have been going off for hundreds of years, there’s no excuse for letting it reach critical.

The Republican Party is supposed to be about limiting government, not limiting personal choices. While the party has a history of faltering on that, the stances these two Hollywood “Republicans” have taken are even worse. They don’t understand the consequences of what they propose. What they want will hurt people and leave them less safe. It hurts those that haven’t done anything wrong, takes away their choices and makes them further subservient to federal government.

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