Friday, February 18, 2011

A little corporate greed rant, Part One

Okay, okay! Chevron is bad! Halliburton is bad! War and killing and injustice are very bad. I hear you. I get it. But like everything else in this world, there is little black and white, or should I say "us" and "them," to THE ENDLESS GREED AND SHITTY BEHAVIOR OF CORPORATIONS.

I am going to keep this one short.

Corporations are simple machines. And yes, this includes the most diverse, conglomerated, vertically structured multi-national, banking, military-industrial-whatever. They are all the same in one way. They are all about money. Now this may seem like a simple truth, but it is much more. It is the tool that we as consumers have to bend them to our will.

Every corporation has at its core a JOB #1 : Make money for the owners (shareholders, usually).


The "Good Hands" people didn't start up their firm 150 years ago, build it, and keep it running to make sure your Prius gets fixed when the drunk dick dents it and runs. That is not worth their time and money. And when I say time and money I mean Millions of woman hours and billions of dollars. What they did do is to create a machine that will pay for the ddd and millions of other insurance claims from a fund built up out of payments from us to them based on the idea that Good Hands will protect us when dd comes by. Most importantly, their BEST work is to MAKE SURE THERE IS MONEY LEFT OVER.


They just want money.

This does not make them bad. Really. They do a lot of cool stuff. Driving would be a very different thing without the insurance industry. The food you just ate, the chair you are sitting in, the clothes you are wearing, the phone in your bag, and on, and on and onandonandonandon, came from and through corporations. Somebody made the chair for two bucks and sold it for thirty. Made a computer for twenty that sells for seven hundred. Whatever. If they don't make money, your don't get to watch Philip DeFranco on YouTube. They just want money. And  they will do ANYTHING to get it.

This does not make them bad. This makes them simple. Now put that simple organization in an ocean of kill-or-be-killed similar organizations and the best, smartest, strongest survive. They grow, thrive, diversify, and protect themselves. Still simple, money-making machines.

They learn and adapt. Large, 21st century corporations have learned to protect themselves with lawyers, politicians, judges, lobbyists, researchers and a thousand other tools that guard that simple process of having more money at the end of the day than they had at the start. And THAT is how you do battle with them.

I am currently supporting a group that is working to reverse a corporate transaction here in San Francisco. The best radio station in town was sold and we, the listeners are pissed off and protesting the sale. But it won't do much, because we aren't dealing with the money. I'll get into it more later (and on my show today 9:30am PST), but basically the thrust of the group SAVE KUSF is to complain about the sale. I do not understand why anyone thinks this will work.

What would work is if we -- it ALWAYS comes down to education (see Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)--repeat it, now: "IT ALWAYS COMES DOWN TO EDUCATION." If you want to drop a corporation to its knees, take its money away. I am not talking about the wealth that they HAVE. That is of secondary interest to them. They want the FLOW of money every day, into their control. Interrupt that and you have them. But how? Education.

You must learn how they make their money.

Stop buying what they're selling! Sounds easy, until you consider the diversity and hidden nature of corporate diversity. When you buy a dozen eggs, a gallon of gas, a loaf of bread, or a newspaper, the money doesn't just go to the store you buy it at. The store owner has to pay for the product: she didn't make it! And she has to pay rent and overhead and employees and taxes and a million other things and it all comes out of your little $2.49 for a loaf of sliced Wheat Berry, or your $3.49 for a gallon of Chevron unleaded.

This is getting long. End of Part One.


Thanks for reading! Now get back to work!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

LA Open this week at Riviera!

Man, Oh Man! What I wouldn't do to have a free week and a thousand bucks to blow. I would think long and hard about hanging out in Los Angeles for the best West Coast stop on the PGA tour. The Northern Trust Open is what the LA Open is called now, but it hasn't always been up for sale.

Used to be a premium stop on the tour's schedule. Only two, really. Here and Pebble Beach. The Open when it was at Olympic. Other than that, the tour was something to watch on TV. But every year about this time, Santa Monica canyon would polish up and show off for the world.

Walking in to the -- well, hopping a fence, really -- was always a major buzz. The smell of the eucalyptus, the thrum of the crowd, and the specter of those princes of sport, the players.

Mac Hunter was the head pro back then. Riviera was the western sister of the Hathaways and the L.A. Athletic Club. The barranca was an untamed gully full of treachery, frogs and slime, not the concrete-drained ornament that it is today. When you played the front of the front and the front of the back, you had it in your face a LOT. Nobody hit the ball 300 back then except Nicklaus, so you were spared on your first tee shot, but your approach on one, your tee shot on number two were definitely emphasized by the deathly certainty if you crossed the boundary of this firth of Santa Monica canyon. After two you had a break until seven, and even then, it just sort of nodded to you, off out of play way to the right on this short par four. The way eight is played now, with the split fairway and the tee back of the seventh green, it is a different animal.

My uncle was a bigger than life character who loved fast cars, fast boats and fun. He could play a hell of a game of golf. he played Riviera a lot, though I don't believe he ever belonged to the club. He used to tell a story about standing on the sixth tee during a round with Mac Hunter. Hunter was hot. He had birdied four of the first five holes. Back then, one was a tougher challenge with the barranca and all, and two was a shorter par four. So with scores of 4, 4, 3, 2, 3 he had gotten to four under. And he was one down to my uncle.

I never heard how the rest of the round went. I am pretty sure my uncle didn't finish eighteen under.

Looks like one of the players, Kevin Na, almost matched my uncle's story. Today he got to the sixth tee and had the same numbers written on his scorecard that Mac had all those years ago. As of this posting, he has made it past ten and kept it to three under par. I wish him all the best.

More from Santa Monica Canyon soon....C19 out

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Save KUSF Show on Hard Work Hour with Douglas Douglas 9:30-9:45am Friday, February 18, 2011

Save KUSF Show on Hard Work Hour with Douglas Douglas 9:30-9:45am Friday, February 18, 2011 on Blog Talk Radio

If you want to Save KUSF, this Friday will hold TWO media events worthy of your attention.

9:30-9:45 am
Blog Talk Radio will air the "Save KUSF" episode of the Hard Work Hour with Douglas Douglas

12 Noon - 3:00pm
Ameoba Music San Francisco will host their SAVE KUSF show. The resistance has been getting some traction and now has a growing group including many faculty members and local politicians. Show your support for the best radio this city ever had!

Hear you there!


Save KUSF Show on Hard Work Hour with Douglas Douglas 9:30-9:45am Friday, February 18, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Tournament

Okay, I have dragged a few unwilling people with me to this event and I know how to do it. Just follow these simple rules:

1) Be ready to walk through a hurricane. This means have good shoes that can deal with mud. Understand you may walk 5-10 miles from car door to car door. Also, especially this week, there may be weather, so have a nice set of layers to deal with it. And be ready to wear all of it, because they won't let any bags on the course. Oh, and keep your phone quiet, or they may take it.
2) Be respectful of the players and those around you. Unlike other sporting events, you will be in the middle of the playing field the whole time you are on the course. The golf ball can go anywhere and the player may have to chase it there. The best way to be mindful of where the players are is to keep your antennae up, pay attention to the marshalls and anyone giving you directions. Just for these few hours, humble yourself and try to be an invisible fly on the wall. It is worth it. There is SO MUCH STUFF TO SEE HERE.
3) Pay attention. You are going to be tits to tits with not only the elite top shelf athletes of a great game, and all the weirdness surrounding that, you will also be sociologist to a unique population. You will see many, many people far out of their elements, including golfers. Also notable: the houses bordering the golf course on Santa Monica Canyon, the occasional mega-rich, the spectacular golf course, the amazing network of people who support the tournament, the vendors, the volunteers, and of course YOU in the middle of it all. Now, if you are REALLY AMBITIOUS take a stroll through Santa Monica Canyon off of the golf course, a special mix of Monterey, Bel Air, and Venice.

Namaste, and FORE!


The Day After The Day

Feb 15
I am trying to decide whether to give up for an hour or so and watch TV. Within 10 seconds, I get these from the magic screen:
    1) Photos of Comet from NASA
    2) (something else entirely)
    3) ADHD diagnosis and test (one hand resting test)

It sounds like one of The Onion’s headlines: " Impulsivity, Hyperactivity and Innattention main factors for diagnosing ADHD". Aren't these the standard manifestations of childhood? ABC this morning had a story showing how a certain simple test of sign language skills can show ADHD tendencies. Well, this goes off in at least two directions for me:
3a) Personally I can try this and see what effect and truth there is for me here. Also I can explore trying this test with others as a means of self-exploration

    3b) Much more importantly, this is another herd mentality science lesson. Just follow the steps:
*Do none of the prep work ( Stay ignorant. )
*Apply a random test to yourself. 
*Interpret the test results without any baseline, placebos, constants or any scientific method at all.  
*Misdiagnose yourself. 
*Take your shitty diagnosis to a Dr. working for a drug company. 
*Take more drugs. 
*Ignore the drugs and move onto something else. 
*Give up. 

On the NASA front: The comet is being photographed and packaged for us in a way that I could not have imagined in my youth. Let me remember how things have changed, how they can change and that PEOPLE are the vehicles FOR change.

I wonder what the middle thing was...any big news today? Oh! There goes the pager! DW out

Monday, February 14, 2011

Don't get Monster? Join the club...

Monster, Red Bull, 5 minute Energy Drink, et al, be warned: you are all full of crap. Literally, according to the American Medical Association.

Being old enough to wonder "what all the HooDoo is about Beber?" and, "Why are all the new bands called "Lady?" I can report on never drinking more than a sip of any of the endlessly growing punch bowl of energy drinks. I walk by them on my way to sign my paycheck over at the petroleum station, and wonder: "WTF? Why are people paying $4 for a shitty little fruit punch?"

Vindication is mine. The AMA has released a communication that echoes my unstated views. I mean, I WOULD HAVE come up with this stuff had I even like tried, you know?

All of the drinks tested had excessive levels of pollutants and contaminants, in addition to ridiculous levels of sugar and 2-3 more caffeine than regular soda. Not to mention the untested, unknown effect of beer-bonging creotine or whatever amino acid they are pushing. Careful, young monsters!

Friday, February 11, 2011

HWH rises from the ashes with Freerange Lower Love Show

Hard Work Hour with Douglas Douglas 2/11/2011

In addition to another reading from John Updike's "Sandstone Farmhouse," this week's show included local news for the bay area and a quick primer on how you can run your own African country: Eat Chocolate!

Okay, okay! I relent! Keith Olbermann did break new ground by reading James Thurber long before Douglas Douglas read anything at all on the Hard Work Hour. Okay? Okay. Now get back to work.

Egypt Youthquake

Chocolate is the drug of choice and the engine behind a bloody and chaotic months-long election/riot/revolution/civil-war process that is claiming many lives and dollars right now in Ivory Coast. If you eat chocolate, you are a part of it.

No one claimed this week's prize: "...Love me! Hate me! Just let me know you're there!.." is from Cool Hand Luke delivered by Paul Newman. 

That's it! DD

Hard Work Hour with Douglas Douglas 2/11/2011

commander1958 @ Twitter

Douglas John Douglas @ Facebook

Discovery Learning Tutoring at Google Groups

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Bottom for HWH

Today marked a new low for The Hard Work Hour with Douglas Douglas.\ (Fridays 9:30-9:45am PST, Blog Talk Radio, Listen to the broadcast here).

Previously marked by high journalistic standards, the show today fell from its lofty perch atop the pile of web based radio shows with a purpose and came to rest on its Hard Working Ass.

The show this week started well, and typically, with a wandering but well-intended monologue. This week, though the host, Douglas Douglas soon ran out of brain gas and punctuated his rambling with long pauses and nonsensical mumblings.

Check in next week, Friday at 9:30am PST for more breaking news on this front.

Next week's promised feature "Shibley on Education" a speech about why to go to college from Professor David Shibley.

Writer's Almanac link

Harvard link