Friday, January 20, 2012

Good Ol' Days

“Sir, I know you worked hard for yours, but I’m out here.. If you have anything..” Sorry, I don’t have any cash. “Respect.” This young man in my neighborhood, his hair is freshly cut, but he’s begging at the Metro station and in front of the 7-11. This early 20 something has no other option but to beg? I know the economy is bad, especially for people without skills or business relationships, but..

How deep do I want to get into this. Not deep at all. I’ve got a friend who, at the time of this writing, is unemployed. He is one of the hardest working people I know. He’s held down three gigs for a period. He’s never asked for a cent. I’d give if asked, but..

Now I know the unemployed young man probably didn't get a quality education and my friend did. I would bet the young lion didn’t have the greatest support at home, my friend’s mother insisted her kids be productive. At the end of the day, I feel like shit sometimes that I can’t help either significantly, but..

Maybe this feeling of guilt is unwarranted. I’ve practically begged my supervisor to give my buddy some temp work and it happened. Don’t know if I impacted that decision. I know that I’ve given the young chap some dollars if I had it. Don’t know if more is expected of me by the divine in either case. If more is expected, just show me how to line that up with the kids and the parents. If everybody was doing this, the world would be better, but here’s a thought: what if the world is doing this already? Wall Street is looking out for it’s own, at Main Street’s expensive. That would be fucked up. Shark showing sharks love, seal looking out for seals..

Wonder if this equilibrium the extreme left and right seek is here, but they're just too close to recognize it. You don’ know you’re in the good ol’days til twenty years hence. The liberals have a young African American president, who came from a poor, activist household. The conservatives and business class has a president who signs their policies into law faithfully. Very little of this high drama is translating to Main Street, so it’s “Brother, can you spare a dime?”

I've said it before on my podcast Tricknowledgy on, I feel like I'm playing musical chairs at work. Not at my work, but as a working American nationally. There are more and more folks out of work. Companies would rather hire someone whose already working. If they hire an unemployed person, they'll try to get them to take the lowest salary possible. Good for the company's profits, bad for the American economy. Less buying power, less retail, blah, blah..

If corporations are persons, they are some of the most unpatriotic sons of bitches ever. Forcing more productivity out of over worked employees, take more of their benefits, then pay bonuses to top management who invest their money out side the country. There has to be a structural shift in economic and politics in the West. It's not working for too many people.

photo: inside DC Metro car taken with iPhone 3Gs, Hipstamatic (Helga lens)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Float On...

How easy it is to take for granted things of beauty. Martin Luther King, Jr Day is a thing of beauty. The contrast of a country founded and developed on slavery, which celebrates a holiday to honor a descendant of those enslaved Africans.

A lot of work went into creating this day. There were years of grassroots support and political pressure before this holiday was reluctantly signed into law by a Republican president named Ronald Reagan in 1983. Some people still agonized over celebrating the life of an African American. It's easy to dismiss them. You don't live with them, don't fraternize with them... you probably work with them. So any stupid comments you hear slide off your back like water.

You figure these people are dumb, backward and willfully ignorant so fuck'em. As long as they don't make the laws you live by, they can talk shit all they want... but, wait. Politicians who think like them do make the laws you live by. There are people in Congress right now who didn't vote for the MLK holiday* and these people are still in Congress deciding domestic policy. No wonder the country is advancing so slowly.

This is not a hint that merely changing personnel in Congress will make MLK's dream of America come true. Barak Obama is a perfect example of that. Dr. King advocated for a change of values. Mr. Obama is a testament to the opportunity in America, but he supports the same values that is destroying this country: militarism, obscene consumption, and fierce individualism at the expense of the public's welfare.

The change in values starts with us and our families. Teach your kids, brothers and sister not to hate other people, not to think that war solves problems. You have to start with you. I have to start with me. We Us I have to change our values or like Dr. King said in his "Beyond Vietnam" speech, we'll be protesting forever.

Music is My Mistress, a book about Duke Ellington, he recalls his father advice "Be like a duck. On top you float along, but below you're paddling for all your worth.." We should agitate for change like that. Be smooth on the surface, but offline, aggressively educating ourselves, collaborating with others to make this country live up to the meaning of its creed. America is a thing of beauty at times, but it takes a lot of effort to get us there.

*Roll call for MLK holiday in 1979
Photo: duck in pool near Natural Sculpture Garden in DC taken w/ iPhone 3Gs (Hipstamatic, John S lens)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Listen to internet radio with Tricknowledgy on Blog Talk Radio

TOP FIVE trends in technology and US politics for 2012. We'll cover customer and enterprise technology trends. Political trends as well. We'll even predict the next President of the United States. Don't bet against us. This is a weekly politics and tech podcast. Saturdays 2PM - 2:30ish EST. Some.. Ok lots of profanity and profane ideas. Not for kids or ideologues.

Escape Velocity

It's quite out here. Nothing happens much, just occasion meteors or a ship. All these rocks look static, lifeless, but they all have a story. The rock I'm sitting on is an old Bank of America account I closed.

This bank was engaged in illegal foreclosures, unjust fee hikes and moving trillions of dollars in derivatives to FDIC guaranteed accounts. So, I heeded the call of Operation Cashback and closed my account.

Cut up my ATM card and spread the pieces on the table. They looked like pieces or rocks in Saturn's rings, beautiful debris. So funny, I closed all my accounts, but BofA stills send me mail saying I am below the $25 limit. Their gravity is fighting me, doesn't want me to go, just float around until I go BACK and sit down with ANOTHER rep and show them the paperwork I completed to close my accounts and the receipt for the money I cashed out. Maybe then I'll reach escape velocity.

Bank of America is a big, bloated planet, that has destroyed so much life with it's tonic gases. The people on the planet's surface don't know it yet, but they're dying. I see them standing in front of the ATM, coughing because they don't have $5000 in the account so they get hit with monthly fee for accessing their own money. Awareness and a little tenacity is the only way off the surface. I opened an account with a local credit union. So there is life on other planets. People gotta wake up.

photo: my old ATM card taken with my iPhone 3Gs w/ on board camera app, and edited with PS Express app.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Daddy, Is Obama a Good President?

First reaction is APOLOGIST MODE. "He's a good man swimming in a shark tank. He had to become a shark to survive.." Then my conscience bothers me because I'm feeding kids bullshit & half truths.

Second reaction is ANGER, "He's f*king up the country..!" Daddy you cursed..

Third reaction is PRAGMATIC, "..he's carrying out a corporate agenda, same as W Bush, same as Clinton.. The policies remain the same no matter who we elect because the electoral process is corrupt. That's why the Occupy Wall Street movement wants to get money out of politics.."

That's the best answer I have for my youths. I'd be interested to hear what you tell your young people. Please post in comments.