Union thug: ‘Bain-style’ killing of Twinkie

November 16, 2012

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blames… Mitt Romney??? for Hostess’ demise.

“What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor,” Trumka said in a public statement. “Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price.”

Hostess Brands—a company started during the Great Depression—and Obama destroyed it. That has to qualify as an achievement of sorts.

“Trumka no go! Trumka stay with Sheriff Barack. Sheriff Barack first man ever whip Trumka.
Trumka impressed. Have deep feelings for Sheriff Barack.”


Jungle King

November 9, 2012

For the past two days, a friend’s email with the unassuming subject line: “My depressive rant” sat in my inbox. When I finally read it tonight, I told him that the only thing that depressed me about his story was the knowledge that, even if I spent the rest of my life before a keyboard, I could never write a story as good.

The author wishes to remain anonymous, but kindly allowed me to share his story.

One of my favorite stories—Las Naranjas de Joaquín Molina written by my friend Luis at Boiling Frogs—begins: “There are stories that demand to be told.”

Jungle King is one of those stories. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Jungle King

When I was 14 years old (back in the ‘70’s), I had a paper route in North Haven, Connecticut. Perhaps I was 15. I can’t truly recall. The forty-odd papers to be delivered each day taught me to serve customers, get up on early on weekends to work in sometimes inclement conditions, and enjoy the jingle of quarters in my pocket.

As a kid, I had many excellent opportunities for dispensing these quarters. The ceramic piggy bank with the pink cork sporting a small brass ring was one. Though perhaps not my favorite. Sorrentos Pizzeria another. But after all, a kid knows he’ll get free food at home. Again a second choice. Then there was AMF lanes up at ‘The Mart.’ This was at times viable, but it was quite a way to haul on your ten speed between fast-moving cars, and you could get all the way up there only to find the lanes were full and the pinball machines occupied. Older guys with leather jackets and cigarettes would pile a couple rolls of quarters on the edge of the machine as a sign to runts such as myself to take a hike. My favorite place to lose those quarters was Bill’s variety. It was close to home, run by a friendly if under-achieving store owner who sold cigarettes and soft drinks and maintained a couple pinball machines for the passers-by.

Bill’s shop was the first place where I as a customer experienced that look of a proprietor who is glad to see you and your money walk through the door. The doctor doesn’t count. They can read your name off a chart and your parents were there and paying the freight to the extent there was freight to be paid. But Bill learned our names and welcomed us with an understated nod. My favorite pinball machine was FreeFall. The graphics were of a sky diver or two sailing over chequered agricultural fields with an old fashioned airplane banking out of sight. One can only assume the plane had dumped us in flyover country and left us to our own devices. It helped add to the sense of expectation and adventure these amazing amusements managed to supply through the haze of smoke where they were normally used.

For 25 cents back then, you got five balls to flip and spin around the table top. The object was to depress a series of flags (drop targets) and some rollovers which, when all touched off, would create a condition called WOW when extra balls could be earned and beaucoup points. The joy of this game was achieving the free balls. Some kind of clapper inside the machine would snap against the casing of the unit creating a solid loud sound. Such achievement for a young soul.

The other machine, a good one but easier to beat, was called Jungle King. I would play this while waiting for Freefall to open up. The truth is, I might never have actually figured out all the levels to Jungle King. Either way, I must have spent hundreds of dollars on these two contraptions. Bill had a reason for liking his teenage clientele. We were respectful, dependable and cleaned-up enough that I doubt we deterred other customers from stopping in. Perhaps we even lent a certain energy or aura of bustle that might have been good for business. Afternoon upon afternoon as I recall. The competition was pretty healthy. We would try to beat one another’s high scores and practiced the sort of braggadocio which in this day is termed ‘trash talk.’ Sometimes a new kid would come along and show us how it was really done.

We had unwritten rules though. You could put up three quarters at a time then someone else put a quarter above yours on the glass and you would let them have a chance. The thing is if you ‘tilt’ a pinball game from that era you lose the rest of the game. 25 cents down the hatch. Sometimes on the last ball you’d get a little more aggressive wiggling the machine because after all it was your last ball anyway and you wanted to achieve a new high score or earn a ball before this one drained. The draining or saving a ball hung on a knife edge most of the time and gave focus for our adrenaline and best efforts.

One day when I showed up and greeted Bill, I noticed guys goofing off at the Jungle King game. Nothing strange except that the studious attention to the second by second successes or failures of the guy at the flippers was gone and replaced with a casual goofiness. More oddly, Freefall was not being used. Hmmm. As I approached the Free Fall game a guy said “Don’t waste your money.” “Why? Is it broken?” I asked. “No this one is.” Confused because Jungle King was being played I must have made a face. Obviously my friend was enjoying my ignorance. “The machine keeps giving free games” he said. Just wait and play this and save your money.

Any other day I’d have been delighted to pay 25 cents to play Free Fall with no competition for replays. But now I was perplexed. I honestly can’t remember how many times I played thinking about playing Jungle King for free. The guys started getting a bit rough with Jungle King. But the guy playing Jungle King didn’t really care if he tilted. Without the great equalizers (cash money) it was pretty hard to decide when your turn was really up. The broken coin processor on Jungle King had pretty much destroyed the atmosphere down there. Apparently the technician had been called, but it wasn’t clear when he would show up.

When I came the next day, the Jungle King game was smashed. It had been vandalized when I wasn’t there. The same guys who had so devoutly fed it money only a few days earlier had turned on it, having lost all respect. Bill turned out to be too weak to have us kicked out of his shop or shut the thing down—and the goofiness had escalated. Tilts ever more aggressive. Battles for access to the flippers rougher and rougher and unbounded by cultural norms or force of law. Apparently, the technician had been called, but did not arrive in time.

Soon after this Bill’s variety closed down. I never heard what happened to Bill. A nice guy of the variety that always finishes last, a heavy smoker, unwilling or unable to control his own assets.

This entire suite of images and memories flashed before me when I woke from fitful sleep this morning. Two dominant parties in American politics squared off yesterday. And regardless of how objectively ridiculous this sounds, I believe in some ways they have done so for the last time. Jungle King is broken and some bad actors have gotten hold of the machine. They aren’t ever going to let it go. Don’t bother putting quarters on the glass. They are no longer coin of the realm. They have figured a way to by-pass the coin op. For a dozen reasons I’ll not review here, one party tilted, but did not lose this game. No “game over” light to signal the definitive arrival of cold hard reality. The balls just keep coming. No technician ever arrived. No grownup called a halt.

So Bill, God bless you wherever you are. Thank you for your little shop. There I learned that I’d rather play Free Fall for a quarter and even wait my turn than play Jungle King forever for free. It’s a lesson that has escaped us in the aggregate and the vandals are at the flippers.

The integrity of worthy human activity has a certain tension about it. Balancing bank accounts. Tuned cello strings. Toned athletic muscles. Tight tolerances in engineering design. By all accounts the natural feedback loops and dynamics of things should have led to a different result yesterday. I accept the fact that they didn’t. It has been a long time coming. The river has been crossed. More than half the people want to be fooled all the time.

The mission of a Christian Soul is to love. And in this respect, nothing has changed. God has granted us a target rich environment. Blessed be the Lord.

P.S. Just because I know that 51% of you are stuck on asking such things, the ‘Jungle King’ was a white guy.

USSA 2015

November 9, 2012
USSA 2015

USSA 2015

H/t: Imaumbn™ on Twitter

Message to Certain Segments of the U.S. Electorate

November 7, 2012

I tried.

Lord knows I tried.

I tried to find a silver lining. I tried to be philosophical about what happened.

I know that God is in charge—not Obama. I know that God draws straight with crooked lines… and if He needs a crooked line to work with, He sure found one in Obama. I know that God’s justice is perfect; and if we are being punished for our sinfulness and for abandoning God, then so be it. I don’t really think He’s punishing us, but perhaps leaving us to our own devices (with Obama in charge, Lord help us!) is how a merciful and loving Father reminds us that we desperately need Him. And secretly (well not really a secret), I’m hoping He’s fed up with Obama’s pride and blasphemy, and is setting him up for the biggest fall since Humpty Dumpty.

I want to believe that the hand of Divine Providence is guiding us in spite of ourselves and that these struggles will produce a greater good. Romans 5:3–5

But today I haven’t been in much of a philosophical or religious mood. I’m not quite ready to hear the better angels of my nature.

I’m livid.

I thought of Ronald Reagan’s quote yesterday: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” And I’m livid that I am part of the generation that actively worked to extinguish freedom.

Yesterday’s result confirms Mencken’s observation in 1916: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” The only consolation re: yesterday’s obamanation is that the fools who voted for it will get what they richly deserve, and it will be all the worse for them because they can’t see what’s coming whereas we can see and prepare.

Mencken also said, “There are times when every man must be tempted to spit on his hands, hoist a black flag, and begin slitting throats.” That’s how I feel today. Call me Bad Mencken. At least my expression when I saw Obama supporters let even the dimmest among them know to give me a wide berth today.

Consider this missive a first draft on my enemies list—I didn’t have an enemies list until this morning. Should I worry that I found compiling an enemies list therapeutic? But since the President has an enemies list—and a kill list—and he won the Nobel Peace Prize, I figure I deserve a little something, you know, for the effort.

Message to Certain Segments of the U.S. Electorate:

To African American voters who voted with the 99%:

[Disclaimer: This is not directed to every African-American voting for Obama. I’m sure there are many of you who honestly think he’s doing a great job considering the bad hand he was dealt. They may be misinformed, but are not racist. No, this is directed to those who know perfectly well that he’s ruining the country, but take perverse joy in “sticking it to THE MAN” so to speak.]

You are the same fools who cheered when OJ was found not guilty, and for the same reasons. This election was your OJ verdict writ large, a middle finger salute to middle America. Enjoy your brief Reginald Denny moment. Cheering OJ’s acquittal was a safe eff you victory lap; after all OJ wasn’t likely to go on a killing spree in (or even be seen anywhere near) your neighborhoods after getting off scot free. This time you will reap what you sowed: even higher unemployment than the double-the-national-average you currently enjoy courtesy of Barack, more dependency on the federal government, higher gas and food prices (which disproportionately hurt the poor who must pay a higher share of their income on these things). Oh and guess what, you’re still poor after a nearly 50-year long “War on Poverty” and significantly poorer if you live in states run by Democrats you keep voting for.

Does it make you feel proud voting for a president who supports Planned Parenthood 100%? An organization whose founder Margaret Sanger enthusiastically promoted abortion as an instrument to reduce the black population (but opposed abortion for whites). But thanks to progressives, at least you have a great public education system so your children and grandchildren won’t have to face multi-generational poverty. Oh wait.

To seniors who voted for Obama because they feared Romney would end Medicare as we know it:

You fools! Don’t you know what will end Medicare as we know it? Answer: Medicare as we know it. The program is unsustainable and known to be so for many years. Don’t you know that unsustainable means it will collapse all on its own unless we come up with a plan to save it. What’s Obama’s plan? As Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geitner said to Congressman Paul Ryan: “We don’t have a plan, but we know we don’t like yours.”

You voted for the guy who gutted Medicare (which you paid into) to expand Medicaid (to redistribute healthcare services to those who didn’t pay). You voted for ObamaCare, which will lead to rationing, make health insurance even more unaffordable, while driving more doctors and health professionals out of the market, requiring even more rationing. Guess who’ll be first on the list to be denied necessary medical care. Congratulations! Soon you’ll get to pay the ultimate stupid tax.

You voted for the party that raised FICA/SS taxes to keep Medicare and Social Security solvent then looted the “lock box,” replacing our money with worthless government IOUs. Recall the scene in Dumb and Dumber when the suitcase with the randsom money is opened and found to contain no currency, but lots of IOU’s. You’re voting for those guys, difference being this time the suitcase contains $16 trillion in IOU’s, and you voted for… more IOU’s. But at least you won’t be lonely in your retirement, with your adult “children” living in the basement to keep you company… and using your utilities, eating your food and contributing nothing toward household expenses.

And at least you’re getting a decent interest rate on your savings to supplement your measly Social Security checks, thank to Obama’s and the current Fed’s policies. Oops, my bad.

To the so-called “War on women” voters:

Remember when you used to boast “We’ve come a long way baby!” Now you have reproductive rights in lieu of babies and seem determined to prove what a recipe for disaster the suffrage movement was. Congratulations! Every time there’s an election between a decent honorable man and a worthless lying POS, a majority of you ALWAYS vote for the POS. Every $^*^ time! Even a laboratory rat learns to avoid those parts of the maze where they get zapped with electricity, but so-called feminists NEVER learn. You voted overwhelming for Ted Kennedy six times after he left Mary Jo Kopechne to die from asphyxiation while he went to sober up get help. You voted for the rapist Bill Clinton. You voted for Anthony Weiner and you would vote for Anthony Weiner’s weiner.

You voted to protect your precious “constitutional” right to kill your unborn child. You voted for a president who opposed a law to protect babies who survive abortion attempts. You voted for a president who supports abortion rights absolutely without exceptions, when the leading reason for abortion worldwide is sex-selection. Can’t have too many girls being born, and you support this perverse and barbaric form of gendercide.

You voted for this disaster because of a risible fictitious “war on women” that insulted your intelligence, but somehow you weren’t insulted. Meanwhile you ignore the actual war on women that’s taking place in the Islamist world. That real war on women is going to get uglier thanks to this president who gives support to Islamist extremists who promote Sharia law, which means honor killings, legalized rape, sex slavery for millions of women and de facto slavery for all women forced to live under Sharia. Their blood should be on your hands, but you couldn’t care less. It profits a man nothing to sell his sold for the world, and you sold yours for thirty pills a month.

To the “mainstream” media:

Congratulations! Your deceitful and malevolent campaign to accelerate the destruction of America worked beyond your wildest dreams. You manufactured this year’s October Surprise in the form of a September, October and November suppression of the shameful betrayal of Americans in Benghazi. Once reporters competed with one another to see who could uncover the next Watergate story. Now you conspire in AOL chat rooms to ensure that inconvenient stories about Democrats never see the light of day. And we still haven’t forgotten your endless stories about that 30-year-old National Guard letter to discredit Bush, a letter that was as obviously fake as Obama’s online birth certificate. Speaking of which, you mock those who raise questions about the president’s shady past as “birthers,” seemingly oblivious to the fact the original list of “birthers” includes Obama himself (who started the idea by telling people he was born in Kenya), Obama’s publisher, Obama’s grandmother, and Hillary Clinton who first raised the eligibility issue in the 2008 primary.

You’ve been hemorrhaging readers and viewers and losing advertisers and advertising revenue due to your obvious bias and contempt for truth, indeed contempt for all traditional values. But instead of doing the respectable and honorable work that journalists once did, you double down on lies and propaganda and join JournoList groups to ensure group think and no deviation from the approved (Democrat) party line.

You’ve gone from publishing daily to just a few times a week to publishing online only, You’ve cut salaries, staff and office space and you’re still going broke. You mock Rush Limbaugh who has an audience of 30 million and Fox News which has more viewers than all other cable news networks combined. By the way did you know that Rush earns more money per year than all newspapers make combined? But then again, so do I.

To 68% of young voters:

Truly you are the biggest losers. How much does a college education cost these days? Good thing the colleges are doing their best to keep skyrocketing education costs down, unlike those greedy Oil Companies that gave us $1.83/gallon gas under evil Bush. But of course, it’s tough having a car when you can’t get even an entry level job with just a bachelor’s degree. So here’s a thought: while you spend the next ten years or so waiting for the economy to recover after the next round of StimuLESS (Thank you sir, may I have another?), maybe you can double down on your investment by getting a masters degree, in say puppetry like that OWS guy who for some reason couldn’t find a job. Guess the really good puppetry jobs require a Ph.D.

So by the time you finally graduate—when you’re 30 or so—you’ll owe $500K or more but can’t find work. Did you know that you can’t discharge student loans in bankruptcy and if the banks forgive part of the debt, it’s considered income? Lucky you! Good thing your parents let you live in the basement and eat for free, assuming your parents still have homes that aren’t in foreclosure.

Of course I’m exaggerating when I say you can’t find work; many of you have excellent part-time jobs at McDonald’s, Game Stop or Blockbuster (until the recent layoffs—bummer). The good news is things are so bad all around, the fact that you get to live and eat free and contribute nothing to your parent’s household bills means you likely have more disposable income than your parents!

But don’t worry about your student loan debts. When If you miss a payment, you can get your parents to co-sign the paperwork and the government will deduct a certain amount from your parents’ Social Security checks. Isn’t life grand when you’re (barely) young, (over)educated and totally dependent on your parents’ charity? But hey, your President never grew up and look where he ended up, so the same plan could work for you. And if it doesn’t, you can do as he does and blame Bush.

It’s a partial enemies list. I left out government parasites workers, union thugs, Hollywood/other “celebrity freaks” and above all Democrat and duplicitous RINO politicians from New Jersey. Unfortunately I can’t say what I really think of them in words not beginning with the letter F. Suffice to say you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious!