Guy Gecht: Slave Owner

That’s right, slavery is still happening in America. Guy Gecht, the CEO of a company called Electronics for Imaging is a slaver. No, he is not keeping black people on a plantation. He is keeping brown people on a plantation. Specifically, he is keeping Hindus on his corporate plantation, at least according to this report.

Ever heard of Electronics for Imaging? We hadn’t either until this morning, but it’s apparently a multimillion dollar, multinational, public corporation based out of Fremont, California. And the United States Department of Labor just caught EFI red-handed in an investigation, which found that “about eight employees” were flown in from India to work 120-hour weeks for $1.21 per hour. EFI apparently thought it was okay to pay the employees the same wages they’d be paid in India (in Indian rupees). Here’s the unbelievably crazy sounding quote EFI gave to NBC’s Bay Area affiliate: “We unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local US standards.”

Just so we’re clear: is there anyone reading this who doesn’t know that any person working in the United States is legally required to be compensated according to United States laws?

Alberto Raymond, an assistant district director with the US Department of Labor told NBC, “It is certainly outrageous and unacceptable for employers here in Silicon Valley to bring workers and pay less than the minimum wage.” And that applies to EFI especially, which posted just shy of $200 million in revenue in its last financial quarter. EFI is publicly traded on the NASDAQ exchange, and the company’s in the business of computer peripherals (mainly printer-based stuff).

The eight employees are being paid $40,000 in owed wages; they were reportedly installing computer systems at the company’s headquarters. EFI was charged $3,500 — yes, seriously — for being at fault.

Here’s the management team of the racist, slave-holding firm in question. Unsurprisingly, not a lot of flava there. If you’re going to chain brown people to their desks, forcing them to work for food, you’re probably not going to invite them into the boardroom. It should come as no surprise that Guy Gecht and his team are liberal democrats who give generously to the Liberal Democrats.

Boring Ourselves To Death

If you walked through a typical American parking lot in 1968, you would have seen cars with fins, lots of chrome, a variety of colors and lots of brash styling. The colors would be what jump out to the modern eye. Today, the three most popular colors for cars are gray, black and white. Those colors make of almost all choices. Fifty years ago, green, yellow, teal, blue, red and orange were the popular colors.

Like East German architecture, modern American aesthetics is something close to brutalism. Design is the slave of utility, or at least claims to utility. Our cars may be aerodynamic and efficient, but they are ugly and dull. The argument is the people want their cars ugly and dull and maybe so, but why has a vibrant enthusiastic people suddenly decided to live in a black and white movie?

The reason is that dreaded word “efficient.” It is the universal excuse for sucking the fun out of everything. Safety is its traveling partner, wreaking havoc on mankind. This Randall Parker post on self-driving cars is a good example of how it works. Self-driving cars will be “better” in the sense they will be more efficient. Then they will be considered safer as the technology exceeds the driving ability of the typical teenage driver. That’s when they become mandatory. Driving, as a simple pleasure, will be banned.

In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes wrote that the state of nature was the condition outside the political community or anarchy. He famously wrote that:

“In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently, not culture of the earth, no navigation, nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Hobbes was not terribly wrong about pre-settlement man. Life was violent and uncertain. It was not a war of man against man, but more of a war between extended families whenever they bumped into one another. The lack of trust, beyond blood ties, made industry, commerce and the storing of value impossible. Therefore, civilization, properly understood, was impossible. Even early settlement was marked by high levels of violence. Getting murdered was pretty common right into the Middle Ages.

What was impossible for Hobbes to contemplate was the other end of the spectrum. Totalitarianism was an impossibility and not something worth considering in the 17th century. The custodial state was unimaginable. I would imagine if you went back in time and described the modern social democracy to 17th century intellectuals, they would assume you were driven mad by time travel. Regardless, we are heading toward that polar opposite of the state of nature. Instead of a lawless world of anarchy, we will soon live in a world of total law and absolute order.

That future will be sterile, dull and short. The brevity will be entirely driven by the sterility and the dullness. Declining fertility rates are a direct result of the dreary dullness of modern times. The decision of a people to stop reproducing is just another way of saying they wish they had never been born. After all, you bring children into the world because you expect them to stand upon your shoulders. Children are about optimism. People don’t bring children into a dangerous or violent world, unless they expect things to get better. It turns out that they don’t bring children into a dull, sterile world either. The leaden sky obscures any possibility of a brighter future, so having children makes less sense.

Aldous Huxley, another smart Brit, got a lot right about the future. In Brave New World, the Savage eventually kills himself rather than conform to the dull stability of the World State. I suspect that’s going to be a feature of daily life in the not so distinct future. Japan has always had a high suicide rate. In American, people are offing themselves more often. Europeans are making a business of calling it quits.

The great fear of critics of consumerism in the last century was that we would amuse ourselves to death. Entertainments would crowd out information, making it impossible for society to produce intelligent citizens or make thoughtful, collective action. It turns out that we will be boring ourselves to death. Everything that brings happiness will be regulated, controlled and eventually banned, in the name of safety and efficiency.

No One Is Ever Punished

A business person I know recently found out that a couple of his employees were stealing from him. It was petty theft and he never would have detected it, except one of them bragged about it to another employee. One thing led to another and he was informed by a loyal employee of what was happening. He fired the thieves and that was the end of it. It was not the first time and it will not be the last time. Every business has policies and procedures in place to handle theft.

If you talk to cops, they will tell you that they solve most crimes with a lot of help from the criminals. The crooks leave physical evidence that is easy to trace. They brag about their exploits to friends. These days, they post about their crimes on Facebook and Twitter, which is amusing at a certain level. There’s something about humans that leads them to give themselves away when they are breaking the rules.

The point I’m leading up to is the recent report on the North Carolina academic scandal is based on assumptions that contradict the human condition. The official story does not comport with what we know about people breaking the rules. For instance, former UNC Athletic Director and current ACC Commissioner, John Swofford, claims he was wholly unaware of what was going on all around him.

John Swofford, the ACC commissioner, said that during his final years at North Carolina he saw no warning signs, sensed no red flags, about bogus independent studies courses that for nearly two decades inflated athletes’ GPAs and helped keep them eligible.

Swofford, who spoke Wednesday at the ACC’s annual basketball media day, was the athletic director at UNC from 1980 through 1997, when he left to become the ACC commissioner. By the time he left, a long-running “paper class scheme,” as it has been described recently, had been ongoing for four years.

Kenneth Wainstein, a former U.S. Justice Department official, last week announced the results of his months-long investigation into suspect courses in UNC’s African- and Afro-American Studies Department. Wainstein concluded that, from 1993-2011, 3,100 hundred students — nearly half of them athletes — passed through bogus paper classes in AFAM.

Among the athletes who were enrolled in the classes, which had no professor oversight, nearly half were football and men’s basketball players. Overall, athletes received higher grades in the courses than non-athletes — often As and Bs for papers that were found to have been heavily plagiarized.

Asked Wednesday if he sensed “any red flags” about the AFAM courses during his final years at UNC, Swofford said, “I don’t think so.”

“I think if you look at (the Wainstein) report there, in my last few years there, there were some, in terms of numbers, very relatively minimal, independent study classes and AFAM,” Swofford said. “But that really took off in about 2000.

“So it never came up while I was there as an issue from any source. If it had, obviously, we would have addressed that with the appropriate people. But it never arose as any issue at all.”

When Swofford was UNC’s athletic director, the academic support program for athletes was, for a time, housed within the athletic department. He changed that, though, and moved the academic support program — formerly called the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes — to the College of Arts and Sciences, where it has remained.

Now, I suppose it is possible that not a single student talked to anyone about the fake classes. It’s possible the adults running the scam said nothing. I suppose no one at the school ever wondered why so many athletes were taking and acing these classes. All of that could be true, but is so unlikely that it borders on the laughable. In all these years not a single person bragged? Blabbed? Accidentally let slip with something?

According to the report, this was a miraculous crime spree. For almost two decades, a handful of low-level flunkies and one professor orchestrated an elaborate fraud without anyone in charge ever noticing. They were so good, they were able to elude detection by dozens of coaches, several directors and a couple of presidents. Not only does this contradict common everyday experience, it is one of the all-time great crimes.

That’s all nonsense, of course. What we are seeing is another example the how we no longer punish the people in charge. The report was commissioned so the people in charge of the school could pretend to be doing the right thing, while not actually blaming anyone who was in charge at the time. Instead, it is some low-level flunkies left holding the bag. Much like how Janet Reno “took responsibility” for killing all of those people at Waco, being responsible means never having to answer for your actions.

It is the problem that plagues our age. The people in charge have no respect for the rules, they don’t abide by them and they never face any consequences for breaking the rules. Walter Russell Mead calls what happened at UNC a moral collapse. That true, but it misses the larger issue. The UNC scandal is emblematic of what has happened to American society. The utter and complete moral collapse of the ruling class has reduced to a transactional society run by sociopaths.

The Stupid Party Is For Losers

It is easy to see why sensible people choose to vote Republican. Despair is a sin and something to be avoided, whenever possible. Trudging off to vote for the least dangerous option at least offers the hope of postponing the bitter end for a little while longer. At the same time, you cannot blame people for thinking that a vote for the GOP is a vote for prolonging the agony. Look at this story from New Hampshire.

Stephanopoulos will be hosting Thursday night’s debate between former Sen. Scott Brown and Shaheen, despite this conflict—he’s on video as a political activist accepting Shaheen’s endorsement of President Clinton—and another conflict. As Breitbart News reported on Tuesday, Stephanopoulos has a longtime personal and political relationship with Shaheen campaign adviser Mandy Grunwald.

Stephanopoulos has a history of flubbing debates, and he is widely credited with creating the “war on women” in a 2012 GOP primary debate—inserting the issue of contraception into the debate when nobody was discussing it at all.

Why in the world do these people keep falling for the same gags? Stephanopoulos was a prominent Clinton rump-swab and the chief toady for years. Brown may as well have agreed to have Wasserman-Schultz moderate the debate. Maybe she was busy. How about Shaheen’s husband? How about Brown agree to be blindfolded and gagged for the debate so he cannot respond?

This happens all the time with the GOP. Romney signed off on the obese woman from CNN moderating a debate, despite her being a far leftist. Her lunging to the defense of Obama in the debate may very well have saved the day for Obama. Instead of talking about Obama’s defects, the post debate coverage was about the moderator slapping Mitt around at the end. It is why they are called The Stupid Party.

The Stupid Veto

Democracy is a system where the very dumbest citizens are given the power to decide the fate of the people. The smart fraction fights with one another in an attempt to convince and cajole the stupid into selecting wisely. Sometimes it works, most times not, but given enough time the stupid will live up their reputation and the democracy murders itself. Massachusetts is a good example.

Forget about Charlie Baker crying. The ones who should be crying are the voters.

Would you rather win the Lottery or the election?

What’s your signature dish in the kitchen?

What’s the best Halloween costume for your opponent?

Those were actual questions in a debate that will be the last time most voters see Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley in a televised, face-to-face confrontation.

Baker’s cry will get the most attention in this bizarre debate showdown. And that’s not a bad thing for a Republican accused of being a heartless budget cutter. Baker’s cry did not look contrived — he looked like a dad watching the last scene of “Field of Dreams.” And it certainly won’t hurt him among the most important voters in this race — women.

But let’s face it, the question — when was the last time you cried? — was designed to get the candidates to cry. Great for a Barbara Walters interview, but for a gubernatorial debate?

There’s nothing wrong with asking an offbeat question that could show voters a more human side of the candidates. But the gimmick has gotten old fast. Pretty much every debate now ends with a “What actor should play you in a movie?” question.

But now we need to know whether Baker or Coakley would throw away the election with a chance to be rich. Is there any chance either of them would go with the Lottery? No, even Coakley wouldn’t be that clueless.

And there were other head-shaking moments. Like one of the panelists repeatedly pressing Baker or Coakley to take a “pledge.” Apparently just saying you’re against something is not enough anymore. Now you have to pledge not to do it.

There were some telling moments in the debate that will probably be more significant than Baker’s weep show. Baker looked like his old, snippy self at times — not his best side. When Coakley joked she had heard Baker’s question before, the Republican shot back, “Sort of like the ones you asked me before?”

But the crying pretty much wiped out that moment.

Massachusetts is home to many great colleges and universities. Tens of thousands of very bright people move to Boston every year for work. Yet, this is the best they can do for governor. One Senator is a pathological liar and the other has not lived in the state for decades. They have one of the most corrupt legislatures on earth. There’s your choice for governor. A blubbering fool or a semi-retarded hack.

The End Of The Homo-Verse

Admittedly, I know very little about homosexuals, other than I find homosexual males to be mildly unpleasant and homosexual females to be a bit absurd. I’m not a homosexual and I have had minimal dealings with homosexuals. Many moons ago I worked a job in Cambridge Massachusetts. There was a lesbian bar and a leather chaps bar within a block of my work. I got to observe scads of homosexuals, but I can’t say I learned much from watching them.

I once had a gay guy working for me. This was when I was working near the gay bars mentioned above. He deeply resented the leather chaps crowd, because he thought they made his kind look bad. That sounded reasonable to me, given that they were dying like flies from AIDS. They also reinforced the idea of gays being generally weird, not just sexually weird. He also detested lesbians. I have no idea if this was just him or common with male homosexuals.

I know a woman who sells real estate to higher end clients. Her area is mostly $750K condos and million dollar suburban homes. Some of her properties are two and three times those rates, but her bread and butter is the million dollar range. She gets to deal with all sorts at their most unpleasant. Buying a house is on the list of most stressful events in life, along with birth and death.

She ranks homosexuals at the bottom of her preferred list of clients. Indians are the next worse followed by East Asians. Indian males are abusive to women in the workplace and East Asians can’t stop haggling. Homosexual males, I’m told by my friend, are petty, mean, pointlessly cruel to one another, overly dramatic and unwilling to follow the rules. She hates dealing with them as a result.

The point of this is as a preamble to this story.

On October 1, the computing giant Intel pulled its ads from Gamasutra, a trade website for game developers, over an essay called “‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over” by a journalist named Leigh Alexander. Intel had been successfully harassed by a small, contemptible crusade called “Gamergate”—a campaign of dedicated anti-feminist internet trolls using an ill-informed mob of alienated and resentful video game-playing teenagers and young men to harass and intimidate female activists, journalists, and critics.

Unable to run Alexander out of game writing, as they had with the writer Jenn Frank, or force her from her home, as they did to the developer Brianna Wu, or threaten her from public engagements, as they did the following week to the critic and activist Anita Sarkeesian, Gamergate went after her publisher. And, in an unbelievable and embarrassing act of ignorance and cowardice, Intel capitulated. The company’s laughable “apology,” released late on that Friday afternoon, didn’t cover up the fact of Gamergate’s victory: Intel was not replacing its ads.

Failing to adequately cover this act of spinelessness was the first big fuck-up we at Gawker committed. Intel surrendered to the worst kind of dishonesty, and we allowed it to do so without ever calling it out. So let’s say it now: Intel is run by craven idiots. It employs pusillanimous morons. It lacks integrity. It folded to misogynists and bigots who objected to a woman who had done nothing more than write a piece claiming a place in the world of video games. And even when confronted with its own thoughtlessness and irresponsibility, it could not properly right its wrongs.

I may be mistaken, but my impression is that Gawker is a site run by and for homosexual men. If I recall, they got started “outing” people they did not like and then moved onto harassing Hollywood people. Homosexual males have a fetish for the entertainment business for some reason. They populate all of the gossip sites. Even in the dead tree era, Hollywood gossip writers were almost always gay men.

What makes this piece hilarious to me is how the pink mafia is being hit with the very same tactics they have used to assault normal people for three decades. Everything about the “gay rights movement” has been a fraud from the beginning, including their creation myth. Organized crime used gay clubs as cover, thinking the cops could not send in undercover officers to spy on them. The mob made money selling drugs to the gays and letting them fornicate in the back.

Anyway, the tactics used by the rainbow party have always been dishonest. They were one of the first to bully advertisers to pull ads from people they disliked. They organized boycotts aimed at liberal nitwits who would then join in and force normals to go along with whatever the gays were demanding. The harassment of Christian bakers is the most recent example of the petty and nasty habits of the “gay rights” crowd. Seeing the tables tuned on them and their fellow travelers is just too funny.

Everything about the campaign against the white men in the STEM world is based on lies. The broads at the heart of the gamergate controversy are simply attention whores making a buck off people seeking grace on the cheap. Set yourself up as a victim in a way that fits the Narrative and the world is your oyster. It turns out that nerdy boys like video games way more than girls, in every way that sentence can be construed. That’s why they end up writing code at game shops. Women end up in nursing and medicine for the same reason.

I’ve said for a while that homosexuals will regret having thrown in with the CML. Liberals hate homosexuals more than they hate blacks. As soon as “gay rights” stops being a useful weapon against normal people, the homos go back into the liberal dungeon. There’s also a limit to the amount of cultural insanity a society can tolerate. Unless you can monopolize violence like the North Koreans, the people will eventually get fed up and replace their rulers. It is the lesson of history. The lunatics in charge of western countries are pushing the natural limits with this stuff and the inevitable consequences will follow. In the end, nature always wins.

The College Rackets

The North Carolina academic scandal has put the spotlight on the way athletes are handled by money grubbing colleges. Two decades of systematic grade enhancement is about as bad as it gets. You can’t pretend it is a rogue employee or an unscrupulous coach when the problem spans generations. Like the Penn State scandal, it can only happen when there is a culture that tolerates, maybe even encourages, the behavior in question. It is systemic, not isolated corruption.

The evil right-wing extremists are having fun with the fact the center of the corruption was the Afro’d American Studies Department. As some tried to point out, schools have a range of fake majors where they can stash jocks. A great one is probably the Fashion major at Virginia Tech. One of the classes for that major involves attending a fashion show in New York. The person behind that has a sense of humor.

The point being missed by all of this is it is not much of a sports story. If you look at a school like North Carolina, you will find that the “jocks” do better than the regular students in the class room. They get better grades and graduate on time. Like all state colleges, close to half the entering freshmen fail to graduate. Some lose interest, while others realize it is just a racket and get on with their lives.

The schools take in kids that have no business on a college campus just to get their government loan money. There’s also federal dollars and state dollars. The colleges know these kids have little to no chance of graduating, even with a nonsense degree like sociology or African-American studies. Athletes, of course, are not all that interested in school, so these fake majors serve a purpose.

The scam basically involves dumbing down the 100 and 200 level courses. The “core” studies are also dumbed down so kids can make it through freshmen year taking remedial math and English. NC State, for example offers Algebra and Pre-calculus. In the old days, you had to finish calculus to graduate high school. Colleges fill up the first year with coursework that should be covered in middle-school. The second year they start taking some real college course and that’s when the attrition begins. By the third year these kids are overwhelmed and drop out.

The problem is much worse as the dilution of college cannot be checked once it starts. It is simply too profitable. Browsing the NC State catalog, I see they have a major in Landscape Architecture. At the risk of sounding like a meanie, there’s no reason for the gardener to have a college degree. When I was a kid I did “landscape architecture” for school money in the summers. An old black guy taught me “Site Planning” and “Landscape Construction Materials.” He had different names for them and they were pass/fail, but the results were the same. I admit that designing a golf course takes skill, but these guys are going to be running lawn mower gangs at the municipal golf course.

As is always the case, there is a natural limit to the corruption. There’s only so much money to steal. Seven in 10 college seniors (71%) who graduated last year had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower. From 2008 to 2012, debt at graduation (federal and private loans combined) increased an average of six percent each year. That’s according to these people. According to the Fed, 11.5% of the $1.2 trillion in school debt is delinquent. By way of comparison, the peak of the mortgage crisis saw a 9% delinquency rate on roughly one trillion in loans. Those loans were backed by an asset of some value. Student loans are backed by nothing.

But, it should work out just fine. Just keep pumping out landscaping majors and Afro’s America Studies graduates. What could go wrong?


Spy Versus Lie

I’m always skeptical about memoirs and tell-all’s, because the writer is highly motivated to lie. In the former case, self-promotion is at the heart of a memoir and no one promotes the negative things about themselves. The tell-all is the dead tree version of click bait. The writer says bad things about people or reveals embarrassing things about a public institution in order to sell books. In both cases, the bullshit ratios are way out of whack.

Sharyl Attkisson left CBS claiming they are a bunch of lefty hacks, something we all knew for decades. Her tell-all is being flogged by Drudge. He has a link to this story in America’s Paper of Record.

A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light says she was spied on by a “government-related entity” that planted classified documents on her computer.

In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.

“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying.

Maybe. It is also possible she is just like most users and foolishly loaded all sorts of spyware on her laptop. Most people have no idea how their PC works. Apple users are the worst because they think they know how it works, even though they don’t. People see this stuff on TV and they think “hackers” can magically take over your PC.

She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

This is pretty common stuff. The #1 way people load malware onto their PC is by opening an attachment. Once it is loaded, it sits there calling home and updating itself. It’s why you should never put your personal stuff on a laptop, by the way.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

This I doubt. This is the sort of thing you see on TV, not in real life. Loading spyware to take over a webcam is one level of clever. Stealing a Skype password and then re-engineering the program to function as a listening devise is quite another. It’s not impossible, but to deploy that type of resource on this woman sounds unlikely to me. There’s a small number of people able to do this work and they are in high demand.

Attkisson says her source — identified only as “Number One” — told her the spying was most likely not court-authorized because it went on far longer than most legal taps.

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

Again, this reads like a bad TV script. There are no hidden places in your operating system. There are places where code can be hidden away, but not documents. The value in hiding docs on her computer is also questionable. If you can go to these lengths to frame her, you can just have her killed in an accident, which is much easier than this.

If you cover the foreign policy operations in Washington or Europe, you are being followed, wiretapped and scrutinized. This has been true for a long time. Counter intelligence is a part of every nation’s toolkit and that naturally sweeps up the reporters. Most of the people talking to reporters are mid-level bureaucrats lacking the security clearances to access the good stuff. It’s very rare for a high level career spook to be known to the press, much less have a relationship.

Where the high level leaks come from are from the political class. The guys like Richard Armitage who are part of the permanent Washington policy elite. They are the guys spilling the beans to reporters about some program or policy. A gal like Attkisson is not privy to those people. She’s meeting the low-level nobodies at the Starbucks so they can dish the local scuttlebutt. They may know some things so this sort of reporting can leave a mark, but it is not worth the trouble of deploying A-level technicians to exploit her laptop.

The Madness Will Never End

Sextus Julius Caesar I was the man who killed the Roman Republic. He was not  the Julius Caesar, but he was the man who started the line that would eventually give us the Julius Caesar. In 208 BC, no one could have possibly known that a man of his line would bring down the Republic. If they did, he would have been murdered along with all of his kin. We can never know these things. You just have to hope you get lucky.

No one could have known that an eccentric school master would found a line whose men would bring about the end of the American republic.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is “moving forward” on a potential 2016 White House run and it appears more likely he will enter the Republican field, according to his son, who’s running for office in Texas.

George P. Bush told ABC’s “This Week” that his father is “still assessing” a presidential bid, but suggested it was more likely that he would seek the White House this time. The ex-governor declined to run for president in 2012 despite encouragement from Republicans.

“I think it’s more than likely that he’s giving this a serious thought and moving — and moving forward,” said the younger Bush, who is running for Texas land commissioner.

Asked if that meant it was “more than likely that he’ll run,” George P. Bush responded: “That he’ll run. If you had asked me a few years back … I would have said it was less likely.”

Jeb Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush and the son of former President George H.W. Bush, would stand out in what could be a crowded Republican field in 2016.

Bush has headlined fundraisers for Republican candidates and committees and helped campaigns for governor in Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, three of the first four states to hold early presidential primaries.

Family considerations could play a factor in his decision.

In an interview with The Associated Press this month, Jeb Bush said his wife, Columba, is “supportive” of a potential presidential campaign and his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, was now “neutral, trending in a different direction.” Barbara Bush declared last year there had been “enough Bushes” in the White House.

“But that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the challenges that this brings,” Jeb Bush told the AP. “This is ultimately my decision with as much consideration as I can to take into account the people that I really love.”

George P. Bush, in the interview aired Sunday, said his family would be “100 percent” behind his father if he decides to run.

God help us.

Stop Trying To Sell Me Stuff

Over Labor Day I was at the Boston College – UMass football game. The crowd was small, maybe 30K, but it could have been less. It was a “home game” for UMass so the Boston College fans were maybe half the crowd. Labor Day in Boston is not a great time to hold a sporting event, but for some reason they did it anyway.

The small crowd meant I could get the full marketing blast from the people who run the sports facility. That means the blasting of music, video ads everywhere and constant haranguing by the public address man to pay attention to a sponsor. I think even toilet breaks were brought to us by some corporate sponsor.

This is why live sporting events struggle to maintain attendance. Across all sports attendance is flagging. Sports marketing people always think more is better, so we get more and more marketing. More video boards. More screaming PA guys. More rock music. More side crap to draw our attention away from the game to pay attention to something or other brought to us by MegaCorp. The argument in favor of this is that sitting at home has become so good, they have to make going to the game like home, but with more ads. Always more ads.

I had club seats for the game so we went inside to avoid being screamed at by the PA guy and the deafening rock music. I asked someone about this nonsense and they told me that young people like it. That’s the catch all of all marketing campaigns. Young people like it. There’s never any evidence of this, but marketing people always say it.

The fact that young people have no money is never mentioned. No one ever points out that the blaring music is thirty years old and the young people make sport of it when outside of earshot. But, it’s hardly the point. The point is no area of daily life can be free of marketing.

No matter what it is, if people like it, the dreary dickheads from the business schools will demand they ruin it with ads no one watches. This letter to the editor in the Roanoke Times gets to the heart of the matter. Being told by some dimwit when to cheer and where to look is insulting. Adults can tolerate a little of it, but there are limits.

The same is true of the barrage of ads. Everyone gets that marketing dollars are a part of the business. The teams cannot live on the billions in ticket and merchandise sales, so they have to “leverage” their fan base in order to “monetize” the popularity of their sport and maximize their market position.

It used to be that commercial TV had ads because the service was free. You got the free service because they got to sell airtime to people trying to sell you stuff. Pay cable was supposed to be commercial free. Now it is not only packed with ads, they sell your personal data to marketing firms who use it to sell you crap on your phone or your browser. The whole racket now is to get you to pay them to send you ads. Sports fans are rationally forgoing the attendance costs because they can at least change the channel when the ads are jammed in their face during the game if they on their couch.

This is how it goes when everything is based on the madness of growth. It’s not enough to be a stable, profitable business. You can’t because the people in charge are systematically eroding those profits with currency manipulation. Your costs keep going up because your money keeps losing value. In 1984, I could get into the Red Sox game and have a beer for $10.00. The ticket was $6 for a bleacher seat and a beer was $3.50. If I did not want a beer, I could get a couple of dogs and maybe a coke, if I had some change. Adjust for inflation and that ten bucks gets half a beer today, as long as it is domestic. At the football game over Labor Day, I paid ten bucks for a slice of pizza.

That means everyone all the time has to be raising prices, lowering value and finding new customers. Big operations like football teams have to charge for everything. Breathing will soon be taxed. We’re not far from the day when the toilets will have credit card readers. The other option will be standing their watching ads while you wait for the hopper. Before you can sit, you’ll have to fill out a marketing survey.

This has to end. By that I mean, it cannot go on like this forever. I’m saturated. I can take no more. Even those with a higher threshold for this stuff have a finite amount of time and money. The stone will run out of blood eventually. Then what?