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    • The murder of two NY policemen in retaliation—
      at least ostensibly for the police murders of Garner and Brown has ignited a frenzy.   The murderer, Brinsley, was a violent man who had committed other crimes. I will simply note that such tragic events are the inevitable result of systemic injustice.  Those who wish less murders, should work for justice. That includes police.   [...]
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Rise of the Nones (and other things Democrats should pay attention to but probably won’t)

David Campbell, Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, gave an interview to Mormon Stories just before the midterm elections. He discussed the rapidly rising number of people, especially Millenials, who chose to not have a religious identification. They’re called Nones. What’s surprising about the Nones is that they are responding to politics when they say they have no religious affiliation. Apparently, they are so disgusted by the religious right and its alliance with the Republican party, and its the socially backwards, environmentally unfriendly policies, that they would rather have no religion at all. In other words, religious Republicans are God’s worst PR nightmare. Well worth a listen. Check it out here.

Other things:

Maybe it’s not clear to the rest of the Democratic party but the primary focus of the Republican party is economic. They don’t like taxes, paying for education for the lower classes, or labor. That whole weekend thing ruined the last century for them. If Americans end up living like factory workers in Bangladesh, what’s that got to do with them?

Democrats are all about saving the planet and moving forward. But there is a rift in the Democratic party. It became painfully clear in 2008 when the party ditched its “old coalition” for the “creative class”. (New readers should go back to the beginning of this blog in January 2008 to see how this happened) Can I stop here and say that to the Masters of the Universe, the designations “old coalition” and “creative class” are meaningless? If you don’t have the money to go to Davos, you don’t count and neither does your Ivy League degree. Sooner or later, you will wear the livery.

So, anyway, I saw on the NYTimes where the Republicans are going to play up this rift. They are going to aggressively push for the Keystone Pipeline and the rollback of EPA regulations. I predict that the “creative class” is going to frrrrreeeeeaaaaak out. Cue the tearing of garments and gnashing of teeth.

Meanwhile, the “old coalition” is suffering from wage stagnation. And before the creative class loses interest in this issue, it should go read Derek Lowe’s blog In the Pipeline about what wages are like for the people who do the real creative innovation in the biotech industry. The finance industry (foolishly) thinks it can hire a bunch of newly minted Harvard post-docs and pay them well to do a bit of lab work before they are shunted into project management where they will direct a bunch of foreign CROs. For this, they will be paid handsomely- at about the same rate as the medicinal chemist with 20+ years of lab experience and an incalculable advantage in actually, you know, getting a project through the research phase. But I digress.

So, there is the rift. And Republicans are going to drive a truck right through it. The most vocal Democrats with the biggest mics are going to be screaming bloodily murder about the pipeline and ignore the wage slaves. That will play directly into Republicans’ hands.

Now, I’m not saying that the pipeline is not important and I am not a climate change denier but what Democrats really, really need are more people who identify with them and care about these issues. And the best way to get no pipeline and better environmental policy is to make sure that those people at the bottom of Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs are satisfied to the level that they can focus on pipelines and climate change. They need to get their heads out of worrying about their paychecks before they can concentrate on the EPA. To do that, the Democrats have got temporarily put their screaming about the environment on hold and focus with laser like intensity on eroding labor standards, wage stagnation and an artificially created unemployment crisis where too many people are on the verge of losing their jobs all the time.

Can they do it? I am optimistic. Just repeat after me: “It’s the economy, Stupid”. Take the power to divide us away from Republicans. Do not stop until you win. THEN shut the pipeline down.

Thursday: What we’re up against because the “Creative Class” just *had* to have its way

Oh, how bittersweet to know what’s coming but unable to knock any sense at all into the children who got us into this mess.

I noticed yesterday that they seemed unusually quiet.  Well, except for the gits at the Big Cheeto who seem determined to blame all of this on the hicks in the sticks.

No, don’t blame it on an increase in the number of indies going Republican.  The problem is a good chunk of your own team didn’t bother to show up.  It’s that “party unity” thing you bludgeoned us with.  Remember when Nancy Pelosi brought down the gavel like she was late for a plane and the band struck up, “People all over the world, join hands, get on a LOVE train, LOVE train”.   That song is ruined for me. The party was being 1 part sincere and 45 parts mean spirited and contemptuous, rubbing salt in the wounds of everybody in Denver who was sent there to represent a middle class/working class constituency that was desperately looking for a return to peace and prosperity.  Instead, they were railroaded and stuffed in the closet while a small bunch of fanatics took over the party.

Based on the comments I saw on various blogs yesterday, the “creative class” intelligentsia still do. not. get. it.  They now seem receptive to the idea that Obama should be primaried, preferably from the left.  But they keep trying to ignore the only legitimate person in the room who has a shot of doing it.  Desperately, they grasp at names like Elizabeth Warren, who has never run for public office, and Russ Feingold, who just got tossed out of one for, I suspect, being a bit too much of a man of mystery.  Even Anglachel who was a Clintonista backs off from entertaining the possibility: Continue reading

The State of Labor

Every now and then, someone will sum up a concept so clearly and elegantly that truth cannot be missed.  I only wish Dean Baker had written it last year when Chris Bowers and the rest of Whole Foods Nation were in the “You like me!  You really LIKE me!” stage as the Obama campaign was fluffing them.  Here it is, all you need to know about the working class:

“Most of us work for a living; the rest are bankers.”

If you are not a banker or someone who owns a huge chunk of an international corporation, you are working class.  You depend on a banker of a corporate owner for your livelihood.

And you are incredibly vulnerable.

Rich people are not like you and me.  Wait, I think someone else said that.  Well, he’s dead now, he won’t mind.  He was right, of course, the very wealthy and well connected are Jet Setters.  They think globally, not locally.  That whole citizenship/patriotism/pride in country thing is soooo outre.  Everyone knows that labor is cheap everywhere else in the world and people are swappable like new widgets.  And if your own workers are too expensive or still covered by a bothersome union, have no fear!  You only have to shutdown your American research facilities and with the money you save, you can buy up some struggling little companies with  good ideas.  Buy them up!  Drink their milkshake!  Corner the market on innovation.  Never think beyond the next resort season.

It’s all about power and accumulation and not having to answer to anyone and a huge, global game of Monopoly where you can charge rent on everything from St. Charles to Park Place.  Don’t worry about the proles getting in a high dudgeon about it.  Hire a bunch of mindf$^&ers who will convince the gullible to vote against their own interests.  Or tell them that losing their jobs is a sacrifice for the greater good.  Keep them from associating with each other.  Make them call each other racists and teabaggers.  Sit back and watch the fun.

But seriously, folks, when the mindf%*(ers convinced the Whole Foods crowd to vote for Obama, the neofeudalists won.  It is going to be very, very hard to work our way out of the predicament we are in.  Unless we can wake up the working class in the next couple of years, we will not be able to turn this around.  We will have turned ourselves into a highy stratified society consisting of the superrich and everyone else.  We won’t mix.  There will be no equality.  No innovation.  We’ll have our own caste system.  Even higher education will be pointless.  There will be no jobs.  It will only be the masters and their servants like Jane Austen’s England. And don’t think that Sonia Sotomayor is going to make a bean’s worth of difference on the USSC.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she were just the kind of justice the bankers (and their bonuses) love.  We shall see.

We Clintonistas were the canaries in the coal mine, last year.  We saw where the working class was headed when the Democratic party abandoned us.  And we tried, desperately, to get the attention of the Whole Foods crowd, to no avail.  But the truth is, the self-identified “creative class” were *always* one of us.  They just didn’t know it until now.  And until they accept us as their equals and join with us in solidarity, we will have no power as a Union.

Happy Labor Day.


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Creative Class to Chris Bowers: Cease and Desist

Dear Mr. Bowers.
It has come to our attention that you are defaming the brand name of the “Creative Class”. We have checked our membership databases and can find no entry for Chrisopher J. Bowers. We, the members of the creative class, take our image very seriously and would ask you to please provide credentials to us immediately verifying your qualifications for membership. To qualify, please provide the following information:

    Which division of the creative class are you applying to? Some examples of our authorized divisions include, biotech (subdivisions: chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical sciences, genomics, structural biology, fermentation engineering, electrophysiology) telecommunications, art, architecture and design, entertainment, (subdivisions: screenwriting, cinematography, editing, CGI special effects, sound engineering), computational sciences (subdivisions: hardware design, processor design, software, network design and implementation) (Blogging does not qualify), Green Sciences, alternative energy, low carbon footprint architecture (PhD not necessary but desirable.), library and information science, bearded Princeton professors of Economics

    Which peer reviewed journals in the authorized divisions have your publications been accepted? Please provide citations.
    Please list any patents or “records of invention” that you have achieved or are pending.

Divisions that do not qualify: writers of unintentional self-parody.

It should also be noted that geographical location near one of our creative class centers does not meet the criteria for automatic inclusion.

If your qualifications are acceptable, we will notify you by email. If you do not qualify, we must ask you to immediately cease and desist from referring to yourself as a member of our class. Your statements regarding our attitudes and political preferences are misleading and defamatory. In short, you are giving us a bad name.

One final note: apparently unbeknownst to you, we have now joined the ranks of the working class. This means that we frequently work with our hands as well as our heads. Should you still feel the desire to join our class, this is something you should keep in mind.

You attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,
“Bubba” Riverdaughter “Bunker”

The Creative Class for Obama Myth

If I hear this crap from Chris Bowers one more time, I’m going to reach right through the ether and give him a wedgy.

There are plenty of creative class people voting for Clinton. In fact, many of my colleagues, who actually *work* in the creative class are voting for Clinton. The people I know who are voting for Obama are NOT creative class people. Oh, sure, some of them might be teachers of English or lawyers or administrative assistants. But the people who actually do creative activities like research in the high tech field that *I’m* in are by and large Clintonistas. That goes for a large number of Asian Americans who have recently gotten their citizenship who are planning to vote for Clinton.

Yes, there are exceptions who will vote for Obama. But the ones who are voting for Obama tend to be pretty young, or here’s something interesting: they are much more tuned in to conventional media. They don’t blog.

In the past year, I have found that a lot of Asian Americans (Indian and Chinese) are passionate about politics. It’s really quite amazing. They can remember details about debates that even I miss. And they notice stuff in appearance and demeanor that go right past me. I think this is because even though they’re still working on English fluency, they have to rely on their powers of visual observation. And they like Hillary.

And these people are very highly educated, in their 30s and 40s. They send their children to Chinese schools on the weekends. They love good music and good food and trips to the City. They demand excellence of themselves and others. By any standards, they are the creative class.

So, knock it off, Chris. It’s not creativity that sets the Clinton crew apart from the Obamaphiles. It’s powers of observation.

Go back and pick a different set of descriptors, Chris. And use PCA/PLS this time. This former Clarkie is pretty sure you’re worng.

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