This Month in The Vent
The Vent Magazine is a division of The Vent. The December 2010 4...........................................................................Wake Up Corpus Christi Vent is an organization devoted to enriching Cor5.........................................................................................Letters to Santa pus Christi through Print, Television, Film, Comedy and Music. Send all comments, and letters to: 7........................................Vent News: Hippie Finally Make A Difference email@example.com The Vent: 361-549-6213 8.......................................Louis C.K. Review - Paramount Theatre Austin 10......................................................................Mandatory Event Calendar Publisher / Creative Director: William Henneberger Centerfold.................Official Vent Wrapping Paper Managing Editor: Michael Henneberger 12..............................STEREO TYPE: Road Trip Contributing Writers: Michael Henneberger .........................................Austin City Limits Part 2 Kat Ramzinski Jay Whitecotton William Henneberger 14.............................STEREO TYPE:Rock & Roll Ken Affleck Zombie Art by: Russell Tippit ......................................Education: CMJ Highlights The Vent Disclaimer: The Vent is a satirical 15..............................STEREO TYPE: South Texas publication and is not intended for readers under 18 .................................................Band Review Part 4 years of age. The Vent uses invented names in all of its 16..............................................The Unholy Trinity: stories, except in cases when public figures are being ..........................................Money Media & Politics satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental 18................................. No Sex and the Small Town and coincidental. Any statements made, expressed or implied in The Vent are solely those of columnists and do not represent the position of our advertisers, who do not accept responsibility for such statements. All characters products, & photos published in The Vent are trademark and © of their respective owners. V
Wake Up and (W)rap I’m fat like Santa Claus - but I’ve got bigger balls. I take my comedy seriously though my magazines a joke. I’m in a support group cause on facebook I got poked.
I watch too much porn, and cant stop jerking it – my wife’s unemployed when it comes to my dick and workin it. I write some nonsense once in a while, and try to be funny. Can’t afford a coke or a smile, cause I make no money. Trying to write articles, but spend all my time selling ads. I’ll give you a full page for 40 bucks cause I gotta feed my kids. No time for grammar and I misspell constantly. Forgot to proofread and I misspelled my momma’s name. Why waste time on ideas and trying to be cleaver.
This’ll just get used for wrapping paper, toilet paper of whatever. No more using pages for writing truths to be told. Instead enjoy some pretty pictures on the removable centerfold.
Show us how you used your Official Vent Wrapping Paper and win! firstname.lastname@example.org Special Thanks to Russell Tippit who designed the Vent Zombies. -Will Vent V
Letters to Santa
Dear Santa, This Christmas I would like a writing job that pays. I know I haven’t been good this year, but how bout you pay it forward for once in your damn life? Come on, don’t be a dick Mike Vent 28 years old Corpus Christi, TX Dear Santa, My name is Jimmy, and I’m 5 years old. I’ve been really really good this year because I have to ask you for a big present. This chrismus, can you bring me a daddy? Yes, I already have one, but he calls me queenie all the time and he’s a piece of poop. Come on, don’t be a dick. Jimmy Morgan 5 years old Flour Bluff, TX Dear Santa, I would like my own laptop for Christmas this year. My own laptop with my own password so no one else can look at it. Thank you. Assistant City Manager Johnny Perales Dear Santa, I think my son is gay. So, I don’t want to see even the slightest sense of femininity in whatever you bring my kid this year. I want monster trucks, toy guns, tool kits, and you know, “man” stuff. Hell, maybe it’s time to start getting the kid some porn, but only girl on girl stuff, that kind of gay is okay in my book! I swear if I see damn tickle me Elmos, or Glee soundtracks under my tree, I’m grabbing my twelve gauge and I ain’t stopping til the heads of all eight reindeer are hanging on my wall above my daddy’s ashes. I’ll be damned if my little Jimmy turns in to some Democrat voting faggot. I’ve been pretty good this year, voted straight Republican last month. Even voted twice for that Blake Farenthold. Now there’s a man’s man. Alright, merry Jesus Christmas. Come on now, don’t be a dick. Randall Morgan 21 years old Flour Bluff, TX Dear Santa, We would like some fresh ideas this Christmas. We hate resorting to simple gimmicks, like “Letters to Santa,” as much as our readers hate reading them. But we’re too lazy to think of anything else. Got any ideas? Vent Staff Too old to be chasing this silly dream Corpus Christi, TX
send letters to email@example.com www.facebook.com/theventnation
Hippies Finally Make Change With Drum Circle In what is hailed as an unprecedented historical event, a group of hippies have finally been able to accomplish something. “It’s an amazing feeling! We’ve struggled so hard to have an effect on civilization, it’s just nice to know we’ve finally made a meaningful impact.” says Petal Lips, Hippie and self described Dream Weaver. For 50 years the Hippie movement has been the ‘Chicago Cubs’ of social change, never quite making any actual substantial progress beyond ruining California and Jazz music. That all changed last week when
the L’Oreal Group decided to stop testing their new line of Maybelline cosmetics on animals. Attributing their decision based on the Movements effective use of the Drum Circle. “For years we were able to ignore the beat, but it just became too much. “says one L’Oreal spokesman. In a press release by the group yesterday they explained “Drum circles started forming at every corporate office we had… Hippies were constantly pounding their congas without any sense of rhythm what so ever. It was torture, pure and simple. We felt like the Branch Davidians without all the polygamy.”
by Jay Whitecotton
The company had further setbacks as undercover Hippies began gaining employment in key areas of management. Hacky sacks and Frisbees started appearing out of nowhere… disrupting and effectively slowing production. “We exhausted every method we could to uncover the peace spies, but they just kept bathing.” Tension between the two factions grew to epic proportions as the L’Oreal Group enlisted their own Drum Circle hosted by Questlove, drummer for Hip Hop pioneers ‘The Roots’, but those plans were immediately dropped due to his association with Jimmy Fallon. The two sides were finally able to open dialogue after a recent Supreme Court ruling declared that ‘Hippies weren’t actually Human Beings’… in the landmark trial ‘the People vs. Patchouli Odor’. In reaction the L’Oreal Group was able to propose a simple solution. That the company would no longer perform tests on animals so long as they could perform those tests on Hippies instead. “Hippie DNA is surprisingly close to Human DNA.” Explains noted chemist Dr. Alvin Reed. “You’d be surprised how similar they are as well as
how resilient Hippies can be to numerous and excessive chemical testing.” “It’s a great solution!” agrees Petal Lips. “In exchange for saving animals, we get all the chemicals we want… plus cookies! The only thing they ask is that we stop playing the drums.” “A win/win for sure.” commented one L’Oreal employee. “We would have gladly tested on Hippies years ago, but never once thought to ask… I guess we just assumed that self involved middle class white people, while highly vocal, were just too hypocritical to actually stand for what they believed in.” Inspired by their win, a select group of remaining Hippies took their Drums and Shakers to Israel in an attempt to bring peace to the Middle East. There were no survivors. V
Paramount Comedian: Louis C.K. -Paramount Theatre - Austin
“Nobody wants to hear your stupid voice.” [Insert thunderous applause] It was at this point, amidst cheers and laughter, a theatre bouncer promptly escorted a heckler from the upper level seating area. “Good get them out of here.... now you can listen to something funny... this is a theatre! If you want to hear someone battle a heckler all night go to Cap City.” [Extra Thundery Thunderous Thundered Applause Here.] Louis C.K. taking down a heckler is the equivalent to a Nascar crash, except that unlike Nascar, Louis is entertaining and captivating from the get go. Imagine if Nascar was one giant three hour explosion without the wait... Yah. That’s how glorious it felt to watch a master comedian work the stage. H e immediately got back to the topic at hand, his daughter watching him take a shit because he is too afraid to leave her alone. The shit story begat pornography, which begat being middle aged, which begat masturbation, all weaving together into a giant mass of too much/not enough information. Louis C.K. has a way of making your soul beg for more while simultaneously clutching your chest trying to breathe in between punchlines. One important element to the paramount show, was the reinvention of old jokes. If you ever watched his movie “Hilarious” or any of his HBO specials,
by Kat Ramzinski
you’ll notice that he’s constantly disowning older material in exchange for entirely new hour long sets. The interesting aspect of this particular tour, in regards to the Austin show, is that C.K. managed to continue where he left off with jokes that sounded familiar, but then took a random turn into a completely new idea. His method literally bleeds every ounce of funny from a subject until there is nothing more to laugh at. Then he comes back later with thirty more minutes on masturbation that is so astounding, your brain will climax. From the moment we sat down, until the moment we walked out of the Paramount, there wasn’t a second of boredom amongst the audience. Every facial feature reflected angst, shock, puckered-lipped disappointment, and triumph in a way that really makes the audience feel what he feels. L o u i s unraveled his husk of brilliance before us all, in his traditional black t-shirt, the Johnny Cash of comedy. A zap in the ass of traditional stand-up, Louis isn’t afraid to talk about death or darkness or poop. Nothing is off Limits. After an encore involving the greatest plane story ever, (which you will just have to google because there is simply no way I can correctly reveal such a complex web of humor without completely screwing it up), I walked out with a feeling of elation, as I had just witnessed, the BEST stand up comedy performance I had ever seen live. No joke. V
Road Trip - Austin City Limits Fest Part 2 - Austin, TX
Day 2: The Strokes ended the fest’s first night for us, but the party went on with Lucero’s after party, and then with beer and buddies at a bar on Sixth Street. We didn’t plan on seeing the sun rise with a long meaning-of-life conversation in a living room in south Austin, that’s just the way it worked out. How many of those conversations have actually ended with the discovery of that meaning, only to be forgotten due to the amount of illicit substances running through veins of the conversation’s contributors? Oh well. After a couple hours of sleep, then popping the poison that would keep us running through the weekend, and a good old Texas pick-me-up (Whataburger), we were ready to rock. We missed Two Door Cinema Club, one of my favorite recent discoveries who have one of this year’s best albums. Their Bloc Party-esque dance-pop with Ben Gibbard-y vocals would have been the best way to start off the day on a positive note. Instead, we hit the press lounge for free booze while the Gaslight Anthem played in the background. We wouldn’t have made it through the entrance to catch them, so instead of reviewing bands, I was left to review Jim Beam’s black cherry whiskey, “Red Stag.” I did more than enough research to tell you that Red Stag is delicious. Like drinking a cherry coke, but with all the joys of drinking whiskey, and what else should you be drinking with the raspy-rock-and-roll of Gaslight going on behind you? I was bummed about missing bluesy-pop upand-comer, Lissie, and the folksy, female duo First Aid Kit, but the day held plenty to look forward to. The 70s-garage-punk beats of the Black Lips began our first full day of the festival. Booze in our blood and real rock-and-roll in the air, the only way to not get overwhelmed was to keep moving. 4:30 brought one of the most difficult decisions of the fest with Broken Bells – the dream-synth-pop
band featuring Shins’ frontman James Mercer on guitar and vocals, and producer/Gnarls Barkley member Dangermouse on just about everything else—versus gritty new-grunge band Silversun Pickups. I chose Broken Bells because side projects like that don’t tend to tour as much. BB played with a full band of extremely talented musicians, and Mercer serenaded tens-of-thousands as Dangermouse scurried from drums to organ to guitar, the whole group replicating the amalgam of amazing music almost better than the actual album. As the evening approached, even someone with a surplused attention span would need to add all the adderall that they could to handle the next few hours. I’ll just say, “we managed.” 5:30 brought another fork in the rock-and-roll road with The Temper Trap at one end and The XX at the other. This one was a little easier since I was more familiar with The XX. I caught the first half of their set of soothing-sex-pop almost begging to take Portishead’s spot on my iTunes “special” playlist. Really, Australia’s The Temper Trap falls in pretty closely. Both bands were loved by girls I dated, and loved by me while I dated them. Now, without either of those girls around, I still love them, but not in the same way. Where’s Bright Eyes when you need him? Lucky for me, Bright Eyes’ Conner Oberst and Mike Mogis were nearby with their side project/ 12
by Mike Henneberger
indie rock supergroup Monsters of Folk—featuring singer, songwriter, and the “him” in She & Him, M.Ward, along with Jim James from My Morning Jacket. The folk, oldtime-rock-and-roll band dressed the part in suitand-tie and wayfarers like four Buddy Hollys playing to a huge crowd that was way too big for the small stage that held the band.
A small window of opportunity opened up and gave us a few minutes to refuel at the press lounge. Thanks Budweiser and Jim Beam. You are the spinach to my Popeye. With a few drinks down, and only a couple hours left of the fest, I headed to catch Matt & Kim. The piano/drum pop duo put on the best show of the fest. They’re known for their energy that never ends, and they didn’t disappoint. Kim banged some dancey beats on the drums while Matt killed the keys and the crowd never stopped moving, and I don’t think the smiles ever left their faces. Watching M&K just makes you feel good—in a totally different way than the drugs and booze do. Muse closed out the night with a show as big as their sound. Lazer beams shot over the crowd that chose their show over M.I.A.’s on the other side of the park. I was bummed that I missed the dance party that lead up to them with Deadmau5 and LCD Soundsystem, but I learned at Nocturnal Fest that I was not on the right kind of drugs to enjoy those guys the way they’re meant to be enjoyed. So, next time. We got word that there was an afterparty within walking distance. Driving probably wasn’t a very good idea at that moment, so we checked it out. Across a footbridge, in a Foreign Legion or VFW that looked like a frat house from every great frat party movie scene, there was bass bumping and spotlights lighting up the Austin night sky. SPIN magazine and Rock the Vote had teamed up—with some great bands and some greater alcohol sponsors—to scratch number one of this kid’s rock-and-roll wish list. As I sat in a quite room underneath the overcrowded room upstairs (where Matt & Kim’s Matt was Djing), I drank my free booze and made friends with some other “journalists” www.facebook.com/theventnation
doing the same thing. “I’m just really bummed that I missed Two Door Cinema Club,” I told them, and yes, I know I use the word “bummed” way too much. “I think that’s them playing upstairs right now,” one of them responded. My eyes got a little watery, maybe because of the booze, or the drugs, or the mixture of the two, or maybe because I just love music that much, and seeing one of my favorite bands of this year was the perfect way to close out night two. V
Rock and Roll Education: Ten College Music Journal Music Marathon Bands You Should Learn About by Mike Henneberger
Every year, the College Music Journal (CMJ) takes over New York City with the CMJ Music Marathon. Over 1000 bands from all over the world participate in the northeast rock fest. I only saw 30 or so. Here are a few you should know about. Take some time and educate yourself. 10. Jackson Wetherbee Band was one of the first acts I saw on my first night of the fest. My first impression was “Corpus Christi would love this guy.” His laidback, beachy vibe lands him pretty close to guys like Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews. Myspace.com/
jacksonwetherbeemusic Listen to “Remember My Friends.”
someone you love. Grab the nearest girl or guy, go to myspace.com/thenarrative, listen to “Fade,” fall in love.
9. Oberhofer is one of those treasures I found when I wasn’t even looking. They Brooklyn synthy-dance rock band played the Brooklyn Vegan day party, and their grungy garage pop kept the crowd moving and were one of the many ways Brooklyn Vegan proved that they know what they’re doing when it comes to pushing good indie rock. Myspace.com/oberhofermusic Listen to “Awy Frm U.”
5.Bayside has been a favorite of The Vent’s since our beginning, which was pretty close to theirs. I’ve seen the melodic, guitar-heavy rock band more than any other band. They celebrated their 10th anniversary the night I saw them in NYC, and along with a mix of fan favorites, they played “Already Gone,” the first single off Killing Time, their album due out in February. You can hear that song and the newest single “Sick, Sick, Sick” at Myspace.com/bayside. “We know what our sound is, we love it, and we are comfortable with it,” said bassist Nick Ghanbarian in an interview with The Vent when asked about the new singles. “They are perfect representations of what our band tries to be and also what you can expect from the album.”
8. Lissie was on many mustsee lists, including mine after I missed the bluesypotential-pop-princess at Austin City Limits Fest. Even with all the hype, she didn’t disappoint. She has the talent and class of Stevie Nicks in her performance with the pop sensibility of Michelle Branch. Myspace. com/lissiemusic Listen to “When I’m Alone.” 7. Young the Giant is so good I had to watch them twice. Vocalist Sameer Gadhia’s crystal-clear, passionate melodies are that of an anthem rock band, which the five-piece Orange County band sometimes sounds like. Other times, the band chills out and just jams some soft songs with echo-y guitars and Gadhia’s soothing vocals. Myspace. com/youngthegiant Listen to “Apartment” or “My Body.” 6. The Narrative was a must-see on my list. Keyboardist Suzie Zeldin and Guitarist Jesse Gabriel drive the indie-pop act with their exchange of back and forth lead vocals. Their soft melodies make every song a love song in that, when listening, you’ll wish you were listening with Culture
4. First Aid Kit I missed the female folk duo at Austin City Limits Fest, and they were on many must-see lists at CMJ, where I didn’t make it past the long line outside of a sold out show. The Swedish sisters have a twang and songwriting style straight out of Nashville, but even the heaviest hitmakers on Music Row could only dream of talent this good. Myspace.com/thisisfirstaidkit Listen to “Ghost Town.” 3. Two Door Cinema Club is so good that I had to see them again at the Purevolume House at CMJ, even though I caught them at Austin City Limits Fest two weeks earlier. The UK dance-pop band has hit the fests and the late night circuit this year, so it won’t be long before everyone’s talking about them. Myspace.com/ twodoorcinemaclub Listen to any song. 2. Down with Webster put on the best show that I saw out of the 30 bands I actually witnessed . And I’m not just trying to jump on the bandwagon driven by Timbaland who said DWW is “the most amazing, creative, and innovative band that will come out in 2010,” and “the illest group I’ve ever seen live in person.” The sevenmember rap act toured 3OH!3 this year and, most likely made a ton of new fans with their similar brand of rock-backed hip-hop. Myspace.com/downwithwebster Listen to any song. 1. Lady Danville I haven’t been able to stop listening to these guys since I saw them almost two months ago. All three guys in the piano-driven pop–rock group have incredible voices, which are only more amazing when combined together, which is often. The Los Angeles band is ending this year on tour with Ben Folds, and beginning next year on tour with Dashboard Confessional. Go. Listen. Now. Myspace.com/ladydanville V www.theventnation.com
South Texas Band Review pt. 4: Those Left Standing
On Thursday, August 26th, The Condition Black held their second South Texas Band Review at House of Rock. Ten bands from South Texas were scheduled to play in front of a focus group that filled out surveys on the bands performance and a crowd of any friends, fans, and strangers who decided to come out. As part of the Review, the participating bands received professionally shot promotional photos by Heavily Medicated Photography and a live recording and edited video of their performance from Compass Rose Pro
Audio and Video. And this…a review.
Those Left Standing- These poor guys had to follow Through the Grapevine. They’re a hardcore band too. But, if Through the Grapevine is an “8” in energy, these guys are like a “3.” But, umm...they’re cute? The crowd of teenagers gathered near the stage, who probably think these guys are the coolest guys at their high school, had a bit more spirit than the band. These guys might be a little younger than the band before them, so I wont hold their performance
by Mike Henneberger
against them. Their guitarist looks like Justin Beiber, which never hurts when it comes to female audience attendance. They’re not bad at what they do, and they seem to have a good following. They did a lot of standing on the monitors, because, uh, that’s what rockstars do, I guess. They didn’t do anything spectacular, but their crowd reacted as if they did. Maybe it’s because they got dressed up, and Beiber flatironed his hair, and that’s enough to earn you some spotlight these days. I do have to give props to the background vocalist. He has a damn good voice and rocks the occasional lead solo on guitar. When he backs up on vox it sounds like there’s a keyboardist in the band. It’s angelic. Or, as I later found out, it’s autotuned. And not in the obvious T-Pain autotune way, but in the, “Wow, does that kid really sing that well” way. No. No he doesn’t really sing that well. But I guess that’s what autotune is for. The recordings on their Myspace sound very professional, and are actually
pretty amazing. The wailing harmonized guitar leads kick ass, the background vocals still sound pretty angelic, like keyboard longtones backing the hard, heavy-hitting metal in front. Anyone that touches a microphone in this band knows what they’re doing. I’m not sure how much autotune plays a role in their recording, but whether it’s the lead vocalist or background vocalist singing or someone screaming or growling, their recording sounds like a band that would be headlining one of the many metal shows that pass through Concrete Street. All they need to do is match their stage presence to their musical ability. V
An Unholy Trinity: Money, Media & Politics If you have been halfway interested you probably have noticed we are observing the strangling of the last vestiges of Democracy out of the dying wasted body of what was once a vigorous and lively country. Who is responsible? Well from all indications, the wealthiest people and corporations who manage our system of state and crony capitalism, the high rollers who bankroll the elections, pay people to write the laws, crash the economy, transfer the debt to the public and walk away to the greatest profits in the history of the good ole U.S. of A. Americans like the Irish will soon see their government asking them to take big cuts in social services, healthcare and retirement while taxes for the rich stay extraordinarily low (Hedge fund managers pay half the tax rate of a secretary for the same company.) The Republicans (and some Democrats) are already making noise about how we can’t afford to extend unemployment benefits cutting off two million for Christmas. Meanwhile politicians of all stripes are ready at the drop of a hat to pass an extension of the Bush tax cut at a cost of an extra $700 billion added to the federal deficit. These would be the same people who we gave another $700 billion in bailout money to be paid for by our grandchildren when they created this mess. Before the financial crises Google, Microsoft, Intel and Hewlett-Packard who led Ireland to unprecedented growth. They offered a low wage, well educated, English speaking, tax haven, what wasn’t to like. Irish were actually immigrating back to Ireland from around the world. The growth in manufacturing led Irish banks to create a housing and investment bubble, much like what happened here. As a result of the collapse of the financial industry the Irish government increased the national debt to unsustainable levels to bail out their banks. Now as part of a European Market/International Monetary Fund bailout of the Irish government, the cuts will fall on those who didn’t create the crisis. The Irish government restructured their national debt by raising property taxes, lowering the minimum wage and cutting www.facebook.com/theventnation
one fifth of their government workforce. The big guys will go untouched however; the Irish government won’t raise their corporate tax from one of the lowest in the world at 12.5% to spread the bailout pain to those who caused the problem. In the constant global bidding war for low costs the high tech companies said they might have to “reconsider their Irish operations” if they were to be required to share some of the tax burden.
Wall Street’s big investment houses, along with the hedge fund boys and the private equity clubs who used them to make the deals had unloaded most of their bad debt on to the U.S. Treasury (Taxpayer) and then been the recipients of a Federal Reserve policy which loaned out an additional $12 trillion in new money at basically zero percent interest in an attempt to stabilize and stimulate the economy. But the economy wasn’t stimulated enough to turn it around, too little of the money made it into consumer pockets.
Paying over 50% of Ireland’s business taxes and $7.1 billion in direct and indirect wages, the Irish are in a trap of their former policies to create prosperity. It’s a scary world when multi-national companies have so much power over an economy they can play one country against the other for jobs and investment dollars, threatening to leave if countries are unwilling to tax themselves to fund their mistakes and foolish speculation.
In the bank’s defense the credit they had extended at outrageous rates to Americans had drained consumers completely. That investment would be paying off for a long time due to changes the financial industry had put through congress making it harder to shed debt in bankruptcy. They had it all and commitments on future consumer income for years to come. There was no demand. That cow was dry. Layoffs exploded.
Of course the Irish people are much offended by this but have little choice in this game of economic blackmail. The country is in a political crisis as the Prime Minister is refusing to hold an election for a new government until the deal is done. Four opposition parties have pledged if elected to default on the debt rather than pay 25% of the total Irish government annual revenues in interest on the debt by 2014.
In 2008-2009 the economy of working people crashed, currently over 14.8 million have been unemployed for six months or more, millions lost their homes in repossessions and (many illegally as it turns out), local tax bases were destroyed, communities impoverished and sent social and legal costs skyward. It’s the price paid by those who aren’t even in the game, collateral damage to the guys who took the risk.
Wall Street has taken over In this country, corporations and wealthy individuals have taken a more direct route, just buy government. When disaster loomed and it was obvious Wall Street was responsible for the biggest debacle since the Great Depression, the investment houses poured money into Barack Obama’s campaign coffers, partially sensing that Bush had sabotaged Republican chances and also to have influence with the incoming administration. A look at the President’s appointments of Robert Rubin, Timothy Geitner, Lawrence Summers and others who were part of the problem to major financial posts should have made clear what the result would be. If corporations made any promises regarding their willingness to go along with new restrictions on finance or a national healthcare bill in trade for the U.S. assuming their bad debt, they soon 16
Editorial By John Kelley
a record $140 billion last year and Goldman Sachs had its best year ever with the average bonus being $600,000. Since then if U.S. companies’ last quarter profits are sustained for the year they would earn $1.659 trillion, the highest ever recorded. Where is the money going? Just last week leveraged buyout specialists Kohlberg Kravis Roberts announced they were going to buy Del Monte for $5 billion. Between increased profits and record levels of new low interest debt available, the buyout business is booming again. Del Monte is a perfect example of what happens when the financial sector is managing the economy. It was originally sold off when KKR bought RJR Nabisco for $25 billion in 1990. It then went through several changes in ownership, bought up a number of pet food companies itself along the way (of course consolidating the production), went public and has now been privately repurchased by KKR. The financing has been furnished by those beneficiaries of government largess Bank of America, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley. Buyouts are expected to reach pre-crisis levels. My guess is they funded each of the last half dozen purchases of Del Monte.
Profits and fed money spent on bigger bonuses, stock buy backs and takeover deals Except they didn’t take any risk, we bailed them out. Of course they didn’t loan it out to small businesses starving for capital, they didn’t invest it in new U.S. based company expansion, they used it to buy back their own stock ($273 billion spent this year), issue dividends and purchase new companies, of course dumping “extra” employees in the process.
The huge increase in productivity in the last thirty years brought about by technology was not shared with workers as it had been in the past. The consolidation of companies, off shoring, illegal immigration and replacement by automation all had the effect of increasing worker competition for good paying jobs, driving down the cost of labor. It worked, from 1980-2008 the income of the average American increased from $30,941 to $31,244, that’s right an increase of $303 when adjusted for inflation in 28 years. That, of course, is if you kept your job, over six million manufacturing jobs have disappeared in just the last decade. The service jobs that replace them pay on average 20% less than a manufacturing job and are without benefits.
During that same 2008-2009 time period the number of people making $50 million or more a year increased fivefold. The 38 largest companies in America made
At the same time things have gotten even better at the top. The last time wealth has been so concentrated it was just prior to the great depression. Almost a quarter Culture
of the total income generated in the country goes to the top one percent of the population. The top one-tenth of one percent (308,000) of our population now earns as much as the bottom 120 million. Contrary to creating additional investments that produced new jobs, excess profits gained from the Bush tax cuts didn’t go into innovation, research and development in solving our current problems, they went into evermore exotic investment instruments in pursuit of higher speculative profits. Then one day someone asked the fatal question, what is the actual value of what we are buying? The revelation of the amount of bad debt the financial houses had sold erased the easy credit fueling the bubble, dumping millions out of work, cutting the hours, healthcare, pension checks and benefits of the rest, in an economy that is 70% dependent on consumer spending. Supreme Court piles on Whatever you thought of that whole system to start with, the recent election shows it will just get worse. With the Supreme Court Case of Citizens United against the Federal Election Commission, they now can buy direct. Corporations were give the right to give campaigns unlimited funds, and if given through a non-profit 527 organization, remain anonymous, So when Obama acted if he was serious about healthcare and financial reform, the masters of the Universe on Wall Street changed sides, Secret donors alone spent $138 million dollars through organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to elect anti-healthcare and anti-financial reform officials. With the gap between the rich and
the rest of us widening by the day, big money plans on pushing the pedal to the metal on a number of desired issues. Expect a steady onslaught against social welfare programs, education, healthcare, financial and environmental regulation, and of course any tax increases on the rich. In Nueces County alone over a million dollars was spent by outside special interests to run negative ads against Democrats. Look for massive media campaigns whenever a piece of legislation comes up that some big bucks contributor doesn’t want, like the health insurance plan. What do we think the effect of telling an incumbent that an unlimited amount of money will become available to his opponent if they don’t go along will be?
or criminality, only property liability and profit. If a corporate leader or board member were to have any other thought he would be quickly replaced. Elections now are just another cost of doing business. This can only have a bad outcome. The Road Goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends Wall Street parties on, but the jobs aren’t coming back, we still have two wars going on that we can’t afford to stop (they are too big a part of the economy), the middle class is disappearing, poverty is escalating and there are five unemployed workers for every job opening. Wall Street’s new priority is to cut off unemployment and give themselves a tax cut. Their new propaganda is that people are basically lazy if they think they need to continue on unemployment. I’m sure they’re just all rolling in luxurious self indulgence on that average unemployment check of $290/week, no healthcare, no retirement and no prospects.
What has been called the “investment theory” of political support says that groups will coalesce around common financial interests to elect people who will shape policy that will advance their interest over others. This seems to be proven out by authors Jacob Hacker of Yale and Paul Pierson of the University of Southern California in their book Winner Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned it’s Back on the Middle Class. They document a well organized, financed and sophisticated effort over the last thirty years to redistribute wealth, upwards.
What has become more and more obvious is that there is a nanny state, it’s a nanny state bought, controlled and in service to the rich. It has become a matter of policy paid for by the wealthy through donations and administered by a revolving door of lobbyists and public officials.
This primarily worked through lobbyists gaining the support of friendly legislators, government executives, regulators and judges. Now the situation will rapidly get worse as unlimited money is poured into the last place where Americans have even a limited influence, the ballot box. Corporations are governed by people who are under an obligation to make money without reference to morality
Most Americans know it. They are disgusted with government because it no longer represents their interests. Unfortunately many have been misdirected that government is the enemy, not those who control it. Now, no politician can afford to take a principled position against a well heeled special interest, like the financial industry, without being buried in opposition
money and not even knowing where it has come from. Wall Street, has joined forces with the Glen Becks, Rush Limbaughs, and Rupert Murdochs of the world to help shape public opinion. Beat the drums of hate and division, frame the argument in your own terms and selectively interchange literal descriptions with symbols. A University of Virginia scientist has shown how we react with our primitive instincts confusing symbols with reality and rationalizing bad thinking later. It is a factor in genocides. Hutu propagandists in Rwanda called for the killing of Tutsi “cockroaches”. On any given day you can hear Limbaugh use the words liberal, socialist, Democrat and interchangeably with traitor. But when that kind of manipulation with mass media doesn’t work, go to the money. A bill requiring disclosure of secret donors passed the house, but was defeated in the Senate. It didn’t matter that a Times-CBS News Poll found that 92% of Americans favored it. Every Republican voted against it. The unleashed money gave them control of the house, the ability to shut down the senate and their leaders have made their primary goal to make the President a one term president. Not increase employment, not decrease economic disparity, not provide healthcare or reduce the deficit, but to unseat the President. It’s obvious that no further need be paid to the electorate except to keep the brainwashing going. The question of whether Democracy is dead has been settled, now it’s just a question of how bad it’s going to get. John Kelley is the Editor and Publisher of We the People News available online at www.wethepeoplenews.net.
The Whore the Marrieder By Ken Affleck She sent me a text that said, “Ur a sleezy dirt bag.” Let me rephrase that with grammar and spelling I’m more comfortable with. The woman who was cheating on her husband and f#%king me thinks I’m a sleazy dirtbag. Let me rephrase that. The woman who was cheating on her husband, leaving her daughter at home with him all the time either to f#%k me, thinks I’m a sleazy dirtbag. Let me rephrase that. The woman who was cheating on her husband, leaving her daughter at home with him all the time either to f#%k me or go out and do coke with her girlfriends thinks I’m a sleazy dirtbag. Let me rephrase that. The woman who was cheating on her husband and neglecting her daughter to f#%k me or to go out and do coke with her girlfriends, was lying to her good friend, whom was banging me for the previous two months, thinks I’m a sleazy dirtbag. Let me rephrase that. The woman who was cheating on her husband and neglecting her daughter to f#%k me or to go out and do coke with her girlfriends, and was lying to her friend—whom I was banging me for the previous two months—was also lying to her BEST friend whom I dated for a while earlier this year, thinks I’M a sleazy dirtbag. Let me rephrase that. The woman who was cheating on her husband, and neglecting her daughter, to f#%k me or to go out and do coke with her girlfriends, and was lying to her friend—whom I was banging me for the previous two months—and was also lying about it to her BEST friend—whom I dated for a while earlier this year—and hand banged www.facebook.com/theventnation
at least three guys other than her husband and me in the last 6 months, thinks I’m a sleazy dirtbag. Let me rephrase that. The woman who was cheating on her husband, and neglecting her daughter, to f#%k me or to go out and do coke with her girlfriends, and was lying to her friend—whom I was banging me for the previous two months—and was also lying about it to her BEST friend—whom I dated for a while earlier this year—and banged at least three guys other than her husband or me in the previous 6 months, and then banged my good friend after having sex with me, thinks I’m a sleazy dirtbag! Let me rephrase that. The woman who was cheating on her husband, and neglecting her daughter, to f#%k me or to go out and do coke with her girlfriends, and was lying to her friend—whom I was banging me for the previous two months—and was also lying about it to her BEST friend—whom I dated for a while earlier this year—and banged at least three guys other than her husband or me in the previous 6 months, and then banged my good friend, IN THE BACK SEAT OF HIS CAR, after having sex with me, thinks I’m a sleazy dirtbag. She’s right. I am a sleazy dirtbag. Readers of this column and people who know me—she falls into the latter category—already know this. But, there are two differences between me and that whore. First of all, I can admit it. I’m not proud of it, but I accept it. The second is, I don’t have a wife, or a child at home being neglected and unloved. I supposed that leads to a sub-difference. I have a bed and a room I can f#%k in so I don’t have to get nailed like a cheap, SLEAZY, DIRTY, secret whore in the back seat of a car. V Culture