In the midst of millions of job losses – CEOs make more money THAN EVER.

Why, you say, are CEOs making millions while leading companies losing billions during a pandemic?

Well, it’s simple: because they can. And because we are in late stage capitalism.

They are super-feeders at the pig trough.

O, yes! The ruling class are worthy of study. The natural history of the ruling class is of fascinating interest. You begin with interest, you proceed with awe and admiration, you deepen into hatred, and you wind up with contempt for the nature of the beast. You realise that — The Capitalist Class is the Meanest Class that ever grasped the Reins of Power.

– James Connolly, “Our Rulers as a Study,” 1915

 

peter bakke CEO pay during pandemic

2020 executive compensation statistics. New York Times. 

New Authors like Me Can’t Advertise on Google or Facebook Because Content is Related to President Trump / Election

Parody-Book-Concerning-Trump-Author-Peter-Bakke

Updated 01/26/2021:

As a new author doing my own advertising, I can’t create ads on either Google or Facebook for my new book of parody “Concerning Trump” – with no end in sight for the ad restrictions.

The ad bans are related to the 2020 presidential election – which by the way was fair and perhaps the most secure American election – ever.

Don’t take my word for it, Trump’s top cyber security guy said so. Then was fired.

In any case, I await some word from the Galactic Overlords at Google and Facebook to let lowly peons like me promote our product.

So, I just jump through the galactic hoops and wait. And wait.

This is the America we live in now.

We have arrived at a place where the overlords have to stop both Liberals and Conservatives from advertising because we are so polarized as a society.

When will it end? How will it end?  

Here’s a quote from my book that pretty much sums up what Trump has done to and continues to do to our  wonderful country:

      • Trump recklessly stokes dangerous parts of America, in a country that already worships aggression.

See the screencaps below which show the ad restrictions and that one has to verify your identity as well.

Google ad ban for anything 2020 presidential election related - peter bakke
Google ad ban for anything 2020 presidential election-related.
Facebook ad ban for anything presidential election related 2020 - peter bakke
Facebook ad ban for anything presidential election-related 2020

An example of how Trump treated perceived threats – from fellow Republicans

donald trump website peter bakk

JAN 20, 2021. Biden Inauguration day.

Another delightfully quiet, sane day without Tweets from the Twit-in-Chief.

Thank you, Twitter, for blocking and protecting us from the worst President in the history of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

The following excerpt is from a fantastic article by the  New York Times that lists THOUSANDS of insults by Trump.

I picked just one object of Trump’s Twitter ire: the insurrectionist Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Source here.

Ted Cruz

U.S. SENATOR

The following parable is applicable to the division we find ourselves in America today

 

republicans vs democrats peter bakke

Check out he following parable from the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and contemplate its applicability to the political divisions we find ourselves in America today:

One cold winter’s day, a number of porcupines huddled together quite closely in order through their mutual warmth to prevent themselves from being frozen. But they soon felt the effect of their quills on one another, which made them again move apart. Now when the need for warmth once more brought them together, the drawback of the quills was repeated so that they were tossed between two evils, until they had discovered the proper distance from which they could best tolerate one another. Thus the need for society which springs from the emptiness and monotony of men’s lives, drives them together; but their many unpleasant and repulsive qualities and insufferable drawbacks once more drive them apart. The mean distance which they finally discover, and which enables them to endure being together, is politeness and good manners. Whoever does not keep to this, is told in England to ‘keep his distance.’ By virtue thereof, it is true that the need for mutual warmth will be only imperfectly satisfied, but on the other hand, the prick of the quills will not be felt. Yet whoever has a great deal of internal warmth of his own will prefer to keep away from society in order to avoid giving or receiving trouble or annoyance.

Source

Concerning Trump : A Book of Parody : By Peter A. Bakke

Parody-Book-Concerning-Trump-Author-Peter-Bakke

 

Buy ‘Concerning Trump’ … A Book of Historical Quotes Reimagined for Donald J. Trump’s Turbulent Era.

About the Book:

Political parody can be defined as: “… a literary work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule.” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary 

Parody may help those of us cope who have a liberal or moderate political disposition. It may also help make bearable these turbulent political times under the growing shadow of Trumpism. 

This frequently somber, sometimes humorous volume reimagines historical quotes with a keen eye focused on Donald J. Trump, Trumpism, and his Republican party. 

But beware, this book can only be taken in small doses. 

Like arsenic. 

If you read it and start feeling ill, that’s a good sign, a sign that you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on in our country under the Trump regime. 

Set it aside for a while. 

But never set aside your vigilance for leaders like Donald J. Trump.

Sample Parody Quotes:

Aquinas, Thomas

Since we cannot know what Trump is, but only what he is not, we must consider the ways in which he is not rather in the ways in which he is. Is that clear?

Arabin, William

Trump, God has given you abilities, instead of which you go about the country talking trash.

Arendt, Hannah

Promises are the uniquely human way of ordering the future. But Trump makes doing so unpredictable and unreliable to the extent that it is humanly possible.

Trump shows that no cause remains but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of tyranny.

For Trump it is easier to act than to think.

Trump haunts us. It is his function to haunt us.

Ariosto, Ludovico

Nature made Trump and then broke the mold.

Aristotle

Trump is dear to Republicans, but dearer still should be truth.

Trump does not know that excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives – choice, not chance, determines our destiny.

Trump is fading away because the energy of the mind is the essence of life.

Dignity does not consist in Trump possessing honors, but in him deserving them.

The educated differ from Trump as much as the awake from the dead.

A would-be tyrant like Trump must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Voters are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has God on his side.

Trump and his cult-like followers know that democracies may easily degenerate into despotisms if enough lies are believed. The bigger the lie, the better for them.

Arlen, Michael

It is amazing how nice people will be to Trump after they know he is leaving office.

The one prevailing evil of American democracy today is the tyranny of the Republican minority.

Peter Bakke Texas Redistricting
U.S. congressional districts covering Travis County, Texas (outlined in red) in 2002, left, and 2004, right. In 2003, the majority of Republicans in the Texas legislature redistricted the state, diluting the voting power of the heavily Democratic county by parceling its residents out to more Republican districts.
PHenry at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons

 
The Republican state legislatures from North Dakota to Texas, from Montana to Maine have been focusing on redistricting for decades. Republicans have been playing the long game while Democrats have been asleep at the switch. The Republicans have built a monolith that will be very hard to dismantle or ever be representative of the emerging American political demography.
 
What has been the result? Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential elections since Clinton in ’92 (that’s almost 30 years), but still managed to elect Bush the Younger twice and Trump once. The Electoral College system is outdated and frankly nuts. But that’s another story.
 
The good news is that even the Republican’s regressive, undemocratic redistricting plans are being overwhelmed by the big, inclusive tent party system of Democrats, like me, vs. their closed tent and shrinking minority.
 
The one prevailing evil of American democracy today is the tyranny of the Republican minority.

The percentage of returning Members of Congress is higher than the old Soviet Politburo.

Peter Bakke Capitol building

Yup, for real. The American political system is nuts. What happens as as soon as Members of Congress are in office is that they spend an inordinate amount of time begging for money for the next election. And there is always a next election. In 2013 I donated $500 to congressman Ron Barber. He personally called me about once a month trying to get more money out of me and finally stopped (I had lost my job which was a very good reason). It’s the only time a MOC ever talked to me. Ever. And he wanted more money. They all do it. The system is broken.

MOCs spend weekends back home at personal fundraisers, then fly to DC on Mondays and fly back on Fridays. That leaves just Tu, Wed, Th to get any work done in DC… and the definition of “getting work done in DC” is fluid and questionable. The American political system is broken and I don’t have an answer. Citizens United really F’d this all up. I’ll support anyone that does have an answer.

Republicans Are Destroying the American Experiment in Democracy.

 

Frustration Peter Bakke
                                                                             Free Images

Jeremy Peters and Maggie Haberman have explained that Republicans believe that defying Trump would damage their standing with Republican base voters. By doing so, the politicians are “inflaming the public,” French noted, causing many voters to believe — wrongly — that a presidential election was unfair. And that belief is fueling an outbreak of violent threats against elections officials, including:
  • Dozens of Trump supporters, some armed, went to the home of Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state, and began shouting obscenities.
  • On Twitter, Trump supporters have posted photographs of the home of Ann Jacobs, a Wisconsin official, and mentioned her children.
  • In Phoenix, about 100 Trump supporters, some armed, protested at the building where officials were counting votes.
  • In Vermont, officials received a voice message threatening them with “execution by firing squad.”
  • Seth Bluestein, a Philadelphia official, received anti-Semitic and violent threats after Pam Bondi, a Trump ally, publicly mentioned him.
  • A Georgia poll worker went into hiding after a viral video falsely claimed he had discarded ballots.
  • Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, and his wife have received death threats, including by text message, and caravans have circled their house.
  • Gabriel Sterling, another Georgia official, received a message wishing him a happy birthday and saying it would be his last.

How to calculate the percentage of remaining election ballots that your candidate needs to win in order to catch up

Peter-Bakke-Puzzled
 
I’m a math nerd and a political nerd, so I came up with the following equation tonight for other nerds. Regardless of who you want to win the presidency, this equation will tell you how to calculate the percentage of remaining ballots that your candidate needs to win in order to catch up to the other cat. Anything more than that percentage, and your candidate wins! 🙂
 
Formula:
 
0.5 * (Ballots Remaining – Deficit) + Deficit
—————————————————
                     Ballots Remaining
 
You just need to know the number of remaining ballots to be counted and the deficit.
 
For example:
 
As of tonight, Thursday, 11/5/2020, in Arizona, Trump is behind Biden by about 47,000 votes with about 204,000 ballots remaining.
 
For simplicity, let’s just get rid of the thousands (000’s). The calculation will be the same.
 
   0.5 (204-47) + 47
= ——————–
           204
 
       78.5 + 47
= ——————–
            204
 
= 0.615
 
So, Trump needs to win 61.5% of the remaining ballots to pull even. More than that, and he wins.
 
Conversely, Biden needs to win more than 38.5% of the remaining ballots to win (1.0 – .615 = 0.385)
 
Math class is over. Drink a beer. Or a beverage of your choice.

Amy Coney Barrett will be fifth Supreme Court Justice appointed by Republican Presidents who did not receive majority of popular vote

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SOURCE:  https://mailchi.mp/6e0226ece1ce/thursday-newsletter-5851991?e=4a23ccd797

Dear Readers,

Yesterday, we emailed you about In Accordance With, a short film by the Meerkat Media Collective that depicts a set of abortion restrictions that are already in place in a number of states, and that could be dramatically expanded if Roe v. Wade is overturned or curtailed by the Supreme Court. This is a live threat, as the Republican-controlled Senate rushes to confirm 48-year-old Amy Coney Barrett for a lifetime appointment to the Court less than two weeks before Election Day. Barrett’s all-but-certain confirmation means that six of the Court’s nine justices will be Republican appointees, including five appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote. Absent radical procedural reforms, these right-wing justices will control all interpretation of federal law for decades, and be poised to block the progressive policies demanded by a growing majority of the electorate, not only on abortion rights, but on labor, the environment, criminal justice, civil rights, and even the basic procedures that will determine the outcomes of elections—including the one immediately before us.

Barrett is a product of the Federalist Society pipeline, which is hard to describe accurately without sounding like a conspiracy theorist—it basically means that she is the culmination of a decades-long project by right-wing billionaires like the Koch family to take over the federal judiciary and reverse a century of liberal economic regulations and social justice advances. Barrett, by the accounts of those who have studied and worked with her, is the perfect vessel for this ambition. She is disciplined and poised; she knows exactly what to say and what not to say to impress mainstream legal elites, establishment journalists, and old-guard senators like Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, whose farcical handling of last week’s hearings drew heated criticism from progressives and from Feinstein’s own Senate colleagues. Those hearings are likely the main reason that 51% of the public now supports confirming Barrett—a 14-point increase since her nomination was announced last month, even as support for Trump and the GOP is in freefall.

Last week, Feinstein embraced her Republican Judiciary Committee counterpart Lindsay Graham at the end of the Barrett hearings, which she called “one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.” This morning, in an apparent shift in tone, Feinstein joined Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and every Democrat on the committee in boycotting—and thus refusing to lend any further legitimacy to—the confirmation process, while the Republican majority on the committee voted unanimously for Barrett’s confirmation to proceed. Although the Democrats have little chance of preventing the confirmation with this boycott, one can only hope that it augurs more than symbolic resistance to the status quo.

All polling now suggests that Joe Biden will likely prevail in the electoral college. If he does assume the presidency in January, and if Democrats are able to secure a bare majority of the Senate and retain control of the House, Biden’s accomplishments in office will depend on the party’s willingness to bend and even break the rules and norms that have governed Washington for generations. It’s one thing to call out the hypocrisy of the GOP—which insists on confirming Barrett right before the 2020 election when they refused to confirm Barack Obama’s nominee to the Court, Merrick Garland, for 10 months before the 2016 election—as Schumer did this morning. It’s another to be willing to exercise power as ruthlessly as Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have, without regard for tradition or collegiality or any principle other than that the will of the majority of Americans should have some influence over how we are governed.

Leading Democrats have been dropping hints for weeks that “court packing,” a strategy unsuccessfully attempted by the Roosevelt administration in 1937, might be on the table should Biden win. Essentially, this would mean expanding the Court by a significant number of members beyond the long-established nine—a number that is not specified anywhere in the Constitution—allowing Democrats to shift the ideological balance in favor of liberal justices. After initially dodging the question of whether he would commit to such a strategy, this morning Biden floated a bipartisan commission that would explore wider avenues of judicial reform, which might mean imposing age or term limits in addition to court packing. “Bipartisan” is a potential red flag here, as it’s hard to imagine even relatively centrist Republicans sacrificing the power conservatives have built up over the judicial system. But the fact that Biden is saying that all options are on the table means there is some limited cause for optimism.

We shouldn’t indulge any false hope that Biden is a secret radical leftist, but it’s plausible that underlying political circumstances could compel a Biden administration to take bigger procedural risks than the Obama administration did. For instance, recent polling suggests that nearly two-thirds of Americans support the Affordable Care Act and about four in five support protections for people with pre-existing conditions, even though these policies are existentially threatened by conservatives on the Supreme Court. Not only will any kind of bold progessive agenda on healthcare, climate, immigration, and countless other issues be dead on arrival with a 6-3 conservative Court—it will be impossible to prevent backsliding on decades of progressive wins. For Biden’s presidency to be anything short of a disaster, he and leading Senate Democrats will have to get more aggressive than most of them have ever been over their long careers. As Osita Nwanevu wrote in The New Republic this week, the Constitution itself is currently functioning the way it was originally designed, as an impediment to the majoritarian democratic rule to which Democrats and their supporters are theoretically committed, and on which a successful Biden presidency would depend. And as Adam Serwer wrote in The Atlantic this morning, court packing may be the only way to protect the basic voting rights hard-won by the civil rights movement.

It will take the sustained fury of progressive activists to make sure Democrats remember that. As a New Yorker, I’ve noticed that the usually mild-mannered Schumer has taken on an increasingly combative and left-leaning posture over the past year, and I can’t help but speculate that this is in response to recent wins by left-wing and progressive candidates in New York’s Congressional and State Senate primaries. There are more self-described socialists in Albany now than there have been in a century, and Schumer is up for reelection in 2022, as rumors abound that he might face a primary challenger like Rep. Alexandria Ocaso-Cortez. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also up for re-election that year and facing heat from progressive state senators like Alessandra Biaggi. Whether or not such primary challenges actually happen, they represent growing pressure on some of the most powerful establishment Democrats to shift their tone, strategy, and focus in the wake of the Trump era’s one-sided war on norms.

In a Responsa published last week, the Jewish Currents editorial staff argued that by placing an almost religious level of faith in the Supreme Court as an instrument of justice, a generation of Jewish liberals has intellectually and spiritually exhausted itself—that a “Jewishness that has locked itself in a fantasized vision of the recent American past is deferring its panic about the inability to imagine where we’re headed.” Looking beyond the election, if we’re headed anywhere other than the abyss, it will be because we demanded an approach to politics at the highest levels of power that reflects the stubbornness, tenacity, and creativity of the most radical organizers.

Best,
David Klion

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