Quantcast

Monday, October 31, 2011

HORNY LITTLE SILLY FOOL

     Having successfully brought to the mass consciousness over the past several days that the CEOs of the largest corporations on this here god-fearing planet are the actual power-wielders here about and that it would be plain silly to assume that anyone running for President has a chance in hell if he or she isn't owned lock, stock and barrel by the big momma-daddy corporations, it seems only sporting to likewise eviscerate from the very same public mind the stench that is the anti-intellectual vermin henceforth known far and wide(stance) as Herman Cain. 
    Here, then is today's story about said candidate. Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain admitted Monday to being accused of sexual harassment while at the helm of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, but denied ever engaging in such activity. Cain disputed details of a story that said the association had reached settlements with two women who lodged sexual harassment claims against him as part of a "witch hunt" associated with his recent surge in the polls."I have never sexually harassed anyone, and yes, I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association," Cain said in an interview on Fox News, his first comments on the Politico story from Sunday. "I say falsely because it turned out, after the investigation, to be baseless." Cain sought to forcefully dispute the story, which said Cain had been accused of sexually suggestive behavior toward at least two female employees during his time as head of the restaurant lobby. The report said the women signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them five-figure financial payouts to leave the association and barred them from discussing their departures. Neither woman was identified.
    Wow. Let's take a look at this. "I say falsely because it turned out, after the investigation, to be baseless." That is a fascinating way to deny the veracity of an accusation. If, as Cain implies, the accusations were indeed false, they did not turn out to be false after the investigation. They were false to begin with and the investigation--whatever that was--cleared his otherwise good name. The way Cain puts it, the statement suggests that Cain did do something that might have been considered inappropriate, but after the NRA checked it out, the parties involved agreed not to dispute the defendant's claim that the charges were false. 
    The report said the women signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them five-figure financial payouts to leave the association and barred them from discussing their departures. This too is fascinating. A nondisclosure agreement is not all that uncommon, but it tends to only occur when the accused wishes to initiate a quid pro quo, such as "Hi there. I agree to give you this money to go away and you in turn agree to go away." If there is nothing to the charge, the accused may still settle, just to avoid averse publicity, yes. But wouldn't it be more likely, given the qualified phraseology of Mr. Cain, to fairly conclude that the charges were not without foundation and indeed the horny little rascal did in fact say or do things he oughtn't to have?
    Well, of course. 
"Why would I harass somebody when I can pay for it on the street?"
    Here is a link to the original Politico story: Click here, baby. It'll feel fine.
    This is not the first gaffe in the Cain campaign, nor is it likely to be the last. Just yesterday Cain accused Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger of racial genocide for having her clinics in minority neighborhoods. This is just the type of anti-intellectual nonsense the Cain people know their supporters among the Angry God in the Sky Crowd favor. 
"If that's Herman, tell him he can eat me during the commercial."
    There is also the amusing matter of Cain quoting Donna Summer during a GOP debate when he said, "Life can be a challenge, life can seem impossible, but it's never easy when there's so much on the line." He called Summer a poet but refused to explain why he might have more appropriately quoted from an earlier work of hers, wherein she moaned, "Uhnnnnnnnnmmmmm, love to love you bay hey bay." 
.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

NUMBER NINE

    The ninth largest corporation on this here green-blue planet is Japan Post Holdings, headed by Jiro Saito. Post Holdings is the post office, a privatized conglomerate which, two years ago, didn't even make the lowest reaches of the Fortune 500. Saith the company, "Giving stress on security and confidence that Japan Post, as a public organization, has fostered, the Group, as a private corporation, will demonstrate creativity and efficiency to the greatest extend possible, meet customers’ expectations, raise customer satisfaction, and grow together with customers."
    The Group will also pursue managerial transparency on its own, observe rules, and contribute to the development of society and region.
    Yada yo, yo yada
    Dedicating themselves to providing the public with the best possible services is the kind of nonsensical mission statement one might expect the foundation builders of TQM to disdain, but that's what they say. Words like best, possible and services are the prime examples of words one never wants to use if they intended seriously, because of the impossibility of defining them, so the mission statement might as well read "We blah and bley and occasionally say hee hee ho and holly wally hey!" If we at Philropost ever do develop a mission statement, that might very well be it.
    In the meantime, Post Holdings de la Japan has several advantages over the U.S. version of same. First, Japan is a smaller country with more predictable weather, negating the need to do various things in sleet and the dark of night. Second, Japan post is not required to put billions of dollars into holding accounts for future retirees, some of whom have yet to be hired, a condition that has driven the United States Postal Service into the red. Third, the Japanese version was originally supposed to be privatized into four competing/cooperating institutions and instead is a monopoly, so it can hardly fail to dictate to the people there just how foolish their expectations are. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

YOU SAY TOYOTA, I SAY TOYODA

       . . . Let's crap on Herman Cain. No, wait, that'll be next week. For now, we continue with our light touch in depth pseudo analysis of major war criminals and lucre-licking ratso fatso boys and girls, such as Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota Motors. Like the other honchos and the corporate nations they control, Toyoda has a global vision for his domain, one that has its roots in the financial disasters of the past few years. "All 300,000 of us at Toyota worldwide," declared Toyoda, "will take part in laying a foundation for sustainable growth. Working side by side, we will strive to earn smiles by exceeding customers' highest expectations. Together, we will write a new chapter of Toyota history."
    Note the ecologically friendly metaphors at work here. 
Roots: Shared values
The roots of the tree are shared values. Those are the same basic values that people at Toyota have expressed over the years as the Toyoda Precepts, as the Toyota Guiding Principles, and as The Toyota Way. They are the spirit of conscientious manufacturing.

Fruit: Making great cars and contributing to host communities
The fruit yielded by the tree symbolize Toyota's progress in creating ever-better vehicles and contributing to economic and social vitality in Toyota's host communities. That progress will earn a welcome place for Toyota in communities around the world.

Trunk: Solid business
Business vitality is the trunk that supports Toyota's activities toward creating products that will win customer smiles. In Toyota's tree metaphor, solid business is the trunk of the tree. Through that trunk flows the nutrition for supple limbs, branches and leaves and for bounteous fruit.

    Toyota's vision thus evokes a virtuous circle. The company will contribute to its host communities by making excellent automobiles. Earning a welcome place for Toyota in its host communities will support sound returns. And Toyota will reinvest those returns in creating ever-better vehicles for customers and will achieve sustainable growth.
   The point is, I suspect (and it's my point, so I should know), that however "progressive" Toyota Motor is inclined to be, ultimately their world view is to view the world as a marketplace, a fact which does not distinguish them. What does set them apart is their ability to interpret this view as benevolent rather than unabashedly mercantile, which makes them either the heroes of the universe or the most dangerous team alive. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

VOSER, VOSER, TOIL AND TOASTER

    Oh, what bloody bastard filthy lucre licking sidewinder shall we eviscerate this fine kettle of a day? Oh, yes! It is the turn of Peter R. Voser, head honcho at Royal Dutch Shell. 
    This Swiss-born CEO heads a company whose second quarter 2011 profits were, according to the company's own website, $8 billion, as compared to $4.5 billion during the same quarter last year. Voser explains the upswing thus: “Our second quarter 2011 earnings were higher than year-ago levels, driven by increased energy prices and Shell’s operating performance. Shell reinvests its profits to meet customer demand for low cost energy, and to pay attractive returns to shareholders." 
    Third quarter earnings for 2011 were $6.98 billion, twice what they were during the same period in 2010. 
    He is saying that higher prices for gasoline was a response to consumer demands for lower prices, lower prices being what we provided with the exception that everyone actually paid more, even though our refining costs and distribution costs--and God forbid tax rates--were all quite favorable.
    Fortune magazine ranks Royal Dutch Shell as the second largest company in the world, even though it is headquartered in the Netherlands, which as you may or may not know is located in neither China nor the United States, previously a violation of capitalist ranking equations. The company looks forward and below with great expectations for their forthcoming floating liquefied natural gas plant, mostly because Voser admits he has never seen a truly lethal giant bubble rise up out of the ocean and as CEO he chooses to exercise that God-given privilege. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

LOOKING OUT AT THE ONE PERCENT

    Yesterday we found out who the money men and women are, the ones who dictate the goings on at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Big Four U.S. banks. Today we will take a look at the corporations who use these money folks to collateralize, launder, collude, monopolize, disrupt and destroy world economies, all in the name of free expression. 
   The CE of Wal-Mart is a fellow named Michael T. Duke. He makes a little better than $16,000 an hour, assuming he puts in a forty-hour week. What's kind of funny to Duke is that he makes more in an hour than his employees do in a year. He also works a forty-hour week, which is five hours more than most of his employees are allowed to claim they work. The trick to making such huge money, obviously, is in getting a full-time job. 
    A study in 2009 by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a Washington D.C. research group, found that CEOs in the USA's S&P 500 companies make, on average, 319 times more than the average American worker. that is, as we used to say in the minimum wage industry, a shit load of loot. But why would that be? The IPS says the main reason that the pay gap in the US has grown so wide so fast is that the top bracket tax rates have declined, allowing rich bastards to make as much as they want without worrying about governments and their people getting a fair share. For instance, the top tax rate in 1960 was 91 percent. Today it is 35 percent. As my old high school gym teacher used to say when  the cheerleaders walked by, "Fuck that!"
   The key to Wal-Mart's profitability in the USA is not so much loss leaders and faulty furniture for the DIY crowd. No, the big mark-up item is guns. And Wal-Mart sells a bunch. In fact, the store sells more guns than any other company on the planet. This may come as a surprise, but some guns have been used by some people to shoot and kill certain other people, often in the midst of frenzy. 
    But hell's bells and cockle shells, anyone can moan about Wal-Mart. It's the national past-time and a darned good one. But what about Total? No, I don't mean the cereal. I mean the oil company that you've never heard of, the one that has been around since 1927, the fourth largest oil company in the world, the one headed by Christophe de Margerie of France? Here's what the WSJ says about him: "Christophe de Margerie joined the Group after graduating from the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris in 1974. He served in several positions in the Group's Financial Department and Exploration-Production division. He became president of TOTAL Moyen-Orient in 1995 before joining the Group's executive committee as the President of the exploration and production division in May 1999. He then became Senior Executive Vice-President of exploration and production of the new TotalFinaElf group in 2000. In January 2002 he became President of the Exploration & Production division of TOTAL. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee since 1999. He was appointed a member of the Board of Directors by the shareholders' meeting held on May 12, 2006 and became Chief Executive Officer of TOTAL as from February 14, 2007." He also looks good in Keds. 
    When Newsweek magazine interviewed the CEO a few years back, the subject of Iraqi oil came up. After all, that was where the company first stole oil. Newsweek parried: "Some Americans might be surprised about French ambitions for Iraq."
    de Marherie retorted, "You think Americans were surprised—or embarrassed? Because to be interested in the development of reserves in Iraq, I mean, they cannot be surprised. We've always been there. And I'm taking a risk in saying this, if we cannot be back in Iraq, where we were born, it means that we have a problem."
de Margerie, looking for Quaker Oats
    Don't worry. If Wal-Mart doesn't shoot us dead and Total does spill oil all over us, we will return tomorrow with more profiles in sabotage.

Monday, October 24, 2011

ADDITIVES

    Dude, what's in this cigarette? 
    Oh, nothing much. I mean, there's tobacco, of course.
    Right, right. Anything else, though? Cause I feel kind of strange, man.
    Well, yes. There are a few other things. There's Acacia gum, Acetal, Acetanisole, Acetic acid and/or its potassium and sodium salts, Acetoin, Acetone, Acetophenone, 6 Acetoxydihydrotheaspirane, Acetyl methyl cellulose, 2 Acetyl pyrazine, 2 Acetyl pyridine, 3 Acetyl pyridine, Alga resinoid, Allspice extract, oleoresin and oil, Allspice leaf oil, Allura Red, Allyl hexanoate, Almond oil, Aluminium acetate, Aluminium carbonate, Aluminium citrate, Aluminium lactate, Aluminium oxide, Aluminium phosphate, Aluminium tartrate, Aluminium trihydroxide, Aluminosilicates, Amber oil, Ambergris extract, Ambrette seed oil and absolute, Ambrox, Ammonium acetate, Ammonium carbonate, Ammonium chloride, Ammonium citrate, Ammonium dihydrogen phosphate, Ammonium hydroxide, Ammonium lactate, Ammonium sulphate, Ammonium tartrate, +Amyl acetate, Amyl alcohol, +Amyl benzoate, +Amyl butyrate, alpha Amyl cinnamaldehyde, +Amyl formate, +Amyl hexanoate, +Amyl isovalerate, +Amyl octanoate, +Amyl phenylacetate, +Amyl salicylate, +Amyl valerate, trans Anethole, Angelica root extract and oil, Anise and oil, Anisole, para Anisyl acetate, para Anisyl alcohol, Arachis oil, Ascorbic acid, Azorubin, Balsam oil, Bay leaf, oil and sweet oil, Beech tar extract, Bentonite, Benzaldehyde, Benzoic acid and/or its potassium and sodium salts, Benzoin, Benzoin resinoid, Benzyl acetate, Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl butyrate, Benzyl cinnamate, Benzyl formate, Benzyl isobutyrate, Benzyl phenylacetate, Benzyl propionate, Bergamot oil, Boric acid and/or its potassium or sodium salts, Bornyl acetate, Brilliant Black BN, Brilliant Blue FCF, Butyl acetate, Butyl butyrate, 1,3, Butylene glycol, Butyl phenyl acetate, para tert Butyl pyridine, Butyric acid, Cadinene single or mixed isomers, Cajeput oil, Calcium acetate, Calcium carbonate, Calcium chloride, Calcium citrate, Calcium hydroxide, Calcium lactate, Calcium phosphate1 (mono, di or tri ), Calcium tartrate, Camphene, d Camphor, Camphor oil2 (safrole free), Caramel1 obtained wholly by heating a sugar solution with or without a small amount of acid, alkali or alkali carbonate, Caraway oil, Carbon dioxide, Carboxy methyl cellulose and its sodium salt, Cardamon oleoresin, extract, oil, seed oil and powder, Carob bean extract, Carrot seed oil, Carvacrol, 4 Carvomenthenol, Carvone, beta Caryophyllene, Caryophyllene alcohol, Caryophyllene oxide, Cascarilla oil, bark oil and extract, Cassia buds, bark oil and extract, Cassia extract, Castor oil, Castoreum extract and absolute, Cedar leaf oil, Cedarwood oil, Cedrol, Citric acid and its tripotassium and tri sodium saltsCedryl acetate, Celery seed extract, solid, oil and oleoresin, Cellulose acetate1 (45 70% hydroxyl groups acetylated), Cellulose acetate propionate, Cellulose alpha alkanoylalkanoates, Cellulose fibre, Chamomile flower oil and absolute, Chlorophyll, Cinnamaldehyde, Cinnamic acid, Cinnamon leaf, oil, bark oil and extract, Cinnamyl acetate, Cinnamyl alcohol, Cinnamyl butyrate, Cinnamyl cinnamate, Cinnamyl isobutyrate, Cinnamyl isovalerate, Citral, , Citronella oil, Citronellal, dl Citronellol, Citronellyl acetate, Citronellyl butyrate, Citronellyl formate, Citronellyl isobutyrate, Citronellyl phenylacetate, Citronellyl propionate, Civet absolute, Clary sage oil and absolute, Clove stem oil, leaf oil, bud oil and extract, Cocoa, cocoa shells and extract, cocoa distillate and butter, Coffee extract, concentrate and powder, Cognac oil, white and green, Coriander extract and oil, Cubeb oil, Cumin, cumin seed oil and absolute, Cuminaldehyde, Cyclamen aldehyde, para Cymene, Cypress oil, beta Damascenone, beta Damascone, Davana oil, delta Decalactone, gamma Decalactone, Decanal, Decanoic acid, Dextrin, Diacetyl, Diammonium hydrogen phosphate, Diatomaceous earth, Dibenzyl ether, alpha 2,3 Diethylpyrazine, 2,3 Diethyl 5-methyl pyrazine, Diethyl sebacate, Dihydroactinidiolide, Dihydrocarvyl acetate, 3,4 Dihydrocoumarin, Dill seed oil and extract, para Dimethoxybenzene, alpha alpha Dimethylphenethyl acetate, alpha alpha Dimethylphenethyl butyrate, 2,6 Dimethoxyphenol, 3,4 Dimethyl 1,2 cyclopentadione, para alpha Dimethyl benzyl alcohol, 2,5 Dimethyldihydrofuranolone, 3,4 Dimethyl phenol, 1,1 Dimethyl 2-phenylethyl isobutyrate, 2,5 Dimethyl pyrazine, 2,6 Dimethyl pyrazine, 3,5 Dimethyl pyridine, para alpha Dimethyl styrene, Diphenyl ether, Dipotassium succinate, delta Dodecalactone, gamma Dodecalactone, beta Elemene, beta Elemol, Erythrosine, Estragole, Ethanol, Ethyl acetate, Ethyl acrylate, Ethyl benzoate, Ethyl butyrate, Ethyl cellulose, Ethyl cinnamate, Ethyl decanoate, 2 Ethyl 3,5 dimethyl pyrazine, 3 Ethyl 2,5 dimethyl pyrazine, Ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer, Ethyl formate, 4 Ethyl guaiacol, Ethyl heptanoate, Ethyl hexanoate, Ethyl hydroxy ethyl cellulose, 3 Ethyl 2 hydroxy 2 cyclopentene 1 one, Ethyl isovalerate, Ethyl lactate, Ethyl laurate, Ethyl maltol, Ethyl 2 methyl butyrate, 3 Ethyl 2 methylpyrazine, Ethyl myristate, Ethyl nonanoate, Ethyl octanoate, Ethyl palmitate, para Ethyl phenol, Ethyl phenyl acetate, Ethyl propionate, 3 Ethyl pyridine, Ethyl salicylate, Ethyl 10 undecenoate, Ethyl valerate, Ethyl vanillin, Eucalyptol, Eucalyptus oil and absolute, Eugenol, Eugenyl methyl ether, Farnesol, Fennel and sweet oil, Fenugreek extract, resin and absolute, Formic acid, d Fructose, Fruits, fresh, dried extracts and esters thereof apple, apricot, banana, blackberry, blackcurrant, cherry, date, fig, grape, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, prune, raisin, raspberry, strawberry, 2 Furan methane thiolformate, Furfural alcohol, Furfuryl methyl sulphide, Gentian root extract, Geraniol, Geranium rose oil, Geranyl acetate, Geranyl acetone, Geranyl butyrate, Geranyl formate, Geranyl isobutyrate, Geranyl phenyl acetate, Geranyl propionate, Ginger oil, d Glucose, Glycerol, Glycerol 1,2 diacetate, Glyceryl triacetate, Glyoxal1 (Tobacco sheet or paper no free residue), Guaiac gum extract, Guaiac wood oil, Guaiacol, Guaiol acetate, Guar gum, Gum tragacanth, 2,4 Heptadienal, gamma Heptalactone, Heptanoic acid, 2 Heptanone, 4 Heptenal, omega 6 Hexadecenlactone, gamma Hexalactone, 3,4 Hexanedione, Hexanoic acid, cis 3 Hexen 1 ol, Hexen 2 al, Hex 2 enyl acetate, 3 Hexenyl acetate, Hexyl acetate, Hexyl alcohol, Hexyl phenyl acetate, Honey, Humic acid, Hydrochloric acid1 (for tobacco sheet or paper no free residues), 4 Hydroxy benzoic acid and/or its ethyl, propyl esters and their sodium salts, 4 Hydroxybutanoic acid lactone, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxycitronellol, 2 Hydroxyisophorone, 4(p Hydroxyphenol) 2 butanone, Hydroxypropyl cellulose, Immortelle oil and absolute, Indigotine, Indole, alpha Ionone, beta Ionone, Iron oxides, alpha Irone, Isoamyl alcohol, Isobornyl acetate, Isobutyl acetate, Isobutyl alcohol, Isobutyl butyrate, Isobutyl cinnamate, 


Isobutyl phenethyl alcohol, Isobutylphenyl acetate, Isobutyraldehyde, Isoeugenol, Isoeugenyl methyl ether, Isopentane, Isophorone, 4 Keto dihydroisophorone, 4 Keto isophorone, Isopropyl alcohol, Isopropyl myristate, Isopulegol, Isovaleric acid, Jasmine absolute concrete and oil, Juniper berry oil, Labdanum absolute, oleoresin and oil, Lactic acid and/or its potassium and sodium salts, Lauric acid, Lavender absolute or oil, Lecithin, Lemon oil and extract, Lemongrass oil, Licorice root, fluid, extract and powder, Lime oil2 (terpeneless), d Limonene, Linaloe wood oil, Linalool, Linalool oxide, Linalyl acetate, Linalyl butyrate, Linalyl formate, Methyl 2 octynoate, Methyl 2 pyrrolyl ketone, 2 Methyl 4 phenyl butyraldehyde, Mimosa absolute, Mint oil, garden 2 Methoxy 4 methylphenol, 2 Methoxy 4 vinylphenol, 1 (para Methoxyphenyl) 2 propanone, Methyl acetate, 4 Methyl acetophenone, Methyl anisate, para Methyl anisole, Methyl benzoate, alpha Methyl benzyl acetate, alpha Methyl benzyl alcohol, 2 Methyl butyraldehyde, 3 Methyl butyraldehyde, 2 Methyl butyric acid, Methyl cellulose, Methyl cinnamate, Methyl cyclopentenolone, Methyl ethyl ketone, 5 Methyl furfural, 6 Methyl 3,5 heptadienone, 6 Methyl hept 5 en 2 one, 2 Methyl heptanoic acid, 2 Methyl hexanoic acid, Methyl hydroxy ethyl cellulose, Methyl hydroxy propyl cellulose, Methyl isovalerate, Methyl linoleate, Methyl linolenate, Methyl mercaptan, 2 Methyl 5 (methylthio)furan, Methyl beta naphthylketone, 3 Methyl pentanoic acid, Methyl phenyl acetate, 2 Methyl pyrazine, 5 Methyl quinoxaline, Methyl salicylate, Methyl sulphide, 2 Methyl undecanal, 3 Methyl-1 cyclopentadecanone, 3 Methyl 2(2 pentenyl) 2- cyclopenten 1 one, mint oil, wild mint oil2 (partly dementholised), Molasses extract and tincture, Mullein flowers, Musk ketone, Musk pod extract, acetate, Phenethyl alcohol, Phenethyl isobutyrate, Phenethyl isovalerate, Phenethyl phenylacetate, Phenethyl valerate, Phenyl acetaldehyde, Phenyl acetic acid, 4 Phenyl 3 buten 2 one, 3 Phenyl propionaldehyde, 3 Phenyl propionic acid, 3 Phenyl 1 propanol, ortho Phosphoric acid, Pine needle oil, dwarf, Pigment Red 18, Pigment Yellow 1, alpha Pinene, Piperonal, Pipsissewa leaf extract, Polyvinyl acetate homo-polymer, Polyvinyl acetate/vinyl alcohol copolymer, Polyvinyl alcohol, Ponceau 4R, Potassium carbonate, Potassium or sodium chloride, Potassium hydroxide paper1 (no free residue), Potassium hydroxide sheet1 (no free residue), Potassium phosphate, Propane, Propenyl guaethol, Propionic acid and/or its sodium salts, n Propyl acetate, n Propyl alcohol, Propyl butyrate, Propyl phenyl acetate, Propylene glycol, Pyroligneous acid extract, Pyruvic acid, Quebracho bark extract, Reaction products1Known and specified mixture of amino acids and reducing sugars heated under pressure, Rhodinol, Rhodinyl acetate, Rose water, Rose oil and absolute, Rosemary oil and absolute, Rum ether, Saccharin and/or its sodium salt, Saffron, Sage, sage oil and oleoresin, Salicylaldehyde, Sandalwood oil, yellow, Shellac, Silicic acid, Sodium alginate, Sodium bicarbonate, Sodium bisulphate, Sodium carbonate, Sodium hydroxide paper1 (no free residue), Sodium hydroxide sheet1 (no free residue), Sodium phosphate, Sorbic acid and/or its potassium or sodium salts, Sorbitol, Spearmint oil, Spike lavender oil, Spiranol, Spirits, distilled, Star anise oil, Starch, Starch, modified including cationic, Styrax gum and extract, and oil, Sucrose and sucrose syrup, Sunset Yellow FCF, Tamarind extract, Tannic acid, Tarragon oil, Tartaric acid and its potassium and sodium salts, Tartrazine Yellow, Tea, absolute and resinoid, Terpineol2 (alpha , beta and gamma), Terpinyl acetate, 4,5,6,7 Tetrahydro 3,6 dimethyl benzofuran, Tetrahydro 4 methyl 2- (2 methylpropen 1 yl) pyran, 2,3,5,6 Tetramethyl pyrazine, Thiabendazole, Thyme oil, white and red, Thymol, Titanium dioxide, Tobacco extracts, Tolu balsam gum and extract, Tolualdehydes2 (ortho ,meta and para ), para Tolyl 3 methylbutyrate, Tolyl phenylacetate, Trichlorofluoromethane, Triethyl citrate, Triethylene glycol, 2,2,6 Trimethyl cyclohexanone, 2,3,5 Trimethyl pyrazine, Tuberose absolute and oil, Turpentine oil, gamma Undecalactone, Undecanal, Urea, Valerian root powder, extract and oil, Valeric acid, gamma Valerolactone, Vanilla beans or pods, or extract and oleoresin, Vanillin, Veratraldehyde, Vetiver oil, Violet oil and absolute, Violet leaf absolute, Wheat extract and absolute, Wine and wine sherry, Ylang Ylang oil and absolute. 
    Dude, that sounds like a lot.
    Oh, it is. Life is cheap, my man, but cigarettes are expensive.
    I guess there's nothing else in them, then, right?


    Wrong, ashtray breath. There is also nicotine, which is the main addictive ingredient in tobacco. It's absorbed into the blood and gives a hit to the brain in about 10 seconds. Nicotine makes chemicals in the brain called dopamine. It's the regular hits of nicotine that the brain comes to expect and when people quit it causes withdrawl symptoms. Nicotine is a stimulant that increases the heart rate and blood pressure. This is partly a sign that the body is trying to absorb more oxygen. Then there's Acetone.
    You just call me an asshole?
    No way. That’s the stuff used as a solvent to remove nail varnish. Ammonia speeds up the delivery of the nicotine.It freebases the nicotine in the same way as a crack user takes cocaine. 
    But what about tar, man?
    Tar is deposited into the lungs every time a person inhales. Smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day deposits 1 to 1.5 pounds into the lungs every year. Benzene is used as a solvent in fuel and dyes. It's known to cause cancer. there is also Cadium, is known to cause kidney damage. It increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Carbon monoxide is the same chemical pushed out by cars. It prevents the blood carrying oxygen around the body. A heavy smoker’s ability to carry oxygen around the body is reduced by up to 15%. Hydrogen Cyanide is yet another gas that reduces the body’s ability to carry oxygen around the body. Pyridine is a central nervous system depressant that boosts the effect of smoking. You need a light?

RATTLING WINDOWS

    Six months ago, Philropost reported on the top ten biggest bastards in the world based on their economic thievery. This week we take a look at the corporations listed by Fortune as the Top Companies in the World. You may be surprised to learn who some of them are. For anyone who still believes that televised politicians actually make decisions that affect the lives of people on this planet, we can dispel that red herring immediately. Forget Obama, Romney, Perry and the others. Focus instead on the real power wielders, the people who own the politicians. Hey, this'll be fun!
    Before delving into the top twenty-five multinationals, it would behoove us to backtrack just a bit and familiarize ourselves with the chief financial players, the men and one woman who manage world finances and hence have something of a check and balance role both with and against the top twenty-five.
Sexy--and she knows it: Christine Lagarde
    First there is Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund. A former Chicago lawyer specializing in anti-trust/pro-oligopoly corporatism leverages, this French femme made headlines when she ruled in favor of a scoundrel involved in Full Tilt Poker machines. 
   The other day we erroneously reported that Ken Lewis was the head of Bank of America. That was just silly. He was fired two years ago. I can't believe we got that wrong. The real CEO of BofA is Brian Moynihan. At the age of 51, he received in 2010 almost two million dollars in reported compensation. He is connected to 56 board members in 12 different organizations across 11 different industries, a network second only to that of the Costra Nostra. 
The man who needs no introduction
   Bob Zoellich heads the World Bank and has stated that--quoth he--"It is the vision of the World Bank Group to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable globalization - to overcome poverty, enhance growth with care for the environment, and create individual opportunity and hope." Behind this Utopian vision of globalization lies the promise of blackmailing emerging and middle income nations into abject subservience amid assurances that they will continue to buy their weapons of war from the short list of providers. 
Vikram and proud of it
   Vikram Pandit, head of Citigroup, received ony one dollar compensation for two consecutive years at his own request. This year he received a retention award of twenty-three million dollars.
Shiver me timbers
   The third of the top four banks is JP Morgan Chase, a conglomerate bossed around by one Jamie Dimon, a guy who some have suggested should alter his name a bit so that people could refer to him as Dimon Jim, just for laughs, but this has never caught on.
    These are the people who collectively and individually manipulate the world money supply. Without them there could be no financing for drug cartels, there could be no under water mortgages, there could be no fascist regimes on the rise in Africa, and big time weapons dealers would have to limit their trade to school yards. Thanks to a consciousness raising event called Occupy, a circle is forming around these bastards. The circle is growing tighter and closer. Their air supply is shrinking. They no longer sleep quite as sound. The rattling of the Wall Street windows keeps them on the edge of nightmare. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SEX AS AN ADVERTISING EXEC

Before
    I saw Michael Moore on some news show last week talking about many different things and he pointed out that while many newspapers in the United States are indeed going under, many papers overseas are doing just fine. The difference, he pointed out, is not accessibility to electronic media. The difference is that U.S. newspapers sometimes just aren't any good. 
    That, of course, is where advertising come in.
After
    If your product is garbage that no reasonable person would ever want, the appeal will come at the consumer on an unreasonable level. The most unreasonable approach is sexual. 
    You can put some old, graying sage individual in front of a stock investment corporation, but if you want people to be enticed to buy your drain sewage sandwich, suggest an attractive woman contemplating a blow job and people will beat a path to your door. The new motto of meat. 
    Even though men also let themselves get exploited for their appearance and presumed appeal, it is the perennially enticing curve of female lips, breasts and hips that consistently draws in the advertising dollars.
    One of the things that feminism has taught us is that we as a human species do not have to reduce every psychological impulse to prurient pandering. Sex is great, sex is fun, sex is essential. Making the mental association between the fin on an automobile and the thigh of a nubile chanteuse not only cheapens the bought-and-paid-for brand ambassadorship of the female in question, it also de-emphasizes  and even mocks the presumed value of the car. 
   The human body is not a commodity. There, I said it and I'm glad. 
    There is nothing new about any of this, except possibly in the over-saturation of the sexuality. Hop back thirty-five years and you will see the grandparents of these boys and girls in their own ads. Men with sweat and facial hair were groomed to appeal to the notion of the vital male. 
    Well, so what, right? Freedom of speech and blah blah blah. Well, to coin a phrase, fuck that
    Well, so what? We all know that advertising is nonsense. Wrong again, Cartwheel
    Well, so what? These ads don't affect me and my perceptions. Delusional is as delusional does
    The presence of women in greater numbers in music, movies, and politics is not necessarily a step forward, especially if those greater numbers exist only because of the exploitation opportunities. Do you really think that sandwich has any flavor at all? Is Christine O'Donnell the new face of feminist progress? Is the Marlboro Man able to avoid emphysema? 
    If you want your product or service to sell, promote it on its merits. To do that, your product or service will need to have merits, which it probably does not. If you want your newsroom to keep the lights on, try hiring intelligent writers, talented photographers, and industrious reporters, fire everyone in your marketing department, and charge a fair price. Putting a stripper on the cover of the New York Times is not advancement. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

BANK OF AMERICA, HYPOTHETICALLY

    One of the ways the bad guys have of getting their evil ways is to simply utter some idiotic remark with a straight face and assure everyone that it is true. When Bush said major combat missions in Iraq were over, he knew it was a lie, I knew it was a lie, you knew it, and even his closest supporters and bobble-headed mouth-breathers knew it. 
    But there is value in believing one thing with the part of your brain that acts and knowing better with the part of your brain that rationalizes. The only hope the people of America have of getting an improvement in the employment rate and an increase in their own personal incomes is something that probably won't really work, but if everyone behaves as if it will work, then it just might. 
    Here's the plan: Make a short list of the three multinational corporations that you personally hate the most. For instance, let's say they are Bank of America, Wal-Mart, and United Airlines. Just those three. Or pick your own. It doesn't matter. Okay, now go to your computer and find out what companies those companies own. You can draw a little line from each of the big three and show the subsidiaries or lesser companies they control. You should also make a note of what city they call home. For example, in the case of the Bank of America, they call Charlotte, North Carolina home.
    Now that we know this, it is time to legally screw with them big time. First, take all your money out of the bank and make sure they know you are doing this because you hate their miserable fucking guts. You can send a letter directly to the boss, Ken Lewis, at Bank of America Corporate Center, Uptown Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA. The big difference between a letter and a phone call is that phone calls go away once somebody hangs up. A letter, however, has a way of making its way up the food line until someone who would rather be golfing finds it in his in-box and has to deal with in. 
       But you're just getting started. The next thing to do is to send another letter, this one to the Chamber of Commerce in the city where the company has its headquarters. In the case of BoA, that is Charlotte. You simply dash off a friendly missive--in this case to Michael Tarwater, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, 330 S. Tyron St., Charlotte, NC, 28202. Your letter can say something to the effect that you will never under any circumstances EVER spend one penny in that city as long as those rotten eggs at Bank of America continue to rip off the public. A phone call to 704 378 1300 would also be a nice touch. Remember, it's very important that you not have any money in the Bank of America before calling the Chamber of Commerce. Just saying. 
    And it doesn't really matter that you never had any intention of going to Charlotte in the first place. The guy at the Chamber doesn't know that and you are under no obligation to tell him. 
    Next step, in this hypothetical instance of Bank of America, is to call someone at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. There was a problem a few years ago about the Bank of America tower being too tall for planes to take off and land safely. Naturally, a couple of scumbags in the federal government completely beholden to BoA (Representative McMillan and Senator Hollings, if you must know) strong-armed the FAA into reversing itself and the tower was saved. So, as I say, call the airport, or call US Airways, which uses that particular airport as a hub, and tell them that you are very worried about flying in and out of that city on that particular airline because of that darned old Bank of America tower being in the way. You explain that you know there's no way the airport or airline can tear down the tower, so you'll simply have to travel to a different city for your vacation and, unfortunately, you have to take a different airline, all because of that remarkably ugly and dangerous BoA tower. Ideally you could speak with someone in the local TSA there. If you did, you would call them at 704 916 3310. 
    None of these things--or the hundreds of others you could think up for yourself--are going to put the bastards out of business. However, a concerted and organized effort at legal harassment is a very effective means of making the point that you do not like the institution in question and that you and your group are going to do everything within your power to withhold your spending from those who harbor the terrorists--I mean, the banking executives. People who blow up buildings are despicable idiots who shouldn't even be fed. On the other hand, the smart provocateur knows that legal harassment is the most effective means of gaining public sympathy for your cause and also hurts the bastards on the balance sheet.  
    Hypothetically, then, you could use your Occupy mentality by connecting with like-minded friends. Ask all your buddies what multinational they most despise. Chances are it will be a bank or investment company. Then suggest that if, say, one hundred people each wrote one of the letters referenced above (not a form letter or a copied letter, but an original) and if that letter was very professional in tone and was not hysterical or threatening, it would cost Bank of America many thousands of dollars to "risk management the problem into a controllable condition." 
    Ah, but I can just hear some chickenshit lazy-ass mofo out there saying to himself, "This will only hurt the people at the lowest end of the corporate spectrum, like the people who work in my local branch." 
    To this, I can only reply, "Boy, are you deluded."
    Of course it will hurt the little guy! The little guy will get quite upset and, if he or she is smart, will change react and join you and your group in its legal harassment of the large institution. Besides, however much the little guy gets hurt, it pales in comparison to how much the nazis at the top are going to suffer.  
    Here's a little economics lesson for you that may clarify matters a bit. We'll stick with the banking industrty for the purposes of this example. There are only four big banks in the USA anymore. They are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. Bank of america is the third largest company in the world. Nothing has any natural right to be as big as Bank of America. Now, what BoA likes to do is pay you nothing or less than nothing for keeping your money for you. They flash that fucking FDIC sticker in your face and tell you that you are investing in your community. You are investing in the branch manager's cocaine habit and the hookers who hang out in the lobby of corporate headquarters much more than you are the community. Okay, wait, they're not really hookers. They are actually real estate agents who simply look like hookers. My mistake. 
    Those four banks like to create economic crises so that smaller companies become vulnerable and can therefore be purchased at ridiculously low prices by the banks themselves. Sometimes, however, the financial crisis the banks cause become so ravenous that the crisis threatens to weaken or even destroy the bank itself. It's like if you have a pit bull and you feed it and beat it and make it really mean as a way of scaring away intruders, you may awake one day to find that same pit bull sitting on your chest demanding to know where you hid the kibble. Yeah, it's exactly like that. 
    My point is that the very condition of genetic avarice that propels the large banks into being the evil bastards that they are is the very same Achilles heel, if you will, that makes them embarrassingly vulnerable. Remember, banks do not manufacture any product and they only provide services to their largest corporate clients and to themselves. They do screw you ten times every day, they laugh while they do it, they refuse to lubricate, although they salivate like the squinty-eyed porkers that they are. Your outrage is justified. Just make sure you do not give them the upper hand by doing anything illegal or by making stupid threats, or even by lying. when you say that you will never spend money in Charlotte, for instance, that is not a lie, even if you never planned to set foot in that city. Telling the Chamber of Commerce that you are having breakfast with the mayor and that the two of you will discuss this matter is probably a lie and can certainly be verified. 
    Get busy. Just don't be an idiot.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NEW RELIGIOUS BOWEL MOVEMENTS

    I try to be careful about ridiculing other people's religions. I have to try to be careful because so many people make ridicule temptingly easy. I suspect that all religion contains elements that are dangerous, in the sense that anything which can be used as a psychological justification for harming other people is something I would consider dangerous. 
    Some religions--mostly the ancient ones--are meticulous about making the distinctions between mortal and immortal. In those world views, the immortals have abilities that mortals do not. God is immortal, the angels presumably so. Allah is immortal. Zeus was likewise no one to mess with. The gods cannot be killed. They live forever. It's a sweet set up. Whereas mortals have to worry about everything, at least in these ancient religions. 
    Some of the newer religions posit man as being able to improve himself while on the terrestrial plain. Christianity is a newer religion. Newer still is Aleph, which used to be called Aum Shinikyo, a spiritually-based religion you may recall from the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. From the Hindu we get something called Adhyatmik Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, or the Advance Party, a Millenarianist group of happy people. Islam has the Five-Percent Nation, a team that perceives its membership as God. Going a bit farther out, we have the Polytheistic Reconstructionists, the Silva Method, and the Nation of Yahweh. One of these days we will have to take a look at these new religious movements. They seem pretty interesting.
     Without going into all the specifics, they all share one thing, although that thing widens the disagreements among them. All of them share a belief that they are right and other people are wrong. If that sounds dangerous, well, hallelujah, brother, my guess is that danger is religion spelled sideways. 
    Of course, definitions are very important when discussing beliefs that might fall under the heading New Religious Movements. Most people, for instance, consider the only religions that could be called new as those that are less than 200 years old. Personally, I am willing to go back much farther than that, but I won't quibble. The problem is that the Christianity of 33 A.D. and the billions of branches of it today suggest to me that the Southern Baptist Church could be just as much a NRM as Mormonism. 
    The group By Common Consent informed me that the Catholic Church would consider Mormonism a sect. I looked up Mormonism in the New Advent, the Catholic encyclopedia, and those clever folks call Mormonism "a religious body," one of the most safe euphemisms I have ever heard. In any case, the book reports that there appeared to Joseph Smith on the night of 21 September, 1823, a heavenly messenger, who gave his name as Moroni, and revealed the existence of an ancient record containing the fullness of the Gospel of Christ as taught by the Saviour after his Resurrection to the Nephites, a branch of the House of Israel which inhabited the American continent ages prior to its discovery by Columbus. Moroni in mortal life had been a Nephite prophet, the son of another prophet named Mormon, who was the compiler of the record buried in a hill situated about two miles from the modern village of Manchester. This Moroni individual, so the story goes, was inordinately thin, leading Smith to ask if friends called him "Bony Moronie." Naw, I made that part up.
   Now I think it is fair to say that one of the parts of original Mormonism that gets a lot of people upset is the notion that polygamy is hunky dory okey doke copacetic, fine and dandy. Well, the truth is it was good for the pre-Judaic folks in the Bible, as long as the folks were men, but we as a people get very uncomfortable with the idea of one man having multiple wives. I think there is a biologic reason for our queasiness. Most of us with any experience at all recognize just how difficult it can be to satisfy one woman, let alone three or four. Also, there seems to be some dispute over the proper age of womanhood, some old world Mormons taking it at thirteen, whereas most U.S. laws define it at eighteen or twenty-one. And even though Joe Smith himself banned plural marriages back in 1904, there are always a few greedy offshoots here and there--mostly there--that insist on the notion of having more than one mother-in-law, God help them. 
    By now you have guessed why I bring up the subject. This fellow named Mitt Romney is a legitimate contender for the U.S. presidency. That is to say, he has all the legal qualifications. He is a natural born American, which gets him the nod of the psycho birther movement. He is white, which gets him the nod from the 25% of this country that still harbors hate and suspicion of African Americans. He is well-educated, which is a huge drawback in these days of Herman Cain and the school of anti-intellectualism. And he is rich, rich, wealthy, and rich all over again. It really helps to be rich and I used to think that the Constitution mandated that you had to be rich to be a good American. Of course, it doesn't really say that, although it does suggest that only property owners are worth spit, which kind of flies in the face of all those folks who believe we need to return to a time when America was a great country. 
   So. . . Mormons. Does it matter? Should it matter?
   Bill Maher, whom I very much like and admire, said that Mormonism doesn't strike him as any crazier than any other religion. I agree. And it should not matter. But I'll just bet it does. Just as Obama was tarred with the brush of being a Muslim--which he isn't, but he is black, and so the accusation stuck--so will Romney be bashed with the taint of belonging to a funny religion. His handlers will be appalled and decry the bigotry of those who would prejudge a man just because of his undergarments. After all, they will scream, all Americans are guaranteed freedom of religion. 
    Alright. So suppose Zeena Lavey wants to be president. She is a Satanist. Are we going to hold that against her? 
    Ouch. 
    Maybe the thing to do is this: instead of judging people for what they believe--which is always an iffy thing because how can we really know?--and instead assess people for how they behave. If actions formed the basis for evaluating the men and women who run for public office--which sounds quite reasonable--then no one on the national scene would ever be elected. 
    I suggest that instead of holding the next presidential election, we set up a huge swap meet, where everything everybody owns is pooled and laid out along the east and west coasts. We can call it a Going Out of Business sale. People from other countries can buy up they few remaining things they don't own already, we can divide the proceeds three hundred million ways, and live out the rest of our lives in anarchistic bliss. Maybe I'll use my earnings to buy a farm down in Yuma. 

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN KHADDAFI DIED?

    Aggression? Sure, why not? Freud believed it was a human instinct. I'm inclined to think it's part of that reptilian region of the human brain, the part we are supposed to be controlling and evolving away from, but what do I know? After all, I'm the guy who only with total reluctance actually drags his sorry ass to the party and then, once I get there, I cut loose as if every little thing that happens is somehow about me, me, sweet and lovable me! Here's this joke I heard. Here's this drink I've tried. Here's this woman I met. My point is that all this narcissistic nonsense in which I engage--and maybe you too, or someone else you know--is just as aggressive as the guy who walks into the room looking for a fight. In both cases the story plays out that the focus of attention is on the one individual at the expense of everyone else. It's pathetic.
    So instead of declarative statements, I try asking questions. "Where were you when Khaddafi died?" I asked. 
    The reaction comes like this: "You mean guy from Libya? Is he dead?"
    Here's what Good says: At the beginning of September, 1969, a 27-year-old Gaddafi successfully staged a military coup against King Idris, while the King was out of the country. Immediately he abolished the monarchy, expelled most foreigners, and established the anti-Western Libyan Arab Republic. Gaddafi wanted to be a Che Guevara of sorts, and thus allowed any rogue group who declared themselves anti-imperialist (even if they were simply terrorists) safe haven in Libya, and access to weapons and financial backing. These groups included the IRA, Palestinian Black September (responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre), and those behind the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, which killed 270 people. Libya finally took responsibility for the bombing in 2003 with a remorseless letter to the United Nations. In 1977, Gaddafi changed the structure of Libya from a republic to a “jamahiriya”—a “government by the masses” that was at least in theory a democracy. The reality was much different of course, and Gaddafi began exhibiting some of the eccentricities that come with megalomania. For instance, he loved wearing animal skins and furs, started wearing garish sunglasses wherever he went, and was attended to by his “Amazonian Guard,” a group of virgin females highly-trained with weapons and martial arts, each hand-picked by Gaddafi. By the eighties, Gaddafi began using brutal violence to silence any criticism of his regime. He not only quelled any opposition sentiment at home with violence, he did so abroad as well. Gaddafi arranged squads to seek out Libyan dissidents domestically and in other countries (mostly Italy) and systematically murder them.
    He was, in a word, aggressive. So I ask people where they were and no one remembers. And that is so. . . passive. 
    Another leader is dead. Okay. I don't like leaders, just on general principle. That is to say, I think people should lead themselves and just as soon as anyone stands up and announces that he or she is in charge--Al Haig comes to mind--people should laugh and turn their backs. You want to be king? You can't control your bowels, how you gonna control me? You say you're running for president? Well, you better run and hope we don't catch you. You wanna guide the proletariat? Then why are you still living with your parents? 
    It is the celebratory nature of a leader's demise that troubles me. Look, the fact is that in this very complex world of ours, your terrorist may be my freedom fighter. Your liberator may be my invader. So when we spike the football in response to the death of someone we consider a tyrant, you can count on the fact that somewhere somebody is crying about the death of a martyr. And all of that, too, just like me bounding into a cocktail party as if the sun rose and set on my idiotic existence, is aggressive. Or, as Fidel Castro said when he learned of the death of John Kennedy, "Only a fool would celebrate such a thing. Systems, not men, are the enemy."
    The best thing each of us can do to prevent having to deal with the next tyrant to get open our front door and shout, "Lucy, I'm home!" is not to cheer when they are killed but to laugh them to scorn while they are still alive. Whether they seize power or are freely elected, whether they currently hold power or are struggling to attain it, we have a social responsibility to ourselves and to our fellow men, women and children to ridicule the megalomaniacs while we still have a chance.
    Picture it in your mind. That rat fucking idiot Rick Santorum proclaims that homosexuality is a sin. Instead of slapping him across the lips on international TV, which might be viscerally satisfying, we laugh at the bastard until he leaves the room in tears, begging whatever evil deity he worships will protect him from the jeers. 
    You could argue that this laughter is also aggressive. That would be correct. But the good news is that, on the continuum of primeval reptilian emotional reactions, calculated ridicule is far more advanced than trying to be the life of the party just for the sake of personal aggrandizement. 
    Carry on.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LETTER TO PHILROPOST STOCKHOLDERS

    Sex and Violence seize popular website!


    Oh, not really. I put that at the top to improve our ranking with the major search engines. As a shareholder in this organization, I trust you will applaud my initiative. 
    It's been eight months since we started this little adventure and the state of the blog is good. As of this writing, the total number of page views for Philropost is 125,554. That's pretty good for a largely unfocused series of entries that only in the most vague of ways reflects upon the disturbed personality of its chief creator, Phil Mershon. 
Corporate HQ for Philropost
    Even though I enjoy writing about music more than anything else, the audience reaction has been greatest on paintings. The second greatest interest seems to be in the strange behavior of cults and other political groups, followed closely by exposes on nuclear power. The music stuff comes in fourth. 
Even dead people were eager to cooperate
    The day we began Philropost, Alexa ranked us as the 28 millionth most popular site in the world and the 10 millionth most popular site in the United States. Today, eight months later, the same organization ranks us as the 4 millionth most popular site globally and the 400,000 most popular site domestically. We're not quite in the class with Google and Facebook. But we're doing much better than the blog called Grandma's Crappy Cooking. I predict that by Christmas we will be in the top 10,000 globally and the top 1,000 in the U.S. And you know I'm sometimes right.
    And who is reading Philropost, the blog you are holding in your doubtlessly sweaty hands? The Unites States makes up slightly more than half the global audience. But the following nine other countries round out the top ten: United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Australia, India, France, Brazil and the Netherlands. Half the people who view Philropost only look at the first page, yet our average view time is seven minutes, suggesting that our pages are inordinately lengthy or our readership inordinately slow. Overwhelmingly, the most popular referring site is Google U.S., followed by Google UK and Google Canada. Facebook and Twitter also help a little. 
Not everyone approved of us initially
    Our primary advertiser for these first eight months has been Amazon.com. We were doing business with Google Ad Sense, but I think I pissed them off so they dropped us. By the time we hit the top 10,000, the advertisers will be coming to us rather than the other way around. 
    Well, that's all I know.  I love getting emails and other online comments from the readership. Most of it has been positive and even the negative has been well-reasoned and useful. You can still comment after each post or send a direct email to mershonphil@hotmail.com. 
 

RIP THE SHIRT? HOW CLICHE!

    Like many others, I have become something of a morning cliche. Oh, you know exactly what I mean. The dog wakes you up, you stagger down the stairs to let the little beast out, make the coffee with only one eye open, try to find the TV remote and finally observe that it is in the dog's mouth. After dislodging the device, you wipe off the slobber and check out the national news, only to learn that, once again, nothing is getting accomplished. Oh well. Maybe next year. The local news shows secret video of the same stupid convenience store getting robbed by the same mental defective. Today's weather is very much like yesterday's. What's for breakfast? Nothing good in the fridge, but that dog is beginning to be a possibility. 
    Then, to find out what's really going on, you access your social medium of choice. In my case, this morning, that was Twitter. I go back and forth and some days, when I'm feeling really wild, I'll use both Facebook and Twitter. Yeah, I know, living on the edge. 
    On my Twitter page this morning, I awakened to the following flashes of wit and wisdom:
You have the opportunity to make history. What role will you play?
You respond by saying, "Great. Whatever that means."
Marlo Thomas informs you: Make your life a mission. Not an intermission.
While considering the beauty of this statement you notice that the dog has thrown up on the Welcome mat. Oh, bloody hell.
    Ah, here's a good bit of Twitter wisdom: General consensus of video interviewees is No Gun Sale to People on Terrorist Watch List. Dude, I'm convinced.
    MSNBC reports that Social Security recipients get 3.6% raise, first in two years. You seem to remember this has happened before, say, oh, two years ago. 
    Then there's always one or two that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. For instance (and this is an exact quote): NO ENGLISH ONLY?!?!? Communist RT @Blakehounshell: Mitt Romney's French is very bad, though. Does that still count against him, then?
    Damn that dog. Why'd she have to puke right there? I knew I shouldn't have given her that ice cream cone right before bedtime. 
    Doomsday reset for Friday?
    Actually, I'm warming to the idea of this afternoon, if that's convenient.
    You can take no more, so you vow to make personal changes only to discover that that too is a cliched way of thinking. Perhaps the dog knows something. You clean up the mess while the little creature acts all butt hurt, as if by cleaning up her mess you have somehow injured her feelings. Ah, hell, time for one last examination of the state of the world. Let's see. Oh, here's one: Thief uses crane to steal car from Indiana car lot. Well, the bastard gets points for imagination. More than can be said for the person who tweeted it.
   Throughout this little hair-pulling scenario, I have been using the word YOU when it would have been more appropriate, of course, to use the word I. We shall attribute this lapse in judgment to the fact of secret wishes on my part that the dog vomit in question had made its way to someone else's Welcome mat this morning.