Thursday, July 5, 2012

ALDUS SHRUGGED - Book Chapter Excerpt

ALDUS SHRUGGED by Floyd Blue    Available NOW on

It felt like a year in a day.  The local streets were hopelessly chock-a-block.  The Convention Center was a circus.  Even the adjacent park was loaded with standing people, crammed in like canned Vienna sausages packed in sweat.  The added intensity was because of the debate:  A national event - a televised opportunity for the candidates to smarm and smile and deceive on the big stage.  This wasn’t just another nickel-and-dime rally in a diner or a park; with the big boys, or worse, the local small-potato candidates, lying and smiling in front of smaller crowds in smaller places.  The event hype here, and the huge raucous crowd outside; the chanting, the signs, the costumes, the craziness, the loud and unprecedented anti-government stances, made my previous times, back in Eau Claire and the other day in Minnetonka, seem like meetings of Quakers and Mensa.  The ignorance and spectacle were stupefying, like a three-ring circus without the rings, without the cages:  just the clowns and freaks and sideshows, snake-oil salesmen and tiger-testicle peddlers; and suckers born every minute.

It started before I even stepped out of my Chevy, as a group of middle-age guys were tailgating in the parking lot.  It was a regular party.  They had a canopy tent set up, a couple of packed coolers, a barbecue blazing.   They seemed like assholes, but they knew how to make great-smelling pork ribs and put away the Heineys.  They were holding signs and obviously enjoying themselves, shouting ‘SHUT ‘ER DOWN, SHUT ‘ER DOWN!’ over and over.  They were well-balanced, each with an anti-government sign in one hand, and a green bottle in the other.  A couple of them were somehow managing messy bites of blazing hot rib while clutching the sign, and squatting down a little in a slight genuflect, holding the wet bottle between their legs.  I never heard any of that shit under Bush.  How could I?  They were calling for the United States Government to actually shut down.  Who would have ever called for that?  It’s insane!  And yet, when it’s repeated enough, and given credibility and equivalence against far saner options on all of the news outlets, it gradually becomes absorbed and accepted as sane and level-headed and serious; and then, incredibly, as a possible option; and eventually, by god, maybe even necessary to avert a total catastrophic whatever whatever.

I walked through the parking lot, and then I stopped to converse with one guy, about my age, I think.  He was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and carrying a sign that said, ‘FKCU YOUR CLASS WARFARE.  YOU’RE NOT MY PRESIDENT!’

I said, ‘What does that even mean, class warfare?’
‘That’s what they’re saying,’ he told me, without batting an eye, without a hint of embarrassment.  ‘That’s what they’re calling it and that’s good enough for me.’

‘Who says that?  About class warfare,’ I asked, but I already knew the answer.  He did manage to surprise me though, when he pointed somewhere off to the side with a jerked thumb.  I looked over and was dumbfounded at the media coverage.

At the far corner of the fenced-in area, about a quarter-way around the Convention Center, I could see a banner with the Goos logo, and a bunch of folks standing around.  I realized that was the official media area. 

Great, they’re shitting all over the lawn here too…

Waiting for the Jury to come back?

In Aldus Shrugged, I tackle many of the GOP's foibles and ridiculousness, often with my own strong opinions as to their motives.  It dawned on me that most of the time we have to either take someone at his/her/corporation word for why they are doing something, or we can look at the evidence that is all around.
For example, why give Mitch McConnell the benefit of the doubt concerning his motives when he is on record stating his number one goal is to make Obama a one-term president?  Why give Sen. Sessions the benefit of the doubt as to his motives when he has a track record of clear racism?
(This diary was inspired by a diary I saw on here this morning, which attributed the anti-Obama fervor among white pundits to racism against our president.  Of course, those pundits have never been adjudged officially guilty of racism in a court of law, have they?)
From Aldus Shrugged :  (NOTE:  In the world of my novel, FOX NEWS is called GOOS NEWS)
"...I grabbed the remote off the nightstand, and hitting the ON button took me directly to the Goos.  That’s what the last guest must’ve been watching.  Goos viewers are actually less-informed than those who watch no news at all.  A major study found that the misinformation actually makes you more ignorant, while you think you are less.  That is a dangerous combination.  When the president innocently and happily fist-bumps his wife onstage, and the anchor calls it a terrorist fist jab, you must be watching the Goos.  When the morning show has a real mafia capo as a guest, and he compares Obama’s government with gangsters, and all the hosts firmly agree, you are watching the Goos.  If a Republican Congressman is caught in an embarrassing scandal, and you see his face on the news the next day with a big D next to his name, wrongly denoting him a Democrat, you are definitely watching the Goos.  Goos News, that is, but I pronounce it Noose.  Exposed internal memos have proven them to be the mouthpiece of the Republican Party, and promoters of the Tea Party:  anything but an impartial or fair news organization.  These things are all proven, but some folks just don’t want to see the proof.  Instead, they demand proof of birth and school grades of their president; after a full term in office.
Some people need proof of everything; proof they know they can’t possibly ever obtain; so they never have to change their minds, or even allow a new fact in.  But what constitutes proof?
One thing I get sick of is people applying the court of criminal law standard to everything.  People won’t believe their congressman did some horrible act, or even that their favorite pro athlete did steroids - when the evidence is overwhelming - because it wasn’t proven by their standards:  nobody was found guilty, nobody was officially judged in some formal criminal courtroom.  Innocent until proven guilty, they cry every time.  Meanwhile, most things in life - day-to-day shit - are not subject to such official verdicts, and actually require us to make sound judgment calls.  Who cares about a jury of our peers, and laws of evidence in a criminal case?  How about the lower civil court burden of proof?  That’s not good enough for you?  Well, then, you must think O.J. is innocent!  Do you really want to hinge your personal belief system on whether a whacko Cali jury thinks gloves appear to fit?  I stared blankly at the badly-outdated TV.  It was one of those dinosaurs with the huge backside for bouncing electrons.  I remembered back in the mid-‘90s:  Those constant images from the courtroom; Judge Ito, on the right, and OJ on the left, facing him.
I mean, we’re all ill-informed jurors, observing life, observing others, forming our opinions and beliefs.  I like to go by the Equal Employment Opportunity Law standard:  disparate impact; intent be damned.  Impact is measurable, and intent is not.  If a lawmaker proposes legislation designed to weed out some supposed problem, and that law will disparately affect one group of people, I will believe that lawmaker is targeting that group that is affected.  For example, when the GOP proposes strict new ID standards for voting, and those standards will disproportionately target poor folks and Democrats, I will think they are targeting the poor and the Democrats.  It’s that simple and that logical.  Plus, I’m not stupid.  So, two black guys flashed the word Panther, and hassled a few folks walking into a polling place in Philly.  Mickey Mouse tried to register in Spokane, but he was debunked and turned in by ACORN.  That’s a .000001% voter fraud rate, so of course let’s spend billions to suppress the Democrats’ votes.  Ahh yes, the voter fraud Muslim under your bed:  another of those things that hasn’t been a problem for decades, or a century, or more; or wasn’t a problem from 2000-2007, but oh good god, all of a sudden it’s a major problem that must be rectified (before we lose the next election).
Why wait for a jury of your peers to make your sound, informed decision for you?  It’s not going to happen.  The jury is you!  The jury is all of us.  You just can’t be stupid about it.  You owe that to the rest of us...."
Thanks for reading!  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Corporations are People, my friend...and vice versa....

Indeed there are some Republicans who could reap the benefits of self-incorporation.  If they incorporate themselves, then they could, for once in their lives, become human beings.

I am still lamenting the fact that I wasn't savvy enough to incorporate my pet cat when I was just a kid.  I was very traumatized back then when Buddy died.  If I had only thought to incorporate him, he couldn't have been road kill that day.  His life cycle would've been infinite:  ended only by takeover or be charter.
Here are a few corporate rants from Aldus Shrugged...

"...After all, corporations are people too.  We shouldn’t want to hurt their feelings…I wonder what gender they are…
Big corporations in big industries get the benefits of being people without the responsibilities that come with those benefits.  They can steal and kill, but as an entity, they don’t go to jail.  They’re too big to jail. Their liability is, by definition, limited and mitigated.  It works the same way with their public risk/private profit profiles:  All of the gain, with no downside to the entity or its controllers.  A corporation can even be spared blame for acts of sedition, depraved indifference to human life, grand theft, willful negligence, and manslaughter.  He just brazenly does the crime, and swaggers off, knowing he ain’t gonna be doin’ no time!  That’s a real man right there!  (Hey, he’s a motherf- .  Shut your mouth!  I’m talkin’ ‘bout a corporation!)
I guess they’re male.  
I was egging on corporations in this country just recently, to get off their asses and start being risk-takers again.  Sure, there is a lot of risk out there, but Capitalism and entrepreneurism were never about a sure thing.  The GOP says the risk is due to over-regulation and high taxes.  The truth is that the tax rates are lower than they were under Bush.  And if over-regulation was a barrier to anything except a profit percentage point, why wasn’t Bush’s economy anything more than horseshit?  It’s truly a shame:  a lost decade.  With the right strategy and vision, and economic plan, we could’ve boomed, especially after 9/11.  You want to exploit 9/11 for your own political gains?  You should’ve exploited it for the good of our entire country when you had the chance.  Instead, you squandered the good will and the political and social capital, and just fucked it all up.  And now We The People are to blame for everything?  Fuck you!
He ain’t heavy, he’s my corporation…
The new corporate culture and the pro-business judicial environment allow big corporations to game every part of the system.  A great example is found in giant retailers contracting out millions of warehouse labor positions, instead of expanding their own real - W2 - workforce.  The money they save on employee benefits is substantial, and deserved.  This is Capitalism, after all.  But the Supreme Court has held that liability does not cross lines of corporate entities, and various stores among the same large corporation; let alone different companies altogether.  Those out-sourced contract workers are a great example of all of this.  They labor under the banner and logo of the prime contractor:  the big name retailer, always a huge household name we all know.  And it’s not as if that big name company is out of the picture.  The contract workers regularly get visits and pep talks directly from managers of the big name retailer, even though they work for XYZ Contracting Corp, or some unknown entity like that.  So, legally speaking, there is a lot of mixing of entities and crossing of lines going on.  Historically, this mixing and crossing of lines opens doors to all kinds of liability.  But the current Supreme Court won’t let that happen.  And of course, in the rush for profit maximization at any cost, the lowly contract employees get abused and overworked.  And these days, they can’t do anything about it…like back in 1910.   This means that most large companies can act with impunity and feel very secure.  And still, they complain and lobby for more protections; and as an extra sand-kick in the face, tort reform continues to be a disingenuous GOP talking point that will save the economy.  Relax, my corporate brother from another conglomerate:  Nobody seems to be piercing any corporate veils these days.  Plus, mom always liked you better...."

The Antidote to Ayn

Aldus Shrugged is our antidote to Ayn Rand.  It was written by Floyd Blue, a patriotic Capitalist who lives and breathes in real America, and is sick of being lied to.  Aldus Shrugged skewers Ayn's "philosophy", Ayn herself, her followers, biased media outlet(s), and the ridiculously irrational opposition to President Obama.  Aldus Shrugged is a novel which tells this damn fine story of greed and betrayal and hilarious deconstruction of the post-modern GOP.

      It also answers the eternal question:  Who Is John Gall?

      Aldus Shrugged is available now in convenient salable packages on

Yes, I am sick of the GOP! Give me Relief! 

Order before midnight tonight! (Although operators will be standing by after midnight, too.)