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The future of the internet under the elimination of Net Neutrality

What is Net Neutrality?

Today, the internet and access to it remain open. It remains accessible. It remains “free”, because anyone, anywhere at anytime can use it.

But that very freedom is scheduled to be rolled back dramatically on December 14th when the Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote to remove the internet as a public utility from Title II of the Communications Act.

Exactly. That legalese is most likely what your internet service provider, commonly called simply ISPs, has been counting on in order to keep consumers willfully ignorant about the future of the internet. But here’s where the rubber meets the road: it’s not working. Yep, as high as 2/3 of Americans from all walks of the political spectrum are keen to this corporate coup. And for good reason, right? From ridiculously long and non-intelligible user agreement forms to shoddy bundling packages with landlines that most kids in the year 2017 don’t even know exist, to simply trying to terminate your cable plan with customer service representatives who are more beast than man (Video of guy cancelling). This last video went viral after that man repeated those cancellation requests to Comcast customer service for nearly 20 minutes. Hell, I personally was sent to collections by Comcast over their mistake for about $30. Cable companies and internet service providers clearly have one lasting motive: the bottom line.

So is Net Neutrality just the latest gimmick? Most experts say it’s much more serious than that.

Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu first used the term “Net Neutrality” in 2003 when discussing “common carriers”. Companies that have a purpose of moving goods or services from one point to another. They “carry” your phone call from your mother, they “carry” our oil in pipelines, our Christmas packages on railways, and even “carry” precious YouTube videos all the way to your ears. Obviously, some applications may be more useful than others.

The important part is that the goods get to you when you need them, and are done so efficiently and quickly.

So what might happen in the aftermath of the death of Net Neutrality? Some are saying:

The Death of Online Activism the Expansion of Censorship

Right now, I can say whatever I want about Verizon. I can say that President Trump’s FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, whom he personally appointed, is a dirty former lawyer of Verizon that likes to play with his poopy for foreplay in front of his corporate overlords at weird Verizon headquarter sex parties where the board of directors dress up like futuristic S&M dolls and virgins are led to the slaughter at the hands of anatomically correct killer robots all for the purpose of revitalizing their decrepit old skin in bizarre witchcraft rituals. And while this is clearly a true statement, under proposed FCC guidelines, they could simply block this very website altogether if they chose to.

This past December 7th saw some of the largest organized efforts to stop the FCC’s proposed changes as nationwide protests in front of Verizon stores took place. Those organizers like verizonprotests.com and battleforthenet.com could be in a state of perpetual loading if their ISP doesn’t like the content. Imagine if verizonprotests.com were located in an area where their only ISP was Verizon. There is literally nothing stopping Verizon from simply shutting down that operation. It sure doesn’t sound like a booming success for consumers, does it? It doesn’t resonate with options or protections for Jon and Jane Doe. The question presents itself then as a debate over whether or not access to the internet is a right. Should it be designated a common carrier and should consumers have proper access to it, as regulated by the government?

The words “more government” automatically give a lot of people the heeby jeebies. Fair enough, let’s look at why eliminating Net Neutrality is a good thing.

Probably the most common argument for ending Net Neutrality is economic. That argument goes like this: Why would ISPs continue to invest in internet infrastructure if the incentive for building it is financially undermined by everyone having the same access to it. Instead, internet service providers argue that being able to provide faster internet to those willing to pay for it will help create the financial incentive to build a faster internet for everyone, fast lanes for all, faster lanes for some. Sounds simple enough.

Companies like Comcast, Charter and Cox have said for sometime that slowing down internet speeds for most consumers wouldn’t be the goal of these new internet rules. Instead, they make the claim that consumers already have robust options in the internet market, and therefore this wouldn’t be a giveaway to the major ISP players. In other words, your internet service will be largely unaffected as the invisible hand of the market plays out and competes for your dollar. If company A is too slow, then company B will be a tough competitor in that market, or company c or d and so forth. Absolutely a solid argument with a strong foundation. But do people really have multitudes of ISP options?

Furthermore, could it be that the real reason money is not being invested in infrastructure is become the cable lobby is well aware that competition is weak. The main economic argument by ISPs assume that resources have been tight, and consumers can walk to another provider anytime they want. Business Insider’s Jeff Dunn doesn’t seem to think so in an April article saying, “Could Pai's net-neutrality plan lead ISPs to invest in more robust internet, and even offer it at cheaper prices? Possibly. But most of these companies have been sitting on piles of money for a long time, and they haven’t been very eager to spend the hundreds of millions needed to build out their private infrastructure into more places.”

However, according to a popular piece by John Oliver on Last Week Tonight (video clip)
and on another episode from the show in 2014 he stated as high as “96% of the population has access to two or fewer broadband companies.” That would seem to contradict the cable and internet lobby’s claims. According to a piece by Jon Brodkin in Ars Technica this past July cable companies consistently make the claim that there is no shortage of competition in the market, even stating “Competition is alive and well in the TV and Internet marketplaces and consumers are benefiting every day.” Brodkin argues that this claim is only true, because the cable lobby uses a 3Mbps threshold in their definition of high speed internet. That’s the kind of internet connection that makes you want to drown your computer in the bathtub. So what was all that fast and faster talk about?

Brodkin again: “Out of 118 million US households, more than 10.6 million have no access to wired Internet service with download speeds of at least 25Mbps, and an additional 46.1 million households live in areas with just one provider offering those speeds. Even including fixed wireless connections, there were still nearly 50 million households with one 25Mbps provider or none at all, based on the analysis of FCC data.” Basically, there are millions of Americans systematically disadvantaged in job searching, connecting with friends and family or having access to key information in a timely manner.

Brodkin finishes the July piece stating, “That report was issued before current Chairman Ajit Pai (former Verizon lawyer) took over for Tom Wheeler (former cable lobbyist). Pai voted against the 2015 decision to raise the broadband speed definition, criticized Wheeler for excluding satellite and mobile services from the new broadband benchmark, and has said the broadband market is too competitive for strict privacy rules. Under Pai's leadership, the FCC's future conclusions about broadband deployment and competition might be more in line with the cable lobby’s.”


Letters from an Outsider, by Vili Branyik

“They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad!” -Howard Beale, The Network

One of the things I’d get in trouble for when I was a kid was playing Devil’s Advocate. My parents hated it to the point that they made me a shirt that had a quote from Dante’s Divine comedy - “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” I’m reluctant to take a stand for either side of an argument because both sides usually have their own merits. And, to paraphrase Penn Jillette, you should defend the people you don’t agree with at some point in your life. That act is a step to finding out what your priorities truly are. Now, with times being what they are, it’s difficult to support the repeal of Net Neutrality. For me, that means it’s time to stand for something.

Part of the reason I’m explaining that is because there aren’t a lot of ways I can approach Net Neutrality without calling someone a fucking asshole - either the corporations supporting the repeal of Net Neutrality or the Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai. None of the people supporting the repeal of Net Neutrality come off to me as genuine in their efforts to pursue innovation or take further steps to make the open internet a basic right. I could make the argument that repealing Net Neutrality could be a step to the betterment of the open internet - the FCC has said that because of Net Neutrality, investing in corporations with a hand in telecommunication services, such as Verizon, has declined, and that loss makes it harder for those companies to better develop their services. I could defend that but I’m not going to. Realistically, the whole thing ended up with me asking a question about Net Neutrality that everyone should ask themselves -

Would the repeal of Net Neutrality be as big a deal if we weren’t living in an age of kleptocrats and a lack of corporate transparency?

I can’t in good conscience support the repeal of Net Neutrality. First off, the answer to my own question is no. This sort of thing wouldn’t have been a problem in the first place it people weren’t so obsessed with the weight of their wallets. When looking up at Net Neutrality rules, I found out that the internet is classified as a Title II communication service, which essentially means that the providers had to play fair with the services that they provided and couldn’t gouge people on prices. Further research refers to regulations on communications services in the early 1900’s, a time where railways were charging lower and higher rates depending on the traffic in and out of cities. In 1934, FDR asked for legislation for the creation of a government body that could study and regulate communication services. Thus, the FCC was created. A president 80 years back created an agency to prevent consumers from being thrown to the wolves that are hungry corporate interest, and the delicious irony is that the agency responsible for originally protecting the consumers is now the one threatening to repeal the rules keeping corporations fair.

Second, the implications of a corporate stranglehold on a communications service can’t be ignored. We have a president who is currently delegitimizing the media, and the only channel he watches is fucking FOX News, a nest of vile sycophants who haven’t ceased to line up and blow the con artist in chief on live television. If the repeal of Net Neutrality means that your ability to communicate depends on how deep your pockets are, there are going to be a lot of people whose perspective on many things is narrowed significantly, and that is a dangerous prospect no matter who happens to be in office.

It should go without saying that technology is vastly different than it was in the 1930’s. It seems like these days that things have advanced so quickly that people haven’t had the opportunity to catch up with the Information Age. The advent of the Information Age has made it impossible to be completely ignorant on something, but that’s a good thing. The ability to exchange information, among other things, wirelessly and quickly has birthed a new way that we communicate ideas. One of the effects of that, however, is that there’s a lot of things that people part of older generations want to keep buried, which is a polite way of saying that old fucks have a lot of dirty laundry. There’s always going to be a conflict in a period of transition, and in the United States we are in a state of heavy societal upheaval. The last thing that we should have to worry about is how we communicate with each other and who might threaten our abilities to do so.

Now, if you haven’t made your voice heard to the FCC already, do so. Host of Last Week Tonight John Oliver shared a web address that directly links to the FCC’s website and the page you need to be on to file a complaint about the repeal of Net Neutrality. (www.gofccyourself.com) Everyone has a voice. As much as I like the idea of arguing for both sides, sometimes you need to stand for something.

One more thing - I kind of shit on Ajit Pai earlier, or at least implied I did, but I can’t do that to the fullest extent. On a personal level, the Chairman of the FCC seems like a good guy. Because of his movement to repeal Net Neutrality, however, his family has been harassed and his home has been vandalized. ("Ajit Pai Says His Children Are Being Harassed")  I can’t condone that sort of thing, nobody should. That being said, this is a display of what happens when you mess with something people think should be a basic right to everyone. If Ajit Pai wasn’t formerly a lawyer for Verizon (and put in his current position specifically for what he’s doing now), the public’s perception of him would be different. But his goofy smile and comically large coffee mug won’t change the fact that Pai has pissed off a good portion of the internet community for lying and exaggerating about Net Neutrality to rally people behind his cause and blatantly ignoring the public who fucking hate his idea. It’s not an unheard of tactic for someone in political power, and it’s something that would land him squarely in the Trump White House, which makes him fit well with the other bullshit artists he has in his stable.

Cheers.

From, the Outsider

That last piece was produced by Vili Branyik and performed by Eric Ellzey.

What implications are there for eliminating NN?

The Death of Small Business

If the internet is reclassified and Net Neutrality is ended, then big businesses like Google or Amazon will be able to purchase “fast lanes” where you as a consumer can use their websites with almost no interruption - exactly the way you use it everyday. Internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast will most definitely like this, because they won't have to provide those same fast lanes to damn freeloaders like the Majority Villain podcast. In fact, they can do something called “throttling” (video of person explaining this) and intentionally make websites slower than they would be otherwise. ISPs will make obscene amounts of money in the process by charging mid-size to large-size companies huge premiums at whatever price they deem profitable, regardless of market demands all for the bandwidth those same companies already get today. Sadly though, ending Net Neutrality protections will be a death sentence to many small businesses, because their meager advertising budgets won’t be able to afford the service. Those businesses who cannot compete with this new flavor of corporate elitism will go back to advertising mediums that belong in a museum. Sayonara Ma and Pa.

December 14th the FCC is set to vote and end what we know as Net Neutrality. Even if you’re listening to this afterward, you can make your voice heard. Go to fccyourself.com and leave your feedback for the FCC on this disastrous decision. Change.org, battleforthenet.com, savetheinternet.com and verizonprotests.com all have actions you can take and there are links to every one of them in the show notes which you can find on the device you are using right now. Don’t just get angry, do something about it. The power is ours to create the future we want.

You’ve been listening to the Majority Villain podcast. I’m your host, Gregory Haddock.
To redeem your Villain points for this episode be sure to visit the website at majorityvillain.com and on Facebook and Twitter @majorityvillain. If you liked the show or even hated the show be sure to tell a friend or enemy about it and subscribe so you don’t miss a chance to love or hate it again! And be sure to check the show notes on the device you’re using for links to actions you can take against the internet and cable lobby’s efforts to steal the internet, YOUR internet. A big thanks to Letters from an Outsider’s, Vili Branyik, mad reading skills by Eric Ellzey, and Kris Shapar for help on social media. Majority Villain will be taking a Christmas break and will return January 13th. Remember, remember, remember…. to not take a stand is to acquiesce your power. To acquiesce your power is to remain neutral. To remain neutral is the status quo. And status quos are for suckers. Peace, love and villainy.


Music provided by the Free Music Archive under Creative Commons licensing. Today’s music by Blue Dot Sessions, Evil Bear Boris, Scott Holmes and Daizy. Show image by Russell Davies under Creative Commons licensing via Flickr.


#StoptheFCC #GoFCCyourself #NetNeutrality #VerizonProtests

https://www.battleforthenet.com/

www.verizonprotests.com

https://www.change.org/p/save-net-neutrality-netneutrality

https://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home

http://www.businessinsider.com/internet-isps-competition-net-neutrality-ajit-pai-fcc-2017-4

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/07/cable-lobby-claims-us-is-totally-overflowing-in-broadband-competition/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/12/08/the-impact-of-net-neutrality-laws-on-your-business/

https://www.wired.com/story/the-fcc-says-net-neutrality-cripples-investment-thats-not-true/

Direct download: Net_Neutrality.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10am CEST

Today’s show is dedicated to the hundreds of men, women and children killed in the November 24th attack on a Sufi mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. As this won’t reach the front pages of many papers, let’s make an effort to lift it up as we contemplate the tragedy of any lost human, regardless of location, ethnicity or religion. Thoughts and prayers abound for those struggling for meaning today.

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Gloria Allred is a Women’s Rights advocate and attorney, representing clients in controversial cases, including those against Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and Roy Moore. She’s a boss.

If you or anybody you know is a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault, there are actions you can take. Please don’t hesitate to speak out! Visit the link in the show description at http://www.feminist.org/911/harasswhatdo.html for more information. And yes, that includes you too, guys.

While news and entertainment have taken the hot seat in recent sexual misconduct allegations, it is the service, retail, healthcare and manufacturing sectors that have the highest reporting of sexual harassment, suggesting that low-wage employees seen as dispensable suffer the highest rates of misconduct. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/11/24/the-industries-with-the-worst-sexual-harassment-problem/?utm_term=.577ba6a0d114\

Show image from Freaktography via Flickr under Creative Commons Licensing. Show music provided by the Free Music Archive under Creative Commons Licensing. Today’s music is by Evil Bear Boris, Martin Beaulieu, The Joy Drops and BenJamin Banger.

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It must feel to many that the rate of sexual accusers in Hollywood, television and radio is growing faster than we can process it as a society. Meaning that before we have a chance to realize, internalize and analyze an appropriate verdict as a population - another name hits the front page. The speed at which this is occurring feels unprecedented. Just since October’s Majority Villain episode entitled, “Thaaat’s Harvey” citing the sexual deviance and misconduct of one of Hollywood’s most infamous producers, has the list of those accused of harassment, assault and misconduct only grown to include the likes of Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, and even public radio’s Charlie Rose. The latter three seemed to encapsulate the shocking reaction of America in it’s beloved, because none of them had the M.O. of what we imagine a slimy head of an office setting to act like. Not one of them were known in their comedy, acting, or interviews to be the typecast of a predator. Nonetheless, the list of witnesses, accuser and victims is growing, and the damage is real and evermore irrevocable. These topics are not funny, because assault is not funny. However, satire does have a duty in these moments by highlighting the absurdity with which the reality we all live in, and actively interact with, is painted. In no way should we make light of the trespasses, or engage in the very shameful act of victim blaming. Quite the contrary, as we venture instead to shame those who have acted for years as if revealing your member to any other non-consenting human could ever be appropriate. It’s not. But, like it or not, we live in a society where our favorite celebrities and politicians are constantly going to lie on the culture’s chopping block as we weed out from those who will continue to live on in our hearts, those who we will drop like hot frying pans. Sweaty, molesty, handsy frying pans. Please enjoy the show.

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Announcer: Hey there folks, thanks for coming out to the game today. Whether you’re here in the ballpark, or you’re listening from home, we’re happy to have you here in sunny Delaware as we head into the 6th inning of a showdown between planet Earth’s moral certitude and the normalcy of sexual assault in America’s patriarch; The Steel Supremes against the Grody Graybeards.

If you’re just joining us, the Graybeards have been mostly unable to put a run up on the board, except that of any resounding dignity that might have been remaining. However, they were able to strike first in the second by crushing any dissidence on their multitudes of foul foul balls - I’ve truly never seen so many foul balls in all my years of baseball.

That left an uphill road for the Supremes as only 70% of their runs were accounted for in the bottom of the first three innings. (BONK) Aaaand there goes another one. Yessiree, that glass ceiling sure prevents a lot from escaping here in Creeper Stadium.

Supremes have the bases loaded, making the Graybeards look more and more uncertain from the field. Manager Donald Trump shows no signs of changing pitchers, and the bullpen appears to be sleeping. Looks like picking up pitching coach, Bill Cosby has shown few dividends for the struggling Graybeards —- AND A LINE DRIVE UP THE MIDDLE…

As Gloria Allred strikes a ding dong danger between the feet of shortstop Kevin Spacey as he stands eying the 3rd baseman, Anthony Weiner. That’s definitely going to go down as an error.

Kevin Spacey was playing the minors for a number of years, until he was finally dragged out of triple A to be a Graybeard… And a POP FLY will end the inning. The Supremes will head into the 7th inning stretch with a morally insurmountable lead.

And now, here is a message from our sponsors at NPR.

Interestingly, there was a moment in history when America’s favorite pastime tried to make a concerted effort to expose the true nature of sexism and harassment in America, by taking baseballs new single hit, “The Olde Ball Game”, and simply rebranding it, “The Olde Balls Game”. This song did not seem to resonate with the predominantly male spectators, and the song was soon replaced with the lyrics we know today. Here, in an original recording from 1931, as given to Majority Villain by New Jersey Public Radio, “The Olde Balls Game” as sung by Atlantic City’s own Rex Ferguson:

7th Inning Stretch
The Old Balls Game

Take me outta the cat call games,
Take me outta them men crowds

I’ll buy me a whistle and an ad-vo-cate,
I don’t care if they never bounce back!

For it’s boot, shoot, uproot those grabby bastards,
If they acquit it’s a shame!

Cos it’s 1, 1, 1 strike you’re done,
At the Olde Balls Game!

Consent to play ball!


Announcer: Thanks for that fantastic piece of New Jersey history brought to you by Majority Villain’s Finer Moments, a collection of historical newsreels from the nation’s finest hour.

Here we are, back in Creeper Stadium where left fielder Louis CK has utilized a trick play of his own; and the catcher has dropped the ball on strike three just as Mr. CK has removed his penis from his trousers. As everybody averts their eyes, CK safely makes his way to not just first base but second base too. Truly inconceivable baseball.

I gotta say, it’s unbelievable to me that play still gets guys to second base, as the umpire is nowhere to be seen.

And BAM - another smackaroo from the Senate Candidate Roy Moore right up the first base line - a real clutch hit as the Alabama Graybeard gets his hands all over that one. Trump is ecstatic in the dugout even telling Minnesota Al Franken to get away from the On Deck circle, even though the Senator has his own history of playing grab ball.

But there’s a problem at third base! 6 runners unable to turn the corner as we’ve got a real back between second and third. 5 separate runners, all terrified to walk by Allred, as she looks to literally eat any one of the terrified men. Louis CK, looking to pull off another trick play talking "I’m sorry”, comes out leading the pack, hoping to get a step closer to home base, but the Supremes aren’t having it!

An angry mob of mostly women have rushed the field and are literally consuming the men alive! Lord knows in all my years of announcing the greatest game on Earth, I have never seen anything like this. And there will be no golden gates for Louis CK, with or without the apology.

Another heartbreaking development for the Grody Graybeards as the Steel Supremes rise up again to devour the home team here at Creeper stadium. Surely a rain delay will need to be called as maintenance team are already rushing the field to deal with the massive amounts of blood outpouring.

From Delaware’s Creeper Stadium, this is Teddy McGimlets, and this is baseball today.

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Now, this should not be something I or anybody should ever have to say, but “NO” means abso-fucking-lutely “NO”. Consent is king. Or queen. Or maybe we need to rethink even the language we use as a society to articulate the issues facing us. Some see the assault on vocabulary as a politically correct affront to the America that we’ve all grown to know and love (Donald Trump - locker room talk). Others see it as common sense - realizing long ago that the language we use reifies, as much as it describes, the social norms and practices we have come to love, know and expect. For example, consider the thought that strong women in family households are often labeled the old ball and chain, battleaxe, the one who wears the pants, or more bluntly and far-less creative: the bitch. Confer those labels that most of us have at one time or another said, thought or heard to those of men in households: the breadwinner, man of the house, king. Seriously, make a list someday and shock even yourself of the degree of absurdity we have in labeling women as sluts, whores, nags or bitches and men having ridiculously regal titles like pimp, pimpalicious, pimpadocious, and pimpbuktu. Sure, it’s funny. But is it really?

Why is a man “assertive” in the workplace while a woman is “bossy”? Why is a man “informed” on workplace ongoings, and a woman is a “gossip”? The truth is over 90% of us hear these types of terms regularly in the workplace or home, and yet we do nothing. We say nothing. We treat it like nothing. Maybe that’s because to many of us it is nothing. But to the women, some men, and large swaths of communities of LGBTQ - it is everything. Be an ally, not a co-conspirator. Be a hero, not a pussy. Oh look, I did it again. Let’s see… Be a hero, not a limp dick. There. That’s better.

Direct download: The_Olde_Balls_Game.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44am CEST

This Halloween will be marked by more than psycho clowns, and masked men wielding machetes, as Hollywood’s scariest films get pushed aside by the one thing more terrifying than the mass murderers we invite into our homes on Friday movie night, and that is… the men who produce them.

Weinstein Company founder, Harvey Weinstein, has been officially X’d out of his role at one of Hollywood’s largest production companies as dozens of women have come forward to accuse the company fondler of sexual assault and misconduct. Ranging from unwanted groping and kissing, to breaking and entering into a hotel room and masturbating like a chimpanzee who has lost it’s sense of dignity after decades of captivity.

But Weinstein’s fall from fame won’t leave him alone. He will certainly have company as the rest of us try to wade our way through the sexual assaults we can forgive to the ones TV teaches us are somehow unforgivable.

Weinstein will join the ranks of Bill Cosby’s bottomless happy hour, Bill O’Reilly’s family values, Anthony Weiner’s wiener, and even the famous kid’s TV network, Nickelodeon, with the likes of former creator, Chris Savino. Weinstein even stands alongside celebrity chef John Besh, and former ABC News political director, Mark Halperin.


So in the spirit of Halloween, we have come up with a list of Weinstein Company movies that can be remade into Horror Films at minimal cost, whilst embracing their understanding of the shitstorm in their midst.

Weinstein will, however, not be fortunate enough to have the company of some. There is one office that seems to be untouchable for the über touchy and that’s the Oval Office.

Yes, we all know our president loves to walk in on women’s changing rooms, grab the occasional unwilling pussy, but many may not know that former President George H.W. Bush has recently been accused of being a creepy old man as well. Multiple women have come forward with surprisingly similar stories in which H.W. would grab women during photo ops using clever lines such as “Do you want to know who my favorite magician is? David Cop-a-Feel!”

But why should we expect anything less when we live in a society where a white woman earns 75% of her male counterpart, and a hispanic woman on average earns 55% of that. But who cares as long as we can still call Amy Schumer a loose whore every time she makes a joke about banging a bro she met in a bar. Yes, we are all super progressive when it comes to sexual assaulters who have been accused of their transgressions dozens of times, but we likely are unmoved by the inequality that pervades in our daily lives.

Even then, our class knows no limits in a society where it’s popular to say you respect women, and yet not bat an eye to vote for the position of Commander in Chief an overwhelmingly disgusting individual who is likely more impotent than incontinent, and yet more disturbing, likely both.

These A-holes are slowly getting their due. These issues were all-but-ignored 50 years ago. But there is hope for the aspiring sexual assaulter. Because while sexual assault on college campuses, in the military or office setting remains a serious issue that is vastly ignored, a piece of human excrement wanting to be the next Harvey Weinstein by masturbating his way to the top can be rest assured that as long as society pretends to care, but doesn’t really care about equality among the sexes, then sexual assault will remain as elusive as Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Music by Lee Rosevere, Evil Bear Boris and Ari de Niro via the Free Music Archive and show image via Flickr by Adrian Mustredo under Creative Commons licensing.
Rate and review the show at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/25/us/list-of-accused-after-weinstein-scandal-trnd/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/27/us/politics/george-bush-women.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/gender-wage-pay-gap-charts-2017-3/#women-of-color-face-the-biggest-pay-gap-when-compared-to-white-men-2

https://www.flickr.com/photos/154420106@N08/37875869201/in/photolist-ZGXJkB-YLCzto-ZDTc3y-uNXw4k-XTwf1y-Cmp3ed-PXn9z2-YNDFkA-8JnkiQ-8Jnkg3-9CTzPH-SwrZ4-B6XVd6-vVKvHU-gL5qPb-dCiHbr-dCp9md-dCp6BQ-dCiGqM-dt3UPS-dt46iS-dt3LV2-dt42TU-v8bxS-Y998bK-dt43os-dt416b-dt3Wqj-dt3KYP-dt44hb-dt3TD8-dt3SN4-dt3Zbd-dt3Lst-YHxpxq-dj9pnj-dj9peU-dt3Hsi-dt46Hs-dt42sY-dt3U6n-dt3YFL-dt3VAq-dt3Mo8-dt47co-rfSqdG-atpHYj-atn51g-atpHUq-bb8GTa

Direct download: Thaaats_Harvey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:34am CEST

I haven't been in the United States in over two years, and I can't but help thinking over and over again,

What happened?

How has America gotten so comfortable with accepting a failing status quo?

This episode focuses on Germany's checkered history and the incredible accomplishment of developing their society into one of the strongest social spheres in the world. But it wasn't by accident. Guest Patrick Schmidt helps us navigate the facts.

Music from Evil Bear Boris and Lee Rosevere via the Free Music Archive, and show image from Charleston Hospitality Group via Flickr under Creative Commons licensing.

Social media headed by Kris Shapar.

Direct download: Coming_to_America.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:42pm CEST

Please leave a review at https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2 and help people find the show!

Music today via www.freemusicarchive.org through Creative Commons licensing by Evil Bear Boris and Lee Rosevere. Social media assistance by Kris Shapar. Show image via Flickr through CC licensing https://www.flickr.com/photos/concellon/. Produced and hosted by Gregory Haddock.

understanding
White Power

Black Power. White Power. BET, the Black Entertainment Television network. The White Entertainment Television (which would be the unfortunate acronym WET).

Let’s face it. For good reason - the term “white power” invokes almost the exact antithesis of that sentiment. It stokes fear, manipulation, inequality, and it perpetually pokes and prods the scar tissue of a wound never quite healed, occasionally reopening it for all to see the damage inside.

There is a plenitude of writing, argumentation and critical thinking in support of the position that “white power” should be a statement and mentality closeted for good. A position that has exposed the many inequities given toward people disenfranchised not only for the color of their skin, but their country of origin, their culture, sexual orientation, gender identification, and the list goes on and on. This conversation could be expanded to the treatment of Native Americans, to Eastern Europeans, Asian, and those of Middle-Eastern decent. We could have an entire discussion about the relationship between whites and Hispanics, and the obvious problems of treating everybody south of the American border as simply “Mexican”. Because of the limited scope a single podcast episode can offer, I focus on our true original sin as a nation - that of slavery. And no other racial group in America knows that as well as that of African-Americans.

But this isn’t really even about them right now. Now if you are progressive or conservative you might already be weary of where I’m heading with this, but I’m asking you to hear me through to the end of this, because I’m going to do the rather unwise act of a defense of white power.

What we don’t hear enough of is thoughtful exploration of the foundation of the fears of a dissolving “white power” that acts out in anger as it lies on the cusp of a major global shift of power. That shift being this: White European ancestry is no longer a guarantee of prosperity, and the demographic changes happening in Western Countries is rapidly resulting in a diminishing dominance economically, culturally, and ideologically.

Many may say “Good!” This is exactly what we need more of or less of - whatever the proper grammar here is.

Okay, but if you are a straight white male, born and raised in the US of A, and you “did” all that you were supposed to do as a proud American, and for the last 40 years you’re seeing progress or what looks like progress in any case of all other groups around you - except that of your own home - you are likely to become extremely confused, and then scared, and then angry. More so, as the final throes of this involuntary acquiescence of social capital becomes more and more evident - those unwilling to give in to change may become violent as their options become seemingly less and less. Hence, Charlottesville.

So if confusion fuels fear, which fuels anger, which fuels violence, we need to understand where the confusion comes from. I come from a white-dominated, small, middle-America town. And in some ways I feel I can say I was witness to, even participatory in what W.E.B. Du Bois eloquently called “double consciousness”. The black scholar coined this term at the turn of the 20th century to give vocabulary to the huge numbers of black Americans, many of the time still living vivid memories of slavery, a way to describe the feeling of being trapped between various identities. “Who am I?”

I’m well aware that co-opting a black scholar’s work that was intended for a black audience to describe white culture is culturally taboo. I’m aware it is incredibly insensitive and not much less than radically inappropriate. But, using this term speaks so well to the point I am making. In many ways, white culture has been co-opting Black culture for at least a century. Art, fashion, and music have been cornerstones of Black-American culture. Blacks in America have had to create identity for themselves in a way that whites never could imagine. For this reason, I’m sure it must be rather frustrating to many whites when they see how they’ve been “kept out” from a culture that is understandably reluctant to let them in.

Hip-hop and rap is a prime example as many white people are consistently reminded that the music they buy, listen to, and learn the lyrics of is not intended for them. This is truly disheartening for many when they appreciate the music, but are left to feel foolish for having liked it.

This is precisely why white hip-hop artists are regarded in “white culture” (a phrase that sounds funny even thinking it) as cultural archetypes for middle-America white communities. Eminem: “finally somebody who says what everybody is thinking”. It sounds awfully familiar to a prominent recent presidential campaign, right? Or the Beastie Boys massive and long-lasting success. Insane Clown Posse has a literal army of followers probably more loyal than any artist in history. Hell, even Vanilla Ice has earned his spot in time, albeit under a rather thick veil of irony.

Do minorities and people of color enjoy this music too? Sure they do. But the way these artists are reveled in white society is unmatched. It’s as if white Americans somehow “made it” into black culture, as if the roles had somehow reversed, making a white kid from the Midwest as he listens to Fifty Cent the underdog, and not the other way around.

But this confusion doesn’t stop at music itself, but continues on into the bars and clubs where straight white men can feel publicly shamed. After years of conditioning and reification the line continues on “white people have no rhythm" and no amount of practice will ever help you learn how to dance, because it is a fact of your DNA. These comments are obviously untrue as are the early pseudo-scientists of the 1800’s who attempted through biological experiments and data collection to prove the inadequacy of the black man. It’s horseshit, and everybody knows it, yet the myth pervades. To prove his subordination was the will of god. Of a white god, no less. It could feel to many as though these roles have reversed, and while one is clearly no longer acceptable to discuss in polite company these thoughts aloud, it feels as though the other remains as permissible as ever.

The confusion does not stop at dancing. Popular black comedians reference the way white men speak in a way white men no longer can, or even the way they walk, or the insufferable size of their genitalia.

Black, white, brown or otherwise - if you really want to upset a man, talk about the size of his dick.

Black men are more likely to date or marry white women than white men are to black women. From the U.S. Census Bureau:U.S. Census Bureau
Seemingly trivial, but to an already frustrated white man this may seem like simply one more avenue of disenfranchisement. DISENFRANCHISEMENT of WHITE men???

This is a progressive podcast, and so I know what most of you are probably thinking. “Boo-Fucking-Hoo. So sad for white America”. I get it, but do you get it? 63 million Americans voted for Donald Trump - a man who is clearly bad for America. If you don’t want to try to understand the mindset of the frustrated white American, then don’t claim you know them. Don’t pretend you understand better than they do.

All of it is perspective. And all of this is about reconciliation, is it not?

If you are a conservative I hope you feel I’ve done some justice here - sought some truth. I hope you feel like I’ve delivered a rationale that is often missing in these conversations when your whole demographic is being written off as “racist” and nothing less. But, I have one request of you. It’s that you do the same honor I have bestowed here, and try to understand the plight of what 400 years of slavery - slavery almost exclusively carried out from one race upon another - and try to contrast that to the cultural frustrations you may be feeling. That when you say “slavery is over, and we should stop living in the past” what you are really saying is “I don’t care about your past”. When you voted to “Make America great again” you voted for a time past. It is grammatically an admission that the time you long for is the past, because that past felt triumphant, eternal, and righteous. But you must see that your victorious past was so many others’ painful history, and that their existence, prosperity and success today is built on nothing less than sheer determination of the will to carry on, one day at a time. Nobody is doubting that the white race could not have done that too, but what “Black Power” means is this race did it, despite all odds. And that indeed, deserves a bow, not a rally for an equally loud expression of white power or a “hell yeah” when state legislatures promise to allow drivers the freedom to run over Black Lives Matter protesters when they demonstrate peacefully in the street. This sort of chaos and raw hatred doesn’t make you powerful. It places you on the wrong side of history. As Steven Michael of Pittsburgh wrote on Facebook:

 
Still don’t feel like racism exists in America? Answer this question: What race is Barack Obama? If “black” is the first thing that comes to your mind, no matter what side of the fence on this issue you land on is, you have been manipulated by everything around you to believe a half-truth. That includes myself. Obama is half-white, but we don’t think of him like that, because of white-propagated notions like the “one drop rule” meaning exactly what it sounds like. If you have one drop of black blood in your body, you are somehow forever different from the mainstream white hegemony.

After all of this I’m left with one burning question hot in social media right now.

Colin Kaepernick cannot get signed on to an NFL team this year to save himself. I end with Kaepernick, because here is a man who cannot get a contract for reasons that seem rather obvious to most of us. Some will say he simply isn’t a good enough player, and that’s the reason he can’t get signed http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/06/colin-kaepernick-andy-benoit-blackballed-nfl. Maybe that’s true, but it doesn’t stop loads of other terrible back-up quarterbacks, much less starting quarterbacks from getting signed year after year. More than anything, from the chaos surrounding such a well-known player in a Sunday sport arguably as important as church itself or the military - his “ability” is an easy out. Would he have a better chance of getting signed to a team this year if he had simply beat up his fiancé or kids? Now, does he have to beat up his own kids or can he borrow them from somebody else. The man kneeled during the national anthem and we are ready to deport him for it. Think about that. Does that sound like freedom? Do you feel free?

The problem isn’t whether or not we love the national anthem, as much as it is that we have been sold the idea that the anthem has become equivocal to our love of the sport. The two are inseparable. There is no American professional sports event that I know of where the anthem is not sung. Interestingly, this isn’t something that is done in other countries with the type of vigor it is in the USA. Why is this a uniquely American event?

Furthermore, the honoring of military veterans during games. “Please stand and honor staff sergeant so-and-so for his commitment to honor and duty in service to our great nation.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with supporting soldiers, but you may find it concerning that the Department of Defense has paid teams (especially in the NFL) for these time slots. According to a 2015 report written up by Arizona Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake (the same Flake Trump is currently trying to politically bury - in an act of truly childish petty grievance) - the DOD had paid as much as $53 million over three years for acts of “paid patriotism” http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2015/11/06/Department-of-Defense-paid-53-million-to-pro-sports-for-military-tributes-report-says/stories/201511060140.

They are paid propaganda spots to drum up support for military expansion and endless wars in the middle east. We don’t think about the cost of these wars in dollars or lives, but rather in terms of the glorification of war by equivocating athletes with soldiers. This notion is archaic, and it leaves no room for notions of peace. Worse yet, it paints a picture to millions of Americans (especially children) that the only honorable American is an American that will blindly support whatever the United States government wants to do at anytime anywhere and for any reason, and to question that notion makes you an un-American traitor. True Patriots only ever say “yes”. To even hesitate makes you less than human. It makes you scum.

The irony is that the big government that Americans worry so much about, in particular conservatives, is made painfully obvious if one were to just take a minute and question a system that doesn’t allow for doubt, debate, or democracy. No, no, no this can’t happen! Get in line, or you’re out of line. Be a proud American, and stop questioning Uncle Sam, Big Brother - same difference.

All this in a nation that incarcerates more of its citizenry than any other nation on earth, a police force that shoots and kills its own citizens at rates drastically higher than any other developed country, and deprives its own children adequate access to education and healthcare more than any other developed nation in the Western world - and ALL OF THIS done to alarming degrees of dis-proportionality upon people of color, particularly that of Black America.

So the next time you hear somebody say “white lives matter” you can remember another three-word slogan:

“Boo Fucking Hoo”.

Direct download: White_Power.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm CEST

Repeal and..... good luck?

Republicans offer another humdinger to outdo the last egregious effort to remove millions of Americans from health insurance. Trump backs out on his promise to repeal AND replace, and three unlikely GOP defenders arise from the chaos.

Rate and review the show at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2

Music by Evil Bear Boris, Rob Steady and Bacalao via the Free Music Archive and show image via Flickr by Brian Talbot under Creative Commons licensing.

Direct download: Pray_the_Pain_Away.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am CEST

Days ago, 6 leading scientists in climate change research printed an open letter stating that we have three years to stop irreversible damage to the climate.

Sometimes called the "runaway greenhouse effect", the change would be unstoppable. Whether or not three years is accurate or not, the more important question is what are we willing to gamble away if it isn't? The future of the planet has never been in more jeopardy, and it is clear there is one political party on planet Earth who is hijacking this process more than any other: The Republican Party.

The time was yesterday. Today is too late. Tomorrow is unthinkable.

Direct download: The_Paris_Climate_Agreement.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm CEST

The American Health Care Act is finally here!

Music via the the Free Music Archive under Creative Commons licensing. Today’s music by Broke For Free, Evil Bear Boris, Blue Dot Sessions, Shake That Little Foot, The Joy Drops, and Darksunn. Show image via Flickr under Creative Commons licensing. This modified image by Don...The UpNorth Memories Guy...

Senate Republicans have released their amendment to the already passed House bill - also known as TRUMPCARE. The bill is part of the “repeal and replace” campaign promise made by Donald Trump to eliminate the Affordable Care Act also referred to as Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office or CBO is the independent group charged with scoring the bill to see what kind of collateral damage we are looking at. Their score is expected to be released in the final week of June, but things already don’t look very good. The CBO had already warned that the House version of the bill which Donald “nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated” Trump creamed his jeans f0r, would potentially throw 23 million Americans off of insurance.

While the Affordable Care Act actually expanded Medicaid to most states, the Republican bill all but eliminates it while giving massive tax breaks to corporations and billionaires. The bill is so unpopular that 4 Republicans have already come out in opposition to its passing. This act of GOP mutiny is being led by Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah, and Texas’ very own Ted Cruz.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but if Ted Cruz thinks it’s bad for America then it must be reaaaallly fucked up. Because that’s like the shadiest car salesman ever telling you that all the cars on the lot are real lemons. Go. Run.

A quick comment about Obamacare - when surveyed, a vast majority of people were in favor of the “Affordable Care Act” but when referred to as “Obamacare” many were adamantly opposed - EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE SAME LAW. Which leads me to believe that humans be FICKLE WITH THE DETAILS.

While Obamacare was never perfect. I mean far, far from perfect, it is the best thing to happen to American’s health care since the invention of diet and exercise. Good things like not kicking a person off of insurance for being sick with a pre-existing condition. Fortunately, though perhaps too little, too late, many American’s are keen to this as promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act have resulted in overflowing town halls of angry people in motion - democracy in action - to Republican members of congress letting them know they are “displeased” with their representatives.

And why wouldn’t they be? The new measure would not allow insurance companies to boot recipients off of insurance for pre-existing conditions, but if there is EVER a gap in coverage… oh boy, oh boy - to charge those same unfortunate souls seeking coverage astronomical amounts of money to punish them into better health, like luring a starving animal with a loaf of stale bread, only to beat it with it upon arrival.

Of course the bill doesn’t eliminate Medicaid - it just guts it from the inside like a child told on Christmas morning that they were an unwanted pregnancy. NOBODY WANTS YOU BILLY! WHY DON’T YOU RUN AWAY AND JOIN A PETTING ZOO! Politicians can’t simply come out and say, “To the wonderfully average people of the great state of (fill in state name here) - my billionaire friends who fund my campaign each election have asked me to kill Medicaid. They said this so-called entitlement is rather inconvenient during this time of immense profitability for the most opulent and affluent among thee.”

What they do instead is de-fund, de-fund, de-fund, mismanage and de-fund until citizens come and beg them to kill it off. This is essentially the Republican’s mantra. Step one: Place clowns in administrative positions. Step two: gut funding. Step three: Pop popcorn. Step four: Prepare lotion and Kleenex. Step five: Roll cameras. Ewww.. sounds sticky.

But it is always darkest before the dawn. The California Senate just passed SB- 562, a single-payer health care bill called the Healthy California Act. Sometimes called “Medicare for all” a single-payer system is what is used in most other developed countries. SOCIALISTS! It means, there is one bill - and it goes directly to the government. If it sounds expensive, it’s because it is. Remember, “nobody knew healthcare would be so complicated” - or expensive!

So we must ask the question - how the hell does California plan to pay for this cost saving measure? And how dare they? WAIT, WHAT??? That’s right, California plans to SAVE 8% on overall costs with a 2.3% tax on businesses. “The tyrannical government at it again - coming after small businesses!” Well, hold on there, Paul Revere. The first $2 million of every business is exempt, so my guess is this wouldn’t apply to you. California guesses it would apply to only 20% of you. So the richest and biggest businesses. “Oh, that poor Wal-Mart. How will they ever afford it with their low, low prices? And Mr. Mc-a-Donald? How is a dollar menu to remain a dollar menu in such times?” California will also set a 2.3% sales tax, offset by a 2% tax credit for the poorest families.

So as California is actually ramping up its plan to save its taxpayers BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, we need to drop the façade that somehow having a single-payer, government ran healthcare system would be more expensive, because the numbers do not reflect this truth. These must be the same mathematicians hired by Creationists. “Hmmm let’s see, 5000 years ago for the bronze age (Jesus’ favorite metal btw)… 12,000 for natives in the Americas… 33,000 for cave art… 40o,ooo for stone spear hunting… weird plants, dinosaur bones - 120 million.. 240 million… 440 million, … Hallelujah! Earth is 6000 years old.”

And just when you thought this message didn’t apply to Democrats, think again! Senator Cory Booker, a man of the people, a David to Goliath, a Sonny to our Cher - just sided with Republicans to stop a measure allowing the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada. Why? I don’t know, but I can tell you it’s probably part of his interview process for his next job: pharmaceutical lobbyist. Classy bastard.

So people are worried American health care is going to get more expensive? Well, not only do the numbers not pan out, but American health care per capita is already the MOST EXPENSIVE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE WORLD. And not by a little bit. By a lot. Like Usain Bolt 100 meter sprint competitions against Stephen Hawking - lot. But not forever. Professor Hawking has you exactly where he wants you, Bolt. So if American spends the most, it’s care should be the best, right? WRONG! Because, it’s also consistently rated as ONE OF THE WORST HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD. And I mean that from the most objective place in my cold, lifeless, snow-flaky, libtard heart.

The US consistently ranks as one of the worst systems in terms of efficiency when comparing life expectancy vs cost of care. We spend a whopping 18% of GDP on health care. While it’s true, the average American life span, though not the best at all, is still high 70s - this does you no good if every time you come back from the hospital you have a heart attack when you open your bill. So the good news? We are doing better than Russia. The bad news? According to Bloomberg, we rank 50 out of 55 in efficiency. Now, that doesn’t exactly mean life expectancy, even though maybe that’s how we should measure it. Let’s just keep with the status quo for arguments sake and treat every human like a number.

One reason costs are so much more affordable in places like France and Germany is because the government will aggressively bargain with hospitals, medical providers, insurance companies, and pharmaceuticals. Remember that human turd, Martin Skrelli? He’s the guy that bought the Epipen and jacked up the price by a billion percent, because “fuck you”. That shit doesn’t happen in other countries? Why not? Because they have laws against that type of crap.

So here’s a poem to help you remember which countries are better than us:

Hong Kong and Singapore, man you know they’re first on the list,
but them little shits is city states - and so I think you get the gist.

Spain, South Korea, and Japan all made it to the top 5,
One has massive unemployment but still manages to keep you alive.

Mazel Tov in Israel even though we pay their military bills
But it’s Emirates in the Middle East that’s healthcare really kills.

Greece is in depression, a recession - but still livin' nice and old.
Hell even Canada’s better, maple syrup mofos must be always cold.

Mexico is filled with dead journalists run by gangs, murderers and drugs,
but even they make our pharmacist lobbyists look like a flock of 3rd world thugs.

For those keeping score at home, that means the US is stuck in a rut,
between our Northern and Southern friends who no longer give a fuuuuu.

Maybe they’ll get sessions wall-building lesson commies over in China,
where you have better luck to find a doctor to examine your lady’s vagina.

Former soviet Romania has more than bandaids in this rap,
Apparently Malaysia too, but I can’t even find them mother fuckers on a map.

Turkey is on its way to dictatorship but still better than Peru,
even those terrorist-lovers in Iran have a working ICU.

SAUDI ARABIA can cut off your neighbor’s head,
and still give him a doctor when he’s clearly dead!

Libya had great health care before the US screwed with it,
bread is now harder to find anywhere, but the healthcare is still legit.

In Ecuador, Belarus, or Serbia, you can find a nurse who plays the tuba,
but the country with the most doctors are the sons of bitches down in Cuba.

There’s a list of countries with healthcare better than the US of A,
just remember that the next time you got medical bills to pay.



Net Neutrality Day July 12th, mo-fers. Graphs and visual aids and shit are all available for this shit online. Google at it, dog.

The United States is the most expensive country on the list, and also one of the worst upon delivery. Spending 18% of GDP, the second most spent by a country is a very distant Sweden at 12%. And in third place, Germany - where I just happen to have lived for the last 4 years. So I may be able to provide some insight on this topic.

I pay about 25-30% of my paycheck in taxes. Is that a lot? Hell yes it’s a lot! But in reality it really ain’t much more than you pay right now in the states. Go look at your tax return. I’ll wait. I’m not gonna wait for you - this is a podcast. And what does that effectively mean in a country that spends over 10% of its GDP on healthcare? Well, instead of me telling you what a typical doctor’s visit is like. Let me instead offer you a reenactment of it. Forewarning, my German isn’t perfect so the grammar will not be the best. Deal with it.

AND NOW…

Gregory goes to the German Dr.’s office





GREGORY: Hallo, Guten Tag. Ich habe mein Bein gebrochen. Es tut echt weh, und jetzt gibst Blut überall eure Boden. Es tut mir leid.

Hello, good day. I have broken my leg. It really hurts, and now there is blood everywhere on your floor. I’m sorry.

FRONT DESK: Grüß Gott. So es ist kein Notfall. Super. Haben Sie eine Versicherungskarte dabei?

Greetings. So it is not an emergency. Super. Do you have an insurance card with you?

GREGORY: Ja, natürlich! Was bin ich? Eine dumme Ami? Hier ist es.

Of course! What am I? A dumb American? Here it is.

FRONT DESK: Toll. Sitzen Sie bitte in unser Wartezimmer.

Great. Have a seat in the waiting room.

Fünf Minuten Später

Five Minutes Later

FRONT DESK: Herr Haddock, der Arzt wird Sie jetzt in Zimmer eins sehen.
Mr. Haddock, the doctor will now see you in room #1.

GREGORY: Boah! Das war richtig schnell!
Wow! That was really fast!

FRONT DESK: Ach! Ja Klar! Was denken Sie? Dass sind wir jetzt in Amerika?
Ach! Of course! What do you think? That we’re in America?

ARZT: Hallo, Herr Haddock - was ist genau der Problem?
Hello Mr. Haddock - what is the problem exactly?

GREGORY: Ich habe mein Bein gebrochen. Können Sie es reparieren?
I broke my leg. Can you fix it?

ARZT: Gott im Himmel nicht! Des ist ein Arzt Büro, kein Unfallstation! Sie sind nicht nur Depp aber dämlich. Sie müssen direkt ins Krankenhaus gehen. Ich rufe Ihnen ein Krankenwagen sofort an.
God in heaven no! This is a doctor’s office, not an emergency room. You are not only stupid, but also dumb. You need to go directly to the hospital. I will call you an ambulance immediately.

GREGORY: Oh, dass weiß ich nicht. Es klingt echt teuer…
Oh, I don’t know. That sounds expensive.

ARZT: Ach, Quatsch! Wir sind in Deutschland, nicht ein Drecksloch wie Amerika.
Nonsense! We’re in Germany, not some shithole like America.

GREGORY: Hoppla! Ha ha - Sie haben Drecksloch gesagt!
Whoa! Ha ha, You said shithole!

ARZT: Wie Amerika!
Like America!

GREGORY: Hoppla!! LOLZ
Whoa! LOLZ

ARZT: Hier ist auch ein Rezept für Schmerz Tabletten. Sie werden die brauchen.
Here is also a prescription for pain pills. You will need them.

GREGORY: Oh, ist das teuer?
Oh, is that expensive?

ARZT: Nein, ist kostenlos!
No, it’s free!

GREGORY: Mein Besuch ist aber teuer, ja?
But my visit is expensive right?

ARZT: Nein, was ist los mit dir, du total bescheuerte außerordentliche dumme Mensch.
No, what’s wrong with you? You totally, stupid, inordinately dumb person.

GREGORY: OK! Danke, Dr!
Ok, thank you, doctor!

ARZT: Bitte! Schönen Tag noch!
Your welcome! Have a nice day!

END SCENE



I have one more anecdote for you. I know an older German couple here quite well, and am very familiar with their medical situations. Last year, the older man had a heart attack. He had chest pains in the morning, and decided to go to the hospital. Being a tough SOB he first showered before going, because - have some self-respect for yourself. In fact, his wife was angry with him for not shaving too. When we visited him in the hospital the thing that really struck me as odd about the situation was how calm he was about it all. And then it hit me - he had already surgery, and I found that the doctor was unusually helpful and friendly. The first and only question this sweet old man had was this: “When can I mow the lawn again.”

Can you believe that shit? The entire mood of the setting was nothing but jubilant over the prospect that this man needed urgent care - and RECEIVED IT IN A TIMELY MANNER. No more than he had received his needed care, had he begun to forget the situation altogether. It was a shining example of how a society ought to treat the people they claim are part of the national family. No concerns about bills, about the next time - no what ifs, buts, or regrets. You have pain, you come in. Finished.

He’s got a list of prescriptions and a collection of drugs that would put Charlie Sheen to shame. Eat shit, Charlie Sheen! And when I asked him how much he pays for his medication he told me next to nothing. Sometimes he has to pay a 5 Euro co-pay, but that’s it. That’s like $6. Otherwise, he doesn’t lose a wink of sleep over the whole ordeal, and he gets the care he needs when he needs it. A stark contrast to a country that constantly reminds its citizens that they don’t work hard enough, can’t help but sell guns and drop bombs, and healthcare is a privilege, not a right. That somehow there is nothing immoral about asking Americans to pay significantly more for good insurance by treating access to healthcare the same as being able to afford healthcare. There is no greater shame than this.

This wonderful old man is alive and well today, and yes, still mowing the lawn as often as humanly possible - and boy does the grass look sharp. He is not plagued with anxiety about the future to come, because he lives in a country that gives a shit.


So while what little healthcare Americans do have is under attack, I urge you in a CALL TO ACTION.

If you are a female senior citizen who is struggling with drug addiction to cope with depression while simultaneously concerned about family planning or you are concerned about HUMANS dealing with any or all of these issues  — you need to run, not walk - or perhaps get the neighbor boy to drive you to your elected representative’s office and tell him or her to drop this Trumpcare nonsense, and move to support a single-payer or medicare-for-all bill - because all that you hold near and dear is in the hands of a group of seedy politicians desperately eager to please their financiers by selling your healthcare to the god damn devil.

Direct download: TrumpCarez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm CEST

Music by Damiano Baldoni via the Free Music Archive and show image via Flickr by DonkeyHotey under Creative Commons licensing. Mixed by Gregory Haddock.

RATE AND REVIEW THE SHOW!!! HELP US GROOOOOOWWWWW at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2

Direct download: Minority_Hero_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:06am CEST

“Even the noblest god-king does us no good if his first born son is an asshole.”

A Video of this speech is available on Youtube, Facebook and of course at www.majorityvillain.com.

It's no longer enough to simply be on the "right team". We need to democratize every aspect of our lives, locally, nationally and beyond. If it sounds a little funny, it’s because it was recorded live: This is my June 2017 talk with Democrats Abroad - Stuttgart, Germany.
Music by Evil Bear Boris, Damiano Baldoni and by SK via the Free Music Archive under Creative Commons licensing.

Rate and review the show at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2

Direct download: Democratize_Democracy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm CEST

Chomsky:

there are two solutions to the 'problem' of democracy. Reduce inequality or reduce democracy.

There are a number of ways to view politics. One avenue says its too bad things are the way they are, but thank god somebody is doing something about it. The other avenue is to do something about it. We could democratize our democracies, or.... we can all hail the minority hero.

Music via www.freemusicarchive.org under Creative Commons licencsing - today by Evil Bear Boris, The Joy Drops, J-K, and Damiano Baldoni. Show image via Flickr by Guille Mendia.

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Direct download: Minority_Hero.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:10pm CEST

Listen to Richard Wolff say “shit”, like, a half-dozen times. Seriously, it’s amazing.

Professor Wolff gets open about his formative years growing up with immigrant parents who escaped Germany during WWII and shares how their experiences helped shape his criticism of American politics and Capitalism. While Wolff begins by telling us the key for knowing if the economy is improving or not, he finishes this extremely humanist discussion by reflecting on how the Vietnam War shaped him more than anything else.

Richard Wolff is the host of Economic Update, a radio show airing nationwide discussing all the way economics affects our lives, and has written several books including Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism and Capitalism Hits the Fan. A visiting professor of economics at the New School University in New York City, Richard Wolff is the founder of Democracy at Work, “a non-profit 501(c)3 that advocates for worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces as a key path to a stronger, democratic economic system.” Jackpot.

Visit their website at www.democracyatwork.info

Special audio from the March for Science from Tübingen, Germany with audio from Mayor Boris Palmer and Eberhard Karls Tübingen University professor, Nicholas Conard.

Majority Villain is a show dedicated to democratic movements, big and small. Learn more at www.majorityvillain.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @majorityvillain. Email Gregory at greg@majorityvillain.com. Rate and review the show at https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2.

Today’s music is from Evil Bear Boris, Komiku and Learning Music via www.freemusicarchive.org under Creative Commons licensing.

Direct download: Prof_Wolff_Cuts_the_Sh_t.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm CEST

For every review left for the show, a Pokémon will be released into the wild.
SAVE THE POKéMEN HERE!!!

Today’s music by Evil Bear Boris and Blue Dot Sessions via the Free Music Archive and show art from Flickr by Satragon, all under Creative Commons Licensing.

Majority Villain is produced by Gregory Haddock with production assistance from Barbara Percival and Mathieu Fournier. Kris Shapar heads our social media.

#NoMoreWar
It’s no secret I don’t like or trust Donald Trump. But you should know I never trusted Hillary. You should also know that I have a thousand problems with Obama. You should know that I don’t trust anybody in authority blindly and I don’t think you should either.

That being said, it’s irrelevant who began these wars in the Middle East. It doesn’t matter who is in charge now, because here is the truth: Most of our elected officials in DC get reelected year after year as a result of the defense industry spending millions of dollars to buy these corrupt politicians in a country where blatant legal bribery exists every day. This is not an issue isolated to Republicans. It does not exclude Democrats. The people who are meant to represent us make money every time a bomb is dropped by one of the big arms manufacturers. These firms are spread out all over the United States so as to keep pressure on all senators and representatives and keep the illusion that this is simply a “jobs program” and “just the way things are”. However, when Gallup did an international poll asking what the gravest danger world-wide was, our brothers and sisters around the globe stated plainly that it was the United States.

We know Martin Luther King, Jr. for being the “dreamer”. We know he was named for the brave and deeply hated in his time, Martin Luther, the great reformer of the church (500 years this year!). A year to the day before he died he stated he was afraid that his own government was the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Was he wrong then? 50 years ago this month - what have we learned? Have we grown from this place? He also said with great earnest, "Let me say finally that I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against this war, not in anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. And there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love.” In other words, we do not challenge our country from any other place than sincere pride and the deepest affection. Political commentator, Tavis Smiley, said this was the speech that put a target on his back. I wonder why.

Our elected officials are profiting through the destruction of human lives. We should be furious.

War is being waged all over the world in your name. Children are being murdered with your tax dollars, and truly awful groups like ISIS are benefiting from every single attack as each bomb radicalizes the next human who has had everything that mattered taken from them. The best thing we can do to fight terrorism is stop our outlandish bombing campaigns in the name of democracy, freedom, and peace.

Obama dropped over 26,000 bombs in 2016 alone - that’s three per hour. Meanwhile, Trump just dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb available to him in Afghanistan. Most of the news is focused on Syria and Iraq, but we are also creating terror in Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. These are majority-Muslim countries where we are actively creating refugees and then giving them the middle finger when they try to leave. We are totally unaware of the consequence of these actions in our comfortable lives: 17 million people are starving in Yemen due to US-backed war efforts, and over half of the refugees from Syria are still in Syria.

We can do better, because we must do better. Our country deserves that much. The world deserves that much. I know and I agree, it feels so much more satisfying to hate and avenge those that hurt us, but as Jesus said, real or symbolic - however you feel about religion, who died on this day so many years ago so that we may know love, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Love your enemies, dine with sinners, and cause no harm where it needn’t be.

Direct download: NoMoreWar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am CEST

Welcome to part II of II with Jose Olivas on what it's like to be a Mexican-American living in the United States under a Trump presidency.

Please please please take the time to tell a friend and rate and review the show on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/majority-villain/id877298705?mt=2 - it helps people to find the show and is the best way for you to help us grow!

"New You May Have Missed" - check it out on YouTube! https://youtu.be/FU8ESSIbic8

Special thanks to Mathieu Fournier, Kris Shapar, Jose Olivas and the good people at the www.freemusicarhive.org

Who is Neil Gorsuch in 2 minutes? https://youtu.be/wScxhy7WTlg

Republicans have gone with the “Nuclear Option” doing away with the 60-vote threshold needed to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. The tactical move eliminates the awkward process of filibustering nominees which has historically been an excuse for politicians desperate for attention to read children’s books aloud and urinate in public. The move came just in time for Gorsuch, a professional corporation-ass-jockey and Antonin Scalia-enthusiast, who has now been confirmed with a simple majority vote. Gorsuch’s confirmation was funded to the tune of $17 million in dark money - meaning nobody knows or is allowed to know where it came from.

Today’s show is brought to you by the word “Corruption”. Buying democracy in America since go fuck yourself.

In related news, congress voted at the end of March to eliminate Federal Communications Commission rules, now allowing internet companies to sell your browser history to advertisers. No big deal. None at all. You have nothing to hide right? Just good luck explaining to your kids what a “cuckold” is when your Facebook banner ads are littered with male enhancement “solutions”.

And that’s the neeeeeews you may have missed.

For the whole audio podcast check out MajorityVillain.com/thepodcast or just search “Majority Villain” on the podcast app you already use.


https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/04/republicans-nuke-the-filibuster-to-save-neil-gorsuch/522156/

https://news.vice.com/story/trump-is-deporting-more-people-than-obama-but-just-barely

http://www.voanews.com/a/comparing-immigration-raids-under-trump-and-obama/3727706.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-privacy-cards-against-humanity-congress-internet-history-federal-communications-a7659146.html

Direct download: Part_II_with_Jose.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm CEST

Part I with guest co-host Jose Olivas on what it's like to be a Mexican-American in 2017.

Leave a review for the show and you will be visited by an angel who will grant you 3 wishes, and if you leave 5 stars Bill Gates will write you a check for a bajillion dollars.
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Just open link, click on “View in iTunes” - click “write a review”. Then leave 5 stars, ya rat bastards! (Angels, wishes, Bill Gates and money not included).

News you may have missed:
-Salute a conservative. Tomi Lahren, show host of the conservative news and entertainment network “The Blaze” part of the Glenn Beck antichrist empire, has been suspended for comments she made on “The View” stating that she was pro-choice, as a part of her small-government world-view. MV salutes you, Tomi Lahren, for your courage to stick to rational arguments. (Washington Times, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/21/tomi-lahrens-show-suspended-by-glenn-becks-the-bla/)
-Senate confirmation hearings have begun for Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court this week. The appointment would give a 5-4 edge to conservatives on future rulings. Gorsuch, a rigid originalist in Constitution interpretation, ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby’s religious right to refuse birth control to employees under Obamacare - Thou shall not fuck without thine own prophylactics - He also ruled against a truck driver who sued his former company after they fired him for abandoning his trailer and its goods when the man believed that he would freeze to death otherwise. His mother, Anne Gorsuch Burford, also had a short stint with the US government as President Reagan’s Environmental Protection Agency or EPA administrator where she tried to cut up to 30% of the staff which would have resulted in $17.6M for severance pay alone (Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/01/neil-gorsuchs-mother-once-ran-the-epa-it-was-a-disaster/?utm_term=.d6f55e53613b) and stopped filing new court cases going after big polluters. Her scandalous mismanagement of the EPA eventually led to her premature resignation. You may be wondering, “Why does this story sound so familiar?” That’s because the current administration is doing the exact same thing again today (Independent, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-budget-clean-air-water-attack-global-warming-epa-warning-a7639181.html).

-In all of the chaos over the last 6 months, probably the smartest thing I have heard is this: Politicians strategically use distractions to keep us from looking at the core issues. Case in point. When Donald Trump accuses Obama of wiretapping him, it probably has more to do with keeping the rest of us occupied with his circus than in looking at the finer details of whatever god-forsaken thing he is pushing in Washington. Like his hair - an unnatural distraction from his mouth. So you may have heard of his disastrous budget proposal - a proposal which would give the military a 10% increase - an increase that is equal to the entire annual military budget of the United Kingdom alone.. and a budget that would slash the before mentioned EPA, Small Business Administration, Department of Justice, Meals on Wheels, NASA, National Endowment for the Arts, after school programs and basically any other agency with a vowel in their name. That’s the equivalent of taking away little Tommy’s books, food and video games - and then giving him a taser to play with.

Democrats are not much better. After squeezing Bernie Sanders out of the primaries by doing everything in their power to silence him, they have learned nothing from the loss of Hillary Clinton. Yes, she received more votes, but she still lost - voter suppression be damned. And did any of the Democratic party lose their leadership positions? No. In fact, with the recent election of former labor secretary Tom Perez to DNC chair, it appears they’re not even concerned about it. So what do they do? They claim Russia interfered with the election - a claim which finally is and should be investigated properly - but to this point remains a claim without certifiable proof. That’s because the longer the media train keeps us going down this modern DNC-led McCarthyism rabbit hole, the less today the Democratic leadership looks like a group of lemurs playing with a smart phone.


Music provided by the Free Music Archive via Creative Commons licensing; Evil Bear Boris and Gillicuddy. Additional short clips under Fair Use from YungBlu and King Lil G.

https://theconversation.com/immigration-and-crime-what-does-the-research-say-72176

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-06-06/crops-rot-while-trump-led-immigration-backlash-idles-farm-lobby

Show image via Flickr by Thomas Hawk.

Direct download: Donald_and_a_Mexican_walk_into_a_bar....mp3
Category:Comedy and News Analysis -- posted at: 12:50pm CEST