Apologies to Francis Scott Key. The StarSpangled Banner, our national anthem, was originally a poem titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry.” It was written by Francis Scott Key, after he witnessed that Baltimore fort being bombarded by the British fleet during the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the sight of a lone U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry at daybreak, as reflected in the now-famous words of the “Star-Spangled Banner”.
On June 18, 1812, America declared war on Great Britain after a series of trade disagreements. In August 1814, British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and burned the White House, Capitol Building and Library of Congress. Their next target was Baltimore. After one of Key’s friends, Dr. William Beanes, was taken prisoner by the British, Key went to Baltimore, located the ship where Beanes was being held and negotiated his release. However, Key and Beanes weren’t allowed to leave until after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry. Key watched the bombing campaign unfold from aboard a ship located about eight miles away. After a day, the British were unable to destroy the fort and gave up. Key was relieved to see the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry and quickly penned a few lines in tribute to what he had witnessed.
The poem was printed in newspapers and eventually set to the music of a popular English drinking tune called “To Anacreon in Heaven” by composer John Stafford Smith. People began referring to the song as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson announced that it should be played at all official events. It was adopted as the national anthem on March 3, 1931. Francis Scott Key died of pleurisy on January 11, 1843. The first, most familiar stanza, says:
Oh, say, can you see? By the dawn’s early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming; Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming. And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air. Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there: Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave? O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
My submission for the leftist version:
Oh say can you tweet, by the iPhones blue light, while so groggy we groan, after last nights demonstration, fueled with outrage and spite, cracking skulls of the right, O’er the ramparts we stormed, smugly virtue-signaling, That Antifa was there, giving cops their hard stare, gave proof through the night, white privilege laid bare, oh, props to your bandanna and your group think so brave, o’er the land of the grieved and the home of the knave.
Sing it to the tune of Star Spangled Banner–it works.
“Corporate America”, what former President General Dwight Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex”, has always been about advancing…. Progress? Profit? No, itself! Corporate America is a popularity-seeking animal. Therefore, itattaches itself, remora-like, to any social fad or trend that can score “brownie-points” in the popularity derby. By the way, let’s not forget the origin of the term “brownie points”. “Brown-nosing” is following the leader with your nose stuck far enough up their butt to get brown…….I suppose you get used to the smell.The latest iteration is corporate America browning up to the leftist establishment, what I have been referring to in previous posts as the Perfectionist Progressives.“Perfectionist” because they are never satisfied. They have that in common with the upper echelons of the wealthy: “How much wealth is enough? Just a little bit more.” PP’s: “How much ‘progress’ (i.e. destruction of traditions which worked, especially the idea and realities of profit and private property) is enough? Just a little bit more.”
The most egregious and hopeless attempt to curry popularity is Corporate America sponsoring “gay pride” events. Yesterday, Fortune Magazine, in the past a bastion of business success articles, had an article about “mansplaining”. Well, the pride sponsoring has been going on long enough to barely notice it, but Fortune magazine mansplaining…… mansplaining? Wow, how brown do you want your nose to be? Let’s “lean in” (another recent PP term) to the advice given: (my comments in bold) and my underlining
“Mansplaining is a condescending, arrogant, and entitled expression of privilege. I’ve also seen white people (can’t leave out attacking us poor melanin-challenged?) acting out the same behaviors you describe to people of color, and cis straight people (the other most favored leftist shibboleth) taking over conversations around the gender spectrum. ’Splaining of all sorts is often done by people who expect to be recognized for sharing their opinions. People who have historically not been heard bear the brunt of being ’splained to by people who are used to holding privilege and doing all of the ’splaining. Workspaces that allow people to ’splain to other people—mansplaining or otherwise—prioritize some people’s experience over others’ and allow for people to systematically go unheard. To create environments where people are respected and can contribute in meaningful ways, these behaviors need to be addressed and dismantled. Mansplaining is one of many ’splaining behaviors that is a symptom of privilege (what could be worse). It’s an important one to address, and it’s the one affecting you right now. I’ll zero in on mansplaining, but I thought it was important to not limit this issue only to men explaining things to women. “Mansplaining encapsulates the sexist, condescending tendency men can exhibit in classrooms, at work, and in casual conversation to assume that they know more about a topic than a woman, no matter what it is or what her credentials are.” That exposition is a response from a letter to the author of the piece about how this woman of color has to pretend to tolerate her boss mansplaining her job to her. Fortunately, the author has a constructive suggestion, rather than adding to the chorus:
“There was a time where I decided I was just going to start calling people out,” she said. “I was exhausted and over it. Some people got it. For many, it made me come across as bitter. Going for the jugular on this issue wasn’t helpful—it put people in an uncomfortable spot in a public setting. In some places, people didn’t realize they were doing it so it really blindsided them.” If you want to confront the mansplainer, try talking to him one-on-one. You might find that when you do, he doesn’t realize how he’s been coming off. Focus on how you’re feeling about his behavior, don’t attack him.”Yes, talk one on one!! If more people would do that, perhaps there would be more understanding in the world. I wonder though, what is the term when a “non-binary” talks down? “Theysplaining?” “Xesplaining?”
I have had many bosses, but my two female bosses, Jane and Laurel, were the best. In the early days of my relationship with Laurel, she wanted to counsel me on my performance, and began by complimenting me on something. I stopped her with this: “Laurel, I know that the ‘praise sandwich’ is considered a ‘best practice’ for delivering criticism, but let’s make it easy on both of us—just tell me flat out what I did wrong and how I can improve, and know that I trust your advice and won’t get offended.” We both enjoyed a hearty laugh, she really gave it to me, and we were great thereafter. Even after I left the company, we remained friends. I am not sure that I am typical though. I have never had a problem with counsel or coaching from women; I like it.
After that brief diversion, I want to dive deeplyinto perhaps the best example of my title, Corporate America, Leftists Are Coming For You, and that is Seattle’s Initiative 122, or I-122, very euphemistically named The Democracy Voucher Program. From the program’s website: “The Democracy Voucher Program offers a new way for Seattle residents to participate in local government (Mayor, City Attorney, or City Council), by supporting campaigns and/or running for office themselves. Beginning February 12, all registered voters, and eligible Seattle residents who applied, will receive four $25 Democracy Vouchers by mail. In November 2015, Seattle voters passed a citizen-led initiative known as “Honest Elections Seattle” (I-122). I-122 enacted several campaign finance reforms that changed the way campaigns are typically financed for Seattle candidates.
This paragraph is from the I-122 website (bold emphasis mine): One major reform allows the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) to distribute “Democracy Vouchers” to eligible Seattle residents. Other campaign reforms include campaign contribution limits for lobbyists and contractors. Seattle is the first city in the nation to try this type of public campaign financing. Seattle residents may use their Democracy Vouchers to support participating candidates running for any of the seven city council district positions. Seattle voters approved a property tax of $3 million per year in 2015 to fund the Democracy Voucher Program for 10 years. Properties affected include commercial, businesses, and residential properties. The Democracy Voucher Program costs the average homeowner about $8.00 per year. Assigning your Democracy Voucher to a candidate is the same as donating to a candidate’s campaign. Candidates may use Democracy Vouchers to finance campaign activities and are held to the same City of Seattle campaign spending laws under the City’s election code. Candidates participating in the Democracy Voucher Program must follow strict reporting guidelines to qualify for the program.
Okay, that’s a lot of detail, but let me summarize the above plus some other provisions: All Seattle property owners—business and residential—will be taxed in order to give “eligible” Seattle residents $100 ($25*4) to usefor contributing to politicalcampaigns of theirchoice. There are limitations on contributions from corporations, lobbyists and contractors. While the latter point superficially sounds like a good idea, the big picture is the main principle behind the program and the name given to it. A voluntarycontribution by an individual to a candidate’scampaign is a form of democracy, but taxing everyoneinvoluntarily and then funneling that money back to “eligible” residents, money that can ONLY be used for political contributions, is what?
The Principle: I the government am going to take an average of $8 from you, and then give you $100 to use to back a candidate. You might wonder,”Where did the other $92 come from?” We took that from the businesses and property owners, so they can’t use it to influence elections for their causes—profit, jobs, building—and gave to you to influence electionsfor your causes—free stuff!
In the definition of Communism the STATE owns the means of production and decides by fiat what will be produced. In the historical definition of Fascism private businesses own the means of production, but the STATE controls the businesses. Typically, Fascist systems have one dictator and Communist systems have dictators by committee (or purges), though in reality there’s always one dictator that’s bigger than the others. Going back to my statement of the principle of the Democracy Voucher program, rather than the name, does the principle sound most like democracy, communism or fascism? This is what my title really refers to. Pure democracy is the people who want free stuff (the fruit of others’ labor)—the consumers— outnumber the people who build stuff, provide employment and create new products—the producers. The Seattle Democracy Voucher Program is a laboratory to determine the consequences of indirect (political contributions rather than votes) pure democracy time. My prediction is: This experiment will result in Fascism in everything but name, or some modern variation of collectivism.