Trump and Emotional Politics

TrumpYelling

Some are angry with Trump, others are angry at Trump.  Either way, Trump evokes lots of anger.  The anger at Trump is certainly justified.  Trump has claimed that Mexico sends its worst people into America, including rapists and drug dealers.  To be fair, he also said “…some, I assume, are good people.”  Trump’s views on Islam are far more disturbing.  He has called for shutting down mosques in the US, and banning Muslims from entering the country.  Some have tried to justify this by bringing up former President Carter’s temporary ban on Iranians during the hostage crisis.  It’s one thing to ban people from a particular country with whom we have hostility.  It’s another to ban an entire world religion, especially considering that some Muslims are native born American citizens.  How do you ban them?!

So, in short, Trump is nuts!  And I am deeply concerned that all of the anger he is able to invoke will cause large segments of the middle and working class population in America to vote against their own interests…by voting for Hillary Clinton!  Trump, for all his faults, knows that we can’t continue to allow China to erode our manufacturing sector.  Though he may seem like a “shoot first, aim later” type, he also has enough sense not to get us tangled up in the Syrian civil war trying to attack both sides (The Assad regime and ISIS).  Trump wants to focus on going after ISIS, while Clinton seems to think we should try to take out ISIS AND Assad.  Most of the political establishment wants to take out ISIS AND Assad!  This is pure lunacy!  You don’t go into the middle of a bloody civil war, and start attacking both sides.  If you must get involved, pick a side.  Otherwise, instead of killing each other, they both kill you instead.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, IS the establishment.  She’s Dick Cheney in a pants suit and a “D” next to her name instead of an “R”.  She has a long history of supporting “free trade” agreements that cripple the economy for working Americans, and her husband signed the devastating “China Free Trade Act” into law in 2000.  (Recession of 2000, weak recovery, and “Great Recession” follow…coincidence?)  Blacks and Hispanics are hit the hardest, by the way.  On foreign policy, Clinton, like any Republican neocon, claims that ISIS exists because we didn’t take out Assad!  This is your “serious candidate”?  She seriously thinks that we can take out ISIS by attacking the very regime that is also fighting to take out ISIS?  If Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, Carson, etc. ever proposed a foreign policy so utterly absurd, the media would be all over them talking about how unrealistic it is and how it shows their lack of “experience”.  But Clinton, Bush, Rubio are free to propose these kinds of lunatic foreign policies and be only politely questioned by the mainstream media.  Sure, once in a while a journalist might mention, “psss….you know Assad is on the other side of the Syrian Civil War, right?  He is fighting against ISIS, right?”

The base of Trump’s support is highly emotional, and often dismissed as a bunch of narrow minded poorly educated whites who hate diversity.  Trump does appeal particularly to working class whites who have been feeling the shaft from the establishment for decades.  He also seems to have a sizeable portion of the black community supporting him, for many of the same reasons.  They are angry at career politicians, and they are angry that their job opportunities are diminishing.  As whites are losing their middle class status, blacks who were reaching so close for middle class status that they could feel it at the tip of their fingers have had it yanked away and sent to China.  Most of them haven’t considered the policy positions I’ve laid out above.  They vote for Trump with their hearts, not their heads.  But even if by pure chance, emotions have led many to the perfectly logical conclusion that Trump is preferable to the establishment, were there better choices?  Of course!  Jim Webb and Rand Paul, to name two.  But neither of them can stir the emotions of the masses like Trump, or Sanders.

And so, the current narrative from the main stream media goes something like this…

There’s a lot of anti-establishment sentiment.  Instead of looking at experience and qualifications, voters are angry, and that’s why Trump and Sanders won in New Hampshire.  But neither has executive experience.  Neither has much electability. 

Then the interviews follow, where the media speaks to pundits who sound something like this…

(Insert Clinton, Rubio, Bush) is clearly more qualified than (insert Sanders, Trump, Cruz) as he/she has a history of getting things done.  Many may be excited by (Sanders, Trump, Cruz) but his policies are very unlikely to pass through Congress.  (Clinton, Rubio, Bush) on the other hand, knows how to work across the aisle and get things done.  And (if Clinton) we’ve never had a woman president before!

Let me break it down for you.  None of these candidates will get much of what they propose in domestic policy!  None of them!  We live in the era of congressional obstructionism.  Congress has learned that the people praise the president when things get done, and blame the president when they don’t.  Therefore, it is in the best interest of the opposite party in Congress to block anything and everything until they get 110% of what they want.  If Clinton becomes president, the only way she’ll get funding for whatever domestic programs she wants from Republicans (and remember, Republicans only need 41 out of 100 Senators to block everything via filibuster), is to give, give, and give.  I’m sure if she bloats the military budget by another $200 billion, slaps new sanctions on Iran and stations troops on their border, the Republicans will let a little birth control subsidy or two slip into an omnibus budget bill which will include massive tax cuts for Wall Street.  And Clinton will say, “See?  I’m a progressive who gets things done!”  Nothing will be done about job loss to SE Asia, and little to nothing will be done to curb risky behavior by the big banks.  Much of “Dodd/Frank” is still up to interpretation by the President, and don’t expect Clinton with all her Wall Street/big bank support to interpret Dodd/Frank in a way that her financial campaign support doesn’t like.

A Trump Presidency would probably look more like this.  There will be no wall on the border of Mexico.  Yes, technically the President is already legally authorized to build a wall, but that cost bucks!  We ain’t got ‘em.  And Mexico is not going to build a wall for the US on their border.  Here’s the good news for you Trump supporters, if he wins…and for all of us who work for a living (including Sanders supporters and misguided Clintonites).  Even if Congress does nothing about trade, simply based on current trade agreements, Trump can enforce portions of these agreements against currency manipulation.  He can and will slap tariffs on China at least, if not many others who suck our jobs.  On foreign policy, there will be no ban on Muslims.  It’s blatantly unconstitutional and impossible to enforce.  But here’s the good news!  Trump knows that ISIS is the enemy.  Not Assad, not Iran, and certainly not Russia.  He’ll be firm when negotiating with Iran, but he knows that we need to focus on ISIS.  While the establishment candidates seem to think we can take out all of the bad buys and democratize the world, Trump knows better.

So, in short, I am not moved by Trump’s populism.  With Paul out, if the Democrats nominate Sanders, I’d choose Sanders over Trump.  Sanders can win, but it’s an uphill battle for him.  In the more likely “Clinton vs. Trump” scenario, I’ll take a reality show patriot over a “serious” candidate whose loyalty is with the international community, Wall Street, and the global banksters.  Some say, “Vote blue no matter who!  There’s too much at stake to let the Republicans win!”  I say there’s too much at stake to let the establishment win.  We can’t afford to keep losing our manufacturing jobs, and we can’t more neocon military adventurism that destabilizes the Islamic world further empowering ISIS.  If I have to hold my nose and vote for Trump, so be it!

 

A Picker’s Guide to Breaks at Amazon

AmazonPicking

Taking a break at Amazon is hard work!  But if you follow these 12 steps precisely, then with a little practice, you can achieve your goal of successfully taking the allotted 15 minute break without going over and having the dreaded “Time off task”, which you’d likely have to explain to one of those clip board people.  It may seem a nearly insurmountable task to achieve all of these things within 15 minutes and have any time at all to actually, ya know, take a break, but these steps will help you to succeed at the Amazon break.

  1. When you are about 3-4 minutes from the time you start your break, you should find an easy item to scan, but don’t scan it yet!  When you get to your next bin, make sure the item is there, and be absolutely sure.  Then, scan the bin, and take the item, but do not scan the item.
  2. Then proceed with the unscanned item in your tote towards the conveyor belt, and go as close along the conveyor as you can to the break room.
  3. Carefully monitor the time, and when it is the exact minute when your break begins, scan that last item, finish out your tote, and send it on the conveyor. Note that your break officially began when you scanned that last item, and everything you do after that is on your time, even finishing out the tote.
  4. Leave your cart in an out of the way place, but take your scanner and water bottle (if applicable).
  5. Now log out of your scanner as you approach the scanner station and place the scanner in its proper place. And then walk as fast as you can towards the break room.  Pump those legs!  You can rest them a little when you’re picking again, but right now, its break time!  So get to it!
  6. As you approach security, be sure to take anything out of your pockets that would set off the metal detectors and take off your belt if your buckle normally sets it off. Get through security.
  7. Now enter the breakroom very quickly. Pass anyone who is walking slowly, but do not bump in to anyone. Amazon is serious about safety in their warehouse.
  8. You have likely already used up 4-5 minutes of the allotted 15 by now, so quickly find your snack and take any seat you can find. DO NOT FILL YOUR WATER BOTTLE WHILE ON BREAK!  That eats up precious break time, and there are water coolers in the pick aisles.   Instead, take a seat and devour your snack.  If you are prone to heart burn, you may want to have Tums available.
  9. After devouring your snack, be sure to leave yourself at least 5 minutes to get back and scan that first item. As you pass the security desk on your way back, chew those Tums if you have them and pump those legs again!  Don’t worry, I know this is hard, but break will soon be over.  So hang in there!
  10. Grab a scanner, don’t worry about the battery yet. If the battery is low, you’ll be able to change it at one of the help stations AFTER you’ve made your first scan, to avoid time off task.  For now, log in quickly, and pray that your first scan is near.  If it is on the third floor at the opposite end, then it’s time to pump those legs like never before.  You can relax after your break, but you must get to that first scan within 15 minutes of your last scan before break!
  11. Find a cart on the proper floor. Any cart will do.  After making your first scan, you can change to a better cart if you don’t like the first one you find.  That way, you don’t get time off task.  Now, after finding any cart you can find on the proper floor, take only one tote.  Taking two totes may be more efficient, but it wastes precious break time!  Take only one, scan it, get that first scanned pick, and now, take a deep breath.
  12. If you’ve accomplished steps 3 – 11 in 15 minutes, you have succeeded in your goal! Now, find a second tote, no hurry.  Fill your water bottle if you need it.  If your battery is low, change it the next time you pass a help desk.  Try not to take more than 5 minutes between scans while doing these things, but otherwise, you can relax a little as you make these final steps outside of the precious 15 minute break, so that you can actually get back to work.  The first few scans after break are just “token” scans, to show that you are officially “on task”.

 

I hope the above tips are helpful.  Note that if you are over by 1-3 minutes or so, they are unlikely to make an issue of it.  But if you are 20 minutes between scans, you’ll likely need to explain it to one of those clip board people.

Good luck to you at Amazon!  Seriously, the place has its quirks, but canning the sarcasm now, I liked my peak season experience overall.  I made some good bonuses, lost about 10 pounds, and I find working with my hands very rewarding.  Lastly, I must say, and I’m being completely honest here, that Amazon really values safety in the work place.  It is a warehouse with lots of equipment and people working very hard physically.  All of the safety regulations are in place for a reason, so please follow them.