This is a verbatim copy of a comment post on the new video on You Tube. I have no idea if this video is just some creative mashup of UGC or whether its a real production. I thought it was pretty funny. This You tube contributor obviously did not.

Hitler was not a communist, they defeated him. I have advised both Dems and Reps. Now I am a Truthocrat who will soon come out with an Obama-Hussein-Hitler Political Tree video. It was not me who Xeroxed Hamas Terrorist propaganda into my church newsletter. That would be white and Jew hater Rev. Jeremiah; Barack’s special Spiritual Adviser and “Crazy Uncle”. If Obama is elected get ready for the coming of God D*** America. I know it, the Clintons know it and the people better get a clue.

In 1964 Richard Hofstadter wrote an Atlantic Monthly essay called “The Paranoid Style In American Politics” and the quaint little quote from above is a result of this style which both the Clinton’s and McCain are using to a fare-thee-well the last two weeks. While Hillary runs ads with Osama in them,  Rush Limbaugh is repeating the phrase “Barack, The Magic Negro”20 times a day to 20 million people. 

Maybe our country has to go through this trial by fire–to see if we will elect a person of color to the Presidency. I of course fear for Obama’s life–because like most of my generation I saw people who brought me a message of hope–gunned down. If Barack Obama is brave enough to risk his life for our country, I and my family are brave enough to stand with him.

I’m lucky–I teach at a great university, USC, in beautiful Southern California–for everyday I see kids of all colors from all over the world who converged on this mecca called LA. On campus we do live in the post racial world Barack Obama talks about. But we also know our parents and grand parents may not live in that world. So on one level we need to have patience, but on another level we are impatient to present a face to the world that is more like the world’s face.

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0 Responses to Scary

  1. zak says:

    The verbage in the info section to the right of the video, directs you back to the original, which was posted 2/11/08.

    When did the Yes We Can video go up? The originators of this video claim stole their idea.

    The info w/in the original reads: totally stole this idea from us, we’ve been thinking for a long time that earnest people reacting to a candidate is the future of music video.

    Election08 On Youtube
    Presented by: The Public Service Administratioin
    Andy Cobb
    Josh Funk
    Nyima Funk
    Marc Evan Jackson
    Mark Kienlen
    David Pompeii
    Marc Warzecha

    Special guests:
    Beth Farmer
    Matt Craig
    Rebecca Allen
    Kai Pompeii
    Kevin Douglas
    Victor Lopez

  2. zak says:

    I posted prematurely. . . I found more info

    Election08 is presented by THE PUBLIC SERVICE ADMINISTRATION, LA-based comics and actors on politics. Featuring veterans of MTV, ABC, NBC, The Daily Show, Second City Chicago, Reno 911, Current TV, and Showbiz Show With David Spade.

    They have been on CNN’s “The Situation Room” and Headline News, NPR, Nightline, and written up in Newsweek.

    Here’s a CNN interview regarding the McCain spoof; came first.

  3. Morgan Warstler says:

    LOL. Jon, I think you are losing perspective. The video is funny. Biased but funny. The poster isn’t funny. He’s biased, not funny.

    But it will be just as funny watching Rev. Wright, Ayers, et al, be laid at Obama’s feet.

    You are wrong. Your narrative is false. This right now isn’t about the face of America. It is about the Democratic party. Your Dems are showing their own racist/sexist sides and biases.

    You can’t just do the post on Nora Ephron’s “Do Democratic white men hate blacks or women more,” no this has to crass Rush Limbaugh’s fault for delighting in repeating ALL the very words that have come out of your party’s mouth.

    C’mon, skip the high-minded stuff, and enjoy the action. And step back – it is hysterical.

    It’d be great to have a black president. Wonderful experience. Wish this wasn’t the silver lining of a dark Marxist Hyde park crowd, but still a giant positive.

    It’d be great to have McCain president. If you’d give him any attention, you might recognize a guy who appeals to moderates for really interesting reasons.

  4. zak says:

    McCain is a misogynist through and through, and it would be a dark day for American women if he got elected.

    He called his wife a “cunt” in public (I believe his excuse was he was having a rough day — I don’t want him answering the phone at 3am if that’s his knee jerk reaction); had a like slur been directed an an African-American there would have been a sh*tstorm of controversy.

    He didn’t bother to show up to vote on Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and had the audacity to say he’d vote against it because it’s just law suit mongering. WTF? If companies can’t be held accountable for discrimination, what’s the incentive to stop? Excuse me corporate giant, it’s not fair!

    Yes, Sen. McCain women just need “education and training” to get fair pay. It’s not like Ledbetter was a senior manager who did the same job as been at her tier and received a number of performance based bonuses. . . oh wait, she was.

    He’s also expected to appoint federal judges that would work to limit the reach of Roe v. Wade. It’s not like access to a variety of family planning options — like birth control and the right to choose — matter to women. Personally, I consider pro-life/anti-choice people misogynists because they’re trying to take control and freedom away from women.

    I’d say it’s expected of people in their seventies, they group up in a different time, but my grandma is pretty sharp for 86 and knows better.

  5. Dan says:

    I’ve spent most of my life in the South, so you’ll pardon me, Morgan, for not sitting back to “enjoy the action.” We’re not the out-of-date stereotypes the rest of the country tends to place on us, but every bit of the progress we’ve made was earned by people who bucked the dominant — and yes, paranoid — culture here.

    I think Obama is going to win this election, and regardless of what kind of president he turns out to be, the act of electing him is going to change the country. I think the majority of Americans are ready to get past the paranoia and violence of the past, but until we prove the skeptics wrong people will continue to believe the worst about American society.

    I’m hopeful we’ll drive a stake through the heart of the past this year. Because the people who insist on staying there and warping our discourse are just plain ugly.

  6. Pete Wolf says:

    Morgan – If you want to present a less paranoid side to the political debates in America, you’d do well to refrain from using the word ‘Marxist’ so carelessly. There’s a whole spectrum of left leaning positions which don’t amount to an endorsement of any form of Marxism (or Marxianism, for those who dissociate them). If the claim doesn’t have any real doctrinal accuracy it’s about as bad as crying out that someone on the centre-right is ‘fascist’, in the watered down everyday sense that word has taken on.

  7. Zhirem says:

    Morgan, your bloated, megalomaniac, drug-addict, drug-addled, doctor-shopping, patriot called for, then scaled back to ‘dreamed of’ riots at the Democratic Convention in Denver.

    Well played.

    I have to ask myself, who *wouldn’t* support this fine patriot of an American?

    Sheesh. Someone give this tool all the drugs he wants so he can OD already. And we will need to get a bigger dustbin of History, because he is likely to take a *lot* of space.

    – Zhirem

  8. Zhirem says:

    For those that didn’t see the story.

    Explain to me again how this excrement is granted a license to spew this filth on the airwaves?

    – Zhirem

  9. Dan says:

    *looking at clock*

    *glancing down tracks*

    “You are wrong. Your narrative is false. This right now isn’t about the face of America. It is about the Democratic party. Your Dems are showing their own racist/sexist sides and biases.”

    Yep! Right on time. Just like always.

  10. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan- LOL??? I have seen far too much racist spew from your partisans on many blogs about Obama. Limbaugh and his types are just fanning the flames.

    I personally am not interested in having these crackers (Republican or Democrat) set the direction of our country. You may think that our post-racial future on campus is some sort of digital utopian dream world–but it isn’t. It actually works.

    When my Chinese students object to Western Media portrayals of the Tibet issue, we listen with respect and then have a good conversation about the nature of freedom in the 21st Century.

  11. John Hurt says:

    The Spam Mogul = Joe Francis

  12. Morgan Warstler says:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. presidential candidate John McCain accused North Carolina’s Republican Party of being “out of touch with reality” over its refusal to pull an advertisement criticizing Democrat Barack Obama.

    In an NBC interview aired on Friday, the Arizona senator said he has done all he can to persuade the state party to cancel the television ad that criticizes Obama as “too extreme” because of controversial remarks made by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

    “They’re not listening to me because they’re out of touch with reality and the Republican Party. We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan and this kind of campaigning is unacceptable,” McCain told NBC’s “Today” Show.

    “I’ve done everything that I can to repudiate and to see that this kind of campaigning does not continue,” he added.

    Certainly, Rush = Rev. Wright. Just tending to their flocks they are. Both are vitriolic. But, you shouldn’t defend Obama’s big tent, if you won’t let McCain have one.

    But in general, calling Republican’s sexist and racist, when it is your voters doing the deed, is simply stupid. THESE ARE YOUR PRIMARIES. Just go have them, fix your own team, and then get ready for the general election.

    Marxist Hyde park crowd? You don’t think that’s accurate? I’m not saying all Dems are Marxist, certainly not, but Marxists support Dems, whether they are here or abroad. Notice, also does Hamas. And let me just say this, Marxists are evil, lazy people. I would denounce them if I were you (god, I’m sooo sick of denouncing).

    Zak, but anything supported by the trial lawyers, isn’t worth the bigger cause. I’m for any solution you can think of that doesn’t make it easier for lawyers to sue.

    Women deserve equal pay. Suing for reparations, from when they didn’t get equal pay, is a deal killer. Somewhere in the past we all have been shat on. Why not just shake hands and move forward. Is the playing field for women still slanted?

    Jon, I just saw Expelled, you should go see it. I’d be interested in your opinion.

  13. John Hurt says:

    Rush = Reverend Wright is a ludicrous statement.
    Perhaps both are ideologues, Limbaugh certainly is, but Limbaugh has the louder pulpit by a margin of many millions. Limbaugh is the most destructive American, if one may call him that, of my lifetime.

  14. Dan says:

    “god, I’m sooo sick of denouncing”

    You’re not the only one, Senator McCarthy.

  15. Morgan Warstler says:

    “So: Pennsylvania. As seen from the distance of West Texas, central California and Oklahoma, which is where I’ve been.

    Main thought. Hillary Clinton is not Barack Obama’s problem. America is Mr. Obama’s problem. He has been tagged as a snooty lefty, as the glamorous, ambivalent candidate from Men’s Vogue, the candidate who loves America because of the great progress it has made in terms of racial fairness. Fine, good. But has he ever gotten misty-eyed over . . . the Wright Brothers and what kind of country allowed them to go off on their own and change everything? How about D-Day, or George Washington, or Henry Ford, or the losers and brigands who flocked to Sutter’s Mill, who pushed their way west because there was gold in them thar hills? There’s gold in that history.

    John McCain carries it in his bones. Mr. McCain learned it in school, in the Naval Academy, and, literally, at grandpa’s knee. Mrs. Clinton learned at least its importance in her long slog through Arkansas, circa 1977-92.

    Mr. Obama? What does he think about all that history? Which is another way of saying: What does he think of America? That’s why people talk about the flag pin absent from the lapel. They wonder if it means something. Not that the presence of the pin proves love of country – any cynic can wear a pin, and many cynics do. But what about Obama and America? Who would have taught him to love it, and what did he learn was loveable, and what does he think about it all?

    Another challenge. Snooty lefties get angry when you ask them to talk about these things. They get resentful. Who are you to question my patriotism? But no one is questioning his patriotism, they’re questioning its content, its fullness. Gate 14 has a right to hear this. They’d lean forward to hear.

    This is an opportunity, for Mr. Obama needs an Act II. Act II is hard. Act II is where the promise of Act I is deepened, the plot thickens, and all is teed up for resolution and meaning. Mr. Obama’s Act I was: I’m Obama. He enters the scene. Act III will be the convention and acceptance speech. After that a whole new drama begins. But for now he needs Act II. He should make his subject America.”

  16. Morgan Warstler says:

    JH, ideologues are ideologues, right? The fact that Rush has a million listeners means nothing. We don’t begrudge 92% of blacks against Hillary as proof of racism. People have opinions based on their experiences, they seek out someone who speaks for them, not somone who tells them what to think. Meanwhile, Rev. Wright has one listener I am concerned about.

  17. Another Jon says:

    Morgan, please stop posting this garbage. IF you really think this way then use your own words. No more copying and pasting entire articles.

    And to say that Obama has to be taught to love the ideas that this country is built on is another way of saying he is a muslim, raised by a muslim father, in a madrasah in Indonesia. It is utter stupidity and transparent in its message.

    You do not need to be taught to love anything. This game of “I love you more” is bunk. It is a way of dumbing down the conversation so that McHain has a chance. Yeah….he has this love in his bones because he is a white guy with really short arms.

    Also, I am growing weary of the Marxists claims. If you would like to continue the discussion as to Obama’s Marxists leanings then provide some real information as to why you feel this way. And not any type of guilt by association…I would like words and actions from Obama as related to Marxists political philosophies. Otherwise you should stop because it makes you sounds stupid.

    Morgan, I liked you better when you were somewhat anonymous, because then I could at least pretend you were having a piss. Now you are just a hack.

  18. zak says:

    McCain has not done “everything in his power”

    NPR’s BLOCK: Linda Daves, have you had a conversation with John McCain about this?

    DAVES: Oh, no, I have not. I have spoken with his campaign staff, however. And — but I did get an e-mail letter from them on his behalf.

    Wow, he’s just been too busy missing all those votes in Senate to take the time to make a phone call.

    She did got an e-mail on his behalf (because
    he doesn’t know how to use a computer)

  19. BobbyG says:

    That Limbaugh thing is scurrlious! Ugh.

  20. Josh says:

    So sick of the Rev Wright stuff. It shows how huge the divide still is—and how completely out of touch the denouncers are from religious traditions apart from their own. You would hear very similar rhetoric in hundreds of churches on Chicago’s south side. Rev Pat has never suffered the sort of brutish oversimplification for far more incendiary comments. This affair is simply disgusting in its villainy, xenophobia, and misguidedness. It bares not just cultural fault lines—but an unwillingness to even attempt to cross the barriers that divide this country. The right has no interest in the real story. And Hillary…well, we know what she is all about.

  21. zak says:

    I just spent the last hour at the gym watching the various “journalists” discuss the state of the democratic nomination.

    One guy says the media is wrong in spinning as if clinton has a change. because the delegate count and popular vote, etc are against her.

    I thought, wow, turning point.

    And then some woman followed up saying Obama will be hobbled going into the November race if he can’t prove that he can get white male voters — as if they’ll all see john mccain as a senior version of themselves.

    no one said, why can’t hilary close the deal with young voters or minorities, which are all growing in importance politically.

    happy friday!

  22. rhbee says:

    Came across this comment on the Huffington Blog.

    A camera pans the “mean streets” of Chicago. We see broken neighborhoods, strewn with broken glass and broken dreams. People without hope–Black and White–rummage through trashcans for food.
    Still photos of Obama as a community organizer fill the screen. People whose lives he changed speak to the camera, describing how he reached out to help the poor and disenfranchised.
    Quick cut to Hillary Clinton in a designer gown yukking it up with her wealthy donors, her arms around Denise Rich. Then Bill Clinton, his arms around his “clients” in Dubai, oil fields in the background.
    Cut to a blue-collar, working class neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. Hard working men and women sit in cars and trucks, counting pennies to pay for gas at the pump. The numbers change every minute, going higher and higher.
    Obama fills the screen expressing solidarity with the working class, explaining how the Washington special interests have grown fat and rich while real Americans suffer.
    Fade to Hillary Clinton, while a list of her oil company lobbyists scroll under her image.
    Back to Obama–angry, outraged. He will not let this happen again if we will help him.

    Get mad, Barack ! Be on fire ! They are not just stealing the election from you–they are stealing it from all of us !

    It was a comment in response to Dylan Loewe article on Defining Obama . . .

  23. Morgan Warstler says:

    I’d run the TV ad! Someone make it. :)

    Another Jon, I’m the same guy, saying the same things. The fact that something changes in your mind is odd. I’d never do you the disservice of pretending you were having a piss – of course I don’t need to.

    Peggy Noonan isn’t anti-Obama. Neither am I, but I do want a president who loves Americana. It has nothing to do with being a Muslim. I disliked John Kerry for the same reason. The question is why do you not see the difference between the two?

    I’m telling you the worst thing you can do for your candidate is call everyone who has a question in their minds about him a racist. It won’t sell.

    Obama has it in him to be another way, to present himself another way. He should.

    More on the Marxist thing later.

  24. Another Jon says:

    Sure thing Morgan. I will wait for someone else to write that article so you can copy/paste it into you comment box.

  25. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan- I must say I too would like to hear your own thoughts rather than having to read the words of the Wall Street Journal op-ed page.

    I am also tired of you defining patriotism for all of us. Some of us were called Commie’s for participating in Civil Rights Marches. Quit the Marxist nonsense. Talk politics –stop talking meaningless labels.

  26. zak says:


    Corporate America only responds to their profit margins being dented. Threatening profit margins are the only way to get their attention. Or having Olberman put a company on the nightly “worst” list.

    “Somewhere in the past we all have been shat on. Why not just shake hands and move forward. Is the playing field for women still slanted?”

    I see you fall in line with Scalia’s “get over it”.
    What are having extra with your Wheaties in the morning? Women are still not paid EQUAL dollars for the same work in the year 2008. Even when you factor in childbearing, there’s still about a 20% disparity.

    And McCain can go on about education and training but there’s a discrepancy even among highly educated types.

    From 2005
    Female Neurosurgeons = $337,031 (median annual salary)
    Male Neurosurgeons = $487,000

    Those female neurosurgeons are just sitting on their laurels.

    Female Civil Engineers = $61,000
    Male Civil Engineers = $78,000

  27. Morgan Warstler says:

    Ok Zak, two arguments:

    As someone who has done some hiring, it doesn’t match my experience. You need to understand some assumptions that I have about hiring. When I have an idea, an idea that keeps me up at night, working 16 hours a day to see the idea come into existence. And more likely than not, I have some other investors money involved, my absolute goal is to get the very best person for the job, and pay them the least amount of money I have to, and get them to work like I do. Him or her doesn’t enter into the equation. Now with that said, if I find both a man and woman of equal skill as say Ruby/Ajax developers (same amout of code in the same amount of time), she’s more expensive. Because there are less of women, and because in companies there’s internal pressure to make sure you aren’t a staff full of men. So odd as it sounds, and please realize I don’t staff Microsoft either, for ten+ years, I’ve notice women asking for more money than men for the same job.

    Then there’s this:

    “Warren Farrell, three-time board of directors member of the National Organization for Women New York City, exhaustively debunks the wage gap myth in his book “Why Men Earn More.” Farrell documents occupations requiring bachelor’s degrees in which women’s starting salaries actually exceed men’s. Female investment bankers and dieticians, for example, can expect to earn 116 percent to 130 percent of their male counterparts’ salaries.

    The real reason than men tend to out-earn women is the choices they make. Men are far more likely to take unpleasant and dangerous jobs, what Farrell calls the “death and exposure professions.” For example, firefighting, truck driving, mining and logging — to name just a few high-risk jobs — are all more than 95 percent male. Conversely, low risk jobs like secretarial work and childcare are more than 95 percent female.

    Farrell points out that in California, prison guards can earn $70,000 per year plus full medical benefits and retire after thirty years with a hefty retirement package. But it takes little imagination to figure out why California still has a difficult time staffing its prisons, and it goes without saying that most prison guards are male. Says Farrell, “As with most jobs, there’s an inverse relationship between fulfillment and pay.”

    Because men are more likely to take jobs that are unpleasant, dangerous or dull in exchange for higher pay, they reap the financial benefit. Farrell summarizes this phenomenon this way: “Jobs that expose you to the sleet and the heat pay more than those that are indoors and neat.”

    Now Zak, I’ll offer you one more caveat, so you can fume a little, I don’t care about childbirth and the effects it has on earning potential, get over it.

    Yes companies must give women maternity time off, but the wage effects / skill set effects of taking years off, is not a company’s problem. It is not society’s problem. It is not a problem.

    The only true purpose of companies is to see ideas made manifest, brought to market and return investment to investors.

  28. John Hurt says:

    “The only true purpose of companies is to see ideas made manifest, brought to market and return investment to investors.”

    That is *truly* small minded. And counter intelligent.

  29. John Hurt says:

    “JH, ideologues are ideologues, right?”

    WRONG. Dogs are dogs right? A rottweiler and a Bichon Frise are both dogs.

    “The fact that Rush has a million listeners means nothing. ”

    The Market disagrees with you in the extreme. And even if the market is insane, *that* is nonsense for many obvious reasons.

    “We don’t begrudge 92% of blacks against Hillary as proof of racism.”

    92% of blacks *for* Obama. Does that seem in the least unreasonable? We don’t know the number of blacks “against” Clinton. More weak conservative operative hackery.

    “People have opinions based on their experiences, they seek out someone who speaks for them, not somone who tells them what to think. Meanwhile, Rev. Wright has one listener I am concerned about.”

    That is just something else you say. By your writings, you appear to worship your own thoughts. You appear to think that by your thinking it and writing it and probably saying it, it becomes true. It does not even become significant.

    You are full of self deception.

    I don’t believe you.

  30. Morgan Warstler says:


    “People have opinions based on their experiences, they seek out someone who speaks for them, not somone who tells them what to think.”

    WHAT could you possibly disagree with here?

    The fact one ideolgue has more followers than another, doesn’t make one worse than another. It appears, you simply don’t like the state of man. Too many followers for Rush and not enough for Rev. Wright? You don’t like the “insane” market? Or you don’t like me pointing out simple “almost” truisms.

  31. Pete Wolf says:

    “Marxists are evil, lazy people. I would denounce them if I were you (god, I’m sooo sick of denouncing).”

    Marxists are evil?

    I’m not a Marxist (or Marxian), and this is because I think many of the ideas behind it are faulty. I do respect Marx though, and there are many current and former Marxists I respect, despite thinking they were wrong about a lot of things (not limited to their Marxism). I can’t think of any I’d describe as ‘evil’. Most of them are or were Marxists precisely because they cared about other people and the state of the world. The ideas may be mistaken, but this is no reason to demonize those who espouse them, no more than it is reasonable to demonize Libertarians, Anarchists or Federalists (new or otherwise).

    Marx’s books aren’t like plutonium. You can pick them up without becoming infected. You can even discuss them seriously with other people, even Marxists themselves (gasp!). Marx isn’t the intellectual boogey man you make him out to be.

    I disagree with Marxists. I don’t denounce them.

  32. Pete Wolf says:

    Should probably add that when I said I couldn’t think of any Marxists I’d describe of evil, I wasn’t implying that Joseph Stalin, or any other marxist derived communist despot wasn’t bad or even evil. I was primarily thinking of academic Marxists. It would be best to simply say that even those who have been or are part of communist regimes most certainly weren’t all evil, simply because of their belief in said regime, or the principles it was founded on.

  33. Morgan Warstler says:

    Was just making fun of denouncing thing. But, Marx is theft masquerading as philosophy. I can’t say it clearer than that. You can say theft is justified. Or you can complain that I am fiating ownership. Both are uninteresting arguments. And sure I’ll discuss things with Marxists, but I will call them thieves through-out the process. If they are comfy with the label we can have a good discussion. You ok with that, Pete?

  34. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan- Marx said some profound things that get echoed in the statements of some of our most conservative economists. Here’s one:

    “The extraordinary stagnation of earned labor income reflects a fundamental breakdown of the relationship between worker pay and productivity”- Stephen Roach, Chief Economist, Morgan Stanley

    “Within the capitalist system,all methods for raising the productiveness of labor are brought about at the cost of the individual laborer”-K. Marx

    My guess is you never read him. Of course he was wrong on a great number of matters, but If you are willing to deal with his work as an economist, there is stuff that even you might learn

  35. Morgan Warstler says:

    Jon, there is a profound chasm between those two statements, that fact that you don’t see it, is what I find interesting.

    “The extraordinary stagnation of earned labor income reflects a fundamental breakdown of the relationship between worker pay and productivity”

    This says clearly the worker pay has stayed the same, it has been stagnant, as there have been productivity (read technology) gains.


    “Within the capitalist system,all methods for raising the productiveness of labor are brought about at the cost of the individual laborer”

    This says the worker of the job gets screwed. It says he gets paid LESS, it comes at his cost.

    Thats wrong. And it isn’t the same thing

    Look, you seek productivity gains in your business so you can KEEP the difference, invest it elsewhere, you don’t seek productivity gains so you can pay the employee more.

    If you manufacture widgets with a staff of 3 employees and you make an investment in a machine that lets you make twice as many chairs with only 1 employee – the obvious thing is to get 3 machines and make a ton of chairs.

    But if you feel the market isn’t best served in your interest to make that many chairs – then you fire an employee, maybe two, and keep paying your worker the same amount of money, pay him less and he might quit. You don’t say “Hey guys, guess what, you all get a pay raise, because of my productivity gains!”

    Trying to imply you have some obligation to do so, is THEFT.

  36. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan- We do live in different worlds. The promise of American capitalism is that productivity gains were shared with the worker. In fact Henry Ford said he could pay his workers so well because of productivity gains on the assembly line.

    What Marx is saying is that if all productivity gains go to capital–the worker does get screwed–exactly the situation Steve Roach is saying has happened since the early 90’s.

  37. Rachel says:

    Morgan sez: “Look, you seek productivity gains in your business so you can KEEP the difference, invest it elsewhere, you don’t seek productivity gains so you can pay the employee more.”

    Actually, Morgan, some people do. But that’s … Socialism! Argh!

    Silly Swedes.

  38. Rachel says:

    Also, Morgan: “So odd as it sounds, and please realize I don’t staff Microsoft either, for ten+ years, I’ve notice women asking for more money than men for the same job.”

    Say WHAT? Man, I got to get me a job in the companies you’re working in. Honestly, that’s so much counter to the experience of every single woman I know working in software that it sounds … well, yes, odd. More than odd.

  39. Pete Wolf says:

    “Trying to imply you have some obligation to do so, is THEFT.”

    So its not just Marxism thats equal to theft? Anyone who attempts to claim that there is an obligation (ethical or otherwise) for productivity gains to shared is a thief by definition? This is a nice way of not having to argue with a whole bunch of people (far more than just Marxists), but at the face of it seems fairly unjustified.

    You might be able to claim (and to justify) that FORCING someone to share the gains of increased productivity with labour is theft, but you can’t argue that CLAIMING that there is such an obligation is theft.

    Present an argument against the claim, don’t rule out those who make it by fiat.

  40. Brent says:

    My first response to this thread was to wonder why people were talking with the village idiot, but then I remembered that this is the state of political discourse right now. “Loving America” is the new dog whistle and Obama is going to have to take up that question no matter how absurd it is.

  41. Morgan Warstler says:

    Yes Pete, as I said above, you can complain I am fiating ownership. And you are welcome to do so, but I find arguments drawn from that complaint un-interesting.

    I am saying one person or group of persons OWNS the company. And since there is ownership, there is legal, moral and policy control of assets, decisions, investments. It is a decision made by the owners, not by the workers.

    Jon, in a capitalist system, the workers gain primarily by their standard of living. Have you noticed how many TV channels there are lately? Have you seen the cost bandwidth drop to nothing? A 32″ flat screen TV now costs $500 – just 8 years ago, it hardly existed. These are gains that have been driven WORLDWIDE in astounding numbers in just the last 10 years. This new “political reality” of Internet politics that you hope to propel Obama into office – realizing a great dream on your part – ALL OF IT created in the past 10 years, because the of the capitalist system you decry.

    Q: How soon will 20 of those TV channels be broadcasting “free” college courses – dropping the price of education by 95%? A: Soon. Who will benefit from the global productivity gains made there? Will it be the fired professors? No. Will it be the students? Yes. Where will those trillions saved be spent? Elsewhere. What will become of the professors? Who knows. Who cares.

    So again, the primary reason for productivity gains is have the advantage put to use elsewhere, usually in lowering the price of the product being sold – notice that 500GB HDD costs only $100, the hard drive assembly line worker doesn’t make more money.

    Look, all workers in all industries compete with one another for the best wages based on their talents. If a company has 3 workers making chairs and they are being paid $X per hour, to truly increase their lot in life they need to become better at doing something that pays more money, not hope that the chair company does really well and pays them more, because they have a moral right to share in the gains. They could offer to work cheaper for equity.

    Zak, I know it sounds odd to you, I’d urge you to go read the report I quoted. Your assumptions are way off.

  42. John Hurt says:

    What I disagree with, Morgan, is your jagged vibe. And the smallness and weakness of your ideology.

    For the record, a market can be insane. Joe Francis’ market is insane. It is an idea fully realized that is poisonous for the culture.

    And perhaps you were being cute, as is your wont, but there is no such thing as an almost truism. Something is either true or not. Your stuff is not true.

    You know nothing about me, but I know quite a bit about you both from your writing and from your using your actual name. You are a conservative operative and, I am sad to say, a hack. You, spam mogul, are like a thief.

    You lack conscience.

  43. Morgan Warstler says:

    JH, I’ve never sent spam, commercial or otherwise, email in my life. Not opt-in, not double-opt in, not lead generation. Never been in the email business. So be careful what you assume from what you read.

    Joe Francis isn’t a bad guy. And the market isn’t insane. Mardis Gras / Carnivale for the masses. You don’t like porn either?

  44. John Hurt says:

    Not an assumption, an observation.

    And Joe Francis not a bad guy? You really don’t care about your credibility at all do you?

    From Wikipedia:

    Mantra films has come under legal attack on a number of occasions. Recurring allegations include that women engaged in sexual activity were used without the consent of the women, that Mantra films engaged in sexual exploitation of minors and that incomplete records were kept of participants in GGW videos.[11][12] Today the videos contribute to a total sales figure of almost $100 million per year for Mantra Films, Inc.[3]
    Joe Francis has also received some criticism for comparing himself to Jesus.[13] [14]

    LA Times allegations of violence against women

    In the August 6, 2006 issue of West, the Sunday magazine of the Los Angeles Times, an article by Claire Hoffman followed Francis across the country.[9] Her article begins by describing an incident in which Francis pinned her to the hood of a car, apparently demonstrating his 2003 arrest in Florida. Hoffman reports that “the pressure he applied was so intense that hours later, my arms were covered in red hand marks,” and says that she was afraid he would break her arm. When she fought him off, Francis grabbed her notebook and accused her of not caring about the First Amendment. Subsequently, he called her editor and accused her of having “an axe to grind because I am jealous and angry” due to what Francis said was her crush on him.

    Hoffman also notes that she is not the “only woman who’s made Francis mad,” and lists a number of other court actions raised against Francis by women, ranging from an accusation of harassment to accusations of rape. None of these accusations, however, led to charges being pressed.

    Legal problems

    Francis has been a party to several lawsuits. Some stem from activities during the filming of videos and others from the company’s practices.


    In 2002, Becky Lynn Gritzke discovered that she had been covertly filmed flashing her breasts at a Mardi Gras festival and that the image had been used without her permission on billboards advertising Girls’ Gone Wild videos and even on the cover of a video. She sued Mantra Films and settled for an undisclosed sum under an agreement according to which GGW agreed to cease distributing all material bearing Gritzke’s image.[15]

    In June 2007, Francis and Mantra Films became the subject of another lawsuit claiming that images had been used without the subject’s permission.[16] The suit was subsequently dropped after Francis released footage showing the subjects agreeing to be filmed.[17]

    2003 arrest

    In an incident at Panama City Beach, Florida, during spring break 2003, Francis was arrested and then released on $165,000 bond. He was initially charged with 71 separate counts, including racketeering, drug trafficking, and child pornography. Police confiscated his private jet and other property[18]. At a July 27, 2006 hearing, the judge threw out 200 hours of videotape and hundreds of other key pieces of evidence in the case[19]. On January 4, 2007, the judge dismissed almost all of the charges[20] stemming from the Panama City case [21] claiming that “the evidence did not support the allegations,” and the seized assets were returned. However, the remaining felony counts charge that Francis and the company used and conspired to use minors in sexual performances, charges which carry a combined maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. Two misdemeanor counts which also remain charge Francis and the company with prostitution.[22] Francis and the company contend that the two participants lied about their ages to get on camera.[23]

    On March 12, 2008 Francis was convicted on child abuse and prostitution charges after pleading no contest in a plea bargain. He also pleaded guilty to charges related to having contraband in his cell during the time he was held in jail. Francis was sentenced to time served (339 days) and more than $60,000 in fines and costs.[24]

    Administrative proceedings before the FTC
    On December 16, 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission against Mantra Films, Inc., and its sole officer and director Joseph R. Francis, seeking civil penalties for violations of previous Commission determinations concerning unfair and deceptive acts or practices and consumer redress. The Commission’s complaint alleges that since December 2000, Mantra and Francis deceptively marketed Girls Gone Wild videos and DVDs to consumers, automatically shipped these unordered videos and DVDs to consumers, and charged consumers for them without consumers’ consent.[25]

    On July 30, 2004, the FTC announced a stipulated court order under which the sellers of Girls Gone Wild DVDs and videos would refund over half a million dollars of shipping fees as consumer redress, pay a half-million dollar civil penalty, and be barred from a wide range of activities detailed in a complaint the U.S. Department of Justice filed on behalf of the FTC in late 2003.[26]

    On December 13, 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Mantra Films had been ordered to pay $1.6 million in criminal fines for failing to create and maintain age and identity records for films it produced, and that the “package agreement” between the government and Mantra Films, MRA Holdings, LLC and Joe Francis required a public acknowledgment of criminal wrongdoing, a pledge of cooperation with the government in future investigations, full compliance with the record keeping laws, and payment of a total of $2.1 million in fines and restitution.[27][28]

    Arrest for contempt

    Francis was arrested at the Panama City-Bay County International Airport on April 10, 2007 for allegedly violating a contempt of court citation during negotiations in a civil lawsuit brought by seven women who were underage when they were filmed by his company on Panama City beach during spring break in 2003.
    Lawyers for the women alleged to U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak that Francis became belligerent throughout the settlement talks, shouting profanities and threatening to “bury them.” Smoak ordered Francis to settle the case or go to jail; subsequent negotiations were mediated, but broke down, inciting Smoak to issue a contempt of court warrant. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta refused to let him remain free pending an appeal.[29].

    Michael D. Young, writer for the Wiley International CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution[30] asserts that the reach of the judge’s rulings about the mediation raises many questions.[31]

    Francis was sentenced to 35 days in jail for failing to surrender.[32]

    Charges in Florida

    The Associated Press (AP) reports that on Thursday, April 12, 2007, Francis was accused of bribery, possession of a controlled substance, and introducing contraband (cash and drugs) into the Panama City, Florida jail. The AP reports that Francis (in jail for contempt of court) offered a guard one hundred, and then five hundred dollars, for a bottled water. Jailers allegedly found drugs including Lunesta and lorazepam in the jail cell. Francis reportedly faces up to five years in prison if convicted on these charges.[33] After subsequent investigation, Francis was charged with possession of contraband [1]. A psychiatrist hired by Francis’ defense team stated in his report that Francis demonstrates “significant psychiatric issues” and did “express a potential for suicidal activity if his incarceration is prolonged.”[34]

    In March 2008, Francis was released after pleading no contest to one count of felony child abuse and two counts of misdemeanor prostitution in Bay County, Florida. He was sentenced to time already served. On March 25, 2008, four women filed suit against him in Florida for filming them while underage, with one girl claiming she was age 13 when filmed.[35]

    Federal criminal tax problems

    On April 11, 2007, Francis was indicted by a federal grand jury in Reno, Nevada on two counts of tax evasion[36][37] under 26 U.S.C. § 7201[38]

    Francis is charged with filing with the Internal Revenue Service a false and fraudulent Form 1120S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation, for Sands Media, Inc. (a company for which Francis allegedly is the sole shareholder, president and chief executive officer), for the year 2002. The indictment charges that the return overstated deductions, including $3,784,390 for construction of a residence in Punta Mita, Mexico, as a false consulting services expense; a false $500,000 insurance expense; and an additional $10,411,020 in false consulting services expenses.[39] The indictment also charges various violations for the year 2003, including an allegedly false insurance expense deduction of $1,666,666.67 on the 2003 Form 1120S return for Mantra Films, Inc., a company for which he allegedly is the sole shareholder, president and chief executive officer.[40] In a press release, the United States Department of Justice asserts that the false business deductions total over 20 million dollars.[41]

    The Los Angeles Times has quoted his attorney, Jan L. Handzlik, as saying: “The government has chosen to make a criminal case out of what we believe to be, at most, a civil tax dispute….We are also disappointed about the timing of these charges in light of Joe’s difficulties in Florida. This is turning into a litigation dog pile.”[36] If convicted, Francis could face up to ten years in prison and substantial fines. The trial is set to begin on April 29, 2008.[42]

    In November 2007, he accused guards at the Grady County Law Enforcement Center of abusing him during his stay at the Oklahoma prison facility, Grady County has denied the accusations saying that Francis was “treated like every inmate that comes through the Grady County Law Enforcement Center”.[43]
    As of March 2008, Francis remained under indictment in Nevada for federal tax evasion. On April 17, 2008, in a move opposed by the government, Francis’ tax evasion trial was moved to Los Angeles by a federal judge.


  45. Jon Taplin says:

    Morgan- You need to take an economics course. Your logic is so tortured it begs disbelief. Under your scheme only in times of deflation will workers see any benefit. But needless to say, as we saw in Japan if general prices for goods fall, bosses take back salary gains.

    You are backing a version of capitalism not even Milton Friedman would support.

  46. John Hurt says:


    Morgan is not a serious man. Nor is he a funny man. He is a nether man. Too bad. I had high hopes for him.


  47. Morgan Warstler says:

    I am Netherman!

    JH, yes these are crimes. And the justice system is working. I mis-spoke, I apologize for not being clearer, let me say it another way, “Girls Gone Wild” culture is fine, and his serving of it, doesn’t make Joe Francis a bad guy.

    Jon, you miss my point. I listed some massive benefits brought to workers in the past 10 years and you just skipped over them. And I guess technically they are deflationary – prices on products that have seriously improved our lifestyle – have plummeted. Another example: I pay $29 for unlimited telephone calling annually. It is NUTS you don’t count that in your calculus.

    Now then, let me say it this way, controlling for inflation, you shouldn’t expect a job to be pay more, year after year. Infact, jobs become less specialized as they exist because of productivity gains. Working a McDonalds cash register, no longer requires someone be able to add and subtract. This is a silly example, but it makes my point.

  48. rhb says:

    Actually, it doesn’t require anyone working, per se, at all. Automate the whole process and feed the gains back to society in the form of life long education and real time social work and fulfilling travel and of course, most importantly, no need to hurry from one task to another in the vain hope of getting rich.

  49. Pete Wolf says:

    I think we’re all getting a little uncivil. I agree Morgan can be somewhat frustrating (too many generalizations about market forces for my liking), but it’s no reason for name calling.

    Morgan – Firstly, most of us aren’t against the capitalist system (with a little ‘c’). For the most part we aren’t proposing alternatives to the idea of consensual trade, work and contract agreements, or to market-based price determination mechanisms. We’re not communists, or even technocrats who want alternative centralised systems or anarchists who want alternative decentralised systems. Rather, we’re arguing about tweaking the way these systems work (anti-corporate rhetoric is not incompatible with such tweaking). You have to rachet up the argument that its impossible for us to tweak them and have them still work (which seems to be the heart of the free-market philosophy), because it seems prima facie false to many of us.

    On your point about the advantages brought to workers by the more ruthless (or perhaps ‘free’) capitalist system you espouse, the problem is that more easily available technological gadgets (novel commodities and the like) don’t offset the decline in many of the constant (as opposed to novel) factors which the same system has produced. Job security, mental and physical health, recreational time, social mobility, all have been seriously effected, and having a bigger TV doesn’t offset them.

    More than this though, arguing that if the chair-maker doesn’t like he’s job, then he’s free to educate himself and get a better job is fundamentally flawed. We need people who make chairs, who clean toilets, who sweep streets and sew buttons onto shirts. Without the people who provide the products and the services you need, your money is literally worthless. In each individual case it is true that a lone individual could get another job, but on a societal level it doesn’t work. Not every chair maker or dish-washer can be retrained and get a better job. Not just because the more people who left those professions, the less supply there would be and the more the wages would rise, but because there aren’t the opportunities available (both in terms of the retraining required and demand for alternative work) to cope with that kind of exodus (or even the kind of exodus that would perhaps sufficiently suppress the supply of those jobs to improve them).

    For the most part supply and demand in the labour market functions well in determining wages, working conditions and the division of labour, but there are situations which distort this process and produce UNFAIR distributions that are not compensated for by the residual economic benefits that such ruthless capitalism might create. This s to say that the absolutely necessary role that this sector of society plays in actually providing the very foundation of the value of currency is undervalued in terms of the returns (which include stability of lifestyle and opportunities for advancement) that the sector receives.

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