One of the most frustratingly incredible things about Corporate PR Con Artistry is that even when the chaos magicians behind it reveal their tricks, there are still people who will continue to insist that somehow, this makes the lie even more real. We've seen it before with climate change, and the bullshit connection between vaccines and autism.
And now, in a new op-ed from The New York Times, we can see this phenomenon happening in real-time with healthcare. Most rational-thinking people understand that the private healthcare system in America offers no more "choice" than the socialized, single-payer, or other government-subsidized systems in other developed nations. Yet that idea of "choice" — and the fantastical fear-mongering about wait times in Canada — has become a popular talking point with those opposed to healthcare reform. Which is precisely what it was designed to do, by people like Wendell Potter, a former vice president for corporate communications at Cigna. As he writes in the Times:
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To my everlasting regret, I played a hand in devising this deceptive talking point about choice when I worked in various communications roles for a leading health insurer between 1993 and 2008, ultimately serving as vice president for corporate communications.
Those of us who held senior positions for the big insurers knew that one of the huge vulnerabilities of the system is its lack of choice. In the current system, Americans cannot, in fact, pick their own doctors, specialists or hospitals — at least, not without incurring huge “out of network” bills.
Amazon is already known for providing dangerous working conditions, anti-union activities and treating their blue collar workforce like a disposable commodity. Since they're already screwing folks at work, it must have seemed like a natural progression to screw them at home too.
Amazon’s plans to expand into Long Island City may cost Mayor Bill de Blasio — and New York City — approximately 1,500 units of affordable housing.
Two sites that will house the future offices of the e-commerce giant were originally intended for residential development, before Amazon chose them in a nationwide contest for its new headquarters.
Most — if not all — of that intended housing is now off the table.
According to Politico, the 14.7 acres of land Amazon's plopping out of their grossly subsidized new headquarters complex in Long Island City is owned by a company called Plaxall. Before Amazon came along, Plaxall was gearing up to ask New York City administrators for permission to build close to 5,000 new homes on their property. 1,250 of these homes would have been earmarked for use by low and middle-income earning families. In addition to this, Amazon's NYC complex is also eating up turf from a second company, TF Cornerstone: they were ready to build a complex that would contain 250 low-income housing units on the dirt where Amazon is building their new HQ. That's not going to happen anymore, either.
Greed is nothing, if not consistent.
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In Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother You, there's a protest scene where there's a 12-foot-tall "Steve Lift Fucking a Horse" sculpture. It's hard to miss!
Well, come to find out, my badass friend Spy Emerson (whose Hook Up Truck made international news a few years back) is the artist who created it. And now I've learned, on Boots' request, she's made a mini version of the sculpture to sell.
If you want to get on your hands it, you can find her on Instagram or Patreon. Or you can reach her through her website.
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Throwback to filming last summer. SO MUCH LOVE to @bootsriley #sorrytobotheryou
Spy shared with me that she clocked in 130 hours during filming last summer, as both an artist and a performer, and appears in the movie as a member of the Left Eye girl gang (in the photo below, she's the one in the goggles). In one scene she said that she's wearing an old punk t-shirt of hers from high school that reads, "Stay Warm, Burn the Rich."
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