… and we Clapped and Danced When Miguel and Becky Won the Coding Olympics!

I’ve written about this so much and have gotten students to research some of the direct and indirect topics tied to: Who are your masters, and how far will you go to get and keep a job? One solution for one issue — say, looking at crops and regulating soil wetness with a drone is good, but what are the negative consequences of drone tech and drone community college programs? CIA, NSA, FBI, ATF, Cops, and other deals? Is there always a trade off, you know, Fat Man and Little Boy, the consequences of pursuing “science” with the $$ coming from, well, nefarious sources. Lords of War paying for everything.

And then, this goes way beyond greenwashing, etc. I have had students wanting to get a BS in engineering, say, to do work on drones, which back then (ohe, 20 years ago) was one way to help mitigate climate heating’s negative effects on people, communities, land, crops, ecosystems. You know, all that great work to get satellites into space because satellites will help scientists save the world.

But now? Drones? They are everywhere on the battle field, in the cops’ toolbox, everywhere, and not for the good of humankind, unless that good includes bombing wedding parties, and dropping viruses and other poisons on people.

We looked at many seemingly benign companies, like GE, and back then there was this green component of GE, you know what I am talking about: wind turbines, efficiency, solar panels. So, keeping those engineers working on turbines while creating some existential firewall between the war machines GE makes, that was also a topic we looked into.

So, it was possible you could come out of college with a BS, and end up in GE’s green energy arena, without ever touching base with the military arm of the company. That is the silo of old.

General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) aviation subsidiary secured a nearly $284 million contract with the Defense Logistics Agency to provide helicopter engine supplies to the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force. (2021). General Electric Aviation, Lynn, Massachusetts, has been awarded a maximum $149,693,969 firm-fixed-price, requirements-type delivery order against a five-year subsumable basic ordering agreement (SPE4AX-22-D-9409) for T700 engine supplies. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulations 6.302-1. This is a five-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Massachusetts, with a Sept. 30, 2026, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal year 2022 through 2026 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Richmond, Virginia.

The U.S. Air Force has awarded GE a $1.58 billion firm-fixed-price contract to supply F110 engines for the Boeing F-15EX Eagle II. This selection makes GE the sole propulsion provider for the U.S. Air Force’s entire planned F-15EX fleet. GE is currently delivering Lot 1 engines for the F-15EX, including two test aircraft currently undergoing flight testing at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Again, jobs, jobs and more jobs, but at what price, and how far will young people go in trying NOT to perpetuate the war machine, the killing machines, and then, of course, how easy is it to go to school, debate philosophies and cultures and politics, and then attempt to apply some humane ethics to one’s course in life, but then to get a job that is not in any way, shape or form part of the matrix, part of the ugly corporate world of exploitation, penury, and profits at any cost, ethics be damned?

One main point of education, in my humble opinion, is to dig under the surface of everything, and in the English writing classes I taught — once mandatory for an undergraduate degree — included working on argumentative papers, and research papers with all the elements of rhetoric covered: classification, cause and effect, process, solutions, and more. To question the profession you might be entering into: the work ethics, the companies’ profiles, what the challenges are, what sort of negative and possible illegal things the companies might be involved in. You know, what is the problem in the nursing profession, or education field, or architecture profession, or marketing company? The idea is to find the dirt and find the issues tied to a profession a student might think she or he is going to pursue.

Education now is floundering like it never has floundered, and with the higher ups there as MBAs, institutional managers, those who go take executive courses/seminars to learn how to NOT be educators, and how to learn how to cut personnel costs, and how to be more efficient and what to inject into more and more watered down curriculum to satisfy the CEOs bottom line business needs, they are part of the downfall. Just what do those drone companies want from a student graduating? The masters at the top of higher education will submit to the corporations.

What involvement did GE have in nuclear weapons production?

Kelle Louaillier (KL): In 1984 in the United States, thousands of companies were involved in some way in producing parts for nuclear weapons systems. GE produced more parts to more major nuclear weapons systems than any other corporation. GE was involved in the promotion of nuclear weapons to the government and in production since day one, with its role in the Manhattan Project.

Specifically, GE was responsible for the critical components, including, for example, the neutron “trigger” for every US nuclear bomb. Notably, before becoming president, Ronald Regan was a spokesman for GE. (Source)

These are the companies profiting most from war.

1. Lockheed Martin 

  • Arms sales 2010: $35.73 billion
  • Total sales 2010: $45.80 billion
  • Arms sales as pct. of total sales: 78 percent
  • Total profit: $2.93 billion
  • Total employment: 132,000
  • Sector: Aircraft, Electronics, Missiles, Space

2. BAE Systems

  • Arms sales 2010: $32.88 billion
  • Total sales 2010: $34.61 billion
  • Arms sales as pct. of total sales: 95 percent
  • Total profit: $1.67 billion
  • Total employment: 98,200
  • Sector: Aircraft, Artillery, Electronics, Missiles, Military vehicles, Small arms/ammunition, Ships

3. Boeing 

  • Arms sales 2010: $31.36 billion
  • Total sales 2010: $64.31 billion
  • Arms sales as pct. of total sales: 49 percent
  • Total profit: $3.31 billion
  • Total employment: 160,500
  • Sector: Aircraft, Electronics, Missiles, Space

4. Northrop Grumman 

  • Arms sales 2010: $28.15 billion
  • Total sales 2010: $34.76 billion
  • Arms sales as pct. of total sales: 81 percent
  • Total profit: $2.05 billion
  • Total employment: 117,100
  • Sector: Aircraft, Electronics, Missiles, Ships, Space

5. General Dynamics

  • Arms sales 2010: $23.94 billion
  • Total sales 2010: $32.47 billion
  • Arms sales as pct. of total sales: 74 percent
  • Total profit: $2.62 billion
  • Total employment: 90,000
  • Sector: Artillery, Electronics, Military vehicles, Small arms/ammunition, Ships

6. Raytheon (NYSE: RTN)
> Arms sales 2010: $22.98 billion
> Total sales 2010: $25.18 billion
> Arms sales as pct. of total sales: 91%
> Total profit: $1.88 billion
> Total employment: 72,400
> Sector: Electronics, Missiles

Those are 2010 stats, and even then the numbers were hiding other routes from US taxpayers to make the Lords of War, well, Gods. Try looking at the stats for 2022; additionally, there are fewer and fewer young people even attempting to play the thought experiment of what if we could stop the war machines, stop paying our taxes for their criminality, and then, to do this: connect every bolt and wire and coat of paint to anything made to produce death, either directly as munitions, or their delivery systems, or even the logistics and intel around war war war.

This is verboten in schools, colleges, truly in many venues, as it is verboten to question the mRNA’s, forced innoculations, forced social distancing, forced mRNA proofs to enter college. Questioning the military murdering machines pushing for more weapons for a Nazi Ukraine? You’ll be tarred and feathered. There are no more discussions about the true price we pay for USA policy targeting Russia and China. No true discussions about what theft is, grand theft, stealing gold reserves from places like Russia, Iran, Venezuela.

This has all been normalized, especially the past 15 years. Support this country, but still fight for the culture wars, the right to be all or nothing you can be. You have to be pronoun neutral, pro-Anything LGBTQA+ conjures up, and the Amnesia has to be deep.

This is the image (below, and it is a sad sack of crap) that also creeps into students’ brains going to college. This is sick, and alas, multimillionaires like Ellen who complained about being discriminated against early in her career, well, she is rubbing elbows with a war criminal:

Or take it to a non-LGBTQA+ multimillionaire’s absurdity, and go for the Black Absurdity, that Black Misleadereship class.

Thus, all of the cultural wars invented by the Liberal and Neoliberal media, and their sleeper cells — higher education liberal arts fools — get us here, really. But I have shown the power of another war criminal to infect all administrations:

So, forget about it, as they say in Mafia land. You can’t criticize a media darling, a war criminal like Kissinger. Never, and to attempt to bring him up now, in 2022, when you can’t get students to think or rethink or think for the first time the crimes of Ukraine under Zelensky and then way back, too. They don’t know who Kissinger is, in the regular schools, and then in those Ivy League ones, Kissinger is a real dream, a hero.

You will be kicked out of your part-time job, big time. Most college teachers are part-time, at the beckon call of perverse chairs and administrators.

And why not? College is for corporations telling worthless VPs and Presidents and the phalanx of administrators and deans working the college scam what needs to be taught.

Of course, this quote (below) is from 2009, and the numbers are, well, way low ball. Think of the deaths caused by depleted uranium, all the pollution, the PTSD, the cultural chaos, all of it. The murdering by Bush, even while he hangs out with liberals like Ellen and Obama, well, it keeps on delivering, that death and carnage. How to put a price on a country destroyed by USA bombs bursting in air and economic bombs and CIA bombs never not going off?

Why is a “gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to” the worst war criminal of the 21st Century? [Noam Chomsky has said the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq was the worst war crime of the 21st Century] President Bush lied about Saddam Hussein having threatening weapons of mass destruction to justify invading defenseless Iraq. “Be kind to everyone?” President Bush’s unnecessary war against Iraq resulted in a reported “1 million dead” Iraqis, “4.5 million displaced, 1 million to 2 million widows, 5 million orphans. (“Bush’s War Totals,” By John Tirman, The Nation, January 28, 2009)

So here we are, now, the crux of the blog — “Background Checks, Algorithms, and the Re-making of the Abnormal” over at Dissident Voice by Mike Templeton. It’s good, of course, and looks at pre-crime, looks at how AI determines who will be in and who will be out. Mixed up with data and then personality tests and profiles, the Kings of AI have us all by the short-hairs. Templeton looks at credit scores, criminal records, evictions, those things. He doesn’t go far enough in terms of other factors the AI Kings can deploy to get us kicked out of civilization. In fact, as you read this, a prospective employer is too, and then, wham, I am pigeon holed for non-compliance, for nasty revolutionary zeal, which makes me a bad worker. Here, a quote, a long one, from his essay, contextualizing Templeton’s words/essay:

A great deal of attention has been paid to the problems of carceral injustice and the increasing use of AI for things such as predictive policing. Much of this research has revealed that these digital technologies serve to recreate economic disparities, racism, and other forms of social discrimination while removing the stain of human agency toward a flawed ideal of objectivity. Less attention has been paid to the use of these digital technologies in pre-employment background checks. This essay examines the use of AI and algorithmic data analysis and the ways these technologies and procedures create a caste of humans who are barred from employment and rendered economically invalid. In the final analysis, AI and algorithmic data analysis in the service of pre-employment background checks reproduces Foucault’s human monster in a contemporary form, a human monster that bears the stigmata of digital unpredictability.

More than 90 percent of all new hires are subjected to some type of background check prior to employment. These background checks search criminal history and records, including non-convictions, debt history, credit ratings, and other data that can offer a picture of the financial health of a potential new hire.1 The idea behind background checks is to ensure the safety of employees and, in the case of schools and hospitals, students and patients. While many states have laws that limit both the reach and use of background checks, the practice of investigating a potential employee’s background is now standard and widespread. In a short piece in the journal Academe, Ann D. Springer explains that universities might be looking for information that would indicate a potential hire’s “character, general reputation, personal characteristics or mode of living.”2 A university may deem it important to determine exactly what kind of person they are considering, and this may include that person’s “character.”3 While the point of Springer’s article is to reveal the potential dangers of background checks, she also pins down one of the main issues in performing such checks: “What if an employee commits a crime or breaks the law? An employer who knew of such past bad acts may be held responsible for failing to act on that knowledge, even if future actions were and are difficult to predict.” Liability can consist of many things like the risk of theft in the case of people with a criminal history of crimes against property or people who are so financially unstable they pose a theft risk. Liability could also be physical danger from people who have a history of violent offenses. In terms of how to predict potential danger and liability, this has been elusive, and companies have generally decided to err on the side of caution and refuse to hire anyone whose background check reveals something that could be seen as dangerous. But prediction is the key to understanding how background checks function in contemporary culture.

It is the digital realm that finds the invalid intolerable because the invalid present the type of unpredictability that is intolerable to digital systems. While companies, organizations, and universities advertise the justification that the background check is in the interest of safety, it is in fact the intolerable danger of the unpredictable that must be ferreted out by the background check. The primary reason for adding algorithmic technology to background checks can only be toward the elimination of unpredictability, otherwise a simple rap sheet would suffice. The reason a simple rap sheet is insufficient is that a human being must look a list of past offences and make a judgment call as to the likelihood of future danger, and this would only compound the levels of unpredictability with the addition of a secondary human consciousness. Above all else, the system must control, neutralize, and lockout any threats to absolute predictability. Thus, we have a caste of people who are determined to be invalid by a system that is no longer bound by human consciousness. Since no human makes this determination, the status of invalidity is the fault of the invalid who have only themselves to blame for their behavior, be it bad credit or a felony conviction. In the final analysis, we are left with a caste of untouchables who will forever remain both economically externalized, in that they are forbidden entry into economic viability, yet completely captured and internalized since they are digitally quantified and categorized. Their status as invalid is dependent on a detailed record of their failures and transgressions. It is the invalid who have taken over as the abnormal, the moral degenerates, and the human monsters.

Yep, those felonies hobbling millions, and I was one of those social workers, helping just released prisoners to get back on their feet: housing, email, safety nets, probation officers, jobs. Yep, felony friendly, or second chance employers are few and far between. My take is that felonies and misdemeanors should all be expunged once a person does his or her time.

Again, nuance is what I teach, and to be realistic, there are literally tens of millions of Americans who have interfaced with the Law somehow and those intersections have a computer and written record — speeding tickets, civil cases, and even as witnesses and even those family members of accused or convicted of a crime. All of those records the Man, The Man, the Boss, is privy to. And, think about another nuance — My Word Press blog, and this Dissident Voice — “a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and justice.” Anything published here, including this, will be part of my profile, my who, what, why, when, where and how of my personality, my pre-employment profile.  Look up “Paul Haeder and Anti-Higher Education” on Google CIA. The first page hit on Google, well, enough to get anyone who might be considering me for a job as an educator to think twice about me, and that’s Google, not the Checkr and other sources that can track down my name and then any term tied to it to see what I have written about, say, against the fields of education, social work, journalism, teaching, environmental movement, the US systems of, well, suppression and oppression. (About 154,000 results –0.44 seconds — Paul Haeder and Anti-Education).

Now, if you put my name into Orbitt.net, then “all” the dirty laundry is exposed, or at least, some percentage of the laundry or articles out there since there are 24 pages of my work, only dating back to 2017. If you look me up over at Dissident Voice, well, you can go back to before 2010 and find any number of my commentaries-polemics-rants covering any number of topics with my anti-authority, anti-capitalism filter applied.

Templeton looks at the tools at the Man’s disposal for delving into official records, but there are other aspects of this culture in America where we are pigeon-holed and monitored. The very nature of how the worker has no rights, really, at work. CCTV in the workplace? Badges and photos. Reports on the job. Evaluations. Forced urine tests? Haircut codes? Is it fair or correct or ethical for anyone thinking of hiring me to even dive into all the journalism I’ve done, all the Op-eds I’ve written, all the Dissident Voice pieces I’ve penned? Of course not, but in today’s world, and even the world I was debating with, say, 20 years ago, the Americans — and unfortunately, this is the attitide for most people in the world — are perfectly fine with the employer or agency or government looking into your past. Sort of this shit idea of, “If you don’t have anything to hide, then why not let the employer or agency or government use that information. If it’s out there, and you posted it or wrote it, then you have to live with it.”

Some parts of your internet history are public record. This includes your social media profiles that you haven’t set to “private,” personal blog sites and any other information that you post publicly and share online. Because this information is public, anyone can read it, including a would-be employer. The employer doesn’t have to disclose that he’s looking at your public digital footprint, either. Under the Fair Credit Reporting laws, an employer only has to tell you that he’s going to run a background check when he uses a company in the business of compiling background information. If he checks you out himself, he can do it without telling you. (source)

That’s a more mellow quote, really, for what the American believes, both the Republican Leaning and the Democratic Party leaning. Hell, just yesterday, I was disagreeing with the guy working on my house, and he’s 69, broken body big time, and he can’t afford medical care for a bad knee and spinal disc issue, and he said his home he and his wife had down here was ripped out from under him after falling for Bush’s loan modification deal in 2008. Foreclosure, and now the place is listed at $750,000. All that equity down the drain. In the end, though, he constantly berates Trump, DeSantis, but he nary says a negative word against Biden or Pelosi. Every time a screw breaks on the job, he blames China, and he still believes Putin has entered our electoral system. I told him that the constant rant against Trump goes nowhere with me, since the rant is equally deserving for the Biden Bumbler. I told him that as a communist, err, socialist for most audiences, I have studied my position and politics and US domestic and international positions long enough to know a corrupt system when I see it or live under it. He said, “Well, then, why don’t you move to Russia if you’re communist.”

That is the penetrating and lubricating oil of this country. A 69 year old, broken down guy who thinks Russia is communist; working odd jobs, and he’s a musician, too, who lost that gig because of, well, greedy capitalist owner not able to keep a cook on at night; and he gives me the old heave ho, “Love it or Leave it.”

I reminded him that if Trump gets in, in 2024, that’s his country, his democratic party’s doing, the media’s doing, and with this love it or leave it mentality, well, the voters — his fellow citizens — have spoken and voted in their parasite, Trump. What then? Is he going to love it (Trump, the system) or leave it? He said he go to DC and kill Trump if he gets in in 2024. Literally go after him. More bluster from a Democrat.

There it is, though, this is AmeriKKKa. This place in 2022 is despicable, more so than I thought possible even in my lifetime. Truly, on many levels, and alas, I’m not 105 years old or ninety-something like Kissinger is, but at 65, with a robust anti-establishment and anti-government bent from a socialist POV, I know why we are here. At this late stage capitalism running the 80 percenters into the ground, we have the youth going for more brainwashing. Wacky.

There are many reasons you might blog about your job. You may want to brag about your accomplishments, vent about your cheese-moving coworkers or sociopathic boss, reveal whom you caught with whom on the floor of the server closet or simply recount the day’s events as a way of decompressing.

Whatever your reasons, if you blog, you take on all the liability and employment security risks that come with publishing to a potential readership of a billion people — even though the actual size of your audience may be just a handful of people or no one.

Work Blogging Risks

How is blogging different from just putting up a personal Web site? “The difference is that the easy-to-use tools available for blogging take away the barriers to getting online,” says Rebecca Jeschke, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a civil liberties advocacy group.

The danger to blogging about your job comes when you allow no-brainer publishing technology — together with a mistaken sense of anonymity — to embolden you to record observations more appropriate for a private, paper-based journal than a global electronic network.

“People need to think long and hard about whether they’re comfortable blogging about work in an unprotected way,” Jeschke says.

One workplace blogger puts it even more plainly: “When you start a blog, you have to assume you’re going to be found out,” says the anonymous author of Waiter Rant, which chronicles the trials and tribulations of a New York City restaurant server.

Being fired for blogging, which is known as “getting dooced” in the blogosphere, really happens — and when it does, it often gets lots of news coverage. Delta Air Lines, Google, Ladies Home Journal, Wells Fargo and an Ohio congressman are among the employers that have reportedly terminated workers over their blogs. (Monster dot com)

So, all my work going up against many employers, filing appeals to denied unemployment, and then filing with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries several different cases of discrimination for being sacked for being old, a male, and radical, those future employers can tap into official files using middlemen surveillance services. All the words, all the articles, and some interviews of me in print and on video on the Internet, they too can be found and USED against me. All of that is just fine for prospective employers to scan and skim and to utilize in order to decide if I am a viable candidate for the job.

I’ve written about millions of Americans who have lost their driver’s license privileges because of debts, not because of driving while intoxicated or for other driving infractions. Because they owe for court costs, owe for back child support. Their job prospects are pretty grim without a license.

Suspending driver’s licenses as a penalty for non-payment of fines and fees unrelated to public safety is a self-defeating policy. It intensifies pressure on individuals already struggling with job loss and financial hardship, and it adds strain to relations between police officers and the public they serve. It makes the slope of failure even more slippery for millions of the most vulnerable Americans. And it’s the law of the land in 42 states.

So, that means the prospective employer can fish through another set of data bases — suspended licenses — and eliminate more people from the workforce. Most jobs require transportation, as they call it, reliable transportation with proof of auto insurance.

Predictable algorithms, and all that soft shoe, again, part of the shifting baseline, now accepted, DNA tests, blood tests, urine test, complying with any “background” check, then, of course, proof of mRNA, and, there you have it. We’ve gone from a majority of people coveting their privacy to a society that doesn’t care.

A society that doesn’t push back against their own “party,” since whichever manure party they may be backing is the right manure party. And, then, love it or leave it.

All of the conversations today are dead, since most Americans are colonized by bad education, patriotism, by really bad entertainment, by Legacy Mainstream Propaganda, by the entire hubris of exceptionalism.

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.