Billionaires and pitchforks…

An entertaining column in The NY Times makes the case that billionaires are proving themselves an unworkable caste these days. Four cases are examined:

Elon Musk, demonstrating that the transferability of boy genius credentials may not be such a viable theory after all, given the turmoil at Twitter….

Bankman-Fried, showing how even the smart money is pretty dumb…

Jeff Bezos, currently engaged in greenwashing his reputation with philanthropy with a fortune built on exploiting workers, tax evasion, and fierce union busting…

And, of course, the former politician who shall not be named, insisting that we are in desperate trouble, none of it of his causing.

It was a particularly unsubtle reminder that billionaires are not our saviors. They are our mistake.

Anyway, an amusing, if exceptionally pointed column I thought some might enjoy:


The subsection of grandstanding billionaires may not be unlike the cast of autocrats in the political arena - both start to believe their own propaganda and infallibility before long. There seems to be an odd affinity between those groups, too.

Today’s illusion: “The people have spoken. … Vox Populi, Vox Dei”
Reality: Twits have clicked (and likely bots as well)


I am still waiting for a billionaire to save himself.

Eilon is the new nickname. Not sure how to pronounce that.

He who shall not be named? Kind of like she who shall be obeyed.

A common malady among “JCs” in my experience. I have heard enough honchos insisting their product is really worth the 40% higher price, and any sale lost is due either to lazyness of their salesmen, or nefarious acts by their competitors.



Love that Steve, I am offering a major discount for Black Friday Week. The other guys I know selling prints are shoring up their arguments that the public does not want discounts. Seriously? :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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One of my most reliable heuristics is (Upton) Sinclair’s Law: “If a man’s paycheck depends on his not understanding something, you can rely upon his not understanding it.”

– sutton

(in referencing this quote [hard to do as there is a big British law firm called Sinclair Law], I found myself at the Wikipedia entry for U Sinclair. I knew him as an all-around rabble-rouser, and the author of The Jungle which I read, ahem, probably in the Ford administration.

Turns out he also wrote The Brass Check, which Wikipedia describes as “a muck-raking exposé of American journalism that publicized the issue of yellow journalism and the limitations of the “free press” in the United States”

Hmmm. Sounds maybe helpful re our current (cough) Fox News et al (cough) era.

Dang. No 99-cent Kindle version. Even used copies on Abe Books going for close to $20.

But the first few chapters available on line. Here’s part of the first few pages:

"The “New York Sun” was edited by one of the bitterest cynics that ever lived in America. He had been something of a radical in his early days, and had turned like a fierce wolf upon his young ideals. He had one fixed opinion…[o]nce every twenty-four hours the little boy absorbed this poison, he took it for truth, and made all his ideas of it…From him the boy learned that American politics were rotten, and he learned the cause of the rottenness: First, there was an ignorant mob, composed mainly of foreigners; and second, there were venal politicians who pandered to this mob. Efforts were continually being made by gentlemen of decency and culture to take the government away from these venal politicians, but the mob was too ignorant, and could not be persuaded to support a clean government. Yet the fight must be kept up, because conditions were going from bad to worse.

Sounds like a trip to the suttonville Public Library is in order)


I think this includes that book (and others), from


Other than the bit about foreigners, it rings true.


I know plenty of “gentlemen of decency” that part does not ring true either.


I know plenty of “gentlemen of decency” that part does not ring true either.

Depends on who defines “decency”. On another site today, a discussion of Chaplain’s “The Great Dictator” warning about the Nazis, and a dozen years later, Chaplain’s visa to enter the US was revoked for his failure to conform.