Saturday, September 25, 2004

Blasting France

Freedom Fries, not French Fries, do you remember? I was in Paris celebrating my divorce, or just taking a trip before the realization set in. France is considered borderline Communist by many critics here in the U.S. What is my take?

I have a different take on Socialism, Communism, and the supposed freedom here in the United States of America.

After, 1917, the Reds went after the educated, artists, writers, shop keepers, dissenters, lawyers, landlords, business owners, and those with a clue, speaking their minds. They were sent to die immediately or suffer slowly and die with their entire families. In later years, countries annexed into the former USSR or Chinese form of Communism suffered similar fates.

I noticed, bustling, safe downtown areas in England, Denmark, France, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

Confections, chocolates, pastries, custom ornate draperies, corner butchers, thriving Mom and Pop shops, small independent family restaurants, corner cafés, specialty shops, shoe and dress repair, cobblers, watch repair, tailors, antique shops, and just a hint of the corporate scourge which has taken over the US landscape, courts, and fuels the election process in donations, bribes, and with their muscle.

The family farmer is all but gone in the United State of America.

The corner bar where there used to be cohesive neighborhoods, where those being subjected to tyrants, could go and air their gripes are going the way of the dinosaur in the U.S.A.

Sam Adams and the Patriots would have had a hard time organizing and having militant conversations at the local ‘99’ Restaurant/Corporate Bar.

How are bar owners and other downtown business owners being taken down?

Teens that dare go out and cut lawn or baby-sit children are tax cheat, criminals. There are more road blocks to teens babysitting and cutting lawns than going out smoking, cigarettes, drinking, doing drugs, and committing crimes.

Bookworms had more to worry about in Enfield, Connecticut, as police were sent to doors collecting overdue library fines, and little is being done about vandalism, thefts, fraud, prostitution, strong armed robberies- muggings, and other crimes not related to collecting traffic fines.

From recent national news stories, we know that corporate heads and corporations themselves always act within the law and are ethical, yeah right. Family run daycares have been taken down and owners have done decades in prison, have been labeled as sex offenders for life, over false accusations while daring to compete with corporate daycare.

I ate in a restaurant in Vilnius, Lithuania, that had no signs, no lights on the outside, it was in the ruins of an ancient castle in the basement that was still intact.

We opened a door, centuries old, and a man in a tuxedo took our suit jackets and coats, and behind an iron caldron maybe 8’ across hung on chains going up a story and a half in an ancient chimney, hid a secret passage down to a large area and restaurant and food I still dream about to this day. There is no handicap accessibility and the stairwell was made when people were much shorter, fire exits aren’t marked and do not exist.

Corporate restaurants are more and more prevalent. Historical and family restaurants are hard to pass on as taxes of 60% or so are imposed on those trying to takeover their parents’ businesses don’t have the money to BUY what is passed on to them. Corporations are unaffected by death of founders. Scores of owners that own stock, not equipment, and hold the deeds are interchangeable in market trends.

Independent contractors and laborers are being swallowed up by the mega huge hardware chains. Pay scales and benefits are in the toilet.

Do you see any doctors or dentists working out of their houses charging reasonable rates?

Any small business start has a 1 in 10 chance of being in business for 10 years. A business can go 3 to 5 years without profit being built up, and may never be profitable. Corporations favor bureaucracy and red tape as smaller, independent businesses don’t have the special accounting and legal departments to comply, and can quietly be put out of business.

Then there are common modern misconceptions. Small independent restaurants are ‘greasy spoons’, others are called ‘hacks’, ‘fly-by-nights’, ‘travelers’, or just plain flimflams and scammers.

A contractor can face a $500 fine for not having 3 prongs on an extension cord, if it came with one.

A fine can permanently shut down an independent business or individual.

A corporation paying a fine, just might be a business decision. Some mege, super, colossal chains didn’t put prices on items, just deciding to pay the fine as it was cheaper than paying wages for someone to price all the items, usually just after set-up. Loss leaders are used to shut the competition down. That if offering items at or below cost to draw customers away from the ‘little guy’ putting him (or her) out of business. Have you noticed that the return policies and prices change at the corporate slut store just after they have put their competition, the ‘little people’ and your neighbors, out of business?

Money no longer stays in your neighborhood, and the ‘monkey can do it’ jobs offered by the chains can be part time and even full timers can have a hard time making ends meet, get shoddy benefits, and maybe no health insurance.

You’re selling your souls to the corporate store.

America was built by men (and women) with wares on their back, maybe carrying a carpet bag, willing to take a chance, invest their money in themselves and independent ventures, believing in the fairness of America and its leaders.

Having the same spirit today may have you ending up taking a bath in piranhas.

I read in Connecticut newspapers where a man suspected of armed robberies was put in prison for a year for contracting without a license while authorities found out if they could build a case for the armed robbery.

Another contractor was shot at, possibly randomly, he was then investigated financially, with the thinking he must have screwed somebody over. His records were so thoroughly scoured that something was found and he ended up in serious trouble, just because he was a second class citizen and victim of random violence.

Independent property investors that have their properties destroyed by tenants and local vandals are being jailed for health code violations, dilapidated and blighted property, and landlords are the preferred targets of police for arrest when there is an argument or disturbance involving a tenant.

Fines can range from $75 to $100 for crimes committed by others. Good behavior and property investment is punished and bad behavior is either ignored or subsidized with tax dollars …
(I can't get a job bagging groceries, post:

I helped a friend occasionally with his food trailer at events. The head fireman, police officers, and others came by expecting free food for themselves and their friends.

Failure to pay up would mean being shut down.

An inspector told us we’d be shut down unless we went over to his recommended shop that was remaining open for us to come and pay $150 for a special fire extinguisher for that event.

We were charged special connection fees to have our garden hose and electric extension cord ‘professionally’ connected.

If we were competition for someone CONNECTED in the town or hooked up with officials, we’d be inspected in the middle of a rush shutting us down during the most profitable time of the day, diverting business to others.

A cooler that is opened frequently during a rush won’t maintain temperature, an inspector knowing this and wanting to shut down competition of a connected friend, will check the temperature and if it is about 40 degrees we could be shut down and fined. Checking the grill just after a massive amount of food is put on, or if frozen meet is put on the one, split second reading would mean the food and grill wasn’t at a high enough temperature and we could be shut down, and face a huge fine.

The same tactics were probably used to shut down umteen restaurant owners that were competition to others with friends in town hall or with Big Brother, Jr., the corporate chain syndicate.

I helped my friend put his trailer on the front yard to sell it. A health inspector was there within ten minutes with his clipboards as I was in it and he thought he was going to collect the MOTHER OF ALL FINES.

I pointed to the for sale sign and had to show him there was no food in the trailer and that the grills weren’t on or connected. I suppose someone breaking into a house or selling drugs on the corner would not have been so alarming to authorities as finding an excuse to fine the shit out of a 2nd class citizen or finding excuse to take all of his/her shit.

I saw many independent vendors and thriving small businesses in France and even in the now independent Baltic States of the former USSR, that to me says government cooperates with the individuals, cares about what is the heart of society- downtown areas, and services the needs of the people, not a few corrupt members of the governing/elite.

I can’t even leave the country and be a free American elsewhere, setting up a small downtown business in a country more conducive to a FREE THINKER and hard worker as I was taken down for having a BIG MOUTH by a jackbooted thug’s lackey, having been beaten in the dark on my property having defended myself with pepper spray.

I went from getting almost every job I ever applied for, getting offers for good salaried positions, owing $500,000 in prime investment properties, collecting $6500 in gross monthly rents, to not
being able to get a job loading trucks or doing virtually anything, because I was sent to prison and now have a criminal record for shooting my mouth off in newspapers.

So for me being allowed to leave Hypocrania, Inc. (The USA) and going to France or anywhere else in Europe would be a dream come true. Big Mouths on probation can’t travel, nor earn a living, maybe for life.

Steven G. Erickson
PO Box 730
Enfield, CT 06083, Hypocrania ( The Peoples Reblik of Korruptikut)


Links to my story and angst:

Another good post:

* * * *

If you are Black, a landlord, a contractor, or self-employed, is it an express route to prison? Are sentences fair? Can a bar owner be put in prison if he doesn’t know whom to bribe? Can a black man that has a restraining order against a white woman on probation, that breaks into his house and uses a weapon, he should go to prison not her, right? Story:

* * * *

Donald Christmas of the Thompsonville section of Enfield, Connecticut, also proposed Civilian Oversight of Police, is also a landlord that got mouthy to newspaper reporters regarding police harassing landlords, refusing to give protection and service, also threatened to sue police for civil rights violation, and was also attacked on his property, and was arrested and only given a choice of pleading guilty and going to prison for a year and a half or face a fixed trial and get sent up anyway. Donny was attacked by a police officer’s 16 year old girlfriend and only Donny got into trouble and faced prison.

Police officers allegedly followed Don around, harassed him and his family, caused him to get fired from two jobs, and police allegedly threatened witnesses into making false statements, but they refused.



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