What corporate bunk!

What corporate bunk!

Image by Bertsz from Pixabay

One thing I don’t miss and will never miss about being butt-in-seat at a job is the long commute. Yuck. Hated it. Found it stressful. Don’t miss it at all.

And yet:

“Commutes can create work-life balance
By Todd Dybas, Editor at LinkedIn News

Incremental movement while strapped in your car and framed by hundreds of other grumpy drivers can be … good for you? Sort of. Researchers suggest a commute can help brains shift from work to home mode, something that cannot happen when moving from the home office to the couch (especially if the home office is the couch). The average round-trip work commute is 52 minutes, providing workers with what researchers call “liminal space” to diffuse from the day and clear their heads.

Oregon lawmakers are debating whether to pay travel costs for state workers living far away who need to visit the office for occasional in-person meetings.”


So gross. This reminds me a lot of The Fed’s attitude. We need to crash the job market and drive up interest rates. We know the medicine tastes icky but you need to take it anyway, peon.

Only this is: sitting butt-in-seat in the car on your way to sit butt-in-seat in the cube farm is good for you, peon. Why? Because we say so!

Jee whiz. Thanks for that.

Why can this “liminal space” not be performed elsewhere? There are times when I have chosen to wake up early to have introvert solitude time before jumping into the fray, but I’ve never felt like this needed to be done outside the home and in a car.

“Another working day has ended / Only the rush hour hell to face / Packed like lemmings / Into shiny metal boxes / Contestants in a suicidal race / Daddy grips the wheel and stares alone into the distance / He knows that something somewhere has to break…”
-The Police, “Synchronicity II”

Excuse me if I refuse to be a lemming packed into a shiny metal box again. Been there, done that, hated it.

But of course if you look at the promoted comments on LI, you’ll see people (or bots? who knows) seal-clapping about how grand the commute is. Give. Me. A. F**king. Break. 😒

LI references an article from theconversation.com, which you can find here: https://theconversation.com/a-journey-from-work-to-home-is-about-more-than-just-getting-there-the-psychological-benefits-of-commuting-that-remote-work-doesnt-provide-195799

Well you know me. I’m gonna look for the source behind the source because there’s no way in hell John & Jane Q. Public are clamoring for a long commute.

To their credit, theconversation.com puts logos of its “funding partners” on its home page near the bottom. These include:

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
It’s worth noting that Alfred P. Sloan was President & CEO of General Motors. According to Wikipedia, “As of 2017, the Sloan Foundation’s assets totaled $1.9 billion.” Not chump change!

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
I’m sure you recognize that name. Andrew Mellon was involved in both business and politics (oh, how they often dovetail together) and according to Wikipedia, this foundation has a $6.1 billion endowment. Really not chump change.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF)
“The Burroughs Wellcome Fund was founded in 1955 as an American extension of the Wellcome Trust in England. These foundations trace their origins to the American pharmaceutical magnates Henry Wellcome and Silas Burroughs, who founded Burroughs Wellcome and Co. in England in 1880. This pharmaceutical company was one of the four large organizations that eventually merged to become GlaxoSmithKline.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burroughs_Wellcome_Fund
An obvious, overt tie to Big Pharma? What a surprise!

The Carnegie Corporation of New York
This is another name you’re likely to recognize. Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Steel Company, which was a precursor to US Steel. If you wanted to look at all the pies that organization has fingers in, you could be here all day. From education to TV to politics, it’s all there. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnegie_Corporation_of_New_York

The Ford Foundation
“The Ford Foundation is an American private foundation with the stated goal of advancing human welfare.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Foundation  According to Wikipedia, their endowment is $16 billion. Hey, ya wanna know something else? Something we’re really supposed to just ignore and not talk about? Did you know that ole Henry received the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle, an award created by Hitler? See for yourself: https://rarehistoricalphotos.com/henry-ford-grand-cross-1938/

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
“The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is an American foundation established by Intel co-founder Gordon E. Moore and his wife Betty I. Moore in September 2000 to support scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the character of the Bay Area.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_and_Betty_Moore_Foundation emphasis mine. Someone else from the world of big business.

Hearst Foundations
William Randolph Hearst was involved in business, politics, and the media. (Amazing how, yet again, those areas dovetail together.) By its own calculation, “The current asset value of the Foundations is approximately $1.3 billion.” https://www.hearstfdn.org/about

The Henry Luce Foundation
This name may also sound familiar. “Henry Robinson Luce was an American magazine magnate who founded Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated magazine. He has been called ‘the most influential private citizen in the America of his day.'” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Luce
A mass media magnate. Imagine that.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
“The institute was formed with the goal of basic research including trying to understand, in Hughes’s words, ‘the genesis of life itself.’ Despite its principles, in the early days it was generally viewed as a tax haven for Hughes’s huge personal fortune.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Hughes_Medical_Institute 
Wow. Nothing vaguely creepy and unsettling about that . . .
“At the time of the sale Hughes Aircraft employed 75,000 people and vast amounts of money from the approximate annual revenue of $6 billion were put into Hughes Aircraft internal research and development rather than the medical institute. Most of the money for the medical institute came from the operations at Ground System Group responsible for providing Air Defense Systems to NATO, Pacific Rim, and the USA.” -Wikipedia, Ibid. emphasis mine
A relationship between a company and the state/military industrial complex? Say it ain’t so! *Gives a sideways glance in Lord Elon’s direction*

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (Knight Foundation)
If you’ve ever heard of Knight-Ridder, this is the Knight of that organization. Their endowment is $2.4 billion according to Wikipedia.

The Lemelson Foundation
According to its site, this foundation has provided more than $300 million in funding to various projects. One of them was The Henry Ford STEMIE.  (https://www.lemelson.org/the-henry-ford-stemie/)

Lilly Endowment
More Big Pharma? Really?
“Lilly Endowment Inc., headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, is one of the world’s largest private philanthropic foundations and among the largest endowments in the United States. It was founded in 1937 by Josiah K. (J. K.) Lilly Sr. and his sons, Eli Jr. and Josiah Jr. (Joe), with an initial gift of Eli Lilly and Company stock valued at $280,000 USD ($4,616,759 in 2015 chained dollars). As of 2020, its total assets were worth $21 billion.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilly_Endowment

Lumina Foundation
“Lumina Foundation is a conversion foundation created in mid-2000 as USA Group, Inc., which sold most of its operating assets to the Student Loan Marketing Association, Inc. (Sallie Mae). Proceeds from the sale established the USA Group Foundation with an endowment of $770M. The foundation was renamed Lumina Foundation for Education in February 2001.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumina_Foundation emphasis mine
“SLM Corporation (commonly known as Sallie Mae; originally the Student Loan Marketing Association) is a publicly traded U.S. corporation that provides consumer banking. Its nature has changed dramatically since it was set up in the early 1970s. At first, it was a government entity that serviced federal education loans. It then became private and started offering private student loans, although at one point it had a contract to service federal loans.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallie_Mae emphasis mine

NIHCM Foundation (National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation)
Although the NIHCM reports itself as a non-profit, the Board of Directors include people from BCBS, Wellmark, and GuideWell. The 24th Secretary of the U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services is also on its Advisory Board.

Rita Allen Foundation
“The Rita Allen Foundation was founded in 1953 by Broadway producer Rita Allen Cassel. Her father was a physician and while she was alive, most of her giving was used to advance science and medicine. Rita Allen Cassel would die in the late 1960s. . . .

Elizabeth Good Christopherson is the president and chief executive officer of the foundation. She has been serving in that role since 2009. Previously, she was the executive director of New Jersey’s public broadcasting network and served on the board of PBS. She also served as the president of the New Jersey Women’s Forum.

The foundation has a board of directors that is chaired by investment advisor William Gadsden. Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean (R) and former editor of the Des Moines Register and Washington Post columnist Geneva Overholser also serve on the board.” –https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/rita-allen-foundation/
Mass media and politics.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
“Robert Wood ‘General’ Johnson II was an American businessman. He was one of the sons of Robert Wood Johnson I, the co-founder of Johnson & Johnson. He turned the family business into one of the world’s largest healthcare corporations.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wood_Johnson_II  emphasis mine

Science Sandbox
OK, this sounds cool. Sounds very homespun, right? Science Sandbox is part of The Simons Foundation and not a scrappy start-up run by someone in Nana’s garage. “As of December 2018, the Simons Foundation is listed as a White House BRAIN Initiative Alliance Member. The Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain (SCGB) is working to understand the internal processes underlying cognition.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simons_Foundation 

Yowza. This also sounds vaguely dystopian and creepy.

“The BRAIN Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. Long desired by researchers seeking new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, this picture will fill major gaps in our current knowledge and provide unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought.” –https://braininitiative.nih.gov/

According to the NIH.gov page cited above, their partners include DARPA, IARPA, FDA, and NSF. 😐

The Spencer Foundation
“During his graduate studies in 1938 at the University of Chicago he first founded Science Research Associates (SRA), an educational publishing firm. From SRA he obtained the wealth that made all possible to create the Spencer Foundation.

The SRA nearly went bankrupt in the first year and Spencer gave up this idea, essentially creating a commercial firm in 1939. IBM purchased the SRA in 1964; meanwhile Spencer maintained the position of the firm’s chief executive officer up until 1968. Spencer came to realize the potential for his large fortune could affect educational research around the world after IBM bought it.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spencer_Foundation

Just gonna sit this book down right here: https://www.amazon.com/IBM-Holocaust-Strategic-Alliance-Corporation/dp/0914153277/

Walton Family Foundation
“The Walton Family Foundation is the primary charitable outlet of the Walton family, the heirs to Sam Walton’s Walmart fortune. With a combined net worth of $196 billion as of March 2020, the Waltons are the wealthiest family in the world.  Unlike the Walmart Foundation, which is controlled by Walmart Inc., the Walton Family Foundation is controlled directly by the Walton family, with all six board seats being held by Waltons.” –https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/walton-family-foundation-inc-walmart/

“The Walton family is an American family whose collective fortune derived from Walmart makes them the richest family in the United States of America.” –https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walton_family


So why is it important to me to play investigative journalist / nerd doing your homework for you?

A) As I’ve warned you many times: if Corpo America issues a blanket edict for RTO, you’re goin’ back. This leftist fantasy that the whole country will go on strike is precisely that: a fantasy.

B) They will use whatever asinine “justifications” they can come up with for this RTO, including utter nonsense that people should enjoy the commute.

C) I’m sick and damn tired of corporate propaganda masquerading as real journalism. It’s bull and we all know it! Whenever possible, take the time to look for the sources behind the source. Who provides the funding?

1 Comment
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