November 8th, 2012

in the dark

Who is the wealth being redistributed to?

I find it astounding that so many people seem to buy into this teet suckling mythology. Yes, there are people on public assistance. No - the overwhelming majority of those people do not live large, get wealthy or even WANT to be on it...  The ones that do are rare and should be ferreted out as fraudsters. It's maddening. When we talk the real issue of social aid in the US, issues like what costs the nation more than NOT providing a social safety net, where is the cost /  benefit of providing it, even who actually gets aid... the most direct benefit - things look different.

I paid a HIGHER percentage of my measly income than Mittens... He got a tax deduction for owning a freakin SHOW PONY that was more than my family annual income... for a HOBBY HORSE! And that was one of the SMALLER deductions... And any company that actually PAYS the supposedly high corporate tax rate should fire their accountant as an incompetent. The real corporate tax rate is MUCH lower. We give companies breaks - they have racked up the largest coffers in history, they pay LOWER tax rates (wealthy people and corporations alike) than they have in my life time and they STILL think it is too much tax  - and here we find that ,because the lack of jobs, the shrinking real wages of workers are in decline, people are finding their company provided health care disappearing or becoming absurdly expensive, people feel like they need a small bit of help to get them over their immediate problems in ways that will ultimately help the economy at large...   - but these companies  and the wealth people of this country whine and complain that they pay too much taxes and these teet sucklers are not much more than greedy, lazy sheep. You cannot make these money sucking black holes happy for ANYTHING. This is not what the founders had in mind...

And these founders? They were mere men. They were not divine, they were not smarter than the smartest people of today. They had limitations, for sure. They used the rules and knowledge and philosophy of the Eighteenth Century to answer eighteenth century problems - they did a great job... but to pretend that it was the end product with no possibility of improvement is, well... regressive and illogical. Most people in the US know this is a morally bankrupted belief. It's illogical and a flat out lie. Trickle down economics doesn't trickle down. It is a failed economic fantasy proposed to defraud the masses for the sake of enriching the few. If there is a grand plan to redistribute wealth, then why is the wealth going up those that already have most of that money? It IS being redistributed... but not in the direction you think!
Godzilla, default

Yeah, how about no?

This article has at its core one noble sentiment, namely that the USA, having broken Afghanistan further than it was already broken by a civil war that had lasted 20 years and counting in 2001 has a responsibility for the mess there now. It then goes on to argue that this should mean the USA should dedicate itself to nation-building, i.e. imperialism for those too squeamish and cowardly to use the proper word that actually belongs to this concept. The problem with this is that both the UK and Russia in varying forms, two societies nobody can accuse of cowardice or cutting and running also tried this. That the country's now in its 33rd year of a civil war indicates that the attempts before this one were utter, complete failures.

Now granted, whenever the US military in all its esteemed wisdom settles down somewhere, it only leaves if it's literally hurled out of there like the Hulk on Loki. This is a rather annoying pattern of US power politics that is less dodgy when there's no ongoing war in a particular region and the trade component of those bases at least ensures that it's not costing the USA necessarily as much as a sustained war in Central Asia would. We've waged this war for over 11 years and the lump sum of our efforts is that the Afghans have gone from wanting to blow up the Bamiyan Buddhas by themselves to using China's help in order that another pair are likely to be blown up.

If after 12 years of wasting money on a war that started for one reason but now straggles on for the sheer inertia of war and the US military's twin inabilities to ever leave a place it arrives in and necessity to justify its perpetual stays, that's all we've managed to do, I would say that perhaps we'd best just quit while we're ahead and not have a repetition of Saigon when it turns out that the Taliban, now aided by ten years of war against us and once more consisting of 50% or more Pakistani Army regulars take over Afghanistan again and the Karzai regime's feckless and incapable of sustaining itself.

Enough is enough. The USA should just quit this war before it hurts itself and Afghanistan worse than what's already going on.

The new States' Rights issue...

Well, not really new, so much as it is coming into its own, apparently.

Washington and Colorado both passed measures effectively legalizing recreational marijuana use.

What's most interesting, or perhaps amusing to me, someone who already thinks this should have happened and nationwide, and a long time ago, is how those who reside on the political left will couch the terms of this on the national stage.

I've experienced in the past, the phenomenon that even the mention of the phrase "States Rights" elicits cries of "you want to go back to the days of segregation?!?!?" before one can even get to the part where they describe what issue it is they're applying the term to. Kind of like a peculiar variant of Tourettes' syndrome. It's almost reflexive.

But essentially, that's the only phrase we have to describe the upcoming and all but inevitable battle between these two states and the Federal level. I want to gather thoughts on the left here how they view States Rights in this context, how it compares to when those on the right use it regarding things like social support structures. Why is it different, if it's different, in your eyes?