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Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ] 
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 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:11 pm 
So stop me if you’ve heard this one: A Tea Bagger goes in to a bar declaring that he/she wants stop the murder of unborn children, kill the EPA, gut the hard fought rights of collective bargaining for American workers, strip women of the rights to control their own bodies, bomb the crap out of anyone that’s not white, declare that science is a myth and that God is an absolute (and White, and Male, and probably American), punish the unemployed for not having a job, reward the rich for being…rich, reduce everything in government THEY DON’T LIKE, ignore the parts of the Constitution they disagree with, arm every citizen to the teeth with bazookas, full-auto Uzis and flame throwers and then dowse the whole mess with gasoline and hand out packets of matches.

And then (and this is the beauty of propaganda), they say Liberals are to blame. It’s just too beautiful. A work of art. If bullshit is art, that is.

Welcome to the United States: 2011 edition

How about a new bumper sticker: Kill a Wolf For Jesus. Catchy enough? I forget if it was on these pages or elsewhere that I read that (and I quote): “Wolves love the sound of a baby crying.”

First: What are you doing leaving your baby outside?

Second: Can you spell Romulus? (I gave that one away.)

Third: As far as natural selection is concerned, maybe you shouldn’t have children? But then, you don’t believe in evolution, so…

I digress.

I was informed at one time that the goals of the Tea Party were the following:

1. Smaller (to the point of drowning in a bathtub) government.

2. Reduce (eliminate) the deficit.

3. Lower taxes.

4. Rule from the Constitution exclusively.

Have I got that right? Probably not. Do I care? Uh…not really.

So let’s address these salient points from the perspective of rational adults, shall we?

1. Smaller government: Anybody who thinks that we can’t live without some chunks of the federal government disappearing has simply never left Dogpatch. Of course we can. Give me a red ink highlighter and I can chop thousands of government jobs and whole bureaucracies over a cup of coffee. The Tea Party wants to lose NPR. I say ‘OK. My NPR, and I’ll raise you a Chamber of Commerce’. The Tea Party wants to kill Planned Parenthood. So, ‘OK, my Planned Parenthood and I’ll raise you all Agricultural Subsidies.’ They say lose the EPA, I say kill all Oil and Gas subsidies. Department of Education? Ok. Trade you that for the C.I.A. Get the picture? It’s not just about cutting off each others’ sugar. It’s about real American priorities. Is it guns or butter? Is it greenhouse gases or coal mining jobs? Is it a smaller deficit now versus more women with breast cancer later? Yup, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Real reductions in the size, scope, and functionality of government have very real consequences, not just the reduction of the deficit. These decisions cannot responsibly be made in a political vacuum nor should they be made in an information vacuum. And that is exactly where the Tea Party wants them to be made; without science, without economists, without discourse, without transparency. I strongly support the reduction of government. Starting with the Department of Defense.

2. Reduce the deficit: First, anybody that tells you that the problem is Social Security is full of shit. Average pay out for SSI is $14,000 a year at full qualifying. It is completely solvent until 2037 with no systemic changes whatsoever and completely extendable with only slight modifications. So it’s a smoke screen. Don’t buy into it.
If you are really serious about reducing the federal deficit, there are some very clear ways to do it.

First, walk away from Iraq and Afghanistan. Britain did it. Alexander the Great did it. Russia did it. We will not be the first but hopefully the last. Defend the ports and borders of the United States and kiss the Bush and Carter doctrines good bye. Net savings about $147 billion greenbacks a year.

Second, cancel all oil and gas subsidies and tax credits. Net savings between $7-$11 billion a year.

Third, reverse the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Net savings (by income): $100 billion a year.

Four, get aggressive about Medicare and Medicaid fraud. Net savings: Approximate $2 to $25 billion a year.

Five, get very serious about the collection of oil, gas and mining royalties on public land. A very hard number to get at (I can’t imagine why?) but placed well into the billions.

Six, according to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) a public health care option in the US health care system would save approximately $40 billion a year.

Seven, to believe Chalmers Johnson, there are billions in waste and corruption just waiting to be exposed at the Pentagon. Only the cajones are lacking.

Eight, at 35% we have the lowest corporate tax rate of any industrialized nation, and that’s before all the deductions, tax breaks, and outright fraud that accompanies American business. How much does that translate into? Big bucks. How do we get them? By reforming the tax code to eliminate those tax avoidance mechanisms so that corporations pay their fair share. So they’ll just move to China, you say. So let them, I say. And then wait till that nautical diesel costs $7.00 a gallon and watch them flood back to American consumer shores.

At the most optimistic approximation, we get only $680 billion in budget savings by successfully doing all of the things I just listed. And we’re still roughly $600 billion short of a ‘no- deficit’ budget. But it’s a hell of a start. And who do we hear talking about these things? Nobody. It’s all social security and welfare fraud and Medicare. And what are the Republicans crowing about? They pat themselves on the back for an attempt at cutting $61 billion in unidentified waste.
It’s bullshit. Don’t believe it.

3. Lower taxes: Here’s a mind game: If you live in a country where you can get health care for almost nothing, a higher education for free, very advanced research and implementation of alternative energy resources, fabulous infrastructure including high speed rail, actual high speed internet for everybody, and functioning governments with very little deficits, which country would that be?

a. Germany
b. Japan
c. The Netherlands
d. Sweden
e. All of the above.

If you said ‘e’, you are correct. If you said the United States, you are hallucinating. No more funny mushrooms for you! The only other thing that these nations have in common is high taxes and booming economies. If I hear the ‘high taxes kill economic growth’ argument again I’m going to leave the country. So please, argue away. I need an excuse to start packing.

4. Rule from the Constitution exclusively: Aside from Tea Partiers wearing the Constitution as a diaper,
I think their only relationship with the Constitution is to use it to restrict the rights of others through draconian and extremely selective interpretations. Like limiting women’s rights. And disregarding child labor laws. And holding hostage gay marriage. I want to see that passage of the Constitution specifically that states that idiots in three corner hats can make shit up on national television and pull fake facts out of their ass. No, seriously, if that passage is in the Constitution, I’ll apologize. I mean it. Really. You can call my lawyer, Hugh Blowme, and get a copy of my apology in writing.

My teeth hurt. I can’t write anymore right now. But I know that there are some bigtime, democratic plate tectonics happening right now. Madison is Cairo. Ohio is Alexandria. Tunisia is New York. REAL revolutions by REAL people in poverty with great expectations are erupting in an unanticipated spring around the world and power structures are reeling from the cracks in the establishment. A New World Order? Are you high? No. Just a chance at opportunity by getting the gun toting thugs out of the way.
Starting here.

Starting now.

Silver City

 Author: Ski
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:30 pm 
Rearnheart for Prez.
Russ Feingold for VP.
Dave Foreman for Interior Sec.

I'm makin' the buttons up now!

Nothing will be well until we learn to live in harmony with the power of the world as it lives and moves and does its work. -~Black Elk, Oglala Lakota Medicine Man, 1863–1950.

 Author: PF
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:24 am 
I say Amen to that.

However, the information on the corporate tax rate is questionable. Nominally, corporate tax rates range from 15% to 35%. In some brackets the marginal rate is as high as 39%. Add state taxes and the total can go over 40%. These rates tend to be higher than in most industrial countries. The Chamber of Commerce and others claim that these high rates drive businesses to leave the U.S. They give the example of Ireland, which has probably the lowest corporate tax rate and which even with all its current financial woes still attracts a good deal of business investment. The question is what is the effective tax rate on corporations. Given the complexity of the tax code and all the existing loop holes and subsidies, there are probably very few corporations that pay anywhere near the nominal rates.

 Author: alan wagman
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:30 am 
It's even worse than you imagined, Richard:

"There is nothing that more attractive to a wolf than the sound of a human baby crying."

-- Congressman Steve Pearce

 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:27 am 
Ski: My constituency consists mostly of dogs and cats which limits my electability to a zoo or an animal shelter, which I don't mind at all.
PF: You are quite correct. Whatever the nominal rate is federally and no matter what the state rates are, it's what gets paid that matters.
And Alan...I think the revised quote should read..."There is nothing more attractive to a human baby than a wolf eating Steve Pearce."

 Author: T-bird-Rick
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:33 am 
After reading this I've got a headache!!! How has this country survived all the idiots for this long? Karma must be at work or Nature has a wondrous way of balancing all the nonsense. I must be an optimist even though I purport to believe in the facts and the basis of scientific inquiry... Now I know why Metaphysics exist.

To be informed is to look for truth, Always question your source.

 Author: jef
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:35 pm 
Oh Richard, I needed that! There are days when I feel like not too many people are paying attention.

Here are are few more things...
this one is how the rich avoid taxes and control what non-profits get funded
http://nonprofitz-a.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... ejerk.html

this one is about the consequences of "clean coal" and mountain top removal
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/opini ... .html?_r=1

and here's one that lists the top 10 (yikes - there are more?) GOP attacks on women

Walk like an Egyptian - playing everywhere, soon, I hope.


 Author: jef
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:52 pm 
And I just came across this; a Brit who can figure it out, despite being an ocean width away from DC
and probably has never met Richard Earnheart, much less conspired with him, yet comes to many of the same conclusions;

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... ternatives

I am relieved; there is intelligent life on Planet Earth!


 Author: PF
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:18 pm 
Of course, I don't think Stiglitz is exactly a Brit, but he's certainly right on the money.

I don't see how a 20% cut in the defense budget cut hurt our defensive capabilities, for example. And that alone would achieve the savings sought by our Tea Party friends.

As to taxes, I would agree, but I think without simplifying the entire tax code, nothing much gets accomplished. People will still find ways to hide their money or utilize loop holes. My preference would be for a progressive tax on gross income. No deductions, no exemptions. For a family of four with a gross income of $100,000, each member of the family would pay taxes on $25,000 at whatever the rate is in that bracket, etc. Capital gains, dividends and, of course, the income of hedge fund managers earn would all be treated as regular income. The only downside would be that we would cause massive unemployment among CPAs and IRS agents.

 Author: Layla
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:21 pm 
"Families are as important as corporations. Keeping kids in school, not forcing them out of their home, keeping the community together, is certainly as important as keeping a corporation alive."
Joseph Stiglitz

A report by the Government Accountability Office in 2008 revealed that two out of three US companies paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005. In 2009 United States' most profitable companies Exxon Mobil,General Electric,Bank of America and Citigroup paid 0 federal income tax .

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group's report Who Slows the Pace of Tax Reforms? states that 83 of the top 100 publicly traded corporations that operate in the US exploit corporate tax havens.
This accounts for a lost of $1 trillion in tax revenue every 10 years.

Obama"s 2012 Budget Proposal eliminates or cut social programs( funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program cut by half), Pell Grants and EPA (12%) funding by $1.1 trillion in the next 10 years.
The GOP want to slash Social Programs by 2.5 trillion including Social Security , Medicare, programs helping our homeless veterans, programs for women and children, education and health reform.

President Obama's FY 2012 budget provides
$553 billion for the Defense Department's baseline budget.
$118 billion funding for Iraq and Afghanistan
$8.7 billion for the Department of State, war funding
$2.2 billion is for Afghanistan,
$1.2 billion is for Pakistan,
$5.2 billion is for Iraq.
$1.7 billion is requested for three of the high-altitude Global Hawks( Unmanned Aerial Vehicle),
$2.4 billion for drones

$692.40 billion

US Uncut is a grass root movement fighting back " against unnecessary and unfair cuts to public services across the US. Washington’s proposed budget for the coming year sends a clear message: The wrath of budget cuts will fall upon the shoulders of hard-working Americans."
Check it out.

Thank Richard for speaking out about what's happening in our country. It is much appreciated.

 Author: Jean Eisenhower
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:45 pm 
I think I agree with nearly 100% of everything political on this post. The sarcasm and insults hurt my heart, and I believe they hurt our community.


 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:09 pm 
JEF- I hope you can take the time to address some of the details on the revised Republican War On Women which is ramping up to unbelievable proportions in the current House CR. No money for mammograms, no money for PAP smears, no money money for 'abortion as a non-elective procedure'. I think we need to hear these points (and others) addressed by women in the know. I simply can't begin to get my head around such insensitivity and callousness.

PF-I wish that you would elaborate on what could be done to create an equitable tax policy or at least improve our present one to address the revenue side of our current deficit disorder. As far as my understanding of macro-economic issues, I can barely tie my shoes. A 'critical path' to a tax fix would be greatly appreciated.

Layla- Ouch! A few billion here, a few billion there, and suddenly it's real money. Very real money. I just finished Richard Clarke's book Cyber Wars and my takeaway was that any dollar spent on anything other than cyber defense/offense is a dollar in the national toilet. Our entire national defense infrastructure, from space to submarines, is fragile, highly vulnerable, and obsolete from both a spiritual and national defense perspective.

I think an underlying thread in all of these discussions is that our economic difficulties could be remedied through a significant re-evaluation and implementation of a foreign policy that did not chose war as an answer to an unasked question. We are witnessing what I can only call 'a rising' in the Middle East and Africa. It has been prompted by just the opposite of everything attempted by the Bush policies in Iraq and Iran. It is not democracy at the end of a gun. It is democracy from Twitter, a people's electric voice singing 'hallelujah, we are risen'.

Richard E

 Author: Layla
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:01 pm 
Here are just a few of the horrendous, cold and callous GOP attacks against women in the last month and there are many more.What century is this?

The Frederick County, Maryland, Board of County Commissioners voted to end the county’s contribution to its Head Start program, cutting overall funding for the program by more than 50 percent. Two of the Republican officials justified their decision to cut Head Start — which provides early childhood education to the children of low-income parents — by saying that women should really be married and home with their kids, thus rendering the program unnecessary.

Feb 18, 2011: Proposed GOP spending bill would cut approximately $1 billion worth of welfare, birth control, family services, health care and other benefits from women and their families.

Feb 7, 2011: Georgian lawmakers proposes relabeling all victims of rape, domestic violence and stalking as "accusers" rather than "victims" until the accused is convicted. Victims of all other, less gendered crimes such as assault, fraud, burglary, etc. would remain "victims".

Feb 3, 2011: GOP introduces revised HR 358 bill which lets ER doctors and hospitals refuse life-saving treatments to pregnant women if the treatment may harm the fetus. Ironically dubbed the “Protect Life Act”, it seems oblivious to the fact that if pregnant women are refused life-saving treatments, the fetus dies with them.

Jan 24, 2011: Idaho upholds the right of pharmacists to deny any medication to women whom they suspect of having had an abortion sometime in the past, even if the medication causes no harm to any fetus past or present, and even if the medication is potentially life-saving.

It is the beginning of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

Last edited by Layla on Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Author: jef
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:10 pm 
Since the assaults against women both physical and political here and abroad seem to have ramped up exponentially lately, I invite all of you to
come to Silver City's Second Annual International Women's Day Parade on Sunday, March 20 at 2 PM. The point of the parade is to acknowledge,
honor & celebrate women globally. This is the 100th anniversary of IWD, which is a legal holiday in some countries, and there will be a
celebration concert immediately after the parade at the Silco Theater. To participate with those marching in the parade, please arrive at the Visitors Center
@ Broadway & Hudson by 1 PM. And, if you are reading this, if your heart is beating, if you have a heart, it is because a woman gave birth to you. They also
do a whole bunch of other cool stuff...

 Author: Jean Eisenhower
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:49 am 
We need to do something productive. As a decades-long activist, I hold many of the same opinions about the horrendous unfolding of - or devolution of - politics today as expressed in this column. However, I've been hearing the same brand of righteous indignation for decades now, and believe it is only useful if (and may be very counterproductive unless) it leads to tangible and effective action. I hope to never hold a picket sign again in my life, and while I "click" for various causes online, I have a heavy skepticism about its utility.

If someone has a cause, anything related to the deep roots of our mess, which we could articulate to some politician or corporate person with the power to change something, then let's all go speak to that person, or demand to. It doesn't have to be a circus and media event. Everyone can go whenever it's convenient to them, but we all go voice our sincere desires to the person who can make a change. Otherwise, all this bitching seems good for little but exercising our rhetoric, raising blood pressure, making enemies within our community, and exposing ourselves to too much computer time. I say, let's go do something.


 Author: rearnheart
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:53 pm 
Layla- How horrific it is to see the most recent hate bolts thrown at women so itemized. Not new or complete, just a horrible reminder. Many thanks.

JEF- E and I should be back from Presby. ABQ by the 20th so keep up the parade promotion. I will definitely try an attend, as should all men who love their wives, their mothers, and their sisters.


 Author: Jean Eisenhower
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:53 pm 
http://www.alternet.org/story/150010/us ... ats?page=1

Howard Zinn: change starts at the bottom up, requires "active democracy."

New organization in UK, copied here in US: national economic crises (affecting common people) tied to corporate cheating.
People, unfortunately, are only protesting, but perhaps they (we) will figure out something more pointed, more "active."
Why stand in the streets? We need to stand in corporate offices, tax departments, legislatures, etc.
What actions will we take?


 Author: Layla
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:28 pm 
Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power than can transform the world.” -Howard Zinn

Through the power of the internet and voices such as Richard's speaking out I believe it helps make people choose awareness over complacency and that's where change begins . It starts with the few uniting with people across the nation then the planet saying we are organizing in the (in Evo Morales' words) "defense of humanity," It is about educating and bringing to consciousness, that we the people do have the power to change our country and the world if we stand together.But we all must stand and stand firm and I believe that this is the time.It is about the action of each of us helping our fellow humans whenever we can. There are so many people doing amazing works to help their fellow humans.Elizabeth and all the other lovely women in Silver organizing an International Women's Day Parade to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women is an affirming and powerful action.My young neighbor John Connell who is now 24 has been living in Bolivia several years and begin as a street performer. Noticing all the street children begging, he attain a grant and founded Performing Life teaching the street children juggling and uni-cycling so they could earn money faster and go to school.To be a part of the program you have to attend school. They have been making and selling bracelets in the US for several years saving to start small businesses and buying homes for their families.One of the kids now 20 helps teach and and he and his 3 sisters have saved enough to build their family a home.."Before they were seen as beggars. Now they are artist" from the Christian Monitor that wrote an article on him.Isn't this a wonderful heart warming story, I am so proud of him and all the other wonderful loving people doing their part to make a kinder world.

 Author: Pat W
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:24 am 
It certainly appears that our congress is not paying attention to what is going on in the world. The assults on the poor and working people and women in this country is unacceptable. This is class warfare. Congress is too insulated from reality, and are acting like dictators themselves. I think it is time that we the people occupy the halls of congress and let them know we are "mad as hell, and we are not going to take it anymore"!
Did anyone else see the reports of Gov. Walker thinking about planting "troublemakers" in the crowds in Wis.? If anyone doesn't think our own government conspires against us.....think again!

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