Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Black Wednesday

It is too hard and too sad to write anything today. I am overjoyed that Obama won--I cried with happiness and from the joy of liberation--but a few hours later the tears turned bitter.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This wealth re-distribution is fucking crazy

What on earth is Palin talking about when she accuses Obama of wanting to re-distribute wealth? She's a moran for at least two reasons: First, Alaska is the champion of that; and Second, that's exactly what happens in modern states. Let's explore:

First: Alaska is a state with no income tax and no sales tax. Instead, the state government imposes massive taxes on oil companies, and then uses that to finance the state budget, run massive surpluses, and send a big fat cheque to every last Alaskan (Palin increased this by $1200 while she was governor). NOW: Let's say Obama (or any Dem) proposed cutting federal income tax to zero and then taxing every business some huge amount and sending cheques to everyone (ahem, Bush stimulus package). The Republicans would shriek bloody murder. But then consistency has never been the hallmark of the Republican party, and anyway, no one really minds kicking oil companies around (sort of like teh gaiz).

Second: Of course some sort of wealth re-distribution is natural in a modern state. Some might say using taxes to pay for public services is a form of it (you know, roads, sewers, schools, etc.) Without that, the rich would pay to have their own schools and roads and the poor would simply be shut out on dirt roads homeskooling their kids (sort of like in the entire south, of course).

So unless the Republicans are proposing some sort of state that uses taxes only to fund wars and nothing else, they should really shut the fuck up about re-distribution because that's the way it's been ever since the first person or company was taxed, which has, of course, been going on for quite some time now. Like thousands of years.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In relation to my post about being over morans not understanding socialism

In relation to my previous post, let me also add the following comment, since I know that inevitably people will pull the "well you moved here if you don't like it leave" nonsense:

Grow up. It isn't the case that only naturalize citizens can be critical of their country. A) I emigrated when Clinton was president and things were better then; B) I'm a citizen and it's my right to criticize; C) I'm in the highest tax bracket; D) There's a lot that's great and good here; E) Everyone should be trying to make their country better and not accept it simply as is; F) My life, job, family, friends, and assets are here.

*and if you don't get what a "moran" is, google it. Eesh.

I am so fucking over

people in this backwards right wing kleptocratic-plutocracy that is at the bottom of every measure of civilization (say, for example, infant mortality--29th in the world FTW) can suggest that socialism is somehow bad is beyond me.


You equate it with communism, with totalitarianism. Not with true Democratic socialism, that, in fact, doesn't lead to tyranny, doesn't lead to, oh, I wonder, the suspension of ancient liberties like in this country. Stran
gely, the great modern socialist states--which would be Canada, the Netherlands, Scandinavia--don't actually torture their citizens or other people's citizens. Strangely, too, they don't engage in unprovoked wars.

Oh and they appear to have balanced bud
gets and roads that work and they can build opera centres and their bridges don't fall down and they clothe and feed their people while strangely being vibrant democracies with more than 2 parties.

I thou
ght I was a conservative and un-socialist, until I moved here to see how fucking terrible it is without it.

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's not fucking socialism

I'm really over people like Andrew Sullivan saying that the bailout is socialism. It's not. This is what I wrote to him:


Please, please, please stop with calling the bailout socialism. No one who's not a blinkered conservative can claim that.

If it were socialism, there would be some better stake for taxpayers. State-owned companies work to the benefit of their shareholders, i.e. the people: the people share both the risk of failure as well as the benefit of success.

Here, Wall street benefits when times are good, but the taxpayer is on the hook when it's bad.

I've said it to you before and I'll say again, this is not socialism. There is simply no upside to the consumer (apart, maybe, from the economy collapsing but that isn't what I mean). Wall street executives made huge gambles, made big profits for themselves, and now that it's all falling apart, the taxpayer is on the hook. It's not socialism, but it's a sure sign that the U.S. has become a kleptocracy.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Random thoughts on old videos of Palin

Okay, I'm laughing my ass off at Palin's "Ms. Alaska" videos--her in the swimsuit, and her "playing" the flute.

But then I got to thinking. It's the '00s. Everything is being recorded. All my friends have digital cameras, pocket sized ones that we take everywhere. There are pictures of me doing all sorts of things posted all over the internet--parties, events, dinners, sporting things.

And it's not really all that fair to judge Palin for being a terrible flutist or looking ridiculous in a bathing suit and big hair. Because, lord knows, if I every run for office, all someone will have to do is pull out one of my Hallowe'en albums and I'm toast. Like the one Hallowe'en where a group of us wore football pants and shoulder pads and that was it? Or our impending costume this year . . .?

It reminds me a little of the book by Arthur C. Clarke, "The Light of Other Days." There, a device is invented that basically creates little wormholes the user can look through--to see anyone, anywhere, at any time in the past or present. The point of the story is "what happens when all privacy is taken away, completely." Some respond by not caring--by being naked all the time, having sex in public, having no secrets at all. Others respond by finding cloaking devices and trying to escape.

I guess my point is that we're going to have to face this question in the future: Everone has a myspace or facebook page. Everyone that's not a boring Christian in North Dakota has embarassing pictures posted somewhere, or in someone else's possession. I hope we get to a place where all that stops mattering--that we accept that, as a price of living in an interconnected world, we lose some of our privacy. We all have stuff that will make us look bad, but maybe that will help us start judging people on substance and not on whether they got drunk at a party 20 years previously.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Arguments for restricting suffrage

Honestly, people like that make me believe we are truly doomed. If they actually believe what they're saying, in the day of media and television and information, we are FUCKED.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

National Projects

Amid all this talk of a $700,000,000,000 bailout, I watched an episode of The West Wing last night where Bartlet wanted to cure cancer. He is sitting in a boring dinner with a bunch of doctors when one of them mentions something to the effect that if they had 10 billion and 10 years they could do it.

And that got me thinking: Where are those great national projects now? With $700 billion going to bail out some investment banks, and $1 billion being spent every day on the war in Iraq (I grabbed that number today from the NYT's Thomas Friedman)--think of what we could do with that money! Meanwhile, our bridges fall down, our cities get smited, health care sucks, social security is in trouble. Anyone who's recently been to JFK or LaGuardia or LAX and then flown to, say, Hong Kong's new airport, or even Pearson's beautiful new terminal 1 will know how little we're paying attention to infrastructure here.

With $700 billion, could we cure AIDS?

With $700 billion, could we find a real cure or treatment for cancer?

With $700 billion, could we not create the finest school system in the world, instead of falling further and further behind?

Isn't the point of taxes that they get spent on things to make the country as a whole better? Aren't they the price of living in a modern state?

But no, if we weren't bailing out Wall St. and fighting the war in Iraq, all we'd hear would be tax cuts tax cuts.

And our bridges would continue to fall.