Friday, October 31, 2008

Redistribute the Wealth

Many of us were blown away by the McCain camp accusing Obama of socialism, what decade are we in, anyway? I wonder how many people under 30 even know what socialism is? Certainly McCain doesn't. Here is a little article by TOM TEEPEN at the SeattlePI entitled If Obama's a socialist, so is McCain:
As it happens, we have already had a revolution that redistributed the wealth. Bush's big tax overhaul redistributed it to the already rich, so they could be richer yet already.

By 2005, households enjoying the top 1 percent of incomes -- those over $348,000 a year -- were receiving the biggest share of national income since 1928. The income gap between the well off and others has stretched beyond shouting distance. Where middle and lower earners had shared in the 1990s boom, they generally lost income in the meager "Bush recovery" from the brief 2001 recession.

In their rush to make Obama out as a socialist readying tumbrels for the rich, conservatives have sometimes explicitly but for the most part implicitly reverted to the old country-club grumble that the graduated income tax is nothing more than a radical scheme to coddle the undeserving poor with the money of the deserving rich.
It's very important to remember that ever since Reagan became President we have been on a course of redistributing the wealth upwards to the rich people of this country, which W put the final period on, that has helped to bring us to our current financial crisis.

So Obama isn't redistributing the wealth, he's getting back what the Republicans and the rich have stolen from everyone in this country who makes less than $250,000 a year.

We've had a progressive tax rate since Teddy Roosevelt, John McCain's hero, first started it. Progressive means the percentage gets higher the more you make. By the early 60's the very top rate was 90%. The Republicans try to use JFK as an example of a Democrat lowering taxes on the rich as if that would make it OK for us to do. He brought it down to 75%, but also did away with many of the loopholes that allowed those in that bracket to get massive deductions, the end result was that the richest people actually paid MORE when Jack Kennedy's tax bill went into effect.

That's very similar to what is happening today with business taxes. McCain continues to claim we have the second highest tax rate on business in the world, around 34%. This is true BUT (there are always these "buts" in any claim by Republicans) there are so many loopholes that after deductions US businesses end up actually paying the second lowest taxes in the world. Obama doesn't want to increase the tax rate but to decrease the loopholes. Things like a corp getting a tax break to move their production to China. He actually wants such a company to pay MORE taxes if they want to do that. But give them tax breaks if they choose to keep their jobs in this country.

So during the most abundant times in our history, the 50's and 60's, the progressive tax rates for the rich were very, very high. Why, if the Pubs were right that high taxes on the rich depress the economy, were we so prosperous in those decades? I think we've been trickled ON by George Bush and the other Have's and Have More's long enough. Nothing like a collapsing economy to tell us we are on the wrong path. High taxes on the rich are a way of creating prosperity for the entire economy, lowering the rates creates disaster. Current tax rates for the rich are around 36%, and we are all less prosperous than we were 40 and 50 years ago when the rates were at least twice that much.

Obama just wants to bring the taxes of the top 1% of the country back to the levels they were when Clinton was president, and THIS is being a socialist? I'll tell you what being a socialist is; it's Alaska claiming that all of the state's natural resources belong to everyone - collectively - and that everyone should get a share of the profits. So Sarah Palin took money from the rich oil companies and sent every man, woman and child in Alaska a check for around $3200. That's about as socialist as it gets. Are you against that? Is it a terrible thing that the oil companies have to pay the citizens of Alaska for using their resources?

In Washington they do it a little differently; they privatize profits, and when the top people of a corporation have squeezed the company dry then the government steps in and pays for their losses! What could be better than that? Wouldn't you love to be able to spend like crazy, take all kinds of chances and when you go broke have the government give you a couple of billion dollars? Sorry, only the top one percent of the wealthiest Americans can get that kind of socialism.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I haven't written much in here lately and it's due to depression, I'm just so far down I can't find the energy to write. The problem is because my wife, Darcy, is not feeling very well.

Since she is very, very sick when she feels worse than normal this is not good. I know she doesn't have a lot of time left but she's been bad enough these past few weeks to make me feel like it could be over at any moment.

I feel like crawling under the covers, into a fetal position and burying myself from the rest of the world.

Unfortunately I have obligations, or perhaps it's fortunate that I have them because a big one is taking care of Darcy. She can get out of bed and walk to the bathroom but getting to the kitchen for food is a little tough for her. To make matters even more fun I seem to be developing arthritis in both my hips, which is making walking very painful. Sometimes it's been so bad that *I* can hardly walk and that is the last thing we need. Pain relievers don't seem to be helping much.

Plus I have to do all the shopping and deal with all the other little things in life that comes up, like $350 I just had to spend on my car. It was actually finding the time to get to the repair shop that was the worst problem.

And I have deadlines to meet that won't go away and that's how I pay my rent, I can't just stop doing it.

But I should write in here more often, it's very therapeutic and I'm actually feeling a bit better right now because of writing this post. I write really fast so each blog entry is only about 15 minutes of my time and it's never difficult because the words just flow. And because this isn't something I get paid for there is no pressure on me to do a good job. Although I do feel an obligation to any regular readers I might have.

I also feel an obligation to get the truth out during this election season but that is one I have to let go of at the end of the day too often. But man, is McCain really pissing me off. I thought Bush was a liar but McCain is simply unbelievable. It's as if he knows most of the people he is talking to won't hear any follow ups to what he says to find out it isn't true so he can say anything he wants.

I'll have to make a couple of posts on the election campaign this weekend.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

True Ignorance and Bigotry

This woman says she won't vote for Obama because she can't stand the idea of the name President Obama, and because he had an atheist mother and a Muslim father, that last REALLY upsets her. What she is really saying is she won't vote for the n----r.
Special thanks to Pharyngula for letting me know about the video.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Elizabeth Dole, Atheist Bigot

Interesting article by vjack at Atheist Revolution. Apparently Elizabeth Dole is campaigning on anti-atheist bigotry:

As bad as it seems that Dole is basing her campaign on bigotry, the far-reaching implications of such a strategy may be far worse. First, Dole has actually singled out atheist blogs, including Daylight Atheism and Friendly Atheist, for attack. Yep, Sen. Dole is actually using atheist blogs to make the case that if we support Hagan, there must be something wrong with her. Second, if Dole's strategy succeeds, it will have a chilling effect on atheist equality, effectively making us toxic to any politician hoping to get elected. Vjack, Atheist Revolution: Elizabeth Dole: Campaigning on Bigotry, Oct 2008

It should be noted that the reason she is doing this is out of desperation because it looks like she is going to lose, and badly.
But I also wanted to post it on my blog to test the little Reblog logo vjack put on his blog posts. I don't recall seeing it before but that doesn't mean it hasn't been there for some time.

If this works well I'll see about putting it on my blog, too.

Update: Wasn't bad, I like how Reblog added quotes, links and names automatically but then it formatted it oddly and I had to fix it.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Bizzarre McCain

This was on Huffington Post and is too good not to circulate:
The Reuters photo wire includes this shot taken after the debate last night, when McCain caught himself walking in the wrong direction on stage:

Rape and Sarah Palin

This needs to be seen by everyone. And also remember McCain in last night's debate sneering about "a woman's health" as if that was something so minor we shouldn't concern ourselves with it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I've Been Polled!!

Everyone always says they have never been polled and wonder how that can be with all the polls that are being conducted these days. Seems like there are a dozen new ones every day covering local and federal issues.

Well, I just got an automated call asking me how I'd vote on Proposition 7 here in California. For those who don't live here (or who do but don't watch TV) Prop 7 is an energy bill that the electric companies are fighting against like mad. They have saturated the airwaves with negative messages about Prop 7, and I mean saturated. You can see one of their commercials 3 times in a half hour show, it's obvious they've spent multi-millions fighting this thing. It's because the bill forces them to do more about clean energy, which will cost them money, even if it might make them money in the long run.

This is clear evidence that the Big Money (BM) interests want very badly to sway voters and they can outspend any grassroots organization. As soon as I realize this is happening I immediately want to vote Yes if the BM's (Big Money) want me to vote no. This seems pretty automatic but history shows us that these kinds of ads work and anything opposed by any BM loses badly on election day. Further proof that the average American is just plain stupid and easily manipulated.

I really liked the call I got, the pre-recorded voice said that Prop 7 was opposed by 2 power companies, which they named, but 3 nobel prize-winning scientists have sent out a signed letter in favor of it. Then they asked me how I would vote and I was very happy to vote Yes.

Now, it just might be possible that the energy companies are right and it's a badly written bill, I plan on getting more info before election day. My local news stations usually give a complete recap of these things and what they really mean, as well as who supports it and who doesn't. But if I don't manage to get the info in time I will vote Yes.

Doesn't really matter, though, since it will lose by a wide margin, even if it was the greatest Proposition ever written and will save the world all by itself. Money rules, and anyone out of a job or complaining about the bills or just generally worried about financial and health matters should just accept those things, because you've all proven you can be coaxed into voting against your own interests if enough money is spent. You've willingly made yourselves sheep so stop complaining that you are living a sheep's life.

The part that always annoys me the most is that these BM's often spend more money on TV ads than such a proposition would cost them if it went into effect. And it's likely something that will be beneficial to everyone in the long run, even them. There is big money to be made in the new green economy that is coming, but some will fight tooth and nail even though it will mean leaving a devastated world to their children and grandchildren. Assholes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Garrison Keillor

Life is hard; we dig in, and we can spot deceit

That's the start of an article by Keillor that is simply brilliant. He starts out talking about the heart of the American people then moves on the the cynical swindle that is Sarah Palin:
Some Republicans adore her because they are pranksters at heart and love the consternation of grown-ups. The ne'er-do-well son of the old Republican family as president, the idea that you increase government revenue by cutting taxes, the idea that you cut social services and thereby drive the needy into the middle class, the idea that you overthrow a dictator with a show of force and achieve democracy at no cost to yourself -- one stink bomb after another, and now Sarah Palin.
This is only one paragraph, the rest is worth the time.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

October Surprise

The surprise is that McCain still retains at least SOME degree of decency. He was at a town hall meeting, walking around the room with a microphone, when he stopped in front of one woman and handed her the mic. She said she was afraid of Obama because he was, well (she mumbled a bit) he’s an Arab (code for black). McCain shook his head and took back the microphone. He said “No he’s not, Senator Obama is a decent family man and citizen, we just have a fundamental disagreement.”

Shocking!! Apparently there IS a line he won’t cross.

At another town hall a man said he was scared of an America with a President Obama in charge. McCain again said he has no reason to be afraid, that Obama is a decent man. The crowd actually booed him, their own candidate. Boy, has he painted himself in to a corner. He’s been talking all week, along with Palin and TV ads, about how terrible Obama is, making people think he’s actually a terrorist himself. When he’s gotten the crowds worked up there have been calls of “traitor” “terrorist” and “kill him.” Imagine if such things were said at an Obama rally, the press and everyone else would be marching in the streets, burning buildings. But the white candidate’s white supporters says this and hardly anyone knows about it.

But there have been reports that the Secret Service was going to investigate any death threats and several Republican politicians have come out saying that McCain has gone too far. Perhaps yesterday he realized he did cross the line and tried to reign things back, but it got him booed by his own people. For him to do an about face now will make him lose his own supporters. But to keep going with this strategy will tarnish his image forever, even among Republicans, but to try and stop it makes him look like a fool.

Well, that’s OK, he IS a fool.

Ana Marie Cox on Rachel Maddow today said that this time, when she went to talk to the people at the rally after it was over, they were all loonies. She said there was always one or two crazies at McCain rallies but this time every one she and other reporters talked to were crazy, all believed Obama was a terrorist, Muslim and/or traitor.

What should scare McCain the most is just how stupid his followers really are. People like that can turn on you.

Friday, October 10, 2008

In Defense of Dignity

This was a post that had me in tears reading it:
My mother had pulmonary fibrosis, a degenerative lung condition, and we knew enough about the disease to know that dramatic turns for the worse were a possibility. She knew that pulmonary fibrosis would eventually end her life, and she'd done some research into just what sort of an end she could expect. It wasn't going to be pretty. Her lungs were gradually filling with scar tissue. She would, when her time came, slowly and painfully suffocate to death over a period of hours or days.
Darcy has pulmonary fibrosis so this article really hit home. She too, knew she would likely face death painfully gasping for breath. It isn't just painful, your body automatically goes into panic as you struggle more and more air. She got a lung transplant that extended her life and made it considerably better for quite a long time, but 10 years post transplant the medications have destroyed her kidneys and she is now on dialysis 3 days a week. Her liver is failing too and she has to go in about every 6 weeks for them to drain her stomach from the fluid that fills it from the faulty liver. I don't think she has too much more time left.

How she will die has always been a major concern for her. What she is most afraid of is being put on a vent indefinitely and stashed in some nursing home for years, more vegetable than alive. The one good thing about the kidney failure is that if she does want to give up she can just stop the dialysis, after a couple of weeks she will just fall asleep and not wake up.
People must accept death at "the hour chosen by God," according to Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the Catholic Church, which is pouring money into the campaign against I-1000.

The hour chosen by God? What does that even mean? Without the intervention of man—and medical science—my mother would have died years earlier. And at the end, even without assisted suicide as an option, my mother had to make her choices. Two hours with the mask off? Six with the mask on? Another two days hooked up to machines? Once things were hopeless, she chose the quickest, if not the easiest, exit. Mask off, two hours. That was my mother's choice, not God's.
The author of the article, Dan Savage, lives in Washington state and apparently there is a proposition on the ballot to approve physician assisted suicide. The Pope is spending lots of money in the state fighting it. That's the point of his above comment.

The hour chosen by god is ridiculous nonsense. If Darcy hadn't had a lung transplant 10 years she would likely have been dead 9 years ago. There has been more than one chance of her dying over the past 10 years and she didn't thanks to the doctors and medication and her own fighting spirit. It certainly seems to me that the hour chosen by god has come and gone at least half a dozen times already, which makes it meaningless.

For those who think that is important then don't go a doctor when you get sick because you will be interfering with god's desire to have you dead.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Second Debate

I have one word for it - Booooorringggg. If you saw the first debate you pretty much saw the second one, almost word for word. McCain even said the same lies about Obama's tax and medical coverage plans and Obama corrected him in exactly the same way.

McCain tried to be a little more friendly, actually shook Obama's hand and smiled at him. If he made weird old-man faces while Obama was talking I didn't see them because the camera never focused on McCain during those times. What I did notice was McCain wheezing and making other weird old-man noises while he was talking. I can only assume the standing and moving around was a bit hard on him. He was all hunched over and looked really - well - old.

It came down to pretty much the same thing - Obama looked calm, cool and presidential, McCain looked like an annoyed and annoying little old man. The kind that yells at the neighborhood kids when they play on his lawn. Obama was playing on his lawn and he was pissed, called Obama "That one." Sorry old man, time for the next generation to take over. You aren't even the last generation, you are the one before the last one.

Rachel Maddow had an interesting comment, she said Obama won by acting as if McCain wasn't even there. Good one.

Update: Pat Buchanon had a good comment tonight, he said that McCain keeps painting Obama as this scary, radical, liberal, Muslim, but at every one of these debates when 50 million viewers see him, some for the first time, they don't see someone scary. They see a self possessed, cool and calm , intelligent guy, nearly regal in his manner and mien. Which completely undermines McCain's last ditch effort.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Michael Seitzman On The Debate

He writes a very powerful blog post on this one. The guy is fast becoming my second favorite writer after Matt Taibbi. I tend to think I'm a pretty good writer but then I read something like this and it really puts me in my place:
Last night's debate was a David and Goliath match-up. Not because Joe Biden is a towering and formidable foe to a less-prepared civilian. Look again and tell me if you can tell the hero from the monster. Need some help? Goliath is the one who is condescending, arrogant, sarcastic, combative, insulting, childish, patronizing, untruthful and divisive. The monster doesn't lead, it misleads. It doesn't inspire, it frightens. It doesn't protect, it provokes. The monster is what has dominated us for eight long years. Sarah Palin is just the brand new model.

The monster marches and devours and never sleeps and it can only be defeated by its opposite: Hope, Courage, Knowledge, Kindness, and Grace. Those are the traits we saw in Joe Biden last night. They're the traits we see in Barack Obama. But most importantly, those are the traits they see in us.
Do your self a favor and read the rest of the blog.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Veep Debate

Joe Biden was the winner by a HUGE margin, but Sarah Palin did much better than I expected. This was a better format for her, no pesky reporter asking follow up questions and wanting details and actual knowledge, or any other annoying stuff like that.

I got the feeling she was a little windup toy inserted with prerecorded messages, each programmed to go off at the right moment. Any info outside of of those recordings and she would change the subject. No substance to any of what she said, and because she didn't really understand what she was saying she managed to contradict herself a number of times without even realizing it.

And pretty much everything she said was a lie but one can be a very convincing liar when she doesn't know she actually is lying. She's just spouting the talking points she was fed and assumes they didn't program her with lies.

Biden played it a little too low key at first. I think everyone had been telling him he had to take it easy on her or they would get upset at him mistreating a poor, little woman and he over did it. Of course, no one warned him he'd be facing a pit bull with lipstick. Palin went on the attack from the beginning and didn't stop for a breathe until the end.

As the debate went on Biden got angrier and sharper in his answers. I think the attack mode and the constant, blatant lying really got to him.

One really good moment when Joe was talking about his kids, his 2 boys who were badly hurt in the accident that killed his wife and daughter 30 years ago. He said he knew what being a single parent was, and choked up a bit. Very real. And Palin, cold hearted bitch that she was, didn't even acknowledge that bit of emotion and didn't respond to it for even a second.

The polls taken right afterward had Biden winning by a two to one margin. All of Palin's approval numbers improved, but all of Biden's improved by the same amount and he started out WAY higher than she did. Ability to become president on day one if necessary for Biden went from 73% to 94%. For Palin it went from 36% to 55%. Nuff said.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bernie Sanders

Now here is the one senator who is TRULY the most liberal in the senate, and he is the guy who knows how to say things right on target. In this video he explains why the rich people should pay for this Wall st. debacle since they are the ones who benefited from it. The burden should not fall on the middle-class who have already borne the burden to make the rich REALLY rich during Bush's Reign of Terror. I had already linked to his petition in this earlier post:

Reborn Again

Cute baby, eh? Wrong, it' a doll, called Reborn Dolls. I saw them on TV today and was totally freaked out. I always think to make anything too close to real, but not quite, makes it creepy. For instance, in animated movies when there have been ones that tried to be realistic it didn't do well and gives people the creeps because the characters are almost real but are still wrong. But movies like Shrek or Japanese Anime are very popular because they are too stylized to bring that sense of wrongness. We can except distortion of the human body within a certain context with no problem. As an artist I've long been aware of that feeling of "Wrongness". When most people look at a piece of art they usually don't know enough about art to say why they feel what they do, but they can intuitively sense when something is wrong. I tend to follow that sense of what is wrong rather than what is good when working. These dolls are just wrong.

To add to the creepiness is the fact that most of these dolls are being collected by adult women, who keep the dolls around all day and treat them just like babies, even when going out. That's just weird. In some ways, though, I don't think most of these women are to blame. Just about all women, and a majority of men, experience a release of endorphins as well as other chemicals, and activates the reward centers in the brain. This is entirely involuntary and bred in by evolution. Let's face it, without those chemicals how many babies would survive to adulthood?

When we oooh and aaaah over a baby face, or any cute and cuddly face like a kittens, it happens automatically. I can well imagine young mothers 100,000 years ago who didn't release those chemicals smashing the baby's head against the rocks because it won't stop crying during the night. Those who did that, or who just left their kid somewhere, would not pass on their genes. While the people strongly moved emotionally will take care of that kid no matter what and have more of them who will pass on their genes. So that chemical reaction to "cuteness" is a very powerful survival mechanism. Studies show pretty much all mammals have this kind of reaction.

So it could be these women haven't had those emotions in a while and suddenly they are holding one of these dolls and their brains explode. And the emotion would continue every time she picked up and cuddled the doll, which would just reinforce their desire for the doll. Blame it on evolution. It's still damn creepy, though.