Owl For President

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why a flat tax makes absolutely no sense, and the government is not like our family when it comes to monetary policy

The Republicans are very good at packaging misinformation as truth. For example, they constantly bring up the saw, "well, families have to stay within their budget, why not the government?" A few reasons.

1.Families don't print their own money, set their monetary policy or wage wars on their neighbors.

2.Families don't have to worry that if they don't spend money, their children will die.

3.Families redistribute their wealth without laws to force it. Dad goes out and makes ALL the money (traditionally) and then GIVES it to everyone else in his family. Talk about entitlements! The Government, given it's own perogatives, would NOT give any money to it's "children." Nor does private industry just "give" it's money to it's employees, it must be wrested from them, usually with strikes and union deals.

4.Regressive taxes tax the poor far more then the rich. Here's why. Let's say everyone pays the same tax, and it's only on sales (as opposed to a progressive tax that makes it so the more you have the more you pay). Someone that makes 1000 a month and someone that makes 10,000 go to the store to purchase a doohickey for 100 dollars. There is a 10% flat tax. So, the Rich person pays the same as the the poor person. however, 10$ is 1/100th of person 1's monthly check, and it is only 1/1000th of the other person's income per month. Now, in sales, it would be very complicated to end this sort of regressive taxation of labor, but NOT in the area of INCOME tax, where it is quite easy to avoid such a hyper-unfair system of taxation.

Now, if the economy was set up so there was a relatively even distribution of millionaires to poor folks, this would not be as crucial to maintaining a free, fair and open society. But, that is not the case. Here, 1% owns 48% of the country's wealth, so a flat tax would simply allow this small minority with such vast wealth to just save more of it, spirit it out of the country, and contribute eventually to hyper-inflation, food riots and unemployment (like now). The money is not "theirs" it is the result of worker labor, and when workers are totally alienated and estranged....they revolt.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Education for sale is Education that loses professors

In the old days, the Government of the US, like most governments NOW, supported their best and brightest with free education. Not loaned education. Not bought education. In those days, the SMARTEST students went to the BEST universities. They vied, using tests, to determine who was smartest, and then they were chosen on the merits. But, long ago, state institutions started charging for the "privilege" of education. Instead of the old sensible idea, inspired by the Greeks, that smart people should be paid and nurtured to benefit the state, it became instead a situation in which the RICHEST can get into universities, and the universities are forced to pander to them. Now, instead of those who have proven themselves through tenacity and grit, universities instead school those whose parents have made big money in sales, or developed a very esoteric patent, or work in a high paying desk job with no creativity. Meanwhile, our real geniuses, who are not motivated by money, are of less value to the rest of us, since they are not trained to use their natural talents.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Response to a revisionist view of Southern culpability in the Civil War.


Gee, I'm sorry, I didn't know that history was now being made up to suit our fancies. Let's look at the basics of this article and why they are dead wrong and filled with research bias.

1.The South attacked the North, not vice-versa. After five years of having hoopla parties in which effigies of Lincoln, and other effigies (as well as real people) were also burned. Drunk on whiskey, these mobs sometimes attacked suspected Northerners. Meanwhile, in the North, it is true they didn't think about fighting the South, or whether it would win, because THEY DIDN'T PLAN A WAR WITH THE SOUTH. Most Northerners could have cared less about war, Southerners, Secession, or slavery for that matter. They just didn't give a damn. The south, on the other hand, was filled with passionate conversations at Cotillions, Debutante Balls and military and political dancing parties about the inevitable war with the North, and the "slight" of the Federal Government in not enforcing Dred Scott in states that would not themselves enforce Federal or state laws concerning the return of slaves (or should I say FREE MEN WHO HAD BEEN SLAVES). The south made it plain that the non-enforcement of the Dred Scott decision was a deciding factor in their determination to secede from the Union (of free men).

2.Re-framing Abolition as some sort of "religious sanctimony," is so beyond the pale, it's hard where to begin. It's like describing the SCBC (Southern Christian Baptist Coalition) as "religious zealots," when they supported ending desegregation and the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr. It's confused mumbo jumbo, and does not strike me as an academically sound proposition, but rather one clouded by research bias. In fact, there were many "religious zealots" who supported slavery in the slave times, but the issue was what FEDERAL AND STATE governments did, not what some kook-ball preachers said or did, that mattered. Yeah, there were Abolitionists who happened to be Fiery-eyed preachers, because being anti-slavery made SENSE. But, on the other hand, there were also fiery-eyed preachers in South Carolina railing against the "do-gooder abolitionists" who they sanctimoniously labeled devil worshipers.

3.Comparing the states, today, pulling out of the Union over abortion or anything else first off, sillly. If a state pulled out of the Union, what exactly would that mean? They are abrogating Federal legal protection from search and seizure laws? They are declaring war on their neighboring state in a desperate contest for resources? How can seceding possibly serve land-locked states? It's just all so pathetically unthoughtful, and would never pass muster in a real vote. Secession in 1860 involved a Whooped up, bloodlusted population FED ON WITNESSING LYNCHINGS, and supported by the disparate states governments of the Pre-Bellum South. Now we have a complacent population, few of whom are land owners, who are told to hide under their desks in school and watch the Cosby show and Reality TV when they are bored.

The entire gist of the article is that the North somehow initiated this war, which in fact is the exact opposite of the truth. McClellan, for example, far from prosecuting the war, did a series of defensive actions, won most of them, yet never pressed his advantage against an aggressive Southern army. Lincoln became so incensed with McClellan's incompetence (or downright treachery) that he replaced him. How does that get turned around into our blundering presence in Libya, or presence in Iraq or anywhere else? In the Former, an aggressor NATION, made up of several separate states, and calling itself The Confederacy, announced and made war upon, in a brutal way, a North that was unprepared for and not expecting an armed conflict. The North's counter attack took nearly 18 months to really get going! It is simply untrue to announce here or in a revisionist history that the North started the war.

Political Parties should pay you out.

Think about it. The officers of political parties are all paid. Large amounts of money are given in huge blocs by individuals and corporations. This money is invested in ads, party officer pay, and other expenses, including, often, slush funds for retiring incumbents to live off of later. Yet, no political party ever mentions this "dirty little secret." In fact, there is often a cadre of "officers" at the local and county level that ARE NOT PAID, giving the illusion that the parties are "volunteer" organizations, when, in fact, they are a mix of volunteers and paid officers.

The dirge we hear is that we should not be "buying votes." That parties are somehow above the baser motives of common man. That ideology is the glue of party organizations, not pecuniary incentives.

But, in our new landscape, where communication is lighting fast, and where many different views exist under the banners of "republican," "democrat," "conservative," and "liberal," Ideology is NOT the reason for party participation, rather, family ties, personal gain and cognitive dissonance are what keep us, generally, in our political camps.

Yet, many of us have very different opinions from our political brethren. As an example from my own life, I am deeply opposed to the Iraq war, yet, I was strongly in favor of the Afghanistan war (at least the way I believed Clinton and the JCoS were planning it), and started wondering in 1996 why the NATO/North Atlantic powers had not attacked it yet. I feel the Iraq war was a diversion of our nation's forces from a critical field of combat in Afghanistan. The failure of our military planning after Iraq is evident in the Taliban's recent successful attack on the Swat Valley in Pakistan, disrupting one of the most peaceful areas on the earth, filled with yogis etc., with a 15,000 man army that beheaded people before it, burned villages and blew up schools and shrines. This sort of multinational mercenary destruction of peaceful people (and the Taliban army is a hodgepodge of multinational mercenaries) is unacceptable, and the direct result of Bush redirecting our forces into Iraq to settle an old family score, instead of fighting our real enemy: A Muslim-based international mercenary force that fields large armies in central Asia, and destroys areas the size of Connecticut (Swat Valley) in two weeks.

But I digress. The matter at hand is the "value" of political affiliation. We talk a lot about "Taxation without Representation," and are disgusted often with how our paid civil servants seem to make decisions against our interests. Yet, we do not question that the "taxes" we pay to political organizations represent us. Victory in politics is usually measured in abstract concepts, like "changing of policy" in some department, or the election of some judge in a close race. Instead, what if victory in a political party was personal? What if getting out the vote, for example, paid out? Or if parties had mutual funds that supported their views and that could be mixed and matched, so that if you supported gun rights, but also a woman's right to choose, you could still be active as an investor in your party, and a profiteer?

For that matter, parties could disintegrate, and economic engines could drive elections, each with a series of special interests, paid members/investors, and effective sales/persuasion forces. Frankly, I think this would be refreshing for liberty and a Democratic Republic's politics. Rather then two monolithic parties, you could have multiple organizations, providing jobs, with passionate and paid operatives, supported by different businesses and individuals' monies. Some could be like my idea, The CoMiCal Hellawenic, others more conservative in presentation.

I firmly believe that political activity can be commercialized to benefit a larger segment of the population financially, without threatening free speech or free assembly. While I will never support making a person's vote "public," and strongly support the secret ballot, I do believe that there is no caveat in the Constitution that makes it illegal for ANY grouping of souls to field candidates for political office, even "independents."

I also believe that an organization that I join to elect someone to higher office should also ask my opinion on matters concerning policy. I do not wish to be just told: "this is how to think." I think an effective political organization can represent more then one position (though not diametrically opposed ones). My political organization, should it form, will introduce regular polls to ALL it's members concerning their ideas and positions.

Political organizations that are fat with cash should have three major programs that are always running:
1.Reason Training. I'll admit, I'm not even the best reasoner. I think Political parties should provide mind strengthening games and pay out the people who show the most aptitude to solving complex problems. Then, we should hire them to help us make systemic decisions for our organizations.
2.Civics Training. Anyone who is involved in politics should be intimately aware of the government mechanisms around them (zoning boards, police oversight, etc.). Political organizations should educate folks about these government departments and invite people to attend their meetings. They should have a reward system for folks that attend these meetings, and it should be ok for more then one group to reward that attendance.
3.Muckraking Agents. Political organizations should be in the business of investigative journalism (as they are in Europe). This would make for more intelligent political actors in general.

If we had an organization like this, we would be getting paid out for our investment of time and money in real time personally, rather then in some abstract "political victory," and I think our Republic would be better off.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Waxing Poetic

For we are but the stuff of stars, cast about in whirlpools with neither bottom nor top, bonded together to observe that which we are made of. Life, and our lives within it, is but another stripe of variegation in the solid existence of all time and space.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Hellawenic, and How it works

My campaign organization will start out as a private company, called the CoMiCal Hellawenic. The reasoning is this: The Consolidated Middle Class (CoMiCal) needs the Hellawenic (a halloween/costume party based organization) to represent it in the congress, to the people, and to other organs of power.

The Hellawenic has Several missions:
1.Agitate for a voter holiday in early November
2.Organize a Lobby to protect Middle Class interests
3.Organize Potlach parties in our local regions
4.Educate the populace into civics, making statistics about congressmen as exciting and "tradable" as baseball cards are now, and knowledge about the structure of our local, state and national governments easily accessible to all.
5.Organize tutoring in society, so that those that have can teach those that do not.
6.Create "Libertariums," a sort of library/health spa/digital creation station, privately funded but publicly offered.
7.Recognize and celebrate knowledge of civics, history and social martyrs.

This Private organization, the CoMiCal Hellawenic, will be a for profit company designed to enrich my co-workers, customers and myself in search of an artistic and social ideal that benefits all who participate in it.

When this organization has become large enough, I will use it to run first for either governor or senator of the state that needs me most, and then for the Presidency. In the meantime, I shall create a partying, celebratory group of "Hellawenics," or Hellaweens, that have costume parties regularly, culminating in big parties on or around Halloween.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thoughts on the symbolic destruction of Religious symbols

If your religion/culture is one of confident and assured convictions, then the need to lash out at folks that besmirch it is at a minimum.

Let's look at this logically:

All day long, every year for decades, certain Muslims have:

a.Called the West and Westerners "decadent."

b.Allowed slavery to exist in their lands

c.Vocally and Physically attacked Christians, Jews and Buddhists and their holy statues.

d.Specifically targeted Christian and Jewish houses of worship

e.Acted in concert with Muslim governments to attack militarily insignificant and unconnected old Jews in Argentina

f.Enforced in their lands restrictions on the press, restrictions on movement and restrictions on the arts.

And now, because some of these people become violent in mobs, you want to limit OUR free speech? Excuse me, but ANY ONE of the above wrongs could have led to extreme, and probably fatal violence in America toward Muslim minorities, and yet...it hasn't. The Koran is a piece of crap, as is the Bible. Just some more know-it-all's with another book. If my saying so causes you to go into a killing frenzy, it's not my rights that need to be limited, it's your freedom.