fair tax

Trump’s Infrastructure Scam

At a roundtable discussion with state transportation officials on Friday, Donald Trump said America’s aging roads, bridges, railways, and water systems were being “scoffed at and laughed” at. He pledged that they “will once again be the envy of the world.”

This seems to be a core theme for Trump: America’s greatness depends on others envying us rather than scoffing and laughing at us.

He said much the same thing last week when he announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. “At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us, as a country? We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore. And they won’t be. They won’t be.”

To be sure, America is in dire need of massive investments in infrastructure. The nation suffers from overflowing sewage drains, crumbling bridges, rusting railroad tracks, outworn roads, and public transportation systems rivaling those of third-world nations.  

The American Society of Civil Engineers, giving America’s over-all infrastructure a grade of D-plus, says we would need to spend $3.6 trillion by 2020 to bring it up to par.

The problem isn’t that we’re being laughed at. It’s that we’re spending hours in traffic jams, disrupted flights, and slow-moving trains. And we’re sacrificing billions in lost productivity, avoidable public health problems, and increased carbon emissions. 

But what Donald Trump is proposing won’t help. It’s nothing but a huge and unnecessary tax giveaway to the rich.

His “$1 trillion infrastructure plan,” unveiled last week, doesn’t amount to $1 trillion of new federal investment in infrastructure. It would commit $200 billion of federal dollars over ten years, combined with about $800 billion of assorted tax breaks to get developers to build things instead of the federal government doing it.

And it’s hardly a plan. It’s not much more than a page of talking points.

Worse, its underlying principle is deeply flawed.  It boils down to a giant public subsidy to developers and investors, who would receive tax generous tax credits in return for taking on the job. 

Which means the rest of us would have to pay higher taxes or get fewer services in order to make up for the taxes the developers and investors would no longer pay.

For example (in one version of the plan I’ve come across), for every dollar developers put into a project, they’d actually pay only 18 cents – after tax credits – and taxpayers would contribute the other 82 cents through their tax dollars.

No one should be surprised at this scheme. It’s what Trump knows best. After all, he was a developer who made billions, often off sweeteners like generous tax credits and other subsidies.  

The public would also pay a second time. The developers would own the roads and bridges and other pieces of infrastructure they finance. They’d then charge members of the public tolls and fees to use them.

In place of public roads and bridges, we’d have private roads and bridges. Think of America turning into giant, horizontal-like Trump Tower wherever you looked.   

These tolls and fees won’t come cheap. They’d have to be set high in order to satisfy the profit margins demanded by the developers and the investors who back them.

Worst of all, we’d get the wrong kind of infrastructure. Projects that will be most attractive to developers and investors are those whose tolls and fees bring in the biggest bucks – giant mega-projects like major new throughways and new bridges.

Developers and investors won’t be interested in the thousands of smaller bridges, airports, pipes, and water treatment facilities across the country that are most in need of repair.

They’re not likely to respond to the needs of rural communities and smaller cities and towns that are too small to generate the tolls and other user fees equity developers and investors seek.

They won’t be attracted to the most important first priority for our nation’s infrastructure: Better maintenance of what we already have. With improved maintenance, it wouldn’t be necessary to completely rebuild.

But investors and developers want to build anew. They can’t reap big rewards from maintenance.

Nor will they want to put their efforts and money into projects that don’t yet have proven financial track records, like many clean energy innovations – which, not incidentally, might have enabled us to meet our targets under the Paris climate accords, were we still part of the Paris accords.

We shouldn’t have to pay twice over for the wrong infrastructure.

To really make America great again we need the correct infrastructure in the right places – infrastructure that’s for the public, not for big developers and investors.

Sorry, Donald. The only way we get this is if big corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes to support it.

buttscentedbreathmints  asked:

I'm a new member of the NDP and I'm having some trouble deciding on my rankings for the leadership race... I definitely want to vote for Jagmeet Singh and Niki Ashton as my first and second choices but I'm not sure which order to rank them in to have the best chance of one of them winning. i was wondering if you might be able to share your thoughts on each candidate in terms of who would be the strongest candidate for prime minister and your opinion re my current dilemma? thanks!

If you want a candidate to win, they should be your first choice. Can’t say much more than that.

Why do I support Niki Ashton over Jagmeet Singh. Here’s why:

-She has pledged to change our electoral system from First Past the Post to a  Mixed Member Proportional Representation system (this is not on Jagmeet Singh’s policy page):

Niki Ashton: Make Every Vote Count

-She has released a comprehensive platform on increasing accessability for people with disabilities:

Niki Ashton: A Vision for an Accessible and Inclusive Canada for Persons with Disabilities

-She has released a suite of policies in regards to harm reduction, which includes support for individuals with HIV, supporting safe consumption sites and standing up for sex worker’s human rights:

Niki Ashton: My Commitment to Harm Reduction

-She has released a comprehensive set of policies on LGBTQ rights which includes an end to the blood ban for gay men, and things like a focus on Transgender Health:

Niki Ashton: Justice for LGBTQ2+ Persons

-She has a dedicated platform on Indigenous Rights (something Jagmeet Singh does not have):

Niki Ashton: Justice for Indigenous Peoples

-She has released impressive policies on post secondary education, including free tuition, eliminating interest on Student Loans and not having to repay student debt until you’re making $50,000 or more (again missing from Jagmeet Singh’s policy page): 

Niki Ashton: Eliminating Tuition Fees and Strengthening Public Post-Secondary Education

-She has released a strong suite of policies on Racial Justice, which includes repealing Bill C-51 and ending the practice of Carding for Federal Police forces:

Niki Ashton: Racial Justice: Dignity and Respect

-She has released strong policies around renewable energy and Climate Change:

Niki Ashton: Environmental Justice.

-She is the ONLY candidate to release a platform on Feminism and Gender Based violence (including towards the LGBTQ community):

Niki Ashton: Ending Gender Violence and Discrimination.

-She has released strong economic policies including more fair taxation, public ownership (reversing privatization) and fair job policies:

Niki Ashton: Economic Justice.


Niki Ashton: Fair Taxes for a Just Society.

-She has been vocally supportive of Palestinian Human Rights and for peace in the Middle East:

Niki Ashton: A Just Peace in the Middle East.

-She has stood up against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline and other oil pipelines from the start. Jagmeet Singh has to be pressured by Niki Ashton and Peter Julian to take a position:

Niki Ashton: Against Kinder Morgan.

-She is the only candidate promising to expand Canada’s healthcare system to completely cover the costs of prescription drugs and dental. She has also said she would expand mental health funding, accessibility and tackle the root causes of addiction:

Niki Ashton: Access to Universal Health Care.

Regardless of how Americans identify themselves ideologically, the majority embrace ideas that some might call socialist. For example, 74% think corporations have too much influence; 73% favor tougher regulation of Wall Street; 60% believe that “our economic system unfairly favors the wealthy;” 85% want an overhaul of our campaign finance system to reduce the influence of money in politics; 58% support breaking up big banks; 79% think the wealthy don’t pay their fair share of taxes; 85% favor paid family leave; 80% of Democrats and half the public support single-payer Medicare for all; 75% of Americans (including 53% of Republicans) support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $12.50, while 63% favor a $15 minimum wage; well over 70% support workers’ rights to unionize; and 92% want a society with far less income disparity.

I’m watching Rurouni Kenshin, I just finished episode 7 and I’m already emotionally attached to these characters help meeee

A collaboration between myself, and @varvau

Story is conveyed and built with uncountable methods. A creator’s ability must transcend the Great Lie into Great Truth through varying degrees of Originality, often misidentified with the expression, “Everything’s been done, nothing new.” Lottery ball machines are, mostly, identical but their drawn numbers are unique. Traditional weddings in the Americas happen every week; no two are exactly the same. Originality concerns execution, not the fact something exists. With execution comes perspective. 

Ponder the story above. It is about trade, or is it? Certainly a subject, this trade, for an exchange of items is quite occurring. One could prattle endless an account of these creatures sharing daily trade with nothing more said. If that be the inclination expressed, all within earshot must question the extent of that speaker’s exposure to other cultures and their varying forms of relaying information. 

“But, this is a piece of fiction, it’s not serious!” speak many detractors of those seeking to create stories and worlds for a living, and later express devout love for, you guessed, another work of fiction. Twelve years ago, as of this writing, I was told by a doctor, who knew me since Grade V, my pursuit in creating stories and worlds was a “fantasy”, that I should speak with her whenever I “wished to return to the real world”. Quite, she did not believe in the profession of writing in general. Her entire practice depends on literature. That she worked with youths only increased the importance of fiction in their development—yet there she was, advising someone against creating new things, and making their own life decisions. I had, some years earlier than this encounter, decided for myself the what’s-to-do. I’ve not revisited that doctor, and never will.

Works of fiction are quite real for their creators, and some refer to their work as children. Readers identify with fiction for various reasons, and to them it may be more real than what is. A fictional world can be fabulous or grotesque, and still escape from ugly reality. Experiencing a foreign culture grants the same effect. One can tell a good story alone, a great story set in a well-designed world, or if they choose: deliver an immersion in time and place. The decision depends on goals.

Suppose you were dropped there, in that market, without knowledge of local culture, and didn’t die of shock at the sight of non-human beings, who bear likeness to our feral beasts, engaging in very human-like behavior. They don’t speak your language, no guides exist in your first, second, third, or any language familiar. Perhaps, you’re a linguist and realize none of their languages match recognizable lingual families.

In your face there’s scent as language, unless they’ve come to ignore or subdue natural body odor as humans did. It doesn’t factor within your ears, the possibility they employ hypersonic and subsonic sounds humans cannot perceive without specialized equipment, but—oh dear— you’re not naturalist with such equipment or deign leave a comfortable living for work in the middle of nowhere without many modern conveniences.

You quickly realize they posses no mobile phones, digital music players, any sort of advanced electronics, the internal combustion engine, telegraphs and wire transfer, gas lighting, and manure piles in the streets from who-knows-what that pulls their carts—if they did, then a copy- paste from the human world they wouldn’t be. How ever will you survive when so much isn’t

standard for your time and place? Maybe you should “try everything”, the worst advice ever given, except on desperation or a four-for-one sale at Inspired By de Sade. Following it may result in your demise.

The Didelphimorph on the right sells textiles and foodstuffs. Isn’t that nice? But…can you eat, let alone touch it? Is the Caniform vulnerable to certain foods the other may consume without problem? We’ve plants here, on Earth by example, quite hostile. Nasty little things like Gympie (Dendrocnide moroides), a perfectly normal horse-killer from hell that inflicts enough pain victims prefer suicide. Or, perhaps, your fancy is Manchineel (Hippomane mancinella), the adorably named Beach Apple. That one, dear, is truthfully a botanical death machine: a drop of moisture runoff from this tree blisters skin and corrodes automotive paint. Do you want to blister skin and corrode automotive paint? That’s how you blister skin and corrode automotive paint.

And don’t even think about the water. Travel between countries on your own planet, and you’ll find water of varying qualities to which the local population is immune, but you are not.

Your advantage is disadvantage. For the purposes of this example, they’ve no idea you’re even present. And, in regards to this specific civilization, where would you be without Jerome and myself? We’re to blame for dragging you into this otherworldly soiree where you’ve stuck a spoon in the ceiling but hey, you’re still alive. What’s mundane and automatic for this place is unknown for you: a language of Color, Shape, and Posture.

Let us start with the Caniform left, so eager to spend money. Upon his cape are two layers. Green, in local culture, is life and fertility while Brown’s is commonality of the every day. Technically, it is an off-white baize, but still counts as Brown.

That he wears a cape, not a tunic, tells of simplicity, good spirits, and the colors that he is newly wed and possibly expecting to become a father or has adopted a youth. The ceremony was not extravagant, a casual affair with a small number of close friends and relatives. Take note: local culture. His own native, that he’s possibly abandoned, may not define marriage in the same way, or practice it. Their definition of the “family unit” having two parents may not be.

Continuing down to his pantaloons, here again Green, and White. He comes from a lineage of relatively healthy individuals for legs carry the continuity of bloodlines. White is preparedness, but may speak inexperience and innocence towards the large change in his life. The Black tassels on the closure of his satchel indicate he contemplated life behind a sword; that they dangle free means he chose against, for warriors don’t wear needless items an enemy could grab and use against them.

On Shape, the leading edge of his cape being that color proclaims he’s nothing hidden and the vertical lines in his pantaloons speak twice: Green for a very stable family with little to no internal drama. White for a family young, perhaps 1-3 generations old, not big enough for a massive number of non-immediate members. 

On Posture, outwardly it is engaged in business. His open paws forward money and show he intends no harm. That he stands over the Didelphimorph is protection—he’s watching for anyone who’d steal. If he were bent, leveling their eyes, then an abrasive or unfriendly challenge it would become.

The Didelphimorph also wears a shade of White upon his legs, inexperienced where he is, possibly having moved from another region, or country, and is learning this new place. 

Upon his tunic is the survival and security of Blue. By wearing it close to his face, he proclaims status as a merchant who will not price gouge, dependable with good reputation of maintaining stock, and believes in honesty first. The shade lacks vividness; he is not fond for usurping local government. Here, wearing complete vivid blue on more than 25% of one’s clothes is punishable by execution. The golden bangle indicates prosperity, and that he recently wed.

On Shape, the off-white motif of an arch on the tunic suggests inexperience or preparedness in one particular aspect. The style refers to a building designed for residents, and he has acquired a living space. However, in local mental health definitions of shape, it means “halfway to stability”. This creature suffered from something tragic or debilitating in his past, but has over come it. That the arch is placed on the sleeve indicates confinement of some kind, either physical or social. The leading edge, also of the same color, reinforces his honesty as like the Caniform’s cape reinforces simplicity. Upon his bangle, the circle in his native culture describes a marriage under strict contract, the addition of ovals define immense flexibility within that contract.

On Posture, that his eyes are not on the Caniform entrusts he won’t be attacked, and accepts the other’s protection. They are likely very familiar with each other for the money is not set upon any surface, but held. The Didelphimorph, what most would call an opossum, does not have naturally exquisite eyesight. He’s near sighted, the Caniform knows it, and is aware his kind are mostly nocturnal yet the mid-day sun is high. Here is a merchant pushing his work hours into time of day when he should be asleep.

Bonus Material: The Red Textile

On Color, Red is power, therefore anyone who wears or places for decoration expresses it. Yellow carries various definitions, among them wealth. Black is self-moderation.

On Shape, triangles are important. The diamonds consist of two incomplete triangles, a sign of wealth shared, not hoarded. A bearer gives money to richer folk for investments in various causes, pays their fair taxes, and also gives to the needy below. The inverted, incomplete Yellow triangles near the Black X’s tell of one who gives more to the needy than to the rich. The Black X’s themselves are not viewed as two intersecting lines, but four incomplete triangles, designating establishment of inner peace. The Black Zigzag references inner peace despite unpredictability in life while the Yellow lines around it carry a second, separate definition from the above: financial stability is nearly unbreakable no matter what problems arise. Triangles without bases represent openness and invitation.

Bonus Material: The Money

On Color, the government that issued these notes considers all money equal, no matter who and what circumstances it derives, according to Brown. This includes money from illicit activities with varying stages of illegality and socially negativity. As long as it is legal tender, the government attaches no moral stigma to inanimate money even if it punishes the crime and may deal in shades.

On Shape, the rectangle declares stability of the mint, and the circle is “unchanging”. This society does not rate its money vs. others, being the prime standard. It sets boundary that it does not tolerate counterfeiting, punished by execution for the rectangle is also a block.

Unrelated factors aligned over many centuries, coming together at that precise instant and place, themselves forebears of the future in every aspect where physical and social sciences interact.  

This is World Discipline, more commonly known as Geography. Words are not required, though certainly they help. Walk into a bar in the United States, expect a full serving of beer as the definition of good service, and half considered bad. In another country, let alone world, a full serving of beer may be a local means of saying one should drink and leave, whereas a half- serving means stay: enjoy yourself, and what this place has to offer.

anonymous asked:

are u genuinely communist

yes im a proud russian soviet citizen masquerading in canada you caught me

im extremely socialist but i…dont support dictatorship because thats a totally different thing?? if you dont endorse democratic elections youre fucked

but i do believe in heavy government regulations of industry because frankly without it corporations have shown no qualms exploiting people, countries, and the environment to disaster

i believe in fair taxing and fine penalties in relation to income, and basic income, social aid, schooling, and healthcare

Much of what she lists doing isn’t simply cleaning and maintenance, but it is closely related. It involves thought, and planning:

“Hanging stuff on the walls, putting photographs in picture frames, thinking about whether we should buy new sheets because the old ones are getting old, thinking about the time that we are going to have dinner, thinking about what we are going to have for dinner.”

It is not just that Thompson is cooking dinner, it is that she is planning dinner menus (what would he like to eat?), and thinking of what time to have it – all types of thoughtfulness that go unnoticed. “It really annoys me that I have to think about this. It’s not fair, it’s taxing on me”, she says.

Birth control planning is another issue. “I am the one who has to do the entire research and break it down for him. ‘How long does it take you to get pregnant after the IUD?’ he asks me. “Well, why wouldn’t you make time to make that research if you are thinking we will have kids?”

The same is valid for smaller details of everyday life. “He is looking for stuff. Have you seen my nail filer? He goes to the closet and says he cannot see it. It’s there. ‘Where do we keep the kitchen towels?’ He asks me time and time again. After the third or the fourth time, that shit needs to be learned.”

She continues: “It suggests to me that there is a detachment to home that I do not have the luxury of having. Because if I did, then our everyday life would be a nightmare. So I take on that role. That’s not my authentic self, but I have no choice,” she says.

So Thompson picks her battles (don’t we all?), and the question remains – if we are socialized from a young age to be this way, is it possible that we really are better at it, even if nature did not make us so? Should we just shut up and get on with it because the world would probably stop turning if we didn’t?

Or is it time we started forgetting the birthdays too, time we stopped falsely screaming ecstasy, and demanded adequate, formal remuneration for emotion work provided in the workplace as a skill?

Now that, right there, would probably be a shake-patriarchy-to-its-core revolution.

A slow clap for you Rachel

The Democrats have outdone themselves with this latest stunt. Rachel Maddow, MSNBC’s most watched news anchor, looked to expose the President of the United States. She looked to expose Donald Trump as a fraud to the American people, and I will even assume she had hoped to expose him as a fraud to the international community. She looked to expose some long awaited truth that in some way Donald Trump had dodged the authority of the IRS, and cheated the American tax system.

Rachel Maddow you revealed what Republicans already know, and what Democrats ought to believe. You revealed that like the decent man he is Donald Trump paid his taxes. Donald Trump forfeited 38 million dollars of his income to the American government because that is his duty as an American citizen. When we do the math we find that he paid 25% of his income in taxes.

Before I illustrate the hypocrisy of the left, let me draw on a few more statistical numbers. President Barack Obama, the Democratic savior, the idol of the left, paid 18.7% of his income in taxes. Bernie Sanders, the Socialist, the man who highly publicizes his campaign for free healthcare and free education, only paid 13.5%of his income in taxes. Donald Trump gave a greater percentage of his income to the American government than two of the left’s most beloved members. The left preaches for higher rates of taxation; they ask for the government to regulate and fund more sectors of the economy. Yet the Left’s leaders seem to resist the requirement that they too must forfeit more of their income for these changes.

Bernie Sanders continually criticized Donald Trump throughout the election, claiming that he wasn’t paying his fair share of taxes. Bernie Sanders I ask you to take a step back. I ask you to consider the commitment it requires to give the American government 25% of your hard earned income. I also would like to remind you that Donald Trump, the conservative, the businessman, the successful real estate mogul, is still contributing more to the government than you, the Socialist who advocates for increasing taxes. Oh and by the way, he will also be donating his Presidential salary to charity. But regardless, his hard earned dollars are paying for the programs you would like to expand. They are helping pay for the salary that you collected as a Senator. Do not lecture him on his duties as an American citizen until you realize yours.

Let me now draw my attention back to Rachel Maddow. Rachel Maddow I thank you. Thank you for making a complete and utter fool of yourself on national television. Thank you for highly publicizing that Donald Trump has always put America first. Thank you for unknowingly demonstrating the hypocrisy of the left. Thank you for illustrating that even though he is not perfect, and may be far from it, Donald Trump is still decent. He understands his responsibilities, and he acts on them, never coming up short.



Our country is in dire need of massive investments in infrastructure, but what Donald Trump is proposing is nothing more than a huge tax giveaway for the rich.

1. It’s a giant public subsidy to developers and investors. Rather than taxing the wealthy and then using the money to fix our dangerously outdated roads, bridges, airports, water systems, Trump wants to give rich developers and Wall Street investors tax credits to encourage them to do it That means that for every dollar they put into a project, they’d actually pay only 18 cents and we would contribute the other 82 cents through our tax dollars.

2. We’d be turning over public roads and bridges to private corporations who will charge us expensive tolls and earn big profits. These tolls will be set high in order to satisfy the profit margins demanded by elite Wall Street investors. So—essentially—we pay twice – once when we subsidize the developers and investors with our tax dollars, and then secondly when we pay the tolls and user fees that also go into their pockets.

3. We get the wrong kind of infrastructure. Projects that will be most attractive to Wall Street investors are those whose tolls and fees bring in the biggest bucks – giant mega-projects like major new throughways and new bridges. Not the thousands of smaller bridges, airports, pipes, and water treatment facilities most in need of repair. Not the needs of rural communities and smaller cities and towns too small to generate the tolls and other user fees equity investors want. Not clean energy.

To really make America great again we need more and better infrastructure that’s for the public – not for big developers and investors. And the only way we get that is if corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.

anonymous asked:

Why do conservatives love cutting taxes when the country is going broke?

Well first let’s deal with the fact that your question has one outright lie.
The federal government is broke…the country is not, it’s had very slow growth for over a decade, but the country isn’t broke, it’s the government that is broke.

Second the federal government’s debt problems have little to do with tax policy and everything to do with spending. Right now the government spends more money than it takes in. That right there is the whole problem. It needs to spend less. A lot less. You could do this rather easily by condensing most means based welfare and entitlement programs that currently operate huge bureaucracies and inefficiently deal with the problem of poverty and need by switch to the UBI which could probably save about anywhere from 0.6-1.1 Trillion a year and ensure that no citizen in America actually fell below the poverty line (costs less does more, only government could be stupid enough not to embrace such a plan). There are of course a lot of other things (long term foreign policy which costs more in the short run but significantly less in the long run), removing redundant departments, giving bureaucracies that the state can run on their own back to the states, etc. It would take time to unravel this, but it could be done with relative ease if anyone was actually out to get anything done but 30 years of inept presidents and congresses have made that all but impossible.

So the problem is spending not taxes.

But here is the problem with your question. The implication is that we should be raising taxes to dig ourselves out of the hole. The problem with that is that there exists this little thing called the Laffer Curve. It states that at a certain point you can raise taxes so much that it causes the economy to slow down. After all after you have certain needs met, the time you spend on working more to get that raise, to start that side business, to earn the overtime hours just isn’t worth it if you’re not actually getting to take the money home with you. Granted it’s different for different people with different needs and different tax brackets. But, research and study has shown that the overall number is 33% is roughly the level you can tax a nation and get the most out of them, after that you’re taxing too much and you’ll actually take in less money. US GDP was in 2016 $18 Trillion and all levels of government collected about $6.56 Trillion roughly 36% or 3% more than we should be collecting for the highest revenue for the government. So really if you want the government to have more money you should want to cut taxes a little more.

But I will admit there are stupid populists under the name of conservative that would cut it well below that 33%. (Although honestly if you want the economy to do best you want it a little below that 33%…but the idiot populists would cut it well below that level).

However, the non-populist coversative would be more about making the system more functional so that you can collect that roughly 33% in the way that would cause the least hurt to the economy. The flat and FAIR taxes are one way. Free trade reform which would end the huge amount of tariffs that hurt our economy would be another. Lowering the corporate tax rate while eliminating the obscene number of crony deductions.

But thank you for a complaint nearly 3 decades out of date when we were cutting the top rate from 70% to 28%.


Just came from a “after MLK” film and discussion event after doing a silent march.

Every time one of us looses we ALL loose.

Do you really think people would still be dying of Cancer, Hep C, A.I.D.S. , heart disease, or premature birth death if every black and gay person and every woman were all given the chance to hold a microscope in their hands  like most white, straight men do?

 I help promote slavery.

Today, January 16th 2017.

In America.

My college like most colleges funds prisons which are essentially slave labor.

Capitalism cannot work w/out slave labor.

Look it up.

Why do you think we needed the “3 strike rule” after the civil right movement? We needed to put our black slaves back in their place.

But what do I do? drop out? fight back and get kicked out? Live in poverty or live off black unpaid labor?

We need change and we need it now. Before we all loose more. Before more families get torn apart.

I think socialism and a fair tax is where we need to start.

What do you think?

and more importantly my fellow white friends what are you going to do to make sure you  are not taken away next?

anonymous asked:

why should i be a writer?

Here’s a pertinent question: why does anyone do this? Writing, I mean. You want to understand this question without that romanticism about tortured artists and their callings. Even if these romanticisms were once true, theirs was a truth of aspiration, not of fact (cf. the optimism of heroin’s etymology and how it has protected no one from the of realities of the substance it names.) Like anything worthwhile, asking a pertinent question tends to lead you away from the answer you want, tends to pull you down along the invisible contour of things, down to regions of ever greater silence and heat. This is because good questions are pickpockets of the divine.

Was there something about writing that drove Rimbaud from it, all the way to Ethiopia, into his inexplicable career as a middleman in the trade of coffee, guns and slaves? How many of the three nails driven neatly thru the notches in his belt were hammered there by Wallace’s fiction career? The belt that hung in a loop from a projecting beam on his house’s southern exposure. And then the thirsts. Rimbaud’s and Wallace’s are too dull to mention. There is Malcolm Lowry, whose left hand spilled more of himself in badly aimed bitters than his right ever did in ink. And Poe, who seemed almost ahead of his time in the deliberation with which he destroyed himself. By Raymond Carver alcoholism had become the moat protecting literary achievement. The moat that must be drunk. Even in my own life… not in the literal, by this point banal, sense of addiction, but in the way substances and the self-destructions they cause have become a lens for me. Become an essential cog in the mill of me. A magazine’s blow-in card taken for text. A story:

My father’s cancer was at last undeniable when he held a curling strip of glossy paper out to me. After I took it he lowered his head. When his head was down it seemed larger than ever. The strip of paper had three circular photographs printed on it and had bent into a loop in my hand. I straightened it out in the light of a lamp clamped to his desk. The lesion was shown in three angles. It was a pink crater that filled most of the round frames. A thin filament of blood trailed from the crater’s lip and became lost in the yellow wall of my father’s intestine.

I peered at the photographs with the useless intensity of a person caught in a lie. Then, a memory fell like a shutter. My father had just picked me up and put me on the counter of our kitchen. I was wearing mustard colored overalls. The Corian was cold and I could feel it through the denim. My father told me to pay very close attention to what was about to happen. There was a tall bottle of rye with a neck like a chimney on the counter beside me. He tossed his keys with one hand until the Swiss army knife he kept with them lay in his palm. He pulled out the blade and used it to slit the sleeve of shrink wrap keeping the cork in the bottle’s neck. He drew my attention to the way the plastic gave up its transparency to milky blue opacity where it had been folded or bent. “The chains are crooked here and scatter blue light. Blue is the narrowest light we can see. When you see it here you know that the molecules are nearly the same width.” This didn’t make much sense to me. I had barely been able to follow his definition of ‘molecule.’ (He’d taken a sugar cube and smashed it with the back of a spoon. He asked me what the mess was called. “Sugar.” I’d said. “That’s right,” he said as he continued to crush the little crystals into dust, “And a molecule is the smallest thing that’s still sugar.”)

He pointed to the surface of the liquor and told me to watch it very carefully. He held the bottle with one hand and, careful to keep it upright on the counter, twisted out its cork with the other. The cork shrieked and gave its pop. The bottle’s empty neck was suddenly filled by a white cloud. The cloud was so thick and had appeared so quickly that I thought it must be a trick, cotton wool maybe. He held the bottle up to my lips and told me to blow across its mouth. I smelled the wooden sweetness of the rye. I pursed my lips and blew through them. The bottle let out a high moan. And as I looked down my own nose I saw a thin white thread crest the bottle’s mouth and siphon away the cloud. My father said: “This was why they called it a spirit.”

This is a faithful transcription of the moment when my father’s cancer became undeniable. And even if I have told the truth I know that this truth is an interpolated one: The roundness of his tumor’s crater evoked the bottle’s mouth and the filament of blood, the cloud I blew away. Cancer for liquor. Were these associations naive? No. Who can doubt that when I was small enough to heft onto the kitchen counter and young enough to be taught about Tyndall’s effect and vapor pressure that the same three frames on slippery paper would, when shot into the prism of me, refract as emotion and not as memory? Experience has installed a mill in me. And the events that ought to illuminate my life are just the grist of evocation.

This story is how I understand Rimbaud’s exile. He landed in a place where his visionary eviscerations could be traded for the middleman’s uncomplicated keenness of mind (out of the red and into the black.) Where he could swap Verlaine’s guilty emissions for sunburn and domination (I can see Rimbaud’s eyes rolling as Verlaine drops the gun, blanches at the sight of blood and affectedly begs forgiveness.) Rimbaud was looking for a reality that could not be transgressed. A blind push through flab to touch the bone. Substance. (The sand and cancer he got instead probably seemed like a fair tax on the attempt.) Likewise, the gales of sentimentality that alcohol blows, and heroin’s flights of drooling ecstasy. These seem to be ways out of the mill, the mill whose mechanisms screen the writer from the world.

But in fact they are not ways out. These exiles and self-destructions are only writing pursued by other means. ‘Writing’ is after all just another word, and hence simply names a shadow thrown by the one and universal Substance. (The things themselves, the things we name, are only shadows cast at a characteristic angle of illumination.) Writing pursued by other means. Rimbaud wanted to feel the bones holding appearance in its shape. Lowry, to freeze the whirling pieces of himself in aspic (and glimpse in the wobbly medium of his drunkenness, the contiguous man.) Poe wanted passage into sentimentality, that land where emotions become toothless and their gnawings idle. And Wallace, to be annealed in the bliss beyond introspection. The land where mirrors are always covered.

It goes without saying that there is a hierarchy of self-destruction just as there is a hierarchy of writing: Exile is superior to addiction, addiction superior to dissolution and this last, far superior to suicide. And equally, the Substance of writing cannot be fully sifted from that of self-destruction (they are, as above, different shadows of the same thing.) They are paired like kidneys, hands or hemispheres. The best we can do to tell them apart is to call one ‘right,’ and the other ‘left.’ Writing has a dual nature and cannot be performed without its sinister aspect. This is why my faithful transcription was hopelessly corrupt. (It is in the nature of inspection to cast shadows.) Diogenes had the right idea in trying to shine a light during the day.

And even though the Substance is one and universal, even it can die. Indeed, we may well be living in a world where this has already happened. And this is because we live in the world where the Holocaust took place. An analogy:

Suppose we represent the Substance with the human body. The soles of our boots grow thin but the soles of our feet grow thick: the body lives, adapts, repairs and strengthens. If I rub my arm I feel the rubbing, but my arm it stays the same. If I scratch my arm I feel it and then my arm grows pink. If I become obsessed and continue scratching past the point of pain and wear the skin away, my arm begins to bleed. If I continue, the injury to my arm becomes more grievous and I start to see the parts of my arm’s anatomy that I am not supposed to see. Fat, muscle, tendons and even bone. You can imagine a depravity that could sever one arm with the other in this way. My arm can be destroyed by the simple repetition of an action that is harmless in itself.

Now it goes without saying that I need my body to live. And likewise that there is also a body of the mind. This is an arrangement of self in the representational space of cognition that must exist for the mind to work. In every important way, this second body perfectly traces what we mean by ‘the soul.’ But immateriality is no defense. It can be destroyed as readily as the flesh it’s lodged in. In this analogy the Substance is to us, to all of us—everywhere and at all times, what the soul is to its body. It is the persistent order and arrangement of things such that human history and experience—its fabrications and developments—can be understood by those who perform them. It is that by which we know ourselves and that through which humanity condenses from the mere physical proximity of ours to other human bodies. And yet it can die.

History has often nothing more to report than the number of bodies crushed beneath its roller. Less attested, more tragic, but at least as numerous are the souls that have been killed while the corporeal body continues to live. And yet, through every disaster of the last ten thousand years, the Substance has persisted. The Substance was durable because it was our one, completely immaterial fact of human existence. And, until very recently, we had not discovered a method to extinguish a fact of this kind. But leave it to Europe.

What one scratch will pinken many million will redden, then tear, then saw and then sever. If a million deaths are a statistic then ten million are a result. Long story short, it was conclusively proven c. 1942 that if the darker aspects of the mind’s propensity were encouraged to breed, then these hybrids could indeed reach into the space between humans and do terrible injury to the Substance. And what can be harmed can also be killed.

Has it been killed? How do you know if your soul has been killed? What do we do if the International Kilogram becomes lighter? How would we know? When we can destroy a that-by-which, we are thrown into a circular world where history curls back to meet itself (they say a mass of fat weighing two hundred kilos once condensed and clogged the crematorium’s flue at Birkenau and that operations were disrupted for several hours by the efforts to dislodge it.) After the suicide of his mother—and in an effort to understand her—the cartoonist Art Spiegelman began seeing a psychiatrist who had survived Theresienstadt. Spiegelman reports that the therapist told him: “Primo Levi was right. The only thing a survivor can do is to kill himself: Everything is Auschwitz. Auschwitz is everywhere. People eat meat. Life feeds off life. After the optimism of liberation all the optimisms fail. All you can do is protest—but to whom?”

Has it been killed? Writing and self-destruction both come in cycles. The cycle of writing tends to reciprocate (like an engine) but the rotation can slow, can collapse, and then a loop of self-destruction tightens to a knot. Writing collapsed for Tadeusz Borowski (gas stove) and Jean Améry (Veronal) and for Primo Levi (stairwell). And then the half million others who did not write, who squeezed thru the needle’s eye, who escaped death at hands of omnipotent morons, only to die by their own. These deaths do not reassure. For them the Substance was killed and replaced with Auschwitz. Has it been killed for the rest of us? The question might be all we can cling to. The answer is not known, and ignorance is the grist of hope. The Kilogram could be unchanged. The Substance may even grow thick with abuse.  

Congress Tees Up Next Cliff – Internet Tax Freedom Act

Even if you don’t know what the Internet Tax Freedom Act is, you’ll probably learn a lot more about by the end of this year.

The  Internet Tax Freedom Act, introduced by Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Christopher Cox, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on Oct 21, 1998.

To paraphrase the late Sen. Ted Stevens, this bill prevents states from putting up access valves and toll booths on the pipes that bring you the Internet.

The law is set to expire on Nov 1, 2014, after which your state and local governments will be free to tax your Internet access.

Unless… it is extended further by Congress. Of course, Congress isn’t familiar with the concept of keeping it simple, so schemes are being hatched to turn it into a political football.

You might be aware of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which Congress has been tinkering around with for a long, long time now. This bill would set the framework allowing states to impose and collect sales and use tax on online sales.

Now since the Internet Tax Freedom Act is expiring, there’s some people who want to combine both bills, thereby hoping to get both critical Internet-related legislations approved in a single vote.

The thinking is that if both bills are combined, the ticking clock and deadline for the Internet Tax Freedom Act will cut through the gridlock that’s holding back the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Whether they attempt to do it this way or take up the Internet Tax Freedom Act as a stand-alone bill, it’s a virtual certainty that this is going to be a last-minute affair with both sides blaming each other for letting it expire.

Throw in the mid-term election hype and distractions, and it’s fair to say that the Internet Tax Freedom Act is most likely dead for now, and will have to be revived retroactively after the elections by the next Congress. 

At that time, this whole debate about whether to combine it with the Marketplace Fairness Act will once again pop up, so it’s possible that both bills will pass and be signed into law sometime in 2015.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be any fireworks right before Nov 1, and the media and tech community will surely start piling on Congress with doomsday scenarios.

Note that state and local governments don’t necessarily have to impose an Internet access tax even after the law expires. But guess which state will rush to impose a tax before anyone else?

Oh yes, if it comes to that, it’s likely to be Silicon Valley that will be the first to face an Internet access tax. 

Photo credit - eirikso/flickr

So on top of tax payers subsidizing billions of dollars for public assistance because Walmart pays their workers poverty wages, Walmart also avoids paying a billion dollars of U.S. taxes through loopholes each year??!! #endcorporatewelfare


Why Corporate Deserters Should Be Disowned 

Apple is only the latest big global American corporation to use foreign tax shelters to avoiding paying its fair share of U.S. taxes. It’s just another form of corporate desertion.

Corporations are deserting America by hiding their profits abroad or even shifting their corporate headquarters to another nation because they want lower taxes abroad. And some politicians say the only way to stop these desertions is to reduce corporate tax rates in the U.S. so they won’t leave.

Wrong. If we start trying to match lower corporate tax rates around the world, there’s no end to it.

Instead, the President should use his executive power to end the financial incentives that encourage this type of corporate desertion. President Obama has already begun, but there is much left that could be done.

In addition, corporation that desert America by sheltering a large portion of their profits abroad or moving their headquarters to another country should no longer be entitled to the advantages of being American.

1. They shouldn’t be allowed to influence the U.S. government. They shouldn’t be allowed to contribute to U.S. political campaigns, or lobby Congress, or participate in U.S. government agency rule-making proceedings. And they no longer have the right to sue foreign companies in U.S. courts for acts committed outside the United States.

2. They shouldn’t be entitled to generous government contracts. “Buy American” provisions of the law should be applied to them.

3. Their assets around the world shouldn’t any longer be protected by the U.S. government. If their factories and equipment are expropriated somewhere around the world, they shouldn’t expect the United States to negotiate or threaten sanctions, or use our armed forces to protect their investments. And if their intellectual property – patents, trademarks, trade names, copyrights – are disregarded, that’s their problem too. Don’t expect any help from us.

In fact, their interests should be of no concern to the U.S. government – in trade negotiations, climate negotiations, international treaties reconciling American law with the laws of other countries, or international disputes over access to resources.

They don’t get to be represented by the U.S. government because they’re no longer American.

It’s simple logic. If corporations want to desert America in order to pay less in taxes, that’s their business. But they should no longer have the benefits that come with being American. 

Let’s be honest – Donald Trump is a loser. Count all his failed businesses. See how he kept his father’s empire afloat by cheating people with scams like Trump University and by using strategic corporate bankruptcy (excuse me, bankruptcies) to skip out on debt. Listen to the experts who’ve concluded he’s so bad at business that he might have more money today if he’d put his entire inheritance into an index fund and just left it alone.

Trump seems to know he’s a loser. His embarrassing insecurities are on parade: petty bullying, attacks on women, cheap racism, and flagrant narcissism. But just because Trump is a loser everywhere else doesn’t mean he’ll lose this election. People have been underestimating his campaign for nearly a year – and it’s time to wake up.

People talk about how “this is the most important election” in our lifetime every four years, and it gets stale. But consider what hangs in the balance. Affordable college. Accountability for Wall Street. Healthcare for millions of Americans. The Supreme Court. Big corporations and billionaires paying their fair share of taxes. Expanded Social Security. Investments in infrastructure and medical research and jobs right here in America. The chance to turn our back on the ugliness of hatred, sexism, racism and xenophobia. The chance to be a better people.

More than anyone we’ve seen before come within reach of the presidency, Donald Trump stands ready to tear apart an America that was built on values like decency, community, and concern for our neighbors. Many of history’s worst authoritarians started out as losers – and Trump is a serious threat. The way I see it, it’s our job to make sure he ends this campaign every bit the loser that he started it.


Senator Elizabeth Warren