Donkey Punch

October 31, 2008

Curiosity did not kill this cat.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — t4toby @ 3:15 pm

Today we lost a great American.

If you haven;’t read any of Studs’ work, I highly recommend it to you.  I remember reading Working in college and marveling at this guy named ‘Studs’ and his abiility to empathize with the common person.

“My epitaph? My epitaph will be ‘Curiosity did not kill this cat’.”

Well played, sir.

October 30, 2008

Quote of the Day

Filed under: Quote of the Day — Tags: , , — t4toby @ 10:02 am

At every step the history of civilization teaches us how slight and superficial a structure civilization is, and how precariously it is poised upon the apex of a never-extinct volcano of poor and oppressed barbarism, superstition and ignorance.

Again from Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage

October 29, 2008

Felonius Punk

Filed under: Outrage Fatigue, Politics — cangrejero @ 7:24 pm

Jess has a point:

Senator Ted Stevens was convicted of seven felony counts. He is a felon. According to this site, Alaska restores the right to vote after completion of sentence, probation and/or parole. As far as I can tell, these felony convictions (all seven of them) do not affect an individual’s right to serve in the government, although, depending on the state, they cannot participate in the government as a voter. What’s wrong with this picture?

The GOP, fighting hard to keep felons in power since 1974.

Toby Adds:

The irony implicit in the fact that felons cannot vote, but they can serve as our reps is, well, stark.

Poll Dance

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — t4toby @ 9:20 am

As I was walking into work this morning I saw a headline alluding to, “Another mess at the polls.”

WTF?

We are supposed to be a democracy. The right to vote is supposed to be our singular right as citizens. But all I hear about is voter fraud, voter suppression, voting difficulties, blah, blah, blah.

This isn’t rocket science. We have the census info. We have the technology. We have the ability to make the voting system simple and efficient. But we lack the will.

Why do we lack the will to spend the time and money to homogenize and streamline our voting system? As you probably know I tend toward the fantastic, so I think it must have something to do with the fact that the powers that be do not want a simple and efficient system of voting. They don’t want transparency and effectiveness. Because then they cannot game the system. Cannot bend the ‘democratic ‘process to their will. And that would be bad for business.

So here’s what I propose. We have a computer that you vote on, like our touch-screen systems. You vote and are given a receipt, which is also a ballot. You check that ballot over to make sure it reflects what you voted on the touch-screen, sign it, and drop it into a ballot box. Then one party is responsible for counting the physical ballots, and one party is responsible for the electronic tally.

As far as absentee ballots go, maybe the ballot will have a carbon-copy sort of system and two return envelopes. You send one to one party and one to the other.

So in the end, you have a redundant system that allows for cross checking of numbers. If the two tallies don’t match up, there is a problem. Simple as that.

This would cost a significant amount of money. But compared to Iraq? Or the $700b of Corporate Welfare? I don’t think it would even come close to being that expensive. And we could restore faith in a voting process that is being viewed with suspicion by more and more citizens.

October 28, 2008

What is the American Dream?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — t4toby @ 4:16 pm

As this elections season lurches into its final lap, I can’t help wondering at what has been going on. It seems that many Americans are supporting policies that directly go against their own self interest.  And in the name of what?

Reader sarah nails it:

i think it’s just part of that american myth, that anyone can be rich and successful, if they will only apply themselves and try harder…so why make things tough for rich people? after all, you’re going to be rich some day real soon, since you’ve been working so hard for so long. and wouldn’t you feel stupid if you supported a policy when you were poor that came right around to bite you once you get rich?

This is the crux of the matter. We have been sold the myth of the American Dream, and the most deluded of us believe that even thought they are lower or middle class, they can’t start to make rich people pay more, because they are planning on being rich themselves.

It is like deciding not to spike your hair up because lightning just might strike you on the way to the club, and wouldn’t you feel stupid if you went through all of the trouble with the gel and the hairspray and such. But this is the ‘Dream’ we have been sold.

I honestly can’t see any other explanation as to why the ‘heartland’ is so eager to give away their money to those who already have it. this last week we have seen the ‘Socialist’ meme tossed about by the people who would benefit the most from some form of socialism, namely lower middle class ‘values voters’. I’m sure they would hate to have a solid medical plan, lower taxes, and some sense of stability.

So what is so bad about socialism? Can someone tell me? Obama wants to redistribute the wealth…to the middle class. McCain wants to redistribute the wealth… to the already rich.

I need to take a week long nap. Wake me when its over.

image by this guy

October 24, 2008

Required Reading

Filed under: Uncategorized — t4toby @ 9:14 am

If you don’t read Dennis Perrin on a regular basis, you are missing out on a singular writer.

Case in point.

Go check out that post. Who knew a blog could be so poignant?

October 23, 2008

How can the Russians be our enemies…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — t4toby @ 4:25 pm

…when they are so funny?

h/t RustbeltDemocrat

October 22, 2008

Have I mentioned how much I love the CSM?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: — cangrejero @ 7:11 am

(sculpture by Stephen Hanson)

That would be the Christian Science Monitor weighing in on the (false) meme of Friedman-styleMonetarism:

The $52.5 billion plan Senator McCain announced last week includes $36 billion in tax breaks for senior citizens withdrawing funds from retirement accounts and $10 billion for a reduction in the capital gains tax. Those are perks for investors, most of whom are relatively affluent. (McCain is also proposing a two-year suspension of taxes on unemployment benefits, but that’s a fraction of the plan’s cost.) He also favors broader tax cuts for businesses and wants to extend President Bush’s massive tax cuts indefinitely, even for people earning more than $250,000 per year.

McCain’s proposals reflect the traditional Republican emphasis on cutting taxes for businesses and wealthy people in hopes of stimulating investment – “trickle down” economics, as it came to be called during Ronald Reagan’s administration. But will proposals of this sort really “stop and reverse the rise of unemployment” and “create millions of new jobs” as McCain has claimed? The historical record suggests not.

President Bush’s multitrillion-dollar tax cuts, which were strongly tilted toward the rich, could not prevent (and may even have contributed to) significant job losses. On the other hand, when Bill Clinton raised taxes on affluent people to balance the federal budget (while significantly expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for working poor people), unemployment declined substantially. Under Clinton’s watch, 22 million jobs were created.

I call it a meme because there is no other explanation for why the ideas of “trickle-down” economics still exist. Years and years and years and years and countless examples of it not working have not deterred its proponents.

I mean, the top marginal tax rate? Really?

(Crossposted at The Midpoint.)

October 21, 2008

Must Read This.

Filed under: Politics — Tags: — t4toby @ 6:21 pm

Read this essay.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20081020_the_idiots_who_rule_america/

October 20, 2008

Turning Ugly

Filed under: Not Funny, Politics — Tags: , , , — t4toby @ 4:06 pm

Someone slashed the tires of at least 30 vehicles parked outside the Crown Coliseum on Sunday during a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, authorities said.

Fayetteville Observer

Two supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama found handwritten death threats in their mailboxes Thursday

Chicago Tribune

A dead bear was found dumped this morning on the Western Carolina University campus, draped with a pair of Obama campaign signs

Asheville Citizen Times

I’m afraid if Obama wins, we are in for some dark times.

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