Saturday, April 9, 2011

Thinkin' 'bout the gov't (raos)

Astrologers have been warning about the Uranus entry into Aries squaring Pluto in Capricorn with loud blaring horns.
The original sin divides the world into dark and light
The social contract, like contracts generally, is about agreement between parties on particulars. In the state of nature there is no social contract. The law of nature does not take human rights into account. Rights are not intrinsic, but agreed upon. They imply responsibility to define, defend, and maintain. A responsible holder of rights within a social framework is free to enter into social contract thus that a governmental structure is formed which can be agreed to in principle. Of course, it is the ongoing responsibility of rights holders to watch, listen, learn and make the necessary adjustments to the systems promoted by the agreed upon structure to keep the contract current.
Part of the contract involves distribution of resources. The most usual way that nations manage resource distribution is through an agreed upon fiction of money. Money does not belong to anyone. It is a medium, not the message. It is created by the state. Thus, if it could be said to have an owner, that would be the state from which it derives its authority as a medium of exchange. Thus paying a tax or rental fee or what you will on this money as a method to finance the projects of the state seems an obvious result.
It's not about simply taxing the rich. Everyone's money gets taxed. If the rich are paying a greater share of the total tax bill, it is because it is not the person that is taxed, but the money -- and not any money, but that money which the tax laws have designated as "taxable". However, money is a fiction. It is a convenient method to account for goods and services sold. Thus, we have common projects that we pay for with the wages of our labor. Since it takes a great deal more labor to gain the same wages for the lower paid than the higher, perhaps in terms of time and work the rich are in fact getting the real bargain
It's not so much that we have to raise taxes on the rich, as we have to stop giving away the country to them.
People may well have rights to whatever it is they think is their right. What they often fail to understand is that rights require responsibilities. It is not that because this is your right you automatically get it. It is because you believe this is your right, you feel justified in doing what you must to acquire it, or not, because once you do it is your responsibility to care for, to maintain, to honor. In practical application it is more useful to think of others' rights that you are responsible to honor than to think you can demand anything of anyone with a realistic expectation that your demand will make it so.
I can't see responsibilities in and of themselves bequeathing rights. However, rights can not be appropriated without taking responsibility for them.
The grownups have abdicated. The asylum will be run by the inmates until people of good will make sanity a top priority.
What can reconciliate is common cause and sustained efforts in working toward projects of mutual benefit.

People get so caught up in anger and grievances and forget "we had a goal?"
The poor tortured word, liberals, gets twisted and prodded into all kinds of connotations. In the tradition of the Enlightenment, liberals were those enlightened to the inherent dignity of individual man, to the beauty of personal agency of free will. Then there was the tradition of weak-willed, conciliatory, guilty better off folk who could lip service the greatest paeans of equality and even limited checkbook diplomacy as long as they continued to reap the benefits of their place in the hierarchy. These days we have the whole cats v. dogs fight paradigm. Liberals get to be the tolerant, pro-progress, peace-loving, doers of good on one side; nanny-state, socialist, naive, cowards on another.
We say these oft repeated phrases of propaganda as if everyone knows it is true. You can find all the hues of political thought at Harvard, or the University of California schools, maybe even Liberty U. for all I know. Primary/Secondary education takes on the local flavor, coordinated by the local school boards and prevailing community values and ethos. Do we forget that the radical students of the 60s were acting against the institutions, not in concert with them. The radicalization came from events in the greater community. The old "liberal" colleges come out of very conservative traditions of scholarship and continuing Western mythologies, despite some liberalization along the way when it suits. Judges are voted in or appointed, again according to the community values of their locality. Federal judges get appointed in each administration, based on prevailing politics of the time, some more "right"/ some more "left" but, you know, with all the haranguing from all sides pretty much balanced toward conservative because that is the bias of long-term institutions based on precedent and established law.
Rain and wind
Rain and Wind
Calls roving spirits inward
Clogs sewers,
caves carved out of roads,
Slow sludges outward
Take stock as the hard rain's bounty
of sewage,
of mold and decay
flows into ebbing ocean
All the tea in China
Searching the skies for eternity
Opening upward, onward, out of words
Yet still bound
Sentience of form persisting
Feel the glory,
the honor,
the fear
over eons emerge
as bliss
masks bleeding outward
Simplify each encounter, every whisper
Moving forward into currents,
dangerous intrigue,
happy is the Queen of such servants
who weave perfection into reflection
of every scene
Show me your masks,
pictures of essence
made iridescent
painted projection,
protection within to be free
It is hard to fathom the arrogant mindset that insists on exacerbating and even creating unnecessary tragedies and hardships upon others they don't even take the time to know because they are acting (in all hubris) for their God.
 the outspoken "right" was not always so narrow of mind nor unreasoned
Have compassion. These poor blighted people do not know how to appreciate their lives.
It's all about the profit for the established big business interests rather than about actual healthy people. What is the cure?
After they commit crimes, when we know they have criminal intent and ambition, society needs to protect itself by locking them away. If we get to the point where we are testing for these traits in the general public, perhaps we could be sane enough to develop learning tools to help young people who do not naturally have empathy or appropriate impulse control to learn the kinds of behavior they will need to successfully live with the rest of us.
It seems to me better than giving weapons or waging war or sending food to the hungry, we might be sending soil and water and nutrients to those whose land is not providing. In fact, the whole concept of agriculture could go indoors and up.

So somehow the regime is changed -- to what? Is there any plan in place for Libya to develop a democratic system or otherwise choose leadership?
It keeps occurring to me that it would be cheaper both in economics and civilian casualty to bribe Gaddafi out; there must be something he would like in exchange for Libya. Or is the point of these adventures to sell US weapons and keep our young fighters occupied?
Perhaps what this world needs is a Refugeeland -- an area (probably have to be quite large) dedicated to homeless refugees.

There was a time when it was common for US Savings Bonds to be sold in workplaces and schools, and encouraged generally for regular citizens to help support our country while having a safe form of savings with interest to be added over time. Is that no longer happening?

As I (and others) keep saying, we can't save our way out of the deficit. We need to improve policies that increase the national payroll.

Voodoo economy
Shake em down; shake and shimmy
Take yer tickee, half a clue, half a gimme
Never take your eyes beyond the screen
Let our talking heads twist into the meanest
obscenities, flowing like radioactive rain
inflaming pain, wasting your brain, hardening
arteries til heart pounds translate as "loss/gain/loss/gain"
like a charm, like lucky incantations
drowsing and drumming, espousing this humming
mosquito refrain
as they suck the taste of power
from any domain
outside their own
In regard to all these strange theories of politicians, the really sad part is that people running for government office seem to correctly observe that this idiocy is necessary to get elected.


A lot of what goes on under the surface of the designated addict is working out dynamics within the family. Perhaps that is part of the judgmental reactions, out of the fear and pain that those dynamics silently bring out when they are confronted in the form of the designated addict. Probably the best outcome for all would be to get together as a family and really examine the dynamics, the fears, the unspoken truths and agreed upon lies. A more mentally healthy role (though perhaps socially unhealthy) would be that of truthteller. The beautiful secret is that if the truth can be accepted, embraced, brought out of the shadows, the family could become so much stronger, more intimate, more of a source of caring and support for the addict to learn a more healthy way of becoming.
Just as long as we have the cheap fuel to run our cars and gadgets, who cares what the planet we survive upon becomes.
I think the underlying point is not so much what the Saudis do, but that we really have to think in terms of renewables going into the future for a confluence of economic/ecologic/political/social/rational reasons.
We need energy independence from the depleting resources of fossil fuels. If we were acting sanely, we would be developing renewables to slowly overtake the market as prices even out.

Hopefully we will learn these lessons -- to honor the true costs of our actions, to respect the stringent law of unintended consequences, to think through thoroughly rather than rampantly running toward potential profit, maybe even to develop a different perspective on "energy".

Even if too ignorant or arrogant to listen to the arguments of science, one would think the reps would be all over the economic argument for developing clean energy.
Actually doing the work to make a positive difference is so much more useful and satisfying than grandstanding -- but apparently not as much fun.
I think if the big corps are going to run the country, they at least ought to pay for it.

The partisan bickering might be fun if the situation constituents are living daily weren't so extreme. It makes me sick right now to see the posturing.



It is a very good idea to go through the government programs and find better efficiencies and practices. It is a very bad idea to grandstand with this country's fundamental values, destroy resources and practical solutions, and generally divide and cross-demonize the populace.

if the government shuts down does that end the wars we won't then be paying for?


What we should do about SS is end the cut-off for upper income payroll taxes, stop catastrophizing about immigrat


You do realize that SS rather than add to the deficit actually provides funds from payroll taxes that help to defray other governmental spending. Medicare could allow a buy-in option for those who want in, as a governmental rather than private program its mandate could take in better practices, and it could become a model for future medical policy which would be a net asset rather than liability. We do need a new military paradigm based on 21st century understandings of world wide social/economic ecology. The important understanding is that there is no way to save ourselves out of debt. To obtain the necessary revenue to fund basic governmental services and pay our way out of debt, we require a booming economy. This is where policy thinking needs to focus.
It is an entitlement, in that we are entitled to the results of our labor. The giveaways to the wealthy are not entitlements, but sacrificial offerings that the great smile upon the offering pols. What SS, though, really is (right there in the name) is insurance. We pay into the pool, and get our payout when the conditions occur for which we are insured.


It is kind of weird to vote in government reps on a platform of "government sucks"

They're all a bunch of idiot grandstanders, probably paranoid psychopaths: "I destroy because I can"
The idiots are everywhere, not just public employment. We get the anecdotes about people on the public trough; but there is plenty of idiocy to go around.

smaller, more manageable government would be better for people (especially if people would actually manage that government). However, the avowed agenda of many of these people who do run (despite what they "really" intend) is to get elected to governmental positions in order to destroy from within.

The logical outcome of the kind of oligarchic capitalism we have decided to favor.


Same sad old story
Can't find the simple words to say
Standing back, allowing the world to play
All you can hear is The Blues

One with some sense might think that the Congressional reps could go through the various programs (well, not them personally; that's what they have staff for) and find sensible efficiencies that could be required without fanfare. It's never been about the budget/debt/deficit/economy -- it's just politics.

Does anyone understand that this is not THE budget they are trying to pass, but an interim spending outline for the next few months? Whatever they take out of this budget will have very little impact on federal spending going forward, the boogey deficit and debt. This is seriously stupid grandstanding to no useful purpose. Congress should just go home, go on furlough without pay, until they can figure out how to do their job.

gd grandstanding Congress -- of course they don't have to be concerned about getting their tax refund to pay off the winter heating bill.
Proof that GOP tax cuts are all we need to improve the economy can be easily refuted. I mean, look at all the jobs the so-called Bush tax cuts created (and yet here they remain despite their cut-off date -- now what is it Republicans like to complain about, you know, lack of Sunsetting on government programs?). When was our economy last booming? After the Clinton taxes? During the Eisenhower high tax rates on the wealthy? Logically, if the aim is to rack up as much profit as possible, higher taxes on the wealthy businesses ought to be the best way to increase production, and therefore jobs. Or, let the megabusinesses admit they are not American, but multinational -- going for the best price wherever it is to be found in all the world. So how can our government justify the giveaways to them? The businesses we ought to encourage are the local small businesses that by their nature hire here.

If we as a nation were serious about concern over debt and deficit, why not legislate a temporary wealth tax on income (for our fictional citizens, profit) over $1million. Like, you know, the temporary Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy which was meant to be a temporary measure first to give us back from the Clinton surplus and then to stimulate the economy when that surplus and more had been spent by those thrifty neocons. The language of the act could make clear that unlike that temporary measure, this one would indeed be temporary -- indexed to an agreed upon indicator of our national solvency. Remember, this would tax only incomes over the million mark -- income below that level (even for billionaires) would continue with its current tax rate. For our fictional citizens, we are talking over $1 million in profits -- certainly above the level where we might be concerned about marginal small business tax burdening. Since we know our wealthier citizens are proud Americans, happy to sacrifice for the good of our great nation, happy to give back when they have received so much, happy to display their sterling qualities as examples to those striving to become better, compliance should be no problem.

I keep thinking there has to be some rationale for this shutdown thing. It makes no sense fiscally, or politically as far as I can tell.
I have heard that it will cost us for this Congressional frivolity. These reps go on and on about cutting gov't. spending, yet find all kinds of ways to increase it. They are not doing their job, and ought to have their pay cut.

think for a second: Gov't shuts down -- all the stuff that gets done every day gets postponed. Eventually gov't comes back up -- uh oh! All that stuff has to get back on. Wow! Look how much this costs; and how much we wasted bringing it down and back up.

 the sky won't fall. The world will continue to roll around the Sun. No Martians will attack. On the other hand, offices will need to be closed (and then reopened). Computerized payrolls and other projects will have to be reprogrammed. Programs to protect the populace will not be paying their protectors. Who will be taking care of the vets in the government hospitals? Who will be watching the skies for enemy missiles or falling space junk? Who will be looking after the old folks without their SS checks who can't pay their rent? What patriotic volunteers will do all the jobs they stick their noses up at now, the public work that we as a nation have shown our will to have done? Or, maybe you think the mess uncleaned will make us take a stand and get out on the streets, not to gather and gaggle and make noises against, but to become a working nation that takes care of ourselves? Because, you know (come on, deep in your heart) that if you really want small government, you want a bigger role for each and every one of us who live here to do the work you think government can't get right. If that is your plan, sign me up. But judging from what I see and hear everyday, not many others will join. So much easier, isn't it, to sit back and complain.

What do you expect from professional politicians who run on a platform that "government sucks (but vote me in so I can suck up a big chunk of change)".

On the other hand, if Congress wants to shut down I won't miss them.

Another day of rain
April's pounding refrain so blue
calls me to cry on cue
tears stir my morning brew once more
spill out onto my floor
muddy trails to score Spring's pain

For a second my mind played a trick on my eyes and I read instead of "anti-Islamist propaganda" "anti-Israeli". It struck me: these are propaganda wars with real casualties.

Islamophobia looks just like any out group hatred. We can substitute "Islam" or "Muslim" with say:
homosexuals, Jews, Blacks, North Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Germans, ... Come on and play: Who do we hate today?
Since when is criticism of book burning not considered the right response? Seriously, you are condoning burning a book, any book? Or does it have to be the most insulting kind of book to burn?

When Galaxies Dance Together
Startled stars gasp and bow
Great Time takes a break between
"then" and "now"
All of eternity swirls into certainty
then back out into wavicle trance
in the throes of a pose
where it stops no one knows
or whether
Galaxies Dance Together
Politicians and other interested "professionals" are repeatedly up in arms about high school drop-outs and poor educational performance. Has anyone thought that kids might do better and have more interest in staying in school if the bullying (by kids and teachers) were ended?
We know ptsd responds well to cognitive-behavioral therapies and mindful meditation, especially if there is a strong caring network within which to heal. Perhaps programs using these techniques could be developed using prison populations to prove efficacy, and added to military training?

Want kids to feel valued? Pay attention. Act like they are people who matter to you.




Take advantage of this space in your busy life to reflect, remember, put together a mental scrap book of adventures and fantasies, find your creative center and dance there

No comments: