We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, April 18. 2016
45% of Americans pay no federal income tax
Coachella promoters look to book Dylan, Stones, McCartney and Young for mega-concert
Grappa – Italy’s Favorite Digestif
Tastes like gasoline
Farm subsidies are corporate welfare. Food policy? A joke. Not their job anyway
We all lie, scientists say, but politicians even more so
Homeland Security warns Windows PC users to uninstall Quicktime
Congress Is Getting a Special Exemption from ObamaCare—and No, It’s Not Legal
Obamacare is for the masses
Shrunken Citigroup Illustrates a Trend in Big U.S. Banks
Battle over Obama immigration actions lands before Supreme Court
Professional Educator: Grades, Showing Up On Time Are A Form Of White Supremacy
They are not this dumb, just trying to stay PC to keep out of trouble
College Cancels Debate Between Conservative And Liberal BECAUSE CONSERVATIVE WAS PARTICIPATING
DePaul University bans chalk for student safety
Mississippi students demand state flag be removed from campus because 'it's offensive'
At this point, it's just scalp-taking
There is no systemic racism, and she knows it
Hillary Has Now Repudiated All Of Bill Clinton’s Presidency
Will the Wheels of Justice Grind Hillary? Put not your trust in email scandals.
"My thinking now is that the election is likely to be a blowout landslide, somewhere between the elections of 1980 and 2008 in scope. I just don’t know which way."
Germany tells migrants to learn German, get a job or lose benefits
Japan’s Descent into Keynesian Parody
Your superiors say Shut Up
How Islam Created Europe - In late antiquity, the religion split the Mediterranean world in two. Now it is remaking the Continent.
PM slams UNESCO resolution ignoring Jewish connection to Temple Mount
Saudi Arabia: It’s time!
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When I was taught matrix algebra, the teachers used the mnemonic "RC Cola" to remind us that in multiplication it was "rows into columns."
"We all lie, scientists say, but politicians even more so"
Yes, but they are politicians and you are scientists.
Regarding the Clinton campaign, the best line today comes from Kate McMillan over at "Small Dead Animals".
Noting the Sanders supporters throwing dollar bills at Hillary's vehicle entourage as it made its way into George Clooney's residence for the big Hollywood fundraising dinner:
"They'll need bigger bills if they expect her to stop."
Professional Educator: Grades, Showing Up On Time Are A Form Of White Supremacy
Really, that makes Whites superior, showing up on time, doing what is expected with high achievement?
That can't be right, Asians do those things as a group much better than Caucasians. And a good number of individuals from all races and ethnicities have practiced those traits to high achievement.
Although, if we look at the opposite, even Whites who do not meet expectations or show up on time tend have similar achievements as non-Whites with the same traits.
So really, it is just individual supremacy, not specific to race or ethnicity.
Yes, I have very little doubt at all that the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr was a high achiever who worked hard at his education right from elementary school to his PhD and probably always showed up on time.
In Venice a year ago, my wife decided to try grappa. We were at an outdoor cafe, and she asked the waiter for some after our meal. He stared at her and said "You want grappa?" He looked at me and asked "not you?"
I shook my head. I knew better. The waiter chuckled and brought the glass, set it down and stayed to see the reaction.
She took one sip, and nearly spit it out. The waiter laughed and left.
My father, the first time meeting her, had given her a sip with similar results. But she had heard that grappa was better in Italy. I told her that might be true, but seemed a stretch. It seems I was right.
I think it's like absinthe, which I tried recently. While I really love black licorice, absinthe is just too much. I suppose these drinks are acquired tastes.
"What British Muslims Really Think"
What a surprise, who could have seen that coming. Where are all the "moderate" muslims? You know the ones who assimilated and embraced our culture. This is the future. We brought them into our midst, they hate us and our culture, and the millions of radicals will one or two at a time make bombs or acquire guns and kill us in mass murders and the "moderates" will quietly support them.
Trump was right when he said that friends and family members of terrorists who knew what was happening deserve punishment too. We ARE at war with radical Islam but we haven't fully acknowledged it yet. We are at that point where hiding under the covers isn't working but not yet ready to turn on the lights and look under the bed. Have no fear, radical Islam will push us past that point one day soon with a dramatic attack that makes 9/11 pale in comparison. Maybe... maybe then our leaders will actually be able to say we are at war with radical Islam and anyone who supports them will be treated like the enemy. Maybe...
RE How Feminism Is Ruining Women’s Soccer
who cares? soccer is unwatchable and unAmerican.
women's soccer??? what's that?
I'm sure it is sexist to point out that the current women's deal is designed to provide stability and security over achievement, with the base salary and paid leave provisions, while the men's agreement is based more on achievement (you only get paid per game for which you are selected, and rosters are not fixed)
I was a loyal Royal Crown Cola imbiber for a while in my youth in the early 1960s. It was my beverage of choice in Coca-Cola country. I did not care much for Diet Rite (all of those early cyclamate sweetened drinks had a nasty flat taste to me) but I do remember it being popular with the older folks. There was much (6 more ounces) to like about the pint sized RCs. The old timers call it "belly wash." Despite the myth and lore of the RC Cola and a Moon Pie, I do not believe I have ever ingested the two as a combination.
Another soft drink of the South was Cheerwine. Tasty stuff.
I have had some of the current batch of throwback drinks (Coke, Mountain Dew) which are made with cane sugar, as they were originally, rather than with high fructose corn syrup. The sugared drinks are far superior to corn flavored soda and it makes all the difference.
Old age makes me concerned for my bones and boyish figure, so these days I don't guzzle carbonated soft drinks often, diet or regular. But, I do remember them well.
Back in the day IIRC you could get a larger (12 oz) RC for the same money as (10 oz) coke or pepsi.
But I always thought RC had a wang to it. The flavor was just not as good as coke or pepsi.
And this was back when I was a kid, and a dime for a bottle of pop was big money. The extra amount in an RC just wasn't worth it.
I believe this is why RC was always a distant third. It just wasn't as good.
I agree. RC was not the best but I favored it at the time. It is the same as beer as an adult: sometimes you end up liking and drinking what some would consider a lesser brew. Not a big deal--they must have been selling some RCs to someone other than me.
Sometimes a sugar fix is just a sugar fix.
I would say that my favorite soft drink is Coca-Cola Classic, as it is now known. I started on Coke. There will never be a soft drink as good as Coca-Cola in the six ounce bottle. Open the cooler with ice cold water covering those sexy little bottles or put a nickel in the machine and pull down the lever and think, "things go better with Coke."
My favorite way to drink Coke is to freeze it to just the point of slush. It is only to be consumed on a blazing summer afternoon when you are parched. The first swallow bites your taste buds and burns the back of your throat.
I have actually seen people pour Coke into milk and drink it in the morning as you would coffee.
Yes. I like(d) Coke the best though I rarely drink it anymore.
I do remember the smaller cokes but they were a dime by the time I could buy them, though there was a local gas station that would sell them for $1.79/case, warm.
You also had to look on the bottom of the Coke bottle to see where they were from. If you were with friends, the person with the bottle closest to home had to buy.
My grandma used to cut her Coke with orange juice. It sounds disgusting, but is surprisingly not too bad. She had one every day.
In Germany, one of the most popular soft drinks is a "Spezi", a mixture of Coke and orange soda.
So popular that it's sold ready-mixed by the bottle and can.
I enjoyed the article on RC. That was my grandpa's drink of choice. In fact, after retirement he would tend his garden for hours in the summer heat wearing long sleeves and drink nothing but RC. It was his water. I think if you ask anyone around 40 about RC they will tell you it's an old man's drink.
If it's not Coke it all tastes the same. Nobody ever has figured out their secret formula. I used to be able to chug several cans of coke in a row. I never drink pop now. I tried a glass of cream soda at my 5 yr. old's b-day party last week and gagged on the sweetness.
So, I used to get upset at these reports of "X% of Americans pay no income taxes,' but no longer. Because I think NONE of us should be paying income taxes. I think it should go back to the original intent of the Constitution, where the states pony up the cash to fund the federal government. When the federal government interacts with individuals regarding tax collection and punitive punishments, that is too much power. We have seen that recently with the Lois Lerner scandal and others (the most recent being the IRS turning a blind eye to illegals using social security numbers that don't belong to them to file fraudulent tax paper work).
We should be celebrating any reduction in taxes and anyone who gets away with paying NOTHING.
Now, you definitely have me on board for eliminating things such as the EIC, which is, in essence, giving someone a refund that they never earned.
However, I'd rather scrap the individual federal income tax entirely, and have the government fund itself as originally intended: through tariffs and state support. The states have much more power to push back on irresponsible spending in the federal government. Individuals have ZERO say except through elections, which have very little impact as we have seen.
So, no, I do not mind that 45% do not pay any income tax.
I usually agree with you but not this time. I think the biggest problem with federal spending policy is a result of so many voters not having any skin in the game. I believe everyone should pay taxes not half of the people. If the tax is an income tax and you have income (any income) than you should pay some tax. That way if the government decides to subsidize farmers or companies or decides to pay citizens not to work everyone should see an increase in the percentage of tax they pay.
Sorry you can't see what I'm getting at. ANY reduction in taxes is a benefit to all citizens. So if some are paying NO taxes, it becomes a great argument to get rid of all income taxes b/c they are inherently unfair. Rather that discuss how to make the income tax 'fairer,' why not make the argument that it will always be unfair so therefore it needs to go?
We should be pushing for fewer and fewer people to pay income taxes. Then we push for the elimination altogether based on 'unfairness.' I just think it is terrible to let the federal government with all of its power to be able to prosecute individuals through tax law. Scary scary scary.
Better to rely on the original sources for income and then shrink the government to match that income. Also, I did not say get rid of things like social security or medicare. Those are payments no one can avoid, whatever their circumstance. So everyone who works pays that into the system.
Skin in the game.
Said no Framer ever. Or ever.
And they wonder why rightists are said to be progressives in disguise.
I mean, wow.
Is your point that "skin in the game" is a modern phrase, or what? Perhaps that you specifically regret the coarsification of language, or the more general trend to uneducated remarks?
It is true that the US didn't have an income tax back in the day, but it seems to me that the spirit displayed in the disputes about property qualification was compatible with what a modern might call "skin in the game". E.g. a moment with Google "federalist papers property qualification" led to
"As to Merchants, etc., if they have wealth and value the right they can acquire it. If not they don't deserve it." --- Gouverneur Morris (as in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gouverneur_Morris)
"original intent of the Constitution, where the states pony up the cash to fund the federal government."
while there is something to be said for repealing all of the constitutional amendments, or even returning to the articles of confederation, where do you think the states would get the money to "pony up"? are there groves of money trees where you live?
"ANY reduction in taxes is a benefit to all citizens." [from 9.9.1]
I also agree with you that defunding the Marine Corps. and the SEC would benefit all citizens.
The states could get money from business or personal income taxes, fees, leasing out state lands for mining/oil/etc. Voters are much closer to controlling their states than the federal government, so I don't have a problem paying taxes to my state. Plus, if one state is particular onerous with taxes or what have you, people have the ability to move to a friendlier state. With federal income taxes, we are stuck. We can't get away from them by moving...unless you decide to no longer be a citizen.
you can't escape taxes by quitting US citizenship.
"I also agree with you that defunding the Marine Corps. and the SEC would benefit all citizens."
While you're at it, your country's navy has not less than 10 carrier strike groups that it doesn't seem much inclined to use these days. Decommissioning half of those would save a tax dollar or two.
personally, I'm all in favor of the return of dreadnought battlecruisers.
I agree 100%.
Income Tax is not a good way to generate governmental revenue. It is a tax on productivity and effort.
There are many other, better, ways to raise tax revenue. Ways that would really be progressive, but without impacting productivity or effort in the manner income does.
More importantly, many other methods are nearly impossible to hide (barring a black market - which would likely occur when taxes get pushed too high), and therefore the idea of people not paying isn't an issue.
Yep, that's how individual supremacy happens, and not doing that leads to poor results, failure, and the likelihood of poverty.
College cancels debate: Can't have conservatives harshing the lib's mellow.
DePaul has made a tactical error. Chalk washes off. Crayon and marker don't.
Mississippi State Flag Protest: Why are they even IN Mississippi? There must be a state flag near them wherever they go.