April 23, 2008
Andrew Sullivan comes to the aid of John Derbyshire, with whom he is well-matched in argumentative style and malice. Sullivan, adducing, as is frequently the case, absolutely no evidence, intuits that I "basically want Vatican II undone." The accusation is false, baseless, presumptuous, and sort of insane, which is another way of saying that it does not stand out on Sullivan's blog.
April 22, 2008
It boils down to this: as a journalist, do you feel you have a responsibility to dig into the claims made by your guests, seek out evidence and come to a professional judgment as to the real facts? Or do you feel if a charge is breathtaking enough, thoroughly checking it out isnt a necessity?
I know you might be concerned that asking these questions could restrict your ability to make sensational charges on the air, but dont you think you have a responsibility to provide even a shred of supporting evidence before sullying the journalistic reputations of MSNBC and NBC?
People used to believe journalists were searching for the truth. But your cable show increasingly seems to be focused on wishful thinking, hoping something is one way and diminishing the search for facts and evidence in favor of repeating your fondest desires. For example, while you do ask Siegelman what evidence he had to back up his charges, you did not press him when he said "We don't have the knife with Karl Rove's fingerprints all over it, but we've got the glove, and the glove fits."
The difficulty with your approach is you reduced yourself to the guy in the bar who repeats what the fellow next to him says The glove fits! The glove fits! - only louder, because it suits your pre-selected story line ("Bush Justice") and you dont want the facts to get in the way of a good fable. You have relinquished the central responsibility of an investigative reporter, namely to press everyone in order to get to the facts. You didnt subject the statements of others to skeptical and independent review. You have chosen instead to simply repeat something someone else says because it agrees with the theme line your producers slapped on your segment, created the nifty graphic for and promoted in the ads before your appearances.
Dan, I realize that you're an intellectually stunted, Democratic sycophant little ass-kisser, but even you should realize when you're punching out of your weight class. Tell you what, though: I'll match you up against my 5 year old son. And don't worry: I'll tell him to take it easy on you.
April 16, 2008
Radley Balko links to a story which displays more evidence of the increasingly acrimonious relationship between cops and the "justice" system and us, the general public. It's disturbing. While I'm all in favor of putting actual criminals behind bars, I'm quite concerned that law enforcement now considers the citizens of this country as mere pawns in some bizarre game of "fuck you" chess, where the first move is for the cops to declare checkmate, forcing you, the accused, to prove your innocence, turning the theory of jurisprudence on its head.
I don't pretend to know what the answer is, but perhaps our public servants need to be reminded who actually is in charge. Memo to the police: it isn't you.
Again. And again and again.
Reprinted from Neal Boortz's website, albeit an entry that has disappeared into the bit bucket:
APRIL 15th TAX DAY
From Neal Boortz
"Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed."
"There are two methods, or means, and only two, whereby man's needs and desires can be satisfied. One is the production and exchange of wealth; this is the economic means. The other is the uncompensated appropriation of wealth produced by others; this is the political means."
- Albert Jay Nock
The income tax is a vicious, inequitable, unpopular, impolitic and socialistic act. The crusade for an income tax is the most unreasoning and un-American movement in the politics of the last quarter-century.
Editorial - New York Times. 1894.
TAX DAY- FOR ABOUT ONE-HALF OF US
It's April 15th. That day is important for just about one-half of Americans; the one-half that actually carries the load for all of us. For the remaining one-half of income earners it's either just another day, or it's a day they revel in their ability to not only avoid paying taxes themselves, but in their ability to loot the pockets of those who do through such gimmicks as the rancid Earned Income Tax Credit.
April 15 is depressing ... and not just because your taxes are due.
OK , I know you've heard this before, but it doesn't do any harm for you to review the facts just once a year.
This is the day when a simple question can lead to the discovery that most people have no idea how much income tax they pay, though this is becoming less and less true as we go along. There is one group that does know how much federal income tax they pay every year, and this group is growing ever larger. It's that segment of wage earners who pay nothing. So, we'll revise this statement to read: "Most people who actually do pay federal income taxes have no idea how much they pay."
For proof, try this little test: Approach a friend or co-worker whom you actually suspect may pay federal income taxes and ask them what their tax tab was. You will get one of two responses. For the majority of taxpayers who actually get refunds, the response will be "I didn't have to pay anything! I'm getting some back!" Taxpayers who actually have to write a check on April 15 will quote the amount of that check as their tax bill.
This is all by design. Politicians know that if those who pay federal income taxes knew what they were really paying there would be an instantaneous and ugly tax revolt. To hide the ugly truth, these politicians have kept alive our wonderful system of withholding. With the magic of withholding, the money is gone before the wage earner even gets the slightest whiff of it. It's almost as if it was never really there in the first place ... so, what's to miss?
Not only do most people not know how much tax they pay, they don't even know what they make!
You've already asked your co-worker how much tax they had to pay in 2001, and they didn't know. Now, ask them how much they make! Most will tell you it's none of your business. Some will respond, though, and their response will begin with the words, "I take home ..."
If you wanted to be particularly obnoxious at this point, or if you fancy yourself to be a radio talk-show host, you could say: "I didn't ask you how much you took home. I asked you how much you made." Then, standby for the inevitable blank stare.
See how well this system of withholding taxes has worked! The majority of wage earners can't even tell you what they earned! Just what they "took home." It's as if they viewed their "take home" pay as their total earnings! No wonder they don't think they paid any taxes when they get that refund check from the IRS!
But --- if you happen to work for youself then it's a good bet that you DO know how much tax you paid. The owners of small businesses, the businesses that employ about 80 percent of the workers in this country ... you know. You are the people who have to sit down four times a year and write a check to the IRS for your quarterly tax payments.
WHY WE'LL NEVER HAVE A TAX REVOLT.
One word. Withholding.
Withholding was sold to the American wage earner as a purely temporary measure to speed up cash flow to the government during World War II. As soon as the war was over, things were supposed to return to normal and the wage earners would get their entire checks, just as before the war.
In case you haven't checked, the war has been over for about 58 years or so, but withholding is still with us. It's still with us because the proliferation of the "I take home ..." workers and the "I didn't have to pay anything, I'm getting some back" taxpayers are such a boon to our politicians. As long as the majority remains ignorant of the extent to which their paychecks are plundered, politicians will be safe.
Now ... get those tax returns completed and then completely forget what they say so that you can join the ranks of the unknowing.
I can't let this April 15th go by without reminding you of what a wonderful job politicians, especially Democrats, have done insuring that there will never be enough angry taxpayers to cost them their jobs.
Politicians pay attention to polls. Polls are indications of the presence or lack of job security. When politicians read a poll which says that the majority of Americans (a) don't think they're paying too much in taxes, and (b) don't see any need for a tax cut, they sit back and smile. Politicians, and especially Democrats, have been working for generations to shift the burden for the payment of federal income taxes to a small minority of high-income earners. They have succeeded marvelously. Today the top 10 percent of income earners pay over one-half of all federal income taxes. The bottom 60 percent of income earners, a majority, as you can see, pay less than 10 percent of all income taxes. Even someone educated in a government school can tell you that this leaves politicians free to increase taxes on the upper-income minority and then spend that money on the middle and lower-income majority in return for votes.
AND NOW --- TIME FOR SOME TAX AND SPENDING OUTRAGES.
We begin with a statistic that should jolt you right out of your seat. Have you ever stopped to consider just how many cumulative hours are spent across this entire country every year just handling the paperwork associated with the federal income tax? American businesses will spend about 3.4 billion man-hours doing tax paperwork this year. Individuals will spend another 1.7 billion man-hours. These figures represent 3 million people working full time all year just to do tax preparation work. Now --- get this. It takes more man-hours in this country to pay federal income taxes than it does to build every car, van and truck produced in this country during the same year. (Money Magazine)
Where does your tax money go? Try this:
Between 1986 and 1998 the IRS spent $5 billion of your money on a computer system that they were never able to get to work. Five Billion, that's with a B.
Taxes now comprise 31% of the cost of a loaf of bread, 30% of the cost of a hotel room and 43% of the cost of a bottle of beer. (Money Magazine)
The two major tax writing committees of congress are the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. Money Magazine reports that seven out of ten members of these committees cannot figure out their own taxes. They have to hire professionals.
Your government recently gave $170 million to a group called PSI. PSI was founded by Philip Harvey. Philip Harvey runs a mail-order porno business called Adam and Eve. PSI wants to hand out condoms around the world. They now have $170 million of your money to fund their project.
At a series of employee retreats workers played children's games and sang We are family. They wrote Christmas carols, went on treasure hunts, dressed in cat costumes and talked to imaginary wizards and magicians. It was a team-building exercise for the U.S. Postal Service. Cost? $3,600,000.00.
There are 1.2 million paid tax preparers in the United States. That's six times more than the number of troops in Iraq. These 1.2 million people add absolutely nothing to our quality of life or standard of living.
Do you know what IRS form 8845 is? It's the form you fill out to get your Indian Employment Credit.
In 1969 the congress discovered that there were 155 taxpayers who paid no taxes because their deductions eliminated their tax liability. That's when congress passed the Alternative Minimum Tax, just to catch those 155 taxpayers. Today the AMT nails 3 million taxpayers. Within 7 years that figure will soar to 36 million.
The IRS still insists that the income tax is voluntary. If you believe that then you believed Bill Clinton when he said that oral sex isn't sex.
The solution is twofold.
First --- reform the tax system by getting rid of the income tax, repealing the income tax amendment and moving to a national retail sales tax. I've been promoting such a system for over 15 years. You can find out everything you want to know by studying the website for Americans for Fair Taxation at http://www.fairtax.org.
Second -- Government must be reduced to its constitutionally appropriate size. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are up to the task. That's why I'm a Libertarian.
April 14, 2008
"VISUAL SEXUAL AGGRESSION:" Perhaps we should cover women in large, tentlike garments to prevent this. It's popular some places, I hear.
April 09, 2008
I live in Nicaragua and am familiar with the expat community, and though I know this implicates Democrats, I think you will find this interesting from 2004. My in-laws are registered Ole Dixie Democrats from North Florida, and in 2004 they received two ballots each. Surprised, they asked another American couple here if they had received two. The husband, a registered independent, had received one absentee ballot, while his wife, a registered Republican, had not received an absentee ballot.
It is interesting, and I agree there needs to be some kind of oversight of this.
Wow, this sure stinks like week-old mackerel wrapped in soggy newsprint! Though I'm a registered Democrat, I've often been alarmed and disgusted by rumors of ballot manipulation by Democratic ward heelers in big-city neighborhoods, where even the dead vote. In past elections in some Democratic districts in Philadelphia, for example, the percentage of reported voter turnout has at times been suspiciously, stratospherically high.
Absentee ballots, in my view, should be more strictly limited and supervised. Their promiscuous distribution is an invitation to corruption. I have heard troubling stories from upstate New York, for example, about campaign operatives (of which party I don't know) taking absentee ballots into nursing homes and directing how they are filled out. In unscrupulous hands, this practice is unacceptably coercive.
Funny how the districts with the most suspicious voting activities tend to be Democratic districts. Okay, funny isn't the right word. The word I'm looking for is "predictable".
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