Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Our Thought-Impaired “Flat-Earth” Fundamentalist finally moved out

We had a roommate who recently moved away, a proud adherent of some literal “Flat Earth Theory” he “researched” on the “Internet,” who a year ago informed me that Trump was Jesus’s candidate, while Hillary was the Devil’s. When the “pussy grab” tape came out, he was totally unruffled, because he said it was just like every other divine figure that left their spotty youth behind when they accepted God’s call. King Solomon was his one example.

He was fond of blaming “The Rothschilds” for all the world's ills, and couldn’t understand why I would oppose Trump when after all, he believes in “States’ Rights” just the same way Hillary does. (?) I simply could not get him to compute that “The Rothschilds” is a NAZI code word for “Jewish Bankers,” while “States’ Rights” is a rallying cry of the pro-slavery faction in the South that remains very active to this day. He’s a 27-year-old Afghanistan war veteran who has not yet learned—may very well never learn—to think critically, or even clearly about religion, science, politics, or anything that makes our society function.

People like him are the lifeblood of Trumpish politics. Believing that he is some kind of divine representative of Jesus Christ himself—a literal antichrist—they can only view the investigations, impeachments, and indictments to come as “persecutions” analogous to the Crucifixion. With any luck it will alienate Trump voters from traditional Republicanism, splitting it into incompatible factions.

The potential it creates for a fresh explosion of fascism in our country, however, scares me. I've seen this guy accept anything, rationalize anything. He bristled with righteous indignation when I described President Obama as a “Christian,” while Trump is unassailably another sort of Christ to him. When the likes of Bannon, the Gorkas, and Stephen Miller have God’s ear, anything could happen.

Rich People Suck

There is serious damage being done to our country by the way the richest among us are shepherding our nation’s wealth. Check this out: https://goo.gl/dbpCq7
 
The federal government costs 3.8 trillion dollars to operate, which to most people is an incomprehensible amount of money. But it comes out to about $12,000 a person. That's about $2,000 less than I get each year from Social Security. I’m not sure how much we have to pay in tax on that, but I’m sure they are not dunning me personally for my entire $12,000 share. Or Aimée and me for $24,000 if it comes to that. Which means we get $24,000 worth of aircraft carriers, and weather balloons, and air traffic control towers, and GPS satellites, and bridges, and—the list of benefits we get for the money would stretch this post way beyond readability—for a relatively modest investment overall.

But how about the rest of our commonweal? The total U.S. GDP is $17 trillion plus, which again sounds as if it might as well be infinite, but again, comes out to about $53,000 apiece. So when the ultra-wealthy hide $361 billion in offshore banks, then each of the other 361 million of us have $52,000 to work with instead. If you feel like you can’t get ahead, consider that there is only so much money in the economy, and decisions made in government, industry, and the families of the ultra-wealthy about what to do with it matters. Just see how far we all get ahead when this bunch is through with us!

Here's another way to think about it. Slot machine operators in Nevada are legally allowed to rig the machines to siphon off up to 27% of the money. So if a great giant floor of slot machines at one of those mega casinos takes in a million dollars, almost exactly $270,000 goes into the coffers, while the other $730,000 circulates among the players. So if you put $100 into a machine and get $73 out, you have statistically broken even. Lots of families that aren't in the top 1% make way more than $53,000 per family member. Just as slot players sometimes win. Everyone else has to share the dregs. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bernie

Some kids on Facebook last fall berated me for posting some pro-Hillary shit by saying that my fellow "Nu-Left"[ists] and I couldn't accept Bernie because he was "too liberal"—and that the world would be a better place when all the old liberals were dead and gone. Aside from the logical absurdity of wishing old liberals dead for not supporting an old liberal, I felt compelled to point out that,
     a) I was a Bernie delegate to our caucuses, and would happily have drunk a bucket of Trump's piss if it would have made Bernie President;

     b) I paid dues to the Socialist Party before they were ever born, and fall so far to the left of Bernie that he seems more like a humane centrist to me than much of a "Leftist" at all; and

     c) he's a United States senator—how much of a "Leftist" did they expect the poor man to be?

Of course, all this was supposed to mean that voting for Hillary was some kind of betrayal. Fair enough. The poor kids didn't seem to have the mental capacity to consider the consequences of abstaining as a sort of protest.

So it wasn't just the stupidity of the Trump voters that got us into this mess. A really shitty public education system clearly is in the best short-term political interests of the Right Wing. They're sick, nihilistic bastards that are willing to demolish everything to extract as much as they can from the commonweal, and go laughing all the way to the [off-shore] bank. And those silly kids played right into their hands.

In an appendix to Wages, Prices, and Profits, Karl Marx said that in the U.S., there was no need for revolution since a democratic constitution was already in place—it only remained to change policies to make it benefit the People. And a hundred years ago much valuable progress was made toward that end. Hence when we finally became discouraged enough that we were willing to demolish American civilization, it was to reform it for the sake of human decency—not suck it dry and leave it for dead.
People tell me I need to "let go"—but of what?—[d]emocracy and the Rule of Law?