"We Need Help", read the hand lettered sign posted at a village in Nepal after the earthquake. I bet they do. But my first thought was...why is this sign written in English? There are half a dozen languages in Nepal, none of them English..so they weren't asking their government or neighbors for help. They weren't asking for help from their Chinese overlords.
They were asking for help from us, America, just like everyone else does when something bad happens to them, whether it is a volcano or Hitler.
The sick part of it is, six months later they'll be back to talking shit about us.
Someone asked Rick Santorum about Bruce Jenner today. Since Santorum has a reputation (unfairly in my view) as being a judgemental, holier-than- thou, rightwing Christian I suspect they were hoping for and expecting some juicy condemnation. Instead, Santorum said: .“If he says he’s a woman, then he’s a woman,"
No, he's not. Jenner may feel like a woman, but he is still a man. If he has re-assignment surgery, he will still be a man, just one who has had some pretty drastic plastic surgery.
By the way, according to his second wife, this is not some ratings ploy. She says he actually began transitioning to a woman thirty years ago.
Things haven't been going so great the last decade. Ever since the Democrats gained control of Congress in 2006 things have been going from bad to worse. However two stories this week have begun to restore my faith in the American people.
First you had the response to the attack by the Social Justice Warriors (SJW) on the pizzeria in Indiana. The mob was in full force against this poor family. But the american people have demonstrated which side they are on. A crowd funding site was set up, and in a little more than a day over $750,000 was donated directly to this family. That's probably over ten years worth of profits from their pizzeria. This was clearly a big fuck you to the intolerant Left.
The second story was the overwhelming success of the sad puppies and rabid puppies movements in Sci Fi. Sci Fi in general, and the Hugo Awards in particular, have been co-opted by a vocal SJW minority. Three years ago, rightwing authors in favor of free speech and open debate, began pushing back. This year they have truimphed, dominating the Hugo Awards nominations, and nearly shutting the SJW brigade out.
Ok...just decided to watch these to kill some time since I get them free on Amazon Prime. I'm going to do a little write up on each episode as I watch them. I have seen the movie, (a while ago, and I wasn't paying particular attention) so I know the general plot. OK..episode 1.
First of all, this originally aired in July of 1997, and it shows. Much of the production values would be completely unacceptable today, and even the cuts are distracting. That said, the special effect for the gate is very effective. The wormhole effect is disturbing, and I predict that special effect will be lost very early in the series. (as does the "chill" effect apparently...I don't remember it in later episodes.) There are some glaring uniform problems in this episode, including uniforms with both officer and enlisted rank insignia on them. Hopefully this will get better quickly. Lots of explicit violence and blood....I don't remember any outcry at the time. The second wormhole effect was much shorter. This planet is apparently a Rome cognate.
OK...not bad. The major characters get introduced, broad plot line established.
I am a public school teacher in California. Today as I was preparing a lesson plan, I noticed that the high school history textbook I am using mentions the Sixteenth Amendment exactly twice:
Once when they printed the text of the U.S. Constution, and a second time that I will share in its entirety.
"Federal Income Tax. With lower tariff rates, the federal government had to replace the revenue that tariffs had previously supplied. Ratified in 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment legalized a graduated income tax, which provided revenue by taxing individual earnings and corporate profits.
Under this graduated tax, larger incomes were taxed at higher rates than smaller incomes. The tax began with a modest tax on family incomes over $4,000 and ranged from 1 percent to a maximum of 6 percent on incomes over $500,000. Initially, few congressmen realized the potential of the income tax, but by 1917, the government was receiving more money on the income tax than it had ever gained from tariffs. today, income taxes on corporations and individuals represent the federal government's main source of revenue."
There are an increasing number of people discussing the failure of the War on Poverty to end poverty over the last 50 years. While it is true that poverty still exists, that is not due to the failure to improve the lives of the poor. Instead there are three reasons why there are just as many poor still among us, despite the trillions we have spent, and the millions who have improved their lives.
The first, most obvious, and mostly ignored reason is that we keep importing other countries' poor people, somewhere between 15 and 20 million of them in the last 25 years. That's between 5% and 10% of our population. These people are mostly uneducated peasants unprepared (and often unwilling because they are here illegally) to operate in a modern society. Instead, they bring their native countries' pathologies with them. To make things worse, usually any wealth they accumulate is sent back to their native country to either subsidize the lives of people there, or worse, pay for them to come here also.
The second reason is the breakdown of the family. The breakdown is due to both government policies and cultural shifts. The breakdown of the family over the last 50 years has produced generations of governmental dependence and a permanent culture of failure. In successful cultures, dependence on handouts is seen as disgraceful, or at least embarrassing. In failed cultures, the opposite is true. People who fail to take as many handouts as possible are seen as suckers. A significant number of the poor in the United States today have not only been poor for generations, but the same is true for everyone they know.
The third reason is that we keep changing the goal line. It is entirely possible for people to be considered poor by the government today, that have a standard of living that would have been considered wealthy by the standards when LBJ started his war on poverty. The biggest problem facing the poor in the United States today is obesity!
We need to come to the realization that despite our best efforts, there is always going to be an underclass (especially with open borders) that is ignorant, functionally illiterate, actually hostile to the culture of success, steeped in the culture of victimization, and loudly demanding the government provide them an increasingly higher standard of living. The question is, what do we do with them? I am stumped. While I abhor their solutions and ideology, you have to give the Progressives credit for thinking about this problem back in the 1920's. The modern Left has simply decided to abuse and manipulate this underclass for political power.
We take so much of our lives today for granted. Our daily lives are full of man made miracles that have become mundane. We expect the lights to come on, the water to run etc. But we also calmly accept and deal with terrors.
Everyday, millions of Americans, much of them either self medicating themselves with caffiene (or desperately needing to do so), a rather large percent of them distracted by activities such as texting, putting on their make up or badly playing the air guitar to their favorite song, successfully manage to operate several tons of machinery, at high speeds, with very little space between them with remarkably little loss of life or property damage.
Here's some bonus food for thought. The next time someone starts talking about flying cars.......imagine all of those idiots next to you on the freeway flying next to you instead.