The Gross National Debt

Friday, December 30, 2011

Disagree with me if you can


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I realize I am in a VERY small minority when I say something needs to be done about Congress' pay.

Yes. A minority. But before I splain that, lemme slap some information on you:

Current congress pay is $174,000 a year. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congresspay.htm

Sounds like a lot? Could you maintain a home in two places where the average home cost is $200,000 or more? That includes paying the mortgage, the light bill, taxes, etc etc. Most members of Congress have to live in the Washington DC area. Only a handful live close enough to commute.

Property in DC is very expensive to boot.

Those who are required to live in Washington must also maintain a residence in the place they represent. Yeah, they could rent in one place or another, but they still have that payment. Yeah, that varies widely, but in some places, a house is gonna set you back $500K or so.

Add to that all the necessary incidentals of life: food, soap, clothes, etc etc.

One solution is to provide members of Congress a free digs in Washington. We give the president a palatial estate. You could say all they deserve are dormitories like college students live in. That's not fair to the congressman's family. They need an actual real place to live.
If you build it, they will wonder.

OK. It could be a decent apartment. That'd be a mite cheaper. But considering what a member of Congress has to do during all his waking hours, apartments could become a problem.

That would help a lot.

Congress, like a very few other professions, never actually quits working. They don't get to punch a clock. They are on 24/7, even on vacation they field calls, talk to constituents and so forth.

I hope you get the idea 'cause I'm fixing to shift gears on you.

What's the average net worth of a member of Congress? $725,000. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2078964/Growing-wealth-gap-members-Congress-rule-survey-reveals.html

Who's at the bottom of the heap? http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/25-members-of-congress-with-lowest-net-worth/2011/12/27/gIQAOJApKP_gallery.html

At the top? http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/25-richest-members-of-congress/2011/07/11/gIQAmtxiMK_gallery.html#photo=2

WARNING! Another transmission grinder approaching.

Do you think Congress should be a Citizen Legislature? In other words, should members of Congress be ordinary, average joes?

Or should it be a chrysoaristocracy? (yet another Favorites link for Tom, Rebel, my sister Rachel and brother Shag).

Lemme put this another way. Set aside your willingness to run for Congress and serve in Congress. I ask could you afford to quit your job and serve in Congress? Put your money on the table and see if it adds up. Can you, yes you, afford to serve in Congress if you have to quit your job and accept the pay Congress gets. You must keep all your present expenses and add to that the expense of being a Congressman with a domicile in Washington.
How hard can you squeeze?

It also means losing whatever retirement contributions (if any) you get from your job, losing your insurance (if any) and all the other fringe benefits you get.  You're going to have to shuck out some more bucks to be a Congressman - trips home, suits, other expenses related to being in Washington and being elected.

Since congressional "perks" probably also make you mad, let's do away with them. Now you have to pay for all these extras that come along with serving in Washington.

Can you afford it?

If you are being truthful with yourself, the answer is probably going to be No, couldn't do it. Would not be enough money.

So.

We have established that you want a government of, by and for ordinary people.
Ask not, less ye receive.

We have established that an ordinary person probably could not serve in Congress at the present pay scale.

You also complain that there is too much money in Congress, Congressional campaigns and the rich members of Congress are out of touch with the rest of us.

Yet you want to CUT congressional pay. By cutting the pay you will limit service in Congress to only the rich people who can afford to make such financial sacrifices.

Me? I say Congress needs a raise or more perks. Like you, I cannot afford to give up my job to serve in Congress (never mind I won't run and could not be elected, we're strictly talking money here).

You may disagree with me. But if you review what I have laid out here and I am accurate (which I am), then your demands are not matching your desires.

Around here we call that cognitive dissonance. Someone with less tact will call it hypocrisy. Whatever works for you.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 100 SF and fantasy novels according to me

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My top 100 SF-Fantasy. Some of these are series, but some of the individual books are better than others. Where I can’t say one book is better than the others, I list the series as a single entry, so the list is actually more than 100.

My list. YMMV

1) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

2) Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner

3) Ender’s Game - Orson Scott Card

4) Dune - Frank Herbert

4) Roadmarks - Roger Zelazny

5) Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein

5) Trumps of Doom - Zelazny

6) Jagged Orbit - Brunner

7) Foundation (series) - Issac Asimov

8) Farenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

9) Space Odyssey series - Arthur C. Clarke

10) remaining Dune Chronicles - Herbert

11) Piknik na Obochine (Roadside Picnic) -- Arkadi & Boris Strugatsky
 (This is in Russian so finding an English translation may take you a bit. I consider this a MUST read for die hard SF fans. For that matter, I consider everything in the top 20 to be pretty much required reading.)

12) Barlowe’s Guide to Extra-Terrerestrials - Wayne Douglas Barlowe (mine is the ONLY SF list to put this in the top 100. Why? This book is a critical work for SF fans.)

12) The Fafherd and Grey Mouser (series) - Fritz Leiber

13) Equal Rites - Terry Prachett

14) Nemesis - Asimov

15) The remainder of the Amber series - Zelazny

16) The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Heinlein

17) Hyperion (series) - Dan Simmons

18) Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

19) The Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold

20) The Dresden Files (Series) - Jim Butcher

21) Guns of the South - Harry Turtledove

22) Bored of the Rings - Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney,

23) The X-Men (Comic book series) - various with some far better than others

24) A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain

25) Gulliver’s Travels - Jonathan Swift

26) Warlord of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs

27) Thieves World (Series) - various

28) Dracula - Bran Stoker

29) Beowulf - unknown

30) The Modern Prometheus (AKA Frankenstein) - Mary Shelley

31) Animal Farm - Orwell

32) 1984 - George Orwell

33) The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg

34) Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Adams

35) Life the Universe and Everything - Adams

36) Pern series - Anne McCaffrey

37) Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes (probably should be ranked higher)

38) Courtship Rites - Donald Kingsbury

39) Kiln People - David Brin

40) Across a Billion Years - Silverberg

41) The Rowan - McCaffrey

42) Wizard’s First Rule - Terry Goodkind

43) Jingo - Terry Prachett

44) The Man in the Maze - Silverberg

45) Conan The Cimmerian - Robert E. Howard

46) The Puppet Masters - Heinlein

47) Stainless Steel Rat (series) Harry Harrison

48) Hellstrom’s Hive - Herbert

49) Bill The Galactic Hero on the Planet of the Bottle Brains - Harrison

50) The Smoke Ring -- Larry Niven

51) The Bladerunner - Alan E. Nourse (not the movie or the other book you think of)

52) Mostly Harmless - Adams

53) So Long And Thanks for All The Fish - Adams

54) Time Enough For Love -- Robert Heinlein

55) The Galactic Milieu Series -  Julian May

56) I, Robot - Asimov

57) Methuselah’s Children -- Robert Heinlein

58) The Number Of The Beast -- Robert Heinlein

59) Watership Down - Richard Adams

60) Seventh Son - Card

61) The Time Machine - HG Wells

62) Ringworld - Larry Niven

63) Lord Valentine's Castle -- Robert Silverberg

64) The Coming of the Quantum Cats - Fred Pohl

65) Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency -- Douglas Adams

66) The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul -- Douglas Adams

67) Another Fine Myth -- Robert Asprin

68) The Cat Who Walks Through Walls - Robert Heinlein

69) Heart of the Comet -- Gregory Benford & David Brin

70) Practical Demon Keeping - Christopher Moore

71) A Spell for Chameleon - Piers Anthony

72) The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

73) The Books Of Swords (series) - Fred Saberhagen

74) Phaze (series) - Piers Anthony

75) Howard the Duck - Steve Gerber

76) There is a book the title and author of which escapes me in which a stasis bubble was developed and used to travel forward in time and conduct a war.

77) The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury

78) A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

79) The Forge of God (and The Anvil of God) - Greg Bear (NB - These are the only books by Greg Bear which I like. The rest I do not care for.)

80) The Dune chronicle series by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson (Important because it fills in gaps in the Dune series which so many of us have wondered about for years.)

81) The Princess Bride - William Goldman

82) The Stand - Stephen King

83) Most of the remainder of the Xanth series - Anthony. (Some of ‘em suck).

84) The Blue Devil (comic) - Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn, and Paris Cullins

85) Ambush Bug (comic) - Keith Giffen

86) Axa (comic) - Donne Avenell and Romero.

87) Ghita of Alizarr (comic) - Frank Thorne (also did Red Sonja)

88) The Once & Future King - TH White

89) The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

90) The Lord of the Rings trilogy - JRR Tolkien

91) Peter Pan and Wendy - JM Barre

92) The Ozark trilogy - Suzette Haden Elgin

93) Sluggy Freelance : Born of Nifty : Megatome 01 (comic) - Peter Abrams

94) Sluggy Freelance: Little Evils: MegaTome 02 (comic) - Abrams

95) Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Robert C. O'Brien (Children’s book, but still awesome!)

96) Gateway (Heechee Saga)- Pohl

97) The Mule - Asimov

98) The Horseclan series - Robert Adams

99 )The Positronic Man - Silverberg & Asimov

100) The as yet untitled SF novel I’m working on.


I could easily list pretty much everything Heinlein, Zelazny, Sliverberg and Brunner wrote in my top 100 and still be satisfied. Instead I picked their tops works to make room for other authors.

I did not list anthologies, except for Thieves World, but they all rank high on list.

Someone is gonna eyeball this list and attempt to make some inferences about  me. G’head. Lemme know what you come up with.

This is my top 100. I admit it may change as I read other authors and consider their work. While I did include a few classic literature pieces that to me are SF-Fantasy  (Beowulf) and not some others, it’s because I either haven’t read ‘em or did not like them. You pick which option you prefer as I’m probably never going to read any more of the “classics” like The Iliad because I was forced to read ‘em in school and so now refuse to have anything to do with them.

Favorite authors: Adams, Asimov, Herbert, Clarke, Heinlein, Brunner, Phillip K. Dick, Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, Clifford D. Simak, Kurt Vonnegut, Ursual K LeGuin, Poul Anderson, Sliverberg, Fred Pohl, Philip Jose Farmer, Larry Niven, Marion Zimmer Bradley. Tracy Hickman, Margaret Weis, Mercedes Lackey, Michael Moorcock, Terry Brooks, L. Ron Hubbard, A E Van Vogt, Gordon Dickson, David Eddings, Alan Dean Foster, David Drake (his Hammer series is pretty good), Spider Robinson, Ben Bova, Prachett and more whose names escape me.

I do not care for CJ Cherryh’s work. Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time series” is immensely popular but once you read one of the books, you have read them all. Besides which he had the bad manners to die before finishing the series.

I have read 1 book by George RR Martin and found it entertaining, but not worthy of my top 100.

For other examples - http://www.npr.org/2011/08/11/139085843/your-picks-top-100-science-fiction-fantasy-books

I have most of these books.

And http://sites.google.com/site/sftop100/

and http://www.sfbc.com/bestselling-books.html

And in case your wondering what is something you’d like to read, a flow chart - http://www.forevergeek.com/2011/10/flowchart-for-nprs-best-fantasy-and-science-fiction-books/

I have also found that when buying used books, I look for the Doubleday SF imprint. With 1 exception, I have always been delighted with Doubleday’s stuff. The one exception was merely OK. Dunno if you have discount dollar stores where you live. Sometimes these places have a book rack where you can buy new SF books for a buck or so. They were remaindered and the publisher is trying to get some money from ‘em.

I’ve picked up some real dogs and picked up some winners from these racks. If you don’t go in expecting a lot, you’ll come out ahead in the long run.

A book review

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On a counter at the office I have a box of books I am judging in the Benjamin Franklin Awards. I have been a judge now for several years running. For the first time I got tapped to judge the Fiction contest.

As expected, some of the books are a waste of trees. Some of the books are excellent, some only so so.

As I'm still judging the entries, with more to come in January, I can't tell you who is the top in the contest. But I can tell you one book is standing out well ahead of the pack in regard to the writing.

http://www.amazon.com/Palestine-Novel-Jonathan-Bloomfield/dp/0615418171/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
I hesitate to classify this book into a specific genre. It is has elements of S.F., techno, thriller, action, mystery, suspense. It also has a lot of religious power struggle in it. I tell you, and you may misunderstand, it has plenty of politics. By politics I do not mean the mud slinging and idiocy of elected officials yelling at each other. I mean the machinations by which one group of people attempts to have their way.

I do say if you are even mildly concerned about the Middle East, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabi and other places over there, this book is one you want to read. If you are at all concerned about Islam, Jews and their interactions, this book is a must read.

If you are concerned about the United States' involvement in the Middle East, you should read this book.

If you are worried that the nukes will start falling, this is a book you want to read.

Bloomberg uses the technology of today to set out a pretty frightening scenario that really could take place this afternoon. I am not kidding. Unless some paradigm shifts happens in the Middle East, what Bloomberg lays out in this book is not a fictional future history. It is a history book written before the events happen. Only the names may be different.

This is not a book for people who know what a Kardashian is (a kind of sweater? Someone help me here), know who is on American Idol and otherwise immerse themselves in vacuousness to the exclusion of reality. This book is about the real world, the one we live in but don't get to see because we're not presently living in the Middle East.

NOT A SPOILER but a teaser. I must also say I double checked some of Bloomberg's references to the Koran and was surprised to see he is correct when he points out the Koran says the land of Israel is supposed to be occupied by and belong to the Jewish people.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This'n gonna generate some hate mail


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If you just looked at a picture, you'd see just a young man, nothing remarkable, quite ordinary.

If you observed him for a few minutes, then you would notice this young man is remarkable and not ordinary.

And - yes, I'm going there - annoying. Immensely annoying.

That comment is going to generate some grief for me. So be it. I'm only giving voice to what so many other people are thinking.

The young man I refer to has autism. I didn't "meet" him as much as I had to endure him for about an hour one night in a restaurant.

As he and his family, more than a dozen, filed into the restaurant he came in waving his arms and howling low and long. Not a piercing howl, but not muted either. Loud enough to override conversations in the dining establishment.

He was seated directly behind me. For the entire time I & my family stayed in the restaurant we were treated to his howls. I looked back a a few times. All but one time, he had his hands in the air waving or his fingers in his ears. He was still only once when I looked back.

Yes, I also thought of monkeys in a tree, howling and throwing their feces at predator below them. I 'spect this comment too will earn me some grief, but I am only giving voice to the very thoughts so many people have.

I've been around autistic people in the past. Loud sounds bother some them and they try to shut the sound out by competing directly sound for sound. Why autistic people wave their arms and flap their hands is something still be studied.

I wondered, to myself, what the restaurant folks would do if the young man grew so strident in his howls that people began to complain. The restaurant was definitely in a no-win situation.

If they said the family and the autistic man had the right to stay, other customers would be annoyed and possibly leabe. If they asked the family and young man to leave, the restaurant would reap a storm of negative publicity as the family went to the media, possibly sued and so on.

Does the family of this young man have the right to a evening out? They brought a cake into the restaurant so I'm guessing it was someone's birthday. Do they have right to a public celebration?
Looking for a balancing act.

Of course.

Do the rest of the restaurant patrons have the right to enjoy their meal without someone constantly howling loud enough to drown out their conversation?

Of course.

So who has the greater right? Is there a greater right? Can both be equal?

My opinion? The young man should have been seated in the back (the family was in a corner) away from people. He was seated at the outer edge of the table, closer than anyone else in his family to rest of the people in the restaurant.

If he could not be controlled, he should leave. And that comment too will bring me even more grief.

Yes, they do.
Had this been a drunk at the bar, the restaurant would have demanded he leave and the rest of the patrons would be happy. Is there a difference between the drunk and the autistic boy? Yes.

The difference is: Who is responsible for the person's actions.

Sound harsh? It is reality. An autistic person, like that boy, who commits murder cannot be given the death penalty. A drunk who kills someone can be given the death penalty.


So I ask: Who is responsible for the boy with autism? How far should we go to make accommodations for such a boy?

I remind you, I am the father of a disabled child and a non disabled child. My two quickly learned that when in public, such as a restaurant, they could behave or they would not be in public. I did pick them up and walk out of a restaurant, leaving a meal on the table. The remaining child and momma finished the meal, paid and brought ours out to the vehicle in carryout containers.

My family's right to a night out does not mean I have the right to let my children overrun some other family's night out.

As you prepare to send me hate mail, remember, I'm only giving public voice to the very thoughts you have held some time or another.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My rose colored glasses broked

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This ain't about politics, I promise, but it uses politics to get to the point.

Back when I was young, stupid and probably should have been shot (and was shot, but that's another story), I was a socialist. Really.

I really believed in socialism. My dad thought this was amazingly funny and offered to debate with me any time I wanted to. I declined. Being a young teenager, I knew everything and so knew that my Dad would trot out some tired ancient fallacies and I just wasn't interested in listening.

Now that I am older (and recovered from being shot), I am not a socialist. I admit the theory of socialism is awesome and wonderful and etc. But like so many theories, it gets bitch-slapped by reality.

Socialism won't work because there are homeless crackheads in your community. That may not make sense right now. Keep reading. I explain.

Socialism is supposed to mean equality. That sounds absofragginlutely perfect.

I still love the idea, until I think about it.


"There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

Socialism et al means lowest common denominator. This applies to all the other forms of economies and governments that are on that end of the political spectrum, Everything must be equal to the lowest. Nothing can be greater.
Equality means you suffer equally with everyone.

Think about all the people you know. Now think about the least intelligent one. Everyone must operate on that level of intellect.

Do you want this person to be a surgeon to operate on you?

Think about the poorest person you know. Likely you know a homeless crackhead. Everyone must function at that level of the economy.

Got your cardboard box picked out?

Someone is going to argue that I am wrong. The above examples cannot be used. The first can't be used because people who who are mentally retarded can't help it. The second can't be used because the person chose to spend all their money on crack and become homeless.


Someone met Mr. Reality and got slapped.
If that's your argument then you are arguing for inequality. That flies in the face of socialism et al. Equality for all means exactly that. It means the crackhead can be a brain surgeon. It means the brain surgeon can be homeless and addicted to some kind of narcotic.

I admit the above is equality of results, but that is what the socialists aim for.

Take off the rose colored glasses and have another look.

What about equality of opportunity? I have far less problem with this, but I still have some reservations.

Where do you draw the line to say, "this person did not succeed?" In other words, where does the opportunity begin and end? Would you let someone with an IQ of 50 apply to medical school?

Why or why not? In a completely open system of equality of opportunity, you'd have to let the person apply. How many times can they apply? In an open system, they can apply until they die.

In a system based on reality, the person could never apply to med school because he'd never meet the prerequisites, a high school diploma, undergraduate degree from college, etc.

Well, hard to argue with that.

I'm close to arguing for a merit-based system, but I also have some minor issues with that.

Correction. I have some major issues with it. The same issues I have with any other political-social-economic system. People are pretty much infinitely flexible and will warp themselves out of the necessary-to-the-plan shape just because they can.

I am not arguing for anarchy because it too is rife with problems.

What am I advocating then? Reality. There is no one-size fits all in reality. We just have do the best we can.

Now lemme shift gears to politics before I close with a non-political thought.

The following comes from an apocryphal thread when you can find on my Facebook page. While it's aimed at the current president, it applies to all the presidents for the past 80 years because all of 'em have attempted to do it.

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
 

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
 

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
 

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

If all you ever do is reach for a hand out, you'll never get any farther than the arm the hand is attached to.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Paging Mr. Scrooge, Paging Mr. Scrooge

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Anyone else glad Christmas is over? I mean the commercialized, overhyped, gift-laden, guilt-packed part of Christmas.
No no no. Old trees should be tossed in lakes and ponds.

I may be sounding like Scrooge here, but Christmas is my least favorite holiday, although it has gotten easier over the years. It was not too long ago that Christmas required Clan Baker to be in three states over the holidays. That's some traveling.

This has been cut way back. Traveling this year was limited to 20 minutes South to my mom's new house in Tifton. Mo betta.

While I do not massively object to traveling, I want it to have some purpose in mind, not just going to get there. While I also enjoy seeing folks I only see once or twice a year, I prefer more reason for the drive.

The purpose for traveling, ideally, is the opportunity to put meat in the freezer. I'm not hugely particular about the meat either, land-based, water-based or semi-aquatic, I'm good to go. Lemme have a chance to shoot or catch something when I get done traveling and I'm happy.
Hang on. I'm reloading.

Anyway, I am still glad Christmas is over. I understand why suicides peak around the holiday season. It's supposed to be a time of family, reunion, joy and a coming together. Some folks can't manage that and it depresses them to the point of taking the final exit.

Christmas, increasingly, is becoming a time of excess. A time to go into debt, in more ways that one. I suspect most people gave gifts which originated in China. Not only did the givers deplete their personal account, they furthered the trade imbalance with China and continued to support the decline of the American economy. In a more roundabout way, these purchases also exacerbated the national debt.

Why do we need a holiday for this?

My dad and Ray Mercer were of the same mind about this. I agree with 'em. They said if you have an urge to give someone a gift, don't wait for a "special occasion." Give the gift immediately.

Think about it.
The elf who wanted to be a dentist

There are some parts of the holiday I do like. Such as the Christmas service last night at the state prison in my community. It was Standing Room Only. Not kidding. Every chair in the multi-purpose room had a butt and other people had to stand or sit on the floor. I sat on a table.

I like some of the songs. Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" just rocks. Other holiday songs make me want to climb the clock tower at the courthouse.

As a kid, Christmas also meant the one time a year we got to see Christmas movie specials. The stop-motion Rudolph, A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and others. We didn't have DVD, cable or satellite TV and streaming movies when I grew up. Didn't have video tape either. We had 3 TV channels, sometimes, and had to wait a whole year to see those Christmas classics.

Now that we can see these movies any time, it takes away from the specialness of the movie and the season. It just doesn't mean what it used to.

Now if all this makes me a Scrooge, I'll accept that nomenclature, but I suspect I've got plenty of company.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Which would you prefer?

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When people ask my brother to do something, he's fond of saying "You can get it fast, cheap, good. Pick two."
No 3-way overlap.

The implication is you get two of the options and the other is excluded. Meaning, cheap and fast ain't gonna be good. Good and cheap ain't gonna be fast and so on.

I suppose you could pick one option and let the second fall where it may. Given that option, I think I'd select quality.

How about you? Which would you pick and why?

I have a slightly different way of looking at things. I say you can get what you need or you can get what you want.

The conjunction "or" isn't appropriate but it's what I have. Sometimes English is not the best language.

You can get what you want and it'll be what you need. But how often are your wants and needs actually the same thing? If you are truthful about it, most of the time your needs take a second place to your wants.
I detest bud light. But the poster is funny.

Your priorities are out of balance in other words.

Another question. How often have you gotten what you wanted and then discovered you didn't really want it?

A far more damning question - How often have your needs been met, but you felt it wasn't enough?

Ah.

Have you ever been to the point where your wants no longer mattered and all you focused on was your needs?

Some of us have. It's not a fun place to be.

As the nation prepares to celebrate CHRISTmas this weekend, many of us will focus on wants, taking our needs for granted. Then, we'll resume our regular lives and resume complaining about the economy, government, anything and everything else that is a minor inconvenience in our lives. Our needs will continue to be taken for granted and we chase after wants.

Take a deep breathe. Now imagine doing this with your head under water without a snorkel or SCUBA gear.

Dunno about you, but that very thought suddenly makes $3 a gallon gas and idiots in Washington seem a lot less important.

Merry Christmas from Clan Genius. Here's to hoping we can all put our priorities in the correct order.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baaa. Baaaa. Baaaaaa.

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The news from Atlanta ain't good. Jake's condition is not good.

Jake is my nephew and he's been at Egleston for the better part of a month with heart problems. Jake is 6.

Egleston is on the NE side of Atlanta. Jake's doctors are with the Sibley Cardiac facility, the same folks who took care of Jesse when he was born and for the first few years of his life.

As Jake is no longer in intensive care, his Dad's room at the Ronald McDonald house was given to people who's child is in worse shape than Jake. (Can't argue that.)

This is Atlanta, some four hours and 200+ miles from where they live.

We have family all over Atlanta, including more'n a few on the east side.

I say we have family. There are people who live on that side of the Big Peach who trace recent ancestral ties to Shag, myself, Jake and Rachel.

That's the correct way of phrasing it.


Family is not just a blood connection, despite blood being thicker than water. Family are the people who are there for you when you need 'em.

In that regard, we do have family in Atlanta. But none of 'em are qualified to attend the Baker Family reunion each summer. The ones who meet the qualifications to attend the reunion...

There's an outside chance some of my relatives will get to read this. It will reconfirm their opinion of me, that I am the black sheep of the family.

That's OK. Let 'em think that. I'm not the one turning away from a relative in need.

Family is the people who are there when we need 'em, no matter how close or distant the genetic link. That's not just for me. It's for you too.

The recent postings on FB have resulted in people who are not related to us by genetics for centuries if not longer offering help - credit cards to pay for a motel room, straight out cash and not to mention massive prayers and offerings before altars all around the world.

You  are my family.

There is no way we can ever repay you all for what you have done, are doing and will do.

You. Yes, you are my family, not those others.

If thinking that way makes me a black sheep, then I shall wear my coal-colored wool with pride. I'm in better company with you folks anyway.

What would you change II

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Wherein the author resumes his discussion about more amendments to the Constitution.

http://porkbrainsandmilkgravy.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-would-you-change.html

Item 1

You can't vote for president. No. You can't. You vote instead to tell someone else who you want for president. It's called the Electoral College.

In some states, the Electoral College voters are not required to vote the way the people want. It's true. In some states, the law requires them to vote as the people want.

Some state could literally vote 100 percent for candidate and the electoral college voters could vote for another candidate and that be legal

Lotsa people would like to do away with the electoral college and turn to a popular election.

If that happens, the presidential campaign would be even MORE centralized. The prez candidates would not bother to visit the very smallest states and spend time in the big states.

A better way is to modify the Electoral College. Give each state an EC vote that comes from a Congressional District. We'd see far more of the candidates then.

Lots of people are upset that corporations got some of the same privileges as humans in the Citizens United case. An amendment to limit campaign contributions from corporations, to my thinking, also has to be tied to the third proposal to wit: deny corporations the rights of citizens.

Define corporation. G'head. When you get done defining it, I'll poke so many holes in your definition it would make Swiss cheese boggle.

If you object to the massive amount of money being spent on political campaigns, then vote for someone who doesn't have such support. Do your own research on candidates rather that relying on TV spots and internet rumors.
Citizens United tries to do that very thing.

Don't ask government to think for you, which is what you do when you want to restrict corporations in the manner above.

The last one, prohibit members of Congress from lobbying once they leave office, I rather like, but once again people are asking government to think for them.

Define lobbyist. When you get done, I'll take my drill and fill your argument full of holes.

In looking at most of the amendments in the NPR story, I see most of 'em as an attempt to take back government, a concept I heartily approve of. At the same time, these amendments require an educated voter. Again, I heartily approve.


I just don't believe people will bother to learn what they need to know.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What would you change?

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By "change" I mean modify, delete or add to. I refer you here to the Constitution of the United States. You non US readers are welcome to chime in as well, as I suspect you have a greater knowledge and understanding of our Constitution than most Americans.

NPR recently asked its audience what to change about the Constitution. The top 3 choicesare 3 new amendments:


1) Abolish the Electoral College

2) Limit campaign contributions from corporations & deny corporations the rights of citizens

3) Prohibit members of Congress from lobbying once they leave office

While this may sound good on the surface, I ask you how you would word these amendments. The Fallen Angel is in such details. In a nation where we argue and sue over what the placement of a comma in the Constitution means, your amendment must be clear, concise and have PLENTY of ancillary information to back up the meaning of it.


By ancillary information, I mean the debate, discussion and what you want the amendment to mean. This information not included in the text of the amendment will be used by courts in the future to decide how the amendment should be applied.

 I'll tackle my take on these tomorrow (unless I shoot a deer in the morning). Meantime, give me your ideas.

Here's some more to masticate in the meantime. The NPR story contains some surprising and not surprising suggested amendments. Some I like. Some I don't.
Limits on government should be very tight.

For space reasons I post the ones I like. Presume if I don't post it, I don't like it.

4. Limit Supreme Court seats to a single 9-year term with one seat getting turned over every year. Justices would be chosen by lot from a pool of candidates. The amendment would state the requisite qualifications needed (as decided by both houses of Congress). If you meet the criteria, and you want to be a Supreme Court justice, you enter your name in the pool. The most senior judge is chief justice.


6. Ten percent of voters may demand a national referendum on laws passed by Congress. A law is void if voters reject it, otherwise it retains its validity. Congress may repeal the law before the referendum takes place.

11. A direct citizens' vote should be required before entering in any type of war. 

If you look at the three I like v. the 8 I don't you may be surprised that I rejected proposals which would put even more control of the government into the average citizen's hands.

I do not like electronic elections. It's too easy to hack and FUBAR the election.

Some, I object to the way the amendment is phrased. Too many loopholes and if I can see 'em and I (for which I am MOST thankful) ain't a lawyer, then such amendments are doomed.

This one is particularly troubling: 5. The approval of the U.S. citizens would be required on all spending bills. Once per month, all taxpaying U.S. citizens would have the ability to log in to an Internet site and vote on the spending proposals that Congress puts forward.
The Magic 8 Ball says...

In addition to the electronic voting issue, there's the problem of getting the nation to vote monthly on spending bills. Consider the present gridlock in Congress which is merely a reflection of the collection state of mind of the U.S.

I ask, would someone in Washington State vote to approve a bill that included spending only in Florida? Get more personal. Would you vote to approve a spending bill that did nothing for your state and exclusively benefited a state 1,000 miles away?

While I'm against pork barrel spending probably more than most people, I also admit that a few state-specific projects are good ideas and need some federal funding.

I also ask you, are you going to take the time to read through all the spending bills?

When you head to the ballot box come time to vote, if there's an issue for you to vote on and you don't understand it, how do you vote?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ya pays ya money, ya plays the game

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As a counselor (according to State of Georgia anyway), I have a code of ethics for that role.
I do have this one.

However, I am not a certified counselor, do not have a formal degree in counseling nor am I a member of any professional association which certifies counselors. Ergo, I do not have to adhere to whatever code of ethics the boards require.

If I ever decide to pursue a formal degree and training, I'll have to abide by what the boards require if I want to keep my certification.

Ya pays ya money, ya plays the game and ya plays by the rules.

If you can't play by the rules, you can't play the game.

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/12/appeals-court-rejects-anti-gay-graduate-students-bid-for-reversal-of-her-expulsion/

This is NOT a free speech issue. This is, as the story states, a matter of a person seeking to become a counselor. As such, she would be required to do her best for anyone who came to her. Her personal feelings must be set aside.

"The court noted that the requirements of the counseling program ... are similar to the rules for judges, who must apply laws even if they consider them erroneous."

As the lady in question does not appear willing to set her personal beliefs aside, then she cannot be approved by the national certification boards. Nuf said.

The different issue, her expulsion, has nothing to do with her being certified. This is free speech, sorta.

It is not the university's role to determine if she can meet the ethical standards set by the national certification board. It is the university's role to train and educate her to be a counselor. Passing the board's requirements is up to  her.
Are yours the same as mine?

She is allowed to  think and say what she believes. That it may be incompatible with what appears to be her chosen profession is a personal matter she will have to deal with.

Expelling her was wrong.

As an ordained minister, I have the right to join two people in marriage. I will not officiate a ceremony of two people of the same gender, nor will I offer them premarital counseling. I do not object to other ministers officiating same gender marriages nor do I object to same-gender civil unions.

Furthermore, if two people of the same gender wish other kinds of counseling and advice from me, I'll do my very best.

Fortunately for me and unlike the young lady in the story above, as a minister I cannot be forced down a path not of my choosing. At least for right now, the First Amendment guarantees me that right.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Exit stage next

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A significant percentage of the people who oppose abortion favor the death penalty. A significant number of people who oppose abortion and favor the death penalty also object to euthanasia.

I ain't figgered that one out yet.
This is not euthanasia. This is getting porkchops for the table.

"Hang on! Don't kill that unborn baby! Let him grow up and then we'll decide if he should be killed. But he can't kill himself."

Simplified, but accurate.

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-1218-lopez-bucketlist-20111218,0,4685249.column

My opinion? Abortion is very complicated. The death penalty is much simpler. Suicide, in whatever form you wish to call it, is absolutely clear. It's your life.

Period.

Abortion is complicated because it involves making a decision for an entity which cannot make a decision for itself. It also affects another person, the mother. I am not saying abortion is wrong, nor am I saying it is right. That's a decision, as man, I cannot make.
Because the death penalty actually works

Capital punishment is less complicated because this involves a person who has made a decision. My issues with the death penalty is once someone is killed, you can't bring 'em back to life and turn them loose. I don't know how many innocent people have been killed by court order over the years, but is too many. I only favor capital punishment when there is clear and irrefutable evidence. One or two "eyewitnesses" is not enough.

Euthanasia is quite clear to me. A person wishes to end their life.

G'head.

You may call me cruel, callous and indifferent. I shall not dispute you. I note the life in question is not yours.

What is the real difference between putting someone to death by court order and keeping someone alive by court order when that person wishes to die?
Ah. More government in action.

There is no difference. Both instances is (are? Hmmm which is the correct verb?) the government intervening in a human life in the most direct, personal and intrusive fashion possible. In the case of capital punishment, the guilty offender made a decision and now must suffer the consequences of his actions. I am a big believer in owning up to what you do and accepting responsibility.

Same thing with bringing an end to your own life.

Someone is going to bring up mental instability and such issues. G'head.

Wanna do the psychiatric/psychological tango? That's where you get two experts to testify the other person is absolutely wrong. Ah. Not a red herring, but a valid point that needs a whole 'nother column to address.
Should have used the "delicate" cycle and skipped the dryer.

What gives you the right to order someone to receive medical treatment? Point of order Mr. Chairman. You do not have that right, You can refuse medical treatment. Unless you are determined to be mentally unstable.

OK, so someone is a whackjob and is ordered to undergo treatment. They do the treatment, are considered "cured" and still want to take the Big Exit. Now what?

What if the person refuses to take the treatment?

The real question here is: What gives you the right to run someone else's life?

If you decide you can run someone's life, then you give them the right to decide how your life should be run.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Saying the same thing from opposite sides



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It doesn't happen as much as it used to, but there was a time when I lept into online arguments with both feet and fists swinging. Now I have much better things to do with my time, such as write this blog, wash my hair, shoot feral cats and make coon jerky.

It wears ammo. I shoot ammo. And things like this.
A major reason I quit is because finding someone who is intelligent enough to debate is hard to do. Most people insult me instead of attacking my argument.

By my rules, I win that argument. As my rules are the only rules that count, I win yet again.

Engaging in a war of insults over an intellectual issue is ... well, to explain succinctly, I'd have to lower myself to the level of the insulters. I don't have a problem in doing that from time to time (see image at right), but not here and now.

Which brings me to today's topic du jour.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/12/atheists-hijack-christmas-nativity-display-in-santa-monica-critics-say.html

Lemme slap to telling quotes on you:

"Their goal is getting rid of us, and squelching our 1st Amendment rights," said Hunter Jameson, 65, who no longer lives in Santa Monica but still worships at Lighthouse Church of Santa Monica.

and
The SCDM - Talent on loan from Thor.

"It's littering — literally, littering — these spaces," Gaylor said of such displays, which she said are a "territorial attempt by Christians to impose their beliefs in this season."

Stick these two comments into my patented and trademarked Semantic Content Distillation Machine. The result is they both say the exact same thing. Both sides insult the other in the exact same way.

If the references to religion were excised from both comments, you'd not know which side said what comment.

I admit these two comments pulled from a larger story are also comments from a much more extensive commentary from the two speakers. But it's what I have to work with. I suspect the two comments are extremely representative of the overall thoughts expressed by both sides.

Rather than engage on the real issue here, both sides decided to let matters degenerate to hurled invectives.


As my longtime bud Tom said on FB where I posted the link originally - Fortunately for everyone concerned, the totalitarians on both sides of the political coin have not yet deprived us of the ability to debate the merits, or lack of same, of these sorts of issues. Just keep it civil, sez I, and no gouging, tweeking or throwing of heavy objects. While that might make it more lively for some, you could put an eye out and lose your depth perception.

Well said Tom. But I wonder if maybe "an eye for an eye" might work best for these people. If they reduce themselves to being blind, mute and deaf, then maybe people who can reason will be able to impose some rationality on the scene.


And, since you are wondering what's my opinion of the Christmas scenes, I like the lottery system. That the atheists "won" several of the slots this year for their display, I like as well. Everyone deserves to have their say, even the people who can only debate via insults. Whether you and I agree is irrelevant.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sharing the water

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What are the three most powerful words in the English language?

Before you answer, I  tell you, Actions speak louder than words.
Yep.

Now your answer?

Bet you got it wrong. The Rev. John Burnett told me the answer years ago:

Let Me Help.

Three simple words.

If you've got a problem, I don't care what it is
If you need a hand, I can assure you this
I can help, I've got two strong arms, I can help
It would sure do me good to do you good,
Let me help.
Billy Swan

How many times have you uttered those words? How often have you reached out to someone in need with this offer?

Now, how many times have you not really meant those words? If the person you offered to help called on you, would you help?

Ah.

Chances are better than good than when you offer to help, it's low grade fertilizer. A trite banality uttered in the moment as a social lubricant, devoid of semantic content. In other words, you don't mean it.

As some of you know, my brother is in Atlanta with his son Jake. Jake is having cardiac problems and has been in Egleston Hospital for a few weeks now. Probably won't be home until after Christmas. Things are looking way way way way up from when they got there, btw.

Our extended family has folks in Atlanta. Some have called and offered to help any way they could. Shag asked for help.

They backtracked so fast I think they might have stripped their internal transmission.

I expect no less from them. It's the way they live, it's who they are and what they do.

Switch locations to other family members who are in S. Georgia, more than two hours away from Atlanta. There has not been a request for help issued and yet help is coming in.

I expect no less from them. It's the way they live, it's who they are and what they do.

If you offer to help and when help is requested you back out, what does that say about you? If you are one of those kind of people, I think you should run for office. Liars and hypocrites abound in Washington so you'd fit right in.

If you are one of those people who doesn't wait to be asked before you pitch in to help, then stay right where you are and keep doing what you are doing. We need more people like you this old world.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All American Idiot

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I am told there is a TV show "All American Muslim" now being shown. Told, I say, because I do not watch TV. I ain't smart enough to watch TV, but that's another story.
The best image I've found to illustrate a point in a long time.

Anyway, as I understand it this is a show about 5 Muslim families in Michigan. (This further underscores the notion I am not smart enough to watch TV.) A Christian outfit, the Florida Family Association (FFA) has led a charge to get advertisers to quit supporting the show. Lowe's pulled its ads.

Enter recoil.

Telling comment - Dawud Walid, Michigan director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said his group felt "extreme disappointment" at Lowe's "capitulation to bigotry."

The American Family Association has also entered the fray on the side of the Florida group. The AFA is supporting Lowe's decision to pull its ads. No s'prise right?

In the latest news I saw, the ad spots for the TV show are now sold out. As in you can't get a spot when the show airs on whatever network it is airing on.
Reading books can be hazardous to your ignorance

So much for the FFA and the AFA's efforts, eh?

But all that is beside the point. The point here is much more basic.

The TV network saw a chance to make some money by producing a show about some Muslim people living in Michigan. Free speech meets free market capitalism (both of which, BTW, are proscribed under some forms of Islamic law and certain tenets of the Koran).

I point out for the record - Sharia, the formal name for Islamic law, except for that specifically mentioned in the Koran is not universally codified. Sharia varies by country. So what may be illegal under Sharia in Iran may be allowable in Turkey. And so on.

Some Christian groups objected to this TV show. They then exercised their rights to free speech by calling for a boycott.

I like this.

Some Muslim groups then objected to the Christian efforts to get advertisers to pull their spots.

I like this.

In the meantime, Eve reaches for another apple.
Where's Alice when I need her?

As to the religious diatribes and free speech,
There is no contradiction. Both groups are relying on fundamental rights of this nation - the right to free speech. Free speech, BTW, includes the right to keep your damfool mouth shut.

Free speech, BTW, does NOT include the right to force someone to say something they disagree with. Free speech, BTW, includes the right to support ideas you like. Free speech BTW, includes the right to object to ideas you do not like.

Free speech means you have two religious groups hurling epithets at each other and demanding the other be shut down.

Free speech, in case you wondered, is not fully supported by any religion in the world. Free speech means you have the right to discuss your religion openly.

Most Christians I know are not in favor of free speech. The Christ I read of in the New Testament did believe in free speech. Most Muslims I know are also not in favor of free speech.

For that matter, most people I know are not in favor of free speech.

Hrm. I wonder if I talk a TV network into doing a show - All American Idiot. For all I know, there's already such a show on TV today, just not under that name. Maybe I'll watch a TV news program tonight and confirm this.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Imagine

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Stretch your mind a moment.

Can you be held criminally liable for breaking the laws of another country if you NEVER go to that country? Can you be held criminally liable for breaking the laws of another country if you never leave the country where you were born?
Depending on where you ride.

Yep.


http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/12/04/3090552/david-duke-arrested-at-german-neo-nazi-event

"In 2007, a ruling originating from Switzerland banned Duke from entering and staying in the contiguous states of Europe, but the 61-year-old Holocaust denier reportedly was living in Austria since then and came to Germany for the event last week." Duke was arrested in Germany, BTW.

Duke, an idiot of a very high caliber, did leave the United States and went to Europe. Europe has different laws regarding idiots than the United States has.

But, Duke did leave the US. He went to places where denying the Holocaust is crime. Had he stayed in the US, he'd still be liable for criminal penalties in Europe. I already noted he is an idiot.

A number of people have been charged with denying the Holocaust ever took place. Denying this is a crime in Germany. These people are subject to arrest if they ever enter German territory.

Anyone remember Salaman Rushdie? He wrote a satire/parody of the Koran and was sentenced to death by the Iranian theocracy. He had to hide in  Great Britain for years. Rushdie was born in Bombay and moved to Great Britain.

I do note these instances are from other countries.

Does that mean you are safe?

Nope. Doesn't matter where you live either. While I do live in the US and have a United States perspective, that doesn't matter when it comes to the long arm of the law in any country in the world. Make a government made enough and they will come after you, no matter where you live.


That includes the United States.


http://www.boston.com/news/world/latinamerica/articles/2011/12/12/many_indifferent_as_noriega_returns_to_panama_cell/
Friend today, enemy tomorrow
I remember when Noriega, AKA Pineapple Face, was "arrested" on drug and money laundering charges and hauled to the United States. When the US invaded under then president Ronald Reagan, Noriega was the leader of the country of Panama. Didn't matter. Where he was once the darling of the US State Department's Central-South America division, something soured.

In what is more disturbing to me, US courts ruled Noriega could be tried under US law and, if convicted, be made to serve a jail sentence. He did spend time in prison here.

The leader of a country was taken into custody by a military force from another country, brought to criminal court in that country and sentenced to jail. After being released he was then shipped to yet another country for more jail time. Released from there, he is now back in his original country to still be a guest in the iron bar hotel.

So, can you be arrested in the United States (or any country) for violating the laws of another country?

Actions speak louder than words. You can be arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced no matter where you live for what passes for a crime in another country.

Imagine that.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Remembering a legend

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Every so often in life you meet a legend.

I met one many years ago.


If you did not get to meet him in this life, it's too late.
http://www.iveyfuneral.com/sitemaker/sites/iveyfu0/obit.cgi?user=531360Wingate

My friend Jack Wingate was one of the most real people I have ever met. Anyone who knew him would say the same thing.

I have yet to meet anyone who did not like and admire Jack Wingate, former owner of Wingate's Lunker Lodge on the shore of Lake Seminole.

Best known for his love of fishing, Jack told me one day while he toured me across his loved lake, he had a greater passion than fishing - archeology. He was as proud of the mammoth tooth and stone-age ax hanging on the walls of the Lodge as he was of any of the animal trophies.

On that day, I also got to fish with him. There are anglers around the world and anglers yet to be who now envy me. As well they should. An angler like Jack Wingate is more rare than a 20 pound largemouth bass.

His funeral will be the largest Bainbridge has ever had. People from across the nation and likely the world will attend.

As for me, I will miss him and regret that my children never got to fish with him as I did.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Two of these things are just alike...

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What links these two articles?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/07/astrazeneca-jobs-idUSL5E7N74JQ20111207

http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2011/12/08/online-sales-tax-may-be-coming-soon-3-ways-to-avoid-paying-more-taxes-now
Add caption

There are several correct answers.

The answer I'm looking for is disparate at first. I shall give you the answer and then tie 'em together.

On the first, jobs are leaving the US and going to China.

On the second, Congress is considering passing a law to make stores collect sales tax online.

 What ties these together? Cognitive dissonance.

There's your connection.

Still not making sense?

On the first, people are mad that jobs are leaving the United States. Jobs for Americans. Money in American pockets. Keeping the US economy turning.
Anyone can do it!

On the second, people are mad that government is implementing a national effort to collect sales tax. "It's my money. I shop online to save sales tax. WTH?"

Drawing a connection yet?

I now ask you - what do you want from government? You like roads in good shape? Ambulance services? Schools? Law enforcement? Etc Etc Etc

How are these things paid for?

Money, money generated from people who earn and spend money. People who have jobs make money and spend money. No job, no money, no spending, no taxes generated, government can't provide services.

Am I making a connection yet?

Fact is most state governments in the US and most local governments across the nation rely heavily on sales tax dollars to provide the very services you want and also complain about paying for. Those roads you use to get to and from work, sales tax foots a lot of the bill for them. The internet you use to connect and shop online (and read this), the very root is a government network.


You should support a national sales tax effort because it means more sales tax dollars for your state and community. That means lower taxes in other places.

If you are mad about jobs leaving the US, that's good. So am I. This means less money for local communities and local governments to do what they need to do.

If you are mad about the sales tax idea at the same time, you're logic train derailed.

Both are very important to economic development. Both matter a lot to the local, state and national economy.

I don't have the numbers (no one really does) but I suspect if sales tax was collected on internet sales for my community, it could easily amount to a mil of taxes ($60,000) a year in my town. That's tax dollars equal to a new and very large industry setting up shop here. That tax dollars that can be used to entice new industry and development and retail and keep existing ones on hand. It will go a long way in my school system too.
How it happens.

If you support the national effort for Fair tax (a federal sales tax which I don't support) and don't support the national collection of local and state sales taxes, then your logic train derailed a long way from the station.

It is economic development. Yeah, it's complicated. But unless you are intrinsically involved in economic development you probably don't understand why a sales tax is so important, just like jobs.

You are probably going to disagree with me. Is OK. But I ask you, have you ever opened, from the ground up, a retail business employing 20 people? Ever started an industry with a gross bottom line of more than $1 million a year? Ever been involved in the superfine details which cause one of these businesses to happen? Do you know how your government spends money and I mean right down to how much is spend on cold patch every year to fill in potholes? Do you know how much the school system spends annually on mowing grass?

I'm gonna sound like an ass here. But, it's still going to be right.  If you don't have that kind of experience, then I suggest you don't really know what economic development, which includes sales taxes as well as jobs, is all about.

And finally
Cause I'm still peeved at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.