Category Archives: Facebook

Activists Face Enormous Challenges

Corporations_ate_my_Baby?! What? Huh? (a Facebook posting)

I started being "Corp" in 2004 on mySpace. We were the first really active daily politics bloggers and post-monkeys on MySpace when it first started.  It was a trip! Thousands of like minded people all finding one another and posting about everything from climate change to 9/11 theories. Those were the days. We all met each other then too. We organized and marched against Bush policies.  People also hooked up like crazy. There are a lot of mySpace babies going into 4th and 5th grade this year.
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I went onto other sites like Tumblr, WordPress and YouTube to try my activism there. Ultimately I got swept into Facebook where I had a private profile with over 2000 daily readers.  Then they had their pre-IPO massacre and my profile was nuked.

Today I have 733 "Likes" on a "fan page" or whatever this is... which "reaches" 1,700 people a day and I try my best to post stuff that shows the progress we make and the stupidity on the other side.   But it's not the same as the old days. We all know that. FB controls and limits us in comparison to "MySpace Tom" - and while the various "politics groups" are fun, they are nowhere near as intense as the old blogs were.
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In many ways, socially the western world is better than it ever was before.   We are less brutal, more scientific... and better at meeting basic needs. In other ways things are worse than the Gilded age.   Those who don't have, suffer horribly.  Their children cannot break out of poverty... and if they are not pink-skinned, their lives are worth less and they often die horribly.   Humans of all hues are not doing what is required to stop the super-heating of our globe.  Things are going to be terrible for a lot of humans in the future.  I feel terrible for letting my great-grandchildren/nieces/nephews/cousins down.
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Things are going to get worse-- and one day they will get bad enough to where we organize and chop the heads off of the "ruling class" (oligarchs.)  I wish we could just be civilized about it... but... money.   Corporations_ate_our_Civil_Options.

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Separation of Church and State, not a “Judeo-Christian value?”

Some genius on a friend’s thread about the pledge of allegiance , went on a rant about how America was “founded on Judeo-Christian principles, that the “Separation of Church and State has been turned on it’s head…” and of course that our founders wanted America to be Christian.

After asking for a definition of “Judeo-Christian Values” I added this comment to the thread:

“When my grandmother was worshiping and praying to her savior, Jesus Christ, if you called her a “Christian” she would slap you in the face. The thing that has been turned on it’s head in the past few decades is the sweeping under the rug of the PROFOUND differences between sects of protestantism, not to mention the irreconcilable schisms between protestant and catholic or catholic and Greek orthodox worship of the New Testament. — “We’re all Christians” is a statement of absolute ignorance of the stark differences in belief of the worlds great religions and the separate versions of the one that uses the new testament. One of the reasons the SEPARATION of CHURCH and state was implemented has never “turned”… it is to keep your sect safe from the others.
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Every sect … or nearly every one… makes it clear that all the others are wrong. If there is an afterlife (no evidence of that exists) and you have to be a protestant to have a good one, you still have only 1 in 23 THOUSAND chances of picking the right one. If you factor in all of the religions that have more than a million adherents who also believe in an afterlife that is dependent on believing the “right” thing, you have a 1 in 200,000 chance of picking the right one.
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The separation of Church and State lets you live your life in the “wrong one” without letting any other sect persecute you. By not allowing the government to choose Catholic, you are safe as a protestant… by not allowing the Government to test candidates to make sure that they are Episcopalian, you as a Baptist may be elected.
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I cannot think of a better value than, “let me believe what I want… and let there be no test of those beliefs If I seek public service.” Jews and “Christians” do not value that. They traditionally value adherence to one value whilst slaughtering tribes that believe differently. It is one of the 10 commandments not to allow those who choose the wrong belief to live with your tolerance. That is a shitty value.
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Our deist founders held NO such values.”  Our deist founders, many of them, preferred what today would be called, atheism, or the rejection of supernatural claims, as anything other than hypothetical.

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No Matter How Great the Fear, Bad Ideas Must be Counteracted with Facts

My Facebook and Twitter pages have been skewed to the gun debate since the New Town Sandy Hook shooting.

The reason it’s still going on is because this discussion has uncovered something that has to be dealt with.

Before I was born my father encountered some people he called “birchers” who were in fact members of the John Birch Society, a very small number of people who mirrored today’s tea party.  They had a fantasy of threats and fear that did not match reality, but they had no interest in knowing if the hypotheses that they were embracing had any possible truths to them.  They were like an ancient tribe or a very fundamentalist religion. They were passionately attached to believing an impossible story that helped define them.

With the spread of the internet, these ideas spread without any rebuttal.
Without anyone to fact check and discuss history, people like you and me got some funny ideas in our heads.
One idea that the birchers spread, which is easily disproved, is that the 2nd Amendment was written to make sure Americans could shoot at their own government if it became displeasing to those with the guns.

I actually accepted the concept to a certain degree until I looked into it.

Nope.

The point of the 2nd Amendment was to keep from having a permanent army, because everywhere else in the world, the biggest danger to a nation was a military coup. That’s what the framers of the constitution saw happening in Europe.  They felt if they could spread out trained warriors within their own states, they could be easily called up to fight a foreign enemy. As armed and ready as we would be to fight a foreign power or put down rebellion in our own midst, we would be able to stave off the temptation to have permanent oppressive power.

James Madison said: “In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

more:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/11/the-founding-fathers-warned-against-standing-armies.html

Someone can argue that our pentagon, CIA and black ops give a president too much power now. I am inclined to agree. Luckily one party stands in relative opposition to too much military power. But this is not the libertarian-esque fantasy that the government is going to shut down democracy and take everyone’s guns then enslave them in a totalitarian state.
What a scary thought!

There will always be a percentage of people in any society that fear this.. almost obsessively.
The problem that I am noticing is that some of these myths, these thoughts that poison a free society, are spreading among people who would not normally be obsessing on them.  That’s why my page has loaded up with the ideas and statements that they have… it’s sort of like using a chemical to break up lime and rust on your shower when it’s building up too much.  To some of my readers, it’s getting a bit repetitive, and I agree. I have needed to repeat myself a lot in my “discussions” with people who should know better.
They should know that:
•    Though right wingers who suppress unions and civil liberties and rights slow down our democratic process, by simply increasing the number of people involved with getting them out of power the problem is solved.  Simply organizing and canvasing and discussing and working together you stave off abuses of power. Look at Wisconsin from 2 years back.  They are in much better shape now than they were before the movement started.
•    Guns pointed at your own government give power to the worst authoritarians and autocrats.  Think about it, if you band together and shoot at a powerful military, they’ll shoot back and win… and then having a taste for shooting you, see you as an enemy. That’s when you see nations get a sunglass-wearing fat general who “keeps people safe” from insurrection to his closing fist.  By embracing democracy rather than guns, you make it far less likely that we will ever lose our power as people to direct our destiny.
•    The people who believe in “evil government” are the most destructive to the freedom and well being of the average American. Ronald Reagan, who famously said, “government is the problem” – and the 1980s movies that all blamed the system and elevated the “Rambo” type, signaled a return to a gilded age. What was the gilded age? The period in US History (running from 1877 to 1893) where the few with the biggest stashes of hoarded money. The rich then as today argued that the economy was growing. What they never talked about was how it was only growing for the top 1% or less. The rest of America was being drained and was suffering. The corporate leaders, many of whom could be diagnosed with antisocial disorder (sociopathology), would shout about the evils of government and how lazy and evil people were who expected to get something back for their tax dollars.
•    Your fear of poverty that these people cause, of injustice caused by graft and corruption, your fear of poor people taking your livelihood away, or perhaps repaying you for the sins of your ancestors, your fear of the loss of the value of your work and savings requires that you look UP.  Look up at the few who are manipulating you and keeping you from exercising your power as a citizen and a worker. Your media will always tempt you to look down. You will look at poor people, dark skinned people, people who don’t speak the language as well as you think you do. You will even look down at your government who is you. Yes, the government is you. That’s what this nation was created to demonstrate.  You will attack your own power… because you are understandably scared and diabolically manipulated by the media.
•    The echo chamber on the internet. Staying on pages, blogs and sites where everyone agrees with you is the new danger. If you keep accepting unproven, unsubstantiated and UNTRUE thoughts because they “get you high” on fear, you are heading down a dangerous rabbit hole. It’s ironic that the tool for the greatest knowledge can also spread the greatest ignorance.
The gun argument is a wild ride when you are discussing things in comment sections.
No matter how clearly you show people the Whiskey Rebellion, you can’t get them to see that the government took on rebels who didn’t want to pay their taxes, and that the militia was to take on “the people” who were not patient enough to fix the situation politically. They would have been able to solve their disputes had they not pulled out the guns… history also shows that.  Read the Wiki on the Whiskey Rebellion and it will open your eyes, if you didn’t know that.

No matter how clearly you show people the Militia Acts, you can’t get them to see how heavily regulated they are. The guns are regulated, the chain of command is regulated.  You can’t get them to see that their fantasy about a gun battle with the “evil government” would be a messy insurrection with no clear chain of command and deaths that would all be unnecessary.
You also can’t get them to see that the insurrection is the domestic enemy our constitution names.
Why?
Because they are an enemy if they are too impatient to participate in democracy. And it is their fear that pushes their impatience… and let’s be honest.  Most of them are not going to get themselves involved in a modern WACO.  They don’t have enough rage to be that stupid.
My former friends are screaming at me that their beliefs MUST BE TRUE, because websites support them and because they have been living in an echo chamber that repeats the falsehoods. It doesn’t matter what facts you show them, they want “concessions” in the argument.
¿Oh, I’m sorry, you’re right, Baseball bats kill more people than guns do in America¿
WTF? I don’t care how many websites and spokes dorks say that, it’s just not true.
They have some fantasies that they don’t want challenged. I get it, it feels good.
I still have some unproven fantasies about the JFK and MLK murders… I don’t claim that they are true because people suspect things…
But the discussion was getting so stupid… about terms like “assault” or “magazine” or “clip” or “military style”… just avoiding the main point:
The government in our democracy is not an evil dangerous “them”… it is us. It is the only thing that can stand up to all the REAL THREATS to our freedom. Those threats are threats in every society: An out of control military, consolidated wealth taking away the pubic’s rights to democracy, and most significantly a big lie that creates a religious type fervor unifying a population behind a dictator and against their own (messy) freedom.  That is what we have now. We have emotions so strong that people can’t think about what might really be true.
My job as I see it is to repeat what is true and break up some of that soap scum and lime scale.  My job is to keep posting a defense of democracy against corporatism and it’s attendant totalitarian urges. My job is to shine a light on nonsense ideas that are manipulating people who should know better.

Corporations_ate_my_baby

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http://wp.me/pqMgr-7T

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Higher Taxes Don’t Hurt People, Corruption Does

On Facebook, I had posted this interesting article on regressive vs. progressive taxation and raising 490 billion dollars and spending it on the people; on things like infrastructure and the social safety net.  One of many articles, I figured I’d get a few “Likes” and spread an idea.


But I do attract the occasional belief-based libertarian who felt that “giving it to the government” would only hurt us. As if we are better off with our 30 to 130k a year with no government services or safety nets. This is a very common Lone-Ranger fantasy among a certain sector of humans who have trouble with “Systems Thinking”.

The position is best summed up by these quotes:

• Why would you want government to have more of the public’s money?

GOVERNMENT IS US!! I shouted.

• I should have said society’s (in the private and individual sense) money. (Corporations) are freeloading with the help of the government.* Our ancestors would be ashamed if they realized we let the government tax us so much. We already have progressive income tax. Most people work 1/3 of the year for the government as it is. Raising taxes is not a solution it is the problem. Government needs to be reduced – it is a cancer and allowed to continue will kill its host.

Again, “Government is US”… but I could see it was not going anywhere. I decided to get real numbers instead of these myths that libertarians believe.

I  found this BRILLIANT comparison of the United States, Denmark and Sweden.  I was amazed at how our wasteful military spending and allowing our biggest profiteers to lobby away their responsibilities really steals from us all.

Is heavy taxation bad for the economy?

May 22, 2011

Taxes reduce the payoff to entrepreneurship, investment, and work effort. If taxation is too heavy, these disincentives will weaken a nation’s economy. But at what point does the harmful impact kick in? And how large is it?

A puzzle

Half a century ago, in 1960, taxes totaled about a quarter of GDP in Denmark, Sweden, and the United States. The tax take then began to rise in Denmark and Sweden, reaching half of GDP by the mid-1980s, where it has remained. In America it has barely budged, hovering between 25% and 30% of GDP throughout the past five decades.

More here:

http://lanekenworthy.net/2011/05/22/is-heavy-taxation-bad-for-the-economy/

I then summed up the problem with direct thinking on this subject in the comments section. Here are some highlights.

Taxes don’t prevent Growth. Taxes don’t prevent innovation.

Misuse of taxes, or bad policy… or a nation of tax cheaters… in other words, bad or corrupt use of taxes is where the problems come from.  When it comes to income taxation, 19% of GDP has been the standard – and during that period we had more innovation and productivity. After 1967 we had record lows in poverty.. and we saw our first debt slavery at the end of Reagan and Under Bush where the use of our tax money was taken out of the USA and invested in Militarism and Empire.


Today the INCOME TAX aspect of taxation is at 14% an all time low since WWII.

Our economy is helped temporarily by that in that the average $2000 an American worker gets back. Our economy is driven by consumption (70%), so that money circulates via consumption. Other nations that make greater use of consumption taxes obviously don’t rely on consumption as much. For our system (not that I think our system is so great), it’s better to tax income instead of consumption.

I’ll get to our benefits (payroll taxes) presently, but let’s remember that what we want to see more of, we tax less and what we want to see less of, we tax more.

We want to see more growth? Do we want to see more economic freedom, more families in the middle class and out of poverty? Do we want to see more economic mobility (where I can change jobs and careers with no fear)? Do we want to see greater economic security – so we can take risks and try new things?

I’ll tell you one thing we want to see less of:

1. HOARDED WEALTH
2. Sending our jobs/industries/activity to countries with cheap labor/wage slavery.

Those are the two things where taxes must definitely increase.
Since World War II, “innovators” like Henry Ford (and his subsequent generations of Fords) had to pay significantly less tax if they reinvested their wealth in their industries. Today they can sit on cash.  The Wal*Mart Waltons are doing just that. It’s obscene and dangerous.

We must return to taxing that “money in the mattress” … and confiscate money in “off shore accounts” that have no benefit for the USA. American Dollars are the property of The United States and are temporarily in individual’s hands. The goal is benefit to all through our system of innovation and competition.

The second one is called Tariffs. Any goods that come in from wage-slave-labor nations should be subject to a high tariff. It should be no different to buy a pair of American Shoes (there are almost none of those left) than a pair of Chinese-made shoes.

Of course, all money collected, if just given away to corporations (military or otherwise) as over-payment for things we don’t need, will not be helpful.

• The point of our payroll taxes is the best thing about taxes.
Economic security is the best thing about living here or in Denmark or Sweden … any wealthy western democracy.
No matter how sick you get in a nation that spends it’s payroll taxes correctly, you never go bankrupt during treatment.
No matter how old you get in a nation that spends it’s payroll taxes optimally, you never sink into poverty.

Not only that but we who still work and are healthy are not surrounded by disease and poverty.. we have more consumers.

That’s how our system works.

• Whoever told you that payroll taxes lead to a loss in “innovation” lied to you.
• Whoever told you that payroll taxes lead to wage slavery should not have been able to fool you with that idea at all. It’s completely illogical.

• Payroll taxes are what taxes should be all about. They are economic security. They are the wealth of our entire nation keeping your life stable.

Now… I appear to be arguing FOR our current system. I am not.
You and I might agree on this:

A huge bloated bureaucratic government and huge taxes don’t mix well.

I would like to see a move away from 60 hour work weeks… to 30… 30 extremely efficient and productive hours… with a *minimum wage of $20 (taxable) dollars per hours / $575 week/ 30k a year.

Hoarded wealth will be taxed heavily as well.. and there will be a MAXIMUM WAGE &  high margins at upper levels of both income and capital gains.  There are 425 billionaires in the USA right now. There might still be after my system took hold but they would have to invest it within the United States. It would have to circulate.
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In my system, we start cutting down on our Pentagon/Empire expenditures… and we also admit to the secret money that is spent to that end.. both probably totaling a trillion a year… and start to dismantle our Empire.
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We stop the profiteering from this system, fining and jailing anyone who whines and resists.


$500 billion of that spending becomes immediately and totally unnecessary. If we put that back into our infrastructure, cover education for all, cover health, vision and dental for all, and cover 15 weeks of paid vacation a year for all 250 million working and retired Adult Americans – now you’ll have innovation. Now you’ll have productivity.

Now you’ll have economic freedom and mobility.

Now you’ll have security… and now… you’ll stop producing endless crap that fills the ocean with plastic and skies with poison and heat.

(c) 2012 Corporations_ate_my_BABY

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When our Facebook page hit 400…

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Corporations_ate_my_Baby/358168904201617

Welcome new friends!


Liberal, progressive, socialist… pinko… lefty… I’m with you. We avoided Romney. We got a president who ran this time on taxing the rich to balance out the way our society experiences it’s collective as well as individual wealth… good.

But things are so out of whack. We have to pull the conversation to the injustice we all experience and see if we can’t enjoy even greater wins.

• Fossil Fuel Greed and the resulting…
• Cooking of our environment and making insecticide ridden & plastic laden soda-pop out of the oceans.
• 7 going to 8 billion of us talking monkeys being insanely unwise in the face of it.
• The cruelty of for profit prison and the for profit drug war (and soon for profit “public” schooling) increasing legal slavery…
• The legal “free range” slavery of underpaid workers without unions…
• The divisive hatred of women… skin color… language and culture.. all being used to control us on the Wal*Mart plantation.
• Theft of our wealth and work by simple banking tricks
• Removal of healthy food from our stores being replaced by cheap and genetically modified garbage… eaten by the non-as-rich… resulting in physical suffering.
• Clothing and Technology being made by global wage slavery – harming them… and taking away our nation’s economic mobility.
• The rise of death by starvation while we throw out enough food to feed the entire western hemisphere.
• The divide between the super rich and everyone else is still growing at an alarming rate… risking global war.
• Religiously based ignorance blotting out science and critical thought and also raising the specter of war and conflict… especially as sea levels rise.

Pretty scary picture huh?
Sorry.
The *good news in all of this* is that you and I have social media and our voices are being heard. We are changing the conversation. I dedicate this page to that end.

Spread these ideas… and post some of your own on this page.

Welcome 400 strong. Let’s double it. Next goal: 425

Spread the word. Tell people to “like” this page.

My deepest thanks – Corp

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