Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Revenue neutral tax reform

This is the Republican plan. It means that the total amount of money coming into the government won't change, but who pays for what will. It's not a tax cut, it's a tax rearrangement.

(Any actual cut will be financed by anticipated future growth, growth that will come from the animal spirits released from taking in less money.)

If this sounds plan familiar, it is. If you think it's for you, it's not.

Think Kansas. Brownback Kansas nationwide.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Truth is just an interpretation argued forcefully from a position of power.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mary's Picker

Over time, I’ve come to love my Mary with all my heart. I’ve also learned to become protective of her, because the lord knows she has the worst picker I’ve ever seen. It’s like she’s disabled but doesn’t know she’s qualified for a placard.

This assumes that there is such a thing as a picker, and that it’s on your person somewhere, always hiding and waiting to make a decision. People decide to go to church based on less information than the average picker I’m talking about, so let’s just put the possibility that the picker exists on that level – God, picker – maybe?

Really, who’s to say?

(I’m not talking “American Picker,” an excellent show on cable TV that plays five times a day. They seem to have a generally good picker, though some of their choices seem overpriced to me.)

I’ll point out right here and now the obvious – she picked me. But just as a tax cheat is what you need to put in charge of finding tax cheats, (or running the country), I’m exactly the kind of man to manage her picks from this point on, (I don’t do pre-existing conditions or regrets). In a way, my past supports my current claims to bonifides. I’m just here to help.

As an aside, I’ve noticed that everyone feels guilty when they are caught, and that only losers want to compromise.

Usually how this writing thing goes, when I’m the one writing it, is: I mention Mary, then write four or so pages about me. At this point, it could go either way – I’m sort of free forming things loosely, and taking lots of breaks. Mary is an angel, have I mentioned that yet?

I’ve read articles in magazines, usually women’s magazine, about women who consistently pick men who are bad for them -- both bad in general and in specific ways. I’m not taking about that kind of bad picker, though it is a part of it. Since Mary picked me, I’d like to move on quickly.

I’m talking about a woman who picks the wrong thing on menu when we go out – oatmeal instead of gravy, canned cranberry instead of fresh -- the kind of woman who picks the wrong grade of gas for her car – that kind of thing. Given the choice of two things, she picks wrong every time – it’s so predictable that her kids depend on it when dealing with her. I try to help, but sometimes she doesn’t listen. Mary very often does the exact opposite of what you tell her to do, for some reason I don’t ever seem to know.

Now, truth is, I’m kind of an always has-to-be-right kind of man, so some of this might be shaded a bit. And, to be honest, she is so nice and helpful to others that it might just be a misguided form of giving. I’m really just saying that it is, and she needs help with it.

Help is help, but it comes in many forms, or guises -- like God, or mustard. In America, we tend to go Calvinistic most of the time and diagnose moral failure for almost anything fun or danceable, and prescribe shame to sanitize everything back to a baseline. Everything not of the elect and pure is of suspicion and to be weighed and measured, and then, after all possible angles of critical review, found wanting. Wanting of less usually – less passion, less verbal and less visible. Those of the elect do not have to advertise their godliness, it’s just known, and enforced.

But again, I digress.

Or, as of late, we go Catholic lamb of god and, after stating our utter shitfulness, throw ourselves on the mercy of the unseen and unquestionable. “Yes, I’m the worst, but what did you expect and do you have candy?”

These approaches, though useful and appropriate for the average things in life, don’t work for me when dealing with someone that I actually love and care for – I want to help, not cripple her with the loving omnipresence of a punishing and vengeful god. That’s what I’m for.

I’m going the Rocky mountain way – convince her that I’m not the crazy one and then hold on to her until the thrashing stops. To paraphrase the late great Martin Luther King, ‘A bad picker is not driven out, it is crowded out through the expulsive power of good.”

Although I am also guided by Malcom X – ‘You can’t give a man a good picker; if he is a man he has to take it.’



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False weather reports

It seems that false news is the talk of the day, and methods to fix it are all the rage. I am not totally sure, but the truth to be found in social constructs such as politics or hair care are, for the most part, going to depend on what you think the answer is before the truth is told.

But I could give a crap about truth, and as long as it’s not dull I say, ‘good on you mate’. My concern is false weather reports.

I live in south San Jose, a fine bedroom community for less productive members of the tech community. We are in a rain shadow both evidentially and chronically, but are lumped into local weather reports that are always wrong. They (the weather reports) deny being wrong, which really is the worst part, since they knowingly exaggerate to the worse possibility the excite the sheep listening to then for money. Reality doesn’t sell anything, so they tease and push to the worst in us in order to beef up their ratings – ratings they then use to sell more advertising and make more money. They don’t care what the weather actually is and they don’t care about us, the people who need to make decisions and choices based on the truth. They certainly don’t care about me, the junky who wants the predictable chaos of madness in order to get a good seat.

In California, rain is like Santa Claus, and people like me get up early to get a glimpse of its possibility. It’s easy for anyone on a science based platform to scream out the word storm loudly and repeatedly to get both ratings and ad money, but it’s cruel and not funny at all if based on nothing but an inflated guess. It’s selling the dope of hope for trinkets of popularity and some walking around money from your mom.

I’m the sort of fellow that gets up early from bed on the big rain days and rushes outside to see and smell the pitter and the patter of rain as it slams down on the door stoop. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve waited with the door open for promised rain that never came. I can only pass on the bitter memory of a promise broken over and over.


They say I’m in a rain shadow but I really wonder how they get the numbers to add up at the end of the year. Maybe that’s the real false news.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Why I did not vote for Hillary Clinton for President

I heard a dog barking every night for a week. I couldn't sleep. I decided to confront the dogs owner about the noise.

I walked to Hillary’s home. It was surrounded by a high fence, so I rang her security people to let me in. As I stood on the porch I heard lots of talking coming from inside the main house. Heavy curtains kept me from seeing anyone.

After a long bit of waiting the door edged open and Hillary stepped out to meet me. The door then sprung closed firmly behind her. She did not invite me inside. There was no seating on the porch. We didn't have drinks.

We stood and talked. I gave her my complaint, and then suggested some possible remedies. She smiled, thanked me and, cracking open the front door, disappeared into the house. I heard talking as I walk away. I didn't recognize any of the voices.

A week later, I met her on the street. She smiled, walked past me quickly and disappeared.

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The fucking dog is still barking.