Category Archives: Politics and News

Picture of the Day: Frozen shore of Lake Superior

Frozen Lake Superior by Jvstin
Frozen Lake Superior, a photo by Jvstin on Flickr.

Today’s picture is not a technical masterpiece, but rather its the location that is interesting to me.

This is the North shore of Lake Superior a few years ago. As you might be able to tell from the barrier and other clues, those people you see in the shot are standing on the frozen surface of the lake itself. The entire lake doesn’t freeze, but in cold winters, it freezes out a fair distance from shore.

Yes, Minnesotans are crazy in winter.

A modest proposal: The Pyramid Tax plan

A modest proposal: The Pyramid Tax Plan
Greetings, friends.
Studying and listening to the Republicans, both those running for the highest office in the land, and those already holding Congressional offices, tells me that there are two major problems, tax wise, in America today:
1. The poor don’t pay enough taxes. Those lucky duckies don’t pay any tax. How is it fair that 53 percent of Americans pay the taxes for the lazy and shiftless 47 percent?
2. Taxing the rich will kill jobs. They will move away, won’t be job creators, and will Go Galt. We need to get rid of the death tax, too, because heirs of millionaires and billionaires shouldn’t have to pay tax just because their parent died. Its absolutely fair that gifts are taxed, that’s fair and balanced. But inheritance? Why should a windfall such as an inheritance be taxed?
So, better than the 9-9-9 plan or Perry’s plan is my Pyramid Tax plan, that addresses these two major problems.
The key to this plan is simple–the more you make, the less you pay in taxes.
For incomes below the median, we’ll set the tax rate at 35%. Yeah, that’s a tax increase, I admit it–but those shiftless poor lucky duckies aren’t paying their fair share. But read on, and yo will see how it becomes fair.
The genius of the Pyramid Tax plan is that as you rise in income, your tax rate–and not just your marginal rate, decreases. By the time you are making $250,000 a year, the President seemed to like that number back in the 2008 campaign, you will pay ZERO tax on any of your income.
Just think of it. People will be motivated to work harder, longer hours, and more jobs, because they know if they can just get to the next tax bracket, they will be taking home more money. And those poor flooding our country? Well, they’ll change their tune real fast with that 35% tax rate, unless they have skills that will let them make money fast. This will solve the illegal immigration problem in a heartbeat.
Just think of all the jobs Warren Buffett or Paris Hilton can create knowing all of their income is tax free. Just think of the free capital flowing to America. And think–the wealthy and affluent, the people we WANT to immigrate to America, not the poor, will come here in droves.That will stimulate the economy, won’t it? And it will be an honor and a privilege for them to be here. And with the new rules in Citizens United, they can spend lots of money in corporations giving campaign contributions and ads, which will further stimulate the economy.
The Pyramid Tax plan–because America deserves nothing less.
God Bless you and God Bless America.

Compromise and Politics

I am pissed off that the Minnesota government is shut down over negotiating failures in St. Paul. The debt ceiling joust in Washington is a bird of a feather.
Look, I will use an analogy to show what I perceive Republicans are doing, both in Minnesota and in Washington.
Roger and Daniel are trying to figure out how to divide a bowl of 100 M&Ms.
Daniel: “How about you get 50 blue M&Ms, and I get fifty green M&Ms?”
Roger: “NO! We are eating too many M&Ms. I will get 50 blue M&Ms. You get none. You eat too many.”
Daniel: “That’s not fair. If we don’t come to an agreement, Mom will take the entire bowl away.”
Roger: “You’re right. Okay. I will get 45 blue M&M’s. You get none. You eat too many.”
Daniel: “How is that fair?”
Roger: “I am getting less than I want. I’m compromising!”
Daniel: “How about I get 10 green M&M’s and you get 40 blue M&Ms?”
Roger: “We’re going to run out of M&Ms that way. I get 40 blue M&Ms. You get none.”

Nehemiah Scudder in a Skirt

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_04/023404.php
THE THEOCRATIC WING OF THE GOP…. A certain former half-term governor appears to be drifting even further away from the American mainstream. Over the weekend, appearing at an evangelical Christian women’s conference in Louisville, Sarah Palin rejected the very idea of separation of church and state, a bedrock principle of American democracy.
She asked for the women — who greeted her with an enthusiastic standing ovation — to provide a “prayer shield” to strengthen her against what she said was “deception” in the media.
She denounced this week’s Wisconsin federal court ruling that government observance of a National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional — which the crowd joined in booing. She asserted that America needs to get back to its Christian roots and rejected any notion that “God should be separated from the state.”

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. Sarah Palin is Nehemiah Scudder in a skirt.

Gamers helping Haiti

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=78023
http://www.deadlyfredly.com/2010/01/midnight-post-help-haiti-get-1400-free/
For a $20 donation to Gamers Helping Haiti, you get to download a bunch of assorted gaming PDFs for free, courtesy of DrivethruRPG.
I can see a couple of PDFs that make this definitely worthwhile for me. I’m going to have to pick this up when I get home this evening.

Pat Robertson and Haiti

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/01/13/robertson-haiti/
It even made NPR.
On the 700 Club, regarding the Haiti Earthquake, Robertson said this:
Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.” True story. And so the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.” They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free.
But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle, on the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island.
They need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable

I’ve got to wonder–is Robertson perhaps trying to bash Roman Catholicism or just Vaudou? Does he want Haitians to convert to his brand of Protestantism? Is THAT the motivation for his words?
This is not the first time he’s said religious nonsense (According to his twisted theology, Katrina was punishment for America’s sins, and Ariel Sharon had a stroke because “he was dividing God’s land”)
Its days that Pat Robertson doesn’t get struck by lightning for invoking God in such a manner that moves me out of the agnostic camp and into the atheist camp.