What shame it is that our political discourse has degenerated to its current low point.
Earlier this century, lefties called George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their cronies Nazis. Gun fetishist Ted Nugent the other day called Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and a “chimpanzee.”
Oh, for those glory days when people on opposite sides of the political fence addressed each other with great respect and dignity. Take the more genteel 19th Century, for instance. After the 1860 election, Abraham Lincoln received a letter from a member of the loyal opposition who wished to convey his feelings about the president-elect. In ensuing years, Lincoln often took the letter out of his breast pocket and showed it to White House visitors. It read:
[G]od damn your god damned old hellfire god damned soul to hell god damn you and god damn your god damn family’s god damned hellfired god damned soul to hell and god damnation god damn them and god damn your god damn friends to hell.
The God Damned President-Elect
That’s one god damned civilized political argument, no?
Such A Good Little Journalist
I’ve sent an email to Fairview Elementary School Interim Principal Tammy Miller, offering her space to respond to my earlier posts on happenings at the school.
Earlier this month, Miller had advanced a plan to segregate students in classes by academic achievement. Parents blew a collective gasket and, during a hastily arranged meeting, pressured Miller to drop her plan for the nonce.
Later, whispers reached my ear that Miller suspected one or more Monroe County Community Schools Corporation payrollers of fomenting — or at least aiding — the parent revolt. Further, the whisperers added, Miller’d even sought to view said staffers’ email records.
I have my doubts Miller will be able — or will even want — to respond. But the offer’s out there so I’ve done my job. And, again, I remind Pencillistas that I’ve seen no evidence backing up these rumors, although my sources within the MCCSC are generally dependable.
They Are Different From You And Me*
Look, if the recent OxFam report on the concentration of the world’s wealth into an almost impossibly minute percentage of the population doesn’t make you want to shake your fist and scream, nothing will.
A total of 85 individual human beings control as much wealth as half of the rest of humanity!
From Oxfam’s “Working for the Few” (Fuentes-Nieva & Galasso)
So, stop telling me about how certain fiscal policies do or don’t make sense, according to this or that economic theoretician’s pronouncements. A planetary economy that allows hundreds of millions to exist in crushing poverty while a blessed few have more dough than they or any of a hundred generations to follow them could ever spend is irretrievably broken.
[*A line from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story, “The Rich Boy.” It is preceded by the sentence, “Let me tell you about the very rich.”]
What? Me? Pay Taxes?
Meanwhile, our friends the Republicans want to make it ever so easier for the rich to keep their precious cash out of the filthy hands of the needy, the starving, and other miscreants.
In 2010, Congress, with the support of Prez Obama, passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. It was designed to prevent this holy land’s uber-rich from hiding much of their wealth in off-shore banks where it’d be protected from federal taxes. See, wealthy patriots had salted their greenbacks away thusly just so’s their many, many millions wouldn’t become slightly fewer many, many millions. Even rich men’s families gotta eat, after all.
It was learned in the summer of 2012 that presidential candidate Mitt Romney had hidden away up to $30 million in Cayman Island accounts as a way of avoiding paying US taxes. It was at that point that Democrats wondered aloud how patriotic Romney could be if he was indeed secreting so much money just to avoid paying his fair share. Romney, et al, countered that the essence of American patriotism is the making of obscene amounts of money and subsequently keeping it out of the hands of the gummint.
Anyway, for a brief moment in time, the Dems ran both houses of Congress and so were able to pass the Act. Now, though, the Republicans, led by the Me Party-ists, are working like busy bees to overturn it.
The annual Republican National Committee winter meeting, going on this week in Washington, will vote today to approve a resolution calling for an end to the Act. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) called for repeal of the Act last year. Now, RNC bigwig Solomon Yue is spearheading the repeal effort.
They must figure half the world’s wealth is plenty enough for virtually 100 percent of it’s inhabitants. That, I suppose, is patriotism.