Tag Archives: conservative

Farewell To Tweets

Since this is an unprecedented event in my time, I figured I’d at least record my thoughts on it to remember exactly what it was like.  I am referring to the sudden, rapid implosion of Twitter.  Since I’ve been a wordy motherfucker for decades, I obviously have no interest in Twitter.  It never suited my purposes and I never "got" what it was trying to sell.  So, this is clearly an outsider’s opinion.

Let’s start with my issues with the man behind the destruction.  Elon "This isn’t even my final form" Musk has been insufferable for years now and this is just the latest deed.  Fortunately, this is the one that pulls the curtain back on his actual lack of ability.  A spoiled brat falling upwards until he now seems to have reached the ceiling.  The only thing you can give him credit for is bankrolling other people’s ideas, like EV and space transportation.  I don’t buy for a minute all the people who say, "he’s a genius.  I’ve heard him talk and he knows his stuff."  He only has a skill of regurgitating other people’s knowledge, which is also a skill of a huckster.  He also has the self-important aura that makes him appear superior to others.  It’s no wonder he is an authoritarian, it’s his trajectory.

One of the biggest, biggest things that pisses me off about the Twitter problem is that it didn’t have to be a problem.  Everything Musk complains about is from his own doing.  Losing $4m/day?  It wasn’t before you got there.  Overstaffed, unproductive workers, company costs too high?  Wasn’t before you got there.  If Musk had just been a slightly better person and not tried to do some obvious market manipulation, resulting in him being forced to make good on an offer that was only supposed to make him richer, Twitter might still be around.

Next in line for gripes is the complete foolishness of Musk’s "management" style.   It’s not really management, it’s just barking orders.  The whole idea of, "I am the single source of guidance and direction" is impossibly stupid in an organization.  And as much as I hate to bring this other asshole into the conversation, it’s just like Trump being president.  Businesses and governments are built on a hierarchy for a very good reason.  It frees the people at the top from having to worry about the details, but authoritarians have to control every little detail.  And it sucks for everyone involved because there is no consistency and the second in command remains as clueless as the commoner.  Why even have a hierarchy then?

All of this superiority complex leads to the next point of stupidity.  Walking in on day one and firing the people in charge, then firing half the staff before you even understand how the company operates, then threatening the remaining people with double the workload and no additional incentive – still before you understand how the company runs – then, once a large number of those remaining people have bowed out, finally asking to be clued in as to how things work.  Any intelligent businessperson would spend months analyzing the system from the inside before making any changes.  Musk is lucky any of the other companies he bought survived his leadership and managed to stay on their original track.

I feel like I could go on, but I want to address the now and future of Twitter the service.

So, pre-Musk (PM), Twitter had a real problem with the quality of its userbase.  It had lots of harassment, incitement, and general bad behavior.  But so does every other social media site out there.  In that way, I am anti-social media in total.  I don’t think it has proven to be a good mechanism for communication.  The strengths it touts, allowing you to send off a quick message, as well as quickly reply in kind, are actually the wrong things to be promoting.  Spur-of-the-moment, off-the-cuff, spontaneous messages, spoken without consideration, as well as knee-jerk, impulsive responses, are not a conversation.  They are not anything but thoughts, and they lead to people doubling down and digging in on things they never should have said and can’t bring themselves to apologize for.  So again, quick messages are not good.

However, when it comes to news and alerts, quick messages are great.  And now a lot of governments and officials are wondering how they’re going to get the same effects after Twitter dies.  And again, I’m going to say, Twitter is not good for this use case either.  The problem I am focused on is that a lot of "alerts" are not internationally important or relevant.  The ones that people are worried about: active shooter, natural disaster, policy changes – these are all regional.  It does me no good to hear about an active shooter in CA when I’m across the country.  As best it’s a distraction.  And that’s the term I want to apply to Twitter broadly, it’s a distraction.  It causes you to concern yourself with things that are not something you can do anything about and are not time sensitive.  This is the problem the 24hr news cycle started and Twitter just turbocharged it.  So, I feel that governments are going to go back to the way they used to issue alerts, which were more regional. Journalists that cover those regions will subscribe to those alerts and will amplify the message appropriately. 

And I think what’s going to close up this post is the observation from someone who was there before the internet and seen how things got better and worse.  While the internet has been invaluable for accessing information that is more of a static nature, it has been more of a detriment for more transient information.  There’s lots of news that doesn’t need to be consumed right at the moment.  Even big news, like the Queen is dead, could wait for the evening.  That news doesn’t change what I am going to be doing for the day.  Again, it’s a distraction.  And I think the number of distractions we’re facing in a day is causing some serious societal harm.  I feel like I’ve written about this before, where if you read about 10 rapes in the news in a day, they feel like they’re all in your neighborhood.  The whole idea of being an interconnected world is not so appealing when you have to also bear the weight of the entire world’s problems.

It’s almost like we need some sort of hierarchical structure for news.

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

This is long.  This is a rant about my workplace.  While the story is specific to my employer, it’s actually more of a rant about rampant capitalism, of which my employer is highly adherent to.  It is sort of a difficult post for me to write.  I’ve been wrestling with myself for the last couple of days on the topic because I’ve felt I have no right to complain.  After all, I have a job, I’m paid quite well, the work is easy and in a field I enjoy.  There are people who do not have all, some, or even any of those.  Why should I complain?

Let’s just cut to the situation, then break it apart from there.  Friday morning we got an announcement that because of the pandemic and the resulting slowdown in business at the company, there were going to be some changes implemented.  So far, this sounds like every other company dealing with COVID fallout.  The changes include: pay cuts (15% for managers and up, 10% for everyone else), discontinuation of 401k matching, discontinuing anniversary bonuses, and discontinuation of PTO cashouts.  Earlier in the year, when COVID began, the company announced a wage freeze, so no more raises until things turn around.

How did this affect me personally?  I am considered maxed out on salary, so my raises have been trivial for the last few years.  A wage freeze doesn’t hurt me too bad.  However, a 10% pay cut, wiped out 6 years worth of raises for me.  You can also take out 4% of my salary from the loss of the 401k match.  The anniversary bonus is something nice to look forward to, and since my anniversary is in a couple of weeks, this stings a little more than usual.

I say again, why should I complain?  It’s just money and even with the changes, I’m still probably in the top 10 highest paid people in the company.  My finances are very stable.  But to not complain is to accept and encourage that mentality that is choking and killing America – I got mine. Fuck you.

This is a family-owned company, and a couple of the family members/owners "work" there.  Over the years, their involvement has dwindled as their age has also progressed.  They are all very, very wealthy and surely want to spend their lives and their money in other ways.

As spokespeople for the company, the owners have always stressed how the employees are like extended family.  However, when we have our annual layoffs, the remaining people are reassured that the company is financially strong.  I get it.  A company is not supposed to lose money; it wouldn’t survive like that.  However, when times are lean and there is a choice to reduce profit or reduce headcount, the same decision is always made.

I say again, I get it.  Money can come from a business in three ways: a salary, year-end profits, and the intrinsic value of the company itself.  I would be on board if the decision to preserve profit was because the owners only income was the corporate profit.  But it’s not.  The owners have the intrinsic value, they have the annual profit, and they also all pull a salary from the company.  They are triple-dipping and hoarding all the profits for themselves.  They sacrifice others for their own gain.

Now, here’s the straw that broke my back with this last announcement.  Two things actually.  First was the mention of layoffs.  The announcement rationalized that when volume was down, the company would lay people off.  And why not?  They’ve done it every year for at least four years.  While they didn’t explicitly say we should be happy they didn’t resort to layoffs, mentioning it at all means it was considered.

So why wasn’t that the decision?  Thanks to freedom-loving patriots out there (who I’m sure had to fight valiantly against the current administration), it is in public information that I was able to find out that our company received a PPP loan from the government in the amount of somewhere between 2 and 5 million dollars.  A provision of taking that loan is that you do not lay off any workers.  So layoffs weren’t an option, although it was still considered.  However, there’s no restriction against cutting salary or benefits (research shows that this not uncommon).

If you know the PPP loan program, you know it’s not a loan.  It’s forgivable as long as you abide by its rules.  So, it’s free government money (it’s not socialism when it’s capitalism, right!).  Our company got over 2 million dollars for free to pay for our salaries and our company instead cuts salaries.  That improves the company’s profit, which goes to… the owners, exclusively.  Hypothetically, lets say our business was down enough that we made no profit this year, we just broke even.  With the PPP loan, payroll expenses drop by $2M+, profit becomes $2M+.  And that is not enough for the owners.  Fuck you, I’m getting mine.

I know business.  I know how it can be used to fuck people.  I saw it at my last job and I see it here.  In my last job, there was a "final con" to fuck the employees and enrich the owner on his way out.  While I’m not sure my previous employer actually got to execute his plan before I left, if my prediction for this company’s "final con" is correct, it’s already a done deal.

The owners are old and not involved in the business anymore.  They want out.  Business is down and has been down for quite some time.  That is bad for the owners.  When someone wants to buy a business, they want to see what return on investment they will get from it.  If the company isn’t turning good profits, its value (the sale price) decreases.  While anyone pitching the company is going to point out the glory years as what the company is capable of and will also hype the potential of the business when COVID ends, they still need to prove short-term viability and profit.

I’ve already told you the secret a few paragraphs ago.  Reduce expenses, profit goes up.  By cutting everyone’s salary and the 401k benefits and anniversary bonuses and the cash value of PTO, the company immediately looks better financially to a buyer.  The buyer has no obligation to restore any of those things.  For all they know, it’s always been that way.  Maybe they would see in a prior year financial statement that expenses were much higher, but why should they care?  The current and future financials say they’ll make good money.

Pause for a moment and absorb all that.  Now, because I have to explicitly say this, if the company looks like it will be more profitable to a buyer, the company can be sold for more money.  That money goes to… the owners, exclusively.  The salary and benefit cuts remain.

Now, in closing.  I do get it.  This is business.  Do not ever feel like your employer give one single shit about you or your life.  Are there exceptions to this?  Sure.  But America is greed and selfishness personified.  It’s going to take generations to turn this around if it even can be turned around.  It’s not going to happen in my lifetime for sure.  I really do empathize with the younger generations and what they are facing.

Where It’s Going

On: https://akcaggiano.com/2020/11/10/cruel-to-be-kind/

Usually, I use the Commentary category for news stories, but when I was writing a comment on this blog post, I decided I had more to say about the situation and making my own post might be more appropriate.

To summarize: After having been verbally, emotionally, and physically abused by the former president and his followers, we’re now asked to simply forgive and forget.  The answer to both of those requests is "no."  Anyone that didn’t see a problem with what has been done over the last years has a serious problem.  Anyone that says the alternative would have be worse, or says that the president-elect is going to make it worse has a serious problem.

If we are not actually living in the "end times", which I’m not going to completely dismiss, a lot of people act as if there is nothing left to lose.  For example, a see a lot of posts about gender or sexuality rights.  And because "liberals" are coming into power, we’re all going to be homosexual now.  Hyperbolic and hysterical, yes, but here’s the point.  For some people, this is so important, that they would vote the incumbent back in solely because of that.  There are other similar reasons people have for the same action.  I’ll admit, there may be a case I would do something like that, but for a different cause.

The difference with me, and I would assume other rational people, is there is a level of risk/reward assessment.  To get what you want, how much do you have to give up?  And for these irrational people, it seems they would give up everyone’s everything for their one thing.  And they would suffer for it as well, despite the win – a Pyrrhic victory.  There’s no consideration to postpone that fight for 4 years and try again in better circumstances.  It’s tunnel vision.  Anyone who voted JoJo or Kayne, this is the one time to not be supporting 3rd party.  This one is too important.  But thank you anyway for pulling those votes.

Now, the point I really wanted to make in response to the post is: we’re nowhere near out of the woods on this.

There is a book from which I read an excerpt, and now there’s so many similar books there’s no way for me to find out which it was so I can link it, that discussed how Germany became Nazi Germany.  I distilled the information from that into a single statement to commit to memory, "Hitler comes later."

The point of that warning is that in Germany, there was a pre-Nazi leader who sparked the nationalistic views of the people.  He didn’t get very far, but the future Nazi party took note of how dedicated and passionate those supporters were.  The party then turned it up to 11 and viola, Hitler.

So while there may currently seem to be a glimmer of hope that civility can return, this is the time to be even more vigilant (and god, I hate that word).  I am certain the fanaticism has not gone unnoticed and can and will be exploited. 

If I had to hazard a guess, it will be Jr.  He’s young, charismatic, and carries the family name.  He’s got a partner from the media that has been successfully grooming him for presentation.  So far I haven’t heard of him speaking his own ideas, only parroting his father’s, but watch out if the tone changes and he starts instigating things himself.

We have 4 years to prepare for this.  Do not forgive and do not forget.

Is Isolationism Spreading?

In any other year, I would have simply rolled my eyes.  But in the current sociopolitical climate, the message raised my eyebrows.

I have had a hard time finding an online home.  Online forums are full of nothing but toxic and bitter people.  Everywhere you go, you  run into people who just can’t help themselves from cutting other people down for whatever reason.  The anonymity of the Internet gives them the power to do so without recourse.  I’ve wondered more and more lately if it was a good thing to make the internet accessible to all.

So, I had been settled into a new forum.  It had a very, very strict rule about not bringing up politics or religion in any way.  While that boundary was pushed occasionally, it was a line no one stepped over.  And the forum seemed to thrive for it.  There was some bickering over tastes and preferences, but that goes with my previous observation about general Internet usage.

This particular forum has no advertising and runs an annual donation drive for its expenses.  Maybe a little unusual, but it seems to have been working for a long time.  I did donate last year, maybe $20.  This year, I don’t know.  As ironic as it was, a pinned message was posted just above the pinned message for the donation drive with a new order from the owner.

The order was: if you are going to write a review for others to read, you must publish the review in the forum.  You may not link to a review posted on your personal blog.  If you do, the post will be flagged as spam and removed.  If you continue to do it, your account will be closed.

I can’t really express the feelings I got when I read that.  Maybe it doesn’t sound as bad here, where I’ve paraphrased it, but the literal words that punched me in the gut were, "directing us away from the forum".

Let me start on the positive.  I sort of understand.  This is a very popular forum.  I suppose the owner would not want people simply joining his site and taking advantage of a large audience to get some ad revenue and traffic to their own site.  Maybe that feeling is amplified because the owner doesn’t have advertising of his own, so why should others get the benefits of his site’s popularity?  And also, he didn’t specifically say you couldn’t copy your personal work into a post on his forum, because well, that’s what a forum is.  He’s not demanding exclusivity (unlike those fuckers at AlbumArtExchange).

So then, where’s my problem with it?  It’s that wording.  Posting a link isn’t taking any traffic away from you.  They have links set up properly where they always open in a new tab – you aren’t losing your place.  Second, this is the way of the Internet.  It’s how it was conceived and how it should be.  You link to related and relevant content.  You don’t try to be authoritative for everything.  Yahoo and AOL tried that and look how it worked for them.  The Internet is meant to be open and free and exploratory.  It’s not healthy to stay stuck in one place and get all your information from one site.  Some leaders are attempting that now and look how well it’s working for them.  Actually, don’t look at how well that’s working.  Look at the consequences of how well that’s working.

"Don’t leave" is never a good thing to hear from someone.  There’s the pleading, "don’t leave", then there’s the threatening, "don’t leave", and when you can’t tell the difference which one it is, that’s the worst of all.  And that’s unfortunately when you really should leave.

Stop This Shit


I don’t do many commentary posts, but this article really dug at me and it came on the heels of a response I had given somewhere about Mike Rowe.  The commonality in both of these is that there is a line, and it’s not exactly a fine line, where information becomes inflammation.

To start with, the title is “50 lies you learn in school”.  Before you’ve read anything, the article is implying that teachers, the people trained to educate you, are purposely lying to you.  In order to lie, you have to know the truth.  So the article is saying that your teachers know the truth and have intentionally told you otherwise.

If you go through this slide show, you will start with moments of, “Ok, I didn’t know that”, and “Huh, neat” but then, less than halfway through, you’re hit with “You can’t end sentences with prepositions.”  Whether or not you agree or not, does this sound like a lie?  By the definition, yes, it is a lie.  However, that statement is not what is taught.  You would be taught, “You should not end sentences with prepositions.”  And that is not a lie, because it is not being presented as a fact or a rule, merely a guideline.  The same thing with “You can’t begin sentences with conjunctions.”  A style guide is just that, a guide.

The other type of tactic this article uses is on display with “The tongue map”.  The slide says “The tongue map drawn back in 1901 is a lie.”  And this is what REALLY pisses me off.  It is not a lie when you do not know any better.  The slide immediately says, “Scientists now know…”  which means they were not intentionally hiding the truth back in 1901, they just had limited information at the time.  This is repeated over and over with “facts” that had to be revised as more information became available.  That does not make the original facts “lies”.

Another tactic is playing with words.  “There’s no gravity in space” is clearly a lie.  Why?  Because the proper statement is “There is not a substantial amount of gravity in space.”  The article proposes that not being explicit enough is a lie.  Then the slide show starts to get into fringe medicine, such as “You need milk for strong bones” which cites as a reason some potential cronyism by an executive.  There’s a couple of “facts/lies” I have never heard before in my life. “Blood is blue in the body”?

All in all, this is a terrible article, and let me now explain the Mike Rowe connection.  There is a growing wave of anti-intellectualism here in America.  It is dangerous as fuck and since about 2016, it’s been blowing up everywhere.  It is the absolute proof that Idiocracy is coming to pass.  It’s not enough that people are not taking the time to educate themselves, which is damaging enough, but now there is an active effort by some people to discredit other people who are intellectual.

Here’s the gist of how it works.  You find some information that used to be considered factual, but because of additional study, is now considered wrong.  And that former information is not labeled “obsolete”, but is instead touted as a “lie”.  The argument is that the “smart people” lied to you all these years with that incorrect information.  But the insane part of that argument is that it was the “smart people” who corrected the mistake.

The goal of this article and other examples of it (like Mike Rowe’s position on science) is to cause people to distrust information from learned sources.  They want people to ignore “best practices” because they are not completely proven yet.  Even if they are proven, what is proof?  They want everyone to live in a “We just don’t know enough yet to make a decision” mindset.  Conservative to to the point of regression.

Shades of Taxes

I recently watched a video on the dangers of “socialism.”  It was an animation and was intended to be humorous while delivering its message.  The illustration given was a classroom where it was announced that everyone would get the same grade, averaged from all the tests.  After the first test, everyone got a B, the next test, everyone got a D, the last test, everyone got an F.  This is how socialism works, apparently.

The problem with the illustration is that the subjects are of two distinct personalities: selfish and lazy, which is how anti-socialism people view the world.  You are either selfish and in it for yourself only, which is why you are a capitalist, or you are lazy and don’t want to do anything, which is why socialism is so great for you.

The world is so full of absolutes right now, it’s disgusting.  You are either Left or Right, Pro or Con.  And that designation, aside from having no variance, also has no subsets.  There will always be those that will fight for a cause and those that don’t care about it.  There will always be people who care about doing a good job and those who don’t see the point in it.

Here’s an anti-socialist viewpoint: why have garbage cans on the street?  Eventually everyone’s going to just throw their trash on the ground, because there’s no gain in using the garbage can.  All the effort of trying to keep the streets clean is wasted on those that don’t care, so why bother.  I mean, either you’re 100% for litter control, in which case you’d handle all of your trash needs yourself and have no need for government-subsidized garbage can entitlements, or you’re not, in which case the ground is your garbage can.

Flippant as it is, it exposes the hypocrisy of anti-socialists.  If it’s something they support, good, otherwise, fuck off.  These people want life to be a’la carte.  They want to pick and choose every single piece of their life experience.  So why not?

Yes, why not?  Everyone bitches and moans about their tax dollars going to pay for something that they hate.  So why not let them choose?  Why not?  I think we have enough diversity in America that everything would be funded as it’s needed.  You’d have your rich, educated types diverting their tax money to education programs, earth and hippie types allocating for environmental causes, farmers propping up agriculture subsidies, rednecks and bulletheads giving all their tax dollars to defense.  Despite all the stereotypes, it would all work out.  And you’d have normal people allocating some here and some there, balancing things even further.

So all this stuff about Congress budgeting and allocating and taxing and robbing people to pay Paul, it all goes away.  Each year, the income tax forms are collected and everyone has contributed a flat tax of 10%, 12%, 15%, whatever.  Everyone has indicated on their tax form whether they want their taxes spread equally or according to the category assignments provided.  You will actually have a tangible value assigned to the service, instead of “These people insist their service needs more funding.”

I’m Taking My Ball and Leaving. Screw You Guys.

On: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ceo-workers-youll-likely-fired-131640914.html

Fresh in the news is a story about a business owner warning his employees they might be fired if Obama is re-elected.  This story cannot be let go without commentary.

Here’s the summary: the business is profitable despite the bad economy, but if taxes are raised or levied on him or his business, CEO will cut jobs or just flat-out close the business.

Included in the lengthy email is a story about how CEO grew up modestly and sacrificed to build his company.  More words describe how he lives and breathes his company.  More words about how he never takes time off work because he is constantly running his business.  This passionate essay is hard to ignore, after all, who doesn’t appreciate hard work?  But, as he even admits, a lot of his employees work hard also.  But, the message is pretty clear.  His ego is well in charge.

Let’s address the issue of taxes.  If taxes are raised on him or his business, he’s quitting.  If his taxes go up, he’s going to punish his 5,000 workers and the economy by closing the business.  First, this is arrogant, selfish, and childish.  Second, it’s unnecessary since he could sell the business without hurting anyone.  Now, if taxes go up on his company, he’s cutting back or closing the business.  The greatest thing I learned from the FairTax book is that taxes are nothing but an expense to a company and they will pass that expense on to the consumer.  So if taxes/expenses go up, either prices go up or profit margins fall.  If CEO is threatening to fire people, it’s because he wants to preserve his profit margin.  Additionally, it shows that CEO feels the best course to efficiency is by eliminating people.  Of all the possible way to increase efficiency, less people is the route he takes.

Let’s address the issue of compensation.  The whole letter is supposed to make you feel like CEO is just like you, and in the early days of the company, I’m not going to argue, he probably worked side-by-side and was just like the other workers.  Then, things grew and CEO elevates higher and higher, leaving the rank and file behind.  I don’t argue this; this is how business operates.  But a business owner has technically two sources of equity: the salary and expenses he costs the company, and the intrinsic value of the company itself.  But to say you sacrificed and continue to pour all your money back into the business is somewhat egregious since obviously some money goes to living expenses and the value of the company is a safety net other employees don’t have.

And the touting of sacrifice brings me to the final and most important point.  Why are there people like CEO?  Why isn’t everyone like CEO?  CEO and others like him would like you to believe that you are either not capable of operating at their level or that you are lazy and worthless.  And that’s not true.  The fact is, the majority of people don’t enjoy building and running companies.  It’s a lot of work.  But so is manufacturing, so is farming, so is digging a ditch.  And people do these things because they enjoy doing them.  Damn you if you think you are somehow more valuable to society because your enjoyment is building a business and having others make money for you.  You are doing what you do because you like doing it and presumably you are good at it.

That’s why this CEO letter is so pathetic.  If he truly loved his job and enjoyed what he did, there would be no stopping him.  He would absorb the changes and continue.  But where are his thoughts?  They are not focused on the success of his business or even on his personal success, they are focused on what he feels he is losing.  He wants more.  Are these the people we should be respecting?

The bottom line is this.  If you are not enjoying your job anymore, quit, and shut the hell up.  Otherwise, you are acting like a baby.  Grow up and do the right thing.  Life will go on without you.

Warning: Political Topics Inside (Gas Mask Recommended)

On my way to dinner tonight, I found myself thinking of a few political issues.  Just some unanswered questions that run through my head that I don’t care to really know the answer to.  Well, I kind of care about the answer, but I don’t think the people that profess to have the answer are objective enough to have an unbiased answer.  Such is the current political climate where no one trusts anyone else.

Anyway, I was thinking about left vs. right and how the right always accuses the left of overspending on social programs.  They’re too expensive, they always get more expensive.  Doesn’t anyone consider that there is a growing population?  It would make logical sense that if the population is growing, the cost of providing social services for that population will grow as well.  Solution: we need less people.  Welcome to my soapbox.

The other argument is that social services make people dependent on government.  The right claims that they want all people to be independent and self-supporting.  Well, not really.  They want people to be just as dependent on government, too, but instead of offering social services, they offer security.  And how is that benefit sold?  Through fear.  Fear of anything and everyone.  It used to be fear of external sources: communists, Islamic  radicals, Chinese superpower.  That’s been supplanted by fear of internal sources: your fellow Americans.  So to summarize, you can get your shackles in your choice of color: red or blue.

But the original point of my post was not intended to be political, it just ended up that way because I was thinking about the stalemate on the debt ceiling and how our government needs more revenue to support the left’s social services and the right’s defense/offense initiatives.  The best way to do this is to make sure everyone pays taxes.  The best way to do that is by enacting the FairTax.  When I hear that there is a way to make drug dealers and illegal under-the-table laborers pay taxes, I’m fully in support of it.

The FairTax has been stalled many times and I suspect quite a bit of it is because of the enormity of change it involves.  Much like any huge undertaking, like converting to electric vehicles, it’s a balance between building the infrastructure and building the products.  In this case, the product is the FairTax, and the infrastructure is how to capture and report that revenue.

So, how much closer could we get if someone like Amazon made a press release saying “our website code is ready to support the proposed implementation of the FairTax.”  And a month later, EBay/PayPal announce their sites are ready to go once it is enacted.  If these two major shopping companies embrace and proactively  adopt this concept, it could put pressure on other companies to be prepared, just in case.  Then when most everyone is ready to handle the change, it’s a tacit acceptance of the change itself.

And isn’t that a wonderful reversal: having businesses tell the government how they want to handle revenue reporting?


The last couple days I’ve been thinking about people who are true capitalists.  These are people who are always pushing forward, pushing themselves to do bigger and better things.  To hear conservatives talk, you’d think nothing in the world would ever get done without these people.  And when I hear things like that, sometimes I think there’s something wrong with me because I don’t have that drive.

But I also think, are these people really happy?  They never reach their goal.  There’s always something more to do.  Then I backed up and looked at my own life.  My quality of life improved at the point I stopped wanting more.  Well, that’s not the best way to say it.  My life improved at the point I stopped defining happiness as having more.  It’s more about how I hear people say, “if I had a 64” TV, I’d be happy”, “if I only had to work 20 hours a week, I’d be happy”, “I wish I could find an awesome deal on a new house.”  It’s so… specific.

So now you get what you want.  Then what?  You want something else.  You’re never focused on what you have now, you are always looking forward to what you want, keeping yourself in a perpetual feeling of non-fulfillment.  Obsessing over the lack of something keeps it in front of you, gives it power, even giving it power over you.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an object, a condition, or a person.  very simply, if you are always telling yourself “I need more money,”  don’t you always need more money?  Yes, because that’s what you keep saying.  If you keep telling yourself, “my life sucks,”  your life will suck, because no one’s arguing the point – certainly not you.


There is an infographic I found a while ago that I found quite interesting.  At the time I found it, It was a “that’s neat” response.  Upon revisiting it and doing some critical thinking, I realize that it answers so much about the current political environment.  Some questions it explains:

  • Why can we never have world peace?
  • Why can we never be equals?
  • Why must some people be poor?
  • Why do those poor people typically vote for Democrats?
  • Why are rich, white people typically Republicans?
  • Why are we so screwed up right now?

The key, for me, is understanding the base motivations of Conservatives and Liberals.  It also made me realize how liberal I am, so consider this your warning.

For reference, the graphic is at: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/left-vs-right-world

Typically, when you hear pundits talk about right/left, red/blue, Republican/Democrat, they focus on stereotypes: Democrats want to raise taxes, Republicans want to start wars, Democrats want government to control your life, Republicans only care about the rich people.  No one ever talks about why these parties do this.

A simplistic view is that Liberals want everyone to get along and to be treated equally, while Conservatives want defined classes of people.  Why do Conservatives need classes of people?  Because their whole ideology is based on getting personally rewarded for your personal efforts – the harder you work, the more reward you get.  Sounds pretty good,  and I agree with it until I realize that this requires a winner and a loser.  Your success results in failure for others.  Their success results in failure for you.  So, successful people want to remain successful and keep others that would threaten their success as subordinate. “The rich get richer.”

Why are they called Conservatives?  Because they resist change.  Things are fine just as they are, with us in control.  How far back do you have to go to see Conservatives resisting change because Conservatives were in power?  All the way back to the days of slavery.

So on the other side you have Liberals, who are always changing things in the interest of balancing power, making advancement possible for people who don’t have the resources available to richer people.  And Conservatives hate that.  First, because they didn’t get any help for their success, and second, because it gives them competition.

The other light bulb burning brightly from my study of this graphic is a key word applied to Conservatives: fear.  It is found in the relationship of parent to child.  Parents control their children through fear.  It’s been nearly 10 years that we have been besieged with a non-stop torrent of fear mongering from our Republican leaders.  When we finally received a break – in the message of “Hope” – the Republican message remained unchanged, but refocused.  Now instead of fearing an external enemy, we must fear our own government.  But only because the current president is a Democrat, once Republicans take over again, we can start worrying about the rest of the world.

So in summary, having Conservatives in charge means things will not change.  That’s great if you are a Conservative yourself and/or you are content with the way things are right now.  The problem with being Liberal is that your nature is to promote equality.  This tactic doesn’t work against a Conservative, who does not believe in equality and whose prime mission is to rise above and control others in order to succeed – little more than base, primal, instinct.

2012 can not come soon enough.