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World-saving solutions and inspirations… and what’s really in that tax bill

 

World-saving solutions and inspirations… and what's really in that tax bill

Courtesy of David BrinContrary Brin

[David Brin is an astrophysicist, futurist, best-selling author, tech-consultant, and speaker. David's international best-selling novels include The PostmanEarth, and Existence. To read more of David's blog posts, novels, and short stories, visit the Contrary Brin blog and David's website.]

Problem solving solutions
 
The simple-minded genetic determinism of ignorant white nationalists is backfiring on them. They are getting genetic tests to prove how Caucasian they are, and very few of them are getting the results they expect. Anthropologist Raymond Firth wrote a long time ago that whenever two populations meet, they may or may not bleed, but they will most certainly breed.
 
This raises a potentially effective – and hilarious – way to combat these groups.  Show up at their rallies and hand out coupons for 23 & Me or Ancestry.com…or some cheaper site… to get their haplotype inheritance markers tested.  At minimum, you’ll roil their pot, isolating the extreme racial purists and getting them acting hateful to many of their own recruits!  Even better, some of the marchers may get drawn toward both science and acceptance of complexity, plus identification with more than one simplistic (and actually nonexistent) “European” stock.  Heck, talk those Silicon Valley types into doing this in a test somewhere, then fund giving spit kits away at every rally!
 
What the "Tax Bill" really is about
 
Gliding onward from "repeal and replace," now it's taxes. An architect of Republican Supply Side Economics reveals that he is sapient by admitting that evidence should change one’s mind. And evidence shows that Supply Side has always bee utter voodoo. Tax cuts for the rich have never – not once, ever- had any of the stimulative effects promised. And the Clinton tax increases led directly to the best growth since the 1970s.  Wealth transfers to the aristocracy are not invested in R&D or productive “supply” capacity – but instead inflate asset bubbles. Are you similarly sapient? Is your mad uncle?  “I helped create the GOP tax myth. Trump is wrong: Tax cuts don’t equal growth.”
 
Moreover, GOP tax cuts always led to skyrocketing deficits. So, where are all the budget balancers and deficit hawks now?  See where I prove that (surprise!) it is always Democrats who are more fiscally responsible. What? You prefer your comfy cliches over actual evidence?
 
But let's be clear. Sure, every line of the new "tax bill" will benefit Trump and his fellow oligarchs, above all. Yes, Hedge funds and lawyers get a special tax break. And other travesties. And your mad uncle who thinks these are ‘populists” is truly a jibbering, confederate loony. But the top goal of all Republicans, across every divide, has been to cancel out the Estate Tax… they call it the “Death Tax.” 
 
They know they’ll have to back off on some of their proposed middle class rapes and gifts to oligarchy, but that one will probably slip through, and there’s nothing more evil.  And it will slip through because half our neighbors have let themselves be suckered into fights over symbolism, like confederate statues, kneeling football players, and whether a “fence” can be upgraded into a “wall."
 
Staunching the worst

Two bills introduced in August are designed to safeguard the independent prosecutor, whose investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election has roused Trump's public and private frustration. Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) have proposed allowing a special counsel to contest any termination after the fact, while another bill from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) would require the Justice Department to seek judicial approval before any firing.

How silly!  Oh, sure, I am glad DP & GOP senators are recognizing the need to send DTrump a signal to leave the Mueller investigation alone. But in a BILL?  Where will you find the nineteen GOP senators willing to help 48 democrats to over-ride Trump’s inevitable veto?

As it happens, the Constitution has a provision that would let Congress – by simple majority – appoint an “other body” under the 25th Amendment that could do two things (1) make strong (though perhaps sub-binding) rulings about the President’s power to evade justice, and (2) issue – in conjunction with the Vice President, a temporary removal of presidential power. Elsewhere, I explain how this works.

Art Inspires the Awakening of Our Union
 
With his new site, Woke Giant, Patrick Farley, the brilliant artist who did my Existence trailer and “Spiders” and First Word and so many other fantastic web comics, has been putting out incredible, moving posters to help inspire, as America wakes up again to the resurgence of confederate treason.
 
Meanwhlie… Blackwater's founder – Erik Prince – offers a plan to privatize the war in Afghanistan.  Charging us just a few tens of billions/year and removing lawful supervision of conduct. In effect: "Let me handle things; just go back to your soaps and video games."  All right, that's my paraphrasing.  But no person – not even Rupert Murdoch – so personifies that effort, to shift America from an open-accountable and fact-using republic to an empire-oligarchy complete with mercenary armies, bread&circuses, a shift that the Romans went through with Caesar, and that Orson Scott Card extolled in his novel EMPIRE. (Indeed, a power transfer to unaccountable demigods that Card pushes in every single tale that he writes.) Watch for the other shoe to drop. Trump hinted that Afghanistan would have to start handing over mineral and other wealth (poppies?) presumably to Trump-Murdoch-Cheney connected companies.
 
Our parents in the Greatest Generation faced similar choices, as did their forebears in 1918, the 1870s and earlier.  For good reason (they knew more about this danger) they chose their favorite living human: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, instead of such monsters.
 
And monsters rise again… see Farley's image: You again? Stop the "Alt-Right" subtitled, "We beat 'em before. We'll beat 'em now." Though I would have given the loony-hateful romantics torches. Tiki torches. Tiki torches, fools? The fact-users that you hate got us to the Moon and Mars and Jupiter and Pluto, and are developing fusion power. You've chosen to wage war on all the folks who know stuff. How do you think that's going to turn out?
 
And while we’re on the power of art…
 
Don't Be a Sucker! is a short educational film produced by the U.S. War Department in 1943 and re-released in 1947. The film depicts the rise of Nazism in Germany and warns Americans against repeating the mistakes of intolerance made in Nazi Germany. It emphasizes that Americans will lose their country if they let themselves be turned into "suckers" by the forces of fanaticism and hatred. The film was made to make the case for the desegregation of the United States armed forces by simply revealing the connection between prejudice and fascism.
 
Political miscellany

This missive on Huffpost: “Why Democrats Could Consider Registering Republican To Stop Trump” is a dumb version of my own earlier suggestion. Indeed, is it time to reconsider a mass migration of blacks and other minorities to Mississippi or Alabama? They are already almost 40%! Hey Amazon, set up shop there.

I could not care less about Louise Linton (Mrs. Secretary Mnuchin) and her tiff on Instagram.  Yes, she came across as a spoiled brat… though if you read her posting, I deemed it non-heinous. Bratty, but not as bad as reports.  No, what IS interesting is how this author on the NPR website-blog uses the non-event to riff onto “marginal disutility” in tax rates and to teach some interesting aspects about progressive taxation systems.
 
Reflections
“He broke America.” No man has done more in recent years to undermine the functioning of U.S. government. His has been the epitome of unprincipled leadership, the triumph of tactics in service of short-term power.’  Donald Trump?  No. Look who.
 
“For as wealth is power, so all power will infallibly draw wealth to itself by some means or other.”    – Edmund Burke (1780)
 
“Of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the distribution.”   – Francis Bacon (De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, 1623)
 
“That mankind as a whole shall become richer does not, of necessity involve an increase in human welfare."   – John Bates Clark
 
“Riches: The saving of many in the hands of one.”  – Eugene V. Debs
 
Those persons who comprise the independent classes are dependent upon two things: the industry of their fellow creatures; and injustice, which enables them to command it.  – Based on John Gray (A Lecture on Human Happiness, 1825)
 
“No rich man is ugly.” – Zsa Zsa Gabor
 
Check out David Brin's Contrary Brin blogwebsitebiographybooks/novels, and short stories

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