A Shitstorm Of Ambiguity!

If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, then you know that I have a pretty good idea of how I think things should be. But if you’ve read enough, you’ll also know that I’m not nearly as clear on how we should go about getting there from here

Anyway… Yesterday, my friend shared this image from The Christian Left on Facebook:

Now you all know that I am neither a Christian or a Liberal, but I liked what Senator Sanders said so much that I decided to share it on my Facebook page as well. So far, so good. Right? But then a guy posted this response to my friend’s share:

Bernie Sanders is not an Independent. He is a self-proclaimed Socialist. While this makes a good sound bite, the fact is that the top 50% of wage earners pay 97% of the taxes. The problem isn’t taxes, it’s SPENDING. Bernie knows that socialism works great until you run out of other people’s money. Well, we have run out of other people’s money. In fact, we ran out of it some time ago.

Which, of course, I had to agree with as well. At the same time though, I thought he was intentionally missing the point of Sen. Sanders statement – which my friend pointed out:

you have only hit on one cause (taxes.)….what about the rest of the sound bite????

should the elderly, the sick, the poor and the children pay for what our leaders( with the power to change things) but won’t work with each other / and greedy CEO’s who caused a lot of the problems >> it’s all about power…big business..,getting bigger,…….. it’s not about whats right and not about the people anymore…it is a sad situation…for sure.

Now the wise man would have just left well enough alone at this point. But while I may have been called a “wise guy” a time or two (or hundred), I doubt that anyone has ever referred to me as a “wise man!” So, being the ultra-obsessive that I actually am, I sat and stewed over this for a good long time…

You’ve gotta understand this: My friend is truly one of the coolest, most decent people I’ve ever known, but she’s nowhere near the kind of radical that I am. I’m pretty sure that when it comes to politics, she’s more or less a democrat down the line. But, in addition to a long friendship, we both have another really big thing in common: a dependence on the government backed “social safety net” – with her being retired and living on Social Security, and me being disabled and living on SSDI.

On the other hand, while I know nothing about the guy who made the response in question, the tone of his response implied the kind of “TEA Party” mentality that both me and my friend see as genuine threats to that “social safety net” on which we depend. So there I was, stuck in the middle again, between what I believe philosophically and the damage others can do when they fail to grasp the deeper philosophical issues.

So I decided to post this:

I believe in Capitalism because I think it’s the best system ever devised for humans to deal with each other in a way that best fits our nature as a species. Unfortunately, the fakers who strut around proclaiming themselves the “defenders of freedom” are “crony capitalists” at best, and represent the greatest threat to freedom in modern times. They are NOT capitalists.

While it’s true that the “top half” pays the vast majority of the taxes, it’s also true that the “bottom half” doesn’t make the rules that determine who pays what to whom. The “elite class” have always been rule makers: the politicians, acting at the behest of their owners – the “crony capitalist 1%” – whom the 50%, and whackos like some in the TEA party, all worship like Gods. THOSE are the people who have so warped the playing field we operate on that calling it a “free market” is an insult to the term.

But the fact is that there are no blameless people in the mess our country has become. Whether it’s those who see nothing wrong with living as predators preying on their fellow man, or those who keep silent and turn a blind eye when they see it happening, every one of us bears the blame for this situation. Just as every one of us must bear the cost of fixing it. I’m not sure who it was who said it, or the context in which it was said, but if any true words were ever spoken it’s these:

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!”

To her great credit, my friend applauded what I’d said. We’ve yet to hear back from the other guy. The thing is though, while it did feel good to get that off my chest (damned good, in fact), the fact is that I’ve been saying pretty much the same thing for a very long time. Hell, I actually said it A LOT BETTER in the Déjà Vu All Over Again post that I wrote over three years ago. And trust me, I SO get the irony of that title!

So now you understand the meaning behind the title of this post. At least I hope you do…

But then again, you know me: I’m INCAPABLE of leaving well enough alone!

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29 thoughts on “A Shitstorm Of Ambiguity!

  1. Not sure what you’re getting at here… 😉

    Sadly, I think we’re conditioned to be a soundbite culture, and without context or more than the phrase that will get on the news, everything just keeps getting more higgledy-piggledy-er.
    I think if most people knew the details of what the were screaming about, their stomachs would turn and they would spend the rest of their days asking for forgiveness…

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    • I tried El G, but steering a shitstorm is just so hard! 😉 🙄

      For me, people say so much crazy stuff that I’ve had to start wearing a big rubber band to ensure that my mouth doesn’t get stuck in the “agape” position! 😯

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    • Oh dear me, Bob. Challenges like that just scare me to death! Being about the closest thing to Heinlein’s “A Stranger In A Strange Land” you’re ever likely to meet, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Maybe, just maybe, with lots of thought and tons of research, I might be able to find socially acceptable answers to your questions, but that would still leave me scratching my head to find 11 non-offensive questions of my own to ask! 😯

      I will give it some thought though, and I certainly thank you for choosing me to play. 😀

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  2. Damn straight IzaakMak. I too believe in capitalism. I am sick and tried of people vilifying the rich and the big corporations (where would we be without them?). The role of the government is to tax those of us who work and distribute the money in a fair way, so that the whole community benefits. It is the governments fault if the money isn’t divided into the appropriate areas not the big corporates or the rich. It is not in the interest of the corporates to see a society sink to the depths of despair. They want the community to prosper. EVERYONE, both rich and poor, want to see their taxes put to good use. Money should be being poured into health and education. The more children educated means more people employed in the future. This means more tax dollars that can be put into health for the elderly and poor.
    This socialist welfare state bullshit is now biting Britain in the bum. You can’t have the able bodied low social economic groups believing they have the RIGHT to stay on welfare. Create friggin jobs. Get them to help build dams, roads, farm,etc. Instead of political groups defending them so they can score their votes. It’s friggin ridiculous. You have generations of people who have never worked a day in their lives who expect everything and resent everyone. Where is the dignity in that?
    Governments need to take their friggin heads out of everyone’s asses and start governing properly. They long ago lost the true meaning of government.
    Oh and don’t be sending your men and women to war if you are not prepared to look after their welfare on the battlefields and off.
    Phew Izaakmak. Now I got that off my chest I’m off to have a coffee 🙂

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  3. I agree with Sanders, and with you. Zig Ziglar writes, “Fair play seeks what is right, not who is right.” So it doesn’t matter what one’s opinion of Sanders, as a person, is–only whether one agrees with what he says. I think that’s really the biggest cause of the social breakdown in the U.S. today–most Americans don’t care what is right, but who is right. They just go along with whatever those they like, or side with, say or do–they don’t care whether it’s true or false, they don’t care whether it’s right or wrong. They only care who says or does it.

    PS–the slideshow is hilarious, but my favorite is the laughing Jesus saying, “You’re girl screams my name when you have sex!” Reminds me of this rhetorical joke question: Who do atheists call out to when their having an orgasm?

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    • Thanks Scott. As crazy as it sounds, I find myself agreeing with Jesse Ventura more often than not. And he is absolutely dead on when he compares political parties to street gangs (who also go along with whatever their cronies do) in his new book. He even re-branded the big two as The Democrips and The Rebloodicans. I think that’s hilarious, because I said “they should change their names to Demoplicans and Repubublicrats, because they’re just the two faces of the same ugly coin” in my Will The Real Glenn Beck Please Stand Up? post!

      I love being able to use some of the huge assortment of images I have stored on my computer. I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to images I like. The biggest problem is searching through them. And I wish WP’s slide viewer was a bit more attractive.

      As for atheist joke, I’ve never had sex with an atheist woman, but I tend to call out things like “who’s your daddy!” and “say my name!” 😆

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  4. Good post, Mak. Cathartic, especially the slide show. I’m already missing Dr. House.

    One economics meme that always irritates me is the one about the bottom half of the income scale paying no taxes. It’s not only false, it’s demagoguery of the worst kind. The saying of course should be restricted to “income” taxes, but it leaves out all the others such as property taxes, gasoline taxes, sales taxes (now approaching 10% in some places!), and not least, payroll taxes. The latter are are not only substantial, but because of wage and salary structures they are a much bigger burden percentage-wise on working stiffs than on the upper crust. Those wage and salary structures are always under construction of course (or de-construction) as manufacturing jobs evaporate, unions die, and the 1% prosper.

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    • Thanks Jim. I couldn’t agree more. Frankly, it pisses me off that the “champions of the weak” don’t make more of an effort to point these things out. Hell Jim, if I had my way – and I know this is a huge pipe dream – the various levels of government would have to provide each of us a “receipt” for every penny it has collected from us just like any other business we deal with!

      BTW, I miss Dr. House too – and I STILL haven’t been able to bring myself to watch those last two episodes sitting in my DVR. So you can imagine my shock when the cable guy attempted to swap it out for a new one when he came to investigate the signal break up problems I’ve been having with my local channels. When I asked if he could transfer my programs to the new box, he said it would violate those “no unauthorized re-broadcasting” agreements. WTF?!?! 😯

      So guess what? I now have a new cable / DVR box… sitting underneath my old one! I’m in the process of figuring out how – with a lot of cable swapping and taping off of remote sensors no doubt – to be able to watch my recordings from the old box while future recordings go onto the new box! 🙄

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  5. The phrase ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.’ was coined by Charles Rosner, an advertiser and marketer, and was used as a VISTA recruitment slogan in 1967.

    That this phrase was written by a advertiser should come as no surprise. It, as other slogans like it, is designed to shame people into action…action which might not necessarily be in their own best interest. It’s bullying at it’s finest. It’s that ‘either you’re for us, or against us’ mentality which leaves the individual no room to have his own views and perspectives. George Bush illustrated it perfectly, and quite effectively, with his ‘You are either with us or with the terrorists.’ speech. Really, Mr Bush? And what if I see you both as wrong and choose to be ‘with’ neither of you? This type of rhetoric leaves no option for individual thought.

    While I do agree with Mr.Sanders in many of his views, I emphatically disagree with the language his uses in this slogan….the elderly, the sick, the children, the poor. Pure emotionalism, and pure rubbish. Guilt and sentimentality rarely results in effectively feeding the hungry, and is instead used to make the speaker appear humanitarian and anyone who opposes him, by default, a heartless bastard.

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    • Thanks for a very well stated comment Alex. I can’t disagree with anything you said. I actually did a Google search for that quote before I used it and got too many references for me to be sure of its source. I wasn’t until I used your “a VISTA recruitment slogan” for a search parameter that I got back to reference to the VISTA program.

      The problem with people speaking is that there are no people who operate without an “agenda” behind what they say. Thus everything everyone says has an “intent to persuade” embedded within it. I am no exception to this, and my agenda is clearly stated in “The LowDown” box in my sidebar: “this is a collection of my pleas for reason & rationality in this global asylum.”

      I think that the problems we face can be fixed only by citizens who are willing to step up and take responsibility for the role they play within them. My agenda is to persuade people to think, for themselves, as individuals, and act in accordance with their own rational self interests.

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  6. Wow, Mak. I wish I had something profound to add to your pool of pundits but I’m giggling too much over the hilarious montage of images!
    Even if I were brave enough to tell you how I feel about politics I’m not savvy enough to embark upon a discourse on the merits of socialism vs capitalism. Not with the crowd you run in! They’d eat me up, toasted, with jam. 🙂
    Love your post and the fact that you can keep your sense of humor intact. I really hate it when people get uptight and downright strident when conveying their thoughts. Here’s another arrow of admiration for you! ——>

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    • I swear MZ, you sound more “delicious” to me with every comment you make. Despite your “I’m not savvy enough” protest, you have managed to precisely reflect back the “shitstorm” of emotions I attempted to express with this post. I bow to the Zen Master! 😀

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      • HAHAHA! Oh, IM…how I wish you lived next door. I’d bring you coffee and you could teach me all your “Wile” ways in person. No need for remotes or arrows.
        But we can never talk politics. You might not like my radical mishmash of republicrat democan ideals and you’d find a way to wrap me up in a straitjacket.

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        • I’m sorry my dear, but politics would have to be on the table. An opportunity to try my “home brew” straitjacket out on you is simply more than I could resist. And I’ll be insisting that you get the name right as well. That’s “Wile E.” to you missy! 😆

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  7. Right up until I got to your last response, I had planned to use the “I’m not worthy” reference. Damn.

    I agree with Bernie Sanders completely. Emotionalism be damned. It’s one of the only tools left to those of us who pay somewhere in the 25 percent tax bracket. Yep the rich pay taxes, but let us be real about it. What is their percentage in real terms after all of the write-offs. Still beating my dead horse about flat tax rate to achieve equity and fund the country.

    Love, love, love the slide show, especially Eastwood.

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    • You know, I’ve thought long and hard on what would constitute a “fair” tax Poietes, and I’ve concluded that it should be just like shopping or eating out – payment for services rendered with a receipt to show for it. How “fair” would it seem to you if I were to charge you ten times more for your burger than I did for the customer in line ahead of you? I know that that idea might piss off the liberals and get a huge cheer from the conservatives, until they consider just how much the government spends “protecting” the wealthy. When looked at in that light, wealthy taxpayers aren’t “buying” the same burger at all!

      I’m a huge Eastwood fan, and my collection of “a picture paints a thousand words” clips like the “I’m not worthy” one gets longer by the day! 😀

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      • On the tax issue: If everyone, except for those living below the poverty level, paid 10 percent of their income each year, no write-offs, no this, no that, then we could solve so many deficit problems, have the money to provide good educational services, etc. It will never happen.

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  8. Pingback: Enough With The Déjà Vu Already! | I Want Ice Water

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