​Revenue Neutral and Morally Upright

By Landon Farley, 7513Media contributor
Leftism’s desire to fund this or that well intentioned but misguided public social and economic programs might be easier to toletate, if their desire to have a punitive tax system could stand a compromise.
That is to say, if taxation was based on collection rather than confiscation, one could almost care less as to which daft programs ended up being collectively funded.
Economic rubes will likely try and tell us that the government already “collects” taxes.  No.  Any tax system based on that which is earned or produced, is confiscatory in nature.  Government takes (and I do mean takes…ask Wesley Snipes what happens when an individual chooses not to be taken from) our collective taxes.  

It takes them in a variety of forms.  Income taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes…all kinds of taking going on.
The revenue our government takes could be merely collected and remain revenue neutral.  Revenue neutral meaning however much money the government currently takes, can be collected in the exact same amounts and then divvied back out towards whatever leftist ends are popular, or up for being called a new entitlement at the moment.
Consumption taxes are the answer.
Applying a flat, 23% (as of 2004, I think that number would be 24% right now) to the sale of each item available for purchase (good or service) within our economic transactions would keep government receipts revenue neutral and it would be the collection of taxes based on individual, free choices made within their daily economic transactions.
Typical complaints about this measure are that this may increase the cost of goods and services and that the rich need to pay more.  Neither of these two complaints are based on measurable thought.
For one, goods and services already have additional costs.  They are called embedded taxes.  Embedded taxes are costs that are placed upon businesses in the form of taxation (payroll, SS, etc.) and included in the price of whatever good and or service a given business is offering.  

Businesses do not pay taxes.  Consumers do.  There are no embedded taxes necessary when taxation is applied at the back end of a transaction.  The cost of goods and services would likely come down a meaningful amount in a short period of time if the only cost a business had to account for was the cost of making and distributing their good or service.
Second, the complaint about rich people potentially not paying “their fair share” (what a godforsakenly stupid phrase) is sort of mindboggling.  If some billionaire went out and decided to buy a yacht, let’s say a $10 billion yacht, at 24%, that becomes a $12.4 billion purchase, with the government receiving $2.4 billion in revenue right there, on the spot, with that one purchase.  I wonder how many tens of millions of poor-middle class taxpayers pay less than $2.4 billion combined in any given year.
And to that point, who buys the most stuff in any society?  Rich people.
Society need not take stuff from other people.  We can collect revenue (based on our free choices) and still provide public funds towards whatever giant daft entitlement programs our society’s little hearts desire.

It’s ‘Memorial’ Day people

Marine honoring the fallen

Scrolling through my Facebook feed this morning, it became abundantly clear that Facebook in America is confusing Memorial Day with Veterans Day.

Somewhere among all the BBQin’, beer drinkin’ and DUI checkpoint warnings, the are a few posts honoring those who have the ultimate sacrifice, not many. Being a Navy veteran from the first Gulf War era and from a military family, I know how important this holiday is to many Americans.

I have to be honest though…

The majority of Americans have little clue what this day is about. I have been thanked for my service, which makes me uncomfortable to begin with, multiple times this weekend. This day is for the fallen, not the lucky.

I guess what triggered me today was, discussing amateur foreign policy at the bar, being lectured about the importance of a strong military and respecting the troops in one breath; in the next breath, thanking for my service on Memorial Day.

#facepalm

One way to respect the troops is knowing the holidays honoring them and the difference between the two. Another, stop making veterans, especially fallen ones.

Under the current administration, not much different from the last one, is vocally and brazenly increasing our global military involvement. We have already seen an increase of combat casualties in both Allied military personel and innocent civilians.

Honor the fallen, stop killing people.

UWOTM8

Who waits tables?

I actually had my most difficult check splitting incident in my decades in the service industry.

I work at an Italian joint in the affluent south in a nice neighborhood close to beaches and minutes from a historic bustling small city. The table was ten ladies, a birthday and all neighborhood people in their thirties and forties. They were polite, gracious guests and good tippers.

They ordered appetizers and wine for the table, salads and entree for almost all. Good table. Luckily I am anal about seats and precheck organization; the hard part was yet to come.

They ordered a piece of cake for the birthday girl a piece of chocolate cake to end the celebration.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

Ten people, nine seperate checks . The joiner was easy, a glass of wine and an entrée to go. The birthday girl’s meal and drinks were split evenly among the remaining eight ladies. The two bottles of wine were split among four. Two entrees were shared between four different people and two salads were split among four guests.

Welp, I did it! I did have to delete two items and re-ring them no make though.

I should have been more efficient, given my experience, but overall; everyone enjoyed themselves and I made decent loot.

Still doing it wrong… (opinion)

by R. S. Marlow

I can’t help myself from eavesdropping conversations in bars, restaurants and other public spaces. The subject that has been most popular, at least the ones I hear, have been about politics. Conservative this, liberal that, he’s a Nazi, she’s a snowflake, etc… Polarization is the norm and two people with opposing views can not even sit across from each other to share a pizza and an IPA.

I am just as guilty as you and everyone else. I flip out when:

The same people who are claiming they will gladly run over a protester because blocking traffic is an unacceptable form of protest, are the same people claiming not standing for a song is an unacceptable protest. Well, what the fuck is acceptable? Or, when the same people crying about Trump’s travel ban were silent when Obama enacted virtually identical policies. I don’t get it.

I have a few more triggers, but those are the big ones nowadays.

yrigger

Tonight I overheard  a family discussing politics over a coffee. The family, who were vocally left leaning, were a bit hostile towards the lone Trump supporter. Poor guy, he seemed fairly moderate to me. But, polarization is polarizing.

On the flipside, the group on the other side of me was exactly the opposite. Everyone was red in the face crying about snowflakes and complaining about lack of free speech for conservatives.

I didn’t have the heart to break it to them; The First Amendment protects you from being arrested for your speech, it does not protect you from people you pissed off with something you said. No one, not one person in this world, not even your spouse, believes exactly like you. Just stop using the terms liberal and conservative, stop judging policy by who is in office and judge it by merit.

I’m no fan of this administration and was no fan of the last one either. We are losing civil liberties hand over fist, we have been at war for a decade and a half with no end in sight, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Stop, just stop making things worse and find a way to work with your neighbor to make positive change. Put your differences aside and have some discourse without getting mad as fuck.

Having said that, it’s ok to punch Nazis.

The return of the Black Bloc

by R. S. Marlow

Since Donald Trump has been elected President, there has been a resurgence in Black Bloc tactics in resistance to the agenda of the new administration. Many anti-fascist groups feel the Trump presidency is a direct threat and are willing to retaliate with unconventional measures.

Anti-Trump protests have popped up in many cities and towns across the United States. While the majority of the protest have been peaceful, property damage and physical attacks on individuals are becoming more frequent.

On Nov. 10 in Portland Oreg., twenty five people were arrested as protesters smashed car windows and stopped traffic. Police responded with tear gas after glass bottles were thrown at officers.

Activist in Berkeley Calif. effectively shut down a Feb. 1 scheduled speech my  Milo Yiannopoulos, a popular alt-right speaker and Brietbart writer.  As many as 1,500 people showed up to protest the event,  including a group of about twenty black-clad individuals who broke windows, set fires and reportedly attacked Yiannopoulos supporters.

Tens of thousands of protesters descended on the nations capital  on Jan. 20 to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States. While the overwhelming majority of protesters were peaceful, a group of antifascist protesters had another plan.

According to a report by The Washington Post:

“Around 10:30 a.m., a group of self-described “anti-fascist, anti-capitalist” protesters marched from Logan Circle toward the Mall. Some in the group tossed bricks at cars and businesses, knocked over trash cans and smashed a limousine.”

dcbloc

Black Bloc squares off against police in Washington D.C.. (All photos Alex Porcher)

 

As the group reached 13th and K streets NW, a splinter group of about 200 from within the black-clad protesters set fire to a limousine and numerous trash cans, broke the windows of a Starbucks and a Bank of America and assaulted an alt right leader.

The protesters are using a tactic called Black Bloc, first introduced in West Germany in the 1980’s. “Black Bloc was coined in 1986 when a massive black-clad bloc was formed to defend the Hafenstrasse squat, where 1,500 black bloc members and 10,000 other protesters confronted the police and saved the squat.” said George Lennox, a well know activist and Anarchist.

Justin Fawkes, and eye witness demonstrator using an alias, was just feet away from the unfolding events.”I saw the Black Bloc smash a limo and I saw them smash the bank, I remember that much and then the riot police rushed us with shields,” said Fawkes. “We were rowdy, but we weren’t all breaking things.”

dcpoliceswing

A photographer gets a close shot as Black Bloc attempts to break through a police line.

According to social media reports, the group may also be credited with the alleged assault of Richard Spencer, a prominent alt-right leader. The person seen punching Spencer in a well circulated Internet video had very likely been kettled by law enforcement in the bloc march, then was part of the group that pushed and broke through the police line moments earlier.

dcpoliceline

Capital police make a line to combat Black Bloc protesters.

Black Bloc tactics first made headlines in the U.S. in a protest dubbed, “The Battle of Seattle”. The Black Bloc overwhelmed police and began smashing police cars and windows throughout downtown Seattle. The protests resulted in the activation of two battalions of National Guardsmen. 157 individuals were arrested but released for lack of probable cause or hard evidence; $250,000 was paid to the arrested by the city of Seattle.

The tactics used by Black Bloc also surfaced during the Arab Spring, a small group appeared at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, claiming to be the protectors of the protesters from the Egyptian state police force.

As law enforcement began to evict Occupy camps in 2011, Black Bloc began to show their presence. Leaflets were passed out at many Occupy camps with the text, “Relax people. It’s us, the Black Bloc. What you can’t do, we can. We don’t just attack, we defend people against police abuse and defend our right to protest.”

While many are critical of the tactic, calling it useless and counterproductive, Black Bloc proponents see another side. “Black blockers target businesses in regards to their message. In general Black Blocs do not strike community centers, public libraries, the offices of women’s committees or even small independent businesses,” said Lennox.” This can be seen in the recent inauguration tactics where a bank and Starbucks were vandalized.”

“Many actually have days jobs working for nonprofits. Some are schoolteachers, labor organizers, or students. Some don’t have full-time jobs, but instead spend most of their time working for change in their communities,” continued Lennox. “These are thinking and caring folks who, seek change for the betterment of humanity as a whole. They may have radical ideals and beliefs along with social agendas outside societal norms but they are working on awakening the masses.”

Muslim Ban? Not Exactly

By Landon Farley

You could convince me to air drop any number of tons of food and water into distressed and oppressed regions of the world. You all clearly have an abundance of compassion, but most of you have not delved very deeply into the actual language of the policy, or the potential repercussions of encouraging heavy flows of humans that have no idea what it is like to live in a mostly free and open society.

In the top six most heavily populated Muslim countries in the world, reside 53% of the world’s Muslims. None of them from any of those countries, are part of a temporary (I repeat, TEMPORARY, 90 day immigration halt). (http://www.mapsofworld.com/…/world-top-ten-countries-with-l…).

Since the hysteria has sent you into the land of Unthinking, here is a link to an extremely well cited explanation of the Executive Order, and to other pertinent laws, some of which include the exact same verbiage of immigration laws enacted by president Obama upon the onset of the Syrian Civil War: http://www.nationalreview.com/…/donald-trump-refugee-execut….

One particular that I would like to point out is the verbiage relating to immigration officials’ legality in accepting “persecuted religious minorities.” The hystericals are so hysterical that you have not stopped to think about what that means. Immigration officials may make exceptions for acceptance into our country (even during the “ban”) for any religious minority that has been persecuted by a country and or it’s religious theocracy. What that means for that particular region of the world is that we can legally accept Sunni and or Shia Muslims that have been persecuted by a given opposing majority. To put it simply, we can accept Shia Muslims who have been persecuted by Sunnis and or we can accept Sunni Muslims that have been persecuted by Shias.

For a very clear-eyed editorial regarding the whole scenario, I suggest this: http://www.nationalreview.com/…/trump-muslim-ban-goal-ban-s…. I would note (and complain about) a problem within the onset of the implementation, which has since been handled, that: it took DHS Secretary John Kelly more than 24 hours to clarify that it did not include green card holders. Including current green card holders would have been a disastrous, devious and malicious addition to this policy.

It has also been pointed out by many that there is prior precedent for this action from both Democratic Presidents and Republican presidents (See, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George Bush).

But I want to go another route. Speaking of a “clear-eyed” view of the situation; many of you don’t have one.

Ask yourself…seriously…Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen…would you seriously consider ever taking your family to any one of those places? I am guessing that if you are a serious person, your answer is “no.” So, the “why?” becomes very important. And the answer is simple. Because those places would be very dangerous to travel to even if you were a Muslim, let alone the fact that you are an American. You and I both know that you would not be, or feel, safe in any of those countries. Don’t you think that it is prudent and pragmatic to thoroughly vet, even make sure what all is encompassed in our vetting processes, the people who come from places you wouldn’t take your family?

So why are you so keen on inviting them in?

You want to be against Donald Trump. Understandable. But not at the price of suicidal empathy.

And then you have the two major contradictions in your own worldview that you have created by encouraging unmitigated travel into the United States by people from those countries. 1) You loathe Donald Trump and the fact that in your mind, he represents the most bigoted form of American Islamophobic bigotry imaginable. So I would ask you: why would you want your “fellow humans” to have to be hulled up for any amount of time under such a bigoted, anti-Muslim president/America? And 2) Many of the same voices expressing such disdain for this policy are the same voices that shout inside the same echo chambers of Bernie Sanders when you decry that “climate change” is the greatest threat to national/human security. You continue to make the case that man is causing climate change and it is caused predominantly by the over consumption associated with what you claim is capitalism (i.e. consumerism). Ask yourself this: where will human beings consume more resources and perpetuate the continuation of advancing climate change through gross consumerism? Anywhere in the Middle East? Or, the United States of America? Where will humans have a greater access to…stuff?