Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Joy of Debating

This was the first time I posted a “conversation” as one of my rants. I’ll let the original intro speak for itself. Just ignore the allusion that it’s the first time I’ve done this. Y’ know, since I’ve done it several times on this blog already. And I think I only corrected spelling when it was so bad that it distracted from the narrative.

*                      *                      *                      *                      *                      *

Usually when I post something here, you have to just take my opinion. All you can do is read what I ramble on furiously and incoherently about. Not this time. This time I have posted a transcript of one of the many political philosophy debates in which I seem to involve myself on ‘the Facebook.’ An actual two-sided debate with a choice of contestants you can root for. Debate that tackles tough questions such as: Do tax cuts for the rich create jobs? Am I a racist? Do facts count as facts if the information is filtered through a predetermined viewpoint with an intended outcome? If a kitchen sponge really wore pants, would it stay square or would it kind of pinch in a bit, rounding off the corners?

Well, it tackles most tough questions…

It all started when my friend (we’ll call him Mark for reasons of national security) posted a link to Youtube. Innocent enough, people post links all the time, you may think. Nuh-uh. #1: This post happened to be a link to a speech by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. #2: Mark has an uncanny knack for posting things that get me involved in a verbal tête à tête on a regular basis. And #3: Before I saw this posting, I was already pissed at Obama for pussing out yet again to the No Coloreds, Poor, Homos or Foreigners Allowed, Cry-Baby Loser party (NoCoPoHoFoCryBLican Party). This time on extending tax cuts for the rich - ‘cause, you know, it’s worked wonders for the country so far. I really shouldn’t have been affected by his decision because cowardly backing down is a standard tactic of the Democratic Party.

Oop. Started to veer off the highway to the “anger zone” a little there. Anyway, you really only need to listen to the first 56 seconds of Senator Sanders’ speech to see where it’s going and how it fueled the subsequent Facebook debate. I do, however, suggest watching the whole 13 minutes if you have some time, because - if adventure had a name, it would be “Sen Bernie Sanders Amazing Speech DEC 02 2010 .flv.” Well, sort of.

As I said, this is only one of the many debates on Facebook I seem to get involved in. I’m only posting this one because I feel it represents pretty evenly and thoroughly the two sides of the debate. Normally, when I call out a person on their regurgitated misinformation, the opposition peters out. Not this time. Tenacity! I love it!

Grab those cigarettes and coffee, folks (or tofutti snax and freshly squeezed juicy drink, if you so desire). This one’s a lengthy journey. No, seriously. It really is. But it reads quick.

(cue: Dragnet theme “Danger Ahead”)

This is the website. I post stuff here. My name’s Mancuso. The story you are about to read is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

…the following takes place between December 8 and December 13, 2010...

December 8, 2010 at 12:26am

Bernie tells it like it is.

If only we had more democratic socialists...


I love it when people discuss the issue as some zero sum game in which there is some fixed amount of wealth which should be allotted equally. Yes, the numbers are shocking, yet many of those who have amassed large sums created the wealth in the first place. Had they not done so, those with less would still have less, they would simply be joined by those who currently have more. Logic doesn't really favor 'fair'.

Bill Mancuso
Many of those (CEO's) who amassed large sums are keeping increasingly more and more and more of a percentage of the wealth they are “creating” and paying the employees (the ones actually busting their balls doing all the work) less and less and less of a percentage. These aren't shocking NUMBERS, they're shocking PERCENTAGES. Before Reagan, CEO's used to make an average of 25% more that employees. Now they make an average of over 300% more. AND they used to be held accountable when they ran a company into the ground, now they get a $10 million golden parachute severance package. Or get $10 million and keep the job, just switch to a different branch. Between when Reagan took office and left office, the top 2% richest salaries increased by over 80% - middle class increased 3%. The bottom few percent salaries actually went negative. That's Reaganomics. That's what giving tax breaks to the rich does. Not to mention those tax breaks also increased the national debt by 186.1% - more than Bush Sr (53.8%), Clinton (40.6%) and Bush Jr (77.4%) all put together. (And now Obama will let the country-screwing Bush tax cuts for the wealthy continue because Republicans are going to take their ball and go home if they don't. Even though he KNOWS it's directly fucking the country. The fucking coward. Hmmm... tax the top 2% richest fairly like the bottom 98% and pump an extra $750 billion into the economy over the next 10 years which will spur job growth and economic stability or... nah. Fuck that. Let's just borrow more from China and Europe.) But obviously numbers and facts and the truth don't matter to you - you only care about what right-wing partisan politicians and Fox "News" tells you to think. When multi-million dollar corporations like GE pay NOT ONE FUCKING PENNY IN TAXES and those making under $250 thousand DO have to pay taxes, that's fair to you? What the fuck is LOGICAL about that? Why the fuck would you possibly fight for the top richest 2% of the country to keep ALL of their and MOST of your money? And screw yourself in the process? Your argument that rich people create wealth for all is nonsensical, ignorant of fact and reeks of Fox "News" partisan lies. Wealth is created by small businesses that are growing and they are paid the least and taxed the most in the process.

Ignorance sets me off.

Easy, killer. We agree on one thing, I don't believe in large salaries which are not tied to performance. That being said, you might want to check out the latest CBO remarks on the stimulus. Jobs created=zip, zilch,nada. Corporations create jobs, if you don't like that, create your own. Except then you'd be one of them and we certainly wouldn't want that. Also, you might want to check out how most small businesses handle their taxes, because that's a large part of what the right has fought for. A quick lesson. This year, that bastard Bush let the federal estate tax drop to zero, next year it will return to 35%, far less than the sticky fingered dems would like, but significant. Your family owns a business, daddy dies, you better start liquidating cause you have one year to cut a check for 35%, in addition to the taxes already paid. And then there's the health care mess, if you're a big corp. like Waffle house (among 221 others and counting) you get a waiver. Not so for the small business, who will have to drop their employees, and their own coverage (if you like it keep it, member?)rather than cover pt employees, which they cannot afford to do. It's generally best to know something about the other side of an issue before letting the fingers fly. A little Fox News never hurt anyone.

That reminds me, I think I'm gonna go buy some GE stock, from what I hear that place is pure profit...

Redistribution of wealth? This is not a value this country was founded on. I love how he glossed over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well. I understand this recession is hard on people and they want somebody to hang. However taking aim at the most SUCESSFUL Americans and trying to steer this country into socialism is not the answer. There are plenty of socialistic and communist countries that one can go live in if they think that is the answer to our economic problems. This is America, it was founded on the principle of capitalism period.

Bill Mancuso
Fox "News" may have reported that the CBO said the stimulus created no jobs, but the ACTUAL CBO REPORT says the stimulus created between 1.4 and 3.3 million jobs during the second quarter alone. Yes, large corporations create jobs, but not nearly as many as small businesses that are growing create - and that does not make you a corporation. And the Republicans SAY they fight for small businesses, but reality proves that is a lie as witnessed by the filibustering of the Small Business Aid Bill. As for estate taxes, the first $3,500,000 are not estate taxed. Only if you make over that much do you get hit with estate taxes. I don't know why you would need to liquidate to get ready for only living on that. And the health care, yeah, Obama pussied out on standing up to the Republicans over the Public Option so that's a pointless beast now. I do know about the other side of an issue before letting fingers fly. Thing is, the other side (I'm guessing you mean Fox "News" by "other side") is making everything up. You're right though. A little Fox "News" doesn't hurt. I watch a little every now and then. They always manage to put that right spin on everything. To say they're balanced toward far right-wing politics would be fair. As for the snarky GE stock comment, I'm not sure what that was supposed to mean but GE, Bank of America, Citibank, Valero gas and ExxonMobil all paid no taxes in America for 2009.

Redistribution of wealth? Where? Sounds like a Republican phrase solely designed for raising right wing ire. Lets just try taxing the top 2% fairly instead of giving them massive tax breaks that the other 98% don't get. No one's aiming at successful Americans, Ayn Rand. And no one is steering America into socialism. No country ever survived using only one system of government. Including America. They are all a mixture of systems. For example, if there was no socialism in America (long before Obama was president, mind you), how would YOU run public transportation, Police Depts, Fire Depts, construct roads, run schools - including State Colleges, provide medicare, maintain national parks, social security, libraries, pay for national defense, food stamps, public housing, prisons, disability, unemployment, and public defenders - if you can't afford one?


Ayn Rand...really?
Fox news leans to the right?
Any Government Public service that is absolultely vital to the Country, State, County, or City = American Socialism as I was describing?


Also, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive.

Leave it to Mark to stir up some shite. This country was NOT founded on capitalism, It was founded buy a group of people who wanted to plunder the place for natural resources and once they were established they said FU to the people who loaned them the money to get here....I guess that’s the first case of corp. welfare. Oh yeah they were also slave profiteers. Also why is it Socialism/Communism or Capitalism, is there not a middle road with some common sense.

You're right on the estate tax matter, the estate must be 3.5 or greater, but apparently cannot distinguish between what one is worth total and what one draws as income. As a business owner, one can have 3.5 million dollars on paper (usually from bank loans secured against future earnings, but it's better to just pretend if a person owns a store they own the building and all it's contents lock stock and barrell) and draw little or no income. Do you pay taxes on the net worth of everything you own, or just what you make?
I'd also like you to define 'fair' we do have a progressive tax, the 'rich' already pay more, percentage wise, yet even if they did not the same percentage of a larger number is.....more, right? If it is so incredibly easy for corporations to get away with paying no taxes, why are they progressively moving operations offshore due to the tax advantages? The U.S. is actually one of the least friendly countries in that aspect, I guess you missed that day of business school. It's also interesting to note that several of the countries you mentioned contribute more to Democrat candidates than to Repubs, specifically Barack Obama.
I personally would prefer a flat tax, based on consumption. That's 'fair' and then we could all keep our eyes on our own papers and not worry about what everyone else is paying. Period. Semicolon.

Capitalism is not perfect, it's just the best we've come up with thus far. The idea of a middle road is lovely, what God had in mind with Eden, but that damn snake came along. Conversely, Darwin explained it all, it's a drive to thrive and pass on genes, the beasts do it, and so do we. But maybe he was wrong. Stay tuned.

Bill Mancuso
I only pay taxes on what I make, of course. But then, I'm still alive so I need the money more than a dead person does. As for passing dead peoples' estate money down to heirs that didn't earn it for any reason other than being related, isn't that socialism? You hate socialism. Why are you arguing for "spreading the wealth"? We do have a progressive tax. One full of loopholes the richer you get. I paid more in taxes last year than GE, B of A, Citibank and Exxon COMBINED. Large corporations are not progressively moving operations offshore because of tax advantages - those companies I just listed actually did pay taxes in other countries last year, just not in America because of the loopholes. The U.S. is not one of the least friendly countries to large corporations in that aspect. If you mean small businesses, that's a different matter. No loopholes for them. Operations move offshore because of slave labor. Would you rather pay an American $20/hr or a Chinese $1/hr? So much is saved on slave labor that it's still cheaper to load product on a cargo vessel and ship it half way around the world and pay taxes in another country. However, China's pay rates are going up so we're now looking toward cheaper countries like Vietnam which is around 30% cheaper in wages or perhaps moving operations to closer countries like Mexico. What is interesting is that you left out half of the information regarding foreign contributions to U.S. political parties. When Democrats are in charge, yes, they get more contributions. But when Republicans are in charge, can you guess who gets the bulk of donations? Nope, Republicans do. That's politics. That's life. You grease the man in charge to get favors. A flat tax would be nice but it will never, EVER happen, so don't waste time wishing for it. Why won't it happen? Because under a flat tax system, the government will lose a shitload of revenue.

If capitalism is our best, then why do we owe $13T to other countries?

Bill Mancuso
Update: That $3.5 million estate tax exemption - now $5 million.

Choosing to give your money to others=charity. Choosing to take one person's money and give to others=socialism. They are different, though it is a distinction many liberals cannot make. It's very easy to be generous w/ other people's money. Hope nothing you own says made in China, because then you are really just part of the problem. Many companies exploit third world countries for cheap labor, the US is the only one where corporations are stampeding out of dodge. I have no way of knowing whether or not you paid more than said corporations in taxes last year, but at the end of your life tally up all of the afore mentioned services, your Social Security and Medicare and consider what you paid in and what you got out, then get back to me.


27. and a half.

The only difference between communism and capitalism is that with one the government fucks you and with the other the corporations fuck you. So it goes.

Bill Mancuso
Choosing to take more and more of the bottom 98% of the country's income and give it to the top 2% richest = Reaganomics, socialism benefiting only the rich, the complete and utter destruction of the middle class, an aggregate ruination of infrastructure, a consummate formula for job loss, unbridled greed and pure scumbaggery. That's what "conservatives" don't get (I put it in quotes because the LAST thing conservatives are is conservative - that is if I were to judge them by their actual actions and not by what they SAY are their actions). A factual fact that you can look up is that the top 100th of 1% of the richest make 976 times more income than the bottom 90%. Worse than 1929 - just before the Great Depression - when it was only 892 times more. Add that up. Or don't. You could just ignore it like you did the rest of what I said and then repeat another easily disprovable bit of nonsense you heard from Fox or some other right wing fodder machine and then try to get me to believe I should fight to let poor rich people keep more of my money.

Let's just agree to disagree, shall we? You can continue to bitch and moan about how others are living it up on your money and I'll just...move on. As for "factuals facts" try reading a little Thomas Sowell, maybe he can convince you to stop throwing around the statistics and lies.

Bill Mancuso
The Thomas Sowell who said Obama's speech to school children telling them to stay in school and work hard so you can become whatever you want was exactly like indoctrinating them into the Hitler Youth? The Thomas Sowell that said Democrats use race-baiting tactics and will cause America to plunge into genocide? The Thomas Sowell that said the Civil Rights Act of 1964 caused black poverty levels to increase? The Thomas Sowell who the obese, drug-addict, fucktard Rush Limbaugh admires (that's not fair - no one can control who they are admired by - but I just wanted an excuse to call Rush Limbaugh an obese, drug-addict, fucktard)? The Thomas Sowell who flat-out lied and said health care reform takes health care decisions out of your hands and places them in the hands of the government? The Thomas Sowell who says public schools are eroding America's values and destroying America? The Thomas Sowell who says Obama stole $20 billion from BP? The Thomas Sowell who compares Obama to Hitler, Chairman Mao, Jim Jones and the despotic regimes of China, Cuba, czarist Russia and Iran? The Thomas Sowell who said old people will be sacrificed under the health reform bill? The Thomas Sowell who also falsely claimed that Obama "was against a law [in Illinois] forbidding physicians to kill a baby that was born alive despite an attempt to abort it." (which would violate a pre-existing Illinois law)? The Thomas Sowell who lied when he claimed Obama proposed that teachers themselves will judge their own merit pay? The Thomas Sowell who lied when he claimed that it is a "well-documented fact" that "lower tax rates on capital gains had produced more actual revenue collected from that tax than the higher tax rates had" when, in fact, there is no such "well-documented fact" and the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation said that the 2006 extension of the 2003 cuts on capital gains taxes would result in decreased revenues of $20 billion over 10 years? The Thomas Sowell who says the minimum wage law hurts poor people? The Thomas Sowell who says problems attributed to slavery are worse now than they were 100 years ago? The Thomas Sowell who wants to do away with the department of education and is against raising the salaries of teachers? The Thomas Sowell who claims one of the problems with our current society is partial-birth abortions (a non-existent fantasy invented by far right wing Christians to further their war on freedom of choice and demand that everyone do what they want as part of their desire for a totalitarian Christian regime)? The Thomas Sowell who says what people consider authentic black culture is really a holdover of a highly dysfunctional, white, redneck culture (which I'm not arguing) but that it is ONLY white liberals that justify, glorify and subsidize those aspects?

For a guy who advocates empirical evidence and objective analysis, much of his "objectivity" is skewed heavily toward the right wing agenda. That was a nice way of saying he's full of shit. I do agree with a few of his ideas that aren't politically motivated, though. For example, I disagree as he does with affirmative action.

But as for convincing me that statistics are lies, no, they are not. They are still factual facts that I will continue to throw around and right-wingers will continue to not care about. Mr. Sowell only throws around opinions. Heavily skewed opinions presenting partial truths to further a biased viewpoint against liberals.

So, yes, I will continue to bitch and moan as an advocate for 98% of America and I wish you luck in your battle for that poor richest 2%.

Good day.

Nah, a different dude.

Gosh it's just like reading the Daily Kos, except more bitter and angry. It's like you are connected to the left wing propaganda machine via umbilicus. So, is Thomas Sowell a racist because he disagrees with left wing compassion for his non-disability(i.e. his blackness)? BP was held up, no matter if they deserved it or not, but that's ok, it's not as if we need jobs or anything, we've got that nifty gov. program which saves and creates them. Partial birth abortion doesn't exist? Um, ok and I suppose abortion in general isn't genocide, regardless of where the clinics are located and which ethnicity recieves the most....if Rush Limbaugh opened clinics providing the services of Planned Parenthood, something tells me you would be the first one picketing, but that is besides the point. I really do wish you would TRY reading up on something rather than googling Huffpo and Kos and regurgitating their bs. There really is a viewpoint which is different than that of George Soros, one which is supported via logic and rationale rather than skewed and inflated stistics (and stastics are generally nothing but, if one begins assuming a lie is true, he can generally prove it-as w/ the stimulus numbers, which prove they are using the same model to determine jobs created as they used to predict how many jobs would be-this is 'proof' to you, regardless of what your own lying eyes are telling you.) Good Day and Merry Christmas.

You did not seriously think that a human could contest the will of the Dark Lord Soros, there are none that can. Concealed within his fortress, the evil lord Soros sees all. His gaze pierces cloud, shadow, earth, and flesh. You know of what I speak, a great Hammer and Sickle, evil, and wreathed RED fires of Marxism.

Bill Mancuso
I said GOOD DAY!


Bill Mancuso
I'm sorry. I tried to get out. I really did. I even set up my exit line. But this absurdity just begged to be addressed.

You're assuming that since you obtain all your information filtered through right-wing media outlets and that since I disagree with you then I conversely do the same with left-wing media outlets. You also assume I'm a liberal. You would be mistaken.

Everything I listed (in question form) about Mr. Sowell I obtained directly from his interviews - NOT from what a left wing outlet said he said. What he actually said. So that would mean you think Sowell is bitter and angry and connected to the left wing propaganda machine, not me.

I NEVER mentioned Sowell being black. YOU did.

And did you really allude to me considering that being black is a "disability"? Wow. Double wow. Interesting since I never mentioned the color of his skin.

I NEVER suggested he was racist. YOU brought that up. And, for that matter, I do not think he's racist.

All I ever said was that his opinions were politically biased toward the right. Which, if you've read anything he has said, is fairly easy to see.

Since BP hasn't paid a single cent as of yet for the damage THEY CAUSED, how could Obama have "held them up?" And do you think BP should be held accountable for the damage they caused? Or should the American taxpayer pay for the damage BP caused? Those are the only two options. Pick one.

No, "partial birth abortion" does not exist. It is literally a term that only exists in anti-abortionist pamphlets and picket signs. It does not exist in any really real medical tome anywhere. And no, the freedom to choose an abortion is not genocide (the systematic extermination of an entire nation or race) in any capacity.

And seriously, your comment... "regardless of where the clinics are located and which ethnicity receives the most" really rather ignorant and racist.

If Rush Limbaugh opened a clinic or did ANYTHING to help someone other than himself, I most certainly would not picket him - but I don't have to worry about that because that would never, EVER in EVER FUCKING EVER happen.

And again, I don't Google Huffington Post or Kos (I honestly don't know what Kos is anyway) or George Soros and regurgitate their BS. I seek info from their sources, unadulterated by a political agenda. Which, based on everything you've regurgitated from the right wing propaganda machine thus far, is not something you are able to claim. Like, for example when you said the CBO said no jobs were created but the actual CBO report does say jobs were created. Your info was obviously filtered to fit a righty agenda. Even if we go by your idea that "statistics are lies," you inaccurately referenced the CBO first and I just corrected you. Biased media outlets on either side count on you not checking the facts and just believing what they say. Apparently, it's working.

And that last bit about skewed and inflated statistics and true lies and job predicting models, etc - bla bla whatever. Here's a question - If tax cuts for the rich create jobs, then where are all the jobs since Bush's tax cuts for the rich have been in place since '01 (and even more in '03) and are still in effect right this very second? They aren't set to expire until January 1st, so why isn't America overfuckingflowing with tax cut created jobs right now?

And based on what each of us seem to be fighting for, here's food for thought - I generally work 5, often 6 days a week for an average of 10 hours a day doing manual work and get the shit taxed out of me while struggling to pay my bills. You?

Don't look now kids, but I think there's romance afoot...

December 13, 2010 at 7:30am


Kathy never posted a reply. Word on the street is that she didn’t want to get into an argument on Facebook. After five days of persistently arguing her viewpoints with me on Facebook, do you believe she didn’t want to argue on Facebook? Or do you think it may have been something else? I’m open to suggestions.
My only regret is that I didn’t respond to more of what she said. For example, the idiotic 
notion that only the U.S. is outsourcing jobs and no other country does. That’s just 
another example of the ignorance of a certain faction of Americans toward anything that 
happens outside America’s borders. Those isolationist views coupled with only listening to 
“information” from the least factual channel on TV. I’m thankful we didn’t get into what 
FOX viewers believe are the healthcare systems in other countries. Or whether or not 
Obama was born in America (teaser: future rant). My head would have fucking exploded.
And this “partial birth abortion” thing. I would love just once if a blathering right-wing 
Christian lemming would explain what exactly the fuck that is. It is meant to conjure this 
image - during birth, the baby’s head comes out and that’s when the doctor decides it’s 
time to cut it off. Exactly. It’s not real. Just more Christian fear-mongering bullshit to 
get you to do what they want. And they try to make it sound as if (minority) women are 
just going around getting abortions care-free on a weekly basis. Not like it’s a very 
personal and difficult medical health decision or anything. Then they argue that (minority) 
women are just having babies to collect the welfare money. Well, which one is it? Multiple 
abortions or multiple babies? Oh, right. I forgot the right-wing makes up stories from 
moment to moment just to fit whatever social right they’re currently attacking. Even if 
everything they say contradicts everything else they say. I’m not saying there aren’t 
people that take advantage of the system. Any system can be abused. Just not everyone 
all the time is abusing it. I’d say the ratio of people the system helps to people that abuse 
the system is pretty good.
Jackie Speier Abortion Speech Helps Women, Hurts GOP
Did it again. Back to the “anger zone.” Any topic can set me going. Sorry.
Anyway, here are a couple of lovely examples of the way FOX invents “information.” Sure 
one of them is from the left-wing, radical, extremist, terrorist news organization, msnbc, 
but that’s irrelevant. Is the very simple question asked in the video ever answered? Or is it 
deflected and unanswered in typical guilty-person fashion? Just watch it and judge for 
yourself, bro…
Very short U.S. News article -
University Study: Fox Viewers More Misinformed
Seven minute msnbc video -
Bill O'Reilly's ambusher gets punked
I don’t have the desire to go find the countless amounts of debunked videos of FOX 
splicing in unrelated footage or editing out segments of tape in their “reports” to put the 
‘right’ spin on their stories. Or what they refer to as ‘mistakes.’ Let’s just say the Chinese 
have a lot to learn if their ‘actually government-controlled news’ wants to keep up with 
‘Rupert/Ailes-controlled news.’ I dare you to Google ‘fox news edited video.’ Call in sick, 
brew a pot and make some sandwiches first.
The NoCoPoHoFoCryBLican Party symbol and the new Democratic Party symbol:
As your body grows bigger                 
Your mind grows flowered                  
It's great to learn                                   
Cause knowledge is power!         
It's Schoolhouse Rocky
That chip off the block
Of your favorite schoolhouse
Schoolhouse Rock!


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