Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Three Rants for the Price of One!

I wrote three mini-rants and felt they were too small on their own, so I stuck them all together and posted them as a triple-rant.

The first is about the small-minded FOX "News" misinformation-fueled Christian assholes hypocritically protesting the Islamic community center proposed for construction in lower Manhattan.

The second is about “Fair and Balanced” Rupert Murdoch.

The third is about tax cuts for the rich and the lie that wealth trickles down.



Mini-Rant 1: Córdoba House
For those of you who get your “information” from Fox “News,” I would like to clear a few things up about the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy. As always, I do not expect facts to get in the way of your partisan-fueled ignorance, hatred and fear.

1. It is not located at Ground Zero, but two blocks away in a Burlington Coat Factory, which has been abandoned since 9/11. The area surrounding the site has also been a largely abandoned area for blocks since 9/11. Hopefully, this will spur re-growth in the area.

2. It is not a mosque, but an Islamic community center, which will include a 500-seat auditorium, theater, performing arts center, fitness center, swimming pool, basketball court, childcare area, bookstore, culinary school, art studio, food court, September 11th memorial, and prayer space.

3. Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the community center, was a long time Bush administration collaborator, working to bring peace in the Middle East. And between the U.S. and the Middle East. Suddenly, under the black, Democratic president’s administration, he’s a terrorist?

4. There is an actual mosque four blocks away from ground zero, which has been in service since 1970. No one is protesting it. I do not know where the other 99 mosques in NYC are, but no one has been protesting them, either (99 is not an arbitrary number. There are 100 Mosques in NYC.).

5. If you think this will be used as a terrorist recruitment/training center, then you are all kinds of fucking stupid. I couldn’t even begin to explain in which all the ways you are stupid. Go back to Kindergarten, start life over. Try and get some semblance of an education.

6. Córdoba House. A big, fatty, fat lie being bandied about on Fox “News” is that Muslims build mosques on conquered sites and have done so throughout history. They cite as an example the conquest of Córdoba, Spain by Muslims in 711CE. This example is absolutely true and indicative of how Fox “News” ALWAYS does their reporting. They give just enough information to get their partisan, right-wing, fear-mongering narrative across, but don’t tell you all the facts - which makes up “truth.” Córdoba was first a Carthaginian settlement, then conquered by the Romans in 206BCE, then by Muslims in 711CE, which passed through several different factions of the Muslim faith, then conquered on June 29, 1236 by King Ferdinand III of Castile, during the Spanish Reconquista. Today, it is known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. They cite this one time a church was converted into a mosque as all their proof that it was done so throughout history. One time does not a pattern make. They conveniently forget to mention all the times it was conquered by other factions and that right now, at this very moment, it is a church – because these facts don’t fit their partisan, right-wing, fear-mongering narrative. Hey, I wonder how many Native American settlements have been paved over with the concrete and steel of U.S. cities? Hypocrite much? Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf wanted to call it Córdoba House to invoke 8th–11th century Córdoba, which they call a model of peaceful coexistence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Of course, due to fake outrage fueled by Fox “News” and Republicans jockeying for donations and votes, the center will now be called Park51.

I have to admit, that’s a cool name, though.

7. Those who defend the Constitution most vehemently are also the ones quickest to pick and choose how and when to follow what parts of it they agree with and demand change of what they don’t like. Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Except Muslims? Muslims and Mexicans are the new “Black Fear,” again, designed to push the buttons of the ignorant to get donations and votes. And don’t even goddamn fucking start me on them trying to change the 14th Amendment. Which will never happen (example: the 27th Amendment, passed in 1992 was first proposed in 1789 and sat in governmental limbo for 203 years). Anchor Babies. Right, assholes. AGAIN, a fake fear-mongered outrage designed to get donations & votes.  

The Plan: Have baby in America, wait 21 years, come back to America, magically become legal just because child is legal, work until retirement age (which will be 70 if Republicans have their way) and reap the benefits of a well-designed plan to collect social security! Mwa-hahahaha! Fucking stupid assholes.

8. Here’s a newy but a goody - Fox “News” reports, truthfully, that Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is donating to the construction of the community center, and has also helped fund many of Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf’s projects worldwide. However, Fox “News” also claims Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is linked to the funding of the terrorist group, Hamas and Iran.

“Terrorist” Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal is the second largest shareholder of  News Corp., the parent company of Fox “News” - second only to Rupert Murdoch. Yes, the punch-line is that Fox “News” claims Fox “News” is funding terrorism. I guess they are fair and balanced after all. When this stupidity was told to FOX “News” personalities - since they don’t seem to be able to do any real investigative work and stopped at the Arab man’s name before blindly claiming he is a terrorist just to pander to their moronic audience - the reports mysteriously vanished. Much like when it was determined that FOX’s hero, James O’Keefe, a guest on every FOX show for a month straight, edited his exposé on ACORN to the point that it was 100% completely false. James O’Who? Never heard of him.

9. Question: If you wish to condemn an entire faith because of a group of twisted fucks within that faith, then what faith would be exempt? Answer: none. The third largest massacre on American soil (behind 9/11 & Pearl Harbor) was perpetrated single-handedly by a white, Christian, American male. Unless for some reason you think Timothy McVeigh doesn't count.

10. And why are our soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq FOR the civil rights of Muslims while we're here in America fighting AGAINST the civil rights of Muslims? Do you hate American soldiers?

Republicans would do better to concentrate on actual problems in this country like the half-assed job President Obama is doing on jobs, economy, health care and financial reform. Except all of Obama’s plans are just the Republican plans watered down and the Republicans don’t have any other plans for any of that stuff at all. Except the perennial “tax cuts for the rich” idea, which is the ONLY idea they ALWAYS have for EVERYTHING. But we’ll get to that later. So, instead they play to the prejudices and fears of their uneducated base - the Tea Baggers. The problem with this tactic is that the Nut Suckers just aren’t that big of a group to win them elections. The GOP believes the media, which has been under the entertainment division of television for decades and requires ratings to stay afloat. So, in order to maintain high ratings, news media continually shows crazy people in strange outfits carrying hilariously ignorant signs around to get you to watch. Take Sarah Palin. On TV a lot, but she’s nothing more than good, mindless entertainment with great breasts and a voice like a red alert klaxon. She quit the governorship in order to Tweet policy ideas like “Don’t retreat, reload.” Now, that’s entertainment you can’t ‘refudiate.’ Pandering to a small, yet extremely loud base and at the same time alienating large voter blocks like Hispanics and the unemployed (filibustering unemployment benefits. Really? Fucking assholes.) will not win the GOP any elections.

About the tiny amount of Teabaggers not being able to win them any elections - I did not take into account the power of militant racism and lies and fear-mongering that holds the Republican Party together.

Mini-Rant 2: Rupert Murdoch
Just because you chose “Fair and Balanced” as your slogan, doesn’t mean it’s true.

Rupert Murdoch, owner, operator of Fox “News” Corporation, has donated $1million (largest donation ever) to the Republican Governors Association. Fox “News” has also sponsored and financed right-wing extremist Tea Bagger rallies. When you blatently support one party, you may not claim to be fair and balanced. Fox “News” responded to accusations of partisanship by claiming the donation has no impact on the reporting of “news.” Really. And I believe you because I’m a fucking idiot. General Electric, owner of MSNBC, donated $105thousand to the Democrat party this year. I guess the same partisan favoritism can also be said of the left-wing media station. At least that’s how Fox “News” would report it. The whole truth is that GE also donated $105thousand to the Republican party this year, as well. The true definition of fair and balanced. The other day, I was pointing out to a neighbor that I belonged to no political party, which leaves me free to formulate my own opinions instead of  blindly following a party agenda. I was accused of being in the Independent Party. No. No party. Independents, just like Dems and GOP have a party line you need to blindly follow in order to stay in that party. I am free to be me. He said he wasn’t a member of any party, either - but will never vote for anyone but Republicans. That seemed very similar to the Fox “News” narrative to me (also the only “news” channel he watches). Not fair. Not balanced. He also believes Obama is a Muslim and wasn’t born in the USA. I could turn that moronic belief into a giant Rant on just how completely fucking stupid you have to be to ignore all the facts to the contrary, but I won’t. For now…

I certainly do later, though.

Mini-Rant 3: Trickle-Down Magic
Tax cuts for the rich do not create jobs. In fact, they contribute to job loss.

Everybody hates paying taxes. That’s what makes pandering to the tax-hating crowd easy. “Do you hate taxes? I’ll get rid of them! Vote for me!” The problem with that is that cutting taxes causes deficit. It is a program that does not pay for itself. People argue that less taxes paid to the government equals more taxes in your pocket. You have to have a misunderstanding of basic financing if this is what you believe. If taxes are cut, that means: less money for roads/less jobs; less money for schools/less jobs; less money for libraries/less jobs; less money for police/less jobs; less money for fire department/less jobs; less money for public transportation/less jobs; less money for national parks/less jobs; less money for social security/more money out of your pocket; less money for Medicare/more money out of your pocket. (Yes, these are all socialist government programs. Like it or not, we have always been a combination socialist/capitalist country. A purely capitalist society wouldn’t work. All those jobs I just listed would be insanely expensive, like health insurance. Imagine if you had to pay health insurance prices for all those functions of society, on top of everything else.) Not to mention all the jobs connected to those jobs. There would be less lunch food, paper, electricity, crayons, etc purchased by schools. Less concrete, tires, gas, etc purchased by the DOT. Less bullets, coffee, doughnuts, etc purchased by police. And on and on. In 2001, the Bush tax cuts (passed by the heinously evil reconciliation – well, only when Democrats use it) caused a $1.5trillion deficit (look it up). In 2003, the Bush tax cuts (also passed by reconciliation – it’s OK, Republicans did it) caused another $350billion to be added to the deficit (sure, look it up). You may blame Obama for not doing as much as he should to get us out of the recession (which I do), but the blame for getting us here falls squarely on Bush’s shoulders. At least Reagan only tripled the deficit from $900billion to $2.8trillion. And how do Republicans pay for tax cuts to the rich and corporations, you ask? Raise taxes for the middle/working class. Investigate how the Tax Reform Act of 1986 effected the Alternative Minimum Tax. Nutshell: It shifted the tax burden away from the richest 1% of Americans and greatly increased it for… yes, the middle/working class (I fucking DARE you to look that up). This has only gotten worse ever since. Tax cuts for the rich - Trickle-down Economics/Reaganomics does not work. George H.W. Bush dubbed it Voodoo economics because it is a method that is apparently supposed to pay for itself by magic. He ran his 1980 campaign against Reagan on that platform. Of course, he became VP and forgot all about it.

Three things create jobs. 1. Bringing jobs back to the U.S. from overseas. America is now almost completely a consumer society. We make almost nothing. If you don’t make anything, you don’t need any workers for non-existent jobs. 2. Demand for a product. 3. Not cutting taxes for the rich.

Giving tax cuts to corporations creates no jobs. And creates no economic growth. It just allows the wealthy to keep more money. Let me give you a simplified reason why. You are a pizza box making corporation. For some unknown reason, pizza becomes a much less popular food item. Demand for your product drops by 60%. You have to lay off a lot of employees. You get a massive tax cut. You get to keep more of your profits, but how many workers do you re-hire? NONE, BECAUSE YOU STILL DON’T NEED ANY EXTRA WORKERS. YOUR BUSINESS DROPPED BY 60%. You’re richer, but that’s about it. No jobs created. No wealth trickled down. No money went back into the economy.

Rich get richer, poor get poorer. The rich don’t spend money, they keep it. That’s why they’re rich. Their tax rates are lower. They give themselves increasingly higher pay (in 1965, CEOs earned 24 times more than employees - in 2008 they only earned a measly average of 319 times more), get bigger bonuses and pay their workers less and less. The bigger a corporation gets, the less employees are hired in order to maintain profit growth. Or their benefits are cut. Or their salaries are cut. Or employees are just laid off in order for CEO’s keep more of their money. And corners are cut, resulting in their workers’ deaths (not always the case but I can think of a few greedy mining & oil companies off hand where this practice directly resulted in what I consider murder).

The richest 5% needs to have their tax rates raised so they’re at least paying the same rates as the working class. And tax loopholes for the rich also need to be closed. The 2001 Bush tax cuts, as the Republicans all by themselves set up with no help from the Dems, are set to expire soon - because that’s how the Republicans set it up - because the rules of reconciliation state that if it causes deficit, it can’t last more than ten years - so the Republicans know the Bush tax cuts are causing deficit (So far to the tune of $2.3trillion, and if left in place would add another $36billion next year alone - Don’t believe me? Look. It. Up.) - an issue which they now completely skirt and try to blame Dems for “raising” taxes. This is not true. It is what is known in some circles as a lie. The Bush tax cuts are expiring and taxes are going back to the way they were - with an exception. The Dems are going to keep the tax cuts for the middle/working class and just let them expire for the richest of rich. Whenever Dems raise taxes for the richest of Americans, the GOP loves to claim the Dems are making “the largest tax increase in history!” An honor that oddly still belongs to Reagan (go ahead, look it up). They did it to Clinton in ’94 when he only raised taxes for the rich and now when Obama is letting the Bush tax cuts on the rich expire, as the Republicans set them to.

Of course, if Obama actually has the balls to let taxes go back to where they were 10 years ago for the rich and keep the cuts for the working class, I’ll be surprised. I am prepared for another screwing, but I can still hope for change, can’t I?

I had a gut feeling Obama would turn out to be a pussy. Just like George W. Bush, I go with my gut. The only difference is, my gut feelings are a hypothesis based on observed circumstances and gathered information. Bush’s guts are just what his infantile mind wants to do.

Now, giving tax cuts to the middle/working class does create jobs and stimulates economic growth. How, you ask? The middle/working class buys things. Lots of things. This creates greater demand. Jobs get stimulated, more workers are hired. The process is slow at first, but gradually increases. The economy gets up and running,  jobs are growing, America is once again awesome. Simply, that’s how.

Money does not ever trickle down. Money only ever trickles up. The opposite of standard Republican practice. That is a researchable fact. That’s why I’m designing a pair of boots made out of $100 dollar bills so I can have anti-gravity boots like Spock in Star Trek 5.

If you think I’m full of shit on any of this, please, by all means, show me facts to the contrary. I will gladly apologize. But you have to show me facts, not partisan rhetoric, half truths or innuendo.

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