Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Autopsy tools used
to embalm Elvis Presley
for sale at auction.

Scrapped, I guess that has what has happened to those unfortunates who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. That’s what it means, they have no further benefits, they don’t have jobs, and they have nowhere else to turn (I think maybe they will be eligible for$ 221 a month in some kind of general benefits, whee!). So what is it these people are supposed to do? What can they do? Remember, these are not obsolete spare parts for a 1943 Studebaker or a 1948 Edsel, they are living, breathing, human beings. Is it really our intention to just throw them on the scrap heap? This is, I suppose, the logical conclusion for a capitalistic economy. If they are no longer usefully employed what good are they? They might, in desperation, turn to crime, but heck, we have police to deal with that eventuality. We could go to some kind of massive welfare system where everyone is guaranteed at least a minimum amount of food and water, but that would be socialism of the worst kind. So what the hell, let ‘em starve. That is pretty much what has been happening to such people over the years, for what are the enormous, festering, filthy slums surrounding all of the world’s cities but human garbage dumps, places for those deemed not only surplus but not worth saving. But people are not garbage and therein lies a great moral and practical problem (I will have to return to this at a later date).

Some of the Republicans, perhaps most of them, as they seem to travel in schools, are back on the “eliminate-the-estate-tax-bandwagon.” Somehow they regard this as terribly important. Their plan, as I have heard it described so far, probably doesn’t affect more than 1% of the population, that 1% that already has so much money they cannot possibly spend it in several lifetimes and therefore need to leave it to their heirs who also would not be able to spend it in several lifetimes. It is said that if this “death tax” is not eliminated it will negatively affect the economy. I’m sure it will, after all who will be able to pay a million dollars for a pair of Marilyn Monroe’s panties, or big bucks for Elvis’s autopsy instruments, or 100 million for a Picasso, or a million or so for a Babe Ruth home run ball, and who will buy those 200 foot luxury yachts that are inundating the market. Yes, I feel really sorry for those in the no-tax, keep your money in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands brackets. Of all the abuses I can think of in the tax business the estate tax is the worst. This is a tax that does nothing except guarantee that more and more money will accumulate in the hands of a very small number of obscenely wealthy people while the rest of the population goes hungry. It is potentially even worse than the former medieval system when almost all of the money was in the hands of the nobles, at least then the peasants were assured of a reliable position in the social system, no matter how humble.

I am not at all sorry to say it, I think Republicans are greedy and disgusting, to say nothing of heartless and despicable. Now that the unemployment benefits extension has finally been passed they are forcing the treasury to wait until the absolutely last moment to send the checks. The only point in this that I can see is simple childish vindictiveness. Remember they blocked the payments for two months to begin with and now they have lost they will make the unemployed wait as long as possible to receive any aid, is that not both pointless and vindictive? I hope the voting public has been following this, I fear they may be so caught up with listening to Rush and the rest of the hate-mongers they may not be paying sufficient attention. Republicans obviously do not have the ordinary (I should think “normal”) human capacity for empathy. Does that mean people without empathy are somehow drawn to the Republican Party, or is empathy taken from them as a condition of belonging? It is a mystery to me how Republicans can believe any ordinary middle or lower-class American would vote for them, and even more of a mystery that some apparently do. Of course as I have previously observed, Americans are notoriously perverse. That is, they will enter where it says exit, and exit where it says enter, they will walk on the grass, feed the animals, tap on the glass, talk in the library, exceed the speed limit, pick up the puppies, and do everything contrary to the rules, no matter what. I don’t know why this is, but it is. I guess it’s the American way. It’s why they will vote for the very people who are their arch enemies, who will lie to them incessantly and rob them blind at every opportunity. Yes, we should do away with the estate tax, let’s do it by doing away with estates, at least those that contribute importantly to the cycle of poverty we are now beginning to experience.

It was the boast of Augustus that he found Rome of brick and left it of marble. But how much nobler will be the sovereign's boast when he shall have it to say that he found law... a sealed book and left it a living letter; found it the patrimony of the rich and left it the inheritance of the poor; found it the two-edged sword of craft and oppression and left it the staff of honesty and the shield of innocence.
Henry Brougham

Infants under one year of age can contract botulism from honey.

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