Undeniably

Pic of the day: Alice at the Mad Tea Party, by John Tenniel

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‘Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.’
‘I think I should understand that better,’ Alice said very politely, ‘if I had it written down: but I can’t quite follow it as you say it.’

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland

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I watched the debate yesterday.  Or I should say that I listened to it, mostly.  It was on TV, but I had my back to it most of the time.  And not watching, I did not see most of what America did.  But I did hear it.  And frankly I have a slightly different take on how it went.  Slightly.  Mitt Romney came out sounding like a man who was overeager to make his points, his early interruptions seemed rude, but became less so as the debate went on.

The President made his points and made them well.  Admittedly he sounded less energetic than Mr. Romney.   But Mitt was the CEO selling his product to America, and he was a cheery salesman.  He hit all his marks.  As an actor he did his job, he acted like a man who earnestly wants to be President.

But he did that at the expense of the truth.  He lied his way from one end of the spectrum to the other.  His $5,000,000,000,000 lie for example. He does have large tax cuts in store for the whole nation.  Which sounds nice, but there is no way for him to lower taxes as much as he wants and not create a massive deficit without massive cuts to every government program.  The defense budget would have to be razed.  As would Medicare.  And food stamps.  And unemployment.  And building America’s crumbling infrastructure would no longer be a possibility.

If that’s the America you want, you don’t care about America.

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Obama won on substance because he did not lie about what he has done and what he plans to do.  He told the truth about the government under his stewardship.  He did not make much of an impression with the truth though.  Romney had to lie in order to not sound Un-American.  But he had to.  If he told people what he really wanted to do, gut the nation’s middle class and let the rich run things, he’d lose by 30% instead of either a close loss or even a squeaker of a win if the election were held today.

Romney won on style. He was energetic, forceful and commanding.  It didn’t really help that he was energetically full of shit, a forceful douche, and a commanding liar, but people will believe what they want to believe.  If people didn’t know the facts beforehand, and they heard Mitt Romney say what he said, they would undoubtedly believe him.  He sounded like a man who believed in himself, and for those who do not know what lies he was professing, that would undeniably make a powerful impression.

The President, while correct in his statements, was neither forceful nor energetic enough to counter Romney, style-wise, much to the President’s chagrin. He through his lack in that one area, lost the debate.

Lost to a liar.

Lies are powerful weapons in the war for political dominance, they always are, and this debate was the proof of it.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

Four Years Ago

Pic of the day: Vase with 12 sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh

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Considerate la vostra semenza:
fatti non foste a viver come bruti,
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza.

Consider your origin;
you were not born to live like brutes,
but to follow virtue and knowledge.

Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy; Inferno, Canto XXVI, lines 118-120

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It’s September 27th. There are political races heating up all over the place. But the big one, Obama – Romney feels… meh. Obama, according to most polls seems to have this in hand, but one has to remember a few things. Polls are not always correct. The Republican base is a large one, and it will not ever vote for a Democrat no matter how good for the country that Democrat has been, just like a good Republican President would not get votes from the Democratic base.

Think about it like this. Four years ago much of the nation was swept up in a fervor to sweep Dubya out of office for destroying the economy. With all the fervor that was out there, the man who won the Presidency won with 52.9% of the popular vote.

Not exactly a landslide. The electoral vote (the important one) was a landslide, but the popular vote was not the sweep that many thought would happen. Nearly 60 million voters voted for a Republican despite all the damage the Republicans did to the economy.

So anyone thinking this is going to be easy, for anyone, is being extremely overconfident in a place where that can be very, very dangerous.

I say that to say this.

Four years ago today, President Obama was ahead of John McCain by 7.6%. Today, President Obama is ahead by 4%. That is a thought to chew on for everyone involved.

Four years ago today John McCain in the polls had 43.6 percent of potential voters in his pocket. Today Mitt Romney has 44.9 percent of potential voters in his pocket, a 1.3 percent increase from four years ago.

Four years ago today Senator Obama was favored by 47.9 percent of the people in polling. Today President Obama is favored by48.9% of those polled, a one percent increase from four years ago.

So we are not so far removed from those days.

And four years ago then Senator Obama had the economy beating the hell out of the Republicans, and was a decided advantage in his favor. Now there are people who blame him for the self same economic problems that still plague our great nation, ones that stem from and were born in those tumultuous days four short years ago.

So while things my not be far removed from those days, things have changed. Some for the better, some for the worse.

No one should think this race is over by any stretch. No matter how many gaffes Mitt Romney makes, his base is large and will vote for him no matter what. If John McCain can get almost 46 percent of the vote for President in a year when much of the nation hated what the Republicans were, how much more can Mitt Romney get with the Republican brand in better health now than it was a scant few years back?

Fight hard for it. Fight like it matters.

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

A War Of Words

Pic of the day:  Pobřežní děla v boji s loďstvem (Shore Guns in a Fight with the Fleet) by Bohulim Kubista  (1913)

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CAUGHT in the whirlwind of these war times, without any real information or any perspective upon the great changes that have already occurred or are about to be enacted, lacking all premonition of the future, it is small wonder that we ourselves become confused as to the meaning of impressions which crowd in upon us or of the value of the judgments we are forming. It would seem as though no event had ever destroyed so much of the precious heritage of mankind, confused so many of the clearest intellects or so thoroughly debased what is highest.

Sigmund Freud, Reflections on War and Death (1918)

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Man, there is a lot of bullshit flying around these days.    The Government is not God pac is at war with reality, and it is a war of words.  They are saying, among other things that President Obama will:

1) Force Christian schools to hire non Christian teachers.

2) Force Christian organizations to pay for abortions.

3) Force courts to accept Sharia law in domestic disputes

I have a great many things to say about this, but when boiled down every argument against this silliness boils down to a single statement in response.

That is the stupidest bullshit I have ever heard in my entire fucking life and I’ve been around longer than you, are you fucking people high?

Let’s look at these claims one at a time, and see what we find.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

1) The first claim above is based entirely on the fact that the solicitor general argued in a case in front of the supreme court that a teacher who thought she was was wrongfully fired should be allowed to bring a discrimination lawsuit against a Christian school, which at present is not allowable.  There are constitutional protections involved.

The solicitor general lost that case 9-0.  On the basis of that, there are people saying the President wants to force non Christians to work in Christian schools.

The separation of church and state came to the schools rescue.  That particular move by the solicitor general was dumb, and an overreach by that office.  But just because the solicitor general is guilty of overreach in one case (where he was rightfully defeated, and soundly at that) does not mean that the President is of like mind, or would even begin to attempt any such move.  He is a baptist, he would not take away the rights of any church, particularly if that move would affect his congregation.

So that kills that first claim.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

2) This forced paying for abortion claim is ludicrous. Religious organizations do not have to provide coverage for that, nor do they have to refer anyone to organizations that do provide such.  The government does not have the power to force any Christian organization to hand over money to any doctors anywhere who would perform an abortion on any woman.

Ever.

There is this thing we have in America that keeps the government out of the hair of such organizations.

It’s called the constitution.  These people really should read the fucking thing before shooting off their mouths like that.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

3) Message to the people who put out the claim that the President will force courts to accept sharia law:  The executive Branch cannot force the Judicial branch to accept any particular law.

A short aside:  no Baptist (and the President is a Baptist {get over it}) would want Sharia law in America.  End of statement.

There is a basic reason this claim rings false.  It’s called the separation of powers.  I was taught the basics on that when I was 8 years old.  Guess whoever put out this horse shit didn’t go to any school on any level that taught social studies, or history, or civics, or anything worth learning for that matter.

Or maybe numbnuts who came up with this majored in “douchebaggery”

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And on top of all that douchebaggery, I find out that Mitt Romney is out there saying the the President is trying to cut voting rights for our Military, despite the fact that that is quite simply not true.

How do I find out about this?  I read facebook, and someone I know posts something on his wall saying and I quote “Oppose Obama’s Lawsuit against Military Voting Rights.”

Ya know, if there was such a thing I would vehemently oppose it.  I went looking for it.  Wanna know what I found?

Nothing.  Not a single god blessed thing.  EXCEPT FOR STATEMENTS BY MITT ROMNEY FALSELY CLAIMING THERE IS ONE.

Sorry for the yelling, felt the need to get that off of my chest.

I hate lying assholes.  And that asshole Romney is lying through his teeth on that claim.    If Mittens wants more people to vote for him, maybe he should stop being a dick like that.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

 

A Quick Look At Last Night’s Festivities From the RNC

Pic of the day: Jabberwocky, by John Tenniel

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The charlatan takes very different shapes according to circumstances; but at bottom he is a man who cares nothing about knowledge for its own sake, and only strives to gain the semblance of it that he may use it for his own personal ends, which are always selfish and material.

Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena

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There is actually much less to grasp a hold of and actually talk about in Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech at the RNC last night than there was in Paul Ryan’s speech the night before. There was simply much less meat in the speech, less actual talk about what he would do.

He did attack the President in a few places, but they were pretty damned weak attacks, I have gone after the President harder than Mitt Romney did last night.

He made a big point of saying that America isn’t better off now than it was 4 years ago. And I can tell you from personal experience that that is a hairy load of bulllshit. 4 years ago the economy was hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands a jobs a month, the stock market was in the shitter, and Oil was at $147 dollars a barrel back then.

Oil is still to damned high, but it is lower in price, as low as the market will allow it to fall. The Job market has not skyrocketed, obviously. But what has happened is that it has stabilized. Is it growing? No. Should it be growing? Maybe. With the amount of shock the American financial system took thanks to the laissez-faire system that the Bush ownership society foisted on us, it is mighty hard for me to imagine things ever really coming back the way they were.

McCain would not have been able to do better. No one could have done more, and with less than President Obama has with the economy, given what he had to work with, and how unwilling the Republicans were to work with him on anything. Never did they come up with a coherent plan to help, just partisan bullshit that was hostile towards the American dream.

For eight years, The Republicans created a new normal like Pinochet created a new normal in Chile when he took over there. Chile was financially much stronger before Pinochet. It was much more vibrant and robust, like America was Pre-Dubya. Pinochet, like Dubya and the Republicans took over and wrecked the place, destroyed the economy and the nation. Difference between Pinochet and the Republicans of the first 8 years of this century in America is that in America they didn’t need to use a military junta to impose their bullshit on the people.

And that in a nutshell is what Romney wants to bring back to America.

Pinochet without all the disappearing people.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now some specifics.

Romney says the President’s tax hikes on small business will eliminate jobs. That despite the fact that there have been 18 small business tax cuts, and the bulk of stimulus money went to small businesses. Mitt needs to read up on reality before speaking.

Mitt said that the Presidents assault on coal, oil and gas will send manufacturing jobs oversees. For a reality check, note that during the end of the Bush administration, oil went as high as $147 a barrel. Right now, WTI crude futures are at $96.47 a barrel. We are now less dependent on foreign oil than we have been in years. We are producing more oil than we have in nearly a decade. There are more American oil rigs working now than have ever worked before.

Tell me again how the President is assaulting oil and gas? Oh, and coal? The coal industry is stronger under the President. More people are working in the coal industry. The stimulus put billions of dollars into coal mining, and there is an emphasis being put in the industry not only to burn coal in a more clean manner (despite all the rhetoric there is no such thing as clean coal, but apparently they’re trying to get it cleaner) and make work conditions safer for the workers who do the dangerous work there.

So much for that point. Many of Mitt’s points against the President were of this variety, the easy to dismiss variety.

The speech mirrored Mr. Romney pretty accurately. Mitt is easy to dismiss and is full of crap, just like his speech.

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And thank you Mr. Eastwood for bringing us Invisible Obama and Eastwooding.

You are a good man, Mr. Eastwood, with the courage of your convictions, and you showed that last night. The speech was a flop though. You muffed it, pretty badly. All the stopping and starting, and hemming and hawing sounded bad. You sounded like a down on his luck actor who has forgotten his lines. Because you had. Should’ve stuck with the script though, Clint. That’s what it’s there for.

For inadvertent comedy though… dude. You win. You. Just. Win. You should smile, Mr. Eastwood, at last nights speech.

Then go have a therapeutic yell at some other invisible people in fine bentwood chairs. Bentwood is just a personal choice on my part, you can use whatever style you like. Just don’t let’em tell you to go fuck yourself. No reason to take that kind of abuse, none at all.

🙂

I’ll always think of you as The Outlaw Josey Wales, Mr. Eastwood, no matter your intentions last night. You were and are a great and good man, the moment had it’s way with you, that’s all.

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That’s it from here, America. G’night.

A Quick Look At A Few Of Paul Ryan’s Statements From Last Night

Pic of the day: Assorted United States Coins

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A few quotes from Paul Ryan’s speech, and commentary on those quotes follow.

I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.

You’re a newcomer to the campaign, and yet you can speak to the fact that you’ve never seen opponents so silent and desperate other such drivel? Seriously? Let me share an impression. There is no desperation except that which you want to see, and the silence you hear isn’t silence. You’re just not listening.

But then again, you never have.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day.

News for Paul Ryan. That plant closed during the Bush Administration.

Just like the Republicans to blame President Obama for something that Dubya did.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt.

Not really. The stimulus helped to save or create over 3 million jobs, and kept unemployment from spiraling out of control. A surprising thing to hear, but without the stimulus, unemployment which peaked at 10%, would have easily peaked closer to 15%.

And while there was debt created, and a lot of it, it was debt built to pay for things that needed to be done here and now. Republicans forget the tragedy that they begat with their laissez-faire governance that made the entire housing and financial crisis possible.

I’ll explain about how the Republicans, in particular Dubya, Chris Cox and Hank Paulson did to the economy if you really need me to beat the dead horse that is the net capital rule yet again.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis.

It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

It’s called the Affordable Care Act. Quit the semantic bullshit, jackass.

Close? The people haven’t spoken yet, Paul. Relax with that.

Ends with a jobs crisis? There has been a jobs crisis for the past 4 years, and the Republicans have stalled every attempt to make progress in the fight to create jobs. Or do you think we don’t remember all those cloture votes in the senate, and all the stonewalling the Republicans have thrown in the path of progress?

They alone?… They alone?.… He’s gonna make me explain about how the REPUBLICANS RELAXED THE NET CAPITAL RULE THUS MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO TURN SUB-PRIME MORTGAGES INTO THE ECONOMY DESTROYERS THEY BECAME. It made those mortgages money makers FOR THE BIG BANKS, big enough where the amount of them increased from being less than 5% of all mortgages to over 20% of all mortgages in less than 18 months by 2004. THAT precipitated the economic collapse. It would NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THAT ONE SINGLE EVENT. Enough yelling.

I feel cleansed now.

And everyone knows that credit rating drop was a political football play, and the drop was done by the S&P in an attempt to affect the legislative process in their favor. Much like the political football they played with Greece and the rest of the European economy, trying to turn things in their favor.

And you see how well they’re doing over there.

I’d be more careful with the words I chose Mr. Ryan. The S&P thing was and is a debacle. The S&P has lost a great deal of credibility since that rather badly pulled off rating drop.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems.
Bullshit.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. … And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.

No one said that the government gets the credit. What was said is that no one succeeds alone. That simple. And that is a basic truism. Trying to make it sound as if the President is putting down the small businesses of America, after all he has done to keep them afloat is ridiculous on Paul’s part. If you, mister business owner, think you can get by without; money from outside, private or public; the hearty help of your employees who succeed when you do; without the community at large, then you are not going to be in business long, and you will not do well.

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Mitt is speaking.; I will not listen to that devil worshiper. I will read the transcript. And I will do for that speech what I did for Paul’s P.O.S. speech.

That’s it from here, America. G’night.

A Stranger Named Adam Get Me Angry, And Convention Fun

Pic of the day:  Dragon Rising to the Heavens (Ryu  Sho Ten), by Ogata Gekko

(Attribution: Adam Cuerden)

Note: I fucking hate tossing attributions for pics anywhere on this site, which is why I almost always use art with expired copyrights, and always from Wikimedia commons.  This pic gets one because despite the fact that it was created in 1897 by a brilliant artist, this putz adam whatsisface did some resto work on the original and gets to act like its his and wants it attributed to him.  Like he created the fucking original.  Asshole.  Please.  Next time leave the original alone.  The artist who created the original should be the only one to get credit.

If nothing substantive has been changed you cannot be said to have made it your own, hence it makes a sham of Gekko’s work that someone did some paint by numbers work on this and gets copyright status for it.  This is roughly equivalent of saying you made the car yourself and want credit for it because you put tint on the fucking windows and changed out the spark plugs.  Ya it took time and there was work involved. So what? It’s bullshit. It’s silly stupid self-centered bullshit, and it’s wrong.

I’m sure he’s a nice guy, and a helluvan artist in his own right.  I’m just saying this seems an abuse of the concept of copyright law, no matter how legal.  He deserves it not.

Moving on…

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’T is all men’s office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow;
But no man’s virtue nor sufficiency,
To be so moral, when he shall endure
The like himself.

William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, act v, scene i, Leonato

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The RNC cancelled most of today’s fun at the convention due to the hurricane that was supposed to be barreling at them at breakneck speed.  They did that because they are uniquely sensitive to hurricanes and their aftermath, after Dubya told NOLA to go fuck itself in 2007.  The Republicans turned that whole city into a disaster area by being so damn slow in response.

Killed thousands doing it, all in the name of the political concept that is so central to our curious breed of American fascism.

Seems they did it wrong this time though, necessary though it was.  The Hurricane is currently intensifying in the gulf of Mexico and will in all likelihood make landfall Wednesday morning, though NOLA will be feeling it before that.  So while they are finishing day twos festivities, NOLA will be hunkering down.

Missed Tampa by a wide margin, though.

Meaning that they took today off so they could… watch the weather channel?  Tampa got rain.  Some rain, still are.  But they always get rain.  They got some wind.  They’re off the water, they get wind.  Nothing substantive from what I could tell, nothing gale force or stronger.  As far as I can tell New York city got more rain in an hour than Tampa got all day today.  Then again it was pouring cats and several other types of docile house-broken four legged hairy tailed mammals out here today.  Got around 3 inches of rain in an hour.  I know, I was in it.  Damn near destroyed my umbrella and my shoes may never get dry.  Gotta wear them to work tomorrow too…

But I digress…

The convention should be a blast for all those involved, rain or no, hurricane or no.  Everyone there will (wrongly) call President Obama a Socialist and a Kenyan and a Muslim.  They’ll say he’s raised taxes when he hasn’t.  They’ll say he’s killed jobs when all he’s killed is Osama Bin Laden.  They won’t give him credit for it, or anything good that’ happened in America over the last few years.  But that’s OK.  That’s what they do.  Wouldn’t expect anything less from them.

Even though he’s a capitalist baptist Hawaiian tax cutting job creator.  They can’t tell people that though, or that lil shit Mitt would lose by 40,000,000, instead of the 1 or 2 mill that he can win (or lose) by if these Un-American fascist bastards keep lying about our President.

They’ll shout themselves hoarse for a formerly liberal Massachusetts governor who put through universal healthcare for all, while decrying the President and his universal healthcare, vowing to destroy it.  They’ll shout for the guy who ran Bain capital, a company that bought companies, sold off the best bits and killed the rest, resulting in thousands of jobs being lost.

Have fun, kids! I know I will!  🙂

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night!

Getting Caught Up

Pic of the day, part i:  The Bridge at Mantes, by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot

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Just as man as a social being, cannot in the long run exist without a tie to the community, so the individual will never find the real justification for his existence, and his own spiritual and moral autonomy, anywhere except in an extramundane principle capable of relativizing the overpowering influence of external factors.

Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self

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After 9 posts that were part of a long form fictional story, a shade under 9,000 words, I am done with writing that particular story here.  I’m not done writing it, not by a long shot, but I am done writing it here.  Too bad though, as the meat of the story has yet to be written.  I wasn’t exactly sure when it began where it was going to go, but now I do.  I had any of maybe 10 different directions I could have gone in.  But I whittled it down to one.  Crime fiction/horror.

It’s gonna be bloody.  🙂

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

It’s been nothing but fun reading up on Mitt Romney and his boytoy Paul Ryan.  I especially love Paul Ryan, if for no other reason that the young man seems to think that we will all forget the simple fact that he wants to kill Medicare and Medicaid.  So he’s on the stump with his mom, saying “Would I kill this woman in the name of political Ideology?”

When we all know the answer is simply Yes.  That he wants to sharply cut funding to medicaid and food stamps.  He counts in his economic plan the savings that the Affordable care act, but he wants to completely get rid of it.  And he wants to cut taxes for millionaires and bilionaires.

The Ryan plan, which I believe Romney endorsed, would cut government revenue by $430,000,000,000 a year on average over the first ten years it is implemented.  And it would only cut government spending by $170,000,000,000 a year.

Creating an annual additional to government deficit spending of  $260,000,000,000 over the next ten years.  $260 billion dollars a year more in  deficit spending if America follows the Ryan plan, the conservative game plan.

I hope all you voters who are thinking of voting for Romney realize that everything will cost you more over both the short and long haul than President Obama.

Enjoy the poverty that Romney/Ryan will create, America!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The President is now threatening Syria with the use of military force if Syria decides to use chemical weapons against the rebels.  I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this does nothing but emboldens the rebels and hamstrings, if only slightly the Syrian army.   This comes after the Syrians threatened to use chemical and biological weapons against foreign invaders should anyone try to assist the rebels.

All that means is that the President gets to draw a line in the sand in a military conflict, and makes himself look stronger to some, while at the same time not really doing anything.  Assad is not threatened by the United States today any more than he was before the statement was made.  Just like the United States was not truly threatened by Assad and his statement any more after his statement than before.

Regardless of what happens, thousands more will die in the streets of Syria in towns large and small.

More blood.  More death.  More violence.  No good answer for anyone.

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Pic of the day, part ii:  The Augustan Bridge at Narni, by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot

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No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity.

Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

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That’s it from here, America!  G’night!