Tax Burden is all on the Poor

This is a quote from Carl Gibson, founder of US Uncut: “I have one dollar in my wallet. That’s more than the combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and the Bank of America. That means somebody is gaming the system.” And there’s more discussion at this website: ThinkProgressive (link no longer works and has been removed) This just makes me sick. It goes hand in hand with the idea of corporations getting the rights of people, but showing that they get the rights without the responsibilities.

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On Pirates and Why You Don’t Have to Worry About Us

Piracy is not dead.  Ships are targeted regularly by folks who want the ship, want the ship’s cargo, or want the crew for ransom.  There’s a breaking story on a badly ended pirate attack: Navy’s version of the story (they moved or removed this article) So.  Why is our situation so different that I don’t worry about pirates? Well, I do.  A little.  But for the most part, there are large differences between the targets of piracy and the S.V. S/N Nomad, soon to be renamed the Itinerant. Piracy is not a product of boredom or malice.  These people are looking for the same thing that a mugger wants – money.  Or items easily converted into money.  Or products they can use without spending any money.  And so on. Most ships targeted by pirates are cargo ships, freighters, just as in the heyday of the taking of Spanish galleons.  Those pirates weren’t interested in a bunch of people just out for fun – they wanted the gold.  These pirates aren’t likely to find gold, unless it’s the black kind.  Yup.  Oil tanker are attacked.  If the cargo is not useful to them directly, they hold it and the crew for ransom.  When there is no cargo, there is usually some other indication that money can be made on the deal. And so we get to the S/V Quest.  This pilothouse sloop is large and very fancy.  For details, here’s a link to their website: S/V Quest. (bad link) There are so many arguments in favor of going small.  The Pardey’s famous saying is “Go Simple, Go Now!” and I agree wholeheartedly.  I also suggest that Go Small is a good thing to add.  The boat is easier to handle; there is greater flexibility in moorage situations; all gear can be[…]

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On the Beauty of Weapons

The weapon was not itself; nothing was solely itself. The weapon, like anything else, could only finally be judged by the effect it had on others, by the consequences it produced in some outside context, by its place in the rest of the universe. By this measure the love, or just the appreciation, of weapons was a kind of tragedy. Ian M. Banks, Excession

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