Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In Which I Get Chastised by Anon

Over at Orange Crate Art, I got into an off-topic debate in comments with an Anon, after he said:

I enjoyed the "lost revenue" phrase. When a government cannot collect all it needs, wants and desires, it is probably not the revenue which is lost, but the serfs. In the USSR this was that which brought them to collapse. The dark joke was that "I was working against my government by not working." As dear, delightful I. F. Stone wrote, "governments lie." So where was/is/will be all that lost revenue anyway? It's an interesting question.

I replied:

Here in the U.S. the lost revenue is due to the lowest tax rates in almost a century on people with huge incomes and enormous wealth.

At the same time, national wealth has been squandered on long-lasting pointless and unjustifiable wars.

The Republican agenda is to undo the New Deal, the Progressive movement, the Constitution, and even the enlightenment on which it is based.

Funny you should mention serfs, since where we are headed is the new feudalism, where our masters are trans-national mega-corporations with no loyalty to anyone nor any thing.

Which prompted this:

Thanks for half the story, Jazzbumpa. In the first two years of this administration, said "lost revenue" could have been collected from those you identify. After all there was that renown "super majority" in Congress in that time. It is lovely to create a partisan story line, but it seems both parties have their hands deep in the cash box, which makes me all the more certain of my choice of verbiage, "serf." A progressive agenda would actually have stopped the deficit spending, closed Gitmo, exited Afghanistan, not put 13,500 troops in Bahrain as just announced this last month, shot drones into Pakistan only in the last weeks, engaged in war acts in North Africa and so much more. The elements of storytelling are about word choices to convey the next twist in the plot. As to "enormous wealth," I am good to go in confiscating a large portion of billionaires' wealth as long as all partisan sides get gouged. It is a sad tale indeed in which some get a free pass for being somehow on one side of the storyteller's divide, but not for those on the other. Let's confiscate half of Adelsohn's and Soros' wealth for starters. I wager they will become part of the same political strategy in an instant. "Lost revenue" has a storytelling function, implying that someone "lost" the "revenue." Well, when that doesn't include both political parties, then it wasn't "lost" from 2008 to 2010, was it? And the wars continue, serfs are not being asked for their political opinion about it. After all, as Jazzbumpa's story continues, "our masters are trans-national mega-corporations with no loyalty to anyone or anything." And the current administration must therefore be part of these "masters." Or at least doing their bidding? Storytelling is about following the sense of the language. Serfs. Lost revenue. Masters. Gosh, why give this current crop of politicians a pass? It does not advance the story. Happily ever after. PS I love jazz!

Anon [despite his disdain for white space] makes some good points here, but this is not one of them:  "In the first two years of this administration, said 'lost revenue' could have been collected from those you identify. After all there was that renown "super majority" in Congress in that time."   There were several Blue Dog Dems in the senate before the Rethug take over of 2010, so the (presumably progressive) Dem majority was illusory, and the super-majority totally non-existent.  To say otherwise is simply repeating a regressive talking point.

Further, there is nothing in my narrative that generates a partisan story line.  It's clear to anyone who has both eyes open that the problems with dysfunctional government lie squarely at the feet of the Rethugs.  Pointing out that Rethugs have degenerated into a condition where they are [to a reasonable first approximation] all wrong, all the time does not in any way suggest that the Dems are right about anything, ever.

Concentrating my critical efforts on a target where I feel they are the most needed is not giving anybody a free pass.  I have limited time and energy, plus the freedom to chose the topics that most engage or enrage me.  Others can take on the Dems - I have other, more important, fish to fry.

If this constitutes a sin of omission, then so be it.  Now I'm out of time now - gotta run.



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