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Archive for January 24th, 2013

Or two tales of tyranny over talk, both with origins in Caul-i-forn-ya, the land of fruit and nuts, where you can have it all, and your neighbor will be the one billed for it…at least until they move away.

First up is actor Steven Webber, who very recently opined:

The scale of Right Wing sociopolitical sabotage necessitates a Nuremberg-scale trial for all the corporate agents and treasonous capitalisto-fascist architects of our democracy’s current and most pressing misery. From the blatant Republican policy doublespeak emanating from think-tank sponsored word doctors to the outright obstruction and lies expectorated by Republican congressional representatives and senators, the very concept of governance can only be considered once the culprits are removed. Driven to real madness by unadulterated greed they have embraced an ideology, the success of which hinges upon the very ruin of this nation.

Disagree with the party in power?  Then you deserve to be tried and convicted by a jury of those who believe they are your betters.

As an idea, I can’t say it is remarkably original.  Dictators and tyrants have used kangaroo courts for centuries to determine that those who don’t see it their way are silenced.  What makes this funny, while still sad, tragic, and slightly demented is his accusations that Republicans are somehow the pawns of corporate agents and treasonous capitalisto-fascists…and yet says NOTHING about the green energy giveaways to companies that take our money, then go bankrupt, without any consequence to those who profit from it, and his silence on GE’s chummy relationship with the Obama administration.  Still, if he were smart, then he wouldn’t lament the greed of those who want to KEEP their money while turning a blind eye to those who have been actively fomenting the envy and class warfare that have been growing under this administration’s careful husbandry…the envy and class warfare that divide a nation, and empower those who want you to believe that the only reason you don’t have the trappings of wealth are because those that do aren’t transferring enough of their wealth to you.  Still, such attitudes are often hallmarks of the mobocracies that are the end result of democracies like the ones that the President would like to fundamentally transform our republic into. 

The worst part of this is that if you believe in the exponential nature of stupidity, Mr. Dimbulb McPretend-For-A -Living isn’t the only one thinking that freedom he is enjoying shouldn’t be available to others who oppose his views, which is why those of us who have personally witnessed the unfathomable power of stupidity in large groups have no interest in further abrogating our Second Amendment rights, and also understand why we might “NEED” a magazine that holds more than seven rounds, or a firearm that has numerous utilitarian and tactical features.  I suppose we should thank him for displaying his totalitarianism so plainly, and demonstrating progressivism’s fundamental weakness, that being that it will brook no criticism, because when pressed, it cannot be defended, but instead, I’d prefer a lengthy explanation of why he isn’t brave enough to face an opposing viewpoint in the rhetorical arena with argument, or at least a “spirited debate”.  It’s the kind of thing that casts pretty strong doubt on the legitimacy of any of the left’s calls for a “national dialogue” on any exercise of freedom they’d prefer to squelch than see you exercise.  But enough of the visible tyrant looking to intimidate those he’d rather not face, and on to those who are open with their “SHUT UP!”, and try to justify it with a crass emotional pandering that is no friend of logic. 

Recently, professional golfer Phil Mikelson pointed out that the emperor has no clothes, inflaming the minders of the envy class when he mentioned in public that a combined federal and state income tax burden of 62-62% was taking just a bit too much of his earnings and that he might have to move.  Notable for his reaction to this, sports commentator Roland Martin came rushing to government’s rescue with this remark:

 “But here’s the deal: 98% of the country is saying “Phil, Shut Up.”  They would love to make $40,000,000 a year, they would love to win a golf tournament and make a million bucks.  He was right when he said “I should have kept my criticism to myself.” because he looks like a whiner.  And here’s another piece:  When he goes and plays in a golf tournament, you know what he wants?  He wants people out there to buy tickets to see him play.  He wants them to buy his golf clubs, and the clothes he wears.”

Yes, Roland, he does.  And whether you like it or not, he is a draw.  And as such, people will get paid to park cars for those who will come to see him play.  They will buy concessions from people at the courses.  They will rent local hotel rooms, and eat in local restaurants, and shop in local stores.  I know this.  I witnessed it at the Buick Open at the Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc for YEARS.  And when he plays well, people will want to buy his clubs, and his clothes, and those will in turn create more jobs.  He might not be a great businessman.  Many pro athletes aren’t.  But if he’s getting sound advice, then he has been told that taxes in excess of 60% are too high.  It takes away his incentive to do all he can in terms of business ventures, because at some point, government thinks he’s just made enough, so it is entitled to take what he’s earned and spend it inefficiently, and give it to groups and causes that he might NEVER decide to spend his own money on, some of which he might he diametrically opposed to. 

But the biggest disappointment is when Mikelson decided that he needed to apologize for speaking the truth.

My apology is for talking about it publicly, because I shouldn’t take advantage of the forum that I have as a professional golfer to try to ignite change over these issues.”

“I think it was insensitive to talk about it publicly to those people who are not able to find a job, that are struggling paycheck to paycheck,” he said.

Why Phil?  Why does having the public’s attention because you’re a golfer disqualify you from speaking on the very real effects of bad policy decisions?  Why are you under such restraint when actors like Steven Weber and any number of other entertainers aren’t above using their celebrity to offer far less substantial, factual, or reasonable opinions with the clear intent of persuading their audiences.

And the idea that it is somehow insensitive to point out that confiscatory tax policy will lead you to make significant decisions for economic reasons is silly.  While those same people would undoubtedly like to have those problems, it never hurts for them to know that no matter how much money government will take from those “rich” people, it will never create the opportunity, or be multiplied in the same way as that money would if it was left in the economy.   Government may pay you a few more weeks of unemployment, but it can’t create a job that isn’t dependent on taking from someone else.  But the more insidious effect of this type of shutuppery is that while it may silence people like Mikelson, it can’t and won’t stop them from voting with their feet anyway.  And as Caul-i-fornians have been discovering, when enough of the “rich” leave because they’re tired of getting stuck with the check all the time, it doesn’t take long before you learn that you and your neighbors are the “rich”.  This could be avoided if we could have honest “conversations” and “dialogue” about such things, but instead, all we’ll be left with is some cynical pearl clutching, and the increasing cost of the welfare state sucking up opportunity and imposing the equality of misery.

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