Poet Devona Wyant, “On the difference between 1 and 99”


On the difference between 1 and 99

1% is when you spend the winters at your house on Fiji.
99% is when you heat your living quarters
with a single space heater.
1% is when your prescription is automatically
in your medicine cabinet and you don’t have to think about it.
99% is when you count the remaining pills of your
prescription and know you’ll run out before your SS check comes.
1% is when you tell your driver which car to drive today.
99% is when you walk everywhere you go
if your town doesn’t have buses.
1% is when you walk into the trendiest restaurant in town
and you don’t even need a reservation.
99% is when you buy outdated meat and produce
or stand in line at a soup kitchen.
1% is when you turn on the news and nod at the politician
who says if you can’t work, you shouldn’t eat.
99% is when you don’t know what the politician said
because you couldn’t pay the electric bill.
1% doesn’t have to go to work.
99% can’t even apply for a job because you’re unemployed
and they aren’t accepting applications from the unemployed.
1% turns away from the bottom 99% because if they don’t work
or pay taxes, they have no value.
99% may be buried in a Potter’s Field before the expected life span
because
. .you were malnourished, sick, numb from cold and depression,
. .and told you have to get off the sidewalk.
One will die acclaimed.
One will die unclaimed
. .because America can’t have street beggars.
But it does have an invisible army of the poor…unarmed,
under-housed, under-fed, under-educated, out of hope, out of time,
and out of social uniform.
Just so much cannon fodder for our Class Warfare.

Devona Wyant

I subscribe to Poem-a-Day and a couple of other services that deliver poetry to my mailbox.  I subscribe to a couple of list-servs that feature poets.  A precious few favor me with e-mails, somehow listing me among their friends.

I got this one today, probably unpublished elsewhere.  Watch for it.

[This poem above is not quoted, though it is the work of Ms. Wyant, because the quote formatting changed the formatting of the poem itself.  Please be sure to attribute the poem correctly to Ms. Wyant, who holds the copyright.]

Poet Devona Wyant, center. Caption from Lincolnton, North Carolina, Times-News: Poets Morgan DiStefano, Shane Manier and Devona Wyant and their group, Poetry Lincolnton, released their first anthology in June [2013].

Poet Devona Wyant, center. Caption from Lincolnton, North Carolina, Times-News: Poets Morgan DiStefano, Shane Manier and Devona Wyant and their group, Poetry Lincolnton, released their first anthology in June [2013].

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98 Responses to Poet Devona Wyant, “On the difference between 1 and 99”

  1. Jim says:

    Alan calls President Obama Ed’s hero. Well, Ed could do worse.

    But I can only speak for myself. And he ain’t MY hero. I voted for a liberal…a leftist…a progressive. I got a guy who governs in a more conservative fashion than Eisenhower, Nixon or Ford.

    I’m trying to blame that on the all-idiot-revue we know as the modern GOP along with far too many conservadems. But I’m losing patience.

    Eh. I’ll hold my nose and vote for him in ’12 just because the thought of Willard really gives me the skeeves. (Saw that movie and never entertained the thought it might be prescient. Who knew?)

    OTOH, I now live in Illinois so the outcome here — at least — is certain. Might just bolt and vote Green or Socialist.

    But go ‘head. Enthrall us with your rhetorical acumen. Who will you be voting for and why?

    Like

  2. Black Flag® says:

    James

    When are you moving to North Korea?

    [Editor’s note: This is a recycled issue; answer here, and in surrounding comments.]

    Like

  3. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    Quit making stuff up, BF. Get a good book, and read it. Keynes would be a good start (no, I don’t believe you’ve read his work in any detail).

    I don’t bloody care if you believe me or not.

    You do not have an economic sense inside your brain – you hold crackpot theories.

    I am not interested in a book throwing contest. If you think you have some economic theory that stands up, put it up and see if you can hold it up.

    Trust me, I know you can’t.

    Like

  4. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    It never occurs to you that perhaps FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, especially Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton were right — that in downturns, the government should do what it can to stimulate demand by putting otherwise out-of-work people to work?

    No, they were not right – no more than a man prescribing more of the poison that is killing you as the cure to your poisoning.

    That’s the problem with the Socialist/Statist – they have no economic sense, promote programs that induce massive economic turmoil, and then demand more of the same ill-conceived programs as if it will fix the problems caused by the last set.

    The boom/crack-up cycles get worse, deeper and longer – and the answer you believe in…. 10x more of the same?!?!

    Your crackpot Keynesian theory is that demand is the driver of economic prosperity is the problem.
    Demand is a consequence of economic prosperity.

    Economic prosperity is gained one, and only one way.
    Increasing PRODUCTIVITY.

    But digging a hole in the ocean, just to have a job does NOT produce productivity – but drains it.

    Whose failure kills our economy now

    No question – government action.

    Robin Hood was a thief, sure — but he was morally correct. If the poor and middle class eat and have jobs, everyone benefits. If the rich have all the money, the nation is in trouble.

    You just kill me! LoL

    Yes, point to a legend that took back taxes loot from the government and returned it to the people … as an example of government action!

    “Backwards Ed” is your new nickname!

    Correct. Taking money from the people to fund government does destroy the economy, and Robin Hood knew the answer.
    Let the people have their own money to spend

    It never occurred to you for a moment that classic economics was right, and the as-yet unwritten Laffer Curve is still wrong?

    What “classic” economics? Keynes???

    Laffer Curve is not “wrong” – but not right either – it is a description of an effect of taxation – though that effect is different depending on society conditions. (For example, nearly 100% tax rate during WW2 will have a dramatically different curve then 100% tax rate today).

    If trickle down economics worked, every college graduate in Saudi Arabia would be fully employed and making lots of money — same with Libya, Iraq, and Iran (Iraq both before and after the war).

    It fails for the same reason your “demand” economics fails.

    “Supply” does not make an economy more prosperous.
    Supply is a consequence of prosperity, not a cause

    Our children have to live in the future. We need to think of them once in a while.

    You suffer the same insanity as James – believe that only tyrants have compassion.

    Like

  5. To quote:
    The whole strategy is blame the rich, blame the Republicans . Never ever accept responsibility . Kick the can down the road.

    You mean as opposed to the Republican strategy of blame everyone but the rich, kiss the asses of the rich, blame the Democrats, never accept responsibility and kick the can down the road?

    Like

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    I hope I don’t have to fix the “problem.” If I do, I’ll fix it with a dull grapefruit spoon. But I figure, part of the problem is that you’re not breeding anyway. “Fixing” may not make you any less vexing.

    Quit making stuff up, BF. Get a good book, and read it. Keynes would be a good start (no, I don’t believe you’ve read his work in any detail). Jeffrey Sachs’ latest would be good for you, too. Or get some Aldo Leopold. Read Thoreau. Read about TR. Read about Lincoln. Fix your own d–ned problem

    Like

  7. Ed Darrell says:

    The whole strategy is blame the rich, blame the Republicans . Never ever accept responsibility . Kick the can down the road.

    It never occurred to you that you’ve got it wrong? Obama came in with a grateful countenance to the rich who helped him get there (too much gratitude, for some of us), and he hasn’t wavered from that stand. Perhaps unfortunately.

    It never occurs to you that perhaps FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, especially Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton were right — that in downturns, the government should do what it can to stimulate demand by putting otherwise out-of-work people to work? Obama didn’t get that chance. Republicans insisted on halving the size of the first stimulus, so that only existing jobs were saved and the hemorrhaging was stopped — but no new jobs could be created. On the other hand, Republicans got 100% of the tax cuts they promised would work — and they haven’t done a lick of good.

    Whose failure kills our economy now? It’s the same economic failure that killed job creation in the Bush administration — too much tax cuts for the wealthy, too great a wealth transfer from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.

    Robin Hood was a thief, sure — but he was morally correct. If the poor and middle class eat and have jobs, everyone benefits. If the rich have all the money, the nation is in trouble.

    It never occurred to you for a moment that classic economics was right, and the as-yet unwritten Laffer Curve is still wrong? If trickle down economics worked, every college graduate in Saudi Arabia would be fully employed and making lots of money — same with Libya, Iraq, and Iran (Iraq both before and after the war).

    You have a lot of gall, Alan, to tout proven failure policies while claiming, against history and all honesty, that we did the opposite.

    My hero balanced the budget, but supported atrocities in the Philippines, and engaged in questionable actions to shore up U.S. trade in the Pacific and military ability, with the Panama Canal. He balanced the budget, but he spent on the future.

    Our children have to live in the future. We need to think of them once in a while.

    Like

  8. Alan Scott says:

    Ed Darrell,

    I congratulate you and the President that you have convinced so many, including yourselves and every idiot smelling up the streets with the OWS, that all of your troubles in life are caused by faceless billionaires and not the President’s policies of the last 3 years . Correction, stinking up the streets .

    Your hero has failed to tackle the deficits in our budget, in fact when did he even submit a budget, and the deficits in Medicare and Social Security . The whole strategy is blame the rich, blame the Republicans . Never ever accept responsibility . Kick the can down the road .

    Again congratulations. I bet you could sell snow to Eskimos and Sand to Arabs. Of course selling Socialism to college students is not hard . I wonder if the middle class will buy it again next year .

    Like

  9. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    Figure your own site out – it ain’t my problem. Other sites don’t seem to have that problem, so I guess its you.

    You can’t answer the simple questions, and continue to spew idiocy masked as some sort of epiphany. Then you complain about those that see through your fluff because, heck, they disturb your little dream.

    Again, be a man.
    Fix the problem or tell to bug off.

    Like

  10. Black why would Ed censor you? Even more so then Morgan, Lower and Alan you make the right wing look absolutely ludicrous. You’re the perfect gift to liberals everywhere..because all we have to do is to point to you and say “See! This is how fragged up, morally depraved and batshit crazy the right wing is.”

    Which reminds me…when are you moving to Somalia?

    Like

  11. Ellie says:

    Ed says: “For three days I’ve been rescuing your odd, ill-tempered, ill-considered, insulting posts from the spam filters.”

    Oh, dear. You’ve probably just ruined his day. He was so….elated…that he had managed to get you to censor him and now you’ve gone and spoilt his nice new rattle. Tsk, tsk.

    Like

  12. Ed Darrell says:

    99% is when you count the remaining pills of your
    prescription and know you’ll run out before your SS check comes.

    A nation, the richest nation on Earth by almost all standards, which cannot provide basic medical care to all of its citizens, will not forever be able to protect the 1% in its privilege to purchase better medical care than others.

    Ask not for whom the pharmacist refuses to answer, he refuses to answer to thee.

    No human is an island, someone could say.

    Like

  13. Ed Darrell says:

    It is sad you have to fall into censorship of opinions that make yours look puerile.

    You really are a troll, Black Flag, you know?

    I don’t know how you managed to do it, but you’ve convinced my spam filters your posts are spam. For three days I’ve been rescuing your odd, ill-tempered, ill-considered, insulting posts from the spam filters. (Actually, much longer than three days — it’s just that all of them appear to be going there now, instead of just the odd one.)

    And for that, you accuse me of censorship.

    This is just one more indication that you look through the wrong end of the telescope, that your glass is clouded, that you have a jaundiced eye.

    Your petty bigotries against good government, social achievement and collective action don’t deserve my attention to let them see the light of day.

    You’re welcome.

    Like

  14. […] James Kessler says: November 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm […]

    Like

  15. Black Flag® says:

    James,

    We both live in reality.

    The difference is the way we chose to live.

    You justify evil.

    I do not.

    Like

  16. Jim wrote:
    With Herman Cain, Willard Romney, Newt Getrich and Ayn Rand — I say to you, Nick ::: QUIT WHINING!

    Well Ayn Rand, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Newty boy and pretty much the entire Republican party and BF can kiss my ass :P

    I like living in reality. BF can live in delusion land all he wants.

    Like

  17. Black Flag® says:

    Jim,

    Your irrational world view disguises ignorance.

    Compassion for your fellow man does not allow you to steal from other men to solve it.

    You believe free men must be essentially without compassion – which can only infer you believe tyrants are the only compassionate men on Earth.

    Like

  18. Jim says:

    Nick,

    You obviously don’t understand true compassion. True compassion allows people to die in extermination camps, in bowels of slave ships, on Indian reservations and in unregulated urban sweatshops. Because one day, the Libertarian Leprechauns will sprinkle magic free market fairy dust all over everyone and we’ll all just stop being mean to each other when we realize there is money to be made being nice.

    Monsanto will eventually stop poisoning the born and unborn children of Anniston, Alabama. Just as soon as those evil bullies and liberals stop persecuting the poor, oppressed billionaire CEOs.

    Massey Energy will eventually have safe coal mines, just as soon as left wing do-gooders like me stop insisting that they observe safety regulations and start treating their employees like something other than inanimate tools.

    As for the hundreds of millions who died waiting for the Libertarian Easter Bunny, screw ’em. God needs to thin the weak from the herd anyway. If you die for lack of medical care, it’s because you were lazy and weak. If you can’t go out and look for a job because you have no legs and can’t afford a wheelchair, well shame on you you selfish bastard. Because a REAL ‘Murrican would crawl door to door offering to mop the floor of some wealthy person’s home with a mop attachment on his face in exchange for a few pennies and a baloney sandwich.

    With Herman Cain, Willard Romney, Newt Getrich and Ayn Rand — I say to you, Nick ::: QUIT WHINING!

    Yes Nick, what i just channeled for you is real compassion on Planet Rand. The real tyrants are the ones who advocate crazed, self-centered ideas like forming a more perfect union, promoting the general welfare and so on. The real tyrants are those who share and expect others to share. The real criminals are those who just don’t have faith enough to believe Ayn Rand and her elves will come…if only we behave ourselves, keep hoarding and looking out for number one.

    Have you not been paying attention?

    Like

  19. Black Flag® says:

    Here, you guys need a primer in economics – this will get at least in the right ballpark….

    http://www.fee.org/library/books/economics-in-one-lesson/

    Like

  20. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,
    It is sad you have to fall into censorship of opinions that make yours look puerile.

    As I said, if you don’t want my opinion, say so, and I will leave – but don’t be a coward about it.

    Like

  21. Black Flag® says:

    Hi James,

    That would be far more true of the rich, Black. Because I sure as sh– don’t remember any of them making all that money all by themselves.

    You have a highly flawed economic understanding about “making money”.

    The consequence of your flawed economics is that you blame the buyer for the reason the rich are wealthy – betcha you didn’t know that!

    When a person hires me, they hold a value upon what I offer them – that value is subjective – personal to the individual, the buyer.

    If my price is lower then the value he sees in my work, he buys my services – because from his point, he gets more value at the end then what he paid (my price is LOWER then his value on my service, or other words, he VALUES my work HIGHER than my price).

    So at the end of the transaction, I have money and he has the benefit of my service.

    Now you come alone and snoop into my wallet – and thing “WoW! Why does BF get all that money!?!?! What did he do to earn it?!?! Well, nothing I would pay a red cent for, that’s for sure!!!” – you then twist your SUBJECTIVE opinion on my value into an economic theory, based on your ego-centric world view.

    “Well, if I don’t value it nobody else should either and thus, BF does not DESERVE that money!

    But it really has nothing to do with me – I would not get that money unless someone freely paid it to me in trade. So your complaint is not about ME, it is about the people who trade with me – you think they are stupid, and that they should not have paid the money.

    But who are you to decide how other people want to spend their money??? If they want to burn it, what do you have say about that? Nothing!!

    So, equally, you have no say in why they pay me either.

    As far as Jim – he is a nice guy, I’m sure – just holds a very distorted world view, that probably was taught to him, and one that he really has not spent any time thinking about.

    Like

  22. Black writes:
    You did not earn the money you took.You need other people to do the work to earn the money. So all your self-back slapping, your false compassion, is merely laziness.

    That would be far more true of the rich, Black. Because I sure as sh– don’t remember any of them making all that money all by themselves.

    And what you accuse Jim of being a hater of humanity and all that nonsense is more accurately directed at you.

    So the question really is do you realize how much you are projecting your mental illnesses onto others?

    Like

  23. Black Flag® says:

    Jim

    . You’re right.

    I know I am right, because, you can do more.

    You are eager to steal – or advocate for it – the funds other people to do more than thatyet, you have time to waste to type on your computer, have funds to buy it in the first place.

    It appears your sense of compassion stops when it comes to requiring you to spend money and time on your toys – yet, you have no problem advocating violence to steal money from other people to continue “your work”.

    The hypocrite in you has no problem with this – a little violence on other people to help some people is worth it to you, so you can have some play time.

    You are no Mother Theresa.

    Like

  24. Jim says:

    Flag has some exhortations and prophetic admonishment for me. I definitely need to prick up my ears and pay heed to the word of the lord here. He says…

    You actually do nothing at all to solve human suffering

    I’ll make a note of it next time I am holding the hand of a hospice patient, embracing the mother of a slain childen in a funeral parlor or helping to stock a food pantry shelf.

    I really should stop wasting my time like that. You’re right.

    I’d be much better served following your example: reading Atlas Shrugged aloud and masturbating to pictures of gilded age robber barons and conspiratorial, anti-semitic flow charts.Gee Flag, if it weren’t for Jewish bankers, the UN and the Trilateral Commission, I don’t think you or the Pauls would ever get your rocks off.

    You did not earn the money you took.You need other people to do the work to earn the money. So all your self-back slapping, your false compassion, is merely laziness.

    You’ve found me out. You’re right, skippy. I’ve been under the radar all this time but you and your tinfoil hat blew my cover sky-high. Those 70 hour weeks running a newsroom, sending out reporters, conducting interviews and anchoring newscasts was all so much smoke and mirrors. The retail work I did and continue to do? It’s just a big front for my New World Order agenda. I’m just like those overpaid, greedy bastards who claim to dig ditches, drive cabs and deliver pizzas. Which reminds me. We were all invited to the Bilderberg event in 2012. I need to find a sucker to peddle my wares and do my homework for school while Joe the Plumber and I plan world domination. I am sure the Rothschilds will be there, too, and will offer some workshops for us.

    You are great hypocrites and a terror upon humanity.

    Wow. You see right through me.

    Sadly, people like you will always be a part of humanity.

    Sigh. I know. I feel for humanity. If only there were fewer people like me or Ellie or Ed. And yet — think of the horror, Flag! We are just ordinary folk with a small orbit. Scum like Dorothy Day, Barbara Jordan, Oscar Romero, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez and Paul Wellstone have had much broader influence that us.

    What a world this would be if such ilk had never issued forth and, instead, had been replaced by the likes of Ayn Rand, Ron and Rand Paul, the Koch Brothers and Rush Limbaugh! Now that would be utopia, n’est pas?

    Come on, Flag…admit it. You just got a little aroused again, didn’t you? And you, without your copy of Stormfront or Atlas Farted…I’m fairly blushing…

    Like

  25. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    The context was already established.

    You believe a piece of paper protects your rights.

    You post pictures and information that puts a lie to your belief.

    You continue to hold your falsified belief.

    You do this often, across many topics.

    Like

  26. Ed Darrell says:

    Context counts for a lot, BF. Here’s the post you complain about:
    https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/american-education-week-november-7-13-1943/

    You could learn a lot if you followed the issue at all:
    https://timpanogos.wordpress.com/tag/japanese-internment/

    Like

  27. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    You play with definitions of violence as a tactic.

    http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Revolution_within_the_form

    Revolution within the form is a subversive tactic that seeks surreptitiously to replace the form of old things or words with new and/or progressive meanings in order to bring about a contrary state of things that normally would not be accepted by society.

    Basically, the names of the old things are preserved, but their meanings have been altered.

    Like

  28. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    You are truly a strange man.

    You post this:

    ….to which I suppose is the Constitution protecting her right to free speech….

    Q.E.D.

    Like

  29. Black Flag® says:

    Jim, Pang,

    You have terrible needs to pretend you are compassionate – but you are not.

    You merely take the wealth of others and give to those that you define as “worthy”.

    You actually do nothing at all to solve human suffering

    You did not earn the money you took.
    You need other people to do the work to earn the money.

    So all your self-back slapping, your false compassion, is merely laziness

    You believe you know how much other people “should have” – you conveniently raise this bar to be slightly higher then your own economic value – because if it was lower, you’d have to give up something – and that’d never do!!

    Now, in the comfort of your own justification, you take whatever you wish from others that you define “have too much and not using it enough” and toss it around – thinking this is doing “good work”.

    But you are not working, nor doing good.
    Other people are working and doing good

    You are great hypocrites and a terror upon humanity.

    Sadly, people like you will always be a part of humanity.

    Like

  30. Black Flag® says:

    Pang

    Black Flag is basically insane regarding his self-defined, self-exclusive definition of nonviolence.

    Violence is pretty easy to define – only those whose politics requires violence to something to be something else needs to redefine it.

    It is a typical way evil attempts to justify itself – define something to be what good men would do to now include what evil will do.

    This is called “Revolution within the Means”, keep a word which infers a particular consequence and change its definition while maintaining that consequence, though the new meaning of the word is very different.

    Example: “Liberal” used to mean “Freedom lovers”, now represents a socialist class which actually advocates the infringment on men’s freedom.

    To impose poverty by denying a man vacant farmland, idle tools easily replicable data, empty houses, vacant storefronts and wasted food can be nothing if not violent.

    It is not violent.

    But this is what you are trying to do.

    You know civilized men have banned initiation of violence.

    You want to use violence to get -for your cause- property of others.

    You also want to appear to be civilized.

    Thus, you redefine violence to include “ownership” – call to men and say “That man is violent holding property, I demand the right of self-defense and use violence to take it back.”

    When good men call you insane – you merely point them to your irrational definition, and challenge them to “prove” to you that your definition is less worthy then theirs.

    Most of the time, good men simply toss the likes of you out of society.

    (….2)

    Like

  31. Black Flag® says:

    Pang

    Black Flag is basically insane regarding his self-defined, self-exclusive definition of nonviolence.

    Violence is pretty easy to define – only those whose politics requires violence to something to be something else needs to redefine it.

    It is a typical way evil attempts to justify itself – define something to be what good men would do to now include what evil will do.

    This is called “Revolution within the Means”, keep a word which infers a particular consequence and change its definition while maintaining that consequence, though the new meaning of the word is very different.

    Example: “Liberal” used to mean “Freedom lovers”, now represents a socialist class which actually advocates the infringment on men’s freedom.

    To impose poverty by denying a man vacant farmland, idle tools easily replicable data, empty houses, vacant storefronts and wasted food can be nothing if not violent.

    It is not violent.

    But this is what you are trying to do.

    You know civilized men have banned initiation of violence.

    You want to use violence to get -for your cause- property of others.

    You also want to appear to be civilized.

    Thus, you redefine violence to include “ownership” – call to men and say “That man is violent holding property, I demand the right of self-defense and use violence to take it back.”

    When good men call you insane – you merely point them to your irrational definition, and challenge them to “prove” to you that your definition is less worthy then theirs.

    Most of the time, good men simply toss the likes of you out of society.

    But, let’s carry on – what happens if good men start to agree with you

    You are now changing the root principles by which one organizes society.

    So to enable your evil, you now make property ownership and the rights of ownership equal to violence – so you can justify the use of actual violence on other men

    But you fail to understand, Pang, that you now also undermined a pillar of societal organization – that is ownership.

    So, now I can use your claim and justify stealing your car – because you happen to not be using it right now.

    I now can justify stealing everything you have under those same conditions.

    But I know you will not like that one bit -no one would-, and quickly social order collapses, society collapses, civilization ends into an orgy of slaughter

    Listen carefully, Pang.

    When violence is rewarded, the thief may win over over the honest man…..
    but the murderer wins over the thief.

    By undermining a root principle of the organization of society to merely solve a problem of capital, you destroy society, and everything with it.

    You see a human problem, and it disturbs you – good for you, you have a heart.

    But solving the human problem by using violence or justifying violence creates far, far, far worse human problems then the one you are solving.

    So the means to which we use to solve human problems becomes the most important choice – for the means justifies the end.

    The best means to solving a lack of human capital without violence is creating the conditions where men ARE FREE TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN APPLICATION OF THEIR OWN EFFORT FOR THEMSELVES and to keep the rewards of such effort.

    As all human action creates consequences, then for men to solve their lack of capital also must mean they suffer both the “good” consequences of their actions AND THE DISAGREEABLE CONSEQUENCES as well

    If you want the good, you have to accept the bad.

    There does not exist an action that has no consequences

    Society exists today not by a “design” – there was no ancient Einstein that woke up 10,000 years ago and said “Oh! I’m going to invent civilized society!”

    Society has been created by the aggregate actions of human beings IN society.

    Our society has prospered by applying certain core principles for us to use as guides to justify our actions within society.

    Other societies use different principles then ours – there are a few tribes in Africa where “ownership” and “property” simply are not concepts they understand. But they do not have computers or cars or all the things YOU do, because they do not have the social order necessary to create such things.

    Other societies existed that had no means to de-legitimatize violence …. they did not last long.

    You must understand that for the hundreds of thousands of years of human existence, 99.99% of this history humans have been desperate, hungry, died young, with massive suffering.

    Our society, based on private property and human rights – has demonstrated greatest prosperity and success, and has successfully lifted vast masses of humanity out of recurring desperation that was our lot.

    It is true, there remains much human suffering.

    But to destroy the principles which have created the foundation of the greatest relief of our suffering will toss all humanity back to the conditions of our history – massive suffering, desperation and early death – the principles you destroyed justifying your attempt of relieving the very thing you will be creating.

    As I said before, when a man claims his actions will “do this”, but the action does the opposite, that man has manifested a contradiction, and contradictions are the root of all human evil.

    Like

  32. Pangolin says:

    Jim_ I suffer from chronic back pain among other complaints. It doesn’t show up on x-rays; something to do with nerves being soft tissue I guess. ;~) At some point I realized that if people couldn’t see my pain then I couldn’t see theirs either. I simply had to trust that they were telling the truth about it.

    So whatever the source is whether pure imagination or heroic war wounds I regard all pain as equally valid. Their pain is equal or greater than mine; after all, I have good days as well as bad. So I had a dream one night when I was particularly troubled and this came to me in my dream: “Pain is the gate to compassion.”

    If you lack compassion for others you lack compassion for yourself. If you accept that life can be painful without cause or reason then you can be compassionate for others.

    Like

  33. Jim says:

    Hi Pangolin!

    I am sorry you and your Dad had a falling out. I am sorry he opted for a path of hate and me-firstism. I feel your pain. I have a mother and siblings like that. We’re still in touch, but it’s a lot of ugly to let swim around in one’s brain, isn’t it?

    I just want you to know that I have been reading your posts here since you came and I really value your insights. We have agreed and we have disagreed, but you have been unfailingly kind and frequently very helpful. Most of all, I appreciate your concern for others who are less fortunate. I am glad there are people like you, Ed, Ellie, Nick and some of the other regulars here.

    I don’t think all of the far right wingers and anarcho-libertarians are hateful. Maybe your Dad was, maybe he wasn’t. I do think some are. Some, psychopathically so. But as sad as that is, for some reason, it strikes me as even more pathetic that some among them have really and truly good intentions…they really and truly believe Ayn Rand was the messiah of the golden age of libertarian fairy dust, corporations with nothing but the most altruistic intentions and highways & bridges that build themselves.

    Yes, that’s more pitiful. There’s intentional evil. And there’s unintentional evil, but stupid. That makes me sadder.

    Keep up the good work, bro. I am glad to have met you here!

    Jim

    Like

  34. Pangolin says:

    I don’t find that they come to their senses. Ever. My father spews the kind of hateful garbage that Black Flag puts out and I haven’t talked to him in 20 years. When he dies I’m not going to his funeral either.

    Life is too short to give any more credence to that kind of pollution. Unfortunately your blog appears to have a fine voice but a foul echo.

    Like

  35. Jim says:

    Ed Darrell just made my month with this comment…

    There are no solo acts. Even John Galt was invented by someone else (and he’s fictional, besides).

    Where, sir, was the spew alert? You SO owe me a new keyboard.

    Like

  36. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    Love of free speech over common sense, I suppose. The Constitution protects the right of every American to be, or appear to be, a blathering idiot.

    No it doesn’t. It is a piece of paper.

    Men protect their rights.

    I find most come to their senses, and most, sooner rather than later.

    Triumph of hope over experience.

    With your irrationality, I am impressed you have survived so long.

    Like

  37. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed_Seriously, why do you tolerate these obvious trolls?

    Love of free speech over common sense, I suppose. The Constitution protects the right of every American to be, or appear to be, a blathering idiot.

    I find most come to their senses, and most, sooner rather than later.

    Triumph of hope over experience.

    Like

  38. Black Flag® says:

    Pang

    Ed_Seriously, why do you tolerate these obvious trolls?

    You call someone a liar by pointing to someone else.

    And you do not think YOU are a troll

    They don’t argue points.

    I have provided dozens of points – none which you have responded.

    The fault is yours, not mine.

    They are immune to facts.

    I have given you facts, but you ignore them

    The fault is yours, not mine.

    They repeat the same blather over an over as if that overrides physical reality on the ground.

    You see evil and therefore claim it must and can only exist.

    I see evil and therefore claim it must and can be dispersed.

    No conversation can move forward while they are around. It’s actually a fair demonstration of what’s happened to Congress and the nation.

    No, Congress believes they can eventually use guns to convince you – I won’t.

    Is your readership waning? Look at this comment thread. An actual, quality OP is left dead in the water due to the never ending spew of a single individual.

    Sadly, you cannot compete.

    Like

  39. Pangolin says:

    Ed_Seriously, why do you tolerate these obvious trolls? They don’t argue points. They are immune to facts. They repeat the same blather over an over as if that overrides physical reality on the ground.

    No conversation can move forward while they are around. It’s actually a fair demonstration of what’s happened to Congress and the nation.

    Is your readership waning? Look at this comment thread. An actual, quality OP is left dead in the water due to the never ending spew of a single individual.

    Like

  40. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,
    I did look it up and hospitals DO take patients who are sick and dying without requiring payment.

    Too bad I can’t see Ed’s eyeballs fall out of his head, because these people do not exist

    http://www.shrinershq.org/

    Shriners Hospitals for Children has a mission to:

    Provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other special healthcare needs within a compassionate, family-centered and collaborative care environment.

    Provide for the education of physicians and other healthcare professionals.

    Conduct research to discover new knowledge that improves the quality of care and quality of life of children and families.

    This mission is carried out without regard to race, color, creed, sex or sect, disability, national origin or ability of a patient or family to pay.

    Like

  41. Ed Darrell says:

    So you argue that hospitals are not taking patients by giving examples where hospitals are taking patients.

    I had limited time, and I had to decide whether to make the point for people of reason or at least dim intelligence, or explain it so you could understand.

    You could look it up, if you cared about the facts.

    Like

  42. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    So you argue that hospitals are not taking patients by giving examples where hospitals are taking patients.

    You shift your complaint that people who cannot buy a Ferrari and can only afford a bike ends up buying a bike, and that angers you, because you want a Ferrari as long as someone else foots the bill.

    You then argue that hospitals do not take patients for free by –again– arguing they do – but you ignore those hospitals that do not take government money and provide free care – and focus on government hospitals that are forced to abide by the rules of the evil that paid the bills with money stolen from Dale.

    Man, you must be dizzying watching you mow your lawn.

    Like

  43. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    You are very very strange

    You disagree with X person over here means Y person over here lied.

    I surely hope you have strong arms to dig ditches, because you may find it difficult to get a job that requires you to think

    Like

  44. Ed Darrell says:

    There are no solo acts. Even John Galt was invented by someone else (and he’s fictional, besides).

    This is simply laughable. Dale’s HSA will last about ten minutes if he’s shows up at an emergency room with a heart attack, cancer or stroke. After that his chances of paying for anything are very, very, slim.

    Utter Nonsense – you only hear about stories in the newspaper because they are rare.

    Not rare in Texas, where fully 25% of the population lacks all health insurance, and consequently, gets shut out of service even in emergency rooms. Wallet biopsies are legal, and in the case of a heart attack, there are always cheaper, much less effective solutions that can be applied. Aspirin is cheap, and it kills some of the pain, even if cardiomyopathy suggests the need for a transplant. Transplants are optional, and expenseive.

    You do not know otherwise that hospitals DO taken in the sick and dying for care REGARDLESS of ability to pay – because it happens all the time, no one notices.

    Oh, the hospitals notice. First, only those hospitals who offer emergency services AND are Hill-Burton hospitals, take in all comers (meaning they got funding for the facility from the federal government, through the Hill-Burton Act).

    Second, that care is paid for by increasing the sums required for people who have insurance. Here in Texas, fully 25% of the cost of every hospital stay is added on solely to cover the costs of indigent care the hospital delivers to others.

    So, were Dale to pull an Ayn Rand, and appeal to the pro bono programs at the hospital as soon as his HSA money runs out, he could do so ONLY because the hospital agrees, because Congress requires hospitals to do such stuff, because Congress gave money to put that hospital there because the local people couldn’t do it alone, and because there is a carefully choreographed dance between private insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid, and the local health care deliverers, to cover the costs with the “stolen” (in BF’s lingo) money from care delivered to insured people.

    And don’t get me going about the federal programs to train physicians and nurses and technicians to staff the hospitals, programs without which we would have much larger health care staffing shortages than we do now. (Programs included in H.R. 3200, programs which the Republicans promise to kill for the first time since World War II — their having failed U.S. history.)

    There are no solo acts in America.

    Like

  45. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    Bizarre economic and social theories have a home in your head, don’t they?

    Wow! Peters discovered the power of “Division of Labor”!
    Guess he didn’t read Plato et al!

    To use my car to earn income does not mean I need to justify my income by first building my car…no, first building the part to my car…no, first getting metal to build the parts of my car….no, first refining the ore to get the metal to build the part of my car ….no,…..

    None of that matters, because I traded my talent and time for the car and all the millions of other trades of talent and time down the line that made the car.

    My trade PAID FOR ALL IT -whatever that value was – and the car is mine.

    Yes, the cooperation of free man and in free trade is what makes us prosperous – a system you advocate to destroy.

    Like

  46. Black Flag® says:

    There are THREE (opps) and only three things you can do:

    (1) Lower your price.
    (2) Transport the apples to another marketplace where the demand for apples is higher, thus more able to support the price.
    (3) Improve the product to increase its value for other people to your asking price.

    Simple replacement of “apples” with “labor” and re-read the paragraph.

    But people decide things, unlike apples – which people make decisions FOR apples.

    People do not want to move – fine! Thus, they will need to lower their price of labor to satay. But people want to get their asking price, thus, then need to improve their skills or do something different, but they want their old job back, therefore, their labor remains unsold.

    Pretty simple situation to understand.

    What is evil is the likes of you using people as if they were apples that is, making decisions for other people over and across their own choices and consequences.

    I always forget the 3rd when using my apple analogy since it is hard to “improve” that particular apple quality – it is usually what it is – but you can chose better apples out of your crop for sale, etc – but it is not as obvious to improve apples as it is to improve human skills.

    Like

  47. Ed Darrell says:

    The old bromide is likely true: We are all self-made men but only the rich admit it.

    The old bromide is absolutely false, if intended to be taken as other than the sarcastic joke it was written to be.

    Tom Peters and other management and quality consultants figured this out years ago: In America especially, there are no solo acts. None. Even the opera diva at the “solo recital” relies on music written by others, has an accompanist playing on a piano built by others, sings as her vocal coach taught her, and has at least a manager who hired the hall and the people to sell tickets and usher patrons to their seats.

    Wholly apart from the biological fact that we are social creatures and go insane without company and social interaction of some kind, no one in America functions off of all the various grids. No one.

    Even if by chance you happen to be one of those guys who builds his own computer, you didn’t invent the transistor, print the chips, mine the rare earths nor even the copper or gold in the wires . . .

    Like

  48. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    We have already observed that your economic, financial, and legal understandings are very flawed.

    “Ownership is determined by who gets to decide what to which property and has nothing to do with any debt.”

    Your mortgage holder disagrees. Fall behind on your payments and lo, the ownership of that house is not yours but resides with the bank.

    That is a legal consequence of transfer of ownership, which has no meaning on current ownership at all, regardless of debt.

    The bank got the money to lend you from the Federal Reserve for effectively zero interest.

    There is a lot more to it then just that, but it is not germane to this dialogue

    The bank has done no maintenance, no improvements, made no payment and has no emotional attachment to the house.

    It is not their house, so no surprise here, right?

    Tear down said house before foreclosure and expect to get hit with a crushing lawsuit and probably criminal charges. You reside in the house; the bank owns it until you clear the note.

    You badly misunderstand.

    Part of your contract to get such monies was a legal promise to maintain the house.

    This promise does not reverse ownership.

    Breach of that promise entitles legal remedy.

    Again, this legal remedy does not reverse ownership.

    You most certainly do not have to make that promise at all.

    This is simply laughable. Dale’s HSA will last about ten minutes if he’s shows up at an emergency room with a heart attack, cancer or stroke. After that his chances of paying for anything are very, very, slim.

    Utter Nonsense – you only hear about stories in the newspaper because they are rare.

    You do not know otherwise that hospitals DO taken in the sick and dying for care REGARDLESS of ability to pay – because it happens all the time, no one notices.

    ” will continue to work to earn a living,…”

    A statement implying Dale has control of his income,

    He is in as much control over his income as you are in the price you pay for apples.

    You either pay it, negotiate it, or refuse it.

    his employer’s income, the perception of his employment value in a failed economy and a few other factors. If Dale had that kind of control he would probably have health insurance.

    … and a Ferrari, and a jet plane to travel in, a couple of trophy wives to spend his money on, an island in the Caribbean and a bottle of beer.

    But he has other tradeoffs he thought were more valuable to him – but probably still had a bottle of beer.

    “decided to provide his skill and talent for others well into the future “

    Providing it and getting paid for it are two entirely separate issues.

    You BUY money with your talent and time, and the SELL money to get the other wants and needs for your life.

    If there is no trade, there is no sale either.

    Working is easy; getting paid is harder. Also: Dale doesn’t control the future.

    You do?

    “is successful in maintaining a roof over his family and food on their table.”

    The food pantries and homeless shelters are full of people who could say that last year.

    Life happens, but it is not Dale’s fault, so why do you want to steal from him to fix what is not his fault?

    The unemployment lines are full of people who could say that last week. Present conditions are not a guarantee of future results.

    Labor is merely another economic good, and obeys exactly the same laws -no more and no less- then any other economic good.

    An oversupply of apples means the value of the apples is lower then the asking price. Nobody is willing to pay that price, the apples are not sold.

    To sell apples, there are two -and only two- things you can do.

    (1) Lower your price.
    (2) Transport the apples to another marketplace where the demand for apples is higher, thus more able to support the price.

    Simple replacement of “apples” with “labor” and re-read the paragraph.

    But people decide things, unlike apples – which people make decisions FOR apples.

    People do not want to move – fine! Thus, they will need to lower their price of labor to satay. But people want to get their asking price, therefore, their labor remains unsold.

    Pretty simple situation to understand.

    What is evil is the likes of you using people as if they were apples that is, making decisions for other people over and across their own choices and consequences.

    Like

  49. Pangolin says:

    I accept the chains of personal responsibility and self-reliance. With that comes freedom._Dale

    Dog save us from another hypocrite Randroid. Like Ayn Rand you will accept Social Security and Medicare. In other words; you lie.

    http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/149721/ayn_rand_railed_against_government_benefits,_but_grabbed_social_security_and_medicare_when_she_needed_them/

    Like

  50. Pangolin says:

    “Ownership is determined by who gets to decide what to which property and has nothing to do with any debt.”

    Your mortgage holder disagrees. Fall behind on your payments and lo, the ownership of that house is not yours but resides with the bank. The bank got the money to lend you from the Federal Reserve for effectively zero interest. The bank has done no maintenance, no improvements, made no payment and has no emotional attachment to the house. Tear down said house before foreclosure and expect to get hit with a crushing lawsuit and probably criminal charges. You reside in the house; the bank owns it until you clear the note.

    “Dale will pay for his own doctor…..”

    This is simply laughable. Dale’s HSA will last about ten minutes if he’s shows up at an emergency room with a heart attack, cancer or stroke. After that his chances of paying for anything are very, very, slim.

    ” will continue to work to earn a living,…”

    A statement implying Dale has control of his income, his employer’s income, the perception of his employment value in a failed economy and a few other factors. If Dale had that kind of control he would probably have health insurance.

    “decided to provide his skill and talent for others well into the future “

    Providing it and getting paid for it are two entirely separate issues. Working is easy; getting paid is harder. Also: Dale doesn’t control the future.

    “is successful in maintaining a roof over his family and food on their table.”

    The food pantries and homeless shelters are full of people who could say that last year. The unemployment lines are full of people who could say that last week. Present conditions are not a guarantee of future results.

    “To Pang, Dale is a disaster because he is not a beggar. (sp)”

    No, Dale is a disaster because he is speeding through a fog and claiming he knows what is in front of him. Further more he criticizes others who aren’t speeding through the fog as being unworthy of compassion. This kind of behavior tends to end with a loud crunch followed by pain.

    Like

  51. Dale Lehner says:

    I accept the chains of personal responsibility and self-reliance. With that comes freedom.

    Like

  52. Black Flag® says:

    Pang

    Dale, you are one sad case. The house you built is underwater and you think you “own” it.

    Ownership is determined by who gets to decide what to which property and has nothing to do with any debt.

    You have inadequate health insurance to the point of none at all. You have no pension. You say you can’t afford to retire and you’re under the (massively false) impression that the poor in the U.S. are sheltered, warm and well fed.

    Dale will pay for his own doctor, will continue to work to earn a living, decided to provide his skill and talent for others well into the future and is successful in maintaining a roof over his family and food on their table.

    To Pang, Dale is a disaster because he is not a begger.

    Like

  53. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    But especially it is not a reason to turn our backs on the poor, to ignore poverty

    But nobody is doing that.

    We are turning our backs on using theft as a means to adjust capital ownership.

    Like

  54. Pangolin says:

    Dale_ There’s no need to put chains on our bodies if they can put chains like that in your mind. In my opinion you’re a slave hoping that massah has a place for you in the stables should you happen to break before you die.

    Just don’t expect the other slaves to honor you should they revolt and break the legal chains that bind them. Actually, they’ll hate you all the more for your co-operation with their oppression.

    Like

  55. Dale Lehner says:

    P. – I make no claim that the system is fair or that it’s corrupt. You appear to believe that a working man is entitled to a home free from a mortgage and that insurance is a must for everyone. You imply that the ‘right’ to have these things is being usurped by an unfair system and that I do not recognize it. Please send me money so that I may have the same things that you surely are enjoying right now through your wisdom to see what I did not. The burden is now upon you, who must have more than me, to see that our lives are equal, pardon me, fair.

    I am being rained upon at the moment but do not expect me to ask my government to control the weather. On the other hand, If you think that I deserve a little of your money, kindly let me know and I’ll accept it as a gift. If you think that I don’t deserve any of your money, please explain why.

    The old bromide is likely true: We are all self-made men but only the rich admit it.

    Like

  56. Ed Darrell says:

    America has the finest poor people in the world and we should be proud of that. But that is not a reason to forgive student loans, fix mortgages, provide unproductive or soulless jobs, and ensure that a road to wealth is without discomfort.

    But especially it is not a reason to turn our backs on the poor, to ignore poverty, to erase educational opportunities (like the recent more-than-decimation of the Texas education budgets and restrictions on Pell Grants and other BEOGs), to provide unproductive and soulless transfers of wealth from the poor to the rich, or to pad the path for the rich at the expense of the poor.

    You think the poor in America have it easy? You should see what the wealthy get!

    Like

  57. Pangolin says:

    Dale, you are one sad case. The house you built is underwater and you think you “own” it. You have inadequate health insurance to the point of none at all. You have no pension. You say you can’t afford to retire and you’re under the (massively false) impression that the poor in the U.S. are sheltered, warm and well fed.

    If you feel a heart attack coming on take an aspirin and wait it out. You can’t afford ten minutes in an emergency room. If you find yourself disabled or unemployed you are in for a real shock. Every asset you have left is likely to last you a year or two at most.

    You’re a perfect candidate for homelessness and yet you claim the system is fair and that people who are lie you but for a single injury or illness deserve no help.

    Seriously, your only true hope in the world is that the people you meet when you fail, and you will fail, every body does, are kinder than you are.

    Like

  58. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    You argue that the best way to relieve poverty – which is really nothing more than a lack of capital – is to destroy capital by stealing it from those that produce it and give it to those that do not.

    I am quite weary of your complete fictions.
    Never have I made such an argument. If you can’t argue like a human being, please don’t.

    You sure have – but there are many points and you shot your round at all of them at once, so let’s pick up the shrapnel and check which one you were really firing for.

    (1) Poverty is a lack of capital.
    Is this – to you – fiction?

    (2) You advocate taking wealth from those that have to give to those that do not.

    Taking what is not yours is theft.

    Taking capital from those that produce to give that those that do not is economically destructive

    Do you believe taking from those that do to give to those that do not is economically prosperous?????

    So, I await your clarifications because at this point – you are quite naked in your bath tub

    Like

  59. Ed Darrell says:

    Black Flag said:

    You argue that the best way to relieve poverty – which is really nothing more than a lack of capital – is to destroy capital by stealing it from those that produce it and give it to those that do not.

    I am quite weary of your complete fictions. Never have I made such an argument. If you can’t argue like a human being, please don’t.

    Like

  60. Black Flag® says:

    Dale,

    Good post.

    Wealth and poverty is always relative.

    It does well to remember that

    Like

  61. Black Flag® says:

    James,

    You absolutely do not know what Jesus taught.

    His entire ministry can be summed up in one verse:

    Matthew 7:12
    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A12&version=NIV

    No…fairness of opportunity is.

    Fair is completely subjective, and thus, irrational to place as an objective measure.

    The United states has one of the lowest income mobility in the industrialized world. Meaning, Dale, it is harder in the United States to become upwardly economically mobile then most other countries in the industrialized world.

    So what?

    .
    And you don’t think there is an inherent problem when for the better part of 30 years the rich are the only ones who have seen their wealth increase?

    Look at the biggest change in the last 30 years – the massive increase in government in size and scope.. the largest government in human history

    You don’t think there’s a problem with the median income for the middle class and the poor has actually gone down?/

    No

    The size of my wallet has no bearing on the size of your wallet

    I don’t give a damn if a person busts their ass and becomes rich

    Yes you do – you are jealous

    You have no measure of “bust their ass” – to you, that measure is whatever you fantasize on a moments notice..

    You deny earn by value as such a measure – you discard it completely – but you have NO MEASURE TO REPLACE IT – for none exists……

    You -instead- will advocate for rationaing by force – with you and your ilk in control of the guns to enforce your rations..

    . I do give a damn when, just to use my family as an example, most of them bust their ass and yet they’re pretty much all barely staying afloat and living paycheck to paycheck.

    Because you believe digging holes in the ocean is “work”, therefore is valued……

    But you do not understand the concept of “value”, so you hold to crackpot theories.

    One of the biggest lack of modern American society is the failure of economic knowledge

    Most Americans are economically ignorant.

    ANd in reality with the rising costs of health care and the rising cost of college they’re actually losing ground. Not to mention the fact that the collapse of the housing market wiped out a good deal of the “wealth” they did have.

    Yep, they believed that the government manipulation of the market and money would make them wealthy.

    They lost the bet.

    The rich did not get rich by themselves, Dale.

    Yes, they did.

    They trade their effort and property with others. You were not party to this, so you get nothing from it, nor have a right to it..

    We’re not asking that everyone makes the same amount of money, Dale. We’re asking for a fairer distribution of that wealth

    Which merely means you want to gain without earn

    and to quit giving tax cut after tax cut after tax cut

    Want to end tax cuts?

    Eliminate taxes..

    Like

  62. Dale Lehner says:

    The standard for federal charity cannot be: I have less than others so others should provide for me. I have no job, give me one. I have no money for a house so you must let me live in one.

    A fulfilling life does not require government handouts. We have forgotten that technology and trinkets are not required for happiness. Today we think the pursuit of happiness means money to spend on what we wish to own. This is a problem in America.

    Perhaps the US will never see its citizens or its corporations as self-reliant again but I hope that somebody is willing to chart a course for America that values personal responsibility and personal success in life. And I hope that it includes food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare for those that cannot do it for themselves.

    My house is underwater now, my in-laws moved in last year because they could not take care of themselves anymore, I make about the same salary as I did in 1998, and I just had my 60th birthday. I lost over $150,000 in value on my home since I built it 5 years ago. Life is difficult today and I do not see that it will financially improve in the near term. But I am happy with what I have and for the ability to keep it. My health insurance is an HSA plan. No comfort there. I will not ‘retire’ because I cannot afford it. There is no pension plan where I work.

    I am a happy man and do what I can for those who have less. I could spend my time moaning Democrat this or Republican that or I could lust after the wealth of others and make the case that my needs should be more important than others. But this is unproductive and does not lead to happiness.

    I traveled to Niger, perhaps the poorest country on Earth, to visit my daughter in her Peace Corps village. Primitive living conditions, happy people; the village was set free in 1991 (I think) from slavery to another village. The village well was a hole in the ground in which animal waste would seep. The huts were made of mud. The village privy was the millet field outside the village walls. It was sub-Saharan, hot, dry, and the crops had failed for a couple of years. The men had taken their camels to another part of the country so they could pasture, leaving their wives and children behind to fend as well as possible. There were villagers with polio damaged legs and villagers with a green poultice on their hands as a salve.

    Our poor people eat food daily. The villagers ate millet, ground into a paste. Millet is what we use as bird seed.

    So when everybody moans about how tough they have it in the US and that somebody ought to do more for them, I do not agree. When the poor in America eat every day, use their toilets and showers, have warm places to sleep, and they have good health, well, I think they have it better than 99% of the world has it. America’s poor are in the 1% of the world. Even those who have $50,000 in debt from a college education. Even those who cannot find work and are living at home with their parents. Even those who frequent food pantries and shelters and receive a government stipend to live on.

    America has the finest poor people in the world and we should be proud of that. But that is not a reason to forgive student loans, fix mortgages, provide unproductive or soulless jobs, and ensure that a road to wealth is without discomfort.

    Like

  63. Dale writes:
    I object to the poem because it implies that equality of outcome is a goal for humanity

    No…fairness of opportunity is. The United states has one of the lowest income mobility in the industrialized world. Meaning, Dale, it is harder in the United States to become upwardly economically mobile then most other countries in the industrialized world.

    And you don’t think there is an inherent problem when for the better part of 30 years the rich are the only ones who have seen their wealth increase? You don’t think there’s a problem with the median income for the middle class and the poor has actually gone down?

    You don’t think there’s a problem when from 1947-1979 this was the percentage of income gain for the quintiles of the US population:
    Bottom Fifth (i.e. the very poor): 122%
    Second fifth: 101%
    Third fifth: 113%
    Fourth Fifth: 115%
    Top fifth (i.e. the very rich): 99%

    And from 1980 this is the percentages:
    Bottom fifth: -4%
    Second Fifth: 7%
    Third fifth: 15%
    Fourth Fifth: 25%
    Top Fifth: 55% on the low end to 300+% for the richest 1%

    I don’t give a damn if a person busts their ass and becomes rich. I do give a damn when, just to use my family as an example, most of them bust their ass and yet they’re pretty much all barely staying afloat and living paycheck to paycheck. ANd in reality with the rising costs of health care and the rising cost of college they’re actually losing ground. Not to mention the fact that the collapse of the housing market wiped out a good deal of the “wealth” they did have.

    The rich did not get rich by themselves, Dale. The rich got rich off our backs. So it would be a good idea if they, you and the REpublicans bothered to remember that fact and balance out the system so its rather more fair because history has shown that when the economic system of a country gets this unfair the country has a tendency to collapse. The last time the income gap got this wide was right before the Great Depression, Dale. You might want to learn the lesson there.

    We’re not asking that everyone makes the same amount of money, Dale. We’re asking for a fairer distribution of that wealth and to quit giving tax cut after tax cut after tax cut to the rich who really don’t need it. Especially in light of this deficit that the right wing loves to claim it’s oh so worried about except when it comes time to asking the rich to help pay that particular piper.

    Oh and what I attributed to BF in my prior post should have been directed at you.

    Comparing the situation our poor have to deal with to the poor in, say, subsaharan Africa is the most ludicrous of comparison’s.

    And Jesus at no point taught “There is no reason to help the poor, we’ll always have poor.” You clearly didn’t learn what Jesus actually taught.

    But then I’m not surprised since so many right wingers have no actual clue what Jesus actually taught.

    Like

  64. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    You argue that the best way to relieve poverty – which is really nothing more than a lack of capital – is to destroy capital by stealing it from those that produce it and give it to those that do not.

    The real solution is self-responsibility, but that would mean you would have to work and earn, and suffer the consequences of your own decisions.

    But since you are generous to the lazy (both the mental lazy as well as the work), and afraid of the consequences of your errant decisions of your trade off of pragmatism ruling over principles, self-responsibility is your great fear..

    Like

  65. Black Flag® says:

    James,

    Then by your logic, BF, since our rich are richer then most everyone else in the world then there is absolutely no need for them to become richer.

    No.

    . By my logic, he who desires and works peacefully for that desire deserves it.

    There is no such thing as “too much” wealth, happiness and prosperity

    We can do whatever we want to them…raise their taxes, remove their tax breaks, etc, and it doesn’t matter because they will still be better off then everyone else.

    Harming those that produce wealth lowers the wealth of all society.

    Do so at your own loss.

    You have all the morality, BF, of a sociopathic mass murderer.

    I profess non-violence and you call me a mass murderer.

    Check – you are insane.

    Like

  66. Then by your logic, BF, since our rich are richer then most everyone else in the world then there is absolutely no need for them to become richer. We can do whatever we want to them…raise their taxes, remove their tax breaks, etc, and it doesn’t matter because they will still be better off then everyone else.

    You have all the morality, BF, of a sociopathic mass murderer. You’re nothing but a narcisstic son of a bitch who is only ever concerned with you.

    You really should have your head examined by a professional.

    Like

  67. Jim says:

    Ed says, Devona didn’t call for any government action that you decry. She said, “Behold.” Yet you complain.

    When you stare into the abyss, Ed…

    Like

  68. Ed Darrell says:

    If we follow Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, our poor are the wealthiest in the world. Perhaps not individually but certainly in the aggregate.

    If Bill Gates moves to Wyoming, every citizen of the state has $111,000 in the bank and in stocks — on average, “in the aggregate.”

    Our poor may be better off than those poor people who dive in the acid pits in South America to recover garbage, or better off than those people who mutilate their babies so the babies can grow in to better beggars in Mumbai — but if you’re homeless, cold, hungry and without any means of income, “in the aggregate” doesn’t cut it.

    Devona’s poem makes no assumption for equality of outcomes. It does plead for equality of opportunity. Marie Antoinette demonstrate her profound ignorance of poverty when she said (probably apocryphyly), “Let them eat cake,” thinking cake could substitute for bread. She was ignorant, not arrogant.

    That didn’t feed a single starving person in Paris, though.

    I object to reading much more into the poem than is there. Dale, there is no plea for government action. If you are not without heart, you would have noticed the disparity, and worried about those at the bottom, I think. Instead, you attack the very thought that we should be conscious of the poor.

    When Jesus said we will always have the poor with us, he didn’t mean that poverty is to be expected, and we need do nothing to alleviate it.

    I’ll bet you’re not even in the 1%, and still you’re blinded to the inequity and iniquity before us. Astonishing.

    Devona didn’t call for any government action that you decry. She said, “Behold.” Yet you complain.

    Like

  69. Black Flag® says:

    Dale

    When violence is removed, reason floods in.

    That is the vacuum mankind should seek.

    Like

  70. Pangolin says:

    Black Flag is basically insane regarding his self-defined, self-exclusive definition of nonviolence.

    To impose poverty by denying a man vacant farmland, idle tools easily replicable data, empty houses, vacant storefronts and wasted food can be nothing if not violent.

    You only keep him out of the empty house on a winter’s night by promising to do great violence upon him. You deny him unused tools by promising, and delivering violence. You starve him by beating him back from food you intend to destroy. You impose sickness by forbidding him to procure his own medicines.

    That violence Black Flag is perfectly ok with. Hell, he advocates that kind of violence. He appears to be more than comfortable with violence upon others that forces others to do his bidding for the scraps he is willing to throw them.

    That isn’t non-violence. It’s tyranny of the worst sort.

    Like

  71. Jim says:

    Yes Dale, some of them even have toilets and refrigerators. Thank you for pointing that out.

    Ungrateful bastards.

    Like

  72. Black Flag® says:

    Dale,

    The vaccum created by removing government will be filled with human misery and this should be unacceptable to decent people.

    The vacuum created by removing evil will be filled with human misery???

    Let’s be clear – government is merely people.

    No matter which way you want to cut the cake, the vacuum of removing “these” people will be filled by “those” people.

    If “those” are decent, then misery will be mitigated.
    If “those” are as evil as those removed, misery will be entertained.

    So, the question isn’t about removing anything, really. People out, People in, right?

    The question then is about the moral principle by which we chose to interact with each other.

    Civilization has expanded on one premise – that it is always wrong to do violence on non-violent men – that is, the initiation of violence is the most severe moral wrong.

    Our basis of True Law sits on this, whether murder, theft, assault, etc. are all prohibited and refused by civilized society. We hold no reason at all – none acceptable – for a man to take up violence on another non-violent man. There exists no excuse, ever.

    When violence is removed, reason floods in.

    Without violence, I must convince you by my rhetoric or my reason of the worthiness of my cause or concern. If my rhetoric or reason fails, you deny me – with no threat of my violence as revenge.

    It is this feature that has grown civilization.

    Government, however, does not hold to this condition. Indeed, its defining characteristic is the monopoly on the initiation of violence – that is, it reserves to itself the sole ability to inflict violence on the non-violent so to enforce its edicts.

    It does not enforce its edicts by reason or rhetoric – but by brute violence or its threat.

    So, “removing government” is not a removing of people.

    It is a “removing” of the condition of violence upon the people.

    You can chose to replace this condition with more of the same – this has been the historical path – removing tyranny and replace it with a tyrant of one’s own choosing.

    But can we not learn? Can we not as equally replace the condition of evil with a new idea – that men, individual or as a group, cannot justify any breach of human rights – no exceptions.

    We successfully applied this to men as individuals – and civilization is our consequence.

    Can we not do the same application to men as a group?

    Like

  73. Dale Lehner says:

    I don’t like the poem.
    The US has the finest poor people in the world. They are paid money to buy clothes, food, and shelter as necessary. Those that cannot apply for money can find charity in many places in major and minor cities. If we follow Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, our poor are the wealthiest in the world. Perhaps not individually but certainly in the aggregate.
    The journey from poverty to wealth is similar to traveling to California during the Gold Rush. Some people left from Oklahoma and Missouri, some left from Illinois and Ohio, and some left from New York City while still others left from Europe. Not all of us start from the same place and not all of us have the benefit of knowing where to go or how to get there. But of all the people that began the journey, some made it to California. It is unheard of though to ask our government for funds to make our road to wealth more comfortable.
    For those that do not choose a journey to wealth, there is still a life worth living.
    I agree that money flows to those who have it because of their ability, or their station in life, or their hard work, or their plain dumb luck. We are a just society by any standard or measure in the world. We believe that people should put their own oxygen masks on first so that we can help others.

    I object to the poem because it implies that equality of outcome is a goal for humanity and I do not ascribe to that belief. I object to the poem because it implies that the individual cannot overcome obstacles and achieve a fulfilling life. I object to the premise that it is US vs Them when it is truly every man for himself in America. Some are better at it than others and that is a human characteristic we must live with.
    I am not without a heart. I believe that there is a government role to play in ensuring the system is not rigged to prevent yours and my success. I also believe that government has a role to play in meeting the food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare needs of those that cannot do this for themselves. When others decry that government should create jobs, I disagree. When others decry that government should put a chicken in every pot, I disagree. And when people want to drown the government in a bath tub, I certainly disagree. The vaccum created by removing government will be filled with human misery and this should be unacceptable to decent people.

    My polemic is now finished.

    Like

  74. Black Flag® says:

    Jim,

    To begin a debate, one must start with a principle. So far, all you have done is provide jingoism and hyperbole.

    I have provided mine:
    It is evil to do violence on non-violent men.

    Now, you can accept my principle, and we can dialogue on the implications of such a principle…
    or….
    …you can provide your own principle.

    Like

  75. Black Flag® says:

    Jim,

    So, saying it is evil to use violence on non-violent men – to you – is upside down, right is wrong.

    Therefore you must believe that violence on non-violent men is not only necessary, but “good”!

    Like

  76. Jim says:

    Pangolin actually summarized you quite effectively in calling you a sociopath. If you are not, your upside-down, white-is-black, right-is-wrong view of the world and your refusal to debate in good faith is at the very least, sociopathic.

    Get help.

    Like

  77. Black Flag® says:

    Pang

    Apparently the only person who knows anything is Black Flag.

    Apparently few on this blog do…..

    Just read his posts. He claims he can solve all problems if you just do exactly what he says.

    This is why you are ignorant.

    You cannot read.

    I have made many posts explaining that human problems can never be “all” solved, and believing such is a fantasy.

    Never mind science.

    You do not know what science is, thus, you cannot tell the difference between it and the junk science of your zealotry.

    Never mind democracy.

    What right does a men -individual or in a group – have to rule other men?

    Never mind government or morals.

    Government and “morals” are in absolute contradiction.

    Government is predicated on using violence on non-violent men.

    Morals is predicated in never using violence on non-violent men.

    Never mind history or commerce.

    Your history has been show to be badly flawed.

    Your economics has been shown to be even worse than your history.

    Black Flag knows all.

    I know what I know, a claim you cannot say about yourself.

    And then he claims that he’s not a sociopath.

    Never made that claim, one way or the other.

    But that never has stopped you from making up stories about me.

    Like

  78. Pangolin says:

    Apparently the only person who knows anything is Black Flag. Just read his posts. He claims he can solve all problems if you just do exactly what he says. Never mind science. Never mind democracy. Never mind government or morals. Never mind history or commerce.

    Black Flag knows all.

    And then he claims that he’s not a sociopath.

    Like

  79. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    You know you’ve got a Socialist in a twist when they start temper tantrums.

    Black Flag appears to be one of those nutjobs that uses public resources every day, like the internet, roads, schools, streetlights, bridges, police, fire and medical emergency services, pollution controls, courts, weights and measures standardization, food safety laws, drug safety laws, building codes, planning codes, public water systems, public sewers, public storm drains, wildlife management, parks, etc, etc, etc………… and then screams of “theft” when he has to pay taxes.

    Stealing my car and giving me back a broken pencil does not make your theft “justified” – nor me having to cheer for getting the broken pencil.

    Preventing competition in services by use of violence on free men does not mean your services are a “good” – nor does it mean I must commit suicide, since your evil is the only provider.

    Nothing “provided” is created by government.

    Everything is taken from someone first.

    Where alternatives exist, government fails, thus as much as possible government -by coercion- prevents competition to itself.

    Further, it matters not one wit what you provide, no matter how “good” you think what you provide maybe – if the means by which you have provided such is evil.

    I do not care that you are rich and happy because of theft. Your happiness nor wealth does not justify the theft.

    The Means justifies the End

    You choose evil as your means. The ends you achieve, no matter what they are, is a consequence of evil.

    You do not create a moral good by using evil – no matter how pretty you think it looks.

    Stable currency is a government service also.

    hahahahaaahahahhahahahahha

    Whew!

    So you think your currency is stable!??? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    You are economically illiterate.

    What costs you $100 today, would cost you $13.70 in 1960.

    Only to the truly indoctrinated would someone call this as “stable money”.

    One I’m sure he uses daily. It would get pretty tricky if we all had to carry around piles of metals and trade them for what we wanted.

    You have demonstrated you hold a crack pot economic theory.

    You do not know what is “money”.
    You do not know what is “currency”.
    You do not know how trade occurs or why.
    You do not know the difference between value and price.

    We’d have to dicker of the days exchange rate for every purchase and then weigh out the proper amount of silver or whatever to purchase a quart of milk.

    This has never been the case in modern society since 1600, probably not the case since the last 5,000 years.

    Hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to cover this kind of philosophy.

    The hypocrisy sits with you.

    You believe you can steal what you want, but do not think others can steal from you for what they want.

    Your mantra:
    “Freedom and a full belly for me, but not for you”

    Like

  80. Black Flag® says:

    Pang

    Black Flag_ You’re a sociopath.

    No.
    Sociopathology tendencies manifest is a dominant, ego-centric view of the world – which is more aligned to your attitude then mine.

    You demand others have to feed and clothe you – and you care not what they may desire for themselves.

    Your basic argument about everything is that the majority have no right to levy taxes

    No one, individually or in a group, has the right to steal from another.

    or regulate the actions of a destructive minority.

    No one, individually or in a group, has the right to destroy another man’s rights.

    When shown the destruction of Climate Change you deny it.

    To make “regulations” about fantasy is very dangerous.

    When shown the destruction of poverty you justify it.

    You being poor is not my fault, therefore, forcing me to pay for you is evil.

    When shown the destruction of pollution you praise it.

    No one has the right to pollute another person.

    When shown the destruction of resources by the wealthy,

    Resources, by definition, is something that is useful to men.
    Men using their resources for their benefit is not “destruction”.

    discarded food, empty houses, lives destroyed for lack of simple medical care, you claim solidarity with the wasters and reavers.

    I claim solidarity with human rights, free from your ilk’s whimsical violence upon other men.

    You claim that taxation, especially progressive taxation of excess wealth, for any purpose other than your authoritarian death machines is taking.

    You are incapable of comprehension.

    I have made no such claim.
    I have said “All taxes is theft
    I have said Theft is still theft regardless of the desired end or achievement from proceeds of theft

    You behaving like you having a temper tantrum.

    You call inheritance taxes and luxury taxes socialism or communism.

    No, I call taxes “theft” – regardless of whatever adjective you wish to add to it or whatever politic motive you assign to it.

    Thank you. People like you give socialism a boost every time you rail against it.

    Socialism ends they day other people’s money runs out.

    Such an case always ends badly.

    You say taxation, environmental regulations, universal medical care, the right to housing, food and education are taking;

    Taxation is theft.
    “Environmental” regulation exists to allow pollution.
    There is no such thing as “Universal” medical care.

    There is no such “right” to a house, nor to food, nor to education. These are false claims.

    The test of any human right is:
    “Does this existence of “this right” destroy a human right?”.

    If it does, that “right” is not a human right.

    Thus, your false right of a house…. infers this question…. “Who pays?”

    Thus, your false right of a food…. infers this question…. “Who pays?”

    Thus, your false right of a education…. infers this question…. “Who pays?”

    None of these things are a Rightall of these things are economic goods – which is the root of your crackpottery both in economics and politics.

    You have no right to goods or services owned by others.

    fine. We’ll take.

    Barbarians are like that – what they cannot earn, they steal.

    But, you can try.

    It’s no longer a moral argument with us. You have no moral standing.

    You have no moral argument – you resort to violence to achieve your end, and worse, attempt to mask it by engaging a third party thug to do the violence for you.

    Like

  81. Pangolin says:

    Black Flag appears to be one of those nutjobs that uses public resources every day, like the internet, roads, schools, streetlights, bridges, police, fire and medical emergency services, pollution controls, courts, weights and measures standardization, food safety laws, drug safety laws, building codes, planning codes, public water systems, public sewers, public storm drains, wildlife management, parks, etc, etc, etc………… and then screams of “theft” when he has to pay taxes.

    Another advocate of taking from the public purse and giving nothing in return. He should pull a few bills of that precious money out of his wallet and look at it. Stable currency is a government service also. One I’m sure he uses daily. It would get pretty tricky if we all had to carry around piles of metals and trade them for what we wanted. We’d have to dicker of the days exchange rate for every purchase and then weigh out the proper amount of silver or whatever to purchase a quart of milk.

    But he would be free of that government “taking.” As long as he doesn’t leave whatever land he owns free and clear. (land title registration being another public service supported by “theft”)

    Hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to cover this kind of philosophy.

    Like

  82. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    Black Flag_ You call taxation stealing.

    Even more than that, it is stealing.

    Just because the thief has a badge and a funny hat does not change the theft.

    Taxes are decided by governments.

    Thieves decide what they wish to steal – this is self-evident, true?

    In the U.S. those governments are elected by the majority of participating voters.

    So a bunch of people waving their hands in the air agreeing to thievery does not change the theft.

    If I get 5 people to agree I can take your house, I get it your house, right?

    …or does it require 10 people?
    100?
    1000?

    What is the magic number of hands waving in agreement that you finally will accept that I get your house?

    It has been long established that anti-war protestors cannot refuse to pay taxes, or part of their taxes due to an objection to paying for wars or military equipment. This is illegal.

    Lots of evil stuff is legal.
    Lots of human rights are illegal.

    Legal or illegal is no measure of right or wrong.

    Likewise you don’t get the individual right to pick and choose where your taxes go.

    Damn right I do.

    If they go to somebody you don’t like for some purpose you don’t support; tough.

    Yes, the thieves have lots of guns and are not afraid to use them.

    If you’re going to get all emotional and call it stealing

    Has nothing to do with “emotion”, but a fact of definition.

    “an act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person’s consent.”

    Like

  83. Pangolin says:

    Black Flag_ You call taxation stealing. Taxes are decided by governments. In the U.S. those governments are elected by the majority of participating voters.

    It has been long established that anti-war protestors cannot refuse to pay taxes, or part of their taxes due to an objection to paying for wars or military equipment. This is illegal.

    Likewise you don’t get the individual right to pick and choose where your taxes go. If they go to somebody you don’t like for some purpose you don’t support; tough. That’s the answer every anti-tax protestor has received since Shay’s rebellion.

    If you’re going to get all emotional and call it stealing; well, then, I’ll just have to enjoy the fact that it pains your black little heart.

    Like

  84. Black Flag® says:

    Hey Jim,

    “Those who cannot get an education are just lazy.

    You are using the wrong translator.

    I say:
    “Please show me someone who cannot get an education”

    Those who cannot move, cannot move because they are sick

    Please show me who and why someone cannot move because they are sick.

    — and this is God’s way (or nature’s way) of thinning the herd.

    Please show me why you believe you can steal from me to solve some “problem” you think God delivered upon you.

    Like

  85. Jim says:

    There’s this exchange…

    Flag: The power is in your own hands, do or do not is your own choice.

    Ed: Not for those who cannot get an education. Not for those who cannot move. Not for those who have no access to health care. Not for 30% of children. Not for 20% of “retired” people.

    Permit me to offer a translation of the Anarcho-Libertarian-Modern Republican-speak people with a shred of intellect and a scintilla of compassion can’t understand. Here is what they are saying:

    “Those who cannot get an education are just lazy. Those who cannot move, cannot move because they are sick — and this is God’s way (or nature’s way) of thinning the herd. We are better off without them. We are not our brother’s keeper. The highest virtue and morality is that of self-centeredness. Eventually, if you work hard enough and stay healthy enough, you’ll get your turn. If you do not or cannot work hard enough and stay healthy, well…

    …”I’ve got mine, Jack. Root, hog or die.”

    I still find it maddeningly ironic that the most ardent foes of scientific Darwinism are often the most enthusiastic acolytes of social Darwinism.

    Devona’s poem is spot-on.

    Like

  86. Pangolin says:

    Black Flag_ You’re a sociopath. Your basic argument about everything is that the majority have no right to levy taxes or regulate the actions of a destructive minority.

    When shown the destruction of Climate Change you deny it.
    When shown the destruction of poverty you justify it.
    When shown the destruction of pollution you praise it.
    When shown the destruction of resources by the wealthy, discarded food, empty houses, lives destroyed for lack of simple medical care, you claim solidarity with the wasters and reavers.

    You claim that taxation, especially progressive taxation of excess wealth, for any purpose other than your authoritarian death machines is taking. You call inheritance taxes and luxury taxes socialism or communism. Thank you. People like you give socialism a boost every time you rail against it.

    You say taxation, environmental regulations, universal medical care, the right to housing, food and education are taking; fine. We’ll take. It’s no longer a moral argument with us. You have no moral standing.

    We, the 99%, are tired of this bullshit. We’re taking our planet back.

    Like

  87. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    It takes a particular kind of heartless bully to make fun of people in poverty

    I am neither heartless nor a bully – as I do not advocate violence.

    Whereas you believe you have a heart for the pitiful, and therefore, inflict violence on non-violent men in a perverse thinking that this helps others.

    I said opportunities do not abound for all, “Not for those who cannot move.”

    BF said:

    Are they in a medical vegetative state?

    Because you make up fairy tales and fantasy – as if this provides enough rationalization to beat money out of other men’s wallets.

    Like

  88. Ed Darrell says:

    It takes a particular kind of heartless bully to make fun of people in poverty.

    I said opportunities do not abound for all, “Not for those who cannot move.”

    BF said:

    Are they in a medical vegetative state?

    Like

  89. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    Not for those who cannot get an education.

    Who cannot get an education?

    Not for those who cannot move.

    Are they in a medical vegetative state?

    Not for those who have no access to health care.

    There are no hospitals in your city?

    Not for 30% of children. Not for 20% of “retired” people.

    You are saying 20% of retired people have no education, are in a coma, in cities that have no hospitals.

    You are bizarre.

    America used to be, and should be, the land of opportunity for all.

    It is – but the promise did not say everything would be done FOR YOU.

    You have to do the work – but that is not Ed’s way.

    Ed wants all the benefits of OTHER PEOPLE’S WORK – he does not want to earn it himself.

    Andrew Carnegie couldn’t get a foothold in today’s America.

    I agree.
    The government would have prevented him from operating.

    Abraham Lincoln would be held down.

    Thank god if that would have happened. 600,000 men would not have had to die.

    Stephen Girard would be turned away at the immigration office.

    Yep, government would have stopped him at a line on the map.

    Who snuffed out the lamp of Lady Liberty,

    In history, and to our time, it has always been the tyranny of government.

    and why are you protecting them, BF?

    I do not protect the government.

    Like

  90. Black Flag® says:

    Pang

    400 people own half, 50% of all the wealth in the U.S..

    No they don’t.

    How the heck are the rest of us supposed to survive when a tiny proportion controls half the resources?

    You are unable to survive?…. as you sit at your computer, in your house, shelves full of food…..

    Where do we live?

    Do you not know where you live?

    Can we farm without paying the 400? No.

    Sure you can.

    …but you don’t and wouldn’t want to.

    Can you purchase your normal groceries without paying the 400? No.

    Of course you can.

    The 400 control who is on the ballot.

    So don’t vote.

    The 400 control access to most congresspersons.

    So ignore them.

    The 400 cycle their employees through the highest levels of government.

    So don’t bother with government.

    The 400 make sure there are homeless despite millions of empty houses and apartments. It keeps workers from protesting their crappy jobs.

    Of course they don’t do that.

    So you are saying if you are not driving your car right now, anyone else should be able to take it and use it, right?

    You work at and where you decide. If you feel what you do is crappy, the problem and the answer both sits with you.

    I don’t CARE if it’s not the rich man’s fault in your eyes.

    I know you don’t.

    Thus, you advocate doing violence upon a man who has no fault in your problems.

    You advocate evil.

    I know who controls the resources and destroys them to keep his profits. We’re asking nicely. For now.

    There are other solutions available.

    For those who justify evil to achieve fantasy, there is always the option of a good beating on a man to surrender his wallet.

    Like

  91. Ed Darrell says:

    The power is in your own hands, do or do not is your own choice.

    Not for those who cannot get an education. Not for those who cannot move. Not for those who have no access to health care. Not for 30% of children. Not for 20% of “retired” people.

    America used to be, and should be, the land of opportunity for all. Andrew Carnegie couldn’t get a foothold in today’s America. Abraham Lincoln would be held down. Stephen Girard would be turned away at the immigration office.

    Who snuffed out the lamp of Lady Liberty, and why are you protecting them, BF?

    Like

  92. Pangolin says:

    400 people own half, 50% of all the wealth in the U.S.. How the heck are the rest of us supposed to survive when a tiny proportion controls half the resources?

    Where do we live? Can we farm without paying the 400? No.
    Can you purchase your normal groceries without paying the 400? No.
    The 400 control who is on the ballot.
    The 400 control access to most congresspersons.
    The 400 cycle their employees through the highest levels of government.
    The 400 make sure there are homeless despite millions of empty houses and apartments. It keeps workers from protesting their crappy jobs.

    I don’t CARE if it’s not the rich man’s fault in your eyes. I know who controls the resources and destroys them to keep his profits. We’re asking nicely. For now.

    There are other solutions available.

    Like

  93. Black Flag® says:

    Its not the rich peoples fault that you are poor, Ed.

    The power is in your own hands, do or do not is your own choice.

    Like

  94. Jim says:

    Devona is a brilliant woman. A national treasure, in my opinion.

    Jim

    Like

  95. Ellie says:

    I agree with much of the poem and I’m somewhere there in the 99%

    Like

  96. Ed Darrell says:

    Oh, I’ll wager 99% agree with something in the poem, but not with everything. I’ll wager a good portion of the 1% agree with much of it, too — but think they are in the 99%.

    Something there is that doesn’t love a poem, but good poems make good citizens.

    As to the 99% not agreeing: Do they contradict themselves?

    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well, then, I contradict myself;
    (I am large—I contain multitudes.)

    Like

  97. Dan says:

    99% Don’t agree with anything in the poem.

    Like

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