But redistributive taxes make our Galtian Overlords sad cause they WORKED for all that money.
our Galtian overlords Archive
In response to my appeal of a parking ticket acquired one month ago.
The respondent has been charged with violating Traffic Rule 4-08(f)(7) by stopping, standing or parking a vehicle in a manner which obstructs a curb area which has been cut down, lowered or otherwise constructed or altered to provide access for persons with disabilities. As of 1/31/12, fine mitigation is no longer available simply by request of the respondent. Also, claim that respondent thought parking was legal fails to provide a valid basis for dismissal. Therefore, inasmuch as no persuasive evidence has beeva [SIC] submitted to warrant dismissal of the summons, the violation is sustained and the full fine is imposed.
Clearly, I am going to appeal this decision as well, based on its staggering incoherence indicated by the all-caps, bolded “SIC” above. I should also note that my appeal contained a photograph of a vehicle parked in the spot I was allegedly “illegally” parked in taken the very next night, sans ticket. This evidence was disregarded by the unfeeling pencil-pushers in the NYC Department of Finance, no doubt because they are Yankees fans and I am from Massachusetts — which, SYSTEMATIC DISCRIMINATION MUCH, NYC?!?!?
Thought so. This isn’t over, New York. Not by a long shot.
I don’t know anyone who looks like cyclicalists that Brooks writes about. It would be good if he could toss out a few names for readers so that we know such people actually exist in the world and are not just Brooks’ hallucinations.Since the views Brooks attributes to the cyclicalists are sufficiently bizarre, it is hard to believe that such people exist.
For example, he tells us that the cyclicalists believe:
“the level of government spending is the main factor in determining how fast an economy grows.”
I have never come across anyone who had a view anything like this. I do know many economists, who argue that in a downturn more stimulus will lead to more economic growth, but this is nothing like the view that Brooks attributes to the cyclicalists. Does Brooks really think it is the same thing to say that more stimulus leads to more growth in a downturn and saying that government spending is the main factor determining growth in general? This is scary.
Krugman does too, without naming names.
3. Anyone who says something like “If deficit spending were the route to prosperity, Greece would be in great shape” should be immediately considered not worth listening to. People in my camp have repeated until we’re blue in the face that the case for fiscal expansion is very specific to circumstance — it’s desirable when you’re in a liquidity trap, and only when you’re in a liquidity trap. I know that some people like to project their own crudity onto others, but what they’re actually demonstrating is their own ignorance.
I don’t actually think Brooks is ignorant. I think he’s cynical and dishonest, which is worse.
Have you applied for a job lately? God, I hope not, because now, in addition to the new normal that is employers checking your credit score and asking for your Facebook password, we have this charming bit of news out of San Francisco: you know those W-2s you get once a year to file your taxes? Your future boss wants to have a look at those, too, just so he knows that he’s not paying you too much:
“I recently interviewed for an Amazon position and made it through the three-month interview process and was notified that they wanted to hire me. The first step in the offer process, however, was that I had to submit my previous year’s W-2 or federal tax return. Without that information, they would be unable to proceed. After providing them with my W-2, they made an offer that was below the salary range they originally quoted,” says Kevin, who doesn’t want his last name used because he turned down the offer and doesn’t want his current employer to know he’s job hunting.
Forget upward mobility, my fellow citizens. Once a serf, always a serf. It’s the new American way.
Via Susan of Texas, here is a video of Jonah Goldberg (Editor-at-Large for America’s Shittiest Website) arguing with Piers Morgan (British dipshit and Larry King replacement) about the killing of Osama bin Laden. Goldberg’s jimmies are rustled because a Democratic President (whose name RHYMES WITH OSAMA, YOU LIBRUL FASCISTS!!) deigned to mention in a campaign ad that, you know, he killed America’s Most Wanted Terrorist. Somehow Piers Morgan, despite lobbing nothing but softballs all night, comes across as a Hard-Hitting Journalist while Goldberg, well, flails wildly and pouts in the corner about how the whole interview is deeply unfair.
As a bonus, Goldberg took to the Twitter machine after the interview and pointed out that his miserable performance on national television and the general idiocy he displayed only cemented the thesis of his new book:
At the end of the day,
@piersmorgan proved the point of my book (which he didn’t read): liberals lie about being liberals.
Which roughly translates to: “WAAAHHHHHHHHHH!”
Blackwater in Iraq: terrorizing civilians, striking women with their humvees, winning hearts and minds — and recording it all on video for lulz! The sheer joy these twisted Hessian mercenaries take in causing chaos in a country to which we reputedly brought freedom and democracy is fucking disgusting. They’ll never do any prison time, but I hope they burn in hell.
So I’m going through my RSS feed, right, and I’m just reading along to, you know, the news and “the blogs” and “the word on the street.” And then a crazy thing happened. I thought, “I wonder if Meghan McCain has written anything stupid lately.” So I went ahead and Googled her. And I went to her website. And I read a few things. Let’s take them one at a time.
In “What I Love About The Hunger Games,” McCain writes the following.
Obviously I haven’t seen The Hunger Games yet, but I have read the books. I love a young adult story that celebrates a woman fighting and being independent, rather than just marrying the man being the whole point of the movie (like Twilight). The film is full of strong female characters like Effie, played by Elizabeth Banks.
Aaaaannnnd, then she links to a video of an actress in the movie talking about her character (full disclosure: I DID NOT WATCH THE VIDEO!) And that’s it. Her entire argument about “the film” (which she hasn’t yet seen ["OBVIOUSLY"!]) is that it “is full of strong female characters” and that she “loves” that.
I am Meghan McCain, and I like chocolate ice cream. Please pay me money for this insight, please.
In “My Thoughts on HBO’s Game Change,” which is a movie about her father, McCain graces her readers with this probing bit of analysis:
Did you happen to see “Game Change” on HBO? It’s the movie about the 2008 presidential campaign. My dad has not and will not watch the film because he feels it’s too biased and misrepresents the facts.
[clip of some shit her dad said]
I can tell you one thing: he’s right about the cursing. He doesn’t curse very often. Films like this are usually written for dramatic effect and ratings…portraying the facts accurately isn’t usually the top priority when it comes to entertainment.
Aaaannnnd, that’s also it? Oh, right, then she begs for comments, presumably because she gets paid $1,000 per comment.
Honestly, I might get drunk occasionally and write really rambling posts about subjects I have no real business speaking to — and I might write outright clunkers myself every once in a while — but, so help me God, if I ever conclude with something as banal as “[P]ortraying the facts accurately isn’t usually the top priority when it comes to entertainment,” hack this website, steal my personal identity, and use it for sex tourism in Thailand.
(Unless, that is, the video that I skipped is somehow exculpatory and revelatory, in which case feel free to correct me in the comments.)
In “Interview with Forbes at SXSW,” McCain posts a video of herself talking about life lessons, which I did not watch, and concludes thusly:
Look guys, there are no mistakes in life. Everything is an experience that you can enjoy, or learn from, or whatever you want. Sitting around regretting the past is a waste of your time. Learn from the past, don’t dwell on it. Feeling bad about things you can’t change or control is just not a constructive use of your time and resources.
Nice try, Meghan McCain, but feeling bad about bad things that you’ve done is PRECISELY THE MECHANISM BY WHICH YOU ARE EXPECTED TO LEARN FROM THOSE BAD THINGS! THAT’S WHY YOU FEEL BAD!
I get that her point is some hippy-dippy, “It’s all in the past, maaan, chillax!” but her fundamental misunderstanding of how we conceive of guilt in a system of justice is fucking MIND BOGGLING. You are supposed to feel bad for your crimes, you are supposed to repent, and you are supposed to NOT DO THAT SHIT AGAIN, because it MADE YOU FEEL BAD, and the reason it MADE YOU FEEL BAD is because WHAT YOU DID WAS WRONG.
Life is an endless string of calamities and fuck-ups. You can take that to mean that you have to accept more responsibility for your actions than ever, or you can use it to explain away your embarrassments to your conscience. McCain suggests the latter course, which makes sense for a narcissist who has never had to work for anything.
In “Limbaugh, Contraception, and Sluts,” McCain writes more than one short paragraph. PROGRESS (Even though this was technically a month ago. Regress?)! Let’s hear what she has to say, shall we?
As you may or may not know
We know, bro. It was a pretty big deal.
Sandra Fluke is a third-year student of Georgetown Law School who is now at the center of the [contraception] issue after conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh later called Fluke a “slut” on his radio show. The comment which justifiably infuriated a lot of people. [SIC AS ALL HOLY HELL] It seems that it doesn’t matter if you are an educated young woman unafraid to express an opinion, or were the president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, [sic] (which Fluke was) — from Limbuagh’s point of view, if you’re a woman who feels entitled to receiving insurance coverage for birth control, you’re a slut to society.
GET A MOTHERFUCKING EDITOR! I thought the editors she had at the Beast were bad, but this is simply horrifying. First. McCain is not known. For her sentence fragments. When she does it, it doesn’t play off as, “Oh, there’s a master of the language playing with the form.” No. It. Does. Not. Instead, it makes you go back, reread, go back and reread AGAIN (ALLCAPS!), and wonder to yourself, “Did she really go to press with that?” It’s not as if this post is moments old, either. IT’S BEEN ON THE FUCKING SITE FOR A MONTH, AND THERE’S A GIANT SENTENCE FRAGMENT OF AWKWARD IN THE MIDDLE OF IT! It’s also, I might add, the most substantive thing she’s written about in that time period, and something I was actually genuinely curious to see a reaction to (it was the first link I clicked on the homepage, anyway).
McCain comes out on the right side of the issue — to wit, Limbaugh is a misogynist and a jackass — but aside from garbling her message with her lack of eloquence and proofreading, she also garbles it with statements like this:
This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, when a derogatory term is used to label a woman who makes a stand on a complicated issue publicly.
My emphasis. There is nothing at all “complicated” about women having access to affordable birth control. It’s just about as uncomplicated as black folks being allowed in the front of the bus. There is absolutely no reason to cede any ground to people like Rush Limbaugh, who would suggest that women having control over their own bodies is a privilege and not a right.
Finally, brutishly, and shortly, there is “My Thoughts on The DREAM Act,” in which Meghan McCain tepidly endorses the law, but admits that it just isn’t easy for good white people to see all of these brown folks coming into Arizona all of a sudden. Also we shouldn’t deport children. Oh, also, some child (I presume?) named Raina — we should care about her and her alone (I didn’t watch the video).
Trevor asks in comments why I bothered to make this post. I reply as follows, in case it wasn’t obvious to you, either.
See, that’s the trouble. Tom Friedman is always eminently “reasonable,” but his ideas are always the same stupid tripe. “We need a credible Third Party!” Friedman says, and that party just so happens to have the exact same political orientation as Tom Friedman. And then there are a few quotes from some random dickhead in another country who also seems to endorse Friedman’s view.
He never substantively argues his points. Look at this paragraph:
“Looking at America from here, makes me feel as though we have the worst of all worlds right now. The days when there were liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats, who nudged the two parties together, appear over. We don’t have compulsory voting. Special interest money is out of control, and we lack any credible Third Party that could capture enough of the center to force both Democrats and Republicans to compete for votes there. So we’ve lost our ability to do big, hard things together. Yet everything we have to do — tax reform, fiscal reform, health care reform, energy policy — is big and hard and can only be done together.”
What are the implicit solutions to our political problems in this graph? 1) Compulsory voting (stupid), 2) control special interest money (common sense), and 3) create a credible Third Party (impossible, given the way the American political system is designed). Aside from (2), which would be great, what the hell is there to like about this column? It’s standard Tom Friedman “I’m going nowhere special with this but I’m almost at my word count” fare. Oh wow, the right in New Zealand is different from the right in America. HOLY FUCKING MOLY PEOPLE, THIS STORY HAS LEGS!
The column isn’t offensive; it’s banal, inapplicable to American political realities, and strident in pretending otherwise. It’s milquetoast. It’s classic Tom Friedman, and I wish he’d just shut the fuck up already.
Hope that helps.
And good for you, filthy capitalist swine. Enjoy the spoils while they last.