The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check + Readers Letters
The Money Season
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin to slit throats."
- H. L. Mencken
"The kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
- Revelation 6:15
This is the Money season.
The mid-term elections are under fifty days away and the running campaign dialogue is about the economy, Jack; jobs, taxes, stimulus and deficit. In 2002 it was Vengeance, 2006 Anti-War; this time around it's Money. And since there are only two political parties to choose from, they've opportunely split the baby on how Money is created, saved, spent, utilized and doled out; from the private sector to Washington D.C. Thing is it's important to come to grips with the fact that there will be nothing new offered by either faction. What the "new" Republicans have in mind, whether it's the No Government TEA Party enthusiasts or traditional party hacks, it will be no different than Goldwater or Reagan or Gingrich. And what the Democrats counter with will be another healthy dose of FDR, Clinton and Pelosi/Obama.
Not one candidate you will hear from has the guts to tell you what the real deal is. I dare you to find them.
What's the real deal?
For starters the always populace idea that the national deficit is killing businesses, crushing the dollar, spiking unemployment and laying out a death sentence for our children will be discussed in general terms but with no solutions. This is because fifty percent of the American public eligible to do so fails to pay taxes. Another fifty percent of said public is receiving entitlement payouts.
No money coming in and tons going out create a deficit; from the corner lemonade stand to General Electric. There is no new math. It's the same shit.
Now, what you'll get is Republicans repeatedly pointing out both of these factoids, but with a glaring refusal to face the obvious: The nose-pinching decision to either raise taxes, overtly enforce or enhance the current tax laws, or cut a heaping share of entitlements.
All of these "options" are, of course, political suicide, even in a year wherein anyone not in charge is an acceptable alternative, no matter how brainless or bizarre. Not even conservatives have the balls to start fucking with people's entitlements. That went the way of Calvin Coolidge and his doom-struck clan. Even the Mighty Ronnie Reagan saved Social Security and when the Lords of Newt scared enough of the elderly, they ran to the booths to re-elect the Minister of Fun.
What about hammering away at tax cheats, loopholes and shelters?
Sure. This will happen. Next week.
Only the Democrats will start pitching that kind of nonsense, couched in atavistic Middle Class warfare rhetoric and the always-gangbusters anti-rich miasma, conveniently forgetting that from the dawn of civilization it is the ones with the Money who put Money on the Money tree. And since this is the Money Season, and definitely not the Democrat Season, this would also constitute a hot steaming bowl of political suicide.
But its desperation time in Dem Land and tossing out unconstitutional pogroms on the wealthy with randomly shifting tax laws, whether the ones in their favor or to penalize them, is expected. Not unlike Republicans suggesting emergency amendments denying another small segment of society -- two percent or so -- the right to marry.
Hey, as long as we're deep into the Money Season, it can't go without saying this country has always been schizophrenic when it comes to the rich, from celebrities to moguls. We worship them, dream of becoming them, but despise them to the point of wanting to siphon their funds to lighten our tax burden.
This segues neatly into the approaching deadline to extend, revise or let go of the so-dubbed Bush Tax Cuts. Of course none of these options does a thing for the aforementioned national debt but pile upon it.
The Republican plan to perpetuate a non-funded hand-back raises the deficit three trillion. The Democratic plan to revise it and punish the top two percent of the economic equation jacks it to four trillion. No one, not one candidate or political play we are faced with does a thing to stop the deficit from climbing, let alone decrease it.
Meanwhile, as the country was temporarily distracted by a 9/11 hoax hatched by superstitious goobers using their voodoo tome to motivate the burning of a rival's superstitious falderal, the United States government was selling billions of dollars of weaponry to the very country from which our attackers and their mastermind hail, Saudi Arabia. A supposed American ally, just as the Afghans, Saddam Hussein and lately the backstabbing Pakistani government before them, the Saudis will likely gather taxpayer funded firearms to turn on us in a generation.
Perhaps that would be Money best used to tackle the above issues, but then selling weapons to the world is one of our hottest commodities, like construction, food and engines. It's just that unless it's killing machines, we import twice as much as we export, another recipe for economic woes and political fallout.
Hell, like it or not -- or having a political solution or not -- there is not much wiggle room on either raising taxes or cutting benefits to lower the deficit or risk playing roulette with the tax laws in a time of economic crisis.
Oh, and by the way, this whole deficit whining is mostly a scare tactic. Non-partisan experts pretty much agree that with the lowest interest rates on record the deficit is actually more manageable now than thirty years ago. It's better to keep money in the pockets of those who can and will use it to create jobs and loan or borrow Money, perhaps even, if miracles are still available to us, create new and improved manufacturing vocations for a change. Many of the same experts figure it's been a little over twenty years since the U.S. of A. has done anything close to that.
So hard choices need to be made and difficult truths need to be uttered.
None of this is forthcoming from anyone.
© James Campion September 17th
READERS RESPONSES September 23rd 2010
Your piece on the Gay Marriage issue and the decision by California Judge Vaughn Walker is right on. (VICTORY FOR LIBERTY & JUSTICE FOR ALL -- Issue: 8/11/10) Of course, as you have written before and here again, constitutional rights are not to be voted on. They're rights! As if anyone would allow a vote for gun control in New York or Massachusetts or any other "Blue State" or votes to see whether certain forms of artistic expression should be outlawed in say any ultra-conservative "Red State". This is what has been missing with the entire Prop 8 debate. It is about justice and law and nothing else. In some places, hardly any to be honest, I have read or heard this salient and reasoned argument, but not as to the point and as passionately as yours. I know this has been your main issue for many years now, and as you state, it is a terrific victory for the sane and law-abiding among us. There is so much more to go, but it is a start, a most significant start at that.
Interesting that you bring up Thomas Jefferson, the man who supported castrating homosexuals and polygamist? (A Bill for proportioning crime and punishment).
The fight over civil rights has always begun in the private sector first, in the southern churches in the south or the Christopher Street in Greenwich Village, but nonetheless it's always going to be initially opposed by the status quo. As you illustrated beautifully in your more recent columns, the correlation between the battle over the Manhattan Islamic Center and free speech or rights such as the right for tax paying consenting adults to be granted a civil union recognized by law is resounding. We as Americans, true Americans, should stand up for those denied what we always beat our chests that we've died for and what conservative bozos and liberal whiners always try to politicize, but is beyond politics and partisanship -- truly God-granted freedom, as Thomas Jefferson so declared it in his masterpiece of the human condition.
I have always been a big fan of Realty Check, because no matter the issue or the humor sliced into arguments, it has always stood for those principles, and to castigate those who dare whitewash freedoms with their agendas, whether they be political, religious or otherwise.
Again, it is individualism that will prevail.
The nasty truth that goes along with Prop 8 is all the minorities who voted for Obama in 2008 flicked the lever for this horrible disenfranchisement of another minority. Many of them were Hispanic in California still beholden to the religious superstitions of their heritage, failing in their attempt to change history by voting for the first black man, but in doing so denied the rights of another minority; gays. Why this is not broached has nothing to do with the constitution but everything to do with a liberal, biased media and a gutless Democratic party that will get theirs in November.
Lewis The Patriot
My favorite line about denying the rights of citizens is that the majority doesn't want it.
Look at every injustice in the history of the world and in particular the history of its only long-lasting free society, America, and you will see that the majority at first did not want it. What majority opinion has to do with human rights is anyone's guess, and let's hope it isn't idiots like Sarah Palin who's doing the guessing.
Ms. Broderick D922 HA!
Another great ran...er...intellectual monologue. (FREE SPEECH REDUX) There is another caveat in the long list of exceptions to free speech, which I'm surprised you didn't mention: If you say anything that the Christian God would Not Approve Of, you obviously are 'stepping away from the original intent of the framers of the Constitution', etc. This is a very sneaky and clever way to wed Patriotism to Godliness. Glenn Beck very recently skipped completely over the idea of political or intellectual discourse and headed straight to God, did not pass GO, did not collect his $200.
I would also like to use a hackneyed phrase often employed by the Moral Christian Right and say if we don't build that mosque... the terrorists will have won! We will be giving away America!
Good luck with the goose shit.
N. Kingstown RI
These free speech diatribes are my favorite Campion moments. It is as if someone took electrical tape from your mouth and set you going. This should be your only subject to decipher. It is your danger zone, a wheelhouse of sorts. Despite so many other issues covered in Reality Check, where we read a more balanced approach, mocking the extreme visions of others, with free speech, any free speech, there appears to be no Campion wiggle room. It is all or nothing, which lends to not only great reads but also an insight to where your bottom line resides. It is a study in a sense into where the basis of your entire personal philosophy, to which you have denied in print exists, lies.
And no one I think knows how far the onion peels, but free speech, free expression and anything of the sort is unquestionably your Waterloo. It is your last stand.
Maybe it's our last stand as a society, because I often look at fringe voices or independent, outside the mainstream columnists such as yourself as being those lone warriors on the castle wall looking out into the wilderness, beyond civilization, as if you are guarding against the last attacks of the Huns. Your weapon? Free Speech.
Keep up your vigilant post. Someone must.
The reason the mosque issue has been brought up lies in the timing of the midterm elections. There is nothing like a good ol' dragging out of the rusty wagons to once more circle round the flag of another useless cause. I swear, the country must be in good shape if this is all we have to talk about.
Same goes with Dr. Laura. Another clown shoots their mouth off and we line up to feed from the trough of ignorance. As a society we have made such progress. Students in our schools, although pregnant, are very aware of right and wrong. We killed the smokers and got rid of the stuff that made eggshells thin. Why can't we take the next step and eliminate the sensationalism that oozes from our screens?
My feelings were hurt when we invaded Iraq. Why didn't anyone stop that?
Grand Old Party
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