Three Glasses; 2 half empty, 1 half full

There’s too much politics, and it’s going to get worse. There’s too much government, and it’s going to get worse. There’s too much taxes, and it’s going to get worse. And there’s too much worry about what everyone else is or is not doing. Whatever happened to “mind your own business”? Well, it became federalized. And so now everything is my business. And everything is your business. So I now need to worry about what you do – for it may impact me. And you need to worry about what I do – for it may impact you. And long ago, in a De Toqueville America, this wasn’t so true. But no one reads the Baron anymore.

Oh sure, there’s some stuff that are government responsibilities, and there’s even stuff that’s federal responsibilities. In fact, federally, it’s spelled out in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. But you’ll not find the Federal Reserve Board or “health care for all” there. Nor will you find the Department of Commerce which no one seems to know what it does (Ask anyone.) Nor farm price supports to keep the price of food high so we have to give money to the poor to buy food. Still, we have had politicians promising everyone’s money to someone else. It’s the glory of government since the dawn of time. Indeed, we have a president now who is going to tax the “rich” – which in effect either drives them into poverty (take away a man’s money and where does he go?) or drives them to just give up making more (see Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.) But no one has ever made anyone work for someone else by simply taking their money and handing it over to that someone else. Eventually, the one who earns the money says the hell with it.

The Republicans are quite sure the Democrats are destroying the place, and they see the glass half empty. And the Democrats are quite sure the Republicans are destroying the place, and they see the glass as half empty. And if both see “the glass” as half empty – what are they arguing about? Oh, that’s right, they see two different glasses. The Republicans see a nation beset by gay people (Which is weird enough, for how can such a tiny percentage beset anything?) The Democrats see a nation beset by rich people (which is weird, for they all seem to be pretty rich, these complainers of wealth.) The Republicans are sure that if they had control of the debt ceiling they’ll raise it responsibly and if they had control of the IRS they’d have the smoothest running thing on earth, and if they stop the gays from being gay, well that’s even better. Opposite for the Democrats of course, they think all they can run everything, and on gays their “evolving.” Except most of them never ran anything except a campaign for election.

Meanwhile, some 50% of the people aren’t even registered Democrats or Republicans anymore. Which means in the primaries there are less middle-of-the-road rational practical people – but instead more and more ideologues on either side pushing for the more radical programs. The Democratic Party is now more or less a “Socialist” party. Not quite like in “Socialist Republics,” yet. But still, when 80 to 90 of the Democrats in Congress are members of the Socialist Party too, well, does that say? How can they not be socialist? Bernie Sanders – Senator of Vermont – is often portrayed as some “Independent.” Except, well, he’s not. He’s a socialist – he ran as one, proudly proclaims himself one, and yet the media ignores this and calls him an “Independent.” So why don’t they just proclaim themselves “socialist” already and put forth their plan – take over all the major industries of the USA and put them in the hands of the government. That’s what socialists call for; it’s right there on their websites. Of course, all the countries that ever tried this wind up broke and having to quell the people who are awfully free market (See former Soviet Union as best example; Cuba as the closest to our shores.)

That’s what people are naturally – producers, buyers, sellers, and live and let live, too. However, when the government gets too big and starts to own businesses and regulate the rest in a sort of “corporatist” fashion, (AKA, fascism, or mercantilism – which was the theory of the Middle Ages,) then well, anyone who gets in the way must be stopped. But this is not new. This is what happened to the Roman Empire – the laws came by the hundreds in the last century of the empire to regulate and tax the people into submission, and the thing rotted out from inside. Weirdly, 1600 years later and some people are still blaming gay folks for the dissolution of it all. But it wasn’t, it was the laws against gays, Jews and wealth that did the beast in.

Then, the Republicans are going theocratic. Which has alarming parallels to the 1300s and 1400s, which is a long time ago, and far away in Europe, but still. Indeed, the lessons of history are oft forgotten, or not even known. How many people know that for a few hundred years there were two popes? One running around Italy trying to stay clear of the armies of France (Which wasn’t really “France” as we know it yet, but a far smaller place) and the German “Holy Roman Emperor” – of which Empire it was often joked – it’s neither holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire. And another pope in Avignon under the protection of the French king. Yet, there were all of a sudden thousands of new laws passed in less than a hundred years – and feudalism set in well and serfdom came. And every aspect of life was regulated. Just like in Soviet Russia. And soon enough, back then, the Czechs said the hell with this – and started to separate themselves by the turn of 1400 from the morass of Catholic conformity. Which started 200 years of wars, but that’s just history.

Theocrats, of course, always go after the easy pickings first – which is oddly what Socialists do too. Theocracy in our Western way has always gone after the Jews, the Gays, the Gypsies and wealth, and anyone not conforming to the theocracy as laid out by this or that theocrat. Problem is, after the theocrats take care of the easy ones, they must go after the other theocrats who are not to their liking. For the conformity of it all. By the 1500s the religious wars really got to full swing. For hundreds of years Protestants mauled Catholics and vice versa. And they mauled the Jews together, and the gays of course. It was all so easy. And part of this theocracy of course was the limitations on trade and business and the taxes on anyone who made a dime more than was allowed by the theocrats. Indeed, back in the 1300s being a “money lender” was often considered more of a “sin” than being gay. Often overlooked in all the studies of the late Middle Ages, however, are the hundreds if not thousands of “Tax Revolts.” They are mere footnotes in most studies of the time. The peasants, as the people were called them, simply were taxed into poverty, and so stormed the local castle. And that’s what we’re doing now – taxing people into poverty. For the good of the people of course.

And Karl Marx, supposedly a great thinker – merely switched the words from Royalism to Socialism. What difference did it make whether the tax man worked for King or Party? What difference does it make to the man who wants to read a book that the Inquisition or the Party says “No, it shall not be read nor written”? What difference does it make that a tiny elite grabs hold of the power of the state and makes it comfy for them while the rest wonder what they’re going to do? Ah, the words alone. When Syria’s past president can pass on the presidency to his son, is that not royalism? When Kim in Korea hands over power from father to son to grandson – is that not Louis-ish of France? And when Mubarak in Egypt, Ghaddafi in Libya want to turn over the presidency-for-life to their sons, why not call it “King” and be done with it. Castro is the King of Cuba, no? Oh, no, he’s the president-for-life. Sure, there’s a difference, I guess. Well, no, no guessing – there is no difference.

But still, the Socialist Democrats think that there’s too much business freedom, and the Theocratic Republicans think there’s too much personal freedom. Which isn’t much different than Philip of France going after the businesses of the Knights Templar while the Pope went after the supposed immorality of said knights. Problem was, the Knights were loved by the previous popes right up until Philip put his own pope in. Ah, but Philip inherited a tiny kingdom – some 1/10th the size of France today, centered on Paris and he found the treasury empty, the tax burden too high and the people having too much fun. And he looked around and found the money he needed in “taxing” the rich – the Jews and Knights, and the Gays, thrown in for good measure. So on came the onslaught of the state, and before you knew it, there were, it has been estimated, some 2.5 million dead in the south of France as Philip and Pope sent in their armies to extract the wealth from people whom did not conform to the wishes of Phil and Pope. It was called the Albigensian crusades. Rape, pillage, slaughter and seizing wealth – for the good of the people of course. Way too much business and personal freedom going on down there in Nice, and it was not nice, according to some who thought they knew best.

Except, well the business and personal freedoms go hand in hand – it’s hard to have one without the other. China is going to discover this very soon, despite it supposedly overtaking the US any day now. What will happen is that the people in business will want to be freer personally – you can’t keep telling your best and brightest to be bright, but don’t read that, don’t do that, do say that, do think that, and here’s a list of what you may or may not do, and what you must do. Eventually the two freedoms – of business and personal portions of life – get too out of whack. Here, you can’t keep telling people to be free to read and write but not make any more money than what the government decrees is best. And while it won’t be put in those terms here – no, it will be put in terms of “they should pay their fair share.” Which is, of course, anything over a certain limit, which is then, of course, a limit on what one can earn. And that will just rile people up. Not going to work in the long term.

That’s what’s happening in this nation. More and more laws, by the thousands of pages, not more understandable to us than Medieval Latin was to the regular people. And so we need intercession – back then it was for “indulgences” from sin – pay a “fine,” of sorts, and your soul be saved. St. Peter’s in the Vatican was built with such money. Now we need intercession from politicians, and if we pay the right “fine,” of sorts, often called a “fee” or a “campaign contribution” even, well, then you will get dispensation. That’s what the more than 1,000 wavers to ObamaCare is. That’s what corporations paying no taxes is – they contribute to the politicians and they get the dispensation in many forms.

Let’s look at this in pictures, since it seems to help everyone. Here’s Bernie Sanders true take on the corporate tax avoidance coupled with bailouts and such. Problem is, Bernie helped set it up and perpetuate it – so now he can ride in to the rescue, of course. He doesn’t want to just end the IRS as we know it. No, like Philip of Old he wants to maul the rich some more because he knows best where to spend the money.

And then there’s the Donald, who thinks he running for president – and the question is, why as a Republican? For years he donated to every Democrat he could find and nary a Republican – because, of course, in the states he operated in the intercession was by Democrats. And weirdly, he says he doesn’t like Obama, but would essentially not change a thing Obama is doing – because it’s not about what actually works – it’s who’s in control. Here’s his electoral map.

And it weirdly, though not completely, parallels the lowest taxed states. Here’s that map.

And so, the low tax states, decrying the Obama big government ideals, and being very Republican of course, are looking at a man who simply would keep the same structure as Obama – they’ll vote for Trump because he’s Anti-Gay perhaps. And Trump is new to that too. Why, he hadn’t said a word about gay folks being a peril to the nation in his entire life. But now, to get the votes, and get the power, well, then, let’s find a scapegoat. Again, Philip of France did – here come Trump. Phil liked his name on everything too, of course.

And of course, there’s the bauble of “health care for all.” Which we already pretty much had – but look at these two organizational charts.

One or the other might be in effect, I don’t know. Indeed, no one knows. For Congress did pass a law giving the bureaucracies the freedom to make the rules. Like ancient popes issued rules. A few Medieval popes issued 50,000 and 60,000 “bulls” (or legislative directives) in their terms in office. Wow, now that’s a lot of verbiage, all handwritten too, to help get control of things. Sure, it looks good, the “smart” guy making the decisions. But this morass of Bureaucracies cannot be good. It is not “Health Care.” Look carefully and you can’t even see a hospital, doctor or nurse in the flow. Nope, just the office of this and the office of that – to tell the medical professionals how to do this or that, regardless of any reality, but to make sure the right forms are filled in and filed with the correct agencies for oversight. This is not rational either. It bodes ill.

And so before I go on for too long – let’s look at what the Dems and Reps have become:

And anyone who thinks voting in one or the other is going to “solve” anything is off their rocker. So here’s the bumper sticker for that:

This is more of the same, and like the battle between the Lancasters and the Plantagenets in the War of the Roses – (which is the pun used for the Kathleen Turner, Mike Douglas, Danny DeVito flick of the same name, of course.) And look who waltzed in and solved the problem – Llewellyn of Wales. And you think to yourself, there was a “King Llewellyn in England?” Oh, no, he changed his name to “Henry VII” and had a kid, Henry VIII, who also was broke and needed money and saw where the wealth was so raided all the abbeys and monasteries and took it. They were the businesses of those days, they made stuff – and Henry did need it. Elizabeth I too – she went and took her fair share. These two set themselves up a new religion and added to the theocratic wars of the times.

And now we’re exactly where we were in the 1400s – a “president/king” will come to office and find “his” nation broke – and they’ll come to take the wealth of individuals for the good of us all, and one side will come blame business, and the other side the gays, and maybe the Jews yet, and they’ll make happy in striping the wealth and liberty from the nation. Still, I recall the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin –

Or, better, maybe:

Well, no, he said “No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while congress is in session.” And in 1791 too, the nation barely a few years old. Is this not still sage wisdom? Yep. It’s a Republic, if we can keep it – but it certainly isn’t a centralized behemoth of a state, or a theocracy that’s for sure. But that’s where we’re heading, so beware.

And so, the rant over – get a grip people – there are few Democrats or Republicans who deserve to be in office anymore. Vote them all out. Perhaps, maybe, Gary Johnson is the only one rational left out there on the hustings. Time will tell.

Oh yah, the half full glass – that’s mine – I’m an optimist even in the face of this mind numbing mush we call our national politics. Somehow, I sense a change for the better coming. When there’s no more D & R in the picture. And everyone goes back to minding their own business.

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