Thu. May 26th, 2022

Returning “Terrorists”

“1 out of 3 released terrorists are returning to terrorism.”

Wrong.

Have you proven in court they are terrorists? No, you haven’t. Then they can’t “return” to something, as far as we know, they didn’t do before.

You’ve heard this “stat” tossed out over the mainstream media like a plug tossed out to fish too stupid, too blind, not to bite. And far too many citizens will bite. I mean, after all, if released terrorists are going back to terrorism then we’d better keep them in concentration camps… eh, excuse me… “prisons” or whatever more palatable euphemism you want to use, right?

Wrong.

To begin with this stat has been offered with little independent verification. Once I was all for “trust but verify.” After so many years with so many false claims, including claims regarding tax cuts for the very rich, I’m all for verify. Screw the “trust.” But let’s just say, for argument’s sake, the stat is accurate… other than the obvious “returning” lie.

And why would they, actually, become terrorists, for the first time… as far as we know? Maybe because we hunted them down, tossed them into concentration camps where all kinds of horrors happened without due process. So we should increase the rage by just holding them for the rest of their lives?

This would be a pro-more terrorists policy. But instead we treat terrorists as if they invented the concept of terrorism and if we just lock them up: no due process, that’s the key to ending all terrorism. That’s like throwing sugar on top of fermenting yeast, opening an E-mail with a virus. You know growth will increase, the virus will spread.

Since I was a kid, probably long before, there has been a movement to move the justice system, the standard, from innocent until proven guilty to guilty by mere hint of an accusation; make habeas corpus a corpse.

And down, down, down this vile rabbit hole is where propaganda like this comment takes us, and has taken us.

And the media eagerly puts such lies out there with nary a question.

Tax Me, Please


Everyone has been arguing about what taxes to cut, by how much and if all brackets should get the same continuation of tax cuts. The President says we’ll revisit this in 2012. An election year? Yeah, right. But just in case let me do the patriotic thing right now and say…

“Go ahead. Don’t continue my tax cut, America. In fact, raise all our taxes.”

Let me introduce myself. My name really is “Ken Carman.” I own a small business. My wife works for local government. We have probably never had $50,000 gross, and she earns far more than I do: probably always will. So we are, by no means, in a high tax bracket.

The boss does the taxes, that’s the only reason “probably” even exists in that sentence.

That’s my family. No kids. But we are part of a bigger family: America. America has plenty of family expenses: roads, security, food, heat, transportation, defense, wars up the wazoo, safety concerns like fire, ambulance and, yes, health care. The American family has expenses very much like my family, and your family, does.

When there’s a crisis: not enough money to cover our expenses, there are two solutions. Yes, we don’t go to the movies as much, have steak as much, take out a loan and then give the money to the kids or cousins to par-tay with.

But that’s what tax cuts do. They defund the family. Lately it’s been a little like Dad coming home and saying, “Times are tough. We have little money. So I’ve decided to work less, earn less. Oh, and here ya go kids, I took out a big loan from Bank Peking. Maybe we’ll sell everything we can off to pay that loan. Have fun, kids, while Mother Liberty and I find out how much kids like you for go for on the market these days. Or maybe we can just sell Liberty.”

Yup, that’s where the Bush tax cuts have taken us.

As a business person it’s also like abandoning willing clients when I know my business is getting deeper and deeper in debt. By the way, I know something about this. I started my business in 1984, full time in 88. I lost money one year when I had a big upgrade to my tour bus and then the mechanic’s son blew the engine, but wouldn’t admit to it. I have made money every other year. Not much at all. Sometimes hardly any. But made some.

Yes, cutbacks make sense to a certain extent. I have had to make cutbacks over the years. But refusing to go see a possible client that could make me more money because I might have to spend a little to get there… pretty stupid, right? That’s what refusing to do stimulus spending achieves. More problems. Once stimulated there will be more incoming.

We can argue about the nature of that spending; what is necessary and what isn’t, obviously. In fact I maintain that’s what this argument has been about to begin with. Not cutting back gov., just increasing the parts partisans like and eliminating those they don’t. But no matter what we increase or decrease there is always some spending if you’re going to make money: things to fix, things to protect, necessities.

New hardware, planes, tech to defend the country is speculative stimulus spending. Sometimes necessary.

Wake up, folks, nothing is free.

And when you do cutback, you don’t cutback to the point your business can’t do business. That’s what tax cuts can do.

So instead of cutting taxes, America, volunteer to have your taxes raised: especially those most able to afford it; those with the most money. Those who use the infrastructure to make that money, use it to keep it from being stolen. or go after those who do steal it.

Come on America. It’s the patriotic thing to do.

Ask for a raise in your taxes.

-30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

©Copyright 2010
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
All Rights Reserved

By Ken Carman

Entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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RS Janes
11 years ago

Good one, Ken. It’s well-known in legal circles that, in fact, a defendant in an American courtroom in a criminal trial is starting with two strikes against them. Regardless of the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ trope, most jurors, and humans in general, subconsciously operate on the ‘if there’s smoke there’s fire’ mentality; they assume that if you’ve been arrested and prosecuted, you must have done something wrong, and they have a tendency to believe whatever the police tell them, so it takes more effort on the part of the defendant to prove innocence than it does on the part of the prosecutor to convict. (This is one of the reasons rich criminals like O.J. Simpson usually get off; they can afford that ‘extra effort.’) Quadruple this juror bias if you happen to be charged as a terrorist.

As to taxation, I wouldn’t mind a slight raise, but not as long as we’re throwing money down the rathole in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we continue to waste money on defense spending we don’t need, such as 11 over-priced carrier battle groups (we could get by fine with 9 or even 7); the Star Wars program that hasn’t worked yet; the unnecessary and expensive F-35 all-service fighter (we can save money by upgrading our current squadrons of F/A-18s, F-16s, F-117s and F-14s); and closing half of our bases overseas. We can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman, if we ever could, and most of these weapons systems and others are just welfare programs for defense contractors and retiring top brass. One of the reasons the Chinese are doing so well, aside from their fiercely protected markets and cheap labor, is that they spend 40 percent less on national defense than we do; we could spend only twice as much and still be secure. Also, most of our defense spending does little to protect us against terrorist attack — it is still in ‘Cold War’ mode, preparing for a conflict that will never come, just as our military in the field mainly uses WWII ‘overwhelming firepower’ tactics to combat guerilla warfare.

RS Janes
11 years ago

I have no problem with my taxes going to fund a strong defense, but what I mentioned in my previous post are just wastes of money and welfare for the rich and big corporations — even a diehard neocon would concede that wasteful and useless defense programs should be cut. As to the loss of jobs in the defense industry, so be it. If we’re going to have a publicly-financed jobs program, let’s save time and money by calling it that and start learning how to make things which will benefit the community and the country more than building obsolete or unneeded defense systems. One other thing which should be obvious: If a defense contractor submits a budget for a project and goes over that budget, they should absorb any cost overruns, not the taxpayers. Paying for overruns costs us billions every year.

The ‘Grover’s’ who want to end taxation and drown the govt in a bathtub are just blowing smoke — most of them earn money one way or another from the govt, if only by running groups that raise money from gullible suckers to oppose taxation and reduce the size of govt. What would Grover Norquist do for a living if taxes and the bureaucracy disappeared tomorrow? He has no appreciable talents or skills other than opposing taxes and big govt.

RS Janes
11 years ago

It may have been Richard Viguerie, I’m not sure, but many years ago a Christopublican conservative who had a direct-mail company that raised money for right-wing groups said, in a moment of rare honesty, that five things happening would put him out of business:

1. If abortion were made illegal.

2. If income taxes were abolished.

3. If prayers were allowed in school.

4. If liberals stopped fighting for gun control.

5. If the threat of Communism/the USSR disappeared.

He said he prayed every night that that all of those things he ostensibly wanted as a conservative never happened, since he was raking in millions using direct mail to fundraise for groups that stirred up donations by leaning on those issues. (Of course, the USSR collapsed and with it the Communist scare, but that’s been replaced by terrorism and Al-Qaeda.)

This is my take on the GOP Elite, GOP pols, and the right-wing media — they only profit by having those issues — and others of even less significance, like Obama’s birth certificate — to fire up their low-info/nutcase base, and to distract them from seriously thinking about what’s really wrong with the country, and who’s causing the problems. It’s like the story of the cops committing crimes to keep themselves employed.

But now our economy is in such desperate shape the time for these games are past. In the DC-NYC political and media nexus, though, they haven’t caught on to that yet.

Kristel Baldock
11 years ago

Thank You for the post – I thougt it was very well written. Completely eye opening!

Sherrell Kellermann
11 years ago

Oooh, you’re such an inspiration. I love this blog!

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