Starvation Different Than Hunger

So much misunderstanding across the ideological divide stems from differing understandings of vocabulary. Sherri writes:

Correct me if I am wrong, but that is precisely the time when huge waves of immigrants were arriving from Ireland where a true famine was underway. Yes, poverty in America was brutal in that era, but it was nothing like the mass starvation in Ireland. I think you could have made your point about progressive income taxes without resorting to wild claims that “millions starved” in late 19th century America. Hunger and starvation are not the same thing.

Actually, they are. Or can be. From dictionary.com:

starve  (stärv)
1. To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.
2. Informal. To be hungry.
3. To suffer from deprivation.
4. Archaic. To suffer or die from cold.

Some Emails Say It All

It’s great to have an outlet to share this with y’all:

In reading your comments on Marine Captain Frick, I thought I should point out that many of today’s officers do not have degrees when they are commissioned (at least in the Navy and Marine Corps), but are selected from the ranks through special programs such as “Seaman to Admiral”. From what I recall, these individuals were afforded the opportunity to earn their degrees after serving a couple of years as a junior officer. I believe many earned their degrees through “online institutions” such as Phoenix University.
While a few officers were fine and decent people, a good portion of them were of the socially inadequate mold whose viciousness and bullying ways were only superseded by their arrogance and mastery of the fine art of ass kissing. It seemed to me that the ones with degrees from the various service academies and R.O.T.C programs fell into the later group. Typical corporate governance I suppose. In short, there are plenty of educated idiots out there and I would be willing to bet,based on my experience, that a disproportionate number can be found wearing the uniform of this country.
Also worth mentioning is the role that nepotism plays in the officer corps. It is well known in the military that various families have sent generations through Annapolis and the service is managed through an aristocracy. The Executive Officer on my ship was one of these legacy alum and it was pretty apparent that he did not arrive at his position through merit.
The happiest moment of my life was when I received my discharge (honorably) from that insane asylum. I just wish that I had been more knowledgeable about the realities of this society for I would never have even considered that route. I can not understand how we ever won a war given the way the military managed things. My thoughts now about the military are that it is nothing more than a big welfare program for all involved. Yet, if someone were to point out that there are serious problems in a public forum they would be chastised as “unpatriotic” and “traitorous”, most likely by people who elected not to serve, ironically. Your probably aware of this through your Pat Tillman episode. Forget about the military establishment admitting to internal faults either. Remember, it was the media that lost Vietnam, not the reckless, murderous and inept beaurocracy (wink wink). This is why, in my opinion, much needed change will never occur.
Finally, if you have never served and would like some insight into the stupidity of the military sub-culture, I would recommend Joseph Heller’s old classic Catch-22.
Sincerely, A Venting Vet from Michigan

Progressive Taxes for Dummies

Scott writes:

I’ve just read your recent article on Yahoo News titled DEATH BY CONSUMPTION.

In the article you mention the tax rate on the richest as 94% back in the 1950s.

I believe few people understand the progressive-tiered nature of the income tax and simply saying someone was paying 94% is misleading. In fact, people would have paid 94% only on that part of their income above a certain dollar figure.

Please forgive me if I carry on too much. Using an unreal example as I don’t have the actual figures in front of me, if one made $100,000/yr, one would pay 0% on the first $25,000; 20% on your income between $25,000 and $50,000; 25% on income between $50,000 and $75,000; and 30% on anything more than $75,000.

To tell someone I’m in the 30% tax bracket is misleading because many, many people interpret this to mean I’m paying 30% of $100,000 when in fact, I will have paid a total of $18,750 or ~19% of my salary in taxes.

Can you please expand on your statement in this particular article orperhaps write another one explaining how the progressive-tiered income taxworks?

Thank you for your time.

More Rolling Heads

Craig wisely asks:

If Dan Rather lost his job for using a fake source, than shouldn’t local TV station producers also lose their jobs for running those bogus-news “VPR”s the Bush administration is secretly releasing?

Well, yes.

The Stop Sign

Andy sez:

Another question for the Marine Captain:

Why did they have to steal the traffic sign? Are they incapable of copying the Arabic characters in the word “stop” onto a piece of plywood? Is it really necessary for our men to act like common vandals. If you ask me, this captain is a thug.

I wondered about this myself. And if their calligraphy is lacking, couldn’t they hire an Iraqi to write “Stop–US Checkpoint–Slow Down” in Arabic? Or don’t we know any besides Ahmed Chalabi?

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