Today is Earth Day
April 22nd is Earthday. So what can you do to help improve the state of the planet?
Just remember that you can always do something about it!
With the vast amount of growing evidence that global warming is indeed occurring you'd think the US government would finally catch on that something needs to be done. As usual it is going to take individuals making enough noise about it by contacting their representatives.
A friend just introduced me to a new environmental conservation organization, The Earth Organization.
Looking after our world is becoming more and more important given the amount of crap mankind is dumping into the environment and the consequent global warming and toxicity. One would think that leaders of industry and government didn't care that we are destroying the planet we live on.
Anyway, this new entity has the motto: Because None Survives Alone. How very apropos.
The human rights video, United, directed by teenager Taron Lexton, has been accepted by seven film festivals. This is a music video created by kids for kids and sponsored by Youth for Human Rights International.United, A Human Rights Music Video, Sweeps Film Festivals
A friend just sent me this important message about a terrible threat, not only to an established American tradition, but also to a trully American institution, the IRS. Please feel free to pass this on to others.
I wish to alert you to a serious problem. There is a movement across the country to dispose of the Federal Income Tax System and replace it with a National Sales Tax, also called a "consumption tax." It's known as the FairTax proposal.
Not only will we lose our income and payroll taxes but we will also lose our gift taxes, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, alternative minimum taxes, Social Security/Medicare taxes, self-employment taxes, and corporate taxes. All this WITHOUT reducing revenue to the Federal Government!!
The problems with this may already be obvious to you but I will go over them just in case.
First of all, you will no longer be required to keep any records for tax purposes--no record of income and no record of expenditures. Do you understand??--NO RECORDS OF ANY KIND!
Tell me--how is the federal government going to keep track of our individual personal finances if there are NO RECORDS???
Fortunately, with this proposed National Sales Tax, the businesses that sell goods and services WILL have to keep records and they will have to forward the sales tax money to the government just as they do now with state sales taxes.
But you and I, the citizenry, will NOT have to keep records. This is very upsetting! I am sure you are as upset by this as I am.
And it doesn't stop there. Under this new system, no one will be required to file an Income Tax Return!!! NO RECORDS!! NO RETURNS!! NO APRIL 15th DEADLINE!! NO IRS!!!!!!!
This is un-American. I weep for our country.
In fact, the 16th Amendment to our United States Constitution (put there in 1913), which authorizes the government to collect income taxes from its citizens, will be REPEALED! That means it will be gone from the Constitution, just as PROHIBITION is now gone from the Constitution.
We let them repeal PROHIBITION! Are we now going to allow them to repeal INCOME TAXES?
With an income tax, a portion of your income goes directly to the government before you have a chance to spend it. Then the government spends it for you. What a beautiful system!! Why would anyone want to change that??
With a consumption tax, you get all the money you earn (minus any state income taxes) and the only way you will be allowed to pay federal taxes is by buying things. And here is where it gets really insidious. If you don't buy a lot of things, you will pay LESS TAXES. This drives me crazy!
It gets worse.
If we only pay taxes when we buy things, whom do you suppose will end up paying the most taxes? RIGHT! RICH PEOPLE!!!! What will happen to all those great tax shelters and foundations and accountancy tricks and loopholes rich people use to avoid paying taxes? They will become USELESS!!!!There will be no way for rich people to avoid paying taxes because they are not going to want to stop buying things--because what is the point of being rich if you don't buy things? DUH!!!
So the rich people will end up paying the lion's share of the taxes because they are going to keep buying things--luxurious, high-priced things--because that is how you let people know you are rich and successful--you buy things! They are not going to stop this practice and this is a direct assault on our democracy--for what good is a democracy if there is no way to cheat the system!!!???
But this "FairTax" proposal will not just affect the rich. It will also seriously impact organized crime!
Let me ask you this. When was the last time organized crime paid taxes? RIGHT! NEVER! Organized crime does not pay income taxes because what they are making their income from is ILLEGAL and needs to remain HIDDEN! They do NOT fill out an IRS return which says they made $100 million dollars from drug sales so they can pay taxes on it.
Remember, only HONEST people pay income taxes! It is a right and a privilege reserved for honest, hardworking Americans.
But criminals do BUY things with their ill-gotten gains. Under the "FairTax"/consumption tax plan, criminals will be taxed like everyone else. Can you imagine what that will do to their bottom line? From zero taxes to a sales tax on everything they buy--suddenly they will be sharing in the support of the country. They will be helping to fund the very law-enforcement organizations that are there to put them behind bars.
Now, you may wonder what is wrong with that? I will tell you. Organized crime and all criminals are a precious part of our national heritage. Imagine life without "The Godfather" series of motion pictures or "Good Fellas," "The Sopranos," "Married To The Mob."
There is a whole criminal culture here and part of its appeal is that they get a free ride. Dent that free ride and we could lose that culture!
Criminals, who operate completely on the idea of non-contribution-- something for nothing--will now be forced to contribute to the society like everybody else, when they BUY things. Is criminal activity going to be worth the risk if they end up having to pay taxes just like the average Joe?
I don't know if the criminal psyche can deal with this, not to mention putting a lot of good cops and prison guards out of work.
I'm sure you see the seriousness of the threat and why we need to stop this "consumption tax" movement before it ruins everything.
Now you need to be alert for arguments from the other side. For example, here is a direct quote issued by one of their propaganda outlets.
"To ensure no American pays tax on necessities, the FairTax plan provides a prepaid, monthly rebate... for every registered household to cover the consumption tax spent on necessities up to the federal poverty level. This, along with several other features, is how the FairTax completely untaxes the poor, lowers the tax burden on most, while making the overall rate progressive."
Okay, there you have it in their own words. The FairTax completely untaxes the poor and they call that "progressive."
It's always the poor, isn't it, who get the short end of the stick, while the rich get to pay nearly all of the taxes because they buy so damn much.
Another argument that is made in favor of a consumption tax is that the current income tax system results in higher prices for consumer goods and services, because of the tremendous income tax compliance costs that end up being added into the prices of things.
Well, that is what is so fabulous about an income tax!! These costs are HIDDEN!! No one thinks about them!!! We don't know we are being charged for this!!!
With a consumption/national sales tax, it will all be right out there in the OPEN!!! Every time you buy something you will be aware of exactly what the tax is!!! A lot of people will be upset by this!!! They will start to complain and they will demand that the government stop SPENDING so much!!! That is like asking the government to stop BREATHING!!!!!!!!!!!
MY GOD, PEOPLE, I HOPE YOU ARE GETTING THIS! WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF A TERRIBLE CATASTROPHE IF THIS ANTI-INCOME TAX LEGISLATION GOES THROUGH!!!
(Deep breath...) I'm sorry. It's important not to panic.
The answer to these arguments, of course, is the pure beauty of the income tax system, which only you, my fellow tax lover, can completely appreciate. I must admit, it gives me chills of pleasure just thinking about it. Here it is.
With an INCOME TAX, every working person in the country pays taxes in proportion to how much he or she earns (excepting criminals and the tax-dodging rich). Earnings are, more or less, based on production. The more a person produces or the better the product or service, the more the person earns. The more the person earns, the more the person is TAXED.
To the tax lover, this is pure joy. To the person who does not appreciate taxation the way we do, this is looked upon as "punishing" production. They make the analogy of a football team where the star running back gets FINED every time he makes a touchdown. Can you imagine? They have a problem with this!!!
But there's more. Not only do the successful producers pay more taxes, they spend countless hours each year keeping records and compiling data in anticipation of their annual tax filing. Most hire tax accountants who are needed to interpret the 7 million word tax code.
When it comes to businesses and corporations, the time and money spent on this process is HUGE! In fact, it is estimated that it costs taxpayers $225 BILLION per year for tax filing, tax record keeping and tax reduction advice.
Well, it is true that this expense is passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, and some complain about that. But they are just not looking at the big picture.
When our prices are high, people around the world cannot easily afford to buy what we produce. This helps countries like China and India take over the world markets. That means less jobs for us and more for them. Hey! What are unemployment lines for!!!???
You see how beautifully this all works? And these "consumption tax" types want to CHANGE all that! They will completely eliminate the time and expense of income tax compliance that individuals, businesses and corporations have to deal with, and our prices will come DOWN, making us MORE competitive on world markets and creating MORE AMERICAN JOBS!!!. Do you really want to live in a country where everyone WORKS!!?? I don't think so.
Needless to say, I hate and despise these "FairTax" people. But don't despair. We can defeat them if we just continue to spread the incredible logic of our position.
TO THE STATUS QUO!!!!
Here is an article about the "TeenScreen" program. A very significant item in the article is the fact that this program was implemented in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1997 and by 2003 the suicide rate amongst teens was the highest ever. A logical conclusion is that the program makes more kids commit suicide.
I really enjoyed reading the Dan Brown book, The Da Vinci Code. A well written and suspenseful novel that you can't put down. The book has also gained a lot of attention because of the "Fact" section which asserts that much of the elements used in the book are true. Unfortunately, to paraphrase George Orwell, some facts are more factual than others and the "Priory of Sion" is one of the less factual of the facts.
Massimo Introvigne is an Italian professor of religion who maintains an excellent site on religious matters. He regularly writes articles and recently added a FAQ about the Da Vinci Code that exposes the truth about Pierre Plantard, his Priory of Sion and a few other things: The Da Vinci Code FAQ, by Massimo Introvigne
Ah, well, not to worry it's still a great book.
I was amazed recently to see an article on the website of a major news outlet that quoted Rick Ross. When I looked more closely I saw that the article was from a gossip columnist so perhaps it's not that surprising. Even so I would have thought that even they had some kind of standards. By now you are probably wondering who is Rick Ross? Well, Ross is a self appointed "cult" expert who has no qualifications in the field except a criminal record and the distinction of being fined $2,500,000 for kidnapping.
Here are some links to information on Ross: