Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘TEA parties’

Paglia on Nobel prize, war, tea parties, Palin, hate crimes, Polanski, academia

Posted by sanityinjection on October 14, 2009

Every month I resist the urge to post about Camille Paglia’s latest column at Although I continue to feel that Paglia is the most intellectually honest columnist around and worthy of reading every month, I figure the permalink over on the right hand side of the page is usually sufficient.

But this month Paglia touches on so many of the subjects I’ve discussed recently that I can’t resist. What’s great about this column in particular is the high quality not only of her commentary but of the reader e-mails she quotes, some of which rebut her opinions quite skillfully.

Here is just one tidbit to whet your appetite:

The mainstream media’s failure to honestly cover last month’s mass demonstration in Washington, D.C. was a disgrace. The focus on anti-Obama placards (which were no worse than the rabid anti-LBJ, anti-Reagan or anti-Bush placards of leftist protests), combined with the grotesque attempt to equate criticism of Obama with racism, simply illustrated why the old guard TV networks and major urban daily newspapers are slowly dying. Only a simpleton would believe what they say.

Read the full article here.

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stop calling me a racist

Posted by sanityinjection on September 22, 2009

Am I the only one who is sick and tired of the incessant drumbeat from Democrats and the media that all opposition to President Obama is fueled by racism?

Of course there are racists out there, and some of them do go to town halls and tea party protests. But they are not even a sizable minority. They’re the fringe, and to seize on them as representative of legitimate protesters is typical sleazy politics for the Democrats, but it’s reprehensible journalism. Believe me, I could go to any Democrat rally or health care reform rally and pick out a few left-wing nuts who would make even Nancy Pelosi cringe.

Does it make me racist that I don’t want the government forcing me to pay for everyone else’s health care, or that I don’t want to be punished for the carbon my car emits (or that I emit every time I exhale?) Am I a racist because I think Obama has blundered badly on missile defense? Or that he has wasted a trillion dollars on political giveaways and pet projects that were supposed to stimulate the economy? Does it really enhance the body politic to create an environment in which any legitimate discussion of issues must be swamped by accusations of racism?

Let me make it crystal clear for Pelosi, Maureen Dowd and their associated lapdogs: I attribute none of these failings to the fact that President Obama is black. I see no connection between the color of his skin and the quality of his leadership (or lack thereof.) As Obama said on Letterman, “I was black before the election.” In other words, the fact that Obama’s popularity has plummeted cannot be attributed to racism, and even the President gets that. Rather, it stems from serious, widespread concerns about the President’s leadership, his trustworthiness (in terms of keeping his election promises such as not raising taxes on the middle class) and the direction in which he is taking this country. Even with all of this, I do believe the President is genuinely doing what he believes to be best for our country. I just think he’s wrong – not wrong because he’s black, but wrong because his ideas about America, the Constitution, and capitalism are the same wrong ideas shared by plenty of white people who would be equally distasteful as President.

Are we done now?

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

“TEA Party” tax protests

Posted by sanityinjection on April 15, 2009

Today, April 15, is the deadline for most people to file their federal income taxes. It’s also the day that groups across the country have chosen for “TEA Party” protests against excessive taxation.  Hearkening back to the original Boston Tea Party, which was also a tax protest, TEA in this case also stands for “Taxed Enough Already”.

From what I can tell, turnout at many of these protests has not been huge. Of course, you have to keep in mind that a lot of people who might sympathize with these protests may not be able to attend because they actually work for a living. I would have loved to attend the one in my area, but I can’t justify blowing off work in order to do so.

Some may be puzzled at why people feel they are overtaxed. After all, the federal income tax is a fairly progressive tax structure in which lower-income people pay little or no tax. However, it’s a mistake to focus solely on the income tax and ignore the many other taxes we are faced with. Consider the working person who earns a sample $100. That $100 is first subject to tax withholding by the federal government (and by some state governments) as well as Medicare and Social Security tax. All that is taken off the top before the worker receives the paycheck.  Of the remaining amount, if the worker spends it, he or she may have to pay sales tax, hotel tax, meals tax, sin tax (cigarettes and alcohol) or gas tax. If the worker saves or invests the money, he or she will pay federal and possibly state tax on any interest earned or capital gains realized. And if the poor slob dies and wants to pass that money on to his or her kids, he will pay estate tax if the value of the property is over a certain amount. So our worker could potentially be paying more than half a dozen different taxes on the same $100. And then there’s property taxes for anyone who owns a home. And let’s not forget excise tax for those medieval energy hogs who still drive cars, and the tolls they must pay if they need to drive on a highway.

When you add all that up, what you discover is that Americans pay more taxes today than at any time in our nation’s history (actually, as a percentage of income, the peak was in 2000) and certainly vastly more than the duties that incensed Bostonians to dump British tea into Boston Harbor over two centuries ago.

I think the vast majority of Americans – even those of us with strong libertarian leanings – agree that it is appropriate for citizens to pay taxes for certain government services that they simply cannot provide for themselves. National defense is an obvious example but there are others. But when we see the waste and fraud that prevails in government and seems to increase the higher up you go; when we hear arrogant jerks like Barney Frank sneering at the notion that we might deserve some say in how our money is being spent; when little or no progress is made at the federal level to ensure efficiency, transparency, or accountability; and when lawmakers openly admit that they have voted to spend a trillion dollars of taxpayers’ money without even reading what it is being spent on – is it any wonder that there are some among us who feel the need to speak up and say “Enough is enough”?

Of course, living as we do in a democracy, we have a remedy available to us. We can vote candidates into office who will respect and safeguard the fruit of our labors. But too few of us exercise this right and still fewer exercise it in an informed way. The advantages of incumbency allow some of the worst offenders to stay in power for decades, enriching themselves while paying lip service to the concerns of their constituents. In my state, you have a better chance of being audited by the IRS than you do of receiving a reply if you e-mail both of your US Senators.

So, while you won’t find me in front of my state capitol holding a sign today, I hope you will consider this post my own small protest.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »