Bill Eccles: March 2009 Archives

I was just watching Showtime’s The Tudors and the king was busy Lording this guy and Duking that guy and Earling somebodyorother.

And it struck me that this could have just as easily been present day royalty in England, save for one thing:

No shutter clicks.

There was silence.

I miss it sometimes.

Four Word Movie Review: Hellboy

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Meh.

(Not worth four.)

john mccain
Click here to see more Political Pictures, though the site still vilifies George Bush and he’s not even in office anymore…

Cool. A Talking iPod Shuffle

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Well, the Apple Store has been down and up this morning, and the latest addition is a really cool 4GB iPod Shuffle that talks, that looks better than the original Shuffle, and costs a paltry $79.

Wow.

A friend of mine wrote this on FaceBook:

“Here’s to 80% tax for income over $200k!”

I responded, “Why?” Here’s his response:

“Greed has no place in my America that I’ve stuck my neck out for. Why would anyone need that much? It’s un-American, anti-Christian, and anti-any reasonable measure of righteousness.”

[He has served in the USAF in Iraq and other foreign places, something for which I give him much credit and admiration in spite of his views.]

Hmmm. “Greed?” “Need?” Here was my response:

Do you have a car? Why a car? Don’t your feet work just as well as the next guy’s? Couldn’t you ride your bike? Take a bus? You don’t need a car—give it up.

Do you have a house? Bet it has one bedroom for you and the wife, maybe one for each kid. What do you need a house for? The pioneers made do with tents. Hell, America’s first inhabitants made do with teepees. You don’t need a house. Well, unless you wanted to rent out a room for an immigrant worker, but they shouldn’t need to pay you rent, because you don’t need that income, either.

I’ll bet you heat your house in the winter. And I’ll bet it’s warmer than, say, 50° in there, too. Why? Why not turn the heat off and wear coats all the time? That’s all you really need, isn’t it? Polar bears don’t even have houses, much less heat.

Do you make a decent salary? Is it more than poverty level, $15,000-$38,000, depending on which source you read? Better just turn all the rest of that money in, too. Oh, hell, just burn it in the fireplace. You won’t get much heat from it, but it doesn’t matter, because you don’t need the money or the heat—you’ve got coats!

Bet they’re warm coats… but do you really need to be all that warm? Why not just a sweater? A little shivering does a body good, I always say! You don’t need that warm coat after all!

I see you have an Elmo. [There’s a picture of Elmo with a Guinness at a bar in his profile.] Did you need that Elmo, M.? Didn’t think so. How about that Guinness in the picture with the Elmo? Did you need that beer… really?

Let Elmo drink 80% of that beer that you earned and wanted. See how you enjoy that last 20% and then rethink your concept of “need.”

You may laugh at the absurdity of what I suggest above because you said, after all, that nobody needs more than $200,000 per year in income, and that is indeed a lot of money and it seems, at first blush, to be reasonable.

But why $200,000? Why not $100,000? That’s still a lot of money, isn’t it? How about $80,000? Still a lot—heck, double the highest poverty line for a family of four! $50,000? Hmmm… might be a bit tight, but still more than you need. $30,000? Still tighter… but we can make do, right?

Aw, screw it: just hand over 80% of what you earn, because nobody needs to keep anything more than 20% of what they earn.

Bottom line: The number $200,000 really is an arbitrary number, and isn’t what I object to. What I object to, strenuously and vehemently, is the use of the word “need.” If, at any point, the government decides what I need and what I don’t need, then that is the moment this becomes a socialist state. It is not in any way, shape or form in keeping with the ideals of the founders of this country. I won’t stand for that, nor fight to defend that ideal, and neither should you.

Signs

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A wonderful short film, worth every second.