Tuesday, June 9, 2009

America: NOT a Socialist Nation (Unfortunately)

Enough with all the right wingers claiming that America is becoming a "socialist nation." Sarah Palin's ludicrous interview with Sean Hannity last night on Fox News was just the latest such example. The crying jags of Glenn Beck, the calling of the sheep by Rush Lim-baa, and the false righteous spew from the rest of the lot, are but a lame attempt to use socialism as a buzz word to arouse visceral fear. This should be viewed for what it is, the desperate ploy of a rejected political viewpoint.

Socialism is used precisely because they believe the public is afraid of the word. And I mean the word, not the actual political philosophy. The above mentioned pundits and politicians are clearly trying to play on fear, not an actual evaluation of socialism. Likely they count on the fact that their listeners and followers have not thought about the consequences of a truly socialist America. The reason is that the right wing is not interested in what is best for the nation, they are interested in what is best for themselves. Capitalism has nearly destroyed the country and yet its failed philosophy continues to be championed by the tools of the transnational corporations and the wealthiest of the wealthy. Capitalism is a morally bankrupt philosophy that is designed to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich.

If America were a socialist nation we could immediately solve most of our financial problems. Here's how we would do it. First and foremost we nationalize all of the industries that are currently using OUR national resources for THEIR private profit. Why should the wealth of the nation not belong to the nation and its citizens? Let's begin by nationalizing the oil, natural gas, mining, timber and private water industries. The revenue generated by our new oil companies alone should go a long way towards balancing the federal budget.

National Health Care is a must for a socialist nation. None of these promises from the insurers (lying capitalists only concerned with profit. Where have they taken us so far?), no watered down public option, not even a one-payer system. Instead, give us true socialized medicine. Put the doctors on salary and take over the pharmaceutical industry. That would certainly drive down costs. In the coming debate on health care please do not accept distortions and delusions that a public option is anything like socialism, its just the only way to keep the private insurers honest. Private insurers are only intersted in profit, not health care.

One of the great flaws of capitalism is that the quest for excessive wealth creates a moral hazard, i.e., temptation to cheat and manipulate the system may be too great to turn down. Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco and Bernie Madoff are just two convenient examples. Therefore, were America truly a socialist nation we would try to prevent the accumulation of excessive wealth. The best solution to this would be to raise the marginal income tax. You don''t want to completely stifle the incentive to work, so the rate should be graduated. I would suggest that a fifty(50) percent rate kick in around the $2 million mark (if you can't live on a million a year, you are a decadent running dog) and rise to an eighty (80) per cent rate by the $10 million dollar mark. Is Rush Lim-baa's commitment to capitalism really about what is good for the country or what is good for his tax rates?

While we're talk in taxes, let us not overlook one of the great sources of untapped tax revenue in this country -- the churches. In a nation where we allegedly have separation of church and state, it seems unfathomable that churches are tax exempt organizations. In theory, this should be true whether the nation is socialist or capitalist.

Even greater sources of tax revenue would be the legalization and taxing of vices that are now criminalized. Legalization of gambling, prostitution, and drugs, followed by the appropriate taxation would also go a long way towards solving some of our financial woes.

These are just a few changes that we might see were America to become a socialist nation. To the wealthy who have the wealth of the nation transferred daily into their hands, this is a frightening prospect. To the masses, it is a solution to the ills of the nation. Many of the most successful projects of the U.S. government were socialist in nature. The creation of the power grid, public water plants, the interstate highway system, and to a degree, the Internet, are all a result of projects that are by their very nature, collectivist. Capitalism, on the other hand, has led to the privatization and downgrading of government services and no bid contracts for Halliburton.

Finally, were America really a socialist nation, the bank bailout would have never occurred. The government would have taken over the entire banking system and exerted complete control over the economy. The banks would not have been loaned money to rescue them for engaging in fraud, they would have been taken over and their officers put in prison for their actions.

If one considers what America would be like as a socialist nation, it is abundantly clear that the United States in no way fits this description. Outcry to the contrary should be taken as the fear provoking drivel that it is. America is still firmly under the thumb of capitalism and a long, long way from socialism. From my point of view, this is unfortunate.

British Petroleum Gulf Oil Spill Costs

  • 11 workers killed in initial blast
  • Damage to Ocean Ecosystem
  • 35,000 to 60.000 Barrels of Oil Per Day. That's somewhere between 1,500,000 to 2,500,000 gallons a day or 150 to 300 million gallons already spilled into the ocean as of July 27th by that estimate.
  • Gulf Fisheries Industry
  • Gulf Tourism (ongoing costs)
  • Long Term Health Effects to Humans and Wildlife (to be determined)

Worst Oil Spills

  • Kuwait 1991 - 520 million gallons: Gulf War I
  • Gulf of Mexico 2010 - 206 million gallons: BP Oil
  • Mexico, Bay of Campiche 1979 - 140 million gallons: Pemex Oil
  • Trinidad & Tobago 1979 - 90 million gallons: Greek Oil Tanker Atlantic Empress
  • Russia 1983 - 84 million gallons: Leaky Pipeline collapsed into Kolva River
  • Iran 1983 - 80 million gallons: Tanker collided with Oil Platform
  • South Africa 1983 -79 million gallons:Tanker Castillo de Bellver sank
  • France 1978 - 69 million Gallons: Amoco Cadiz ran aground and broke in half.
  • Angola Coastal Waters (700 miles at sea) 1991 - 51-81 million gallons: ABT Summer exploded at sea.
  • Italy 1991 - 45 million gallons: M/T Haven Oil Tanker exploded.
  • Source: Mother Nature Network. mnn.com. The 13 largest oil spills in history. by Laura Moss. Friday July 16, 2010.

Nuclear Accidents (Under Construction)

  • 1957 Windscale, UK
  • 1961 Idaho Falls, Idaho, US
  • 1979 Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, US
  • 1984 Athens, Alabama, US
  • 1985 Athens, Alabama, US
  • 1986 Plymouth, Masachusetts, US
  • 1986 Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSR
  • 1996 Waterford, Connecticut, US
  • 1989 Griefwald, Germany
  • 1999 Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
  • 2002 Oak Harbor, Ohio, US
  • 2004 Fukui Prefecture, Japan
  • Source: Benjamin Sovacool

Mining Disasters (Under Construction)

  • China 1942 - 1549 deaths
  • France 1906 - 1100 deaths
  • Japan 1963 - 447 deaths
  • Wales 1913 - 438 deaths
  • South Africa 1960 - 437 deaths
  • Source: Epic Disasters Website
  • Note: Do not look at the dates herein and conclue that mining disasters are a things of the past. Every year thousands of miners die worldwide in largely unreported accidents.

OIL IS OVER! - Resources

  • Hibbert's Peak - "The" source that explains why Oil is Over.
  • Tragedy of the Commons -Garrett Hardin
  • The Land Ethic - Aldo Leopold
  • Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight - Thom Hartmann
  • Eco-Defense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching


  • The Dirt People - Ray Bawarchi (yes, that's me)
  • The Razor's Edge - Somerset Maugham
  • Demian - Herman Hesse
  • Black Elk Speaks - Black Elk (as told to R. Neimur)
  • The Quiet Don - Mikhail Sholokov
  • Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
  • Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • Delicious Laughter - Jallahudin Rumi
  • The Sybil - Par Lagerksvitz
  • The Fixer - Bernard Malamud
  • Spirits Rebellious - Khalil Gibran
  • The Quiet American - Graham Greene
  • Midaq Alley - Nagib Mafouz
  • Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Farenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
  • We - Yevgeny Zamyatin


  • John Coltrane - St. John the Divine
  • Patti Smith
  • The Clash - the only band that matters
  • Billy Bragg
  • Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band
  • Art Blakey
  • Death - pre-punk visionaries from Detroit
  • PJ Harvey - Polly Jean, Polly Jean
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Michael Franti (Spearhead)
  • Public Enemy
  • Ray Charles - the Genius
  • Bob Dylan
  • Velvet Underground
  • Flaming Lips
  • John Doe & X
  • The Beatles

opiate of the masses

  • God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. - Voltaire
  • I do not feel obliged to believe that the same god who has endowed us with sense, reason and inellect has intended us to forgo their use. - Galileo Galilei
  • The ink of a scholar is worth far more than the blood of a martyr.- Mohammad
  • If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. - Sheldon Kopp
  • No one will be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Louisa Mae Alcott
  • When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.- Voltaire
  • If God were alive today, he'd be an athiest. - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The god I worship is not short of cash, Mister. - Bono
  • Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine. My sins they only belong to me. - Patti Smith
  • God sure baked a lot of fruitcake baby, when Adam met the Eden lady. - Joe Strummer