Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I was asked to share this (What the corporate jet tax loophole could pay for if closed)

I was asked to share this, and by share they apparently met on facebook because as everyone who knows me on facebook knows I am oh so active over there.  For those who don't and didn't catch the dripping sarcasm (text can make that happen) I am the opposite of active on facebook.  Facebook has taken to emailing me letters that say:
Look at all the stuff you've been missing by not visiting... um... it doesn't look like you've been missing that much actually, but... uh... there's this, and this and this that people you know have said. 
No, we're not going to tell you what they said.  You have to log in to find out. 
Pretty sneaky, huh? 
-The Evil Overlords at facebook
more or less.  Translating facebook into English isn't always the easiest thing.  I wonder if it suffers from similar problems in other languages.  Do people who have told facebook that German have similar difficulties translating German facebook into German?

Anyway, I did share it on facebook, by accident, but here's the thing that it asked me to share:

Corporate Jet Subsidy is shown as costing more than the cuts to housing vouchers, Title 1, Special Education, Head Start, WIC (Women, Infants, and children), and homeless assistance grants; also it is noted that the cuts to these things will hurt more than 1,926,900 people ("more than" because one of the figures was for families, which obviously include more than one person but I only counted them as one since otherwise I'd just have to make a random guess at the average number of people in a family.)

The source is this article, written before the sequester kicked in which means that right now those cuts have already started to kick in, though as with almost anything it takes some time between when the funding is cut and when people start to suffer.  (Think about it like food.  If your food budget suddenly went up in smoke it wouldn't be a problem until the next time you would have otherwise bought food and it wouldn't be a serious problem until you ran out of the food you already had.)

Likewise the corporate jet loophole is still in effect.

Because that's what happens when congress does nothing.  Everyone who isn't rich suffers, the rich prosper. They've spent a good solid 40 years now stacking the deck in their favor which means that the status quo itself is all that's needed to ensure that the rich get richer while everyone else gets poorer.  (In this particular case it's even worse than that because it's tipping the status quo even more in favor of the rich and against everyone else.)  Unfortunately one party, a party that controls one house of congress and can obstruct pretty much everything in the other, is in favor of everyone who is not rich getting poorer.

Hell, the Republican Governor of my state wanted to attract businesses by making us more like a third world country.  Because the proper response to looking at underdeveloped countries mired in poverty and either screwed over or ignored during the conflict between the first and second world (second world lost, which is why we use the first world's numbering which, naturally, places itself at number one) is to say, "I want my people to be in conditions like that."*  Yeah, that makes sense.

Thankfully turning America, or any state-sized subset of it, into a third world country equivalent is probably impossible at this point.  It might not be in the future, but I have high hopes that Republican Governor will be Former Governor in the future, so the person who actually came out in favor of turning a state into a third world country equivalent (usually it's something no one is in favor of but people accuse their opponents of being in favor of) won't have the power to do so should the capability ever arise (hopefully it will not.)

And that, by the way, is the problem with three way elections in which a majority is not required to win.  (It was more than three ways actually, but only three of them mattered.)  The majority voted for whoever seemed to have enough support to beat idiot in charge, but who seemed to have the most support depended on which part of the state you were in  Thus the result was 39% for, 61% against, but the 61% was divided between two candidates (actually more, but again, only two of them mattered) in such a way that 39% was the largest share of the vote.

But back to what I was asked to share.  It's called an infographic.  "info" being what happens to the word "information" via diminution to get a nice monosyllabic disyllabic colloquial form.  "Information" being a word that can be traced back through the French to the Latin, and in the Latin it actually has multiple steps but finally reaches back to in + formo (I form into, I form an idea, I educate).  "Formo" goes back another step in Latin and then to the ancient Greek "morphe" which means "form"  (thus metamorphosis = change form).  "graphic" comes directly from the Latin but the Latin came from the Greek and three steps of that gets you to "grapho" (I scratch, carve, draw, sketch.)

Thus infographic means, "A visual representation of what the fuck is wrong with this country."


And in closing I see that it didn't even ask me to "share" it asked me to forward (for it was an email) and pass it along.  Regardless trying to get the image to include in this post sent me to facebook, specifically to "Share this link" on facebook which did not itself let me see what the link I was supposed to share was, and then only after I accidentally told it share was I able to get to the source via going to my own page on facebook and clicking on the link I had just inadvertently shared.

I might not have anything against the people who sent me the image or asked me to pass it on, but they could do better when it comes to making their sources easily accessible.


* Jesus Fuck, man, why not look at it and say, "I want them to have access to better conditions like my people have"?

I get that you want to equalize things and whatnot, or at least that that's your excuse**, but why does making things the same always have to involve the shitty as the standard, why not try to raise those in the shitty up to the standard of those in the not shitty?  Or better still, give them the capability of raising themselves so you're not engaging in fucking over your own people or colonialism of those who have it worse.

Do it with loans, low interest but above the rate of inflation or, conversely, short term but high interest micro loans to individuals, and you can help people and make money.  So you can still be a greedy ass while not trying to make the living conditions of the entire world save the wealthy into the same as the lowest ones you can find.

And while it may seem strange to say, "The entire world," while he's just in charge on one state, my reasoning is thus: In theory he wants the state he's in charge of to be better off than anywhere else.  So if he's trying to lower the standards of the state, thus making it worse off, it follows that if he had the power he'd do the same to everywhere else.  Because what he wants for the state should, again in theory, be what he wants the best thing to be, and by definition for something to be the best thing everything else has to be equal or worse.

** With the caveat that I'm not telepathic, what he wants actually seems to be extremely low wages and the ability of companies to run roughshod over the rights, livelihoods, and lives of anyone who doesn't own a company (or owns a smaller company than the one running roughshod.)

This is, it should be noted, the person who took a mural of successes in labor history hostage because he thought that showing that once upon a time business did various horrible things to laborers until the laborers stood up for themselves (which is a historical fact; as just one example: it's hard to paint child labor in a good light, however Gingrich may try) was too one sided and to be fair it should show corrupt businessmen in a light just as positive as those who fought for and gained rights and protections for laborers in the country and the state.

Seriously, that was (one of) his (conflicting) stated reason(s).  It was too one sided in its presentation of those who committed abuses vs those who fought against abuse and thus unfair and needed to be held hostage in an undisclosed location as a result with various, "Hope nothing happens to it," type threats being made at vaguely regular intervals.

One wonders what he would have liked instead.  "And they fought to get rid of child labor, but on the other hand a case can be made that child labor builds character and is a good thing and thus those fighting to keep it weren't the bad guys.  There's two sides to every story after all and we don't want the fracking labor department to seem like it might think labor did some good things once upon a time.  Not if it paints the corrupt individuals of the past in a bad light."


  1. "info" being what happens to the word "information" via diminution to get a nice monosyllabic colloquial form.

    Disyllabic? *not the point*

    1. And that's what I get for not thinking much about that sentence. Yeah, if I'd just sounded the word out or something. I generally don't pay much attention to syllables so it really doesn't occur to me to think, "X word has Y syllables," but I should think to ask myself, "How many syllables does X have?" before I say, "X has Y syllables."

      Anyway, yes. Disyllabic.

    2. When I look at the first three letters of that word I think "Dis" as a unit. (Oh yay, discussion of syllables when I just pointed out that they're a part of language I don't really notice.) If anyone else does the same, don't. "Di-" is a prefix, "syllabic" is what it's being attached to. While sometimes a prefix can meld with the base word it doesn't here.

      I would probably pronounce it (don't laugh at my attempts to do phonetics without IPA) dee-sil-lab-ic but actually that first syllable should be pronounced "die" so I'd be wrong.

      Even in the accent where it does take it as "dis"* it still maintains the root word, instead doubling the "s" hence dis-sil...

      Worth noting that the dots in dictionary definitions ("di*syl*lab*ic"; I don't seem to have a "dot" character on my keyboard so I'm using asterisk as a stand in) are not, in fact, syllable breaks. They often line up with the syllable breaks and probably their placement was reflective of the syllable breaks when the convention they illustrate set in (though that's just a guess on my part, I never looked it up), but they are not syllable breaks. To find those you have to look in the pronunciation section that follows.

      What they are is typesetting breaks. If you want to run something right to the end of a line even if it means breaking a word in two, you can't just choose any old place to break it. There are standards. The dots are acceptable places to break. Thus in this example ("di*syl*lab*ic") it would be acceptable to have "di-" at the end of a line and "syllabic" at the beginning of the next, "disyl-" at the end of a line and "labic" at the beginning of the next, or "disyllab-" at the end of a line and "ic" at the beginning of the next.

      It's where you can use hyphens to break up a word to spread it across multiple lines which is usually indicative of syllable breaks, but not always. (Also, sometimes different accents have syllable breaks in different places.)


      * Which seems a huge mistake to me because dis is a different prefix with a different meaning. It's both a Latin prefix in its own right and the Latin version of the Greek "dys" so it appears both in words with Latin roots and words with Greek roots that came to English through the Latin. The prefix "dis" means apart from, lacking, and things like that. The prefix "dys/dis" means "bad". Disaster means bad star. (Presumably, though I have not looked this up, from the belief that disasters happen under bad stars.) Astrology is in the language.

      Also, apparently we can blame the French for the extra s which they added and then was later taken back away. Someone saying dis-sil-lab-ic is harkening back to the French version (whether they know it or not.)

      In general, if there's something really weird in English you can blame the French. Which region and which time period depends on the oddity in question. It doesn't always come down to, "The French did it," but it does a lot.

    3. See also the distinction between the words pronounced "die-ssect" and "dis-sect" - the former has become the standard pronunciation in the UK, but simply means "cut in half" (like "bisect"), whereas the latter means to cut into many pieces...