this GIF was made for a 16-bit video game brawl which happening here. definitely worth checking out.
"There are known knowns. These are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know."
Donald Rumsfeld (via lakanen)
Brahms | 1. Senfoni, Piu andante…
HAPPY TAX DAY, AND WHY THE TOP 1% PAY A MUCH LOWER TAX RATE THAN YOU
It’s tax time again, April 15, when our minds turn toward paying the taxes we owe or possibly getting a tax refund. But what we don’t think about enough is whether our tax system is fair. The richest 1 percent of Americans are now getting the largest percent of total national income in almost a century. So you might think they’d pay a much higher tax rate than everyone else.
But you’d be wrong. Many millionaires pay a lower federal tax rate than many middle-class Americans.
Some don’t pay any federal taxes at all. That’s because they‘re allowed to deduct from their taxable income such things as large interest payments on mortgages for huge homes, also the costs of business entertainment and conferences (aka vacations at golf resorts), and gold plated health care plans.
Some also take advantage of tax loopholes that let them park some of their earnings in offshore tax havens like the Bahamas or the Netherlands Antilles.
And other loopholes that allow them to treat some income as capital gains – subject to a much lower tax rate than ordinary income. If you happen to be a hedge-fund or private-equity manager, there’s a capital gains loophole designed especially for you.
Consider the Social Security payroll tax and the situation is even more lopsided. That tax applies to every dollar of income up to a cap — which this year is $117,000. Anything earned above the cap is not subject to Social Security taxes at all – meaning anyone with a high income pays a much smaller percentage of it in Social Security taxes than most people do.
Put these all together and you see why Warren Buffet, the second richest person in America, pays a lower tax rate than his secretary, as he readily admits.
State and local taxes are even more regressive. The poorest fifth of Americans pay an average state and local tax rate of over 11 percent, while the richest fifth pay only 5.6 percent. This isn’t small change. State and local taxes account for about 40 percent of all government revenues.
Believe it or not, Republicans want to make all this worse by cutting taxes on the wealthy even more. Paul Ryan’s new budget doesn’t just slice Medicare, education, and food stamps. It also lowers the top federal tax rate to 25 percent.
When the rich are let off the hook in all these ways, the rest of America has to pay more in taxes to make up the difference – or have services cut because government doesn’t have the funds.
The responses of most leftists to the Syrian uprising and subsequent war (it’s often forgotten that it started as an uprising — indeed a nonviolent and nonsectarian one) have been deeply disappoint…
via War in Context
Racialized chattel slaves were thecapital that made capitalism. While most theories of capitalism set slavery apart, as something utterly distinct, because under slavery, workers do not labor for a wage, new historical research reveals that for centuries, a single economic system encompassed both the plantation and the factory.
At the dawn of the industrial age commentators like Rev. Thomas Malthus could not envision that capital — an asset that is used but not consumed in the production of goods and services — could compound and diversify its forms, increasing productivity and engendering economic growth. Yet, ironically, when Malthus penned his Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798, the economies of Western Europe already had crawled their way out of the so-called “Malthusian trap.”The New World yielded vast quantities of “drug foods” like tobacco, tea, coffee, chocolate, and sugar for world markets. Europeans worked a little bit harder to satiate their hunger for these “drug foods.” The luxury-commodities of the seventeenth century became integrated into the new middle-class rituals like tea-drinking in the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, these commodities became a caloric and stimulative necessity for the denizens of the dark satanic mills. The New World yielded food for proletarians and fiber for factories at reasonable (even falling) prices. The “industrious revolution” that began in the sixteenth century set the stage for the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Blood moon shines during total lunar eclipse in stunning photos
See the lunar eclipse up close with these amazing images.
Can we stop the tipping point? Every week seems to bring new and frightening evidence that what scientists call the “tipping point”—when greenhouse gas emissions cause irreversible and disastrous climate change—is fast approaching, if not already here. Yet the multinational energy giants in the U.S. and beyond, aided and abetted by political leaders, are continuing their mad drive to drill, mine and frack.
But the polluters and the politicians are facing growing discontent and a grassroots challenge to their policies from activism emerging in every corner of the U.S. and around the globe. Ahead of the upcoming Global Climate Convergence—10 days of action at the end of April between Earth Day on April 22 and May Day—SocialistWorker.org talked to some of the activists and writers involved in the environmental justice movement today—to ask about the tipping point and what we can do about it. Dr. Jill Stein, Chris Williams and Joel Kovel give their answers below—the second installment will be published tomorrow.
… Facing World War Two, the United States radically transformed its system of production, and in a remarkably short time became a mega-machine capable of destroying the Axis powers. Today, the technological prowess for doing this is exponentially greater; but the political will is weaker and faces a radically different task.
President Roosevelt was able to enlist the support of the capitalist classes to interrupt business as usual with the promise of global dominion after victory; and this proved to be so. The struggle for global ecological integrity, however, is one for the bringing down of the capitalist class, and not its triumph. It also proposes a global society beyond nationalist chauvinism, and not the triumph of any state over others. And it has to do so by liquidation of the death-dealing instruments of war, while building the life-affirming organs of eco-centric production.
This seems outlandishly difficult, even impossible. But there is nothing, in this way of looking at things, that is beyond human capabilities. Each woman and each man comes into the world with a transformative power that is the legacy of the universe acting through us. And there are a lot of us out there—billions to be exact—capable of restoring ecological integrity if well organized.
Ralph Nader, The Road to Corporate Fascism
Uploaded on Feb 3, 2012
Ralph Nader exclaims that the central political issue of our time is giant corporate power and its take over of our government, plus the spread of commercial values into every nook and cranny of our culture including the commercialization of childhood, the universities and almost everything these large corporations touch. Speaking at the Washington, DC Green Festival, he also details what we can and must do about it.
Contrary to what most people think, India has only one major problem: poverty. India has only one kind of downtrodden: her poor and her destitute.
All other social evils stem from things that can be traced to the entrails of an impoverished nation; A nation, which has been…
The Had Gadya, a charming ten-verse Aramaic ditty based on a German ballad, is chanted at the conclusion of the Passover seder. This song has been variously interpreted both textually and visually. Its verses describe a young goat, recently purchased by a father (made personal to each individual chanter by the pronoun “my” father). The goat is consumed by a cat, and the song continues to recount a succession of assailants until God destroys the final perpetrator, ending the vicious cycle. Generally considered an allegory for the oppression and persecution of the Jewish people, the various villains have been likened to aggressor nations in Jewish history. Yet God’s triumph leaves hope for Jewish survival. The poem has been frequently illustrated as part of the Haggadah-the text for the seder ritual-a work that in itself was an illustrator’s favorite because of its narrative simplicity and popular appeal.