The Watering Hole, Wednesday, November 16, 2011: Death & Taxes

‘Tis said there are only two things that are unescapable: Death and Taxes.

The Ruling Class, should it have its way, would escape at least the latter. Abolish the “Death Tax!” They cry from their paid mouthpieces. “Death should not be a taxable event!”

But…why not? Why should someone who’s dead care? He’s been relieved of this veil of tears. During his lifetime, he either inherited, or amassed a great fortune. That’s great!

But he hoarded it, dying with millions, even billions, stashed away. He chose not to distribute his hoard while he was alive. Why should he, now that he’s dead, get to pass it all, tax-free, to folks he kept it from while he was alive?

The only way to prevent family dynasties from rising up and controlling everything, is to reinstate the Estate Tax. If our political leaders lack the will to do that, and do it now, then it is already too late.

When too much wealth is concentrated in too few hands, redistribution of wealth is inevitable.


210 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Wednesday, November 16, 2011: Death & Taxes

  1. Bernie Sanders fans: Thom Hartmann’s Brunch With Bernie is today, not Friday. Later in the day, Thom’s shows can be watched at . I generally get the first hour in before Keith comes on, and try to squeeze in the other two hours in the morning as I’m getting ready for work, now that I’m busy again.

    So far so good with the new job. I thought I was hired to run a Haas mill, but so far it’s been a Mori Seiki horizontal mill and a VTEC vertical mill, both with Fanuc controls, so at least they are familiar to me. The machines I ran there for six years, the Fadals, are almost all broken down and obsolete, and anyway, I am more comfortable with the newer ones now. I don’t like working somewhere that I don’t know all the machines. It tends to limit your options on the quality of work you’re given, and that lowers the money.

    Speaking of taxes, I’ll find out tomorrow just how much I’ll be paying, when I get my first pay statement.

  2. Great post & music this morning, BnF….I have wondered for some time where the tax money go’s that they collected from the “Death tax”..Like many other taxes, do’s it all go into a big pot to support war’s, rebuild something, what I wonder..Seems to me the really rich want to hang onto everything beyond the grave and give the burdens of taxing to the poor..Much like calling S.S an entitlement program when in fact it is more like a savings account…Guess they like to paint the seniors as rich so they can steal more..

    Good to read you here HouseofRoberts, glad the job is going well…Peace, Blessings & Joy all.

    • oh, oh, oh, greatest rendition of “Reading Rainbow”! (the wee ones would dance to it, I’m sure)
      Jim nails it – and maintains an upright position!

      The irony didn’t escape me when he sang the first verse:

      Butterfly in the sky
      I can go twice as high
      Take a look
      It’s in a book
      A Reading Rainbow

  3. JoePa knew:

    The New York Times reports: Penn State football coach Joe Paterno transferred full ownership of his house to his wife for $1 in July, less than four months before the child sexual abuse scandal erupted.

    Ownership of Paterno’s house, which previously was held jointly by the couple, was transferred to “Suzanne P. Paterno, trustee” for a dollar plus “love and affection” on July 21, documents show. Purchased in 1969 for $58,000, the house now has a fair-market value listed at $594,484.40.

  4. The coming Newt-plosion…

    In his unfailing piety, Newt Gingrich in 2008, fresh off his paid gig for Freddie Mac, went on Fox News and counseled John McCain to demand that Obama “give back all the money that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae gave to you.”

    Then a week later he urged John McCain to exploit “the close ties Chris Dodd, Barack Obama and Barney Frank have to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

    Again, this just after Newt had wrapped up an eight-year consulting stint with Freddie Mac that paid him $1.6 million.

  5. About the only difference between no estate tax and a hereditary nobility is the nobility had inbreeding and genetics as an excuse for diminished capacity. Trading hemophilia for homophobia?

  6. While I don’t subscribe to the theory that history repeats itself, I do see it as cyclical. And there are patterns to the cycles. Right now we seem to be embroiled in a pattern that only has one previous cycle though on a much smaller scale.

    Entrenched control of society by the wealthy and religious. Massive imbalance of wealth and resources. The ruling parties abusing people and resources through ignorance and greed that leads to a global catastrophe that impacted all levels of society.

    Climate change is going to make the Black Death look like a garage band warming up for the Eagles.

  7. I’m taking umbrage at your portrayal of the Vulture as anything beyond good.
    Why without them we’d be knee-deep in dead things! (only half snark)

    (I’m partial to the Condors, yet enjoy watching the Turkey Vultures soar with nary a wing flap – magnificent show)

    • My first choice was a photo of vultures on an elephant caracass, but it wouldn’t download. It would have been more fitting for today’s political environment.

      and, yes, metaphysically, vultures are an interesting sign of connection to ancestors….

  8. Wonder if the people of Wyoming can connect the dots….

    Fracking has introduced all kinds of toxic junk from the secret fluids the drillers use to break up the shale into an aquifer that they drink from

    The toxic shit is nasty and will kill you or your kids if you are exposed to it over long periods, say by drinking it
    1. Toluene –
    2. Benzene –
    3. 2-BE –

    The drillers are exempt from reporting that that shit is in their drilling fluids thanks to a law passed in 2005

    And guess who pushed it though – Dick Cheney

    Dick Cheney’s home state – Wyoming

    Want to take your votes back now Wyoming?

    • Oh the beloved Cheney will NEVER be blamed.
      It’s ALL Obama’s fault – even though he was nowhere near the White House in ’05!

    • I was also thinking that fracking and the poisoning of water supplies is exactly what you get when you disband the EPA….

      … at least we’ll be able to still drive to our chemo… those of us who can afford chemo.

  9. Join Us: Oppose Internet Censorship Today

    Free Press and dozens of other organizations are calling today “American Censorship Day” to protest the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” or SOPA, a bill that could rip apart the open fabric of the Internet. We’re asking you to join us right now and take action against this destructive legislation.

    The bill allows for the sort of heavy-handed tactics you’d expect to see in China, not from the U.S. Congress. An op-ed in today’s New York Times called SOPA (HR 3261) a threat to “democratic discourse and dissent both at home and around the world.”1

    The bill not only lets companies silence websites but also allows banks to freeze financial deposits to the accounts of website owners, potentially forcing falsely accused Internet enterprises out of business.

    SOPA was intended to discourage illegal copyright violations, but it addresses this problem by giving corporations way too much authority over the way the Internet works. It deputizes the private sector with the power to disconnect the URLs of any websites corporations contend are behaving improperly.

    A Senate version of SOPA, called the Protect IP Act, passed committee approval in the spring following a massive push by film and music industry lobbyists. These lobbyists are back, but now Silicon Valley companies and venture capitalists have joined forces with civil liberties groups, independent musicians and free speech advocates to stop the bill.

    American Censorship Day is the fruit of that collaboration. You can get involved, too. Sign our letter against SOPA and use Facebook, Twitter and email to spread the word about this important day of action.


    Timothy Karr
    Campaign Director
    Free Press Action Fund

    1. Rebecca MacKinnon, “Stop the Great Firewall of America,” New York Times, Nov. 15, 2011:

    • Read “Farenheit 451”.

      When the written word is banned…communication from individual to individual is…imperitive.

  10. From a comment thread at TPM, about P***n flapping her gums in re: Penn State.

    “Meanwhile, the boy’s father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son’s maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger.”

    -James Dobson

    Sandusky was just being fatherly.

    Dobson is one sick fucker.

    • Sigh, that’s where it has all gone wrong. My father never showered with me. And I never showered with my son. None of us knew anything about the other’s peckers. If I had only known that this was something God wanted us to know, how different the world would be today.

      • I haven’t seen my son’s pecker since he was about five. I have one rather vivid memory of showering with my dad–not in a bathtub–probably at a municipal swimming pool. I only remember it because he was, um, intact. So is my son.

        We’ve never compared johnsons, ever.

    • Maybe inappropriate but it reminds me of an old joke about a father who discovers his 12 year old son indulging in solitary sex. He takes the boy out back and shows him an oak tree with a convenient knothole. When the boy turns 16 the father figures he is ready to graduate from tree sex so he takes him to the local cathouse and sends him upstairs as a birthday present.

      A few minutes later they hear this horrible screaming and rush in to find the lad assaulting the poor woman with a broomstick.

      “Son, what the hell are you doing?” The father cries aghast.

      “Checking for squirrels, Dad.”

    • How will affirming their maleness and letting them see Dad’s stuff stop them from being who they are? I’ve also noticed that these men like Dobson seem overly concerned with male homosexuality as opposed to female homosexuality. There doesn’t seem to be much talk of how moms are to stop their daughters from being gay. I think I know exactly what Dobson is “mirroring” when he spreads his hate and fear.

  11. I think an Estate Tax is a great idea, say for estates over half a million.
    There should, however be an alternative.
    If one chooses not to pay the estate tax, the cash should be used as a coffin liner.
    That way, you can take it with you.

  12. I just got a letter warning me that my son’s class will receive “abstinence training” during December, taught by a team from the local fake pregnancy crisis clinic. I am trying to calm down before calling and informing the school that there is no way that is going to happen.

      • No, it only deals with abstinence. I always give my sons a box of condoms well in advance of any likely need. They usually blow half of them up like balloons, and carry one hopefully in their wallet for so long that they must request a replacement when the first serious girlfriend makes her appearance.

      • He’s twelve and rather delayed mentally. He’d be uncomfortable, doesn’t need to discuss STDs now, and I can handle helping him understand sexuality and the best way to deal with it, now and in the future. Besides, I do not approve of the fake pregnancy centers and don’t want the people that staff them discussing anything with my child ever.

        • My younger son is thirteen, has not the slightest interest in girls (or boys) yet and I would hate for anybody to sexualise him. But I could persuade him to pelt the fake teachers with condom balloons. He would want to make water (or worse) bombs out of them, however. He is that mischievous.

            • 😀 obviously. We always were troublemakers. My grandfather was town architect and one of his hobbies was pinching stuff that noone thought could be taken. He saw it as a challenge. He stole a wooden horse from a carousel once. My grandma took it to the lost and found the next day.

              And don’t get me started on my dad.

        • If worse comes to worse he can develop a cold or the flu that day and you can tell the school why. Around here parents who don’t want their kids subjected to nonreligious discussions of sex have the same option. Myself I think 12 is a bit young to be talking sex seriously with kids unless you live in the inner city.

        • Indeed. One could well make the case that the latest chapter of the Crusades is our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. And that doesn’t even include our overall presence in the region or the crusade by proxy we keep going by arming Israel to the teeth.

            • Some mythology is a lot more fun than other mythologies. I regularly am dating, for example, the Greek Muses. We have lots of inspirational fun together. Also, my Scandy heritage provides me a ticket that lets me wander through The Hall of the Mountain King fairly regularly. I do avoid Celtic mythology, though. I never liked watching basketball all that much. 🙂

  13. Little update from Wi on the Wanker problem. The recall is underway, someone has already hacked the Recall website, people have been talking about various tactics from false petitions to the state GOP talking about running faux Dems. No real consensus on an opponent. Feingold is probably positioning to run for Kohl’s seat. Herb Kohl wouldn’t light any fires as a candidate. Tom Barret is possible but the best bet is Dave Obey who is trying to get someone else to run.

    • I still keep getting reminded of an interview I heard back when walker was running for office. a local radio show hosted a Wisconsin political reporter who said; “if there’s a political scandal in Wisconsin, Walker is in the middle of it”. He, walker, was apparently caught on tape trying to set up a caging scheme but managed to slither out of any repercussions by throwing a subordinate under the bus. While it’s hard to tell; Walker might be the slimiest office holder in the country today.

  14. gawd how I love what this Occupy has done, all over the world, especially here…

    Interrupted Karl Rove curses, challenges ‘Occupy Baltimore’ to fight

    As he spoke about public debt and attempted to pin America’s economic pain on the Obama administration, a woman shouted out, “Mic check?”

    • That link is of poor audio – pop the video onto YouTube/ check the side for better vids.
      (Karl attempts to belittle the “Occupy” by telling them to sit down, wait their turn for question and answers)

  15. (chickenshit DC)

    The Discovery Channel has co-produced with the BBC a new David Attenborough-hosted 7-part nature series on the earth’s polar regions called Frozen Planet. It’s already begun airing on BBC. It’s set to air on the Discovery Channel in the near future.
    But apparently Discovery has decided to air only the first six episodes, skipping the seventh and final installment, “On Thin Ice,” which is all about the effect of climate change on the poles. Discovery is taking a pass because of a “scheduling issue,” according to a British paper.
    We have a call into Discovery on this. We’ll let you know what we find out.

    • Ah, the Discovery Channel. Discovering ways to make money while appearing to be eco-friendly but still bowing to the corporate masters.

      May their drop to the tightrope involve serious gonadal damage.

  16. The face of occupyseattle. 84 year old activist Dorli Rainey was peppersprayed by police. How dare they? My mom is 84 and if anyone had done that to her they’d be in trouble.

    • Police are de-sensitized so it won’t matter to them who they attack.
      Shameful behavior on their part – Grandma has every right to peaceably assemble.

      Police State – no two ways about that.

      Dorli has done no wrong.
      Clash just keep coming to mind when these reports pop up. (the crowd is, for the most part, peaceful).

      • To me frail and elderly people are very precious, as are small children or people who face their own challenges in life. They need our protection. The least I expect from a man in full riot gear is to take it up with equals, not trample on the weak.

        I got in trouble with my father in law again over politics recently when I told him that capitalists where the equivalent of schoolyard bullies, socialists were the equivalent of the Guardian Angels helping the weak against he schoolyard bullies. He was not amused and tried to tie my views to the slaying of millions that Stalin did. I grinned and said I’d prefer to kill the rich not the peasants. He was not amused.

        Errh. He is elderly but far from weak. More of a bully, so I think he wont suffer any lasting damage.

        • Capitalism is an economic system. Socialism is a morphodite cross between economic and political. Money power hates the idea of people. Social power sees people as the source of power. Odd thing is no social or economic system can exist without people.

          • Capitalism has moved from being a mere economic concept into a religion. The people needs to adhere to its rules, not give it its rules. This is the end of Democracy!

        • Capitalism is, at least in my perception, a “right wing” malady, a bit to the left of the far right’s fatal disease, Fascism. Socialism is a bit to the left of center, communism/Marxism the far left. During my lifetime, FDR’s New Deal came closest to what should be a reasonable center between right and left, but it so pissed off the Capitalist-fascist crowd that they’ve been working ever since to get rid of the center. Today they’re closer than they’ve ever been, and all it took was to minimize the labor movement, destroy the middle class, and place the blame on the left-of-center side of the coin, the bridge between centrist and socialist, aka ‘liberalism’ and ‘progressivism.’

          Hyper-religiosity seems to invariably fall into the small space between capitalism and fascism — it enables, via its implicit demand of ignorance in its followers, the dissolution of rational society (the true political center) in which the well-being of the individual is more important than acquisition by the few of money and power.

  17. Since I got my Kindle I have been catching up on old series I enjoyed and missed books in. I also have been reading nonfiction in philosophy. For fun though I downloaded a collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I have been reading his Barsoom series for bedtime reading. Written in the second decade of the 20th century, the attitudes expressed are fascinating. Not unexpected but very informative for century old writing.

    • I love the worlds that ERB created but every story follows the same lines. Boy gets stranded in bizarre circumstances but happens to meet a beautiful girl with whom he falls in love at first sight. Girl falls in love at first sight too but, for some reason, has to pretend to hate boy. Girl gets kidnapped, sometimes multiple times, and admits her love after boy rescues her. Kidnap, rescue, repeat…

      • So true. But a lot of what ERB said in any given book about things is interesting. Besides, if there is a book written since Shakespeare that doesn’t follow his basic plot lines, I haven’t found it. And even Will borrowed heavily from old legend and mythology. Face it, there are only so many plot lines in existence. Most of it comes down to how the author tells the story.

    • I read pretty much every ERB novel when I was an English major in college and needed relief from creatures like William Dean Howells. I did a speech on ERB that redeemed me in the eyes of a professor who had previously proclaimed that I should be shot.

      See if you can find James Branch Cabell while you’re at it. Marvelous and witty fantasy, although probably lacking the gorgeous Papé illustrations in the originals.

  18. How do you say stupid in Cuban:

    When Herman Cain says he’s “not supposed to know anything about foreign policy,” he really means it. On Wednesday, the Republican candidate asked a crowd in a heavily Cuban neighborhood in Florida how you say “delicious in Cuban.”

  19. Speaking of Faux News…

    Legal ethicists have thrown cold water on the argument that Kagan needs to recuse herself over that email. But Fox seems to have an argument that the legal ethicists haven’t thought of: Fox national correspondent Steve Centanni said Kagan’s recusal may be required by “Article 28 of the Constitution.” Fox’s graphics department provided the relevant quote from the “U.S. Constitution, Article 28, Sec. 144”:

    Except there is no Article 28, no Sec. 144 and no such language anywhere in the Constitution.

    There is a statute that they’ve apparently quoted from (not an amendment) but I would think they’d rather not broadcast it too much since it could much better be applied to Thomas and Scalia.

  20. Herman is the epitome of the Right. “I don’t have to know nothing. I pay people to know shit. If I didn’t have money, I couldn’t make a living as a janitor. My money has more brains than me.”

  21. Sort of appropriate that the Catholic and most Protestant religions are based on a man who openly denied any connection with Jesus to save his butt and a guy who started as an assassin. Nice religion.

    • Great video! The right hook at 40 seconds or so left the recipient with a rather stunned look… also the feather pluck off the top of the head was pretty smooth.

  22. Remember last Friday’s White House shooting incident? At the time, it was reported that the shooting had nothing to do with the White House.

    Well, apparently, it did—Pennsylvania State Police arrested the shooter, 21 year-old Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez.

    Upon hearing the news, Laurene Pierce (President of the College Republicans at University of Texas) thought it would be hilarious to tweet that people shouldn’t shoot Obama, “as tempting as it may be.”

    These clowns are out of their minds…

    • Pierce, the president of the College Republicans at UT Austin, told ABC News the comment was a “joke” and that the “whole [shooting incident] was stupid.” Giggling, she said that an attempted assassination would “only make the situation worse.”

      “Insofar as she’s a representative [of the College Republicans], maybe it shouldn’t be said, but she’s made a positive statement in a way, ” said Cassie Wright, the group’s vice president.

      “I don’t really see anything wrong with it,” Wright added. “It’s just a personal comment, not representative of any group. Just freedom of speech, you know?”

      Yet another Republican moron who has no idea what “freedom of speech” means.

    • We occupy for our nation and our kids and this wounded planet.

      It’s not about the real estate, the tents or tarps.

      It’s about Them, the 1%, and Us, the 99%.

      THEY get homes bigger than Disneyland, WE get foreclosure notices.

      THEY get private jets to private islands, WE get tar balls and lost futures, and pay their gambling debts with our pensions.

      THEY get the third trophy wife and a tax break, WE get sub-primed.

      THEY get two candidates on the ballot and WE are told to choose.

      THEY get the gold mine, WE get the shaft.

      And that is why we occupy.

  23. When I was a kid, my folks told me comics were dumb and had no value. Outside of the fact my mom gave away my X-Men #1, and all of the various dumb comics this is one that not only had great art, it had the beginning of a story that ran for several issues.

    Classic comic.

  24. Perry lies and mangles the English language. Apparently Rick only does one-take:

    “Can you believe that?” Perry asks in the opening moments of the ad. “That’s what our president thinks wrong with America?”

  25. 84 year old woman was pepper sprayed in Seattle’s Occupy WS.

    In an email to The Stranger ( a local alternative newspaper) she wrote:

    Something funny happened on my way to a transportation meeting in Northgate. As I got off the bus at 3rd and Pine I heard helicopters above. Knowing that the problems of New York would certainly precipitate action by Occupy Seattle, I thought I better check it out. Especially since only yesterday the City Government made a grandiose gesture to protect free speech. Well free speech does have its limits as I found out as the cops shoved their bicycles into the crowd and simultaneously pepper sprayed the so captured protesters. If it had not been for my Hero (Iraq Vet Caleb) I would have been down on the ground and trampled. This is what democracy looks like. It certainly left an impression on the people who rode the No. 1 bus home with me. In the women’s movement there were signs which said: “Screw us and we multiply.”

    • The thugs known as ‘local police’ at work! Good job at inciting people to join the Occupy!

      “Law enforcement” is so hell bent on flexing their muscle to show they are in ‘charge’ – and don’t really care who gets hurt.

      There will be a compilation of the damage done by cops…
      then watch the Occupy numbers increase…

      • I agree. You can’t squash an idea. This movement will only grow. If they wanted to get rid of it, they should have just let winter try to take it offline. Now, the police just bring more attention to the movement and the people that haven’t been paying attention will want to know more about this TRUE grass roots effort.

    • That 84 year old young lady has more balls than the entire Seattle Police Dept! If the vet had not turned her away, the police would have required more than full riot gear to get out alive. 😯

    • The pepper-sprayed woman was on Keith tonight – what an example to us all! She spoke for so long on Keith that he had to drop his advertised interview with Robert Reich – but I’ll bet that Mr. Reich didn’t mind, she deserved the extra time.

  26. Hi, friends.

    I’ve posted a few replies above, if you care to look….got about half-way down….

    lots of good comments…nice to see CheeseFlap again.


    And Blessings.

    Remember, the more the “Right” gets its way, the less the people like it!

    • Hmmm. I certainly hope that everyone who lost property sues the mayor and/or the city for damages. No class action suit either. I would like to see their ass dragged into court a couple hundred times.

    • He should of had the cops just set them afire – it’s fairly reminiscent of the tactics the Nazis took. (I’m certain Bloomberg wouldn’t see it as such)

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