The Farce of Zero

The farce of zero is the veil in which the GOP will raise taxes on the working class.

Smoke and Mirrors and Middle Class Tax Relief

The President has a breathtaking contempt for your understanding of his tax plans. 

White House strategists calculate that you will neither take the time to understand their framework, nor will a meaningful cohort of Americans move against a morally-crooked tax restructuring.

A Tax Debate is Coming

It's not nothing that we look at our flooded neighbors on the gulf and check our belts for tools we might have to put in play. Hard-jawed, shirt-off-your-back culture has put Texans in the water for days wading out to find their neighbors. Money, food, boats: purpose leans us toward the tv and hurricane season is made kaleidoscopic in citizen rescues.


It was spring of 2007. America was deep into our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the conversations I had with friends and professors on campus at Saint John's often orbited the new vocabulary of 'enhanced interrogation.' The Abu Ghraib torture revelations from years earlier still reverberated in young people preparing for the 2008 presidential campaigns and we weighed the wisdom of the Bush administration's troop surge in Iraq.

American Standard

For years now, each time I pony-up to a urinal in the States I look to find, inlaid on its porcelain roof, a small gray text:

American Standard, it often reads.

Nom de Guerre - Letter to the Future - XIV

17 November 2015

To Future,

I started writing this letter to you, from Washington, on Saturday morning as broadcasters of every stripe were casting lanterns down the paths we might follow after consecutive days of so much jarring death in Paris and Beirut.

The American Worker - The Pursuit of Recovery

5 March 2017

The Great Recession began in November, 2007. A person can toggle backward through charts and reports and find, sneering up at them, that two year gully now scarring American economic history. It's truly a cliff, one inverted peak in an exclusive class of terrifying American moments, dating back to Lincoln's time.

The American Worker - Skin in the Game

I alluded to God. He said, 'I want a tithe.' He didn't say, 'If you don't have any money, don't give me any tithes,' and he didn't say 'if you're the richest man in the world give me triple tithes,' so proportionality, that's what's really fair.  A percentage.
- Ben Carson
[21:1] As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. [2] He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. [3] "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. [4] All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
Gospel of Luke, Chapter 21, Verses 1-4

Only 65% of American households end up paying any federal income taxes. The rest of us either don't earn enough to have taxable income or we get our taxes back through credits and deductions, and more than a fifth of non-payers are retirees.  When you see videos like the ones linked here from a Fox News anchor or the one quoted from HUD Secretary Ben Carson talking about Americans needing to "have skin in the game" in national tax policy, that's the basis of their argument.  So let's take a look at how the government is funded:

The American Worker - Preface


The world - at least the one on tv - seems a match strike away from self-immolation. As we step into the next two years of political coal walking, objectives will prove useful lest we barrel over one another on the way to our "Publish Post" hysteria buttons, and leave it at that. Others rightly rush to the guard lines of civil, reproductive, and 1st Amendment rights. I want to talk about the American worker.

Letter to the Future - Agents of Joy - XVI

Agents of Joy
6 February 2017

To Future

A great gift of growing, Future, is the slow understanding that life - no matter the degree of its cruelty or misery - comes drug forth by Agents of Our Great Faculties. They are people you'll name. Wisdom will scar his hands on the rope, Courage will throw her back, but damn if they won't rig, rivet, and frame a world around you.  One by one these people will gather themselves, as if to drip from cloud, into your life.  They'll be made before you and you'll know their power.  They're likely sweat-covered and out of breath, smiling sideways while they walk abreast your stride, pulling the world along with them.