|Your Daddy Is Darth Vader|
What You Call Him: Pa
Why You Love Him: You don’t love him, you just love calling him “daddy”
All Articles by Atari
|Your Daddy Is Darth Vader|
What You Call Him: Pa
Why You Love Him: You don’t love him, you just love calling him “daddy”
Suppose you’re just going about your daily life when a man comes into your house with a gun and demands that you give him money or he will shoot you. Armed robbery, right? Grand theft, felony breaking-and-entering, felony weapons charges, not to mention that you’re now out of a good chunk of your hard-earned cash.
Doesn’t sound very fair, does it?
Now, let’s replace “a man” with “the government,” replace “a gun” with “a federal mandate,” and replace “money” with “30% of your annual income.”
Does it sound a little more fair? It shouldn’t. It’s the exact same principle. The federal government forces you, at the threat of legal action and excessive fines or a prison sentence, to give them money that you earned fair and square. On top of that, your state government does the EXACT SAME THING! Not only do they take money out of your paycheck before you even get it, but they also raise the price of goods and services that you purchase by levying taxes on the companies that make those products (which are just rolled-up into the retail cost) and by throwing a sales tax on top of that!
Now, I understand that the government needs money to function. It needs money to pay it’s hundreds of thousands of high-school-diploma-holding employees. It needs money to buy those bitchin’ F-22 Raptors (which, by the way, are AWESOME PIECES OF MACHINERY!!!!) It needs money to pay our men and women in uniform to keep defending this great land. It needs money to pave the roads that you and I drive on. I understand this. However, I don’t think it is necessary that we have money taken out of our paychecks before we even get them!
Not only are our paychecks being raided, but the more money you earn, the more you’re taxed! This is a pure and simple Communist philosophy. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but Communism is not my ideal social structure. I like the ability to pull myself to a higher standard of living, and to make my own choices about my life and my future. Likewise, I want to be able to save and invest my own money the way I see fit. I could invest money in the free market and generate a return for myself while I’m helping to drive the gears of the American economy. This is the way capitalism works, and if these United States are to remain free, we need to have this basic economic right. Unfortunately, the big, all-wise, all-knowing federal government thinks that if they can take a little off the top, no one will ever know the difference.
Take a look at your pay stub. How much money do you make? $6 an hour? $7? This is your gross pay. This is the amount of money you SHOULD be bringing home. Do the math, though. Your paycheck is not written for the amount of hours you work times your rate of pay. The fed is clipping off about 25-30% of your actual money for themselves. Now, you don’t plan on working for just over minimum wage for the rest of your life, do you? Think again. People who make more money get even more (30-35%) taken away. In other words, let’s just all go back to flipping burgers at McDonald’s because if we try to make anything more of ourselves, we’ll be robbed blind by our elected Overlords.
Take a look at what T. Coleman Andrews, former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (1953-1955), said of his own workplace:
“Congress went beyond merely enacting an income tax law and repealed Article IV of the Bill of Rights, by empowering the tax collector to do the very things from which that article says we were to be secure. It opened up our homes, our papers and our effects to the prying eyes of government agents and set the stage for searches of our books and vaults and for inquiries into our private affairs whenever the tax men might decide, even though there might not be any justification beyond mere cynical suspicion.
The income tax is bad because it has robbed you and me of the guarantee of privacy and the respect for our property that were given to us in Article IV of the Bill of Rights. This invasion is absolute and complete as far as the amount of tax that can be assessed is concerned. Please remember that under the Sixteenth Amendment, Congress can take 100% of our income anytime it wants to. As a matter of fact, right now it is imposing a tax as high as 91%. This is downright confiscation and cannot be defended on any other grounds.
The income tax is bad because it was conceived in class hatred, is an instrument of vengeance and plays right into the hands of the communists. It employs the vicious communist principle of taking from each according to his accumulation of the fruits of his labor and giving to others according to their needs, regardless of whether those needs are the result of indolence or lack of pride, self-respect, personal dignity or other attributes of men.
The income tax is fulfilling the Marxist prophecy that the surest way to destroy a capitalist society is by steeply graduated taxes on income and heavy levies upon the estates of people when they die.
As matters now stand, if our children make the most of their capabilities and training, they will have to give most of it to the tax collector and so become slaves of the government. People cannot pull themselves up by the bootstraps anymore because the tax collector gets the boots and the straps as well.
The income tax is bad because it is oppressive to all and discriminates particularly against those people who prove themselves most adept at keeping the wheels of business turning and creating maximum employment and a high standard of living for their fellow men.
I believe that a better way to raise revenue not only can be found but must be found because I am convinced that the present system is leading us right back to the very tyranny from which those, who established this land of freedom, risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to forever free themselves…”
A better way has been found.
Instead of taxing economic production (which hinders economic growth and development), why not tax consumption? It’s plain and simple:
1. Put back the money that the government has been taking out of your paycheck. = You get more money to do with as YOU CHOOSE.
2. Take away taxes on businesses. = The price of goods goes down.
3. Institute a retail sales tax. = If you want to buy things, you help fund government. If you do not want to buy more than is necessary to survive, you don’t pay money to the government.
4. Take away taxes on investment income. = If you choose to save and invest your money, you do not fund the government, but do continue to drive the economy.
The way I see it, in the end, the Fair Tax, as it has come to be called, will be a win-win situation for everyone. The government still gets funded, we the people get to keep our rightfully-earned money to do with as we choose, and the economy becomes stronger because there is more money to go around without having to print it–thus slowing inflation. Since business will no longer have to pay taxes, more industry will come to our shores to take advantage of our labour force, which means more jobs for Americans. It also means that it will be easier to start a business in this country, allowing more Americans to realise “The American Dream” of being their own boss, thus keeping the economy moving. With more money coming in, it will be easier to save that money and not live paycheck to paycheck like so many Americans (including myself) do.
This whole issue is a good thing, but we have to do our part. I’m doing mine by researching the subject matter, becoming involved by telling my elected representatives what I want to see them do for me, and by spreading the word in this forum. I invite all of you who read this to find out for themselves what the Fair Tax is all about. Sign a petition, call or write your congressmen, and just tell people about it! I also invite you to bring me any questions or comments or criticisms you may have, and I will do my best to give you an answer. Have faith in the system, my friends, because if you know how to play the game, you can make it work.
I was listening to Real Radio 105.3 yesterday, and at 10:00am, I heard what I thought was the opening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon. The steady heartbeat never gave way to any clattering or even a recognized vocal personality. Instead, some electronic explosion encompassed my stereo:
“Atlanta! Ya no se la egual!” (Atlanta, you know no equal!)
“Vive la differencia!” (Experience the difference!)
“Viva ciento cinco punto tres.” (Viva 105.3)
I thought it was a hoax, but I double-checked with ClearChannel, who issued a statement declaring their intention to open new doors to a Spanish-language format in some of their markets; the first being Atlanta with Viva 105.3 (WWVA-FM) and Viva 105.1 (WVWA-FM). Seems a little ludicrous to simulcast on two frequencies–especially when they’re so close together.
Atlanta radio now, officially, sucks. I have been a long-time fan, but I am forced to keep my presets on 96.1 FM until I can secure an alternative.
Guess I have to move back to Athens to get some decent stations.
Viva Owl Radio (WKSU-FM)
So I picked up the new TMBG album, The Spine, today; I must say, it is quite good–a nice mix of old style Apollo 18 sounds with newer Mink Car and Factory Showroom tunes. While rapping with EJ about the new tracks, I came across a quiz: “Which TMBG Album Are You?”. One could never resist….
In other news, credit cards paid off. Affluence begins.
The day started out routine enough, I took Diana down to Z93 to pick up her tickets, and who should I happen to meet but Frank Jackson, programming director for the station. The guy was cool, wearing a ball cap and polo shirt, and asked us if we wanted tickets to see an advance screening of some new movie coming out next week. I took the opportunity to ask him about internships. He and I talked for a few minutes in the board room, and he seemed very interested in the fact that I was very excited about radio, so he gave me the name and number of the person in charge of that section of business for Infinity Broadcasting and told me to tell her that I had talked to him personally and that I was very interested in interning for Z93 (her office is at V103). She’ll give me all the information I need as soon as I call her Monday afternoon.
From there, we went into the city via Lenox Road, stopping for a jaunt around Phipps Plaza to gawk at the expensive taste. I took a few roads I had never actually been down before, and the thrill of discovery–even in the mundane–was very invigorating. We parked in a small $3 lot at the corner of 10th and Spring and began our trek.
First, toward the new 17th Street bridge we walked and took a few pictures around there and Atlantic Station before heading up toward Georgia Tech. We stopped at the new Turner complex to take a picture of the building, but were accosted by security guards who thought our camera and tripod setup was some sort of dangerous threat to Mr. Turner. So after a brief holdup with a security guard and a genial groundskeeper, we moved on to downtown, stopping to take pictures along the way. With no more interference from meddling security guards, we got some pretty good photos along Peachtree Street before running out of memory down by Peachtree Plaza and the Hard Rock Cafe.
Anyway, it was a pretty good day all-in-all, and I’ve got some really good photos to put in my portfolio. Now, to just adjust them in Photoshop….
So I started the day usual enough–slow wakeup on a day off. Met Zach and Chris at Ru Sans for lunch around 12 or 12:30, can’t quite remember exactly–not that it matters anyway. Zach had brought a few of his high school cronies that I was to make acquaintance to, but The Edge was nowhere to be found. Turns out that Loser Stoner Boy (Zach) forgot to mention the spring break outing to young Eric. Well, it turns out that he couldn’t make it anyway, so we partook of sushi grudgingly without him.
I got a phone call while eating lunch, and, for some reason or other, answered it. It was Melissa from Z93 calling to tell me that I had won tickets to see Bob Dylan at the Tabernacle next week. You see, last weekend, Diana (Nadia’s roommate) and I went to the Dogwood Festival downtown since Nadia had left for the Caribbean and Joe, her boyfriend, had to work. Just for shits and giggles, we both entered the contest. Couldn’t hurt, could it? So I won, and, it was, without saying, fucking awesome!
So, after lunch, Chris, Zach, Zach’s friend (can’t remember her name), and I head to the station to pick up my tickets. Chris asked about internships and was directed to call back next week sometime. I’ll hafta see what pans out from that; perhaps he and I both could get on over there.
Well, since we were already on the North Side, we decided to grab some beignets at Crescent City. Just after ordering, I get another call, this time from Sarah (at Borders), saying that I was supposed to be in at 3:00. It was 3:22. Turns out my day off is tomorrow. So, we get our beignets, eat quickly, and head back toward Kennesaw. While eating, I get yet ANOTHER phone call–from Diana:
“Hey you, guess what!”
“You know those Bob Dylan tickets we registered to win?”
“I just won!”
“Holy shit! I just won them, too!”
“Yeah, just picked ’em up….”
So we eat and get back on the road. Traffic was atrocious, but it coulda been worse–a tractor-trailer truck jackknifed just a mile or so behind us blocking all northbound traffic.
So I drop everybody off back at their cars, and head into work. Typical day there; never really any excitement.
That brings us up to the present and stream of consciousness. That’s been the story of an interesting day. Tomorrow, I’m taking Diana to get her tickets and then we’re gonna bebop around Atlanta and take some photos, maybe meet Joe and hang out around Georgia State a while. We shall see.
So I finally got a LiveJournal. No, it’s not going to be like one of those angsty teenage crybaby “pity me” blogs that so permeate the web nowadays, I’ll probably only make entries when something noteworthy happens or if I come across some bit of wit or decide to comment on the state of the world in general. Anyway, this is simply a place to start from, and I shall continue to go forth on the great adventure that is life.
I Just thought that I’d rant on the (not too) recent collapse of my favourite radio station, Z93: the place that I was almost guaranteed a job at as soon as I was back in school full time. Now it’s this “Dave FM” crap, and I will have nothing to do with it. The question is: what happened to Mara, Willard, Frank, Adam, and even Dunham? Art “Mad Man” Mehring is on Real Radio 105.3 now, which has become my crutch. That and 96 Rock. At least 96 Rock still plays rock and roll–not lame crap rock like Loggins and Messina or (shudder) Sheryl Crow on Dave FM. Rock Without Rules? More like the doldrums of popular music.
I am me.
I am not like you.
I am different.
I dress different from you.
I act different from you.
I talk differently than you do.
I am not rich.
I am not poor.
I am not friendless.
My bonds are loyal.
I seek not wealth.
I seek not power.
I seek not fame.
I seek only knowledge and understanding.
My personal affairs are personal.
I am not evil.
I am not pure.
I am, however, righteous in my causes.
I do not hide behind the faceless mass.
I like to stand out.
I know when to blend in.
I am benevolent.
I am aggressive.
I fight for that which I believe is right.
Mankind is my family.
Nature is my mother and my father.
That which harms either is my only enemy.
I am free.
I am me.
The symbol of rebirth and renewal that has endured for countless generations is the phoenix. This bird symbolizing resurrection would, in my opinion, be the ideal symbol for me. Over my years as a youth, I have come to terms with innumerable hardships that have nearly prevented–and in some cases completely prevented–me from achieving my goals at the time. For example, some four years ago, my parents separated. This was a catastrophic event in my young life and reduced me to a bitter, cynical sadist. I was constantly angry at the world, speaking without due respect to anyone, stealing, and verbally abusing others in other to bolster my shrinking self-esteem. My best friend Chris pointed this out to me and noted that I needed some sort of change, as he was going through a similar ordeal. I then pledged to myself that before high school was over, I would become a better all-around person. In order to accomplish this arduous task, I devoted myself to achieving some sort of spiritual and intellectual growth. I began to study modern philosophy, and I began reading the satirical works of George Orwell and Ray Bradbury, not to mention the nonfiction publications of Michio Kaku (author of Visions and Hyperspace) and Esther Dyson (Release 2.1). My friends will vouch that I was not the most pleasant person to be around, but all that changed when I met my lovely girlfriend of sixteen months, Jana. She was probably the most influential person in my rebirth, lifting my spirits when I was down and giving me someone to fight for other than myself. Finally, during the past few months, I have transcended to a new state of being. I am much friendlier, happier, and in a more relaxed and open state of mind. It was a long process to get here, but I consider myself a better person now than I ever was. I have given up theft, and I have started to treat others with the respect they deserve. I have defined a new set of moral codes for myself, but I still find satisfaction in reading about the folly of modern society. For this reason, I choose the phoenix to be the symbol that represents my life.