American gothic  from art institute

MatthewJB Free

Recent Comments

  1. about 6 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    I have long thought that every high school should have a required class in Life Skills, best taught in junior or senior year. I did very well in my math classes but realized, about seven years later, that I had no idea how to make a budget or handle retirement accounts, investments, &c.

  2. about 6 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Please support these claims:

    1. “American incomes taxes are among the most progressive in the world.” EVIDENCE?

    2. The huge federal deficit and debt isn’t caused by insufficient taxation, it’s the result of chronic failure to control spending. EVIDENCE?

    3. “The American public have historically demonstrated a strict upper limit on how much they’re willing to pay in taxes, regardless of how high or low marginal rates are.” EVIDENCE? (Because in the 1950s, the top rate was 90%, and people paid it, and John Kennedy increased his popularity by lowering it to 75% Now, it is only half that. Certainly, people bridle about paying taxes, but most of us see taxes as the dues we pay to live in a civilized society.)

    4. “[I]nflation (also caused mostly by reckless spending).” EVIDENCE?

    I’m sure, “Wizard” that you & I both can criticize how our federal government spends our money, but we may not agree on what to cut.

  3. about 9 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Yes, our very low federal income tax rates have led to poorer social services combined with huge federal debt.

  4. about 9 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Where is this? In Nashville, we have regular property re-assessments followed with an adjustment in the property tax rate—every four years, I think. Did your town just do this without warning or on a schedule?

  5. about 11 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Because our federal income tax rate is very unprogressive and many states refuse to impose an income tax—communities are very dependent on property taxes, which pay for virtually all public services. If you want good public schools, for example, then you need a strong property tax base.

  6. about 11 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    The couple on 60 Minutes probably couldn’t afford the payments. Fortunately, in 2009, Congress passed and President Obama signed The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, $75 billion to help stop foreclosures.

  7. about 11 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    Yes, thankfully, we agree that President Biden won, legitimately, both the popular & Electoral votes for president in 2020. Although Wikipedia entries are, by & large, reliable, those that deal with any political issue tend to be somewhat less reliable or biased (see the article on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for some of that), and this article is taking on a huge responsibility of covering any form of electoral fraud around the world.

    The distinction between “voter fraud” (individual and usually harmless) and “election fraud” (large-scale, usually felonious, and potentially very harmful) is important, because without it, these two very distinct situations can be presented as equivalent. Wikipedia is simply, in this large article, using the term “electoral fraud” to cover all types of these fraudulent behavior—from the tiny to the huge.

    Also, the distinction I propose seems to be the one that the responsible media use and that state election officials use. As Georgia Secretary of State Raffensberger clarified at the January 6th Committee’s hearing, there were four instances of dead people voting in the 2020 election. This was voter fraud, not election fraud.

  8. about 11 hours ago on Pearls Before Swine

    There are appropriate times for pseudonymity & anonymity, particularly in artistic work and in work that is fighting against a possibly dangerous establishment.

    In venues like social media or on-line comment pages, unfortunately, pseudonymity & anonymity are licenses for fecklessness & rudeness. People use their false or non-identities as shields to write comments that they would never dare speak in person or say if they actually had to stand personally behind them.

    I’m glad that you enjoyed yourself in my adopted hometown. What did you do? Country Music Hall of Fame? Musicians Hall of Fame (which I prefer)? Loveless Café? barbecue at Martin’s? hot chicken at Prince’s? The Bluebird Café? or just honky-tonkin’? Let me know the next time, and my wife & I will help show you around.

  9. 1 day ago on Pearls Before Swine

    I do not yet know of enough evidence that Trump tried to sell out the U.S. to Russia, although he asked for Russia to interfere in our elections, so we have evidence of a desire to sell us out.

    There is strong evidence that Trump tried to overthrow our democracy in order to retain the presidency. This is not, perhaps, selling the U.S.A. to Russia, but it weakens our nation and our global standing.

  10. 1 day ago on Pearls Before Swine

    I agree with you. We should all insist on free, fair, and inclusive elections in which exercising our right to vote is made as easy as possible: mail-in ballots, restoring the franchise to ex-convicts, early voting, election day as a holiday, more safe & secure voting locations, &c.

    Although all these are not yet in place, the 2020 election was remarkably well done, and there was no election fraud. Trump’s campaign filed 63 lawsuits against the election (falsely asserting election fraud) and tried to commit election fraud itself, but lost every lawsuit.