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Monopoly in the Sand Box

Okay, lets play in the sand box for a little while:

Today, the weather is nice, so we settle into the cool soft sand and set up the monopoly board. The rules says everybody gets $2000 and an even number of turns. Of course, as we are supposed to believe in life, sometimes a roll comes up empty, sometimes we get to advance to GO and collect $200, so it is a bit of luck and a lot of good/bad decision making that determines the winner.


But to more reflect real life, our game today has one player, drawn at random, lets say as random as the chance of a person being born rich. This person receives $10,000 and will get $1000 every time he goes around go, he never has to go to jail, pay assessments, fines, or bail to get out of jail.
We will call him the “Rich” player. Two players get to play by the conventional rules. Two players get to play by “Special rules” they get $50 when they go around go, and cannot buy any property they land on, unless no one else wants to buy it, and if they do want to buy it, they have to pay double face value.

In our game, the players can not go out of the game, so there is no monopoly, the poorest player has to take on more debt to pay for the more and more expensive hotels he stays at, and all three of the regular and rich players have to pay up to fund the debt of the poor players. The poor players are still in debt, but the state still has to pay the debt.

Now, if, instead, we adjusted the game so that the rich guy only got $5000 to start and only $500 when he went past go, he would still be rich, and still have a great chance to win, but not now we distribute the rest of the same $15,000 we distributed to start the first game”


$10,000 Rich

$2,000 Regular

$2,000 Regular

$500 Special

$500 Special


Now we give it out like this

$10,000 Rich -$5,000 = $5,000

$2,000 Regular + $1,000 = $3,000

$2,000 Regular + $1,000 = $3,000

$500 Special + $1,500 =$2,000

$500 Special + $1,500 =$2,000

And then each time they passed go, they got proportional to their original distribution.

The Rich is still rich, the Special is still poorer than the other two classes, but now, they are a lot less likely to be a burden on the other players, they are less likely to run out of money and lose the game. The rich will still have a huge advantage, but it is a much fairer game where everyone at least has a chance.

Of course, we could tax the rich so that each person has the same amount, but in real life, most people don’t see that as fair, no matter how the rich person got rich.


This week, we have seen the rules rewritten in a shocking way:

Now the game is this:

$10,000 Rich + $500 = $5,500

$2,000 Regular – $150 = $1,850

$2,000 Regular – $150 = $1,850

$500 Special – $100 =$400

$500 Special – $100 =$400


Can anyone imagine how that extra $500 to the rich guy will benefit the game?

Well, at least this is just Monopoly!

Nobody would make up these silly rules in real life….

Would they?



Forget the 1%, are you 1 of the 50,000?

In the entire United States there just over 3000 Counties.
Political party organizations are based by county.that means each party has for approximately 50,000 to 60,000 people involved as regular volunteers including the state and federal level and if you were not part of that 50,000 to 60,000 people then you have no right to complain about anything that happens in America because you’re sitting on your lazy butt watching football or soap opera or scandal or real housewives or whatever stupid thing there is instead of caring enough to donate to the five hours per week of your time.
if you are a single mother and you’re working three jobs and raising two kids, you get a free pass, nobody else does.
I do not know a single human being, of course, I live in an entitled middle-class white world but I don’t know a single person that doesn’t have 3 to 5 hours a week and $5 to $10 a week that they could not give both to their favorite party and if everybody in America did that we would have a very different set of political parties and a very different government.
The party is only an assembly of its pieces. look at the Pat Robertson model in the 1980s, his followers took over the GOP and even though he was never elected president, his policies have controlled it ever since. The Dems could use the reverse to shift the DNC away from corporatism, there are about 450 DNC members and yes, they are “superdelegates” so not only would you, as a DNC member have about the same amount of influence over the party ans a member of congress has over the us govt, you would get to have an outsized role in selecting your party’s presidential candidate. so, if anyone is unhappy with the direction of the DNC, they should get up off their fat asses and go to work, otherwise they are just entitled complainers. I was active in county politics from 2000-2004 and was offered the state committeman position for our county within four years!i busted my butt, but then we moved out of the county, and we had a new born, so since then, i have only occasionaly volunteered and never again taken on the responsibility of leadership. but the path is not complicated. donate about 200 hours or so per year and take on any responsibility the party asked (i took over volunteer coordinating) and you will make state committee within 4-6 years, maybe sooner, if you are in a small county), then from state, you will probably be another 4-10 years making the DNC, and from there, you simply organize other DNC members and recurit likeminded people to join the party and work their way up. taking over a party is hard work and requires patience, but it is not complicated nor impossible.

5/10/50 my alternative to GOP Tax Reform

The top 1% of Americans earn 3.9 Trillion dollars per year. Currently, they pay about and effective 22% tax rate, or nearly .9 trillion dollars in taxes. As 1% of America is 3.3 million people, that means, on average, those 3,300,000 people each earn, after taxes, about $900,000 per year, not per household, per person.

The other 99% average $42,000 take home per person. Not bad, but if you think about the richest 1% making 20 times that, while the bottom 50% of Americans earn an average of $21,000.

While the 1% can truthfully say they pay 40% of the current income tax bill, they still earn 20 – 40 times as much as most Americans. It is hard to understand why anyone would think we need to lower taxes on these people who control over 20 percent of all the wealth in America, while some of the hardest working people end up at or near the bottom making around $15,000 while working full time.

Which is why I propose we tax everyone who makes less than $50,000 per person at a 5% rate, and raise the top 1% to 50%, with a couple of stops along the way for people who make between $50,000 and $430,000. See, the funny thing in America, we tax earned income at a much higher rate than unearned income! So, while the top 1% average earning nearly $1,500,000 each, nearly a million dollars on average is not from wages, it is from money they already own making more money for them, without them having to work. And it is taxed at a much lower rate. This needs to stop.

If we taxed the 170 million Americans who earned a total of 4.25 Trillion, we would generate 212 Billion, or about 10% of what you current collect from all Americans in income tax.

Now, we collect 50% of every dollar over 430,000 the 1% made, we would raise another $1.65 trillion, leaving them with about $600,000 per year per person, hardly anything other than still rich. Now if the remaining 49% of us who are neither in the bottom 50 nor the top 1. We earn the remaining 9 trillion dollars of our GDP, we do “okay”, but we currently pay about the same taxes as the 1%, we could cut the taxes on this class in half so the average middle class home earning a little over 100K for the house hold would pay 10% and that would raise another 900,000,000,000, so we are now collecting 2.7 trillion, which would allow us to keep all the services we have now and even eliminate the deficit. This is my 5/10/50 plan. The GOP would like to lower the taxes on the rich, cut the services to the poor, run up the deficit and actually raise taxes on millions of us in the middle class! I say 5/10/50 is better!!!



If you don’t know that pi is 3.141592, and if you don’t know how to use it in this formula and then know what you are achieving when you run a number thru the formula, does that make you stupid?
Formula: V=4/3 pi r3
The answer is no you are not stupid. If you can’t multiply 1234 x 567 and then divide by 89 to get the correct answer, working only in your head, no paper, no calculator, excel spreadsheet. If you don’t know the answer with great confidence 5 positions past the decimal, that means you don’t do math in your head for a hobby, but you might be pretty smart.
Now, if you see someone who writes something and their spelling, or grammar or some aspect of their word choice amuses you, that’s fine, but before you start thinking you are smarter than them, that they must be idiots, please review the preceding few words regarding mathematics.
Unless you are an idiot because you not only didn’t recognize the formula that starts with “V” you don’t know how to use it and you have no idea what V nor r, nor even pi is, then someone who writes something down in a nonstandard format is not automatically an idiot either!

Thought for the day: Class

A friend of mine just posted the lyrics and the youtube link to the video for Chicago the song Class (2002), bemoaning how people today have no manners, no class. My first thought was how quaint, 15 years ago, people complaining in a 1930s setting. Then it hit me, what Class and Manners really are:
A behavior thugs and crooks teach their children, so they seem civil while stealing everything they can from the hard-working regular folks who are “coarse and have no class”.

I love fine art and the opera and of course, poetry, but to think those who don’t are somehow not as good, not as human as those who have stolen so much from the wealth creators that they and their children can study art instead of learning to swing a hammer or dig a ditch or drive a truck. Another friend of mine recently said it was sad that the NFL players are willing to risk life and limb to make millions for themselves while they make billions for the owners, owners who view them as inmates, as slaves, as disposable N!@@ers…
I agreed, but then added, why are most of us willing, in our own small way willing to do the same? Why do we not rise up in unison and say, “we create the wealth, we deserve to keep it!”?
If you make $8.00 per hour, you can be sure you make your corporation at least another $8. Maybe $20, or $50…. Why do we allow this? Why do we bargain for $10? Why do we have such a sick and crazy system?
If I borrow a million bucks from a lender, who in turn, gathered his funds from small deposits from individuals looking to make a return on the part of their earnings they could afford to save. The banker pays 2% on the savings, he has some administrative and marketing costs, but can loan it back out and a VERY NICE profit at 5%, so I have to pay him back $50,000 per year for my million dollars. I rent a store front, build a website pay for some marketing buy some inventory and hire some staff to process and sell the product.

I pay $50,000 of the bank’s money, (which is really money from workers, trying to get ahead through savings), in rent of a building, another 80 in marketing, 20 for utilities, shipping, insurance and such, another 700 in product, and now I pay the staff 150
(6 staff-three sales and one manager, and 2 non-sales positions).
There is the million, my revenue is 1.4 million, I pocket the 400K and say, well, I am the one who took all the risks. I created the 400K in wealth (remember, I can keep rolling over the investors in the small accounts money for 5% and they are happy to get the 2% and the bank makes about 2% or $20,000 profit for nothing on a few hundred folks like me.) I am a generous guy, I pay my staff $10-15 per hour, plus a few benefits. I make $1500 per day off their labor and somebody else’s money.
Why is this ok?
Seems like a fairer system would be that I make a small percentage, maybe twice what they do, so we divide up the $550k like this: $85k for the manager, $75k for the sales and $60K for the non-sales staff and I get $120k? I am still slightly overpaid, but now everyone is getting a decent share of the pie.

So, out of the goodness of my heart, I have more than doubled their “wages”, and slashed mine by about 2/3rds. Or, another way of looking at it, I have quit stealing their share of the wealth we are creating, as a team. Why do people accept the first arrangement as “normal” and see the later as “radical”? Why does bringing Other Peoples’ Money make a Capitalist so valuable? Why dont we look at “owners” as the broker/agents they really are?

Is not a 22% stake in a company that i neither financed with my own money, nor actually did the work to produce the revenue more than generous? And if I do have my own money, I can make another $50,000 per year investing in my firm, rather than the $20,000 it would make in a bank. In the case of using my own money, now my share climbs to nearly 29% of the profits. Is that not enough?


Better Than Starbucks! We Are Live!

we are live oct 2017October 2017 Vol. II No. X Not your ordinary poetry magazine!

General Poetry with Suzanne Robinson
​Rebecca Villineau, Zion Lights, Jill Sharon Kimmelman​, Rob Spina, Ken Hay, Jon Nakapalau

Haiku with Kevin McLaughlin
​John Blofeld, Vera Ignatowitsch, Joseph Davidson, Angie Davidson, Oliver Plunkett, Jennifer Smith, Honorah Murphy, Mary K. Gowdy, Richard Mortenson, Hideki Bankei

Formal & Rhyming Poetry with Vera Ignatowitsch
​​Michael R. Burch, DE Navarro, John Beaton, Anna M. Evans, Chris O’Carroll, Jared Carter, Robin Helweg-Larsen, Rita Dubman

Translations with S. Ye Laird
International Poetry with Rameeza Nasim, and Tendai Rinos Mwanaka
Constance van Niekerk, Beula Kapp, Rashmi Kulal, YESHWANT. S Veerangana, Hira Naz, Monicah Nairesiae Masikonte, Mikateko E. Mbambo

Sentimental Poetry with Anthony Watkins
​Jan Oscar Hansen, Jonel Abellanosa

ModPo & Experimental Poetry with Anthony Watkins

Ken Grace

Featured Poem Richard Atwood

Better than Starbucks, The Interview Anna M. Evans (with Vera Ignatowitsch)

Fiction by Jonathan Ferrini

Better than Fiction by Alan Balter

From the Mad Mind of Anthony Watkins


This is the first issue where Vera Ignatowitsch has taken over as Managing Editor, and I have to say, it is my favorite issue, so far!

Congrats to Vera Ignatowitsch, and our entire team!

The team consists of Vera Ignatowitsch, Kevin McLaughlin, S Ye Laird, Suzanne Watkins,
TauRian Meeza, Tendai Rinos Mwanaka, as well as whatever I contribute (mostly typos and small embarrassments, I’m sure)

My Team, Whose Team, What Team?

When I was growing up in Alabama in the late 1960s, there were three things in my life that rivaled my love for my family, God, Richard Nixon and Auburn Football. I eventually realized Nixon was a crook, that God was a fairytale, but I still cling to Auburn football, not as vigorously as the preteen version of me did.

Somewhere, and I am not sure but what it might have been Billy and Blaze, Black Beauty or maybe even Dick Francis novels, but I fell in love with the Kentucky Derby. Oddly, I do not really care for jocks, too many of them are jerks. The same goes double for thoroughbred horse people. And though I have fantasized about drink mint julips and hanging out with the ladies in big hats in the grandstands, I don’t I would really enjoy myself at Churchill Downs.

I know I can barely watch an Auburn game on TV, and the few games I attended they always lost, so I wont go anymore, plus, I have come to be as fond of my fellow Auburn fans as I am of the superrich ranks of horse people. Not all Auburn fans, but too much of Auburn is a super white culture that creeps me out, even as we have a line of great African American football players.

Even if there weren’t these deep class and cultural issues that divide me from much of these two groups/events (the Derby and Auburn football), the bigger issue is, why do I care what a handful of very small people who make their living riding big, dumb, but beautiful, fast animals, the owners and trainers of the same beasts, or what a bunch of 18-23 year-olds do on a lined field on a Saturday afternoon? These are not my people, what happens to them, good or bad, has NO impact on my life!

Yet the fact remains, I will yell at a coach and cheer for a great play and be nearly sick if Bama beats “us.” I still get goose bumps when they play My Old Kentucky Home, while I try not to think about whether the lyrics are problematic or not.

Why is this?