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Random Musings, On Pillaging, And Vodka

 

There is an old Viking saying; “Because sometimes it takes a child to raze a village.” Tell the child to put the axe down, and ask her for the matches. When it comes to pillaging we should ask Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York to put down the matches, and the torch he’s trying to light.

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo charged Republicans Thursday with intentionally crafting their tax bill to target Democratic-leaning states to pay for tax cuts that benefit Republicans.

“This tax provision hits the blue states by eliminating the state and local tax deductibility and uses that money to finance the tax cut in the red states,” Cuomo said on CNN’s “New Day.”

Cuomo said the move to eliminate the state and local tax deduction “put a dagger in the heart of New York and California,” and that the Republicans leading Congress basically said, “Let’s pillage the blue to give to the red.”

“You want to hurt New York? You want to hurt California? They’re the economic engines,” Cuomo said.

The phrase “economic engines” has a Stalinist flair. Perhaps it would have more of a Stalinist flair if Governor Cuomo had called Republicans “economic wreckers.”

The voters of high-tax states that continue to send looters to their governor’s mansion and the state legislatures of California and New York are free to do so. The idea that these two states should ask the other 48 states to subsidize the citizens of their respective states seems odd to me. These states have three choices: they can lower their taxes, they can continue to pillage their own citizens, or they can allow me to vote in their states, while maintaining Arizona residency and voting privileges.


On my last trip to the grocery store I discovered Sobieski vodka, imported from Poland.

John III Sobieski (Polish: Jan III Sobieski; Lithuanian: Jonas III Sobieskis; Latin: Ioannes III Sobiscius; 17 August 1629 – 17 June 1696), was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1674 until his death, and one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Sobieski’s military skill, demonstrated in wars against the Ottoman Empire, contributed to his prowess as King of Poland. Sobieski’s 22-year reign marked a period of the Commonwealth’s stabilization, much needed after the turmoil of the Deluge and the Khmelnytsky Uprising. Popular among his subjects, he was an able military commander, most famous for his victory over the Turks at the 1683 Battle of Vienna. After his victories over them, the Ottomans called him the “Lion of Lechistan“; and the Pope hailed him as the savior of Christendom.

Moslem historians have called Sobieski’s victory the greatest defeat in the history of Islam. Relations between the US and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, have been a bit rough lately. As a gesture of friendship I’m considering sending a case of Sobieski vodka to the the Turkish Embassy in Washington DC.

There are 32 comments.

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  1. Thatcher
    TG

    “But Governor Cuomo, I thought paying taxes was patriotic?”

    • #1
    • December 29, 2017 at 2:57 pm
    • 7 likes
  2. Thatcher

    Vienna was the biggest defeat in terms of numbers engaged, but one can make the argument that if the West had lost the Great Siege of Malta (1565) or the Battle of Lepanto (1571), the Ottomans could have been too powerful to resist.

    • #2
    • December 29, 2017 at 3:06 pm
    • 7 likes
  3. Inactive

    Percival (View Comment):
    Vienna was the biggest defeat in terms of numbers engaged, but one can make the argument that if the West had lost the Great Siege of Malta (1565) or the Battle of Lepanto (1571), the Ottomans could have been too powerful to resist.

    A couple of those Salamis and Spanish Armada battles? The ones that change the course of history…

    • #3
    • December 29, 2017 at 3:20 pm
    • 5 likes
  4. Moderator

    Good article, Doug. Being that these states are the greatest economic engines in the country, they ought to be making enough money to pay for their state and federal taxes, just like everyone else.

    My mom grew up near the town of Sobieski, Minesota. I don’t know if that town was named for the above mentioned Sobieski or another one, though.

    • #4
    • December 29, 2017 at 3:32 pm
    • 2 likes
  5. Thatcher

    Vienna did have the biggest cavalry charge in history.

    • #5
    • December 29, 2017 at 3:40 pm
    • 6 likes
  6. Member

    Great post, Doug!

    Not keen on your proposal that an American’s government should be permitted in principle to take more in income taxes than the entirety of his income…I should think a citizen’s duty in a self-governed society is only to give a portion, and that in any case just earning an income should not be a crime, which under your plan it would be once one’s wealth had all been turned over to government if one still had a dime of income in a taxable year.

    Everything else was good.

    • #6
    • December 29, 2017 at 5:01 pm
    • 1 like
  7. Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    Vienna did have the biggest cavalry charge in history.

    Headlined by the Polish heavy cavalry, the Winged Hussars

    • #7
    • December 29, 2017 at 5:51 pm
    • 5 likes
  8. Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    I think in the case of New York, California, and some of the other high property, income tax states, the new Federal tax legislation has exposed them. The last thing Blue States want, or if you like states that have strong public employee unions is that they may undergo their own tax revolts. Why 48 states should forgo Federal tax relief so two states can offer some sort of subsidy to their own taxpayers seems rather arrogant to me.

    • #8
    • December 29, 2017 at 5:54 pm
    • 11 likes
  9. Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    I will acknowledge that Governor Cuomo has some expertise in pillaging, his state practices pillaging on a scale that would make a Viking blush.

    • #9
    • December 29, 2017 at 6:04 pm
    • 5 likes
  10. Coolidge

    Sobieski Vodka is great.

    I shall drink a toast to the triumph of Christendom this New Years!

    • #10
    • December 29, 2017 at 7:48 pm
    • 3 likes
  11. Thatcher

    As for New York and California, I say “Let them eat cake…”

    • #11
    • December 29, 2017 at 8:30 pm
    • 3 likes
  12. Member

    Doug Watt: Cuomo said the move to eliminate the state and local tax deduction “put a dagger in the heart of New York and California,” and that the Republicans leading Congress basically said, “Let’s pillage the blue to give to the red.”

    I don’t remember all this whining (well, I whined) when they did away with the deductibility of the sales tax. This just evens out the states that finance government through sales taxes and those that finance through income taxes.

    • #12
    • December 29, 2017 at 8:36 pm
    • 4 likes
  13. Member

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Vienna did have the biggest cavalry charge in history.

    Headlined by the Polish heavy cavalry, the Winged Hussars

    I always thought Hussars were light cavalry.

    • #13
    • December 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Thatcher

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Vienna did have the biggest cavalry charge in history.

    Headlined by the Polish heavy cavalry, the Winged Hussars

    I always thought Hussars were light cavalry.

    It’s complicated. The original units known as hussars were light cavalry. The Polish (eventually Polish-Lithuanian) units were organized as heavy cavalry based on the Hungarian hussars, who had become heavier and heavier over time. They were still lighter than knights. The wings were a Polish innovation. The feathers were made of metal and made an awful racket when they rode — scared the beejabbers out of people.

    Later European hussars maintained the lighter nature of the original hussars.

    • #14
    • December 29, 2017 at 9:26 pm
    • 5 likes
  15. Member

    It seems that a rank redistributionist like Cuomo is making a critique based on claimed “redistribution.” Except that SALT was redistribution from Red to Blue. So now one sees the reason for Cuomo’s complaint: He can pillage his own citizens (to whom he is presumably accountable) but not his neighbor’s citizens (to whom he is not accountable).

    • #15
    • December 30, 2017 at 11:20 am
    • 3 likes
  16. Thatcher

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    I think in the case of New York, California, and some of the other high property, income tax states, the new Federal tax legislation has exposed them. The last thing Blue States want, or if you like states that have strong public employee unions is that they may undergo their own tax revolts. Why 48 states should forgo Federal tax relief so two states can offer some sort of subsidy to their own taxpayers seems rather arrogant to me.

    That is the core of the issue. High tax states are subsidized by the Federal government through the SALT deduction. They should not be so subsidized.

    And I hope this puts some pressure on my home state, California, to make some fiscal changes. Hope does spring eternal and no, I am not holding my breath.

    • #16
    • December 30, 2017 at 11:53 am
    • 8 likes
  17. Thatcher

    Rodin (View Comment):
    It seems that a rank redistributionist like Cuomo is making a critique based on claimed “redistribution.” Except that SALT was redistribution from Red to Blue. So now one sees the reason for Cuomo’s complaint: He can pillage his own citizens (to whom he is presumably accountable) but not his neighbor’s citizens (to whom he is not accountable).

    Exactly!

    • #17
    • December 30, 2017 at 11:55 am
    • Like
  18. Moderator

    Clavius (View Comment):
    And I hope this puts some pressure on my home state, California, to make some fiscal changes.

    This made me laugh out loud.

    • #18
    • December 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm
    • 6 likes
  19. Thatcher

    There is a counter argument to eliminating the federal tax deduction for local taxes. When it comes to the federal budget, the larger states pay more in federal outlays to the smaller states.

    I live in Alaska, and our representative and senators run for re-election promising to “bring home the pork.”

    And they do. A lot of the money for highway repairs come from California and New York taxpayers.

    Overall, I’m for eliminating the deduction. But it’s not necessarily a no-brainer fairness wise.

    • #19
    • December 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm
    • 2 likes
  20. Member

    Our exchange student was assigned a blog post about “Trump’s tax plan” for her AP Human Geography class. It was a difficult assignment given that a) she’s foreign, b) she’s 15 and politically unaware, and c) she didn’t even know how taxes work in her home country! In the process of helping her, it dawned on us (happily) what kind of pressure this would put on blue-state model governments. Finally! They’ll have to either lower taxes and reduce “benefits” or suffer mass exodus of “the rich.”

    But, then, it occurred to me, the rest of the country has been subsidizing these wealthy blue state bastards all these years, and now I’m angry. Think of all the tax receipts these states have failed to contribute. Pay your fair share, ya’ punks!

    • #20
    • December 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm
    • 5 likes
  21. Moderator

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    There is a counter argument to eliminating the federal tax deduction for local taxes. When it comes to the federal budget, the larger states pay more in federal outlays to the smaller states.

    I live in Alaska, and our representative and senators run for re-election promising to “bring home the pork.”

    And they do. A lot of the money for highway repairs come from California and New York taxpayers.

    Overall, I’m for eliminating the deduction. But it’s not necessarily a no-brainer fairness wise.

    I hear you. I hate when I hear Republican politicians talk about how we’re going to have a huge infrastructure program. Not that I don’t want roads, bridges, etc fixed but the majority of this should be done at the state level. The further you separate the payer from where the work is done, the higher the probability that the money is being wasted.

    • #21
    • December 30, 2017 at 12:54 pm
    • 3 likes
  22. Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    There is a counter argument to eliminating the federal tax deduction for local taxes. When it comes to the federal budget, the larger states pay more in federal outlays to the smaller states.

    I live in Alaska, and our representative and senators run for re-election promising to “bring home the pork.”

    And they do. A lot of the money for highway repairs come from California and New York taxpayers.

    Overall, I’m for eliminating the deduction. But it’s not necessarily a no-brainer fairness wise.

    This is an excellent point. When the Portland area decided they needed a new north-south light rail line the costs came to about $2 million dollars per mile. A state that has 3.5 million residents does not have that kind of revenue, but thanks to the taxpayers in 49 other states it was built.

    Name your subsidy, from solar panels and wind farms, electric cars, ethanol subsidies, the looters know where to find the money.

    There is the nanny state, and there are the nanny citizens. The person that tells you not to smoke, don’t have a drink, don’t eat this, or that because it costs them money.

    After one tragic call as a police officer I found a quiet parking lot, out of the public view to light up a cigarette to try and take a moment to unwind. One woman found me there, and said; “You shouldn’t smoke”. My reply was; “Ma’am no one likes a cranky, nicotine starved police officer”. Left unsaid was, and if you don’t move along you’re going to find out why they don’t like cranky, nicotine starved police officers.

    • #22
    • December 30, 2017 at 1:40 pm
    • 12 likes
  23. Member

    Percival (View Comment):
    Vienna was the biggest defeat in terms of numbers engaged, but one can make the argument that if the West had lost the Great Siege of Malta (1565) or the Battle of Lepanto (1571), the Ottomans could have been too powerful to resist.

    On 9/11/1683 Islam was still ascendant; 9/12 changed that…

    • #23
    • December 30, 2017 at 5:29 pm
    • 4 likes
  24. Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Vienna did have the biggest cavalry charge in history.

    Headlined by the Polish heavy cavalry, the Winged Hussars

    I always thought Hussars were light cavalry.

    It’s complicated. The original units known as hussars were light cavalry. The Polish (eventually Polish-Lithuanian) units were organized as heavy cavalry based on the Hungarian hussars, who had become heavier and heavier over time. They were still lighter than knights. The wings were a Polish innovation. The feathers were made of metal and made an awful racket when they rode — scared the beejabbers out of people.

    Later European hussars maintained the lighter nature of the original hussars.

    The picture presents ceremonial armor of the hussars for occasions when they were not on their horses. Just imagine trying to get on a horse with two wings attached to your back. For that matter, imagine riding a horse with two wings attached to your back. They were in fact attached to the saddles, and, according to some sources, there could be two or a single one. Winged hussar units existed for some three centuries in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and yet the role of the wings is still not fully agreed upon. Some say their role was physical: they kept the charging horses moving in a straight line forward and protected the hussars from sword cuts to their backs. To others their role was psychological: the noise of the wings spooked the enemy, both the beast and the rider. As the hussars had the reputation of fierce and undefeatable force – seeing the wings made the enemy soldiers aware that they were up against something they feared.

    As to the wings with metal feathers, I need a reference. I am aware of eagle, falcon, and vulture feathers used in the wings, but not the metal ones. BTW, a skin of leopard, tiger, or wolf was a part of the ceremonial armor. They can be seen on the original pictures attached by @ekosj, but this one makes a point of it.

    • #24
    • December 30, 2017 at 6:14 pm
    • 5 likes
  25. Reagan

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Our exchange student was assigned a blog post about “Trump’s tax plan” for her AP Human Geography class. It was a difficult assignment given that a) she’s foreign, b) she’s 15 and politically unaware, and c) she didn’t even know how taxes work in her home country! In the process of helping her, it dawned on us (happily) what kind of pressure this would put on blue-state model governments. Finally! They’ll have to either lower taxes and reduce “benefits” or suffer mass exodus of “the rich.”

    But, then, it occurred to me, the rest of the country has been subsidizing these wealthy blue state bastards all these years, and now I’m angry. Think of all the tax receipts these states have failed to contribute. Pay your fair share, ya’ punks!

    When the last Governor of Maryland (anyone remember Martin O’Malley?) greatly raised the level of taxation (he even tax the rainfall on your property!) in our blue, blue, state to prove to the progressive left that he was their man person for president. We had quite the exodus of them nasty rich folks. The only downside to this was that these folks of bluish persuasion probably landed in reds states.

    I apologize that we sent them to the good people of the red states, but we did rebound with our middle of the road Republican Governor Larry Hogan. Hogan repealed a good deal of O’Malley mischief, and looks like a shoe in for a second term. A two term Republican Governor has never been a “thing” in Maryland since the 1950’s. Possibly all of American can learn from what happens when you venture to far to the left (cough*Barry*cough).

    Perhaps that is what gets you a Trump.

    • #25
    • December 30, 2017 at 7:50 pm
    • 5 likes
  26. Member
    Doug Watt Post author

    Ruthenian (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):
    Vienna was the biggest defeat in terms of numbers engaged, but one can make the argument that if the West had lost the Great Siege of Malta (1565) or the Battle of Lepanto (1571), the Ottomans could have been too powerful to resist.

    On 9/11/1683 Islam was still ascendant; 9/12 changed that…

    9/11 and then 9/12 some have long memories, some do not. Some do not know, some have never forgotten.

    • #26
    • December 30, 2017 at 8:08 pm
    • 2 likes
  27. Thatcher

    Ruthenian (View Comment):
    As to the wings with metal feathers, I need a reference. I am aware of eagle, falcon, and vulture feathers used in the wings, but not the metal ones.

    Can’t find the cite. Thought I read it a long time ago.

    • #27
    • December 30, 2017 at 8:54 pm
    • Like
  28. Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Ruthenian (View Comment):
    As to the wings with metal feathers, I need a reference. I am aware of eagle, falcon, and vulture feathers used in the wings, but not the metal ones.

    Can’t find the cite. Thought I read it a long time ago.

    I wonder whether you might have read about the hussar helmets. Some had real feathers, some had metal ones

    • #28
    • December 30, 2017 at 11:06 pm
    • 2 likes
  29. Member

    Love this and “Sometimes it takes a child to raze a village” is priceless. I’d never seen this add. Why was it not used against Hillary with photo shop of viking horns on one of her more angry looking photos?

    • #29
    • December 31, 2017 at 3:54 am
    • 1 like
  30. Member

    The 2007 Russian film, 1612: Chronicles of the Dark Times, shows how modern Russian filmmakers portray the winged hussars in battle scenes. Here is a trailer that shows them in a few places:

    I watched the film 8 years ago when somebody posted it on YouTube. I remember being suspicious of the modern political agenda in it.

    • #30
    • December 31, 2017 at 7:17 am
    • 3 likes
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