Monday, August 27, 2007
And one more thing ...
A commenter accidentally reminded me of an important point regarding the so-called "fair tax" this morning:
The best that could be said for a national sales tax (or, incidentally, for a flat tax) is that by making everybody aware of the enormous drag on the economy that the welfare state has become -- by making them pay the taxes -- we might finally see people willing to talk seriously about getting rid of welfare programs.Simply taking a swipe at the IRS (as tempting as that is) or getting to "keep [one's] entire paycheck" -- only to have it stolen through taxation later rather than sooner -- is not a legitimate reason to change the tax code. Ultimately eliminating the welfare state and taxation is. Therefore, the key question to ask of any proposal to change the tax code is whether it is likely to further this cause. The "fair tax" does not do so.
This benefit is removed by the progressivity of the proposed tax, which also starts a new welfare program in the form of its "pre-bates" -- except that now the government is sending checks to much of the middle class, too.
The Bush Administration's Latest Deadly Evasion
Craig Biddle discusses the craven motivation behind the President's latest identification of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization:
There is a good reason why the New York City Police Department does not make official pronouncements to the effect that Mafia hitmen are murderers: Everyone knows that Mafia hitmen are murderers. There would be no point in making such a declaration—unless, of course, the NYPD wanted to hype the significance of the hitmen so as to avoid having to deal with the real problem: the Mafia.That's a pretty good analogy to what's going on here.
Available in Stores, June 2009ish!
This spoof of a Microsoft zunePhone is priceless!
Note: This video seems very difficult to get to load, I'm guessing because it's being viewed a lot. If it doesn't show up here, follow this link and reload a few times. It's worth it.
(HT: Paul Hsieh)
"Salinity Change" in the Atlantic
Mike N discusses two reports that attribute changes in salinity in the Atlantic Ocean to global warming: One report says that salinity is increasing while the other claims it's decreasing!
This reminds me of a rather revealing "correction" I received during a recent conversation with a recycled socialist when I used the term "global warming". ("It's climate change.") This correction is quite revealing, and not just because it smacks of covering one's behind: No matter which direction the earth's average temperature goes, it will be declared bad because it was supposedly caused by man. Come to think of it, one could summarize the environmentalist movement as: The campaign to make sure that man has as close to zero effect on the environment as possible. Too bad that our distinctive mode of survival depends on us altering our environment!
Note also that implicitly, the Greens are admitting that their cause isn't really about the science. Unfortunately, most who oppose their agenda haven't caught on.
Taking One for the Team
Some time ago I noticed with interest (and then forgot to link to his blog) that Craig Ceeley is exploring the world of old-fashioned wet shaving. That sounded interesting, but his latest entry made me chuckle a little, I have to admit:
You'll read on the shaving boards about how mindlessly easy it is to shave with an Injector. That is not my experience at all, and I've come to see those comments as being fromYikes! Thanks for throwing yourself onto that grenade, Craig!
sociopathic liarsguys shaving with 1960s-1970s era razors, which as far as I can tell offered a lot less blade exposure than the older ones, like mine, which appear to have considerably more bite. Anyway, no problem with this pass, either.
Rewet, relather, and this time (third pass) it's the Injector across and against the grain. Now, I frequently use an Injector (usually this one) for some touch and cut in tough places at the end of a shave, but I avoid using it for an entire shave because these razors are very much lighter than the silo-head DEs many wetshavers love (the Merkur HD, for example, or my recommended Weishi or beloved Super Speeds). So much lighter, in fact, that they tend to bounce off my beard. Not fun when I'm shaving my neck. But I was careful and there was no problem.
Today: Minor edits.