Quick Roundup 231

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.

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.
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.

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 from sociopathic liars guys 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.
Yikes! Thanks for throwing yourself onto that grenade, Craig!

-- CAV


: Minor edits.


z said...

re: Bush's latest evasion. I read a headline: US, Russia "must unite to fight weapons of mass distruction". At first I re-read it, because I thought it might've said "fight with WMD". Then I saw it just said "fight weapons", so I decided not to read it. Talk about evasion. How are we going to fight weapons that WE developed first and have hundreds of packed away in arsenals? The point is not the weapons, or even the spread of weapons in the hands of bad people, or anything like that. It is the way we USE our weapons, or weather we even will use them.

Now I'm reading "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright, and I'm gaining more insight to the minds of those we are up against. I'm not far into the book but I can already see that the mentality which is causing the problem is easily identifiable. You can clearly see that Ahmadenijad is one of those people.

(In a way, it is an abstraction, more than just certain people, which must be smashed.)

Weapons of mass distruction is not the problem. We have plenty, and they never go off. Why do we worry about WMD if they are so peaceful? It is the people who are trying to get them, who should not be "prevented from getting them", but be prevented from living further.

Gus Van Horn said...

Hmmm. You just helped me make an interesting connection: Attempting to ban WMD abroad (with the "help" of thugs like Putin) makes about as much sense as trying to control crime at home by banning guns, and it's the same type of error you indicate.

Guns don't kill: Criminals with guns kill. Likewise, WMDs don't kill: Enemy states (or the terrorists they help) with WMDs kill.

z said...

OOps I meant "destruction" and "whether we use them".

But about banning weapons, that's right, look at what saying "fight WMD's" allows Bush to evade.

These guns that keep shooting people, and the knives that are stabbing people, how do we stop these knives and guns?

Jim May said...

I've been noticing something else about that switch to "climate change" -- it defines the greens as conservatives of the climate status quo, in much the way Myrhaf calls progressives "conservatives of the welfare state".

IMO we should absolutely go along with the switch in terminology to "climate change" as it makes the quixotic nature of their cover story story that much clearer. Warmer *or* cooler, they now say, any change is bad. Well, change is part and parcel of a dynamic universe, whether we cause it or not.

"Cover" story, did I say? Why, yes I did:

"Immediately, we realized the three of us have the same take on the environment and where we needed to focus this film," recalled Nadia Conners. "The collapse of the environment is not the problem -- it's a symptom. The real problem is industrial civilization and how we organize society."

(via David Hayes/HBL)

Gus Van Horn said...

"[W]e should absolutely go along with the switch in terminology to "climate change" as it makes the quixotic nature of their cover story story that much clearer."

Excellent point. You just about couldn't ask for a better lead-in to explain whast is wrong with what they're doing on the level of man's nature and his rights.

Thanks for beinging that up. I wish I'd thought of that myself!