Saturday, October 24, 2009

PaAnnoyed has joined Counting Cats In Zanzibar. Global warming retreats from view ! ! !

PaAnnoyed has joined up with The Feline Enumerators Blog. (Haven't visited in a while, guys. Sorry if this is old news.)

Hit this link for PaAnnoyed's opinions on impartial scientists cloistering themselves away from political and economic pressures in an effort to determine objective truth about Anthropogenic Global Warming. Or Cooling. Or Change. Or Whatever We're Gonna Spend A Shitload Of Money To Prevent.

Cedric, you'll be glad you did.

The picture of the countable cats cards came from here.

Rich Germans Demand Higher Taxes

From the BBC:

A group of rich Germans has launched a petition calling for the government to make wealthy people pay higher taxes.
The group say they have more money than they need, and the extra revenue could fund economic and social programmes to aid Germany's economic recovery.
If someone believes that government spending is the answer, and that person voluntarily throws more money into the gaping maw of the beast, that person is worthy of our grudging respect.
If someone believes that government spending is the answer, and that person advocates forcing others, at gunpoint, to throw more money into the gaping maw of the beast, then that person is beneath contempt.

Germany could raise 100bn euros (£91bn) if the richest people paid a 5% wealth tax for two years, they say.
But do you think they would leave their 100% intact in Germany to allow earnest pocket-pickers to have their way with it? Or do you think this wealth tax would have some unforeseen effects?

The petition has 44 signatories so far, and will be presented to newly re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The group say the financial crisis is leading to an increase in unemployment, poverty and social inequality.
Which is more likely to increase unemployment - allowing the wealthy to invest their money in whatever they they believe will create the biggest return on investment? Or letting the government spend the money on some random unholy cause?

Simply donating money to deal with the problems is not enough, they want a change in the whole approach.
"The path out of the crisis must be paved with massive investment in ecology, education and social justice," they say in the petition.
Call the folks at the Good Intentions Paving Company. The road to hell is about to get some work.

Those who had "made a fortune through inheritance, hard work, hard-working, successful entrepreneurship, or investment" should contribute by paying more to alleviate the crisis.
The man behind the petition, Dieter Lehmkuhl, told Berlin's Tagesspiegel that there were 2.2 million people in Germany with a fortune of more than 500,000 euros.
If they all paid the tax for two years, Germany could raise 100bn euros to fund ecological programmes, education and social projects, said the retired doctor and heir to a brewery.
Idea for a short-lived blog....a list of succesful government funded social projects.

Signatory Peter Vollmer told AFP news agency he was supporting the proposal because he had inherited "a lot of money I do not need".
Pete, here's an idea. Invest your money with someone who wants to grow and hire people. Put it to work. Don't invest it in a grievance factory.

He said the tax would be "a viable and socially acceptable way out of the flagrant budget crisis".
That was the #2 money quote right there. Socially acceptable. Because creating jobs by producing things people need is just so....tacky.

The group held a demonstration in Berlin on Wednesday to draw attention to their plans, throwing fake banknotes into the air.
Here comes the #1 money quote, and it's a good one:

Mr Vollmer said it was "really strange that so few people came".
Peter Vollmer, please step away from the Kool Aid.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Various Oil, Coal, and Chemical companies sued for not being superstitious

From The Jurist Blog:

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that 14 victims of Hurricane Katrina have standing to sue companies for allegedly contributing to global warming , which they claim played a role in increasing the severity of the hurricane. The court found Friday that the plaintiffs had presented enough evidence against the oil, coal, and chemical companies named in the complaint to allow the class action lawsuit to proceed.

In related news, from various media outlets:
Little Bethany Hackensnot, of Buffalogump ND, has been placed under house arrest for stepping on a crack and breaking her mother's back.
Based on legal advice from Pat Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell, owners of a New Orleans gay bar have been sued for attracting The Wrath Of God, which usually manifests itself in the form of hurricanes, floods, fire, and earthquakes.
Mildred Hacktooth, of Booger Den, Mississippi, is facing a lawsuit for failing to restrain her black housecat, Doctor Midnight. It seems that Doctor Midnight crossed a neighbors path, and three days later the neighbor failed to win the lottery.
Despite eleven straight years of the globe failing to warm properly, despite evidence that people used to farm in Greenland, despite evidence that Chicago used to be covered by a freakin' iceberg, despite the wildly fluctuating temperatures of the last few billion years, they're still trying to make money off of the Global Warming Scam.
I thought that hurricanes (or their absence) were "weather", not "climate". Aren't they trying to have it both ways with this lawsuit?

Abasi Ubuntu, of Kenya, recently shot Ms. Aluna Amanali following the untimely death of his cow. Evidence later revealed that Ms. Amanali was a witch.

Superstition pics came from here and here and here and here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup, Saturday October 24th, The Flying Saucer

The Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup will be holding services at The Flying Saucer in downtown Fort Worth this Saturday afternoon (the 24th).

1:00 P.M.
111 E Fourth Street, Fort Worth

This will be fun. There's plenty to talk about (I think we have some elections coming up in 2010, don't we?) and Big Daddy John Spivey is going to buy libations for the first person to show up with a libertarian themed book for the giveaway(s).

Hit the link for more info.

My Starbucks trade deficit is worsening

Every morning of my life, I spend $2.11 on a Starbucks double espresso. (That's known as a doppio, in the fake pseudo-Italian language Starbucks invented.)

Starbucks spends nothing with me. Nothing. Once a week, I check to see if they need any shipments hauled someplace in the lower 48 states. The answer is always NO.

That's a $14.77 trade deficit per week.

As I understand it, Starbucks arranges all of their freight through someplace in Seattle. How should Texas freight companies respond?
Should we immediately press for tariffs on inbound shipments of Starbucks coffee beans?
Should we lobby for higher road use taxes on all shipments not carried by Texas trucking companies?
Or perhaps we should call for a quota system, where Starbucks continues to ship their beans on non-Texan scab companies, but Texas trucking companies will have to be given their fair share?

There are some who say that these measures will raise the price of coffee in Texas Starbucks stores. But isn't this the only way to achieve social justice at Starbucks?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Humble Libertarian

Here's another Libertarian Blog for your bookmarking pleasure: The Humble Libertarian. Mr. Humble offers us liberty-oriented wallpaper for your desktop. Go here for the complete set (it's worth it).

Here's another curiosity I found on Mr. Humble's site. This is a deleted scene from the Star Wars epic. I'll go ahead and print The Money Quote (at the 2:45 mark on the video):

"What good's all your uncle's work if the Empire takes it over? You know they've already started to nationalize commerce in the central systems? It won't be long before your uncle is just a tenant, slaving for the greater glory of the Empire."

Luke's friend obviously doesn't understand that the Empire had to nationalize commerce, healthcare, the X-wing fighter industry, and the Big 3 Detroit Droid Makers because of "the failed economic policies of the past 8 years".

The Humble Libertarian also writes well, BTW. Go here to read his warning about the new medical marijuana policy.

So many great blogs. So little time.

Does The Queen get to cut in line ???

From The Sunday Times on the UK's government controlled healthcare system. (That would be the London Times, not the state-controlled NYT.)

Here's Marie Woolf:

THE National Health Service has spent £1.5m paying for hundreds of its staff to have private health treatment so they can leapfrog their own waiting lists.
More than 3,000 staff, including doctors and nurses, have gone private at the taxpayers’ expense in the past three years because the queues at the clinics and hospitals where they work are too long.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information act show that NHS administrative staff, paramedics and ambulance drivers have also been given free private healthcare. This has covered physiotherapy, osteopathy, psychiatric care and counselling — all widely available on the NHS.
“It simply isn’t fair to have one service for staff and another for everyone else,” said Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, who obtained the figures.

We're not discussing fair and unfair. We're discussing what happens when government controls healthcare. For instance, under Obamacare, our Congress will get to keep its Cadillac plan.

“If the NHS has to circumvent their own waiting lists the system isn’t working well enough. It’s an admission by the NHS that their own system isn’t able to respond to the mass of people desperate to get back to work.”
The number of health service employees sent to private healthcare facilities has more than doubled in the past three years.

But but but but but.....why can't the British doctors and nurses and paramedics and ambulance drivers just wait in line with everyone else, the way we do at the Department Of Motor Vehicles, or the Post Office, or a V.A. Hospital?

The health department defended the practice and said sending doctors, nurses and other key staff for private treatment helped to get them back to work.
“If trusts want to get their staff back to work more quickly they can’t jump NHS waiting lists, so going private is an option,” said the spokesman.
“There is evidence that early intervention in tackling sickness absence enables staff to return to work more quickly.

Oh. Everyone is equal. But some are more equal than others. I wonder if this is the system The Queen uses....
Picture of people waiting in line forever came from here.

Super-complex col-lat-er-al-ized debt obligations ! !

From William N. Grigg, at the Pro Libertate blog, sung to the tune of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Mary Poppins:
"Because the local sports mogul who owns the football team
Demanded a new stadium, or else he'd up and leave
We formed a sports authority to collect subsidies,
And now the bursting debt bubble has brought us to our knees"

And now the suf-fring middle class confronts annihilation --
Super-complex col-lat-er-al-ized debt obligations!

Hum-diddle-liddle-liddle, hum-diddle-LIE,
Hum-diddle-liddle-liddle, hum-diddle-FRAUD....

Now, everybody sing along ! ! !

I don't know if this is as good as my own "Teleprompter Jesus" ditty, but I like it.
William Grigg. The Pro Libertate blog. Yet another great libertarian website for your daily reads.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Patrick Dixon on the "Separation Of Church And Signs"

Here's my friend Patrick Dixon, chair of the Libertarian Party Of Texas, on "Separation Of Church And Signs". Patrick serves on the Lago Vista City Council.
A few weeks ago we had a vote on whether to have a community sign provided by the city government, paid for with taxes. I cast the lone dissenting vote. While the amount of money is small relative to the overall budget, our budget is very tight and we made lots of cuts to avoid raising taxes. Therefore this expense, though small, should not stand while other more urgent causes are cut. However, the real problem is not financial. I warned that having such a sign would result in a fiasco of contention and rancor over policy. Last night’s council meeting proved my point.

Our city staff prepared a draft policy for the sign at last night’s meeting. It contained an exclusion for content of a religious nature, which I support. In order to clarify the interpretation of this policy I started the questioning by presenting several examples from the church I attend. A fellow councilman asked if a vacation bible school could be advertised. This went on a good long while with the mayor concluding he doesn’t have any problem with using taxpayer’s money for advertising items of a religious nature.

Let me set some further context here. We begin council meetings with a prayer to Jesus Christ. I oppose this. I haven’t actively done anything about it because I have so many other battles to wage, but I would certainly welcome a policy change here.

Why would a Catholic who goes to church twice every Sunday oppose religion in city politics?

Perhaps you are familiar with the first amendment to the US Constitution. Perhaps you are aware of the inspiration the first amendment derived from Thomas Jefferson. Perhaps you are aware that Muslims, Jews, Atheists, and others have the same rights as Christians. Perhaps the Muslim, Jew, or Atheist wonders if they will get a fair shake on a zoning variance after the entire council prays to Jesus. Perhaps you are aware of the atrocities of the Taliban.

I take my faith seriously. I do not need George Bush, Bill Clinton, or any other politician being the middle man in my relationship with God. If we continue to empower politicians to take our money to promote their church, what happens when their church isn’t your church?

Now ask yourself, do I sound like a Republican to you?

Let me be more clear:

•I cast the lone dissenting vote against an ordinance allowing government to ban cell phone use in school zones
•I cast the lone dissenting vote to renew our curfew law

It is easy to stand on the sidelines and call yourself one thing or another. The true test of your identity is when you are outnumbered but refuse to compromise your principles.

So, do Libertarians hurt Republicans? Yes, when they are in power. We have had Republicans in power until recently and Libertarians have appealed more to voters that see their failure of leadership. The same will happen with Democrats. Research proves it.

Go here to read the entire article.