People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Cruel & Unusual Punishment

Martha Stewart was released from prison yesterday. Her parole officer is now going to have to decide if she will continue to be forced to keep her hair style as is or if she can actually be allowed to trim that mop that has been scaring little children of late.
Click on image to enlarge.
Photo courtesy COURTTV.Posted by Hello

Democrats Honor One Of Their Losers

This news comes to us this morning from the Washington Times:
Dems name campaign building for Daschle
Washington, DC, Mar. 3 (UPI) -- The building that houses the Democrats' U.S. Senate campaign operations has been renamed in honor of former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D. (link)
They have aptly named the building, The Lying, Sniveling, Cowardly, Deceitful, Back-stabbing, Wienie Democrat Memorial Hall.

They Believe!

What to make of this story in the Washington Times this morning?

Science, 'frauds' trigger a decline in atheism

GURAT, France -- Godlessness is in trouble, according to a growing consensus among philosophers, intellectuals and scholars.

"Atheism as a theoretical position is in decline worldwide," Munich theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg said in an interview.

His Oxford colleague Alister McGrath agrees.

Atheism's "future seems increasingly to lie in the private beliefs of individuals rather than in the great public domain it once regarded as its habitat," Mr. McGrath wrote in the U.S. magazine, Christianity Today.

Two developments are plaguing atheism these days. One is that it appears to be losing its scientific underpinnings.

The other is the historical experience of hundreds of millions of people worldwide that atheists are in no position to claim the moral high ground.

British philosopher Anthony Flew, once as hard-nosed a humanist as any, has turned his back on atheism, saying it is impossible for evolution to account for the fact that one single cell can carry more data than all the volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Mr. Flew still does not accept the God of the Bible.

But he has embraced the concept of intelligent design -- a stunning desertion of a former intellectual ambassador of secular humanism to the belief in some form of intelligence behind the design of the universe.
Call it Intelligent Design if it soothes your sensibilities. Call it Yahweh. Or call Him God.

But call Him. Often. If you don't want to end up in the bad place.

This Isn't Possible

Canada has some of the most restrictive firearms laws of any nation on earth. So there is no way this could have happened (as reported in the Detroit News this morning):

Four Canadian police killed in pot raid

ROCHFORT BRIDGE, Alberta (AP) -- Four officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were shot dead Thursday while investigating an illegal marijuana farm, the worst case of police killings in Canada in 120 years.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Wayne Oakes said the four officers were at a Quonset hut on a farm near the village of Rochfort Bridge in northwestern Alberta when they were shot by a suspect, who was also found in the shed. A government source told The Canadian Press news agency that the suspect later killed himself after shooting the officers. (link)
My condolences go out to the families of the slain officers.

But how could this have happened in Canada where the liberal government has, in recent years, been heaping gun laws on top of gun laws in an attempt to disarm the law-abiding citizens of our neighbor to the north?

Obviously Canada needs more gun laws. Or fewer citizens.

In Good Company

It is flattering to find the man who wields more power than anyone else on the planet - at least as it pertains to economic matters - agreeing with me. Alan Greenspan has adopted the consumption tax as a worthy idea. From the New York Times this morning:

Fed's Chief Gives Consumption Tax Cautious Backing

WASHINGTON, March 3 - Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, cautiously endorsed a shift in the nation's tax system on Thursday from one that primarily taxes what people earn to one that taxes what they spend.

Testifying before a presidential advisory panel on overhauling the tax code, Mr. Greenspan steered away from sweeping plans to replace the income tax with a national sales tax.

But he supported what many of President Bush's advisers see as a backdoor version of a consumption tax: expanding the role of tax-free savings accounts so that people could shield their income from taxes until they actually spend it.

"Many economists believe that a consumption tax would be best from the perspective of promoting economic growth - particularly if one were designing a system from scratch - because a consumption tax is likely to favor saving and capital formation," Mr. Greenspan said. (link)
Mr. Greenspan has to be cautious on this matter. I don't. I believe we should scrap all income taxes, capital gains taxes, corporate taxes, luxury taxes, excise taxes, excess profits taxes, and the endless array of fees, and replace them all with a simple federal sales tax.

I remember when I first introduced this concept to Paula, her immediate reaction was, "Do you have any idea how much of a tax that would be?!"


My guess - and all anyone can do is guess because we pay so many different taxes currently - is that the sales tax would have to be pegged around 20% of the product or service being purchased. I've seen estimates ranging from 12 to 25%.

My reasons for this are three:

1) You're paying the same amount now. When those "evil" (American) corporations are taxed, those same corporations simply raise the price of the product you purchase.

2) A sales tax - as opposed to income taxes - encourages savings, a concept that lends itself to the current Social Security dilemma.

3) Politicians have a good gig going. They know that they can propose a tax on alcohol or gasoline or cigarettes or the "rich" and most Americans are fine with it. As long as that same politician makes sure to cite our need to save the environment, save our children, save us from the rich and from those evil corporations. And as long as those taxes are small and incremental.

This is how it has come to pass that you are paying 30 to 40% of your hard-earned income to local, state, and federal governments. Sneaky bastards, aren't they?

But when you buy a car and pay $5000 in sales tax on a $25000 car, you will want to club the next politician who comes to you with hat in hand and a tear in his eye.

The downside, of course, is that our politicians would have to approve a national sales tax. Which means it will never happen.

But it is still a good idea. It's good to know I travel in the company of (other) smart people.