Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

How Deep Is Our Collective Reservoir ?

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Liberty is a fine-sounding word. But it has its limitations. Caution needs to be practiced so as not to go to another extreme. Many a libertarian wants to be free to practice his own social immorality in the name of freedom, but in this he tends to be socially liberal, while fiscally conservative.

The Libertarian with a capital “L” yearns for almost limitless freedom from controls, saying we would be better off with no government. But for most Americans, the idea of liberty comes with the needed expense of at least minimal guidelines, governance, and law enforcement. The debate, therefore, among the liberty-loving peoples comes down to how much governance is needed.

Our two-hundred-plus year experiment in freedom and self-government has worked well, because in general there has been a reservoir of decency and obedience to natural laws of goodness among the people.   But will our Constitution survive in a people who seem less inclined these days to cling to standards of righteousness?

Flat Tax : More Fair than the “Fair Tax”

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

“Fair Tax” still implies some levels of subjectivity, which is why I prefer a “Flat Tax” as a primary tax, in tandem with a consumption tax, which is what the  “Fair Tax” seems to be.    

A Flat Tax would be simplest and most fair— more fair then the Fair Tax — no adjustments, no exemptions, no limits.  Tie all income and consumption to personal social security numbers and business tax ID numbers and let computers sort everything out.

Unfortunately I  foresee problems with the consumption tax if it’s anything like the sales tax system in Florida.  Businesses are collecting the tax but not turning it into the government or are understating their sales.   We don’t want to create another agenda that’s going to take an army of auditors and collection agents to sort out.

Desert Flower – 2009 movie, biography,drama

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I continue to be in awe of what goes on in the world outside my protected existence.

I innocently tuned into this late night insomniac movie, lured by the simple trailer that it was about a woman, Waris Dirie, who escapes from the horrors of Somalia and becomes a super model.

I anticipated a runway model success story, which in part it was.

But the underlying and eventually dominant theme is about Somalian atrocities, and specifically FGM (female genital mutiliation), a subject that I was totally ignorant about, not that it has ever been a subject of casual discussion or a college elective.

More than you ever would want to know about FGM is at this Wiki link.

female genital mutilation in Africa

from Wiki: FGM in Africa

Interesting sidelights coming out of this late night TV foray : Waris Dirie is a very real person, better remembered from Chanel perfume ads and her role in “The Living Daylights,” a 1987 James Bond film, not so much recognized as a goodwill U.N. ambassador speaking out against a practice that would eventually be recognized as a violation of human rights.

Related links:

2005 : Ex-model found alive in Brussels

Airlines upset with Biden’s suggestion to avoid air travel because of flu

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

I posted the following comment reacting to the above article in the Jacksonville Business Journal about the Airline industry :

I find Vice President Joe Biden’s candor refreshing in a sea of head-in-the-sand bureaucrats reading from scripts who want us to believe everything will be all right. Revisit the statistics from the 1918 flu pandemic, a two year event killing upwards from 10 million people globally. “Upwards” may be 100 million people dead from the global event, which affected half the world’s population at the time. These are the same bureaucrats who were preaching how strong the economy was as they innoculated themselves financially against the impending plague we find ourselves in now. We’ve got to think and fend for ourselves, and not be deluded by warm and fuzzy feel good messages from Big Brother.

Financial Stimulus Package – Work In Progress

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

I called Congressman Stearns’ office this morning to cast my unsolicited “no vote” to the passing of the Financial Stimulus Package (FSP).

The FSP falls way short of being directly responsive to people who need help today. The FSP is padded with more government bureaucracy and programs that we flat out don’t need. The Package is a short term emotional reaction to deep rooted economic problems that have no quick fix.

Where’s the direct help to people who have lost jobs ? How does sodding the lawn at wherever in D.C., renovating the Smithsonian, giving money to the National Endowment For The Arts, etc., etc. . . . how does that help anyone without a job today ?

The jobs they talk about that FSP will create . . . green jobs, IT jobs, whatever . . . what makes them think the displaced jobless people have even a miniscule chance at qualifying for this new work ? They don’t . . . without retraining and retooling themselves.

Send everyone a check for $20,000 . . . that’ll be cheaper than what’s purposed, it’ll avoid adding another layer of oversight bureaucracy to this smoke and mirrors package, and it will put money immediately into the hands of people and businesses who need it.

Let them decide . . . let them vote with the dollar . . . what they need . . . let demand drive the economy rather than Government know-it-alls try to jam products and programs down our throats following a misguided supply side economic approach.

What good is putting any money into almost any business if it only keeps them afloat temporarily and extends the inevitable ? If people don’t buy the product, for whatever reason, what does pumping more money into the business do other than keep the owners and stockholders momentarily happy ?

Obama is under too much pressure to do something decisive in his first days in office . . . for him to show Change is happening . . . this Financial Stimulus approach isn’t it. I’ll forgive him. Our economic recovery is going to take a slower more thought out approach, not Don Quixote attacking the windmill.

The Brutal FSP Details from The Wall Street Journal