Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lower Corporate Tax Rates

Yes. You heard me. Lowering the corporate tax rates is a good thing.

Mark Steyn over at The Corner said it so well, I've completely copied it below including the link to the Irish article.


When Irish eyes are filing
[Mark Steyn]

Steve Forbes says wake up and smell the 40 shades of green:If the incoming Obama Administration is serious about squeezing more money from businesses, it should follow the example of Ireland and slash corporate tax rates. The U.S. has one of the highest profits levies in the developed world: 35% at the federal level, with another average of 5% from state and local taxes. Only Japan has worse. In contrast, Ireland's rate is a mere 12.5%. Imagine the howls from congressional Democrats if Barack Obama were to suggest enacting such a low corporate tax rate in the U.S.

But the accompanying table tells an eye-opening tale: Ireland's corporate tax take as a portion of its economy is higher than that of the U.S. High rates breed pressure for ever more complicated exemptions and ever more ingenious ways to avoid Uncle Sam's tax bite. But an Irish-like rate leaves companies to focus brainpower on growing their businesses instead of on jousting with tax collectors.

This is very true. As a very small corporate magnate myself, I've just had the usual year-end discussion with the green-eyeshade guys where you discuss the company entirely in terms of tax implications rather than strategic business considerations.

I said it on Rush's show yesterday but it bears repeating: To a certain type of simple-minded populist, the idea of soaking vast faceless corporations is appealing. But in the end a "corporation" cannot pay tax: The Globocorp corporate HQ looming in chrome and steel over the skyline does not have a pocket to dip into. Like all taxes, the actual cash has to be ponied up by flesh-and-blood human beings - the owners, workers and employees of the corporation. The growing gap between US corporate rates and other developed nations is a massive disincentivization for real human beings to start and grow a business here. And for those already here it encourages the kind of short-term thinking that leads to Bailoutistan and American sclerosis.

UPDATE: A reader adds:

I have always looked at it another way: Corporations don't pay taxes — they collect taxes.

The taxes that they pay are collected from the people to whom they sell their goods and services — people like you and me. Corporate taxes are a way that the government hides what you and I are actually paying in taxes.

Defending Israel

Mark Steyn defends Israel.

Which is as it should be.

The question is will Obama, which if he doesn't, means he may not defend democracy here either.

Don't Panic

It's not going to be a Great Depression according to Erza Lavent of Canada's National Post. In his opinion piece, we are facing difficulties but it is NOTHING like the 1930s.

And nor will it be.

I think this quote from his column sums it up, but do please read the whole thing.

...If 8% unemployment is considered a Great Depression, then Canada has been in a Great Depression for most of the last 30 years.

The IMF predicts that U. S. GDP will dip by 0.7% in 2009. Again, not good news. But a Great Depression? The U. S. economy shrank 12% in 1930, another 16% in 1931, a whopping 23% in 1932 and another 4% in 1933. That's a Great Depression. A 0.7% dip is America taking its foot off the gas for a moment.

ThoughtPolice on School

The British ThoughtPolice at Watercliff Meadow school are dropping the word "School" because it has "negative connotations".

According to this Guardian article,
"The headteacher of Sheffield's Watercliffe Meadow, Linda Kingdon, said the south Yorkshire school, which is due to open on Monday, will instead be called a "place for learning". ....

"This is Watercliffe Meadow, a place for learning. One reason was many of the parents of the children here had very negative connotations of school.

"Instead we want this to a be a place for family learning, where anyone can come.

"We were able to start from scratch and create a new type of learning experience. There are no whistles or bells or locked doors. We wanted to de-institutionalise the place and bring the school closer to real life."

Isn't a place for learning a school no matter what? At least, there are some sensible people in this farce.

Local MP Richard Caborn questioned the decision to drop the word school from Watercliffe Meadow's title. "I'm always open to new ideas but the reality is education is about preparing young people to live in the real world," he said.

"I just don't think the case has been made to drop the word school to a place of learning. I don't know why they have done it."

Councillor Andrew Sangar, Sheffield city council's cabinet member for children's services and lifelong learning, said: "It's a school, we consider it a school and that's how we refer to it.
I truly believe that we are experiencing a form of indoctrination - thoughtpolice - every time some liberal (or otherwise) idiot tries to change the meaning of our language or force us to use words we normally wouldn't.

It's pathetic and sad really but if we don't start calling the thoughtpolice out and making it clear we know what they are doing, then all this PCBS will become dangerous.

Friday, January 2, 2009

More Democratic Scandals

Wow. This could be the first time in American history that an incoming president had to have lawyers before he even served on day in office.

Beware The Killer Chinchilla

While I agree with Mr. Lagerfeld in principle - that it is foolish to fret about wearing fur in a society that eats meat, I'm not entirely certain we are truly threatened by the mink....

he said, "killing those beasts who would kill us if they could."

Whatever Happened To British Reserve?

As the wife of a British man and the mother of two half-British children, I am yet still glad we live in America after reading this review of the British New Year's Eve Celebrations from The Daily Mail.




The thing of it is, most British will blame Tony Blair for changing the pub hours rather than were the blame truly belongs - on British Youth and their parents for not raising them better.

Now we've all made stupid choices but you can not find a British social commentator that condones this boozy excess in Britain. But I do not believe that the change of pub hours is to blame. It was the limiting of pub hours during WWI that created a culture shift.

I've been out drinking in London pubs with my husband and his friends before the change in hours and was astonished at the pattern of behavior. We met at 6pm at the pub and started drinking pints. No dinner. No bar snacks. Just drinking steadily for hours until last call when I suddenly found myself surrounded by full pint glasses and everyone at our table trying to pound as many pints of lager as possible in 10 minutes.

Then and only then at 11pm did we pour out of the pub and hit the local Indian restaurant for a curry dinner and more lager.

American's don't drink that way and we have even more liberal bar hours than Britian. Why?

Because we eat. Many bars are required by law to serve food. Americans do not feel rushed to drink as much as they can swallow because we know we have all night to drink. So we eat dinner first and then hit the bar. Even after drinking and dancing all night long at a club, we would swing by the local all-night diner for a breakfast before going to bed.

The British don't do that because they had become accustom to severely limited drinking hours and no food served in the pubs. This is changing but until the British change their ways, this sort of behavior will continued, long hours or short.

It's Okay, She's Royalty

Apparently, women running for political office get the full brunt of appearance criticism if and only if they are republicans/conservativs or if they are simply not the "right" sort of female democrat.

Sen. Clinton and Gov. Palin got run through the media mill for every outfit they wore and every color of lipstick they applied, but Caroline Kennedy has been given a pass.

It must be nice to be Queen. Especially when you have this in your past...

.... Caroline was routinely compared to her famously svelte mother, and as a result her self-esteem plummeted. In a fit of pique that bordered on the bizarre, she shaved off one eyebrow. "My face," she offered by way of explanation, "is too symmetrical."
I hope New York enjoys having crazy people representing them in the Senate.

That can only be a plus.

Hat Tip to Althouse

Blago and Burris

Gov. Blago has picked Roland Burris to fill Obama's old Senate seat, putting the democrats in a lose-lose situation.

First, as this excellent Commentary Magazine piece by Jennifer Rubin points out, if the Senate Democrat's accept Burris, they run the risk of accepting a tainted candidate from an disgraced democratic governor.

Second, if they attempt to reject Burris, they not only could be acting unConstitutionally, but will also be rejecting an African-American.

Talk about Blago taking the scorched earth route - what democrat will now help him after this stunt.

And what I find all the more offensive is that Burris is 71! When most American's are told to retire at 65 or that they will have to work until they are 72 in order to live off of Social Security, why does this man get a Senate seat for at least the next two years that offers plum pension plans? Aren't there any other younger African-Americans who could have done this job? Ones that might actually have a chance at re-election?

The whole thing seems like calculated defiance and spite.

Be Skeptical, It's Your Damn Job

The Englightened Redneck is correct to call out Dan Froomkin of The Washington Post for wondering if he should be skeptical of Obama.

To paraphrase The Englightened Redneck, You are a journalist - it is your job to be skeptical of EVERYONE. How dare you consider anything less.

Not only does the media lean left, it is typically liberal lazy. Unwilling to do any real work, unwilling to challenge their own beliefs, and unwilling to accept new evidence when it overturns their ideology.

Is it any wonder newspapers are suffering. Who wants to read dreck when there are so many more honest avenues to information out there.

- United State of Pop 2008 (Viva La Pop)

A fantastic video mash-up of Billboard's Top 25 Pop Songs of 2008.

I suspect I'd prefer this to any individual song on the list. It's really good.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

More Intolerance Please

I completely agree with Jonah Goldberg, here, that we need more intolerance in the world.

More intolerance of terrorism.
More intolerance of rudeness.
More intolerance of crime.
More intolerance of reckless driving. (I'm looking at you talking on the cellphone)
More intolerance of divorce.
More intolerance of misbehaving children.
More intolerance of failing schools.

When we lower expectations of behavior, we end up with more bad behavior. When we lower our tolerance of evil, we get more evil.

I am sick of it. And I hope you are too.

Read Jonah's arguement and you'll soon agree.

Fighting Iran

Micheal Ledeen offers an insightful look at the real problem in the Middle East, Iran.

We definately should be helping Israel fight Hamas and destroy it but we also need to figure out a way to neutralize Iran. Even Egypt is sick of them.

Read for yourself what the right story is in this NRO article titled "Wrong Story".

Thank You Mr. Sowell

Another fine observation by the great Thomas Sowell.

Wonders Never Cease

The New York Times actually got something right.

The 50th Anniversary of Castro taking power is a very BAD thing.

Who'd believe it. The New York Times actually did some accurate reporting!?!


If Thomas Sowell recommends reading something, then I, for one, will read it.

This Outliers book sounds fascenating.

If It Works, Don't Fix It

Conservatives tend to make incremental improvements. Liberals tend to tear down and needlessly rebuild.

Conservatives learn from history. Liberals repeat it.

Looks like we're facing one of those repeating history things.

We now have a good idea of what NOT to do to an economy thanks to the examples provided by the players of the Great Depression but our democrat "leaders" are not learning from histories mistakes.

Amity Shlaes, author of the book I'm currently reading - The Forgotten Man, has an excellent article in The Washington Post today about just this subject and he says it much better than I.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh, And...

I hope and pray for all of us that 2009 will be a happier new year.

Have fun tonight. Don't drink and drive.

And remember, tomorrow is another day, month, and year.

2008 In Review

This is my husband's Year In Review.

Even if I weren't his wife, I would agree with him.

To quote his ending, "2008, you were a rotten year. No-one likes you. Go away!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Faith Has Many Rewards

According to this study, being religious helps you control your impulses and lead a happier better life.

Why isn't this surprising to those of us with faith?

How Your Family Affects Your Brain

Finally, a scientific study that explains family relationships via your brain.

In short, there is a reason why they make you crazy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Foreigner Predictions

I love it when foreign experts expound about the United States. My beloved husband didn't "get" American federalism for the first 3 years he lived here while working in DC (he gets it now).

So when I hear this Russian professor predicting the demise of the USA in 2010, I actually just have to smile. Seems more like a wishful thinking than actual understanding.


Bristol Palin has given birth to a healthy baby boy.

Congratulations to the new parents and new grandparents.

All my best wishes for a happy, healthy, productive and long life.

A new baby is always a joy.

From the good folks at Samizdata

A stirring defense of Freedom of Speech (especially on the internet) by the good folks at

Thank you Perry de Havilland

Political Correctness Vs. Freedom Of Thought

The Keith John Sampson Story

A video from Founding Bloggers which looks like a great site.

Watch the video, it is well worth knowing how important the fight against PCBS is!

And just remember this, if someone is attempting to control your speech, they are attempting to control your thinking.

While you are at it, visit FIRE, the good folks who fought for Keith John Sampson's liberty and won.

The False Collectivism of Liberal Progressives

Collectivism is a principle foundation of all left-wing ideologies. The Utopian idea that if we all agreed and worked toward a common goal we'd make a worker's paradise.

Or some such nonsense.

The point is that collectivism within the progressive framework is a red herring. It's a false ideal used to bludgeon folks into submission via groupthink, ideology, and indoctrination.

A good example of what I mean comes from my current reading - a book called The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes. This book is a deeply interesting review of the Great Depression and what people were actually thinking AT THE TIME. Not what people decided to think after events unfolded.

What do I mean? Well, like Jonah Goldberg's book "Liberal Fascism", Shlaes references the publications, newspaper articles, and government policies during the Great Depression as they were published so that you can easily see what the players were thinking then. You read about the events as they happened with citations, not an overview that interprets happened.

I found this moment illuminating. It deals with a gent called R. C. Tugwell, an economist with strong collectivist leanings (he went with others to the USSR to meet with Stalin). He and some like-minded economists published a college textbook on Economics with pictures and captions to illustrate their points.

One picture was of a skyscraper and the caption that states, "Collective effort built this; the inference is inescapable; but we sometimes attempt to avoid the logical further inference that more collective effort is needed. Sometimes we say that what we need is more individual enterprise. No individual ever built a skyscraper."

What a load of horsehooey!

If no individual ever built a skyscraper, then no collective ever built one either. There is ALWAYS a leader, a decision maker, a financier, an architect. Always.

Whether in a capitalist society or a collectivist society, someone has to make decisions and be responsible for them. The only difference is that in a capitalist society, the decision maker can also profit financially from the risks he or she takes, while in a collectivist society the decision maker will only be punished for failure and gain nothing from success.

No "individual enterprise" succeeds without workers but no random group of workers can succeed without an individual leader.

There is an "I" in TEAM. It's the "I" of Coach and the "I" of Team Captain. To claim otherwise is ignorance beyond bliss and well into oblivion.

And that is the big lie about liberalism, progressivism, and/or collectivism. It's never just a bunch of workers united. There is always a decider, a leader, a decision maker who emerges and leads. And he builds his leadership into power by convincing others they will make out better with him or her than with anyone else, by building a groupthink that supports him without question - often in fear.

Capitalism and conservatives have leaders too. But followers can disagree with their leaders, can go somewhere else. Followers of a practitioner of "individual enterprise" tend to make money, even the lowliest follower.

The same can not be said of liberal elites who expect blind faith from their followers while enjoying all the benefits of elitism.

At least, you can disagree with your capitalist boss, but woe betide the folks who speak up under collectivist rule. Remember the Gulag? Don't think Putin has forgotten.

When liberals start demanding that we all agree, they are a engaging in false collectivism. When liberals say we should all sacrifice but makes no sacrifice themselves, they are engaging in false collectivism. When liberals demand we accept the low life while they live the high life, they are engaging in false collectivism.

Engage in capitalism. You'll make out a lot better.

Support Israel

Another reason why the New York Post is a better newspaper than the New York Times, their articles are just so damn right.

Ralph Peters opinion piece is very sound. The headline alone sums it up...


He details the view that Israel is not allowed to defend itself but terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah are allowed to attack it.


Could you imagine how long America would tolerate some kind of La Raza group lobbing hundreds of missiles a day into El Paso, Texas. About one New York minute is how long.

So how dare these liberal elites condemn Israel for defending itself?

Defining Moments

Rich Lowry's opinion piece in the New York Post is about both Obama's pick Rick Warren for his inaugeration invocation and about the larger culture war raging through America.

The article is worth a glance but its this summation which I think should be most remembered...

Ah, yes, "gracefully step aside." That's essentially what the cultural left has been asking traditionalists to do for 30 years now, to politely shut up while it goes about redefining the country's mores. The answer must now be, as it has always been, "No way, no how."

Because whether it is about gay marriage or abortion or scientific honesty, the fight between liberals and conservatives has always been between screamers and speakers. I, for one, am with Rich here. I no longer wish to speak politely to people who are too busy screaming at me to hear what I have to say.

I have frequently noticed that we all want the same ends (more or less) but the means to achieve those ends are where the principle differences lay. It seems however that you simply can not get your average liberal to admit something as simple as that.

Sincere there is no talking to these folks, I say break out the pitchforks and let's fight to preserve what is right.

More Media Bias

This time, the bias reveals itself in a compare and constrast of Presidential workout schedules.

As usual Michelle Malkin is scathingly entertaining.

I particularly like her ending....

Fit Republican president = Selfish, indulgent, creepy fascist.

Fit Democratic president = Disciplined, health-conscious Adonis role model.

The good news: In just a few short weeks, W. will be able to exercise in peace, free from the disapproving glares of journalists now rushing to mop the sweat — er, the glisten — from Barack Obama’s hallowed brow.

A Generation of Indoctrination

I think the subtitle of this article explains both the title and why you should read it.

After 30 years, it may be time to take Iran’s threats seriously.

Stabbing the Heart of Science

Competitive Enterprise Institute writer Richard Morrison has an article up on their website, here, about Obama's bad science picks.

These picks are scientists with alarmist agendas and do not bode good for the country or the scientific community.

Don't say you weren't warned.

(Disclosure - my husband works for CEI, it's a good place. Check out its website.)

This is Fun

Here is a link to a list of the best "Best of 2008" Lists.

I especially like the "Top 20 Mug Shots of 2008" - Classy.

Hat tip to Jonah Goldberg

Victor Davis Hanson on Sarah Palin

I liked this from NRO so much I am quoting it in full....

A Media Morality Tale [Victor Davis Hanson]

The putative Caroline Kennedy candidacy for senator has had the odd effect of reopening the media can of worms treatment of Gov. Palin. Compared to Sarah Palin's almost immediate immersion into crowds and public speaking, Kennedy seems like a deer in the headlights before the media that is either ignored or asked to submit written questions. Palin was a natural; Kennedy can't finish a single sentence without "You know" or "I mean." Palin's family saga and daily grind were populist to the core; Kennedy is a creature of a few blocks' radius in Manhattan and Martha's Vineyard.

Outsider and lower-middle-class Palin toughed it out in Wasilla for years of politicking on a 16-year slog through Alaskan old-boy politics; Caroline Kennedy in regal fashion apparently skipped voting in about half of New York elections, and has never run for anything.

Reporters swarmed over Palin's pregnancies, and her wardrobe, but apparently took on face value that Caroline's fluff books were really a sign of either erudition or scholarship.

Conservative Palin endured liberal Charlie Gibson's glasses0on-the nose pretentiousness, and Katie Couric's attack-dog questions; insider Kennedy I doubt will meet with either, much less sit down with a hostile questioner like a Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly. Her friendly New York Times "interview" proved an embarrassment—rarely have so many words been spoken with so little content.

But, no, the real embarrassment proves to be the media itself that apparently can't see this weird unfolding self-incriminating morality tale: It is not just that Palin is conservative, Kennedy politically-correct (e.g., pro-abortion, gun control, gay marriage, etc), or Palin a newcomer to public attention, Kennedy a celebrity since childhood. Rather it is the aristocratic value system of most NY-DC journalists themselves who apparently still assume that old money, status, and an Ivy-League pedigree are reliable barometers of talent and sobriety, suggesting that the upper-East Side Kennedy's public ineptness is an aberration, a bad day, a minor distraction, while Palin's charisma and ease are superficial and a natural reflection of her Idaho sports journalism degree.

A few generations ago, Democrats would have opposed Palin but appreciated her blue-collar story, and applauded a working mom who out-politicked entrenched and richer male elites. But now the new aristocratic liberalism has adopted the values of the old silk-stocking Republicans of the 1950s—and so zombie-like worship rather than question entitlement.