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Florida Property Tax Reform and Elimination

As you may already know, the State of Florida is currently considering a measure to eliminate the Florida Property tax during a special session (June 12-22, 2007), so action today is important. Property values in Florida have increased significantly over the past 5 years – 11 percent, 12.2 percent, 18.2 percent, 19 percent and 25 percent. The combined impact from all taxing jurisdictions is that property tax revenues have doubled, significantly outpacing inflation. Over the last decade state population has grown by 25 percent, personal income has grown by 86 percent, but property taxes have increased by 148 percent. The politicians whining about not having enough revenue want power over you, nothing more and will use fear and any technique than can in order to keep it. Their special interest friends want their handouts that the politicians take from you.

Abolishing the property tax would be a boon for the State of Florida for many reasons:
* Increased property values: people can afford more for their money without worrying about property taxes each year.
* Increased growth: lower taxes increase growth; meaning more jobs and better wages.
* Easier Home sales: people will be able to afford a more expensive house and be more mobile because they won?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t fear a huge tax increase that a move currently would cause. Continue reading Florida Property Tax Reform and Elimination

Immigration Reform – A Pig in the Parlor (June 4, 2007)

Let us be completely clear, we have no problem with legal immigration. The current problem with legal immigration is too few visas, particularly provisions that all but require students to leave the United States after they are educated in our Universities instead of encouraging them to stay. But that is a topic for a later time.

The problem is illegal immigration and the current proposed legislation rewards lawbreakers Continue reading Immigration Reform – A Pig in the Parlor (June 4, 2007)

Islam and Muslims in America, only 78% say suicide bombs are never justified according to Pew

A Pew Research survey of American Muslims say 8% say suicide bombings against civilian targets are justified sometimes justified to defend Islam.  9% refused to answer the question, and another 5% said they are “rarely justified.” Only 78% said suicide bombings were “never justified” but that means 13% of American Muslims think suicide bombings are justified at least under some circumstances and 9% refused to answer meaning 22% of American Muslims believe that suicide bombings can be justified.

Pew neglected to ask the percentage who approve of suicide bombings against military targets.  41% of the over 30 crowd think of themselves as Muslim first, 30% as American first.

Interestingly 15% of American Muslims under 30 believe that suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified in the defense of Islam.  5% refused to answer the question.  60% think of themselves as Muslim first, 25% as American first.

24% say that it is unacceptable for a Muslim to marry a non-Muslim.  26% say that Muslims “coming to the U.S. today should mostly try to remain distinct from the larger American society.”

The survey.


The best “End of the World” novels

The best so-called “End of the World” type novels that have some basis in reality:
[updated, as new good books need to be added]

1. One Second After by William R. Forstchen [2009] – EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) hits the United States, what happens next?

2. Alas, Babylon, Pat Frank (1959) – Nuclear war in the 1950s-1960s

3.The Last Ship, William Brinkley (1988) – nuclear war, and the aftermath on a ship.

4. Lucifer’s Hammer, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle (1977) – disaster comes from the sky.

5. On The Beach, Nevil Shute (1957). Nuclear war.

6. Earth Abides, George R. Steward (1949) – disease

7. The Stand, Stephen King

8. Dies the Fire, S.M. Stirling

Have any that you would add?  Let us know below!

A Green “Live Earth”?

The 7 Live Earth concerts scheduled around the world for July 7, 2007, are great examples of carbon hypocrisy.If the Live Earth organizers and stars really want to be “green”, here is the best advice:

1. Cancel the concert, and get all those people who are driving to stay home.

2. Keep the stars in their jets from wasting fuel – and increasing by carbon emissions – by staying home. A tele-concert would be the greenest option.

3. Eliminate all the disposable paper products for snacks and drinks at Live Earth too. Composting is a good start, but instead of “reducing,” why not just eliminate?

4. Donate the money from tickets to the environmental group of your choice – it makes more sense than paying it to organizers and stars who have to take their cut first.

5. Don’t forget that the “environmentally friendly” compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs contain mercury, a neurotoxin. Hopefully Live Earth will be using some other more environmentally friendly replacement. Ten years from now we are going to be hearing about lawsuits from people towards the companies manufacturing these “environmentally friendly” bulbs because governments have forced them to stop manufacturing the older bulbs.
6. Replace diesel and biodiesel generators with taps into the much more efficient power company networks. Generators are inherently polluting. To truly reduce carbon emissions, if possible, use nuclear, wind or solar power. (Of course nuclear is still better due to much less significant carbon manufacturing footprint as compared to solar and wind power.)But again, it is really about throwing a concert to help the stars careers while lecturing the rest of the world not to behave like the stars do.The most environmentally friendly Live Earth concert, is no Live Earth concert. Let alone seven concerts.

———Update: July 7th.A nice Daily Mail article on the environmental impact of Live Earth.Some high points in the article:

1. Superstars are flying 222623.63 miles to get to the various concerts.

2. Carbon emissions will total around 31,500 tonnes for the live events.

3. Total emissions around 74,500 tonnes

4. 1025 tonnes of waste is generated at the sites, most going to landfills. (Wembley states 2/3s will do so.)

5. Madonna has an average annual carbon footprint of almost 1018 tonnes, compared with an average of 10 tones per Britishfamily.The full article shows more of the Live Earth hypocrisy.

Update: July 7The Washington Post has more to add:The article begins with ” ‘If you want to save the planet, I want you to start jumping up and down!’ Thus Madonna revealed her plan to combat global warming.”

1. Carbon Footprint’s John Buckley stated that Live Earth would produce about 74,500 tons of carbon dioxide gas.

2. 100,000 trees would need to be planted to effectively counter “Live Earth”

All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed… and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S.

“All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed… and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S.”
– Attributed to President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933 after making it illegal to own gold  [There is dispute about this quotation, but the result was the same.]


2010 Update: Great article on President Roosevelt confiscating – a.k.a. taking or stealing – gold from United States citizens and foreigners (through devaluation).

A Race to Liberty, Not a Race to the Bottom

The phrase “Race to the Bottom” is a semantic slight of hand used to attempt to color your opinion prior to even looking at the situation over which the phrase is used. The phrase “Race to the bottom” was coined by US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in the 1933 case, Ligget Co. v. Lee (288 U.S. 517, 558-559). Brandeis didn’t fail to see that competition helps to increase liberty, Brandeis merely believed that this was a bad thing. Coining a phrase like “race to the bottom” is a wonderful technique if you wish to stifle dissent and put other views immediately on the defensive.

In fact, the often disparaged “race to the bottom” is in fact a race to freedom. The “race to the bottom” is a race to give each individual person the liberty Continue reading A Race to Liberty, Not a Race to the Bottom