Wednesday, October 22, 2014

US Rep Debate, MA 3rd CD

For John, BLUFWe are getting a second debate, helping to explicate issues for the voters  Good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

There will be at least one more debate between our US Representative, Niki Tsongas, and her challenger, Ann Wofford.  This debate has been set up by The [Lowell] Sun (thank you Sun editors).

The date and time is Tuesday, the 28th, at 10:00 AM.

The venue is the Conference Center on Fort Devens.

31 Andrews Parkway
Devens, MA 01434

More details when I get them.

Regards  —  Cliff

Taxing the Internet By the Ignorant

For John, BLUFTaxes should be used to encourage new economic areas, not to freeload off them.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Over at the blog site Samizdata blogger Perry de Havilland wants to know, "How do you say “astounding stupidity” in Hungarian?".  The cause of Mr de Havilland's outrage is the fact that the Hungarian Parliament has just voted to put a tax on the transfer of data on the Internet.

As the blog post points out, this is a way of stifling high tech industry and the creation of new ideas.  But, Hungary is drifting away from the ideal of a Liberal Democracy (not a Progressive Government, but a Liberal Democracy).

The reality is that taxes create social policy.  They can encourage or discourage economic growth in certain areas.  Taxes must be thoughtfully applied.  And, of course, they should not be so complex the rules and rulings take up a bookshelf of space in some lawyer's or accountant's office.

Yes, we absolutely need taxes, to pay for our government's actions, but we need to think about the impact of our taxes.

Hat tip to Samizdata.

Regards  —  Cliff

It Isn't Just the Koch Brothers

For John, BLUFIt isn't the amount you contribute, it is if you agree with my politics.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This last weekend's New York Times Magazine had an article on big money in politics.  In this case about billionaire being willing to drop $50 million in the current election.  The title is "How Billionaire Oligarchs Are Becoming Their Own Political Parties".  The author is Mr Jim Rutenbergoct.
In August, Tom Steyer and seven campaign advisers sat in a small conference room in Coral Gables, Fla., trying to figure out how to save the world.  Steyer, who is 57, has a fortune of roughly $1.5 billion, and his advisers were among the most talented political operatives in the United States.  Steyer is especially concerned about climate change, and his immediate goal, the object of discussion that day, was to replace the sitting governor of Florida, Rick Scott, a Republican who has questioned the very existence of anthropogenic climate change, with Charlie Crist, the previous governor, whose environmental views hew more closely to Steyer’s.
Think of the outrage if Mr Steyer was supporting Governor Scott.

Regards  —  Cliff

Europe as Exemplar

For John, BLUFAlways beware of using Europe as a model.  That said, here Europe has the via media.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Instapundit I found this link to an item at the On-line Presence The College Fix.  The Instapundit framed it:
IF YOU SUPPORT BROAD ABORTION RIGHTS, you probably don’t want to suggest that America should become “more European.”
I do believe there is a reflexive response that Europe is more progressive than the United States.  It turns out that the European operationalization of human rights are not always the same as our own.

To save you have having to read the linked article, a number of European nations, Western European nations, let the "right to an abortion" turn on viability of the fetus.  But, then they had the Holocaust and the rounding up of people for the gas chambers on their own turf.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Next Two Years

For John, BLUFWhen it comes to leadership, the US President is never a lame duck.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here we have some leadership advice from President Clinton's former chief of staff, Mr Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty, in The Wall Street Journal.
How Obama Can Salvage His Last Two Years

The president faces complex crises, including Ebola and Islamic State.

They require clear U.S. leadership.

Regards  —  Cliff

Boomers to Blame

For John, BLUFYes, John, folks of your generation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This headline from Salon says it all:
Baby boomers ruined America:  Why blaming millennials is misguided — and annoying
Regards  —  Cliff

Political Culture in Mexico

For John, BLUFHow quickly can this become a reality elsewhere?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On Saturday The New York Times had an article by Randal C Archiboldoct on the digging up of bodies in Mexico—Mexico, our next-door-neighbor.  The article title is "Mexico Finds Many Corpses, but Not Lost 43".  A number of secret burial sites were uncovered in an effort to find 43 university students who were disappeared by the police.  Here is the lede and following two paragraphs:
IGUALA, Mexico — With borrowed shovels and pick axes, the farmers drove their battered pickup trucks to a series of suspicious clearings in the countryside, jumped out and started digging.

“Hey, hey, it’s a spine,” one of the men, part of a citizen police patrol, called out last week, fishing out what appeared to be a piece of spinal column.  Soon came other fragments — a rib? a knee bone?

Five mass graves have already been discovered in the hunt for 43 students who disappeared last month after clashing with the local police — and another half dozen secret burial sites like this one are being tested to determine the origins of the remains inside.

This suggests a culture of political oppression, a culture where those who don't conform are murdered, or perhaps tortured and then executed, either by drug cartels or the Government.  Is this something that should concern us here in the United States?  What about down in the Desert Southwest of the nation?

Regards  —  Cliff