We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As currently interpreted the Geneva Conventions only apply to individuals bent on destroying America. Individuals who blow up elementary schools, kidnap children, attack churches and mosques, kill invalids in wheelchairs, plan attacks on skyscrapers in New York, behead journalists, detonate car bombs with children to camouflage their crime, or board jetliners with explosive shoes -- all while wearing mufti or even women's clothing -- these are all considered "freedom fighters" of the most principled kind. They and they alone enjoy the protections of the Geneva Convention. As to Americans like Tucker and Menchaca or Israeli Gilad Shalit -- or these fifteen British sailors for that matter, it is a case of "what Geneva Convention?" We don't need no steenkin' Geneva Convention to try these guys as spies. That's the way the Human Rights racket works. Don't go looking for any Geneva Convention in Somalia, Darfur, Basilan or Iran. Try Guantanamo Bay.
Do we have enough tax redistribution, or do we need more? I think we are taking care of the poor - and this doesn't even include charity. Graph from piece at Willisms:
Less interesting -- "woops" link seems to be inop.
Returning to the interesting--I looked for more painted ladies the last time you showed one, but I can find them on the web page that seems to be in the photo.
Laurence F. Sheldon, Jr.
Regarding the "toad" story, it reports that:
"The toads were introduced [in Australia] from Hawaii in the 1930s in a failed attempt to control native cane beetles."
Which is about the time that FDR was inflicting his great socialist experiment upon us poor deluded Americans. And now, decades later, his toady offspring are gearing up for the 2008 Democratic Party Presidential Primary with the promise of even more pain than that which FDR caused us.
Placing Colorado with nothing around it was a bit tough, but the rest was pretty smooth sailing. All that Interstate driving and staring at highway maps while sitting at the counters of countless roadside greasy spoons in my youth, I suppose...
By lumping in people who are "bottom 20" you make a mess of everything. If you are of modest means, but work, you get next to nothing from the gov. It all goes to people on welfare. But you get counted with them.
The upper middle class is in a lather about AMT. The lower middle class has been paying AMT for several generations. It's called FICA. 15% of everything you earn gets skimmed, period. It goes right in the general fund, and gets spent. There's a scrap of paper in Washington somewhere that says" I owe my self $20 trillion. Signed, me."
If each person had that money invested in the stock market, they'd be able to retire a young, wealthy person. The stock market has returned 11% a year for 100 years. Your SocSec money returns nothing. It gets spent on midnight basketball and milk compacts and wind farms underground and Davos hookers.
Those modestly middle class people got to pay for all the poor people's stuff, and some of the rich people's stuff, and when the FICA receipts run out in a few years, they'll get to pay it all over again because there's nothing there in "Al Gore's Lockbox."
The government can't save money. It prints money. Saving money means taking it out of circulation. Burning it and printing it later would have the same effect. See: Weimar for results of the printing part.
Everybody keeps talking about "the rich" and "the poor" and who deserves what. They'd be better disposed to wonder what the hell we're all doing allowing the government to take the majority of it and waste it, squander it, lose it, and spend it on things that generally are 180 degrees from what we'd do with it.
roger de hauteville