The Value-Added Tax Should Be Political Poison for Advocates of Limited Government

January 15, 2016

Tweeted this last night, but it’s worth its own post. There’s a lot to like about Ted Cruz, but his insistence that his new tax plan doesn’t contain a VAT, thus giving advocates of big government another revenue stream, is an annoying dodge. I wish he’d drop it, and the VAT.

International Liberty

It’s not my role to pick sides in political fights, but I am very interested in trying to make bad ideas radioactive so that politicians won’t be tempted to do the wrong thing.

This is why I’m a big fan of the no-tax-hike pledge. The folks in Washington salivate at the prospect of getting more of our money, but they are less likely to act on their desires if they’re scared that breaking their promises means they’ll lose the next election.

It’s also why I want the value-added tax (VAT) to become a third-rail issue. Simply stated, it would be a catastrophic mistake to give Washington an additional source of tax revenue. Especially since the European evidence shows that it’s a money machine to expand the welfare state.

Given my concerns, I was understandably distressed that two lawmakers (and presidential candidates) who normally support smaller government, Rand Paul

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The abject failure of official global-warming predictions

January 13, 2016

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) can’t get a single prediction about global warming right, and yet we’re supposed to take drastic, economically harmful action on their say so? Yeah, right.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Monckton of Brenchley

The IPCC published its First Assessment Report a quarter of a century ago, in 1990. The Second Assessment Report came out 20 years ago, the Third 15 years ago. Even 15 years is enough to test whether the models’ predictions have proven prophetic. In 2008, NOAA’s report on the State of the Global Climate, published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, said: “The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

To the continuing embarrassment of the profiteers of doom, the least-squares linear-regression trends on Dr Roy Spencer’s UAH satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 18 years 6 months, despite a continuing (and gently accelerating) increase…

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Pour encourager les autres! ISIS burning its own troops alive

January 12, 2016
"Still the JV?"

“Wait. Just who’s getting burned today??”

Well, this will certainly buck-up morale:

ISIS fighters who fled to the terror group’s Iraqi stronghold of Mosul after being defeated in Ramadi were burned alive in the town square, sources told FoxNews.com, in an unmistakable message to fighters who may soon be defending the northern city from government forces.

Several residents of Mosul recounted the grisly story for stateside relatives, describing the deadly reception black clad jihadists got when they made it to Mosul, some 250 miles north of the city retaken by Iraqi forces operating with cover from U.S. air power.

“They were grouped together and made to stand in a circle,” a former resident of northern Iraq now living in the U.S. but in touch with family back home told FoxNews.com. “And set on fire to die.”

Sources quoted in the article go on to argue that ISIS is increasingly paranoid, fractured, and even desperate. I don’t know if I’d go that far, and a lot of that may be wishful thinking (something we’ve engaged in a lot vis-a-vis ISIS), but it can’t be a good sign for their internal cohesion and esprit de corps.

On the other hand, the Red Army won on the Eastern Front with commissars following behind the troops, shooting deserters, so…

Regardless, I encourage ISIS to continue the jihadi barbecue to the last brave knight of Allah.

PS: Regarding the French in the title? It’s from a true-life incident satirized in Candide. One of the great moments in literature.


Did Hillary Clinton consider fomenting unrest against Israel in 2011?

January 11, 2016
Above the rules.

You can trust me.

That is, did our then-Secretary of State and current Democratic front-runner for the presidency contemplate inciting Palestinian unrest as a club against our closest ally in the region?

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the answer is yes:

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton considered a secret plan created by her then-advisers to foment unrest among Palestinian citizens and spark protests in order to push the Israeli government back to the negotiating table, according to emails released as part of the investigation into the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s private email server.

In a Dec, 18, 2011, email, former U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering suggested that Clinton consider a plan to restart then-stalled peace negotiations by kickstarting Palestinian demonstrations against Israel.

Pickering described the effort as a potential “game changer in the region,” recommending that the United States undertake a clandestine campaign to generate unrest. Clinton requested that his email be printed.

“What will change the situation is a major effort to use non-violent protests and demonstrations to put peace back in the center of people’s aspirations as well as their thoughts, and use that to influence the political leadership,” Pickering wrote.

“This is far from a sure thing, but far, in my humble view, from hopeless,” he continued. “Women can and ought to be at the center of these demonstrations. Many men and others will denigrate the idea. I don’t and I don’t think that was your message.”

Palestinian women, he noted, are less likely than men to resort to violence.

“It must be all and only women. Why? On the Palestinian side the male culture is to use force,” Pickering wrote, comparing the effort to the protests in Egypt that deposed former leader Hosni Mubarak. “Palestinian men will not for long patiently demonstrate — they will be inclined over time and much too soon to be frustrated and use force. Their male culture comes close to requiring it.”

Pickering noted that the administration must keep its role in the demonstration a secret, so as not to aggravate ties with Israel.

Gee. Oh, gosh. I do so wonder why the might think the Israelis might object, just because we had a hand in inciting demonstrations against them with utterly unpredictable consequences and with a huge potential to blow up in everyone’s face?

This is one of those revelations that shows how dangerously incompetent Clinton and her team of clowns is, and why she should come nowhere near the presidency.

Just what in Heaven’s name were they thinking? This was near the start of the so-called “Arab Spring,” with demonstrations against secular dictatorships launched in the name (ostensibly) of liberal reform. Instead, what we got was a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, the most important Arab state and a key US ally, which had to be removed in a military coup. Other countries fell into turmoil and even civil war. It has, so far, been an almost-unmitigated disaster for the region, with consequences spreading globally.

And yet Clinton and her advisers thought they could safely harness this to “shame’ the Israelis into making peace? (Newsflash: It’s not Israel that’s been the big obstacle to peace, here.) Did they seriously think for one moment that such demonstrations wouldn’t be hijacked by radical organizations? Did it not occur to them that an “honor and shame” culture such as the Arabs’ could never let their women take the lead for long? That violence would be almost inevitable and that implementing this cockamamie plan risked a new intifada — or worse? Did they think they could control all the forces they would be stirring up?

Against an ally??

How well did the Clinton-Obama war in Libya go, again?

Who’d they get this plan from? The Underpants Gnomes?

PS: Homework question for the House and Senate foreign relations committees — Was any part of this plan ever implemented?


Britain Bracing for Extreme Winter, as Torrential Rain turns to Snow

January 11, 2016

Should this come to pass, it will of course be the fault of anthropogenic global warming, climate change, and the Dread Demon CO2, which can do anything. ANY-THING. (Say it after me, kiddies: “natural cycles.”)

Watts Up With That?

snow Could this be about to happen again? In January 2010, Britain was Covered in Snow

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to forecasters, Britain is bracing for extreme winter conditions which might last for months, as falling temperatures turn torrential rain into severe blizzards.

Arctic SNOWBOMB to smash into Britain: Coldest winter in 58 YEARS now just days away

BRITAIN faces WEEKS of freezing blizzards, crippling snowfall and brutal winter storms as a savage turn in the weather plunges the ENTIRE COUNTRY into winter lockdown.

Blistering Polar gales, several feet of snow and near-record low temperatures will grind the country to a standstill until MARCH, forecasters warn.

The first taste of what could be a historic whiteout arrived this weekend blanketing parts of Scotland and Yorkshire in thick snow.

A dramatic change in atmospheric conditions will drag a plume of freezing air from the North Pole across Britain through…

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Goodbye Bowie

January 11, 2016

Sad news about the passing of David Bowie, one of the greats of rock.

museworthy

Never imagined having to post something like this for Music Monday. But David Bowie has left us. He was only 69. Sitting here at 2:30 in the morning, I’m at a loss for words. It seems he was battling cancer for many months and kept it a secret. The words “icon” and “legend” are thrown around indiscriminately these days, but in Bowie’s case they are truly applicable. I’ve been a Bowie fan for as long as I can remember. To blend rock and roll, art, and theater – and do it effectively – is not an undertaking for the mediocre or the uninspired. David Bowie could do it. Personally, I liked Bowie the best when he presented himself as a straight-up singer and rocker, and I chose our video accordingly. He really had a great voice. And a great presence. Also, David Bowie was an art aficionado and collector. Here…

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Indian Energy Experts Baffled by Green Hostility to Nuclear Power

January 7, 2016

Someone should explain to the Indians that “Green opposition” is a matter of faith, not reason, and so doesn’t have to make sense.

Watts Up With That?

Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station Susquehanna steam electric nuclear power station

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Hindu reports on a fascinating top level debate occurring at a conference in India, between politicians and energy experts. The energy experts are struggling to understand why nuclear power is not the favoured Western option for reducing CO2 emissions.

… Pointing out that countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria were either committed to closing down nuclear plants or opposing nuclear renaissance, he [Governor P. Sathasivam] stressed the need to formulate a new approach between nuclear enthusiasts and opponents. A former Ambassador and governor for India at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Mr. Sreenivasan said India, China, and Russia were the only countries enthusiastic about nuclear power today.

Striking a different stand, Ashok Chauhan, Director (Technical), Nuclear Power Corporation of India, said the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions posed a greater threat to the world…

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