Thursday, April 18, 2013

Taxation For The Public Moral Good.


“M. Joseph Prudhomme – I am in favour of moralising taxation; I would tax alcohol and absinthe so heavily that no one would drink them.
M. Faubert – In that case, your taxation would merely encourage smuggling.
M. Joseph Prudhomme – Smugglers will be prosecuted.
M. Faubert – A premium on smuggling manufactures criminals; that would be a certain result of moralising taxation.
M. Joseph Prudhomme – But I should be doing something to check the curse of alcoholism.
M. Faubert – Not at all; you would only be adding one evil to another. You cannot prevent a man from drinking, if he wants to drink. The only thing is, you make him pay dearer for it, and the dearer you make him pay, the more you deprive him of the money needed for board and food and clothes, both for himself and his family.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Abortion, it's a slippery slope.

There is a trial in progress in the US that has received little publicity there and none here in Australia, yet it is critical to the abortion debate everywhere. A doctor known as Kermit Gosnell has been charged with eight murders. I don't have the time or talent to go into detail a pretty good precis is here - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324030704578422883948238160.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

To me the point is that abortion like euthanasia seems always to lead to results which the original proponents thought would never happen. Well it has happened, read what Gosnell called 'Snipping'. Moral questions are always difficult and none more so than abortion. Never underestimate the ability of humans to act in an inhumane manner. People wonder how ordinary people became Nazis and ran the Death Camps. How did the Rwandans and Tutsis get to stage of wholesale massacre? Well how does a well educated person do what Dr Gosnell is charged with? It happens by degree, every little step leads to another and another further. Suddenly what seemed unimaginable becomes commonplace.

I feel sick

Everything Old is New Again (Even in Rocketry)

Funny how skills and knowledge are constantly lost as new and (at the time) better ways of doing things are invented. Still there are often ideas and technologies in the past that can be repurposed for use today. There were many amazing automotive engine ideas a hundred years ago, they just didn't have the technology at the time to make the practical.

Well some extremely clever people have revisited the rocket engines used to take man to the moon, their use was discontinued decades ago for what were good reasons at the time. However the changing requirements of the space travel made some brilliant engineers have another look at them.

Read and Enjoy - http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/04/how-nasa-brought-the-monstrous-f-1-moon-rocket-back-to-life/

"At the time, the F-1 was the largest and most powerful liquid-fueled engine ever constructed; even today, its design remains unmatched (though see the sidebar, "The Soviets," for more information on engines that have rivaled the F-1). The power generated by five of these engines was best conceptualized by author David Woods in his book How Apollo Flew to the Moon"[T]he power output of the Saturn first stage was 60 gigawatts. This happens to be very similar to the peak electricity demand of the United Kingdom."

If Only The Government Would Take Over Food Supply

This is a great read. A satire and a funny one at that, it goes a long way to explaining why the less government does the better off most people are. Take five minutes and enjoy, then think.

An excerpt.
"In May 2008, James Dapper graduated from Yale College and moved to New York City with a mission: To guarantee the people of the city universal access to food. While writing his senior thesis, James had discovered that there was not a single agency in the whole city devoted to providing food to all of the city’s residents. Nobody was in control of the provision of food to New York City residents! Why, for all we knew, people could be starving in the streets right now, James realized."

http://yourbrainonecon.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/universal-access-to-food-a-bitter-satire/

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boat

I probably shouldn't have but I bought a boat. It's a mid eighties Savage with a late seventies Mercury engine. Needs a bit of work and a good clean.



Friday, April 05, 2013

Truck Drivers Support Unit

Observed at the local shops the other day. The Truck Drivers Support Unit. I don't know what sort of support they offer to truck drivers but I hope that teaching how to park isn't one of those things.