Not Just The Weather

A while ago, I drew attention to the floods which have inundated the Upper Midwest states like Iowa and Nebraska.  What I did not know at the time (but should have), is that when there is catastrophe, can the fat finger of government be far behind?

 There is much more to the “management” of the Missouri River basin than just how and when to drain water.
In the interest of habitat restoration, etc. (the highest priority since 2004), tens of thousands of acres surrounding the river and more than a thousand miles of riverbank have been mechanically altered by the Corps — not with an eye to controlling flooding, but rather to facilitate the “reconnection of the river with its floodplain,” believed to be a necessity in achieving the goal of species and habitat preservation and restoration.
When the Corps believed that protecting people and property was a more worthy aim than fish and wildlife, the riverbanks were stabilized, shored against erosion and high-water events. The channels were kept largely free of silt infill to facilitate the draining efficiency of the river that essentially deals with the runoff of vast millions of square miles of mountain and plains snow and rain.
Dikes were built and maintained. Levees, too. Chutes (secondary channels of a meandering river) were closed to inhibit the ability of the river to overcome its banks in seasons of high-water. All these things (and more) combined to permit millions of Americans to develop the reclaimed lands, for farming, ranching, and homes. Indeed, these millions of Americans were encouraged to do so by their elected representatives, who happily took credit for the resulting economic benefits and increased tax revenues.

And then in 2004, it all changed.  Read the whole thing, and be enraged.

Define “Dangerous”, Asswipe

Just when I’d got my blood pressure down to healthy levels, this kind of shit (from Britishland) gets published and back we go to 500/400:

Parents who homeschool their children will be forced to sign a register or face possible prosecution, according to government proposals.
The Department for Education plans to hold a register of all children not in mainstream schools in a bid to protect them from ‘dangerous influences’.
The move will help crack down on religious fundamentalists who send youngsters to secret schools where they are at risk of radicalisation.

We all know where this regulation is aimed:  at Muslims who want to turn little Abu Buma into Abu Ben-Bomba.  The only problem, as always, is that the law won’t be used against Muslims, ever  — but it will  be used, often, against conservative parents, Christian parents, and anyone, in fact, who dares to raise their children to be intellectual, inquisitive and independent (precisely the qualities that all state education systems seek to eradicate).  All that is dangerous to the control freaks and nannies who infest our modern-day bureaucracy, and don’t for a moment think that they’ll hesitate to brand it thus.

What time does the range open?

Wut’s Da Cawst?

One of the (oh so many) bad things that came out of the Obama Years was that the word “trillion” (as in, “this will lead to a national debt of x trillion”) became normalized, in the way that after WWII, the word billion  became a substitute for million  in government-speak.  (I remember the rueful joke made in the early years of the Obama presidency, when the deficit and debt skyrocketed:  “What comes after a trillion?”  “Whatever it is, just don’t tell Obama.”)

So never mind the devaluation of the currency — an equal, and possibly worse devaluation occurred in political discourse.

Thus, when we learn that the fanciful dreams suggested policies of the radical Left will cost a hundred trillion dollars, we are somehow less alarmed because a “hundred” of something — anything — doesn’t sound like much.

And because Leftists (whether socialists, communists, Democrats, whatever) have a fairly cavalier attitude towards money (AOC:  “We’ll just create more!” — like that’s a simple exercise), this escalation of the quantity of money and the accompanying devaluation of the terminology just becomes another means whereby they can disguise the true effect (and intent) of whatever nonsense they dream up next.

This works especially well with two groups:

  • the extremely wealthy, who may be quite cognizant of the concept of vast sums of money being wasted, but who are sheltered from the consequences of political- and economic excesses by their own personal fortunes;  and
  • the very poor, for whom the purchase of a secondhand car or a modest house is about the limit of their concept of money, and who can therefore be fooled into accepting whatever large sums are bandied about both because they can’t comprehend it and because they won’t have to pay it.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that both groups are core constituencies of the Socialist Party, here and elsewhere.

It is we poor bastards in the middle who are going to get shafted, viz.:

I don’t want you to think that I’m making a damn joke about this, because I’m not.  At some point, and soon, there’s going to be a financial and economic reckoning — and we of the middle class are going to lose everything:  houses, jobs, savings, retirement benefits, the lot.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.

Replacement

Here’s a little thought experiment for you.

Let’s assume that the Greenies get their wish, and all fossil fuel-burning cars were replaced with electric cars, by law.

Ignore all practical issues (because the Greens always do), and ponder this thought.

Right now, gasoline is taxed by the FedGov at 18.4 cents per gallon.  (Put those guns away, and concentrate on the issue at hand.)  How do you think the Gummint is going to replace that “lost” revenue (~$25 billion per annum)?

Ah, stop thinking about it, because the poxy BritGov already has.

Ministers have been told to consider a national system of road tolls to compensate for the huge loss in revenue from fuel duty when electric cars become mainstream on the back of new research.

[T]his revenue stream looks set to shrink significantly by 2040 when UK ministers plans to ban the sale of vehicles with combustion engines in a bid to persuade drivers to switch to electric cars.
A new study by Bloomberg News Energy Finance claims a road toll scheme charging up to 9p a mile should be introduced to compensate for the £14 billion lost in fuel duty revenue – a move that would cost motorists £710 a year.

(I should point out that said BritGov currently levies a fuel tax of just under 58p per liter — which is the equivalent of $2.91 (!!!!) per U.S. gallon.  It’s the Brits who should be reaching for the guns… oh wait, they don’t have any.  Sucks to be them.)

I haven’t even touched on how the states  will recover the lost revenue…

Remember Kim’s Iron Law of Taxation:  Never ever allow the government to create a new method of taxation / tax revenue stream because once created, it will never disappear.

No Irish Need Apply

Oh gawd… it’s St. Patrick’s Day (a.k.a. “St. Fat Prick’s Day” to us non-Irish), which means that there will be green foolishness all over the place, even at Cheltenham:

…not to mention that tonight there’ll be a whole bunch more amateur drunks falling all over the place, even here in north Texas.

It’s ironic that this bullshit is also happening over in Britishland today:

 Military veterans have slammed a decision to charge a former British soldier with the murder of two men in the Bloody Sunday shootings nearly 50 years ago. The man, named only as ‘Soldier F’, is one of 17 former members of the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment who were investigated over the violence which left 13 people dead in Londonderry in 1972. The ex-soldier, who is now thought to be in his 70s, faces trial for the alleged murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the alleged attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell.
The landmark decision to prosecute him has angered Armed Forces groups, who contrasted his treatment with the many IRA terrorists who have been let off during the peace process.
Critics of the probe point out that around 200 IRA fugitives, thought to be behind a series of terror attacks during the Troubles, were sent so-called ‘comfort letters’, assuring them they were no longer suspects.

Needless to say, Mr. Free Market (who is ex-1st Paras himself) is not in a good mood today, and he informed me earlier that there are a WHOLE lot of angry ex-airborne types running around, e.g.

And so do I.  Anyone who guns down a bunch of terrorists has my complete approval.

As Mr. FM adds:  “This will run for a bit, a lot of people will get pissed off & the Irish will not be happy. They never are.”

I have to admit, going back to Cheltenham for a moment, that this man is showing The Right Stuff:

Yes, he’s wearing a green jacket, but the orange (Protestant) trousers and tie are guaranteed to set off the Micks.  Definitely a little needle, there.

Gah.  I think I’ll just stay with some of the proper Cheltenham totties, to keep my spirits up.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.  All that new 9mm ammo isn’t going to shoot itself, despite what the Gun-Fearing Wussies think.  And for once, I’ll forego the usual silhouette target type and go with this one:

He looks sufficiently IRA, don’t you think?

Private vs. Public

Much has been made about the Socialist Party demanding to be able to scrutinize President Trump’s tax returns over the past fifty years or whatever, and how Senior Socialist Pelosi isn’t able to rein in the demands of the AOC Wing of the Party.  Whatever.

My take is simple:  a private citizen’s tax information is an intensely confidential business — between the individual (or his agent) and the IRS, and no other.

Once an individual starts working in government, i.e. in public service, then his tax returns should be published in the Congressional Record each year, for two reasons:

  1. a position in public service should require that the public be able to scrutinize how it is possible for, say, ex-Senator Harry Reid (or current Speaker Pelosi, for that matter) to become a multi-millionaire while earning only a Congressional salary, and
  2. the knowledge that their financial dealings while in public service are being made public would make all gummint workers and elected officials more circumspect in their behavior, and rein in their corruption tendencies.

In other words, before  someone starts working for the Gummint / is elected to office, those tax records are nunya.  Once you become  a public servant — and only then — those tax records should be subject to public scrutiny.

So if Trump tells Congress to FOAD when they demand to see his pre-presidential tax returns, I’ll support him to the hilt.  But should Red Nancy refuse to let us see her tax returns from all the years she’s been in Congress, she should be impeached herself.