Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Capital gains tax and corporate tax

Apropos of nothing, here are three interesting articles about corporate/capital tax reform I found recently.

Capital Gains Taxes
How should governments tax capital
One way to fix the corporate tax: repeal it



I forget how this came up, but I ran across something that made me wonder about the adjective especial, which I think of as an antiquated and/or British equivalent of special and have never (to the best of my knowledge) used. It turns out there is supposed to be a difference between the two;
Who knew?

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Onanism in other cultures

Despite the statistic that everyone's doing it, it turns out that only every college student is doing it.
Fully 96% of the subjects whose behavior has been reported in top psychological journals were drawn from only 12 % of the world's population.
. . . .
However, as the Hewletts document in their 2010 study, Western sexual patterns, including our frequent masturbation, are unusual by cross-cultural standards. The Hewletts arrived at this conclusion in part by studying the sexual behavior of two central African cultures. They were astonished to learn that neither the Aka nor the Ngandu were aware of masturbation

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And Dirks is looking better all the time!

Popehat has a link to the clarification/apology.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I'm glad Nick Dirks is no longer at Columbia

Because this letter is an embarrassment to his new university. Watch Popehat pick it apart.
Yesterday Chancellor Dirks sent an email about free speech to Berkeley students, faculty, and staff. In today's competitive publishing environment it is astonishingly difficult to distinguish yourself as an academic by being wrong about free speech, but Chancellor Dirks is equal to the challenge. His email is so very bad on every level — legally, logically, rhetorically, and philosophically — that it deserves scrutiny.
I'm tempted to exercise my free speech rights and call Chancellor Dirks various bad names. But I will resist the urge.

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Monday, September 08, 2014

Conservative by temparment

Read Chesterton as he talks about why it's a bad idea to destroy things we don't understand.
And when, in the general emancipation of modern society, the Duchess says she does not see why she shouldn’t play leapfrog, or the Dean declares that he sees no valid canonical reason why he should not stand on his head, we may say to these persons with patient benevolence: “Defer, therefore, the operation you contemplate until you have realised by ripe reflection what principle or prejudice you are violating. Then play leapfrog and stand on your head and the Lord be with you.” Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2014/08/if-its-bad-for-the-family-its-bad.html#ixzz3CkzvMVNX

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Caffe Reggio

Went to Caffe Reggio on Saturday night for the first time since before Christmas. Had a sfogliatella, a favorite of mine. Go there before it turns into a Starbucks.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How the law works in New York City

Another HN h/t.
The judge denied reconsideration of his own incredibly wrong decision and I was left unable to explain to my clients why they were being penalized for doing exactly what the contract required them to do. The most awful feeling I had in ten years of law practice was that "Mr. Jones" feeling, from the Bob Dylan song: "There's something happening here, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?" All too often, in state court, there was the feeling that what happened had nothing to do with the law and everything to do with the inner workings of a club of which I was not a member. The New York state courts, in New York City, are owned by the Democratic party. Judges are elected for fourteen year terms in elections where they are faced with no serious opposition; endorsement by the local Democratic club ensures election. The people who are selected are all too often not intellectual luminaries or legal scholars (unlike in the federal system) but are attorneys who have been associated with the Democratic party for many years and are up for a reward (typically, they are the ones who do not have enough on the ball to be elected to the state legislature or city council). They see the same lawyers every day, many of whom are also involved with the party, and if you are a complete outsider, as I was, you will probably not win the same number of your cases, or at least of your motions, as an insider.

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VT treats drugs as a health problem, not a criminal problem

Seems to be a wise policy.
Along with a crackdown on traffickers, he proposed rigorous addiction prevention programs in schools and doctors’ offices, as well as more rehabilitation options for addicts. “We must address it as a public health crisis,” Shumlin said, “providing treatment and support rather than simply doling out punishment, claiming victory, and moving on to our next conviction.”
For what it's worth, I suspect treating abortion as a public health crisis would probably be the best way to end it. H/T to HN.

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Conspiracy theories in politics

Prevalent on both sides of the aisle, it seems.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Pregnant and unmarried

Keeping the baby. Should you express disapproval? No!
I think the thing to do is affirm what can be affirmed here: the decision to choose life and to love her and her child. If she asks (which she won’t) if you approve of having children out of wedlock, you can tell her the truth: that it’s not so much about Breaking Rules as it is that single motherhood is tough on her and her child, which is why your faith urges marriage. The law was made for man, not man for the law. But lots of moderns, Catholic and non-Catholic, imagine it’s the other way around and fear that God wants to punish our sexual sins for the sake of The Rules. But the truth is the rules are there, not because God wants to punish, but to protect us. Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2014/08/a-reader-asks-about-a-pregnant-neighbor.html#ixzz3BRCLLqOs
And I love this comment.
I know of one family where the daughter got pregnant at 16, and their "good, Christian" acquaintances urged an abortion so she could "get on with her life". After the baby was born, the grandfather made a point of carrying the child up to those people and saying, "This is my granddaughter, isn't she wonderful?"

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Dawkins wants to abort all Down syndrome children

In order to prevent their suffering.
According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."
Well Richard, let me clue you in on something, for many more or less normal people, life is suffering. Perhaps we should kill them too? And as the article notes, they don't really suffer much.
Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.
I bet that's better than the average American.

First Things also gets into the game, noting that suffering is often a good.
Suffering is not a moral evil to be avoided. Suffering can have meaning and value. Ask Victor Frankl. Or Mohandas Gandhi. Or Martin Luther King, Jr. Or, if you’re willing, ask my children.
Apparently the author has two children with Down Syndrome.


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