=== Todays Toon ===THE VULTURES OF WAR
Having served in an Australian Army Regiment myself for nine years, there is one thing that I know that is inherent in the minds of all Australian soldiers, from combat veterans to weekend warriors, and that is that you must always look after your mate! This simple Aussie philosophy is why we have one of the most successful and respected Defence Forces in the world. - ZEG
I am disturbed that these troops are being investigated publicly without important basic facts being known which exonerates them. It is war time, and I get it we live in a democracy, but the fact remains that it seems possible that these troops can be convicted because some politician is in office and unwilling to own up to making a mistake. I have no problem with the exercise of law, I just don't trust the ALP to be fair and even handed. They have a history of selling people down the river.
It is true the Taliban exploit such things, but it is tragically also the case that the ALP are also corrupt. - ed.
=== Bible Quote ===“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”- John 3:20-21
=== Headlines ===Mexican Mayors Blame Rise in Country's Violence on U.S.
At the same time U.S. border states are warning of violence spilling over from Mexico, a coalition of Mexican mayors says deportation of illegal immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes in U.S. is contributing to border violence in Mexico.
House OKs 9/11 First Responders Bill
Controversial measure would pay for the health care costs of workers who became sick after working at Ground Zero
Pedophile Group's Friend Request Denied
Facebook removes pages referring to NAMBLA following a FoxNews.com report that revealed the nefarious pedophile advocacy group's presence
Sex-Tape Victim Takes Own Life
Family lawyer confirms a New Jersey college student kills himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge in NYC after he was allegedly secretly recorded having sex
Bronze Age Stonehenge Skeleton Came From Mediterranean
A wealthy young teenager buried near Britain's mysterious Stonehenge monument came from the Mediterranean hundreds of miles away, scientists said Wednesday, proof of the site's importance as a travel destination in prehistoric times.
Breaking NewsWorkers join Europe austerity strikes
WORKERS across Europe staged a coordinated day of action today to protest against pay and budget cuts, crippling major transit hubs and even hospitals.
Man bashed after row over barking dog
A BARKING dog sparked a fight between two neighbours in Sydney's northwest, leaving a 23-year-old man in hospital with serious head injuries.
Missing sex abuse priest arrested
POLICE say they have caught a Roman Catholic priest who disappeared after he was convicted of sexually abusing young girls in southern Brazil.
Drain cleaner in dead diplomat's body
THE body of the Nicaraguan diplomat discovered dead last week in his New York apartment was riddled with liquid drain cleaner, police sources said today.
NSW/ACTSpend big bucks to save NSW
EX-PREMIER Nathan Rees challenged his own party to put the state's perfect AAA credit rating "to good use" and borrow billions.
Getting the hoons off the road
THE number of drivers suspended or disqualified has risen by 100,000 on the back of tough new laws cracking down on P-platers.
Unwelcome crooner deported
THE US singer charged with assaulting Labor MP Paul Gibson has been deported to the US after trying to re-enter Australia from NZ.
Honouring our brave fallen police
HIS name is the most recent on the Wall of Remembrance and the family of policeman Bill Crews were on hand to pay tribute.
Keneally to control premier project
KRISTINA Keneally is to take personal charge of the $6 billion Barangaroo development in a bid to push the project ahead.
Four kayakers found in wilderness
IT was a misjudgment rivalling that of Jamie Neale - four missing kayakers were found, two days after failing to reach a rendezvous.
Fatal-raid man's guilty plea
A MAN who was in the garage of a unit the night Constable William Crews died pleaded guilty to possessing an unauthorised firearm.
Sex case seven to be named
FORMER DJs publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk lost her bid to keep confidential the names of women she wants to call as witnesses.
Shunt for the disabled on trains
WHEELCHAIR commuters will be forced to wave a "high-visibility" card to warn train guards they need a boarding ramp.
Owners are doing their Block
IT was the disco flat that failed to make a dollar for its creators on the record-breaking The Block.
QueenslandStolen car driver 'went to school with cop'
POLICEWOMAN able to identify driver who nearly ran her down speeding through RBT in a stolen high-performance car because they went to school together.
Pizza delivery man mugged
A PIZZA delivery man has been smacked in the mouth and robbed after delivering an order to a home at Fortitude Valley.
Teen in bike lane killed by truck
TEENAGER riding in bike lane on suburban street clipped by semi trailer and killed.
Biker killed after hitting tree
A MOTORBIKE rider is dead and his pillion passenger injured after crashing into a tree near Ipswich.
Diggers need legal protection
SOLDIERS can't be ''split-second lawyers'' in the heat of battle and deserve full protection of the law on the frontline, a new federal Queensland MP says.
Forensics to beat animal cruelty
TELEVISION crime-fighters are the RSPCA's latest inspiration in the battle against animal cruelty as the look to start a CSI-style forensics unit.
Pay row to disrupt hospitals
PUBLIC hospital patients could have their appointments cancelled as health professionals walk off the job at sites around the state over a pay dispute.
Our remarkable coastline in 3D
REMARKABLE new 3D images of the Queensland coast reveal dramatic shots of ancient river beds, undersea mountains and fossil barrier reefs.
Brain's 'compass' gives us direction
BRISBANE researchers have found the brain's "inner compass", a tiny area of cells responsible for a person's sense of direction.
CBD fire disrupts city traffic
CONCERNED onlookers watched on as thick black smoke billowed out of the Cane Growers building in Brisbane's CBD.
VictoriaToddler survives horrific 5m fall
A TODDLER was lucky to survive a harrowing five-metre fall from a second storey window last night.
Person trapped after fatal smash
UPDATE 8.05am: ONE person is trapped and another has died after a car accident in Melbourne's outer northeast this morning.
Fat fryer fire sparks evacuation
A FAT fryer fire at a fast food restaurant sparked the evacuation of 200 students from a nearby apartment building last night.
Teens arrested after joyride crash
TWO teenagers were arrested after they crashed a stolen car during a police pursuit in Melbourne's outer southeast this morning.
Man killed in horrific smash
A MAN was killed and a woman hospitalised after a horrific smash in Nar Nar Goon last night.
OPI breach could happen again
POLICE watchdog boss Michael Strong said he was shocked and alarmed OPI documents were found in a drug grower's home.
Verdict shatters footballer's family
THE family of a footballer who died after being punched has been left heartbroken by the acquittal of his teammate for manslaughter.
Little fella to get a manly name
HE'S undoubtedly cute, but is Melbourne's new baby elephant best described as brave, audacious or mythical?
Child sexualisation out of control
A GROWING number of children are engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviour, with concerns about the impact of porn and raunchy stars.
Think pink for a good cause
NUDE may be the colour of the season but department store David Jones is urging shoppers to think pink.
Northern TerritoryNothing new
South AustraliaAll Funi and games
OUTSPOKEN Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says he hopes Adelaideans have short memories.
No larks if no Parks
THE clowns were crying. It's not funny losing theatres.
Magic potion or quackery?
STATE Labor MP Ian Hunter says the Federal Government must stop taxpayer funds going towards homeopathy.
UniSA's medical breakthrough
UNISA is considering opening its own medical school within 10 years, aimed at giving disadvantaged students an opportunity to become doctors.
Schools' touchy subject
DEMAND for Year 12 humanities subjects has collapsed because of changes to the South Australian Certificate of Education.
Molotov cocktail death claim
A WOMAN accused of murdering her husband by setting him alight initially tried to blame the fire on a "Molotov cocktail" thrown by local hooligans, a court has heard.
POLICE responded to a brawl outside a northern suburbs shopping centre involving up to 20 people throwing bottles.
Doomsday leader 'in Fiji resort'
FUGITIVE cult leader Rocco leo is living in a five-star resort in Fiji, according to the man he allegedly assaulted weeks before police raided his headquarters.
Suspicious fire burns house
A SUSPICIOUS house fire in Nuriootpa has caused at least $120,000 damage.
Five arrested over high-speed chase
FIVE people have been arrested following an alleged bottle shop break-in at Parkside and a high-speed pursuit at Monarto.
Western AustraliaMotorcyclist clocked at 194km/h
A 52-YEAR-old Waikiki man will be charged and have his motorcycle confiscated after he was clocked riding at 194km/h yesterday.
Youth charged over house fire
A YOUTH has been charged with arson after a house in Mandurah was gutted by fire last night.
Guard chased by axe-weilding thief
A THIEF brandishing an axe chased a security guard in Waikiki early this morning in one of two overnight robberies by axe-wielding offenders.
'Russian roulette' caused fatal crash
INQUEST finds Kimberley helicopter crash was caused by several factors that made the flight a game of 'Russian roulette'.
WA's booming population needs housing
THE Urban Development Institute of Australia wants the state government to produce an infrastructure investment plan for WA's booming population
Boorabbin review rates fire management
WA'S environment department staff have 'world class' fire management skills, a review following the Boorabbin fire tragedy has found.
WA police files found in Vic drug raid
THE safety of police and individuals could be compromised by the discovery of secret files - including WA police documents - during a Melbourne drug raid.
Tighter finfish bag limits loom
FINFISH possession limits could be changed as the fisheries management focus broadens to include the Pilbara and Gascoyne regions.
Controversial beach laws deferred
COTTESLOE Town Council last night deferred its controversial new beach laws to "take into account community feedback".
Hidden camera 'no joke'
A MAN who hid a camera in a bathroom exhaust fan to spy on a 21-year-old woman sharing his home has been fined $1250.
=== Journalists Corner ===Bill Maher's Entering the 'No Spin Zone'!
Falling out of favor? Bill Maher weighs in on the president's poll problems! Plus, is Rahm Emanuel out the door? Dennis Miller talks about the possible White House exit!
Meg Whitman Sits Down with Neil
All eyes look west! Meg Whitman says creating jobs in California is priority one - so, what's her first step? Neil's insightful interview. With 30 plus days to go, it's an in-depth look at the key Golden State races .
Joe Miller Goes On the Record
Miller is the man, but beaten Lisa Murkowski is plowing ahead. Could her write-in campaign snowball into something more? Candidate Joe Miller sits down with Greta.
On Fox News Insider:Pee Wee Football Brawl Caught on Tape
House Vote Expected on Aid for Sick 9/11 Responders
Update: UT Austin Campus Shooting
=== Comments ===President Obama and War
BY BILL O'REILLY
There's a lively debate in the country about how committed Barack Obama is to defeating terrorism. Some of his critics say he's not nearly aggressive enough in fighting our enemies. But, the Obama administration has badly damaged al-Qaeda and the Taliban by using drone missile attacks.
In fact, reports said, "Those attacks are actually increasing because of al-Qaeda threats against Western Europe." So it's hard to say exactly what kind of passion President Obama has for the war on terror. And, in an interview with journalist Bob Woodward, Mr. Obama muddied the waters even further.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I said very early on as a senator and continued to believe as a presidential candidate and now as president that we can -- we can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even the 9-11 -- even the biggest attack that ever took place on our soil, we absorbed it and we are stronger. This is a strong powerful country that we live in and our people are incredibly resilient.
Now, that quote is contained in Mr. Woodward's new book, "Obama's Wars." And, the words have drawn anger from those who dislike the president's policies.
JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: I think that may be the most outrageous thing that's been reported about this book. How - how can an American president say that as if he's a detached observer and doesn't care about Americans dying?
Now, "Talking Points" did not draw that inference from Mr. Obama's statement. I think it's a stretch to say as he doesn't care about Americans dying. But, there is no question that Mr. Obama is not the terror warrior that President Bush was, that he has a hard time making decisions about complicated matters as we saw on the troop deployment to Afghanistan.
The president supporters say that's a good a thing, that deliberation is needed when the subject at hand is so complicated. They also say President Bush bungled Iraq because he did not spend enough time analyzing the theatre. But, the essential question is, does President Obama have the heart to defeat vicious enemies like al-Qaeda and the Taliban? Will he take the necessary action that some in his party opposed?
Right now, that question remains unanswered with the Afghan war hanging in the balance.
Why Gun Bans Still Don't Work
By John Lott
Yesterday's wild shooting spree at the University of Texas fortunately ended without anyone being hurt before the gunman shot himself. Naturally, the incident has yet again raised the question over gun bans, such as the ban currently in effect at the University of Texas.
Do they actually do more harm than good?
Gun bans as the solution to gun violence has popped up again, covering different areas. It would have been nice if such bans had stopped criminals from using guns. But, alas, the results are invariably the same, whether the ban is put in place for college campuses, cities, or entire nations: gun bans disarm the law-abiding, not criminals. Instead of making victims safer, they make criminals safer.
Take a simple example. Suppose your family is being stalked by a criminal who intends on harming them. Would you feel safer putting up a sign in front of your home with the message: "This Home is a Gun-Free Zone"? Probably not. The sign would only tell criminals that they would meet little resistance if they attacked. But in effect, we have put these signs on everything from schools to a couple of cities.
With the consistent failures of gun bans in D.C. and Chicago to protect public safety, one would think that people would stop pushing for gun bans. Murder rates in both places soared after bans were imposed. The just-released FBI crime numbers for 2009 show that murders and other violent crime rates plummeted after the Supreme Court struck down D.C.'s gunlock and handgun ban law in 2008. D.C.'s murder rate fell by an astounding 23 percent last year, about three times the national drop in murder rates as well as for cities of similar size. The drop in murder and other violent crime has continued this year, with the numbers available through July showing a total drop in murders of about 36 percent over two years.
Gun control proponents claim that those bans weren't fair tests because guns were still available in other parts of the country and thus criminals could bring guns into D.C. and Chicago. But the failure of bans occurs even when entire nations adopt them. Even island nations, such as Ireland, Jamaica, or England and Wales, who can't blame some neighboring country for its supply of illegal guns, have seen increases in murder rates.
The debate over concealed handguns has been similar, raising the question of whether guns should be limited to people's homes. Fears about accidents and rampages by permit holders, and blood running in the streets however never materialized where concealed carry has been allowed. Individuals who have gone through the process to get a permit have turned out to be extremely law-abiding, losing their permits for firearm violations at just hundredths or even thousandths of one percent. Refereed academic studies by economists and criminologists alike have consistently demonstrated that these predictions never occurred for crime either.
The University of Texas attack yesterday could easily have ended up with innocent victims being killed or injured. These deranged attackers typically want to commit suicide in a way that will gain them the most attention, and they do that my causing as much violence as possible before they die.
Bill Landes and I have examined all the multiple-victim public shootings with two or more victims in the United States from 1977 to 1999. We found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, these attacks fell by an astounding 60 percent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell on average by 78 percent. And to the extent that these attacks still occur in states with right-to-carry laws, they overwhelming occur in those few places where concealed handguns are not allowed. Gun free zones served as magnets for these attacks.
The desire to ban guns is understandable, but it is dangerous, too. If we won't hang "Gun-Free Zone" signs around our homes, let's not hang them around our schools or other places we care about either.
The Way Forward On Health Care, And No, It's Not Obamacare
By Paul Howard & Douglas Holtz-Eakin
Repeal and replace – but also reinvigorate.
The Republican “Pledge to America” promises to repeal the worst aspects of Obamacare. But Republicans should go further and build a bipartisan agenda for biomedical innovation.
Last Thursday, Congressional Republicans revealed a new “Pledge to America,” including a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare with commonsense, fiscally sustainable health care reforms that will improve health care and expand access to affordable health insurance.
The Pledge is a sound and bold agenda for reform, starting with the repeal of Democrats’ recently passed $1 trillion budget-busting, job killing, health care legislation. After rolling it back, Republicans would replace it with true interstate insurance competition, medical malpractice reform, expanded Health Savings Accounts, and improved high risk pools for patients with pre-existing conditions.
But Republicans should also promote a bipartisan agenda that will strengthen America’s global leadership in the field of biomedical innovation. By creating a better climate for medical innovation today, policymakers will reap huge dividends from more high paying biotech jobs, new cures for life-threatening diseases, and new treatments that will help Americans remain healthier and more productive as they age -- reducing the strain on government programs like Social Security and Medicare.
For decades, America has been the leader in global biomedical innovation – thanks to public support for basic medical research through the National Institutes of Health, robust intellectual property protection, and a relatively free market for new medical products, among other strengths. But U.S. leadership is eroding, challenged by rapidly advancing biotech sectors in India and China and undermined by a regulatory and political environment that too often sees new medicines as costs to be avoided.
A true innovation agenda would start with tax reform. The U.S. corporate tax rate (the world’s highest, at nearly 40 percent) is a job-killer, encouraging companies to outsource jobs and manufacturing capacity to lower-tax countries. Reducing this rate so that it’s closer to (or even better yet, lower than) the OECD average of 26 percent would be a powerful incentive for more companies to invest in biotechnology jobs and facilities in the United States.
Second, policymakers must find ways to keep more top scientific talent working here. India and China are making every effort to “repatriate” science students that train at U.S. universities – recognizing them as potential entrepreneurs who might start the next Genentech. As Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) wrote in the Washington Post last March: “it makes no sense to educate the world's future inventors and entrepreneurs and then force them to leave when they are able to contribute to our economy.” One of their proposals – to award automatic green cards to foreign students who earn a master’s or Ph.D. in “hard” science fields like biology – could be implemented with very little cost to the federal budget.
Finally, we need to modernize the FDA and overcome the gap between the rapid advances in basic science and the dearth of innovative new drugs actually coming to market. Part of the problem, as the FDA’s own leadership and science board has acknowledged, is that the agency is using 20th century regulatory tools to evaluate 21st century medicines. The result is a cumbersome and expensive process that can take a decade and cost hundreds of millions (or billions) of dollars to generate a single FDA-approved drug.
The FDA currently receives a paltry $18 million for advancing regulatory science, including for its food and veterinary centers. Compare that to the European Commission’s Innovative Medicines Initiative, a $2.5 billion public-private partnership to advance the science of approving new medicines. Republicans should advocate for reforms to make FDA drug approvals faster and more predictable in return for a major funding increase for the FDA’s regulatory science programs – an idea that Democrats should embrace.
Congress should also follow Europe’s lead and fund a joint venture that can help revolutionize how we test and develop new medicines. Budget costs from increased funding for biomedical innovation can be offset in ways that also improve health – for instance, reducing obesity by slashing the billions in annual agricultural subsidies for corn byproducts that flood our grocery stores with cheap junk food.
By expanding their definition of health care reform to include a comprehensive innovation agenda, Republicans can attract support from Democrats and independents for maintaining U.S. leadership in a critical economic sector. Better yet, they can offer hope to millions of patients suffering from chronic and life-threatening illnesses that have few good treatment options today.
Paul Howard is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the director of its Center for Medical Progress. Douglas Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum and former director of the Congressional Budget Office.
We Didn't Flunk the Religion Test -- 4 Important Truths About Americans and God
By Bruce Feiler
The headlines this week made bold pronouncement: “Americans Don’t Know Much About Religion.” “Atheists Know More About Religion Than Believers.” “Basic Religious Test Stumps Most Americans.”
Really? Did these writers read the survey these articles were based on? The Pew Forum survey on religion in America contained a number of revelations, but few were covered in the initial round of articles. After examining the actual results, here are four important truths about Americans and God:
1. Americans know more about religion than almost any other topic.
To begin, the 3,412 people polled for this study are not exactly students of history. The first substantive question respondents were asked was, “Can you tell me the name of the vice president of the United States?” Only 59% knew the correct answer. The same minimal number knew what antibiotics do, and an even smaller percentage could correctly name the New Deal as the signature program of Franklin Roosevelt. So as a baseline: These people were not very knowledgeable about the world in general.
By contrast, their answers about religion seemed downright worthy of the Nobel Prize. Three-quarters knew the Jewish Sabbath falls on Saturday; 68% knew the Constitution forbids the establishment of religion; 63% knew the first book of the Bible is Genesis; and the same number who knew Joe Biden knew the Koran is the holy book of Islam. Americans are religious savants.
2. The most popular religious figure in America is Moses
In my book, "America’s Prophet: How the Story of Moses Shaped America," I explore how Moses became the defining figure of American history. The pilgrims quoted his story; Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson proposed he be on the U.S. seal; the Statue of Liberty and Superman were modeled on him; every American president from Washington to Lincoln to Reagan was shaped by his story.
This Pew survey proves that Americans’ love affair with the superhero of the Bible continues. Quizzed about various figures from the Bible – Jesus, Job, Moses, and Abraham – more Americans knew about Moses than any other. And asked about a number of biblical stories, including the Gospels, Americans knew more about the Ten Commandments than these other stories. Moses is the most beloved religious figure in America today.
3. Believers still dominate in America; atheists are still rare.
Despite a decade in which vocal non-believers have driven the national conversation about faith, the number of atheists is still minuscule in America. Only 6% of respondents said they don’t believe in God, with another 1% saying they didn’t know. By contrast, 69% said they were absolutely certain God exists, and another 17% said they were fairly certain.
Yet shooting down another stereotype, these believers are not particularly dogmatic. Only a third said the Bible should be taken literally, and asked how often they attend religious services, by far the largest tally said a few times a year, if at all. Americans are largely casual, non-ideological, benign believers.
4. Americans know as much about other religions as they know about their own.
It was common to read this survey as saying Americans are ignorant about other faiths, and there is evidence to support this argument. Only 38% knew Vishnu and Shiva were central figures in Hinduism. Only 36% knew nirvana is a state of being free from suffering and is an aim of Buddhism. Only 27% knew Indonesia contains mostly Muslims. But since when is the religious makeup of Jakarta the standard for religious literacy?
Consider these rival figures: Two-thirds knew India is predominantly Hindu. Seven in ten knew Pakistan is predominantly Muslim. Half knew the Dalai Lama is Buddhist, and 82% knew Mother Teresa was Catholic. Amazingly, more knew Ramadan is the holy month of Islam than knew who wrote "Moby Dick." All in all, Americans score fairly well on their religious knowledge of the rest of the world.
For decades, studies have shown that Americans lack basic knowledge of math, science, and history. The real headline coming out of this week’s survey on faith in America is that our knowledge of religion is not as bad as other subjects, and is arguably stronger.
Considering that we are engaged in two wars in Muslim countries in the Middle East, as well as an economic transformation that brings us into closer business ties with Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucianists across Asia, it’s safe to say that our awareness of different religious traditions – and ability to coexist with them – may become a key national security advantage in years to come.
Bruce Feiler is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, including "Walking the Bible," "Abraham," and "Where God Was Born.' His book "America’s Prophet: How the Story of Moses Shaped America" has just been released in paperback. For more information, please visit www.brucefeiler.com.
The Government Steals, Then Calls It 'Taxes'
By John Stossel
Progressives want to raise taxes on individuals who make more than $200,000 a year because they say it's wrong for the rich to be "given" more money. Sunday's New York Times carries a cartoon showing Uncle Sam handing money to a fat cat. They just don't get it.
As I've said before, a tax cut is not a handout. It simply means government steals less. What progressives want to do is take money from some -- by force -- and spend it on others. It sounds less noble when plainly stated.
That's the moral side of the matter. There's a practical side, too. Taxes discourage wealth creation. That hurts everyone, the lower end of the income scale most of all. An economy that, through freedom, encourages the production of wealth raises the living standards of lower-income people as well as everyone else.
A free society is not a zero-sum game in which every gain is offset by someone's loss. As long as government keeps its thumb off the scales, the "makers" who get rich do so by making others better off. (When the government allocates capital or creates barriers to competition, all bets are off.)
Of course, this is not the prevailing view among the intelligentsia. Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill tells me, "Those who have more should pay more."
But is there a point where they stop producing wealth or leave altogether?
"The rich have always cried wolf like that," Hill says.
But the wolf is here. Maryland created a special tax on rich people that was supposed to bring in $106 million. Instead, the state lost $257 million.
Former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who is running again for his old job, says: "It reminds me of Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was always surprised when Lucy pulled the football away. And they're always surprised in Washington and state capitals when the dollars never come in."
Some of Maryland's rich left the state. "They're out of here. These people aren't stupid," Ehrlich says.
New York billionaire Tom Golisano isn't stupid, either. With $3,000 and one employee, he started a business that processes paychecks for companies. He created 13,000 jobs.
Then New York state hiked the income tax on millionaires.
"It was the straw that broke the camel's back," he says. "Not that I like to throw the number around, but my personal income tax last year would've been $13,800 a day. Would you like to write a check for $13,800 a day to a state government, as opposed to moving to another state where there's no state income tax or very low state income tax?
He established residence in Florida, which has no personal income tax.
Now Gov. David Paterson may have even seen the light.
"We projected that we would get $4 billion, and we actually got well short of it," he says.
Art Laffer, the economist who has a curve illustrating this point named after him, isn't surprised.
"It's just economics," he says. "People don't work to pay taxes. People work to get what they can after tax. They'll change where they earn their income. They'll change how they earn their income. They'll change how much they earn, when they receive the income. They'll change all of those things to minimize taxes."
We can see it in the statistics. In 1960, federal revenues were 18.6 percent of total output. Over the next 50 years, that percentage has rarely exceeded 20 percent or fallen below 17 percent. As Laffer says, people adjust their activities to the tax burden.
Donald Trump, who knows something about making money, says of course the rich will leave when hit with higher taxes. "I know these people," he told me. "They're international people. Whether they live here or live in a place like Switzerland doesn't really matter to them."
You haven't left, I told him.
"I haven't left yet. ... Look, the rich people are going to leave. And other people are going to leave. You're going to end up with lots of people that don't produce. And then that's the spiral. That's the end."
And that's another good reason for us to get on with reducing the size of government.
John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox Business Network. The show airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. and midnight ET. It re-airs Fridays at 10 p.m., Saturdays at 9 p.m. and 12 midnight, and Sundays at 10 p.m. (all times eastern). He's also the author of "Give Me a Break" and of "Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity."
To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2010 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
Former anonyblogger Gavin Atkins: “The key ethic when blogging anonymously is, strangely enough, to only write things you would be willing to be seen as responsible for – to do otherwise is plain cowardice.”
FINDINGS OF LITTLE CONCERN
A timely survey reveals key differences between Collingwood and St Kilda supporters:
Magpies fans regularly redeem coupons to get discounts, constantly watch their weight and try to look stylish.And the most profound difference:
Their rivals try to eat vegetarian, give to charities and enjoy art exhibitions …
Saints fans had a combined family income $6600 higher that Collingwood fans, and were 3 per cent more likely to have a university degree.
But Pies fans had a better female following and more secondary schooling experience.
Magpies fans had a preference for Ford, Holden or Mazda while Saints like to drive models including Mitsubishi, Subaru and Toyota.
Collingwood tragic Bob Ward, who has decorated his Toyota van for the finals campaign, wasn’t too worried by the findings.
“There are more of us. We don’t care what people think,” he said.
A magazine cover that you just couldn’t get away with in 2010. Or probably at any time in the last twenty years or so. We might not see the likes of this again, either.
SUSPICION, HOSTILITY AND OPPOSITION
Michael Sexton asks what proportion of Greens voters would endorse the underlying views shared by most Greens activists:
These include:Difficult to believe that the entire 11.5 per cent of voters who went Green at the last election buy into this rubbish. Sexton continues:
• A deep suspicion of economic development in general and of the activities of the mining industry and some commercial agriculture in particular.
• Opposition to Australian participation in the war in Afghanistan.
• Hostility to the police and other law enforcement agencies, especially in relation to anti-terrorism legislation.
• Indifference to issues of border security.
• Antipathy to the role of the US in world affairs and particularly to its support for Israel in the conflict in the Middle East.
In many ways the Greens are a classic example of what Marx would have described as a bourgeois party. They reflect the interests of their members and core voters, who are consumers rather than producers in the economy, and they do so under the guise of speaking out for the less privileged members of society.“Guise” is a crucial word. Anti-development, anti-growth Greens actually impede the least privileged members of society: those without middle-class (or better) connections, who seek to improve their circumstances through hard work.
NOT EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND
Britain’s new Labour leader Ray Romano is taken down by his brother:
Full story here.
IT FEASTS ON MICROMICE AND SQUIRRELETTES
If this owl were any smaller, it would no longer be an owl. There wouldn’t even be space for a beak.
(Via David Thompson)
UPDATE. Further images of the mini-owl.
That’s no war-time leader
Be very scared about the man who in fact ultimately leads the coalition forces in Afghanistan. Does Barack Obama even understand what it is that he’s got only half a mind to do?
The compromise option Obama came up with apparently was not advocated by anyone who claims expertise in this area.Meanwhile the Opposition is calling for more troops and equipment to protect the soldiers we’ve committed already:
Finally, (author Bob) Woodward confirms what has been painfully obvious from Obama’s language (including body language) for months. The U.S. President doesn’t much believe in the strategy pursuant to which he is sending American troops into harm’s way. According to Woodward, Obama, after noting that “the easy thing for me to do, politically, would actually be to say no” to sending in 30,000 additional troops, began to say he would be “perfectly happy” not to send them in. Stopping in mid-sentence, Obama then projected his feelings (accurately enough) on to Rahm Emanuel: “Nothing would make Rahm happier than if I said no to the 30,000."…
After formulating a compromise no one seems to have really believed in, Obama the lawyer-in-chief reduced it to a six page “term sheet.” He also insisted that “we’re not going to do this unless everybody literally signs on to it and looks me in the eye and tells me they are for it.”
Was Obama really foolish enough to believe that this sort of ceremony would provide him with historical cover?
THE Coalition has proposed a major expansion of Australia’s military role in Afghanistan, saying the nation should send in hundreds more troops as well as tanks, helicopters and artillery.But just as urgent as giving our troops what they need to win, is to get assurances from Barack Obama that he’ll also do what is needed. It would be terrible to send our soldiers to a war in which our side is led by someone with no stomach to win it.
Setting the scene for heated debate in the new Parliament over the war, the Coalition says a boosted force in Afghanistan would mean Australian troops no longer have to rely on protection from other nations as they train Afghan troops.
The proposal follows claims that a soldier killed in Oruzgan province last month, Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney, would not have died if Australian troops had been provided with adequate artillery and air support.
Book launch: consensus challenged
For your diary:
Book Launch: Climate: The Counter-Consensus with the Hon Rodney HideFurther details and booking information here.
7th October, 2010
05:15pm - 6:15pm
Location: Hinton & Associates, Level 18, 114 William Street, Melbourne…
Climate: the Counter Consensus (by Professor Bob Carter) examines, with thoroughness and impartial expertise, the so-called facts of global warming that are churned out and unquestioningly accepted, while the scientific and media establishments stifle or deride any legitimate expression of an opposing view…
Professor Carter’s book will be launched by the Hon Rodney Hide. Rodney is a minister in the New Zealand government, and leader of the ACT New Zealand Party… New Zealand has implemented an emissions trading scheme and the position of ACT New Zealand is as follows:Rise up against the emissions trading scheme
Another artist plays with her poo
Most people get over Mattingley’s fascination when they’re still in nappies:
Student artist Georgie Mattingley’s works, some of which feature brightly coloured excrement, will go on display at the Kingston Arts Centre next month… The exhibition’s centrepiece is a series of resin spheres containing Mattingley’s faeces, along with flowers, leaves and crystals.But why blame young Mattingley for seeking fame this way, when similar playing with poo has made stars of Brtian’s Gilbert and George:
The Monash University student, 21, said she became fascinated with altering the colour of her excrement when she was 13, and the exhibition was an exploration of the “beauty in the mundane process of eating and consuming in our everyday lives”.
Most of the pictures on show will feature one or more of the artists’ very own turds in gleaming colour.Shit art is actually quite hot, and backed by cultural institutions which might once have claimed that art was a civilising influence:
“The Naked Shit Pictures” is an immensely powerful body of work (or should that be “out of body”?), and designed to shock. All Gilbert and George’s work does. What makes their huge pictures so special is the way in which the grubby, disturbing, upsetting, defecatory subjects they represent are portrayed in the most fastidiously conceived and beautifully crafted manner (photographic prints, using images taken exclusively by the artists and making much use of lustrous hand colouring).
Who can forget Piss Christ, the crucifix plopped in a jar of urine at the National Gallery of Victoria?
Or the Chris Ofili picture of the Virgin Mary, decorated with cow dung, which the National Gallery of Australia tried to bring in?
Or the ABC’s Christmas special of 1999 – a comparison of the Sistine Chapel’s religious frescoes with the paintings made by hip British artists Gilbert and George of their semen, faeces, spit and blood?
Another year, another Canberra
Immigration falls,but total population growth means we’re still adding an astonishing 404,000 people a year - equivalent to each year adding a city bigger than Canberra:
AUSTRALIA’S population growth is in free fall, with net immigration slumping 37 per cent year on year in the March quarter to its lowest level in years…
For the entire year to March, net overseas migration plunged by 25 per cent, from 320,362 in 2009 to 241,352 this year. Most of that fall was in the last six months, after the Rudd government closed the back door allowing foreign students in low-level courses to stay on as permanent migrants.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott pledged in the recent election campaign to cut net overseas immigration to 170,000 by 2012.
One more choice to be denied
Yet another law to force people to do what someone else decrees is good for them - in this case to pay for things they don’t want”
THE Gillard government will introduce legislation today to restore compulsory student amenities fees at Australian universities.
Poor Rolf goes from icon to pariah
From an Australian Communications and Media Authority finding on station 2WKT:
Complainant’s submissionsBut then ACMA decrees on limits on the right of one station guest to express himself.
On 17 March 2010, the complainant submitted to 2WKT that:
1. The first complaint relates to the choice of introduction music by Rolf Harris ‘Brindabella Morning’ to an allegedly Indigenous segment. Rolf Harris is well known for his vilification of Aboriginal peoples. [ ... ]
An apology to myself and the wider community should be made immediately. The choice of music was derogatory and offensive by [the presenter] and if she is to continue
On 21 May 2d10, the licensee submitted to the complainant that:
The Board apologises for any offence inadvertently caused to the Aboriginal community for the music played on 16 March 2010.
However, the Rolf Harris song “Brindabella Morning” was played as a comment on the softness of that particular morning in the Southern Highlands…
In relation to the first matter, it is noted that the lyrics of Brindabel/a Morning focus on the natural beauty of the region. The complainant has not outlined concerns with the content of the song, but has alleged that the broadcast of the song Brindabella Morning was derogatory and offensive, given the opinions held by the recording artist, Rolf Harris.
It is noted that Mr Harris has commented publicly on Indigenous issues4, however, as this song does not focus on Indigenous issues, nor were Mr Harris’ views on Indigenous issues discussed by the presenter or her guest, the broadcast of the song is not in breach of code 4 of the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice (the Codes).
Many readers have asked me to discuss another case. I sadly can’t. And for the same legal reasons, comments on this are closed, too. I do apologise for so limiting your right to comment.
(Thanks to reader Christopher.)
Howard junks multiculturalism. But belatedly
Former Prime Minister John Howard says clearly what he could only edge towards in office:
I think one of the errors that some sections of English speaking world have made in the last few decades has been to confuse multiracialism and multiculturalism…Bolt failed to see the virtue of Mr Howard's position earlier, so he is critical now. - ed
I am a passionate believer in mulitiracialism. I believe that societies are enriched if they draw, as my country has done, from all parts of the world on a non-discriminiatory basis and contribute, as the United States has done, to the building of a great society.
But when a nation draws people from other parts of the world, it draws them because of the magnetism of its own culture, and its own way of life.
The ideal in my opinion is to draw people from the four corners of the earth and unite them behind the common values of the country which has made them welcome, and I think some of the difficulties that the United Kingdom is experiencing, and some of the difficulties that other countries have experienced has been to confuse those two concepts.
Mad lady in shop inspires Flannery
Alarmist of the Year Tim Flannery, who terrified millions with his ludicrous predictions of doom, explains why he’s now written a book to tell people things may not be as grim as he’s said:
I was in the supermarket and there was a woman there crying in the aisles with her young son in tow and she said something like, “There is no hope for us, is there?”Listen here to his latest babbling. My MTR colleague Steve Vizard gave Flannery a kinder run than I did,even when Flannery’s anecdotes sound even more suss than that story of a woman crying in a shop that the end of the world is nigh.
Gillard’s first loss: small, but a warning
A warning of worse to come:
THE Gillard government has lost its first vote on the floor of Australia’s hung parliament.- if she were competent she would work with Abbott, and have the numbers to pass anything. - ed
Labor lost a vote on parliamentary reform legislation 73-72 after key independents threw their support behind the Coalition in the House of Representatives.
It was the first time a government had lost a vote on the floor of the lower house since 1941...
Visiting media moguls agree: Gillard’s broadband could be a white elephant
Julia Gillard has been warned by plenty of Australian experts that her $43 billion National Broadband Network is too expensive. Will she listen now that the world’s richest man, Mexican telco tycoon Carlos Slim Helu, agrees?
Mr Slim, speaking at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney today, said: “It’s too much money.Or will she accept the advice of US media tycoon Steve Forbes?
”It is not necessary to invest so much money, because technology is changing all the time,” he said.
Mr Slim said $7000 a home to connect about six million homes was too expensive.
And he criticised the reliance of the project on fibre, emphasising the need for wireless services.
“You need to have a multi platform of everything; mobile, landline, fibre, cable and copper,” he said.
US billionaire Steve Forbes has warned the Gillard government the National Broadband Network could be obsolete by the time it is built.Doesn’t Labor realise what price it may one day pay in lost reputation for spending so much on what could turn out to be a white elephant?
Speaking at the opening of the two-day annual Forbes Global CEO conference in Sydney yesterday, Mr Forbes, who acknowledged he was not across the full details of the NBN, said governments needed to be wary when it came to technology because it could change quite quickly and that what was viewed as current today could be out of date in five years.