Sunday, April 27, 2008
This is incredible (pun intended.) The Florida legislature has begun to consider production of a vanity plate that would look like this.
I'm pretty sure this is another wolf in sheep's clothing move by some "conservative" legislator. Pandering to people's wanting choices like that's what freedom is and using it to back door conservative christianistic power mongering into the mainstream. Want to test the freedom of choice claim? Try to imagine the state painting the symbol for an atheist vanity tag. Think also about how strained a thing it is for the legislature to "just be making this available" without crossing the no state support of religion line.
The Bill of Rights says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
It doesn't say "a religion" it says "religion" That seems to me to be very clearly prohibiting the State of Florida providing a service that paints a cross and stained glass window with the words "I believe" on a state required auto license.
Even worse is the argument equating belief in a religion with "belief" in a team (one assumes some of the teams are of the several athletically active institutions of "higher learning" in the state). It once again proves the point that on the spectrum of religious expression that extends from vacuous to enlightened (and you can pretty much put the religious among the founding fathers on the enlightened end) conservative is often at best one notch from vaccous. Who elects these people?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Salary in the highest tax bracket is taxed at 35 percent, but profits from stocks held long enough to be called “long-term capital gains” are taxed at 15 percent. A hedge fund manager making $100 million in a year would pay $15 million to the government if he is able to take his income as capital gains, not the $35 million he would have to pay if the income was considered salary.