The British scene
In the latest policy screw-up, Labour back-benchers are screaming about a planned 200 pound ($396) tax increase on any high-carbon-emitting vehicle registered in the past seven years. Even green-minded politicians realize that punishing citizens for their past purchases won't shrink Britain's carbon footprint today.
Lawmakers are also panning a prospective 2-pence-per-liter hike in the fuel tax just weeks after the Brown government had to abandon separate plans to effectively raise the lowest income-tax rate to 20% from 10%. The latter move, which would have raised taxes on millions of workers at the bottom of the pay scale, figured heavily in Labour's disastrous results in the May 1 local elections and last Thursday's loss of an ultrasafe parliamentary seat in a by-election.
Mr. Brown doesn't only soak the poor. There's also been tremendous blowback from the œ30,000-a-year levy he and Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling want to slap on wealthy foreigners who live and work in Britain but claim residency - and keep most of their taxable assets - elsewhere. The government finally agreed to modify this new tax on "nondomiciled" residents. But it remains to be seen whether the tax drives away some of the very workers who have helped London become a financial powerhouse.
Some of Mr. Brown's policy problems are older than his premiership. Take the collapse of mortgage lender Northern Rock last autumn, a situation that the government promptly and repeatedly botched. It quickly became apparent that part of the blame lay in Mr. Brown's decision years earlier, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, to divide banking supervision among three different departments. This unwieldy "tripartite" arrangement made it more difficult for regulators to spot banks in danger before it was too late and to respond to a snowballing crisis.
Mr. Brown's once-solid reputation as an able steward of the economy is fading. As in the U.S., British homeowners worry that their country's housing bubble will burst; consumers are struggling with soaring grocery and gasoline bills. One wonders whether Britain was simply riding the wave of world-wide growth in the past decade of Labour rule - and if it might have done even better had the Chancellor not increased public spending from 37% of GDP in 1999-2000 to more than 41% in each of the last four budgets.
Brookes News Update
Putting the Bush boom in perspective: Speculation that the housing 'crisis' could sink the Bush economy are completely off-beam. As usual, commentators are ignoring the monetary factors, especially credit expansion, that create booms and generate housing bubbles
Safe from truth: Democrats move to silence the Pentagon: With the support of the treasonous New York Times House Democrats passed a bill that would prevent the Pentagon from publicising the good news that the allies are winning in Iraq
How interventionists drive up rents: The real enemy is not lying two-faced lefties but public ignorance of basic economic principles. If these principles were widely understood those regulations that have done so much to harm the poor by driving up rents would not have passed muster
More offshore oil drilling: The U.S. government has banned drilling in thousands of square miles off the U.S. Coast. These areas hold an estimated 115 billion barrels of oil and 633 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This insane ban has left America's energy needs increasingly at the mercy of foreign autocrats, despots and maniacs
Left-wing racism remembered: Did you know.Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican? Every civil rights law, beginning in the 1860s through the 1950s and 1960s, was fought against by Democrats? Or the KKK had links to the Democratic Party? Is the Democrats' racist past is finally catching up with them?
Global warming: "These are the times that try men's souls": Despite reams and reams of scientific data and increasing numbers of real science experts denouncing the idea that mere humans can accomplish earthly changes in climate, politician after politician continue to promote policies that will cause irreparable harm to the people they seek to put them in office
Madness of a self-destructive world: Sixty years have passed since Israel won her independence. During this time Israel absorbed several millions of Jewish refugees, including 850,000 from Muslim countries. When WW2 ended, 50 million refugees were scattered across Europe. All of them have found a country where they can live and work, for themselves and their families. This experience expose as a fraud the so-called tragedy of 'Palestinian refugees'
Iran is building a bomb: "More worrying is what the IAEA delicately calls the "possible military dimensions" of Iran's programs. Given that Iran insists its nuclear drive is for peaceful purposes only, it's interesting to note "the fact that substantial parts of the centrifuge components were manufactured in the workshops of the Defense Industries Organization." Also interesting is what the report describes as "the development of high voltage detonator firing equipment and exploding bridgewire (EBW) detonators including, inter alia, the simultaneous firing of multiple EBW detonators, an underground testing arrangement . . . and the testing of at least one full scale hemispherical, converging, explosively driven shock system that could be applicable to an implosion-type nuclear device." If there's an innocent explanation for this kind of work, we'd love to hear it".
Leftist Geraldine Ferraro sees anti-white racism in the media: "These two historic candidacies in 2008 would take racism and sexism and show the world that it is not in the DNA of the United States to deal with those issues the way they were dealt with years and years ago. Well folks, I was proven wrong. It is in the DNA of this country and it's in the DNA of the press. And, I think the press has been absolutely, unbelievably sexist and in some instances racist; not racist against blacks but in some instances racist against whites; picking up everything that was said and running with it as if it's true; attacking people for speaking up." "I have to tell you I hear people... they come up to me and say they're worried. They're worried about what the future has because anytime anyone who speaks up who's white, it's a problem..."
Shootout in Harlem, Al Sharpton Unavailable for Comment: "Monday evening saw seven people shot in Harlem and now there are wails for healing, anti-gang messages and, reflexively, more gun control. Yet one name is missing in every news account I read: Al Sharpton. Yoo-hoo, Reverend Al. How about protesting in your own backyard? Oh, that's right, there were no police involved. So no threats, no shakedowns, no tying up traffic, no multimillion-dollar lawsuits. It's just black kids shooting other black kids, so he doesn't give a damn. Never mind."
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)