Posts Tagged ‘stupid rules’

No Mo Town?

Posted: July 21, 2013 in Banks, Business, Crime, Current Events, Politics, Rants
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Here comes the Sunday Sermon folks!

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Before his first election victory the platform was one of “change” and “yes we can”, not very specific policies but the implication was that everything would get better under his administration, and people went for it.

Guess what?

“No he couldn’t” and “nothing changed”, not for the better anyhow.

Then last year during the re-election campaign he said, “We refuse to let Detroit go bankrupt”, and people went for it again.

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Guess what?

Detroit is bankrupt! Yes, last Thursday, Detroit became the largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy, filing for Chapter 9 protection.

Are you seeing a trend here?

You should.

But it’s not all Obama’s fault. By no means. He’s just the latest in a long line of clueless politicians who made big promises and had no idea how to pay for them.

So how did it get this bad?

How did the city of Detroit that was once the powerhouse of America, and from whose industry came wealth creation that stimulated the entire economy, get to the stage of being bankrupt?

Sadly, what has happened to Detroit is the culmination of decades of political incompetence and graft and corruption.

For example, the most recent mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, is currently facing charges of racketeering conspiracy, extortion, bribery, mail and wire fraud, filing false tax returns and income tax evasion, Quite a guy!

Kwame-Kilpatrick-Gangsta-HD-Wallpaper

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It is also the culmination of years of union’s self-serving greed that meant, for example, that every car Detroit manufactured had to be sold at a loss – if it were to sell any at all.

But the problem goes even deeper than that.

Detroit is just the latest example of political and economic stupidity that has been allowed to fester within many western nations. It is not just an American malaise. The very same thing has happened in other countries, like Britain.

And it has happened because American and British politicians got the idea that their countries were a bit better than everyone else’s.

That they could leave the blue collar stuff like steel-making, ship building, car assembly and everything else that created true wealth for a nation, to be done by other ‘inferior’ places such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan and more lately China.

They actively helped to destroy their own manufacturing base through lack of investment, over taxation, needless government interference and over-regulation, etc.

Worse than this, they thought they could replace real industries making real money, with ‘service’ industries.

They never figured out that the former is the foundation that means you can afford the luxury of the latter!

And guess what? They still haven’t!

So instead of making real money, greedy banksters were allowed to conjure imaginary money out of nowhere. Then they were allowed (and encouraged) to invest money that didn’t exist in products that weren’t real either! And of course they lost the money. 

And the governments were willing accomplices to this fraud. When they could’t balance their books they simply printed more money and used this imaginary wealth in their economic statistics reports to show everyone how well they were doing.

Detroit is just the latest and biggest example of what the policy of living well beyond your means….. means!

So is this the end for this once great city?

Absolutely not. In fact it might be the making of it. There are going to be tough times ahead, but getting rid of a crippling $20 billion debt, which their bankruptcy will do, at the very least makes a recovery a possibility.

The halcyon days may be gone and never to return because of the damage the politicians have done. But there will be better days ahead.

When you reach the bottom you may bounce around there for a while but eventually the only way is back up.

If the politicians let you, that is.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s time for a Sunday Sermon!

cartoon-illustration-of-a-spy-wearing-a-hat-and-trenchcoat

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Whether we realize it or like it, the advent of the internet has changed all our lives. From power users like myself to just casual users, things are a lot different from how they used to be.

There are, of course, negatives like the increase of spam, fraud, pornography and so forth, but by and large the impact of the internet has been a positive one.

It has made finding information much quicker and easier.

It has given us better and cheaper communication possibilities such as Skype.

It has revolutionized shopping for millions of people.

And it has spawned new social interaction platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and not forgetting blogging sites such as WordPress, allowing people to find groups and individuals all over the world with similar interests to their own.

But perhaps the greatest thing that the internet has achieved is to give freedom for ordinary people to say what they want to say and have that reach a much bigger audience than would have hitherto been possible without having to spend vast sums of money trying to do it.

Unfortunately, however, that freedom is the one thing that governments cannot tolerate. Hell bent on control, they see the freedom that the internet provides as a threat to their power. And slowly but relentlessly they are chipping away at that freedom.

In China there is no pretense or deceit. The government there controls the internet and that’s just how it is.

However in the West, as they always do, governments create smokescreens to hide their real objectives. They read our private emails and listen to our private phone calls in secret, only reluctantly admitting to it when they are exposed by a whistleblower such as Edward Snowden, last seen leaving Hong Kong and heading for Moscow.

edward-snowden

And even when they are exposed they can’t tell the truth about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Invariably the excuse trotted out is “security issues”, in other words, they are doing what we don’t want them to do and invading our privacy, for our own good! 

If governments expect the people to have confidence in them, then they in turn should show confidence in the people. That means doing their job properly and targeting people and groups that are a possible threat without treating everyone as a potential terrorist.

And it means being honest with their people. 

Will that happen?

Not a chance!

As I said earlier the game isn’t about what is good for the people, the game is about control of the people. And a big part of that control is ensuring that the herd shall not be heard – if they have anything important to say that the government doesn’t want us to know!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Time for another Sunday Sermon, otherwise known as a rant!

 Foreclosure Notice Yellow Photo

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First it was Cyprus where the bankrupt government tried to steal money right out of people’s bank accounts. If you want to read that again click here and here.)

Then it was the turn of the greedy bureaucrats in Australia who decided to tax pensions TWICE, once when you put the money in and again when you tried to take it out! (For the original post click here.) 

Now in bankrupt Spain the politicians are at it, however, this time they aren’t proposing to steal some of the money in your bank account  –  oh no, this time they want to steal your entire home!

Yes, you read it right, the Spanish government has announced this past week that they want to seize homes that have been foreclosed on by banks and developers.

Not that I have any sympathy with the banksters, not by a long chalk! But theft is theft, and theft by governments is perhaps the most evil of all simply because the victims have little or no remedies available – other than pack up and go somewhere else.

se vende

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As usual the politicians and bureaucrats are trying to dress this theft up as something helpful. They say they will rent the confiscated foreclosed homes to Spanish families who will be allowed to live there rent-free for up to three years.

Sounds great, but as usual what these political morons have failed to do is think their policy through.

If they go ahead with this plan to steal homes the consequences will not be what they think.

First of all it will destroy what is left of the mortgage market in Spain because no one will want to make home loans on Spanish real estate if there is no viable foreclosure mechanism should things go wrong for the mortgagee.

Second, it will go a long way to killing off the buy-to-let sector, which is the thing that has been keeping the real estate market afloat in these financially strained times. Home sales, not just in Spain, but in many countries have been boosted considerably by cash rich investors picking up what they consider to be ‘bargain’ properties at a level that yields a decent return on their capital. Where will they get that return if the government kills the rental sector by renting out homes for free?

And third, it will also kill off the recent Spanish drive to attract foreign investors by offering residency to anyone who spends around $200,000 buying up the glut of Spanish property currently on its real estate market.   

If these things were happening in Zimbabwe or even Venezuela everyone would be calling it a disgrace. But it is happening in Europe and Australia and America. And it will get worse the more desperate the politicians and the bureaucrats become as they make the mess they created worse, not better.

Who on earth put idiots like these in charge?

It wasn’t you was it?

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I talked before about the bureaucrat’s insatiable desire to make things more difficult, awkward and expensive for legitimate businesses in America and Europe. That’s all they know how to do. I’ve also said before that introducing ever more taxes and regulations on bricks & mortar businesses would not be enough. They would have to try to destroy businesses operating online as well.

Well that latter attempt at destroying what is left of American entrepreneurship moved up another notch this week when the US Senate passed the “Marketplace Fairness Act”.

online sales tax cartoon

 

I’ll come back to that in a moment, but the title of this latest piece of needless bureaucratic interference illustrates perfectly once again the deceitfulness of the politicians and bureaucrats.

The “Marketplace Fairness Act” is not about “fairness”. It is not about leveling the playing field between those businesses operating online and those on the proverbial “High Street”. Anyone who tells you that is lying. (Really, a politician lying? Whatever next?)

fairness

 

Like all similar legislation, the “Marketplace Fairness Act” is about control; about making life more difficult for people who want to do business; and, not least, about trying to extort the last penny out of your pocket in the form of taxes.

I say “your” pocket, because at the end of the day businesses have to pass their increased costs on to the final consumer and that my friends is us!

Yes, the “Marketplace Fairness Act” has just been passed by the US Senate. As these things do, it still has to pass through the House of Representatives as well, and it will, if not on the first attempt on subsequent ones. Have you ever seen a stupid bad law that wasn’t pushed through by fair means or foul?

What the “Marketplace Fairness Act” does is to impose sales taxes for business transactions or sales done online. In other words, when you buy something from an online retailer, or a retailer with an online facility, you will be subject to the addition of a sales tax.

In the simplest terms, for you, the consumer, this Bill means that your bills will be bigger – you will have to pay more! For the business operating online it means more bureaucracy, more forms to fill out, more tax filings to be done – in short more hassle.

But for the government it means more money to be squandered on another war or on the next idiotic idea that Washington can think of.

Internet_Sales_Tax

 

And another unfairness that the Marketplace Fairness Act will create is that online businesses operating outside the United States will be laughing their tax free socks off.

You see this law will not – cannot – apply to foreign companies who do business online and sell to US-based consumers.

Why? Because the US authorities have no practical way to enforce it, and because businesses in foreign countries couldn’t care less about enforcing it, nor will their governments.

Do you seriously think for one moment that either businesses or governments in, for example, China, or India, or even Mexico are going to waste their time collecting sales tax for Uncle Sam?

So if I was setting up an online business would I still do it in America? I think you know the answer.

You could be forgiven for asking whether these dumb politicians and bureaucrats are really trying to make America a better place or just trying to destroy it!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes folks, sadly, the idiots have invaded the state organizations in Florida too.

And they are doing what they do best  –  inflicting needless misery on ordinary decent people.

This time the victim is a teenage girl, Kiera Wilmot, who has been expelled from her school and was arrested and charged with causing a totally harmless “explosion” by mixing household products in a plastic bottle.

The incident happened when she and another pupil of the school, mixed up some common household products in a plastic bottle – having heard that something amusing might result.

They did it outdoors on school premises. The resulting “blast” was not even sufficient to rupture the plastic bottle, merely popping off the top and generating some smoke.

Unfortunately for the luckless teenager, however, an idiot was at hand in the form of an assistant principal. He called the police and idiot number two, the responding officer, phoned idiot number three, a state prosecutor (named in the police report as Assistant State Attorney Tammy Glotfelty).

Isn’t it strange they way they all know each other – there must be a Secret Idiot Network, a bit like the Masons, that you are asked to join when you are deemed to be stupid enough!

Idiot three, the Assistant State Attorney, also known as a “R-Q’er” or “Regulation Quoter”, advised that Kiera be charged with “possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school sponsored event or on school property” and “making, possessing, throwing, projecting, placing or discharging any destructive device”.

As a result, local education officials (idiots 4 thru whatever), decided that Kiera had to be expelled from school.

Now the poor girl will have to try to complete her education in an “expulsion program”, and faces the future stigma of a serious criminal conviction.

In case you are wondering, Kiera’s killer cocktail consisted of nothing more than toilet cleaner and aluminum foil, so if you have either or both of these in your home  –  and I bet you do  –  then I guess if the wrong idiot came along he could charge you with having bomb-making materials! Never mind, they say the weather is nice and warm at Guantanimo.

Prior to her career as a bomb-maker, Kiera had never been in trouble. Even her school principle, Ron Pritchard, told WTSP News, “She is a good kid. She has never been in trouble before. Ever.”

Ron, in my opinion, you would be a lot better off getting rid of that idiot assistant of yours who started all this nonsense, rather than a good student.

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If, having read this, you feel the urge to help Kiera, there is an online petition addressed to several relevant local officials that says:

Please, do the right thing. Drop these charges and apologize for the incredible turmoil you have created.

To go to the petition please click here

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Remember, as I say at the start of every post, we have to “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”. Otherwise one day they might be coming for YOU!

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”
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I did a short series a few months back about some of the stupid laws stupid politicians had made. They were quite funny and most of them dated back many years, they just hadn’t been taken off the statute books.

That excused the old laws, maybe.

But they are still at it even today!

I know that you shouldn’t expect too much when a group of uninformed and irresponsible people go out and vote to elect a smaller group of uninformed and irresponsible politicians, while most people stay at home. But we call that democracy these days. And in what passes for normal times you can get away with it.

economic-crisis

But these are not normal times we are living in. America, and most of the western world, is in desperate trouble economically. We need help from our politicians.

Help to stimulate economic growth; help to make it easier to do business in and from the US; help to protect us from cheap inferior crap being imported that has destroyed local jobs and industries; help for entrepreneurs to establish new wealth generating businesses; and help from the socialist bureaucratic nightmare that is completely out of hand.

As regard the stupid laws, these days most of them center around ways that bankrupt governments, whether national or local, can think up to extract more and more from the people who elected them.

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Currently US bureaucrats are frantically trying to think up another way to tax the internet. Previous attempts failed because of public outcry, but sooner or later they will do it and who will it help? Everybody who isn’t in business in America and the EU probably, because it won’t apply anywhere else!

The mantra of these idiot bureaucrats is to make America more productive and prosperous by making America less competitive and poorer. It sits nicely with their other mantra of solving economic woes by extracting more and more tax from less and less income. Neither works and never will.

Maryland Welcome

What prompted this rant? 

Well only the unbelievable fact that the idiot politicians in Maryland have decided to tax rain.

What????

Tax what????

Yes, you read it right, the idiot politicians in Maryland have decided to tax rain.

They call it by a fancy name, of course, the “Impervious Surfaces tax”, or ”storm water management fee”, but what it in effect does is to charge Maryland residents for rainwater that falls on their property.

rain tax

Naturally, the bureaucrats are dressing up this latest money grab with the lie that it is for the benefit of the people. It’s bit like a pick pocket excusing his theft by saying he was relieving you of the burden of carrying your wallet around in your coat pocket. And it makes just as much sense!

Thankfully, however, there seems to be a few with a working brain left in local government. Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, for example, vetoed the tax proposal which unfortunately won’t kill it, but will give a little bit of breathing space.

But if the residents of Maryland are “chicken” enough to fall in line with this new tax – and so far it seems most of them have been dumb enough not to even notice it at all – then it won’t be the end of it.

martin-omalley

Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who guided the passage of the storm water tax earlier this month, despite efforts from Republicans to dismantle the bill, has already been responsible for implementing 37 other taxes and fees since taking office — at a cost to residents estimated at somewhere in the region of $3.1 billion annually.

Does anyone really think an idiot like this is going to let the people have air and sunshine for free???

 tax tax and more tax

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Remember this post from way back towards the end of May 2012?

 Furious Flabbergasted Facebook Fools Face Frightening Falls From Fanciful Flagging Financial Flotation Farce. 

As well as being the biggest F’ing title ever seen on a WordPress blog, it drew attention to the debacle that was the much heralded launch of Facebook shares on the stock market.

facebook ipo

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Well, the fallout from what is now being called the IPOcalypse continues.

The head honcho at Nasdaq has had his CEO’s bonus slashed because of it, and rightly so.

But don’t start feeling sorry him just yet. Even with a slash he will still be taking home a $1.3m bonus, slightly north of half a million dollars lighter than it would have been, but still enough to get by on.

Oh yes, and that’s bonus on top of his $1 million salary!

Others at Nasdaq have also been penalized, including Anna Ewing, VP in charge of “technical glitches” that messed up the first day of trading. Her bonus was cut by over a quarter of a million dollars. But keep those hankies where they are, she is still left with a $574,125 bonus for the year.

Losses for angry brokers and traders from the botched IPO, on the other hand, have been estimated at around $500m. Nasdaq has approved just $62m in compensation, I suppose they needed the rest of their money to pay out the bonuses?

Like the banksters, it all begs the question of just how incompetent do you have to be in the financial industry to not just lose your bonus, but lose your job as well?

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