Tax, rap, Jews, boxes, hangovers, and that cunt Robert Kilroy-Silk

Interesting musings on inheritance tax from Matt Yglesias, including: "If I die with a $10 million estate and want to give $5 to 2 million different people, there doesn’t seem to me to be a good reason why the estate should be taxed. Better to tax inheritance since the actual concern is that I’ll give $10 million to my son…"

Matt is on fire today, hopefully not in a literal sense: he also coherently defends enjoying art that you know to be politically or morally indefensible (my related example would be Idiotic Bizarre’s rap on Eminem’s Amityville); and he has a new meme, of which more anon.

Despite my previous, err, harshness about Sean Thomas, he’s an irritatingly good writer. This week, he has a moving story of a Jew and his box from 19th century Cornwall, an excellent rundown of hangover cures (although he misses the most effective: start drinking again); and an attempt at winning the Bad Sex Award second time around.

Finally, the Adam Smith Institute has endorsed Robert Kilroy-Silk’s economic policy. The words ‘made for each other’ have never seemed so appropriate.

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Paging the paranoid

"The experience of being an expert witness on [Islamic terrorist] issues has made me feel a great deal safer on the streets of London" – terror expert Duncan Campbell (not Guardian staffer Duncan Campbell).

Ignore the media circus around the Kamel Bourgass trial. He was a bad thug who murdered a policeman, but for all his posturing he was no more of an Al-Qaeda terrorist than David Bieber or David Parfitt. He didn’t even *have* any ricin, and the only ricin-making plans he had were downloaded over the Internet – mostly from rightwing American militias, although one such document (erroneously labeled the Al-Qaeda Manual by government spin) was originally written by Afghan mujahadeen in the 1980s based on US anarchist sources.

Ignore the politicians. They are lying to make you afraid, to make you surrender your freedom to them. Nobody well-informed and with no axe to grind believes that the threat from Islamist terrorists is anything more than an IRA-style law enforcement issue.

Side terror points: Robert Hendy-Freegard appears to be a very naughty, but very amusing man; and I trust that following Eric Rudolph’s conviction, the usual suspects will admit that we’re At War with dangerous Christianofascist maniacs Who Would, If They Could, Kill Every Last One Of Us (TM), and that we urgently need to bomb the Vatican.

Update: The Register, which has been doing some fantastic reporting lately, has a similar, more detailed take.

Update 2: I’ve written a new, post-conviction piece on Robert Hendy-Freegard.

(Guardian article via Tim Worstall)

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Woo hoo! Freedom!

Shooting reporters isn’t enough. Let’s arrest them too (also RSF piece on the detention. The guy is alleged by unreliable sources to be a US citizen of Iraqi origins). Meanwhile, lunatics are claiming that this indicts the press, not the truth-hating journo-hating bastards who lied and schemed to get us into this stupid war in the first place.

Fuck them.

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Who should you vote for?

According to Who Should You Vote For, I’m closer to Labour than I am to the Liberals in policy terms (even more worryingly, I’m positive rather than negative concerning UKIP).

I think this is because of my attitudes to students (keep fees, bring back maintenance grants for poor students), council tax (local income tax penalises workers, while council tax at least means that the non-working-wealthy have to chip in too), and pensions (don’t let old people starve or anything, but why the hell should poor 75-year-olds get more cash than poor 35-year-olds?).

The problem with the site is that it doesn’t ascribe a weighting to views on different areas. In reality, although I disagree with several minor Lib Dem economic policies, I think their general attitude towards civil liberties is far more important than these.

BTW, this seems to be another Chris Lightfoot-related creation. Is there nothing the man doesn’t do?

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What People On The Internet Are Like

1. A comment on the bizarre ‘straight men worrying about being mistaken for gays if they have dinner with other guys’ NYT article: "I never worry about this. I am overweight and dress badly such that noone would ever mistake me for a gay man or even for anyone whom anyone, gay or straight, would ‘date’."

2. Chris Lewis, Director of Communications for the Ultimate Warrior.

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SBBS Company of the Day

Some employees of Indian CRM outsourcer Mphasis tricked Citibank customers into revealing their PINs and passwords, and then stole their money.

Obviously, this could happen to any firm – indeed, it’s far more common in the UK or US where any dodgy geezer off the street can walk into a call centre job starting tomorrow, rather than in India where it’s a sought-after (albeit still hated by the people who do it) graduate position.

However, the reason for Mphasis’s Company of the Day status is that instead of following Western-style business PR bullshit and lying that people who fall for phishing scams aren’t morons, it described the victims as "gullible and careless". Rock on!

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