Friday, November 27

A Tax Poem

I usually stay away from poems, they make me break out in spots, but this was a nice one :)

Tax his land, tax his bed,
Tax the table at which he's fed.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes are the rule.
Tax his work, tax his pay,
He works for peanuts anyway!
Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirt,
Tax his work,  tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his cigars, tax his beers,
If he cries tax his tears.
Tax his car, tax his gas,
Find other ways to tax his ass
Tax all he has then let him know
That you won't be done til he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers;  tax him some more,
Then tax him til he's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he's laid.
Put these words upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me to my doom ....'
When he's gone, do not relax,
It's time to apply the inheritance tax.  
Accounts Receivable Tax
Airline surcharge tax
Alcohol tax

Building Permit Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Death Tax
Dog License Tax
Driving License Tax
Excise Taxes
Income Tax
Fuel tax
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Gross Receipts Tax
Health Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Interest Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Mortgage Tax
Personal Income Tax
Poverty Tax
Prescription Drug Tax
Property Tax
Provincial Income Tax
Real Estate Tax  
Value Added Tax
Service Charge Tax
School Tax  
Telephone Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Water Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Wednesday, November 25

Letter to Children

This is a letter written by India’s first prime minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru, to children on account of the National Children’s day. Worth reading.

Dear Children,
I like being with children and talking to them and, even more, playing
with them. For the moment I forget that I am terribly old and it is very
long ago since I was a child.
But when I sit down to write, I cannot forget my age and the distance that
separates you from me. Old people have a habit of delivering sermons and
good advice to the young.
I remember that I disliked this very much long ago when I was a boy. So I
suppose you do not like it very much either. Grown-ups also have a habit
of appearing to be very wise, even though very few of them possess much
wisdom. I have not yet quite made up my mind whether I am wise or not.
Sometimes listening to others I feel that I must be wise and brilliant and
important. Then, looking at myself, I begin to doubt this. In any event,
people who are wise do not talk about their wisdom and do not behave as if
they were very superior persons...
What then shall I write about? If you were with me, I would love to talk
to you about this beautiful world of ours, about flowers, trees, birds,
animals, stars, mountains, glaciers and all the other beautiful things
that surround us in the world. We have all this beauty all around us and
yet we, who are grown-ups, often forget about it and lose ourselves in our
arguments or in our quarrels. We sit in our offices and imagine that we
are doing very important work.
I hope you will be more sensible and open your eyes and ears to this
beauty and life that surrounds you. Can you recognize the flowers by their
names and the birds by their singing? How easy it is to make friends with
them and with everything in nature, if you go to them affectionately and
with friendship. You must have read many fairy tales and stories of long
ago. But the world itself is the greatest fairy tale and story of
adventure that was ever written. Only we must have eyes to see and ears to
hear and a mind that opens out to the life and beauty of the world.
Grown-ups have a strange way of putting themselves in compartments and
groups. They build barriers... of religion, caste, colour, party, nation,
province, language, customs and of rich and poor. Thus they live in
prisons of their own making. Fortunately,children do not know much about
these barriers, which separate. They play and work with each other and it
is only when they grow up that they begin to learn about these barriers
from their elders. I hope you will take a long time in growing up...
Some months ago, the children of Japan wrote to me and asked me to send
them an elephant. I sent them a beautiful elephant on behalf of the
children of India... This noble animal became a symbol of India to them
and a link between them and the children of India.
I was very happy that this gift of ours gave so much joy to so many
children of Japan, and made them think of our country... remember that
everywhere there are children like you going to school and work and play,
and sometimes quarrelling but always making friends again. You can read
about these countries in your books, and when you grow up many of you will
visit them. Go there as friends and you will find friends to greet you.
You know we had a very great man amongst us. He was called Mahatma Gandhi.
But we used to call him affectionately Bapuji. He was wise, but he did not
show off his wisdom. He was simple and childlike in many ways and he
lovedchildren... he taught us to face the world cheerfully and with
Our country is a very big country and there is a great deal to be done by
all of us. If each one of us does his or her little bit, then all this
mounts up and the country prospers and goes ahead fast.
I have tried to talk to you in this letter as if you were sitting near me,
and I have written more than I intended.
Jawaharlal Nehru
December 3, 1949

Private 'police' provoke concern

This really pissed me off. I quote:

The growing number of private security companies policing UK streets is a worrying development, senior police figures say. The Police Federation of England and Wales said there is "huge concern" over their powers and accountability.

Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has also said there should be no role for the private sector in Britain's law enforcement. The firms typically charge residents to patrol streets and deter troublemakers.

So what else does Sir Blair say?

Sir Ian Blair said more use should be made of community officers and civilians working within the police, otherwise there could be more private police patrols.

He said: "I do not see community safety as a commodity to be bought and sold and therefore we shouldn't be having the private sector in policing.

"Unless we get this right, we will end up with private security coming in and they will work for the rich and the poor will go without."

What do you mean? You mean that you in the police will not help out in making sure that the citizens of this country feel safe? That’s how you pitch it?

When a state cedes space in the security space, it is wreaking the very core reason for it's existence. The first and foremost reason for a state to exist is to provide security to it's citizens. This is also a reason why states come down so hard on vigilantism despite it frequently having good reason or cause or even support for example against paedophiles.

This is really worrisome for me. The fact that citizens are reaching out to private firms to provide security is an extremely dangerous step. But typically, instead of trying to address the basic fear of security of the citizens, this bloody government will do the worst of both things. It wouldn't increase the patrols or prosecution and on top of it it will stop these firms.

Another brilliant objection:

But the vice chairman of the Police Federation, which represents officers, said such firms could cause problems. Simon Reed said: "We have got people who have certain powers, we are going to see them in uniform. Potentially there is confusion there for the public and who are they actually accountable to?

"I understand the public's fear of crime but actually it's the police who patrol public space and we should be very wary about giving those powers to private security companies."

You guys are accountable to the citizens of the country, just like these private firms are. If you were doing your job and giving comfort to the citizens, then they wouldn't have this problem, would they? And excuse me, you dont have a problem in having people who are not policemen but doing police like duties? What about Police Community Support Officers or Special Constables?

What’s the difference between the PCSO’s or SC’s? and the private firms? Nothing much as much as I can see effectively.

Very worrying.

Tuesday, November 24

Is 35% a fair amount for charities admin cost?

No. I dont think so at all. For those who are tempted to give money to Oxfam, Christian Aid, Or the British Red Cross, know that more than 30 pence in the pound goes to non project expenses. Quite a high administrative expenditure there...


This is indeed very high compared to many other charities. I am a trustee of a charity and if I found that my CEO and her staff spent any of this % amount, I would be firing her immediately. While the charity where I am does not do anything of the level of fund raising which these charities are engaged in, but still, this is shocking.

Any why on earth is the government giving money to charities? Are they charities or are they Quango’s? or arms of the government? This is frankly stupid to use my tax monies to fund charities.

Banning Fatwa’s

HT John Burgess.

This was interesting. I quote:

JEDDAH – An undisclosed number of religious preachers have been barred from issuing fatwas during this year’s Haj due to the “extremist” nature of their rulings and “violations committed during last year’s Haj.”
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance, Tawfiq Al-Sudairi, said the ministry monitored the “performance of those working in the field of religious call and guidance and issuing edicts during the Haj seasons” through supervisors who produce opinion polls and reports.
“The ministry has tightened supervision this year,” Al-Sudairi said,” and field inspections have led to a number of religious callers, although few in number, being removed due to serious violations.”
The violations reportedly included “hard-line edicts that harm the Haj.”
“The ministry seeks to make things easier for pilgrims during the Haj and prevent the issuing of hard-line edicts, to take into consideration differences in cultural, religious, geographical and jurisprudential backgrounds,” Al-Sudairi said. “The ministry also seeks religious callers with an extensive knowledge of jurisprudence and who take jurisprudential differences into consideration.”

Ok, I know that many people hate the fatwa’s. The hate relates to people saying stupid things or harmful things. And as this is coming from religious scholars, it has the patina of truth, of Divine sanction and given that quite a lot of people are basically sheep when it comes to religion, it can actually do harm.

But I disagree that these people should be banned from giving fatwas. Its freedom of speech and you need to allow them to speak out. If they are talking rot, that’s all right, because it will show up the religious fundo’s up in a bad light. And at end of the day, people are relatively smart and eventually wise up to these morons who go about reading rot and saying garbage.

But it is their right to say what they wish. As long as their sayings to not interfere or injure anybody else, go for it, knock yourself out. The way to deal with crap speech is to discuss and debate with them, not ban them. This causes them to become martyrs. What also struck me as strange was that the ministry in Saudi Arabia which is in charge can actually be charged with being unislamic as no man can know the niyaat of another when talking about religion. Plus one can give a very jaundiced view on what Saudi Arabia thinks of religion anyway.

Sunday, November 22

See some of these pictures and weep

Some heart rending photographs of women whose lives have been destroyed by men and acid.

Click here to see the full list of photographs and their sad stories…

Feel disgusted and horrified with the so called men who did this. May they rot in hell.

Asian caste discrimination rife in UK

Casteism is a canker on society, it hollows it out. The fact that it exists in India is not in doubt, but the fact that it has followed the Indian immigrants here to the UK is disgusting. More economic development or more education doesnt seem to have made a difference. One of the countries where liberalism was born has this horrible thing in its society.

See this. I quote:

Caste discrimination is rife in the UK, with more than half of those from traditionally lower-status Asian backgrounds finding themselves victims of prejudice and abuse, according to a report published today.

The study, co-ordinated by the Anti Caste Discrimination Alliance (Acda), suggests that the caste system is still widespread and affects tens of thousands of people in the workplace, the classroom and even the doctor's surgery.

Fifty-eight percent of the 300 people surveyed said they had been discriminated against because of their caste, while 79% said they did not think the police would understand if they tried to report a caste-related "hate crime".

Almost half of the respondents (45%) said they had either been treated negatively by co-workers or had comments made about their caste. Nine per cent felt they had been passed over for promotion, and 10% said they had been paid less because of their caste. A further 5% said they had experienced threatening behaviour because of their caste.

One woman said she had been demoted from her job at a radio station after her manager discovered her caste background, while one bus company decided to reorganise shifts so that a "higher caste" inspector would not have to work alongside a "lower caste" bus driver.

The classroom also appears to be subject to caste divides: 7% of those surveyed said they had been the victims of threatening behaviour while aged under 12 at school, with another 16% suffering verbal caste abuse. According to the study, 10% of those responsible for caste discrimination against under-12s were teachers, and 42% fellow pupils.

One of the most commonly reported forms of discrimination is caste-related name-calling. Almost three quarters (71%) of those questioned in the survey identified themselves as members of the Dalit community. Dalits, who were formerly known as Untouchables because of their low caste status, are sometimes referred to abusively as chuhra and chamar

What are the Hindu, Sikh and Gujurati community associations doing about it? Sweet sod all, if you ask me. This should be taken up post haste, but I have a bit of a doubt. The reason I dont get involved with these groups is that they are actually the problem. A very narrow parochial view permeates them, the discussions in Indian origin groups is frankly horrifying, its racist, its casteist, its anti white and usually has overtones of us and them. Of course I am generalising but I dont like to be in groups where this kind of behaviour is common. Its small beer but still, sod off.

Sniff test to preserve old books

I was invited to a breakfast with some of the grand poo bah’s, and one of the things that they ask in the initial form was to state your hobby. I stated that I was a bibliophile and one of the most interesting and loving things about this hobby is the lovely smell of old books. Its just so brilliant. So this news story really hit the interest points for me. I quote:

The key to preserving the old, degrading paper of treasured, ageing books is contained in the smell of their pages, say scientists.

Researchers report in the journal Analytical Chemistry that a new "sniff test" can measure degradation of old books and historical documents.

The test picks up and identifies the chemicals that the pages release as they degrade.

This could help libraries and museums preserve a range of precious books.

The test is based on detecting the levels of volatile organic compounds.

These are released by paper as it ages and produce the familiar "old book smell".

The international research team, led by Matija Strlic from University College London's Centre for Sustainable Heritage, describes that smell as "a combination of grassy notes with a tang of acids and a hint of vanilla over an underlying mustiness".

So THAT’s what I was smelling, lol.