Sunday, June 26, 2016

Who is the stupidest now?

by Tom Kando

Just a few words about Thursday’s Brexit disaster: As the American comedian Andy Borowitz just wrote, the British have lost the right to claim that Americans are dumber than they are:

“Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans” has long been a favorite pastime in Britain... But, according to Alistair Dorrinson, a pub owner in North London, British voters have done irreparable damage to the ‘most enjoyable sport this nation has ever known: namely, treating Americans like idiots’....In the face of this startling display of national idiocy, Dorrinson still mustered some of the resilience for which the British people are known. ‘This is a dark day’ he said. ‘But I hold out hope that, come November, Americans could become dumber than us once more.’ How will America reclaim the title? Obvious: Elect Donald Trump as our 45th president. Read more...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Gun Dilemma

If I was a burglar and I tried to make a living in the Netherlands, I probably would have a real hard time getting a hold of a gun to convince the burglarized to hand over the loot. It would take a lot of effort, money and time, so I probably would burgle without packing iron and hope for the best.

If I was a burglar and I lived in the United States, it would make sense for me to have a gun. It's easy to get, it's cheap and any self-respecting burglar wouldn't think twice about carrying. If you have to invade someone's property anyway, why not make sure that you have the upper hand? Not to mention the unexpected possibility that the victim might himself be walking heavy.

So you see, it all depends on the context. Do I, the burglar, need a gun to accomplish my mission? Were I a burglar with philosophical inclinations, I would try to find the answer before I ventured on my first prowl. Read more...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Switzerland Votes Against Universal Basic Income

Switzerland recently rejected a proposal to introduce a guaranteed basic income for all. This would guarantee that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions. It was not expected to pass, but the mere fact that it was on the ballot is significant.

Although Switzerland is the first nation to propose such a plan, it has been experimented with on a smaller scale in various locations. In the late 70's, the Mincome Project was run in Canada, to determine whether a guaranteed, unconditional annual income would be preferable to a welfare system and its negative effect on people's willingness to work. The pilot program showed that, contrary to what people feared, guaranteeing a minimum income did not result in people working less. It showed improved health and many other benefits. Another pilot project is underway in Finland, where around 10,000 people could soon be receiving €550 each month. Read more...

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lessons from the June 12 Orlando Massacre

● So far this year, 50 Americans have been murdered by radical Islamists in the US. During the same period, about 7,000 Americans have been murdered by “common,” “regular” criminals, including 161 who died from mass shootings. See:Mass Shootings.

● Omar Mateen was born in the US, so the “Trumpian” proposal to keep Muslim immigrants out wouldn’t have helped. You may say, yes, but his parents came from Afghanistan, so if THEY had been kept out, the Orlando massacre would not have happened. By such reasoning, we need to figure out how many Americans are murdered every year by children of immigrants.

● This massacre will help Trump’s quest for the presidency.

● Radical Islam IS a problem.

● People who, like former UN ambassador John Bolton on Fox News today, say that the fight against terrorism is a WAR are wrong. Terrorism is a CRIME, not a war.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Misogyny

The visceral, irrational hatred for Hillary Clinton shared by millions of men stems from one basic fact: They feel THREATENED.

For the first time, we are on the verge of electing a woman to the most powerful position in the world. This is incredibly threatening to most men, particularly because of the kind of woman Hillary Clinton is.

Misogyny, you see, does not mean hatred for all women. It means hatred for UPPITY women. Submissive women are fine.

Consider this mentality in historical perspective. There was a time when women,  particularly highly competent women, were at great risk: From Cleopatra and  Joan of Arc to Anne Boleyn and the innumerable women who were persecuted, tortured and killed in the past, what many of them had in common was that they were not submissive, and that they were ABOVE average in aptitude, intelligence, strength and courage. This was their unforgivable sin. They were THREATENING  to the rulers of the world, i.e. to MEN. Their tormentors were possessed by a mixture of fear, desire, envy and guilt. They were subconsciously aware that their victims were innocent as well as far better human beings than themselves, and they hoped that destroying the victims would free them from those nagging feelings.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Violence, Racism and Law Enforcement


As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently did a police ride-along, and I observed nothing but stellar professional behavior by the peace officers. And yet, we hear and read a lot about police brutality and racism.

In America, the police kill an inordinate number of people. This is widely known, regardless of the source you use. According to Police in US Kill Citizens at over 70 Times the Rate of Other First-World Nations, the number for 2014 was 1,140. That same year, German cops killed 7 people. The rates for other comparable countries - Canada, the UK, Japan, Australia, etc. - are similar to Germany’s. America’s total number is even higher than China’s, which has four times more people.

The Nordic Model: Should we be more like Scandinavia?

When Mitt Romney was caught bemoaning the 47% of Americans who don't pay income tax, he was actually telling the truth. That is because America, contrary to popular belief, has by far the most progressive income tax system of any developed country. Europe, although it has overall higher taxes, has a less progressive tax system than America.

Progressive taxes means that the more you earn, the higher the percentage of your income goes to paying taxes. In the US, if you are single, under 65 years old and make less than $10,300, you don’t have to pay any income tax. In Sweden, if you make less than $2,400 you are exempt. Both systems are progressive, but in Sweden people start paying taxes at a much lower level of income.

Here are the tax brackets for the US compared to Sweden. As you can see, the burden on the ‘middle class’ is higher in Sweden, which makes it less progressive. The median income is approximately the same, which gives the Swedish government much more revenue from income taxes compared to America. (I will not go into all the deductions that will change these figures. They apply both to Sweden and the United States). Read more...