Monthly Archives: February 2011

Technical question about Drupal


by Sean Gabb

I have two questions for anyone inclined to answer them. I like the CTI-Flex sub-Theme of Zen, and want to create some specific effects.

1. I want to create a page template – to go in the “Create Content” menu – called Essays. Every time I click on this, I want to open into a page that already has a grey box in the top right corner saying “click here to view/print pdf”. I want this so set up that I simply need to enter the name of the pdf file, not the full location.

2. I want to create a Primary Menu, to sit on a horizontal top bar. This will consist of links such as Home, Essays, Recipes, All, etc. When It hit on Home, I want both sidebars to disappear. When I hit on Essays, I want a Taxonomy View index of articles to appear. When I hit on Recipes, I want the same for recipes. When I it on All, I want a Taxonomy View index of everything.

Is there anyone listening who is able to help?

Taxing corporate profits


dj

I am increasingly of the view that corporation tax, as long as it exists (of course libertarians would aim to delete all such taxes, but that could well take some time), plays a wholly negative role in penalising corporate success. Companies that are inefficiently run pay little, but those that are well run and could create wealth and jobs pay more. Moreover, we read in the UK that some large banks manage to pay little on their large earnings, owing to losses brought forward and an array of offshore vehicles, and even that some large newspaper corporations pay almost no tax in the UK.

A profit tax is a ridiculous concept in an economy that wants to grow. I would replace these by a business turnover tax. Quite simply, no losses would be brought forward, no profits would be calculated. The tax would simply be a percentage of turnover. So all banks would pay it at the set rate; so would all newspaper corporations. Inefficient companies would have to pay it, and some could be forced into receivership by having to pay more than now; but the profitable would find they paid less. By keeping their costs down, and given that no calculation of profit or earnings would be made, they would find they paid less by simply paying a percentage of turnover.

Finally, all companies would pay on their UK turnover, so offshore financial vehicles and the like would not reduce their liabilities, thus lowering the burden on the companies that currently pay corporation tax. Accountancy costs would be lowered by the elimination of profit/loss as a basis for payment.

Gay-only Bed & Breakfast Establishments Probed by Equality Commission


http://www.christian.org.uk/news/gay-only-bbs-probed-by-equality-commission/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+christianinstitute+(The+Christian+Institute)

Comment by Iain Ross-MacLeod LMPA

Where on earth are these people going with this silly investigations?

There are homosexual bed-and-breakfast houses purely and simply to save the heterosexual people from becoming vexed by the behaviour that they might find offensive taking place.

One cannot go around in a heterosexual establishment entering the bedrooms of others who have left their doors open seeking fulfilment, and only for that purpose, with any degree of safety or comfort for it is not the convention to do so in this country as yet.

People do not go to exclusively heterosexual bed and breakfasts establishments seeking sexual activity as these nocturnal indulgences are inclined almost exclusively to homosexual establishments a number of which are there for that purpose.

It has always been the case from my earliest days in Portsmouth circa 1960 and in the London naval clubs near Waterloo station that service personnel would leave their doors open at night if they wish to be entertained and if they did they would lock them.

When there is a gay bed and breakfast in an area the people who are running it usually apply common sense and don’t allow people who may be offended by gay behaviour to stroll around casually in their corridors. Not all gay bed-and-breakfast establishments allow this sort of freedom in any case. Some are very conventional and they don’t encourage promiscuity on their premises at all.

The same applies to gay bars where sex takes place. There are many gay bars in London, and there may be in the provincial cities as well for all I know all I know. Sex will often take place in the back-room or in a ‘dark room’ and it is no place for heterosexual people to be lounging around behaving like voyeurs. The door policy should certainly be to keep out heterosexuals and all those people who have no interest in gay sex as much as possible. That is the way to keep the place trouble-free and safe for those that wish to come in and, perceive, partake or perform.

Surely equal opportunities does not mean forcing people to be exposed to those who do not wish to join in with or tolerate their behaviour but for purely there for other purposes

Perhaps we are going the same way as the Eastern countries. I have just returned from the Philippines where previously in gay bars where sex took place the audience mainly consisted of men who came in to watch rather than to participate. Certainly there was the odd woman who might have been the friend of some gay people or the like. However recently a gay bar in the Philippines allows Korean girls in to suck the cocks of the of the gay boys as they are wandering around on the stage.

Conspiracies of Rome – Richard Blake « Thouroughly thought through


 

Conspiracies of Rome – Richard Blake

Regularly I find myself reading a book of undoubted literary genius. The characters are fascinating, the plot is so juicy you could make a fruit salad from it and it has all the makings of a classic that will survive the transitory nature of time. However, there is a rather large issue weighing on my mind. A hippo, if you will, has plonked itself unceremoniously in the back of my waking thoughts. This problem is as follows; it has taken three sodding weeks to read ten pages of this lexical masterpiece.

You know exactly what I mean, we’ve all experienced it. The dreaded “heavy read”. What is most annoying is that because we know what a rip roaring, snort wangling read it is, we feel guilty (or just plain moronic) for not being able to plough on through and then add it to the list of books we can boast about having read to our lesser read acquaintances.

This is more irritating than a mosquito that has a distinct smell of vinegar. Very unpalatable i’m sure you will agree. But I am here to assure that you no longer have to feel that sense of gnawing guilt as you slam the book down unceremoniously and get out the FHM magazine. There is another way!
Reading is, after all, about enjoying yourself whilst not having the distractions of people making life excessively complicated for you.

Conspiracies of Rome by Richard Blake and the sequel in the series entitled The Terror of Constantinople represent this alternative. Historical fiction can sometimes be sniffed upon the same as when your pet dog plants his most intimate business in the middle of your Persian rug. They are truly enjoyable to read, and if you’ve had this beaten out of you by some vague sense of responsibility to read Nietzsche and Thucydides every week then this is the perfect cure.

Set in the period following the decimation of the Roman Empire and the ascension of the Roman Church a young Briton named Aelric stumbles rather haphazardly into a series of events that see him traveling to Rome. The plot uncovers, as the title suggests, various conspiracies coming from several different directions. Through a combination of luck, naivety and the fact that he looks “gorgeous” (according to himself) he navigates his way through the machinations of the Roman Church and a secret organization called the Column of Phocas.

It has whit in abundance, along with a good amount of action, some intriguingly gory details and is sprinkled quite pleasantly with some legitimate wisdom, if you keep your eyes open for it.

The second book is full of the same qualities but the storyline is much more available for the whit that has brief showings in the first volume. Character wise The Terror of Constantinople (which is set in the middle of a civil war in the Eastern Roman Empire) is infinitely superior. It also contains the phrase “necrophiliac fist job” which, frankly, should have you all sold on it.

Admittedly there is a problem with books of this particular genre. They tend to be written by the academic types, professors of Classics and various posts along those lines. Sometimes it is glaringly obvious that they have slipped back into academic mode and the story can stagnate somewhat. For instance when Blake describes the hippodrome in Constantinople he gives a description which is down to the inch, which seems slightly show offy and unnecessary in my book. But these deviations from storyteller to student borer are extremely rare and the chances are you may not even notice it.

Both books have a nostalgic atmosphere to them, in that they describe with harrowing detail the decimation and decline of the Roman Empire. What was once the beacon of the civilized world is by now a slum with all the majesty of the past ripped away by an overly powerful and corrupt church. Whether this is an intentional colouring by the author or a representation of history and how Europe slipped into the dark ages during the domination of the church, I will leave for you to ponder upon.

Nevertheless, if you find yourselves wanting to read a book in a couple of days without giving you a stomach ulcer from the stress of reading it, then I strongly recommend these two thoroughly enjoyable books. Incidentally the third book in the series is also available, and is set in Alexandria.
But for now, content yourself with the first two. Stop being boring and reading obscure South American Literature. Branch out, read a book that does not a take a doctorate to read and actually remind yourself what a thoroughly entertaining read is all about.

Conspiracies of Rome – Richard Blake « Thouroughly thought through

Beware of electric hummingbirds, in a town near you


David Davis

I just spotted this:-

http://www.avinc.com/nano

They might be owned and run by the government. In fact it’s the most probable conclusion.

Apologies to David Thompson – I forgot to say it was seen here….

The power of free association: Libertarian unionism | The Economist


 

The power of free association: Libertarian unionism | The Economist

Kevin Carson quoted in The Economist:

I’VE repeatedly argued that private- and public-sector unions operate in different institutional settings, raise fundamentally different moral and political questions, and that it is altogether reasonable to support private-sector unions while rejecting public-sector unions on account of the nature of their differences. A common response I’ve heard from the left is that I’m slyly seeking to sow discord by disingenuously arguing that the larger union movement is not in fact one, but is instead a coalition of fundamentally distinct organisations of unequal moral standing. A common response I’ve heard from the right is basically the same: "you don’t really support private-sector unionism, do you"?

Well, I do. Sort of. It’s complicated because American labour law is complicated.

The right of workers to band together to improve their bargaining position relative to employers is a straightforward implication of freedom of association, and the sort of voluntary association that results is the beating heart of the classical liberal vision of civil society. I unreservedly endorse what I’ll call the "unionism of free association". My difficulty in coming out wholeheartedly for private-sector unions as they now exist is that they are, by and large, creatures of objectionable statutes which have badly warped the labour-capital power dynamic that would exist under the unionism of free association.

Progressives and libertarians generally part ways on the justifiability of legislation that boosts the bargaining power of unions. Progressives generally think, not implausibly, that government has already put a thumb on the scale in favour of employers through the legal definition of the character and powers of the corporation, such that it is manifestly unjust for government to fail to put an equalising thumb on the scale in favour of unions. For now I only want to say that I think there is indeed a plausible case for government stepping in to help strengthen workers’ bargaining power when inequalities in such power (often created by law and legislation) lead to a systemically unfair division of the gains from productive cooperation. I don’t think the same plausible case applies to public-sector unions for reasons I’ve recited ad nauseam

So, do circumstances merit a further statutory boost for private-sector unions? I don’t know. Rather than become mired in largely intractable metaphysical disputes over fairness of the division of the cooperative surplus, which we would need to do in order to determine whether government should do more to augment union power, I believe it would be much more productive to focus on the ways in which the prevailing legal regime clearly handicaps labour relative to the power unions would have under conditions of free association. I heartily agree with Kevin Carson, a left-libertarian theorist and activist, when he argues that:

[T]he room for change lies mainly, not with adding further economic intervention to aid labor at the expense of capital, but rather with eliminating those policies which currently benefit capital at the expense of labor. The question is not what new laws would strengthen the bargaining power of labor, but which existing ones weaken it. …

The most obvious forms of state intervention that hobble labor are legislation like:

1) The provisions of Taft-Hartley which criminalize sympathy and boycott strikes;

2) The Railway Labor Relations Act and the “cooling off” provisions of Taft-Hartley, which enable the government to prevent a strike from spreading to common carriers and thus becoming a general strike; and

3) “Right-to-Work” (sic) laws, which restrict the freedom of contract by forbidding employers to enter into union shop contracts with a bargaining agent.

Further, we should examine the extent to which even ostensibly pro-labor laws, like the Wagner Act, have served in practice to weaken the bargaining power of labor. Before Wagner, what is today regarded as the conventional strike—an announced walkout associated with a formal ultimatum—was only one tactic among many used by unions.

Mr Carson then goes on to enumerate some of those now-rare tactics, which, taken together, add up to a compelling case that a return to the unionism of free association would improve the bargaining position of labour relative to the status quo. 

It is in this light that I wish to join the Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney in congratulating Mitch Daniels for his opposition to the "right-to-work" legislation proposed by Indiana Republicans. Presidential, indeed.

London Zoo and the global warming religion


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/?p=693

London Zoo has the precious piece of warmist propaganda cited below plastered all over the zoo. (I reproduce as it appears in the Zoo, the illiteracies and capitalisation being their own).

“ 350 – THE MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER IN THE WORLD

350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is the safe upper limit for almost all life

We are currently at 387 ppm and rising by 2ppm per year, higher than at any time in human history

SO WHAT?

The wild relatives of the amazing animals you see in the zoo today are already at risk from:

Melting poles and glaciers

Rising sea levels

Spread of disease carrying mosquitoes to move, warmer places

Increased drought

Warming and acidifying oceans carbonising coral reefs and other species to extinction

In fact, all life, including life is at peril

The World Association of Zoos and Aquaria supports the urgent call to stabilise atmospheric CO2 as far below 350 ppm as is possible

JOIN US

Visit www.waza.org and 350.0rg “

CO2 is currently “higher than at any time in human history, eh? Well, maybe, but even that fact is far from certain. Take this article in Nature in 2000:

‘Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years

Paul N. Pearson1 & Martin R. Palmer2

1.Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ, UK

2.T. H. Huxley School, Imperial College, RSM Building, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BP, UK

“Knowledge of the evolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations throughout the Earth’s history is important for a reconstruction of the links between climate and radiative forcing of the Earth’s surface temperatures. Although atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in the early Cenozoic era (about 60 Myr ago) are widely believed to have been higher than at present, there is disagreement regarding the exact carbon dioxide levels, the timing of the decline and the mechanisms that are most important for the control of CO2 concentrations over geological timescales. Here we use the boron-isotope ratios of ancient planktonic foraminifer shells to estimate the pH of surface-layer sea water throughout the past 60 million years, which can be used to reconstruct atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We estimate CO2 concentrations of more than 2,000 p.p.m. for the late Palaeocene and earliest Eocene periods (from about 60 to 52 Myr ago), and find an erratic decline between 55 and 40 Myr ago that may have been caused by reduced CO2 outgassing from ocean ridges, volcanoes and metamorphic belts and increased carbon burial. Since the early Miocene (about 24 Myr ago), atmospheric CO2 concentrations appear to have remained below 500 p.p.m. and were more stable than before, although transient intervals of CO2 reduction may have occurred during periods of rapid cooling approximately 15 and 3 Myr ago.”’ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v406/n6797/abs/406695a0.html

That is saying that CO2 levels are thought to have remained below 500 ppm for 24 million years or so. That means fully fledged mammals have survived happily enough at higher concentrations than 350 ppm and in the not too distant geological past before that date, proto mammals and of course organic life in general managed to get along with a massive 2,000 ppm of CO2.

The other thing to note is the failure to make any mention of the other main greenhouse gases water vapour (the most prevalent greenhouse gas) and methane. This is a common turning of a blind eye by the warmist religionists. In the case of water vapour they do this because little can be done about reducing it, and in as much as man is responsible for producing water vapour, a great deal results from the creation of paddyfields , something which is done overwhelmingly by developing nations so political correctness kicks in to produce silence amongst Western elites. It is also very inconvenient for the man-made warming argument to have to admit that the most prevalent greenhouse gas is effectively beyond human control. As for methane, that also has a politically direct dimension because paddyfields produce a large amount of the gas.

I particularly enjoyed the plea to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere “as far below 350 ppm as is possible. “ Reduce it very substantially and, others things being equal, we would be heading for an ice age or even an earth which became a permanent snowball. The plea also ignores the fact that CO2 is plant food. Lower CO2 levels means less vegetation which means fewer animals. Atmospheric greenhouse gases including CO2 are necessary to maintain the planet in a state in which humans can live.

What this crass piece of warmist propaganda shows is how closed are the minds of the warmists and how determined they are to proselytise their creed without any regard for logic or scientific research which undermines their case .