Octavo Dia

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to raise taxes the easy way

Fix deductions at a constant nominal amount and let inflation reduce their value.

That is all.

If you want to eliminate the distortions that our tax code introduces into the economy, let the standard deduction increase with inflation and fix all other deductions.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why we don't need unions.

If a representative government is so unable to protect workers' rights that a union needs to form, it is a failure of governance, not a success of unions. Advocating for unions is like the 19th century doctors being encouraged by laudable pus. When you see a unionized workforce, recognize it for what it is--a symptom of a diseased democracy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: Schola Pietatis

Gerhard, Johann. Schola Pietatis. Vol. 1. Rev. Dr. Elmer Hohle, Em. trans. Malone, TX; Repristination Press, 2006.

This book was given to me and I read it even though I don't care for medieval theology. I do not like it here or there! I do not like it anywhere! Medieval theologians have two great failings: (1) they belabor the point and (2) they'd do far better to have done some actual research rather than applying the power of their minds to the subject. Despite that, there were a few choice bits that were worth remembering.

I did think it was interesting that, even though he was using a translation with which I am not familiar, I could easily tell when Dr. Gerhard was citing the Apocrypha. It could be that I'm just that familiar with Scripture that I can tell you when something is off, or it could just be that the Apocrypha IS off. "My sheep know my voice..."

Page 17: "Yet we as poor beggars have to petition and beg before God's door for daily bread, Matt 6:11. How dare we ever more deeply fall into this line of thinking that we might be able to earn heaven and eternal life from God the Lord by our good works?"

It reminds me of a quotation from Carl Sagan, "If you wish to make apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

Page 53: "If a servant in a home would see the father flog his only and most beloved son on account of some stranger's transgression, would he not most certainly diligently take heed that he would not enrage the father with a single sin."

This one puts God in a bad light, but it's another blow against works righteousness. He has no reason to accept our righteousness.

Page 68: "Who could have accused Him of a single wrong if He had already shoved away the entire human race because of sin? ... as He did the angels who sinned, rejecting them and giving them over to hell with the chains of darkness."

Page 71: "Obviously, our election is certain enough and is immovable from God's side."

The doctrine of election always bothers me. I had always explained it to myself as though this were a war. A general may wish for the mass surrender of the enemy, but if they refuse the entreaty, some will die regardless.

Page 285: "Because of sin, the most beautiful angel, Lucifer, was thrown out of heaven... and we think we can come in through sin?"

It seems the passages on works righteousness were the most appealing to me this time around. Odd.


Book Review: Russian Folk-Tales

Riordan, James. Russian Folk-Tales. New York; Oxford University Press, 2000.

This was in the kids section at my library. Someone needs to tell librarians that classic folk tales are not really appropriate for children. The skulls with the glowing eyes that char people to cinders? Yeah, that's gonna give nightmares.

Anyway, it shows just how far we've come. Sibling rivalry used to be a deadly game. Children weren't friends, they were competitors.

It was also interesting the role the Tsar played in these. He was a hidden instigator of many of the changes and quests that started the stories. I suppose that's how the typical Russian experienced the Tsar. A power from afar that on a whim could turn their world upside down.


Saturday, July 02, 2011

A Short Rant About Illegal Immigration

Almost invariably, when the subject of illegal immigration comes up, some internet troll will make a comment along the lines of "I don't see you wearing no Indian blanket!" I am experienced enough at internets not to feed the trolls, but I've always been tempted to reply, "And how'd that work out for them?"

That is all. I'm better now.