This is shamelessly stolen from Jeff Id. The idiom is American, but the point is universal.
At first I thought this was funny…..
then I realized the awful truth of it.
Be sure to read all the way to the end!…
A Tax Poem
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
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
Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
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,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon or more)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Marriage License Tax
Personal Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
California Redemption Tax
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation
was the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle
class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
Here's a bit of fun. Inspired by the Political Compass, your humble Bishop brings you what I think is a slightly different way of looking at the various groups in the climate debate. I've analysed people's perception of the debate along two axes - one covering how much one thinks that global warming is a problem, the other looking at how people perceive the integrity of climate science. I've added some likely groupings in the space I define, which I think you'll agree are quite interesting.
There are a growing band of Lukewarmers on the web, of course; people who believe in AGW but don't think it's a big issue. I also identify a group who I've called the Doubters. This group intrigues me. The idea was inspired by Atte Korhola's comments of a couple of weeks back. Korhola believes in AGW, there seems no doubt of that, but he is clearly concerned over the integrity of climate science. I don't think it is reading too much into his position to describe him as a doubter, therefore. He may still believe, but if he doubts the integrity of the science his faith must at least be subject to occasional pangs of doubt.
Here's some questions that occur to me on the groupings:
- Should the Lukewarmer bubble extend further north? Or do all lukewarmers think that there are problems with the integrity of climatology?
- Is there really a gap between the Faithful and the Doubters in terms of perception of problems with the integrity of climatology?
- Is there nobody in the north western quadrant?
- Who are the other doubters?
And lastly, for fun, suggest coordinates for your favourite global warming debate personalities. There are some people out there who really intrigue me. Of course, if you are a global warming debate personality or a climate specialist of some sort, you could just tell us. Over to you Mr President.
David Appell reports on his blog that he has a new article in this month's Scientific American, reporting on a new method for creating temperature reconstructions by Tingley and Huybers. It goes without saying that their results are hockey stick shaped.
I don't have access to the article, but the theory doing the rounds at Climate Audit is that David is referring to this manuscript. The link is to an unpublished version of the paper, but it's not clear from David's article if it has now gone to print or not, and it is of couse possible that it's a different paper entirely. I hope so, because within about half an hour of my posting a link to Appell's story up at CA, when reader JeanS pointed to the linked manuscript, he also observed that the dataset used in that paper included Mann's Hockey Stick itself (the PC1 for the technically minded among you) and the now legendary Yamal series.
It's too funny.
And besides, if the reconstruction includes Mann's PC1, then it is not, as Appell puts it "a completely different method". Tingley and Huybers's results are biased by Mannian short centring just as much as the Hockey Stick itself.
McIntyre is reporting that there is in fact another unpublished paper by the same authors. This looks interesting because he has been able to get something of a fix on the data which, rather than having 20th century upticks, has downticks instead. This being the case, it's something of a mystery as to how Tingley and Huybers' methodology manages to generate a hockey stick.
Watch this space.
There has been much interest in the statistics that the government is using in its campaign to link home educators with child abuse.
The essence of the story is that a survey of local education authorities has determined that 0.4% of home ed children are on the "At risk" register. This compares to a figure of 0.2% in the population as a whole. The 0.4% figure is described as varying greatly between different counties, suggesting to me that it is a measure that is prone to error.
The figures appear to be being used as a way of answering the question "Are HE kids more at risk of child abuse than those in schools", with "on the At Risk register" being used as a proxy for "At risk". It strikes me that these are not the same thing at all though. There are clearly very large numbers of children who are HE but are not known to the authorities and there will also be some who are at risk who are not known to the authorities either. Because of this, "On the At Risk register" would appear to be a very poor proxy for "At risk", at least as far as assessing HE is concerned.
The question is, how would you answer the question properly? With the survey as presented there must be a possibility that that the risk associated with HE is actually less than that for the population as a whole. But how would you calculate this probability?
This is a question for a stats blogger - I wonder if this man knows? I'll ask him.
There is a home ed consultation ongoing at the moment, inviting responses to the government's proposals. Readers may like to make their feelings know here. Responses are due by close of play on Monday.
Lynne Featherstone has been kind enough to respond in the comments thread on my original posting. I am reproducing her comment here in full.
It is because I am interested in finding a way to back your freedoms that I firstly took time to meet constituents, secondly took time to write about the issue very broadly on my blog; thirdly took time to read and response to comments - and am open to the arguments people people have made. But if all the home educators'responses are simply about slagging me off for even wanting to hear the arguments, daring to examine the concerns raised by the Badman Review and see what the challenges are to complete and absolute freedoms - then how liberal are you? If you cannot tolerate discourse and scrutiny and your only response is to attack me ........
Anyway - you have all helped shaped my views and over on my blog there are one or two really good posts that I have found helpful and constructive.
Firstly I have to take issue with the comment about all home educators slagging Lynne off. None of the commenters on my earlier posting have made any personal comments about Lynne. I see nothing in my own post that could be seen as abusive either, although not being a home educator, I presumably don't fall into the category Lynne defines. Whatever might have been said elsewhere, I would hope that Lynne would recognise that this site has been conducted in orderly fashion.
That said, there is a conundrum for us on the outside looking in at our representatives. When we observe our parliamentarians discussing the abolition of long-cherished freedoms, are we really expected to stand and watch with equanimity? Are we to make polite representations suggesting that perhaps the abolition of the assumption of innocence is not such a good idea and maybe politicians might like to reconsider? Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
I infer from Lynne's own site that she is now receptive to the civil liberties defence of home education, which is welcome, and speaks of a certain strength of character in the face of some strong criticism. But I'm still not satisfied (and when I say this I am not trying to "slag off" Lynne in particular, but parliamentarians as a whole): should it not concern us that we outside parliament are having to point out to our elected representatives that what they are proposing is such a disastrous infringement of our rights? How is it that we have elected people who need to have this explained to them?
Isn't the first job of parliamentarians to defend the liberties of the people?
Dear Ms Featherstone
Your blog post today is about your being lobbied by home educators. You observe their fear that their way of life is being destroyed, that they will be subject to inspection and that a state-mandated curriculum will be imposed upon them. It is, you say, a conundrum to choose between the parent's freedom to educate their children as they see fit and the demands of the state to "ensure safety".
It is not a conundrum at all.
You see, this kind of issue is easy for a liberal. This is first principles stuff: the state needs to prove reasonable grounds before it can enter someone's home; it has to get a warrant first; you are innocent until proven guilty. That kind of thing.
These are simple concepts that have been the bedrock of British freedoms for centuries. These are fundamentals. I'm therefore struggling with the idea of a Liberal Democrat MP - a Liberal Democrat MP - in a quandry over whether warrantless searches should be permitted or not. Imagine that - an MP who declares themselves a liberal can't work out whether a fundamental civil liberty, fought and died for over the centuries, is a good thing or not!
Here's a clue - on release from prison, criminals may not have their homes searched without a warrant. Important that - you've served your time, now you go back to where you started from: innocent until proven guilty.
Yet you seem unsure if people who have been found guilty of nothing should be subject to search by government officers. Why, oh why, do you feel that innocent home educators are so much more worthy of state inspection than ex-cons? What prompts you to even consider treating them this way? Have the Liberal Democrats forgotten everything that mankind has ever learned about liberalism?
Consider the impact of what you are saying. Why should families of preschoolers not be subject to inspection but home educators should? Where is the difference? There is none. Tell us that you would have supported the idea of your children being interviewed by education welfare officers at age 4, in your absence, on the off-chance that you were abusing them. Would you have supported this? I think not. How then can you justify treating home educators in this way?
If you come down on the government side on the question of the Badman review, could you really call yourself a liberal again? Wouldn't your party just stand for the same authoritarian consensus that grips Labour and Conservative parties alike?
What is the point of the Liberal Democrats if not to speak up for liberalism?
Liberal societies have created constitutions and bills of rights to protect fundamental civil liberties from the depredations of politicians in the grip of whatever madness is gripping their thoughts at the time, whether it is safety or drugs or reds under the beds. Child abuse is just another of this long line of horrors. You have a choice: a free society or 1984. You will get child abuse in both.
Now you work out which way to vote.
David Appell has picked up my comments on his comments on peer review. To recap somewhat, David suggested that McIntyre's findings on Yamal should not be taken seriously because they are not peer reviewed. I pointed out that Einstein and Watson and Crick were not peer reviewed either, to which David has now responded
Steve McIntyre isn't Einstein. Enough said.
In technical terms, this is what is known as a "straw man". The point at issue was whether Steve McIntyre should be taken seriously, not whether he is Einstein.
Given that David has not disputed that Einstein, Watson and Crick were not peer reviewed, I think we can probably now agree that peer review is not a suitable criterion for deciding if an idea should be taken seriously.
David then goes on to say that Einstein, Watson and Crick were published in the best journals of their day. This is a better point, but I think it's hardly persuasive. If the papers passed the review of an editor instead of a pair of peer reviewers, what does that amount to other than another kind of peer review?
Lucia makes some pertinent comments on the need for peer review today too:
...these communications about published papers happen in both formal and informal settings. Historically, no one has said, “Oh. But who cares about Prof. X’s opinion about paper B. He only said it in a conversation at a conference. Until he writes a journal article, I’m not going to pay attention to that opinion."
And besides, if we should ignore McIntyre's comments because they are not published in a journal, hasn't David shot himself in the foot by quoting, in his very next post, the responses of Briffa and the Real Climate team, none of which were (a) peer reviewed or (b) published in a journal?
Let's first remind ourselves of the guts of McIntyre's argument. This is that Briffa had an very small set of tree ring cores in the latter years of his Yamal series and that when you removed this and replaced it with a somewhat larger set of data from the same region, the uptick in the hockey stick shape disappeared. Therefore Briffa's results weren't robust.
Now we'll look at Briffa's response.
Firstly he says McIntyre is implying that he, Briffa, cherrypicked uptrending series so as to get a hockey stick. In reply, McIntyre quotes what he said in his early post:
It is highly possible and even probable that [Briffa's] selection is derived from a prior selection of old trees described in Hantemirov and Shiyatov 2002...
and also a comment he made on another of the Yamal posts
It is not my belief that Briffa crudely cherry picked.
This seems to refute Briffa's accusation that McIntyre was implying malfeasance.
From a scientific perspective, this part of the debate has moved us forward slightly, in that Briffa has now confirmed that the selection of the 12 cores from the much larger population available was due to the Russians. What the reason was for their only using 12 cores remains a mystery. Briffa's response has, however, opened up a new part of the debate that I've not touched on before - this concerns standardisation of the raw tree ring data.
During its lifetime, a tree does not grow at a uniform pace. Tree rings are generally wider when a tree is young than when it is older. If you are using a set of tree rings in climatology, therefore, unless you do something about it, your "treemometer" would always show declining temperatures, regardless of what is going on in the outside world. Standardisation is the process by which this fix is applied, and it involves removing a kind of "average growth curve" from the record to adjust for these changes in growth rate. There are various ways of doing this, the details of which are beyond my ken, but as I understand it, the Russians used the "corridor" method. This works well when you have small numbers of tree cores so it was presumably a suitable choice.
The problem with the corridor method is that it tends to obscure long-term trends in the data, which is precisely what you're interested in when you are doing paleoclimate work. Because of this, when Briffa picked up the seventeen cores for use in his version of Yamal, he applied a different standardisation procedure called RCS, which is better suited to the retention of long-term information.
My application of [RCS] to these same data was intended to better represent the [long-term] growth variations ... to provide a direct comparison with the chronology produced by Hantemirov and Shiyatov.
This is problematic. RCS is not suited to dealing with small numbers of cores (I recall reading somewhere that it is not considered suitable with less than 50, but I'm not swearing to that). I also wonder about the nature of Briffa's paper. It strikes me that if the purpose was to "provide a direct comparison with the chronology produced by Hantemirov and Shiyatov", then there can be no arguing with the use of the same data. However, review of Briffa's original paper from 2000 suggests that intercomparison of standardisation methods was not part of his purpose at the time. The paper is a review of developments in paleoclimate and the calculation of a new temperature reconstruction using some of the new data. This being the case, the logical thing to do would surely to have used as much data as possible.
Briffa's other concerns are with McIntyre's sensitivity test - replacing the 12 Briffa cores with the Schweingruber 34 - different cores taken from the same area. This is how he puts it:
The basis for McIntyre's selection of which of our ... data to exclude and which to use in replacement is not clear... He offers no justification for excluding the original data.
McIntyre's comeback on this is that he was very clear about the reasons for excluding the Briffa 12, namely that the number of cores was small. He wanted to test the robustness of the answer by swapping in a larger dataset that had not been used by Briffa.
As well as seeing what happened when the Briffa 12 were swapped for the Schweingruber 34, McIntyre also did a slightly different calculation to see what would happen when both were put in the mix. Briffa says that when McIntyre did this, he underweighted the 12 (i.e. making the loss of hockey stick shape more marked than it should have been). McIntyre has pointed out that Briffa has equally underweighted the Schweingruber 34 by not using them at all, and that debate about the weights doesn't affect the main point, which is that using the Schweingruber 34 makes the hockey stick shape disappear.
Whether the McIntyre version is any more robust a representation of regional tree growth in Yamal than my original, remains to be established.
This one has been doing the rounds for years. McIntyre has been clear from the start that he is not creating an alternative reconstruction. He is testing "official" studies for robustness.
I'm grateful to a reader for pointing out a preliminary response to the Yamal affair from Keith Briffa.
I'm up to my neck in work, so I've only glanced at it so far. The fact of the response is good though - the two sides of the debate need to engage and science will be the winner when they do.
I'll try to comment further tonight.
David Appell, a blogger who has followed the Climate Audit story from the start, but from a different perspective to most readers here, says that some people "on the science side" are looking at what McIntyre has to say.
Which sounds good, because that's the way science works.
David also takes aim at Climate Audit's not being peer reviewed. I think this argument is completely overdone. Watson and Crick weren't peer reviewed. Einstein wasn't either. Didn't stop them being right.
Interestingly, David also tells us to look out for November's Scientific American. Sounds interesting.
Media reaction to the Yamal story has been rather limited so far. I'm not sure whether this is because people are trying to digest what it means or whether it's "too hot to handle". Here's some of the stories I've come across:
James Delingpole (Daily Telegraph blog) How the global warming industry is based on one massive lie.
Chris Horner (National Review online) Mann-made warming confirmed
Andrew Orlowski (The Register) Treemometers: a new scientific scandal.
Tom Fuller (San Francisco Examiner) New data questions claims of accelerated warming
None of the global warming supporters in the mainstream media have gone near it. The reaction of the Guardian - to delete any mention of the affair from their comment threads - has been extraordinary. Even bloggers from the other side of the argument won't go near it. The only exception seems to be the legendary Jo Abbess. James Delingpole is most definitely misguided.