All entries for Saturday 03 March 2007

March 03, 2007

An untypical death in Iraq

Writing about web page http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/iraq/2007/03/its_completely_.html

I was sitting in my room when I hear my aunt talking to my mother and telling her that one of our neighbors had died. My mother showed her sorrow by saying “poor man he was very young. May Allah gives his family patience” and then she asked my aunt the usual question that Iraqis nowadays ask about dead people, she said “who killed him” my aunt said “no one, he just died naturally, act of God”. Then my mother said “oh! Act of God, thanks Allah for that”. My mother words shocked me because the way she changed after she knew that the guy had died naturally expressed a kind of satisfying with the death case. She used to cry when she watches the news about the explosions and when she sees all these women and men crying and shouting because they lost members of their families. This time she was very calm although the result is the same…

- by an Iraqi journalist


Lib Dems' bonkers tax plans

At the last election, the Lib Dems wanted to scrap Council Tax in favour of a local income tax. There’s some sense behind this – many people, often retired, live in expensive houses but don’t have enormous incomes. Council tax in its present form ignores income and ability to pay, charging people purely on the value of their home.

Well now, they’ve come up with another proposal which sounds completely contradictory. They want to charge a Wealth Tax on people with homes worth more than £1m.

It’s a nice idea. It sounds like a tax against those nasty rich people. But it’s based on the same fallacy that makes council tax so stupid. It simply isn’t true that people in expensive houses are always rich. Many older people have lived in one house for more than half a century – and house price inflation has pushed their house value up to silly levels. That doesn’t mean they have a large income, and certainly doesn’t mean they’re able to pay – or deserving of – a wealth tax.

Surely a wealth tax on incomes would be far more sensible. And far less hypocritical.


Britain's Worst Vehicle

For reasons I can’t quite fathom, BBC Radio 2 are running a poll on the most hated vehicle in Britain.

I’d like to suggest When Will I Be Famous – surely the worst of Graham Norton’s many poor vehicles.


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