Howard Zinn passed away yesterday at the age of 87. News of his passing is available on his website.
No, this isn’t about parking. They are still hopelessly braindead about the residential peninsula.
This is about tax reform! Council voted against a regressive overhaul of the tax system last night, hopefully killing the “fee-for-services” model once and for all. The municipal tax base is currently based on the appraised value of property, so people who own property (and tenants, through rent) pay taxes based on how valuable their property is. They wanted to change this system to a “service-based” system, which would see million-dollar mansion owners paying the same property taxes as thousand-dollar trailer owners, assuming provided services were the same.
Presumably this tax reform process was started to reduce the tax burden on rural property owners who own houses similar in value to urban- and suburbanites, but who don’t get much in the way of city services (homes with no bus service, properties that have their own well water and septic rather than city water and sewer systems, etc.). Also, the changes were presumably supposed to help out those property owners who have seen their property values grow enormously (>200% in some areas) even while their own income has only grown a tiny amount. Cost of living salary increases of 1-3% don’t help out much if your property tax assessment jumps 200% over 10 years.
Regardless of these issues, the tax reform before council was designed to reduce the burden on mansion owners while increasing it on the middle class family home owner. More equitable approaches to eliminate the lack of service to rural areas within HRM would presumably include rebates or zoning rules, rather than a flat fee-for-service system. The runaway property values could be dealt with by basing tax assessments on the owners original purchase price of the property. One could index tax assessments upwards based on cost-of-living increases rather than relying on real-estate booms and busts to reset assessments. New work done on old properties which increase their market values would have to somehow be included into this.
Anyway, I’m sure Tim Bousquet at The Coast will have plenty to say on this in tomorrow’s print and online issue. And he’ll be way more knowledgeable, clear, and thorough than me.
Even the New York Times has taken notice that the Canadian history magazine, The Beaver, has been forced by changing times to change its name to the less snicker-worthy Canada’s History. The article notes that, although the source of much schoolyard humor for decades, it is the advent of the Internet – and the inability of students to search websites with ‘Beaver’ in the title, which is not entirely unreasonable – which has necessitated the change.
Although this is the kind of story that kind of makes you chuckle a bit, it makes you wonder what magazine titles will be re-examined, or outright forbidden, by the dreaded double entendre:
- Bald Pussy Monthly, the magazine for owners of those freaky looking hairless cats;
- Tits & Ass, a combined publication for lovers of specific types of birds and of donkeys;
- Student Nurses in Latex, a specialty magazine for Nursing students, reminding them about proper sterilization techniques;
- Naughty Catholic Schoolgirls Annual, the magazine dealing with the psychology of young women, approximately 17 to 25, who attend Catholic schools and who have encountered trouble with the law;
- Large, Floppy Breasts on Really Slutty Women…
Ok, maybe that’s not the best example…
This is certainly a weird story, or at least it would be in any other country but the US:
Defense firm etches bible passage codes on it’s gunsights
The inscriptions are subtle and appear in raised lettering at the end of the stock number. Trijicon’s rifle sights use tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, to create light and help shooters hit what they’re aiming for.
Markings on the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, one of the company’s most advanced models, include “JN8:12,” a reference to John 8:12: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
The Trijicon Reflex sight is stamped with 2COR4:6, a reference to part of the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”
Praise God in all His glory! I got me one of them Godless Heathens in my sights!
As a follow-up from Kevvy’s post on the absolutely breathtaking inhumanity of Pat Robertson, particularly in regard to the Haitian disaster, I give you video evidence of the greatest single exhibition of assholatry in human history:
I take some small measure of enjoyment from the look on his confederate’s face – watch again and see how she’s barely suppressing her disgust.
So, sowing discord, taking joy from the misfortunes of others, preaching prejudice and hatred… Who’s the agent of ‘satan’, Pat?
Actually, I take that back – if I’m going to invoke the concept of religion to criticize this putative pinnacle of piety, I have a better idea of who the linkage should be with.
Not satisfied (or sufficiently chastised) with blaming abortion in New Orleans for Katrina and moral decay for 9/11, Pat Robertson blames Haitians “deal with the devil” (literally) for this week’s earthquake.
Another strike against religion – asshats like this maintain a constituency of sheep by claiming to speak for, or interpret the tea leaves of, God/god/Thor/Allah/some other fiction.
Pat – the causes for the above disasters are, in order, weather and unwise city construction, homicidal politics and religion, and finally, plate tectonics, not God. Other factors certainly played into each disaster and can be discussed, however the relationship between moral behaviour and plate tectonics is not a topic for grown ups, regardless of the religious affiliation.
Just as the title says: The block of buildings on South Street in Halifax that houses Cafe Chianti and Taj Mahal are on fire. There are a number of fire engines on scene…I’ve seen four go past my vantage point on Barrington & Prince, and another responded at ~8:20 while I was walking up from the ferry. There are a number of apartment residences on that block, as well as the restaurants. A portion of southern downtown Halifax is also without power (some of my friends at
TUNS Daltech have no power). The Chronicle-Herald has an early report here.
Here’s hoping that the firefighters manage to keep the fire to a minimum.
Actually, I don’t. But this very funny Cape Bretoner does. Check out his site! I can’t listen to the calls right now, causebe of orkwe ilterfeing (even though this is unchletime), but I can’t wait to check it out at omhe!
PS – certain members of the ‘Kog may remember a time when I similarly attempted to converse with Russell MacLellan, who at the time (1997-1999) I considered to be our worst premier ever. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20 and I couldn’t predict the nightmare that was The Fiddler.