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.....who introduced the concept of school vouchers, documented the role of government monopolies on money in creating inflation, provided the intellectual arguments that ended the military draft in America, co-founded the Mont Pelerin Society...... In popular books such as Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose, written with his wife and longtime collaborator Rose, he masterfully drew a through-line between economic freedom and political and cultural freedom.
A malfunctioning forklift, loading a ship in Adelaide, dropped 462 cases of 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz nearly twenty feet, destroying a third of 2010's production.
Bet that was a mess. I broke a bottle of wine on the carpet once. There is *way* more than 28 ounces of wine in one bottle. Worse, three or four bottles of wine flew out the back of the politically incorrect foreign pick up truck that's made in America, landing three feet down on the asphalt parking lot at the Casa Blanca. Lordy. All I did was open the tailgate, but somehow things got themselves mighty skewed on the ride.
Australia's Herald Sun quoted a per-bottle price of $185.00 AUD. I mentally converted that to approximately $80.00 USD. Three minutes later, after a quick look at exchange rates, I learned that since 2001, the Australian Dollar has appreciated 100% against Ben Bernanke's floundering dollar. [eyebrows raised in stunned disbelief] Might be because Australia's economy remained strong while ours was slammed into the dumper by two administrations and a federal reserve chairman who got their economics degrees for fifty bucks from a small island university near Cuba.
Mollydooker, which is Oz slang for southpaw, which is US slang for a left handed baseball pitcher, is one of my favorite Aussie wines. Further, Mollydooker defies the TWC rule which states that: The quality of the wine is inversely proportional to the cool factor and kitsch of the label.
Although Oz Shiraz is made from Syrah grapes, the end result is often very different from US Syrah. I don't get what those guys do to Shiraz. BUT, Mollydooker is a different barrel of wine altogether. It isn't surprising to me that the Velvet Glove Shiraz retails in the US for a buck fifty to two hundred dollars a bottle. Every vintage of Velvet Glove has garnered ratings in the high 90's from the likes of Parker and Spectator.
In the meantime, here's a Mollydooker more in line with my pocketbook.
Effective July 1, 2011, the one percent sales and use tax rate increase that was approved with the state budget and effective April 1, 2009, will expire lowering the statewide base tax rate from 8.25 percent to 7.25 percent.
Think about this for a moment: In the days of my vagrant yoot the sales tax rate was HALF what it will be reduced to on July 1. And there were no district taxes that raised the effective sales tax rate to almost And that was plenty to fund traditional public services back when California was the Land of Milk & Honey and our roads were the envy of the entire world.
Should be plenty today as well, after all, sales tax is assessed on a percentage basis. As the population grows so do revenues. As prices rise with inflation, so do revenues.
On the morning of the 4th of July, a coupla decades ago, TWC was wandering the teeming, sweltering streets of DC near the mall when a frenzied black guy materialized out of the crowd and shoved a small paper plate toward my face.
Nof Karoh-linah Chop Bah Buh Cue!
That's the best I could do as his drawal was nigh on unintelligible. All y'all Southerners feel free to correct my phonetic pronounciation.
The sample of North Carolina Chop(ped) BBQ was succulent, spicy, smokey, sweet. A culinary delight. It was my first time and I happily followed him back to his smoke wagon for a plate full with fixin's. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven and in that epiphany, I realized that whatever we Californios had assumed to be BBQ, wasn't quite.
Tasting a wine before buying seems as ordinary as tasting North Carolina Chop(ped) BBQ before buying a plate full. And, in fact, it is the sample, the taste, that sold moi. It is why Costco stages lunch ladies in hairnets hawking samples of everything from designer coffee to thin slices of Cheescake Factory yummies at strategic points across the store.
Yet, in the Land of the Free, wine tasting, which is a simple interaction between a merchant and a customer, must be legalized by a state legislature. Not knocking it, anything that enhances consumer choice is a step forward. But still.
Having succesfully run Amazon out of town, the State of Texas intends to turn up the heat on scofflaw wine drinkers. Apparently, Texas will hold contraband seminars with UPS and FedEx on the fine art of vigilance. That's what makes government special, they push the regulatory costs like this off onto the private sector.
The Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) notes that on Friday, June 3rd, the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC) took the highly unusual step of issuing a press release announcing it had entered into talks with Fed-Ex Corp. and United Parcel Service concerning its effort, to thwart the illegal shipment of wine into Texas.....
We all thought that we were home free with the Granholm decision six years ago, but that decision apparently was more style than substance.
And apparently this US District Court ruling against Texas was not upheld by the full court. Otherwise, we wouldn't be revisiting this mess, right?
As is mostly the case, protectionist regulation isn't about the consumer, it is about restricting the market for the benefit of the politically well-connected. A concept that the American public seems unable to grasp.
I'm regularly baffled that a free people permit such a degree of meddling by state, local, or federal governments into what are essentially private arrangements between actual grown-ups.
As Mrs TWC points out in her presentation, if students in Compton Unified manage to graduate from high school at all, only 1.5% of them make it to college.
The public school monopoly and the teacher unions have had decades to fix this problem and have, at best, allowed these children to be denied an adequate education. At worst they are complicit in the destruction of generations of perfectly good minds.
It is time to try something other than the status quo, which is why the school choice movement is so important.
For those of you who don't know, Mrs TWC is the Director of Education at Reason Foundation in Los Angeles and school reform is her life's work. Clare Mullin is Senior Program Officer at Gleason Foundation.
The federal debt increased $54.1 billion in the eight days preceding the deal made by President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) to cut $38.5 billion in federal spending for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, which runs through September.
There isn't really much else to say except to ask how it is that we could run the federal government on 1.8 trillion dollars in 2000 and eleven years later it takes 3.8 trillion dollars.