A Simple Southern Home Security System


1. Go to a second hand store and buy a pair of men’s used size 14-16 work boots.

2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo Magazine and The NRA Membership Directory and Soldier of Fortune – the “Bible” for mercenaries.

3. Put four giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.

4. Leave a note on your door that reads:


Bertha, Duke, Slim, & I went for more ammo and beer. Be back in an hour or less.
Don’t mess with the pit bulls; they attacked the mailman this morning and messed him up bad. I don’t think Killer took part, but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of ’em in the house.

Better wait outside. Be right back.


(I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger; then it hit me,)

The great transatlantic tax divide

Tax” and “fairness”: what a potent rhetorical combination those two words can make. Each by itself packs a wallop in political terms but put together they have become the weapon of choice in the ideological wars that now dominate electoral life on both sides of the Atlantic. Here at home, Nick Clegg’s Tycoon Tax came and went in its original punitive form, but its spirit lives on in the Philanthropy Penalty, which is designed to prevent rich people from indulging in one of their decadent pastimes – giving money away, and from which the Government is, as we report today, desperately trying to row back. Meanwhile, in the United States, Barack Obama has launched his presidential campaign with a phoney (because it will never be passed by Congress) but symbolically significant version of the original Clegg gambit.

Known as the Buffett Rule, after a suggestion by Warren Buffett that millionaires such as him should pay a higher proportion of their earnings in tax, it proposes that anyone earning more than a million dollars a year should pay at least 30 per cent of his income in federal tax. At the moment, many such people, in the US and here, pay tax at a lower rate because their earnings come from capital gains or dividends rather than wages.

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