Monday, January 19, 2009

The Government and me

Phlemfatale had a post on property tax, which indeed sucks. I am having issues with capitol gains tax.

2007 I sold a piece of land that I had owned for close to thirty years. I made a good profit. I had to invest a lot of time in prepping the place for sale, changing the lot boundary and generally jumping through hoops. No problem, it's always that way.

I consulted my accountant and wrote several large checks to have the money in my tax account to avoid penalty's. As I was leaving town I filed an extension on the filing date so I would not be late. While I was in the tax office for the state I asked the people working there, who you would expect to know something about the tax laws, if the state had a capitol gains tax.

If you expect the people who work with the tax laws to know anything, you would be wrong.

When I finally got home I filed my taxes, and found I owed another $15,500 roughly, I drove from the accountants office to the tax office and wrote them a check.

Six months later I get a notification that I owe another $1687 in penalty's and interest to the state.

Why did it take six months? Now I have 45 days to act, pay or write for a review, if the useless tits that work in the office had done something like heroic, like look it up, or know something about their job, they would already have their money.

It gets worse.

When I sold my land, because there was no structure on the land, I paid a ten percent commission on the sale, the federal capital gains tax is fifteen percent as is the state capital gains tax. Yep, that's forty percent right off the top. Now lump that right into my income for the year, now I have topped the Alternative Minimum Tax threshold.

Keep in mind, I have no deductions, everything I own is paid for. I will have to check but I think I paid upwards of $80,000 in taxes.

I took me thirty years to make a profit, and one year for them to keep more of it than I did. And now they are getting more.

Yeah, I love my government.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

From George Will on Townhall

A New York Times article, "Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending" (9/30/99), reported, "Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people …" The pressure was the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act that was beefed up during the Clinton Administration. It required banks to make high-risk loans they would not have otherwise made. Failure to comply meant fines and difficulty in getting approval for mergers and branch expansion.

When questions began to arise about government policy that intimidated lenders into making high-risk loans, we received congressional assurances. At hearings investigating the solvency of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Rep. Barney Frank said, ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.'' In a speech to the Mortgage Bankers Association, Frank advised, "People tend to pay their mortgages. I don't think we are in any remote danger here. This focus on receivership, I think, is intended to create fears that aren't there." Protesting against greater controls against lax mortgage lending, Sen. Harry Reid said, "While I favor improving oversight by our federal housing regulators to ensure safety and soundness, we cannot pass legislation that could limit Americans from owning homes and potentially harm our economy in the process."

I heard Frank on Good Morning America make the bald statement that there was inadequate Federal oversight in the free market.

Sounds to me like they hammered the lending institutions in to a corner and then fooled them into thinking the Govt. would protect them.

Turns out the Govt. did protect them, but not for the reasons they thought. Congress had to stop the "correction", which has only been postponed, so no blame would accrue to them.

Too much federal interference more likely.

GO!!!! Read the Corruption Chronicals... on the side bar!

Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:53 — Judicial Watch Blog
As Hillary Clinton’s Senate confirmation hearing begins today, a major news organization reveals that the future Secretary of State intervened at least half a dozen times on behalf of her husband’s donors including the manufacturer of a controversial cervical cancer vaccine linked to 21 deaths and thousands of adverse reactions.

Clinton regularly used her power as a New York Senator to intervene in government issues directly affecting companies and individuals that gave hefty sums to Bill’s presidential foundation, according to the international news group that obtained official correspondence of the acts through a public records request.

Among those that benefited from the senator’s clout is pharmaceutical giant Merck, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and manufacturer of Gardasil. The highly controversial human papillomavirus vaccine has been linked to the deaths of at least 21 young women and girls and nearly 10,000 adverse reactions including life-threatening effects such as paralysis, severe circulatory problems and seizures.

Judicial Watch has uncovered extensive Food and Drug Administration (FDA) records detailing Gardasil’s serious side affects and published a lengthy report outlining the crisis associated with the vaccine, a top seller that has generated more than $1 billion in revenue for Merck. The report as well as the FDA documents, obtained through the Freedom Of Information Act, can be viewed here.

Incredibly, Hillary pushed the U.S. government to approve the use of Gardasil in females ages 9 to 26 by writing a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt in 2005. To purchase its coveted spot on the Clinton Global Initiative, Merck has dished out tens of thousands of dollars in the last few years. Company officials insist they never communicated with either Clinton about passage of their extremely profitable vaccine, however.
Hillary also wrote to the FDA on behalf of another major Clinton Foundation donor (Barr Laboratories) that makes the emergency contraceptive known as the morning-after pill and the Federal Communications Commission to advocate for a benefactor who is the chief executive of a New York-based communications company.

The Commerce Department and the Long Island Power Authority also received letters from Hillary pushing for the controversial projects of an energy company that gave her husband’s foundation at least $35,000 in just a few years.

These alarming interventions by a powerful elected official at the very least raise ethics issues. They may also be predictors of Hillary’s future activities. There’s no telling what she may push for—on United States Secretary of State letterhead—on behalf of her husband’s wealthy donors.

How can this woman shrug off the death and illness of thousands of other women? I guess they don't really mean that much to the voting demographic, or she thought no one would find out.

Smartest woman in the world? I'm thinking not. Else she wouldn't get caught at this junk.

Ethics problems? She doesn't have any ethics, so how can they be a problem?

The Obamesiah will have to muddle through without me....">
I'm an embarrassment to Barack!I only scored 16 on the Test

Odumbo is already showing his colors as a Chicago politician, reeling in the promises, tapping scandal ridden cabinet members and then dumping them. The Queen Pelosi is changing the house rules to keep the good old boy network in charge, removing as many tools as possible from the Republican bag. Obumbles is positioning him self as blameless in the release of the remaining $350B bailout money. He asks while Bush is still in office, if the answer is yes, he gets the credit for asking, if no then he does it later, and no matter what happens he comes out looking like nothing was his doing.

If you voted your feeeelings in November, best put them away for the next four years, they are likely to be bruised.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Oily Dragons

Last week the Drudge Report noted that the price of oil dropped more than any week in the last seven years.

The price of gas went up.

I know the price of anything is dependant on what the market will bare, but that's just stupid.

Tension in the middle east- the Gaza strip exports flowers and herbs for heavens sake.

Big oil is as greedy as ever.

Snotty Dragons

When you don't care to send the best, get a resolution from the Useless Nitwits.

JERUSALEM- The U.N. Security Council called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, but an intense bombardment of missiles from Israeli jets and helicopters early Friday and a barrage of Hamas rockets indicated there may be no quick end to the fighting.

The Security Council resolution was approved Thursday night by a 14-0 vote, with the United States abstaining. The resolution "stresses the urgency of and calls for an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza."

This would be the church lady telling the Angels and Outlaws to sit down and shut up.

Now I bet the UN will absolutely fume or huff.


Monday, January 5, 2009

My lucky red hat...

All of us at one time or another have had our "blankey", that ugly dirty thing that was a charm or comfort totem.
Mine was a red knit cap that I bought for a dollar in a gas station. I think I remember buying the thing when working as an electrician's helper. In those days becoming a helper was no more complicated than adopting a cat. It also paid as well as adopting a cat. We would gather at the bosses house and get our days assignment for the day and off we went to string wire in the morning and then go to a finish job in the afternoon. Summer time wasn't too bad, winter was another story. Have you ever hit your fingers with a hammer when they were so cold you had to wait to warm them up to bleed?
It sucks swamp water.
I was working with my future brother in laws. Bruce was a comical little troll, who tried to scare me one morning by almost rear ending a car, and swerved just in time to hit another car turning across our lane. He didn't see that one.
He almost scared me to death. I came out of the seat in a ball, bent the dash with my knees and destroyed the wind shield with my head. The red hat didn't help.
A new job taught me cool things like welding and grinding. How to saw asbestos with a sawzall, and line heat treat ovens. That one gives me nightmares. I came so close to dieing so many times there I can't count. One that made a real impression, and collected four stitches, was pulling a fly wheel off a punch press. The dudes who installed it were a little less than patient when fitting the key. The end result was a 20 ton porta power to remove the fly wheel. It slipped with about ten tons of load on it and I caught a one inch diameter threaded rod across the top of my head with a sound like breaking a ball bat.

Guess what I was wearing instead of a hard hat? (They ordered them while I was on the way to the ER).
I was somewhat smaller than I am now and drove a Triumph Spitfire MKIV, probably the coolest car I have ever owned. It met it's demise one evening at the bumper of a 1965 Galaxy 500. It was my fault. When the dude hit me the car spun so violently I broke the passengers window with my head.
Still wearing the red hat.
I kept the hat for a long time, it was just something I wore because I had it.
I sat down one night and counted all the scars and stitches I had accumulated while wearing the one dollar hat. When I was done and the total considered, I couldn't get it in the trash soon enough.
Slow learner, that's me.

The large TIM (Time Is Money) calculator shown above was based on the stepped drum calculator mechanism. This was the first type of four function calculator and these machines were inherently large and heavy. (The model shown was 21.5" x 7" x 6" and weighed 23 pounds.)
The first stepped drum calculators were made in wooden boxes (see the Burkhardt below), but the model shown was an improved metal-cased model that was made in 1909. Because of their bulk, sales of these early machines were relatively small. (Dozens to hundreds per year.) Price was another obstacle. In today's dollars, a TIM would be priced at well over $10,000.
Manual four function calculator.
For a small amount I could have a scientific calculator wrist watch, that I would never use. If I wanted to, I could use my cell phone. Actually I can do most anything I need on one of the three desk top calculators cluttering the joint.
Which I bought for a dollar each.
Where will it go?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Great expectatioms

.Lets see, the Obamasiah has yet to be sworn in and already is brushed by two scandals.

One Democrat selling a congressional seat and another who already sold something.

The old media has given them the benefit of the doubt, something they never give most people.

I don't have any doubt that they are culpable, of something.

The anointed one has an untenable position in the middle east, a worldwide financial crisis, campaign promises that have the welfare queens believing he is going to buy their gas and pay their rent.

He also has a congressional majority that is making noises like they want to bail.

There is some talk of spraying about a few trillion of our dollars to create jobs. By all accounts this was the same tactics that that FDR used to extend the Great Depression.

How long before we can start calling him a liar and stupid?

On a slightly more grim note, why has anyone said a single word to Israel regarding kicking the soup out of Hamas? No nation in the entire world would tolerate that sort of attack. Lets toss in the phone calls to residents in the area, tellin' them to bag ass, 'cause bad stuff is on the way.

Heck, we don't even do that.

If some bordering nation, any of the four; Canada, Mexico, Russia, or Cuba, launches a random missile attack against civilian targets, I expect a serious ass kicking in the immediate future.

What we would get from the incoming administration, would likely be a meeting with out conditions.

Then I'm callin' him stupid!

Free to a good home.....

I have a New Condition Encyclopedia Britannica, that I no longer have room to store or display.
I can prove it's unused by the big kids report cards.
If anyone wants it, pay the shipping and it's yours.
If you know of any one who needs it forward my contact info.
These are beautiful books and it would be a shame to stick them in a dumpster or in a home that doesn't want them.

Thanks in advance,

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A busy time

All of us have our excuses for failing to post. Work, tired, family, just living is bad enough. I hate to see Monkey Girl go, but I thoroughly understand. I have been posting enough to let every one who cares (few enough, I expect) know I'm still alive.
I'm getting ready for my next contract,and getting the Love of My Life ready to go with me. Two is not twice as much, it's more like a geometrical progression. We, or at least I will be gone for six months, approximately. The big kid is going to house sit, and feed the livestock. That will let him set up for his own rental place by paying down his debts.
I on the other hand have spent about a week juggling furniture, ferrying trash, generally clearing every ones problems away.
Today I sat down at breakfast with a calculator and took a stab at estimating the cost of the coming trips. 5600 miles, at the current price of diesel, unless I come home from Minn. and then drive to Richlands, Washington. I took the general numbers and cranked them through a hat full of scenarios to see if there was any justification for larger exhaust or power tuners.
I can buy a lot of diesel for a thousand bucks. Minor power and torque gains would add little to drive ability, not to mention my new truck has about a hundred more horsepower than the old truck, and 500lb/ft torque. My transmission guy said he could change the front throttle body spring and give me the crisp shift I want. It would also reduce wear on the bands, all for the cost of a service. Guess what the trans command (electric) modules do.
Same thing.
Besides, if I feel I really need an exhaust change out, I can have it shipped to me where ever I happen to be, and have it installed.
I may be able to post something a little more interesting soon.

Monsters in the yard

I found a pair of these growing in my yard, had no clue as to where they came from or what they were. Seems they are European imports spread by bugs.
They are a variety of stink horn.
The things look like monsters breaking through the ground, small but disgusting.
Some say they are edible, some say not.
I'll never know.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A long walk on a beautiful day

I enjoy walking, it's a good thing too, as the love of my life loves to walk.
The 27th and 29th were two of the prettiest days I have seen in a long while. Particularly in the winter, almost 70 F by lunch, cloudless skies and light winds. The first day we were in shorts and walked bare foot on the beach, for six miles. I got a blister on my big toe.
The second day we drove down the beach to the edge of a State Natural Area (didn't know there was such a thing), and walked down the beach from there. There were no vehicles and almost no people. We saw a total of six or so in five hours.
Some where about two hours into the stroll, I took leave of my senses and thought it would be cool to walk to the next village for coffee.
The round trip was thirteen miles, give or take.
Thank God most of the sand was hard, slogging that far in soft sand would be a real nightmare.
The first picture above is the Outer Banks pretty much as Stead Bonnet must have seen it a few hundred years ago.
If you look closely Ft. Caswell and Old Baldy can be seen, as well as the mouth of the Cape Fear River. Those places were vacant in Bonnets time. Just to the right of this picture is Southport and Bonnets Creek, where the pirate hid his vessel, until his capture and hanging in Charleston.
The second picture captures your humble scribe in winter plumage, standing on a dune, under the bluest sky I have seen in ages, with the wind at my back. Shortly after this was taken it warmed to the point that the jacket had to come off.
I wish I could grow hair on my head like I can on my face, I'd look like wolf man. I already have the hair on my ears.
To my left as you view the picture is Bonnets Creek.
The third picture is a view of one of the few pristine beaches left, about five miles of strand with nothing on it except tracks.
One of the things we do used to be called "beach combing". In our case, the search is for "sea glass", broken bottles that have washed in like sea shells, smoothed and frosted. We use them to fill the bottom of clear bowls for decoration.
There is no point to our excursions, we just go and walk or wander for miles, soaking up the sun getting wind blown and hot or cold as the season dictates.
The Ft. Fisher Hermit lived near here in a WWII bunker. He was there for twenty or so years, alone except for his dogs, until he was murdered for something he didn't have.
I think I know why he stayed.

May you live long in interesting times!

A famous Chinese curse.

I think we are about to live it.

I have some experience there. Some things I can remember quite well, loss of a U-2 flown by a man named Powers, The Cuban Missile Crisis, the Assassination of Jack Kennedy, the war in the Falklands, the invasion of Grenada, the invasion of Panama, Jonestown (almost had to go there), Desert Storm, Mt. St. Helen's, The Tsunami in Asia, 9-11, the Vietnam War, all interesting times.

None so interesting as we are about to see.

I don't have to support that conclusion, you all know it as well as I.

Happiest of New Years,

.... to one and all!

We have all seen so much in the past year that was depressing to devastating to grim.
I hope for each of my friends, local and on the interweb, a year that they can look back on with nothing but enjoyment.

We haven't had one of those in a while.