Coping: Tax Time And Ure’s Money’s Worth

This year I promised myself that I’d do a better job of getting my taxes done early.  And with only three items left to run (about 3-hours more work) I’m looking forward to finalizing them as early as tomorrow.

About this time of the year, though, since I’m writing the check, I get concerned about what my income tax is paying for.  I happen to have a list:

1.  Press Intimidation:  Here’s one of those Orwellian kinds of stories that ought to send shivers up your spine:  “Why is the Obama Administration putting government monitors in newsrooms?”

The reality is that when government is local (like schools, for example) when there is an unforeseen time-out, there are days added to the school year.  I know it’s expecting too much for the federal government to try working Saturdays and Sundays, but that’s the hard reality of those of us in the private sector.

It’s another example of “government leading from behind” that doesn’t work.

2.  Federal Time Off:  A story carried in the NY Daily News yesterday headlines that “Federal employees have worked less than 75% of days they were supposed to since October 1: report.”

3.  Obamacare Discrimination:  So far, it looks like only big corporations are the only ones winning.  Since small business owners are being singled out (along with middle class families) I was hoping (delusional, I know) that there would be some compensatory lines in the tax forms.  I haven’t found it yet.

What we are seeing is an increase in stories like “”Man’s back surgery on hold as doctors deny coverage California coverage.”

While it’s truth the democorps would generally hold such criticism to be deity-bashing, Ann Coulter’s quip New Obama Promise: If you like you life, you can keep it…” is starting to look less like a jab and at the lies about “keep your doctor” as a sad pointing out of truth.

4. Guantanamo is Still Open:  The US government has developed a nasty habit of talking one thing and doing another.  Leakage from political campaigns (Change?) as I see it. 

Nevertheless, when a country claims to be a democracy and then sanctions rendition, waterboarding, drone attacks on a US citizen, and keeps Gitmo going rather than bring cases to open trial, it bothers me deeply in a “false advertising” sort of way.

5.  NSA Is Planning More Spying:  The contortion is in this is simple:  NSA has been doing illegal surveillance (except legal to people who don’t answer to the public, only to the secret government that’s beyond voter control) – that much we knew.

But now it turns out that gobs of spy data which would have “expired” is now going to be retained why?  So it can be referred to in future lawsuits which we can only imagine will be brought by people who are the subjects of?  Why illegal surveillance, of course!

Yessir, circular thinking at its finest.

I could go on with my list, but you’ve no doubt got a few of your own.  Leaking borders, US folks protecting poppy fields in the ‘stans.  Why, the listing alone would take weeks.

For the longest time, I believed that my annual tax filing was an accounting project that justified my contribution to the fight for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”

No more.  Guido, Luigi, Eric, and Barack, is more like it.

But it brings me to a common-sense way to improve the quality of government in America.

We need to starting holding elections the day after  your taxes get filed. People loose about half their IQ from April 15th to the general elections in November.

Life in the New Dust Bowl

Reader Jim M reports on what we’ve been telling you about grabbing your ankles in the check-out line:

You were right: 

Key quote from this article:

“At the local grocery store, fruit prices are up — but sales are down. The market was forced to lay off three employees — and many more throughout the town are packing their bags and leaving town.

McDonald said farming communities like Firebaugh run the risk of becoming desolate ghost towns as local governments and businesses collapse.”

Yep…the stories in the headlines in the previous section are beginning to really make the case for serious gardening efforts at all levels.  Remember: Control food (or water) and you own the population…

Gambling Advice

I’m not setting up shop as a statistical consultant, but…

George,

I have something that is i guess, kinda peculiar. My daughter was born on April 14. Her bday this year is 4-14-14. When you add the numbers, they total 14. Anything I should bet on or invest the last $2.00 I have?

Thank you,

Eliot

Well, here’s my advice.  Buy 4 – One Dollar lotto tickets.

Here’s my Consulting advice: Buy $41,414 dollars worth. Pay the $4,141 consulting tab.

A friend of mine (ex Los Alamos electronics engineer) once explained to me that once you buy a single ticket for the lotto, your chanced don’t improve a lot until you buy up a significant fraction of all available numbers.

We’d been comparing divorce notes at the time *(20-years back during the Rumrian/Sailing era) and calculating whether a man winning in a divorce was more, or less, likely than winning the lotto.  Based on his experience and mine, we concluded the lotto was a much better deal.

National Dream Center for Sale

Since I moved (officially) into senior citizenhood this month, I have decided to begin divesting myself of important, yet financially unrewarding projects.  The website we’re talking about is www.nationaldreamcenter.com.

I think the site has a lot of potential…but the one truism about building an audience (traffic) to any website is having fresh content every day (or two).  People need to have a reason to visit a site and that’s why I will likely go back to a (short) weekend post on the UrbanSurvival site in coming weeks.

Anyway, the price for the National Dream Center is cheap ($500 ought to do it) and that means a web site, name, logo, database programming done, simplified posting and so on.

If you are (only seriously) interested, drop a note to george@ure.net.

Oilman2 may start writing soon on the www.ruralpioneers.com website.  At least we’re kicking it around… That site, unlike UrbanSurvival, is trademarked.  Fool me once…. And with the Water Exodus getting under way, re-pioneering is almost definitely in ‘Merica’s future.

And yes, our old (seriously upgraded) Beechcraft is for sale now, too.  We may still do an Alaska trip,or down to Key West  if no takers, but flying takes time (and some money).  With what could be ahead for markets as the year progresses, I want to get as liquid as possible and highly focused.

Grudgingly, we do walk the talk now and then.

Marksmanship: RIP Rounds

A reader, a while back, asked me what my thoughts were on the new Radically Invasive Projectile (RIP) rounds that are showing up on the market. 

Since I’m a target shooter, and believe in both the Easter Bunny and the Geneva Convention, I don’t mess with anything but full metal jacket (FMJ) rounds. 

So instead of me weighing in, I asked my retired bro-in-law (retired ex Rangers and SF), Panama Bates to size ‘em up for me:

George a belated comment on the R.I.P. ammo.

Very interesting, obviously the cartridge has been extensively tested and does what the manufacturer intended. Not sure what more can be done with specialized rounds.

We have JHP, and hollow points of all kinds and variations. We have souped-up rounds, subsonic rounds, armor-piercing rounds, non-lethal rounds, piggy-back rounds, case-less rounds, and some homemade explosive rounds, all for handguns; imagine!!

All effective, I imagine, but I wonder what I am going to load into my defensive weapon on a day-to-day basis?

Certainly it would not be feasible to carry a multitude of magazines on one’s person or in a vehicle each containing different styles of ammo ready for every occasion.

I would not recommend loading mixed rounds especially in pistols, a jam is almost guaranteed to occur. Cartridges designed to expend their energy in a human body act differently than say a military round designed to retain its shape in accordance with Geneva Convention requirements that just make a hole until stopped by any material resistant enough to stop the round, then may deformity and shock come into play.

If I am not mistaken, a specialized round designed to expend itself in a body may not have the capability of penetrating material (door, wall, car door, even clothing etc.) between the shooter and the recipient, although the demo showed a round penetrating a cinder block (impressive) but I do not know what that indicates. A cinder block will slow a round down considerably but I suppose one could shoot the brick wall until it collapses then shoot the person behind it.

I cannot conceive at this time of too many situations where one would be called upon to shoot at a person one could not see behind some kind of barrier….. with a pistol. Personally, I perceive a 9mm cartridge not to be a particularly effective all-round cartridge, but on the other hand .40, 44 mag. 454 Casull. etc. are not any more effective; these are short-range weapons no matter what the configuration(s) and further enhancements will not change that fact.

So, in conclusion: interesting cartridge, kind of a variation of the hydra-shock and other similar cartridges, not sure about the reliability of chambering due to the unusual nose design, and the spreading (peeling back of cartridge in flight as demonstrated) effect on flight dynamics. Do not know how the split round acts in contact with rifling, might be more forgiving in a polygonal barrel. And finally, regarding copper versus lead or jacketed, I do not know, it is sort of philosophical; does the ant about to be stepped on consider if the sole of the shoe is leather or rubber?

Since we live in the outback, Cinder-block season is open year-round.

About the only use for hollow point around the ranch is when walking the back 40 when there are wild hogs around.  Then, a 9 MM with something more aggressive than Geneva makes sense.  But for practicing cheek-lock and plinking down range?  It always comes down to price for me. 

OK, off to get gassed at the Dentist’s office…postponed due to flu earlier this month.  So off for a filling of a tooth and the emptying of  a checkbook.  I’m  getting the nitrous for the latter, not the former.

Write when you break-even.

George   george@ure.net

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