The case of the Missouri man who got a $1,000 find for flashing his headlights at oncoming cars to warn them of a speed trap up ahead is just one of the small evidences that America seems to be on the verge of becoming “Police State Lite” [PSL] without even giving the grave nature of events due consideration.
You may remember a week, or so back, I mentioned an email from long-time reader John who found fault in my report to you on several counts:
You’re slipping a bit. You listed some seriously erroneous info today regarding giving up citizenship. See below.
“Remember Cyprus? Offshore banks seem to be worse than our own. And besides, the US authorities claim 10-years of authority to collect taxes from expats even if you make it out the exits. Not to mention there goes Medicare and Social Security income, too.”
Please note that the renunciation tax law was given a major overhaul in 2008 due to the HEART Act.
The 10-year tax regime was replaced with an exit tax on the expatriating citizen, which only applies to people with a high net worth, over 2 million dollars. Thus, you are making a clean break from the system.
Renunciation does not affect your eligibility for Social Security and Medicare, that is, unless you went to a country that is considered an enemy of the U.S.
Bye, John (very long time reader, subscriber from both sides of the Atlantic over the years….) “
As usual, when I get a correction like this, I make the most of it since it serves to remind me that I’m not (quite yet) invincible and to remind myself that where there’s a will, there’s a way…
Which brings me to point #2: My friend Bruce down in Ecuador has set up a dandy bed and breakfast operation which features friendly amenities and low enough price to live so that a person could hang out in Ecuador for a good long time.
HIs place is called Casa Marilla (Yellow House) and it’s located in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. And it got me thinking long and hard enough about the possibilities to send Bruce a note inquiring as to the price:
“Price is $400-450 for 2 bedroom, $600 for 3 bedroom, completely furnished. Internet is available for $35 a month. 2 gigabit speed.”
That’s per month, no less.
So yes, we are thinking about the exit now and then…
Reader Chris is a little disturbed about the short-term media coverage given to low initial takes on some films…which turn out to make money (lots of it) in the long-run:
I Read the Disney Story on The Lone Ranger Tanking. It seems that accurate Journalism is no longer necessary. Or…only money made in the U.S of A. counts, I’m not sure which.
Here is the author’s statements
Depp’s recent non-“Pirates” movies have bombed. Not counting “The Lone Ranger,”
2012’s “Dark Shadows” cost $150 million but grossed only $80 million,
2011’s “The Rum Diary” made $13 million on a $45 million budget, and that same year
“The Tourist” tanked, recouping $67 million on a $100 million budget.
These are the actual worldwide figures, not including DVD and blue ray sales
Dark Shadow $238,727,14
The Rum Diaries $23,947,544
The Tourist $278,346,189
Hell, and we wonder why media isn’t doing stories on things that count. It’s because they can’t even Google for a fact. Remember the days when the boss expected you to back up your figures. I wish there was a fine for this kind of CRAP. “
Fair point, there. It will be instructive to see how the Lone movie does over time. One thing that is going on are stories wondering whether Johnny Depp’s career is in jeopardy.
Movies always were – and will continue to be – a team outcome. One big name superstar can’t save a movie with lose parts elsewhere, yet the pile-on crowd seems intent on ignoring team play…
Around the Ranch: Summer Power Failure
Along about 4PM, Elaine wandered into the office. “I see you’re not effected…nice and cool in here…”
“What, is the power off?” It was the only question that made sense.
Well, one thing led to another and yes, we had a longish power outage which came back on a couple of hours later. But it’s a reminder that solar power is a good thing when the sun’s still out and it’s 95-degrees outside.
I still think investing in insulation and renewable energy will, over the long term, out perform any currency out there, especially if you connect it to some kind of gardening project.
Life-Long Learning Note
Here’s an interesting note passed on about a new project called Flooved over at www.floved.com. The idea is online mentoring/teaching and you can click on the “How it works” tab to learn more about it.
A number of people have inquired as to whether Maxa Cookie Manager works with Windows 8. The answer, says my friend Manfred at Maxa is yes…and I’ve been running it fine on my laptop with Win8 since I converted it from Win7/64.
If you’d like to sample how it works, click here and download it and follow the setup instructions. Most people are amazed at how much crap there is in the way of tracking cookies on their computers and how much faster their machines run in many cases when the tracking cookies are taken out.
Manfred and I are talking a lot about security issues and privacy lately, so one of these days I will write up details for Peoplenomics.com subscribers…
Write when you get rich…
Here are some useful ways to spend your money…
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A Course in Surveillance Algorithms
An algorithm is simply a set of instructions for a computer system to follow in a particular order. In the case of Big Data, the steps are capture, organize, integrate, analyze, and act. Using this approach, we can build a fine example of the many trip-wires an innocent civilian could stumble over in the modern surveillance society. Plus we have our monthly check of west coast port data with is oftentimes a decent truth detector about the economy and an update on many headlines and our trading model. You may need a third cup for this morning’s report…
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George Ure’s latest writings…
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