Merry Christmas, A**hole

For Christmas this year, I was attacked.  No, not physically – electronically.

Screaming-Dream-meaningI have not been posting much here; a victim of social media overload and submitting to the pressures of life in Zuckerbergland. Nevertheless, After posting my tax piece a few days ago (which may be just coincidental, granted) I received some fairly vicious comments on the 25th – anonymously of course.

But not only here; I received some fairly obnoxious emails in my personal mailbox.  Again, possibly coincidental, but two coincidences on the same day is not, well, coincidental.

I guess someone got coal in their stocking Christmas morning and needed to lash out.

It’s all Trump’s fault.

 

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Tax Plan Stuff

The bi-partisan tax plan Ballyhoo wails on, with self-proclaimed social media pundits choosing sides and using well thought phrases to poke at the opposition, such as nitwits, crybabies, storm troopers and fascist monkey overlords. I actually kinda like that last one.

Anyway, I decided the only way to get some real insight was to read the damn thing – a task I’m sure 99% of the people bitching about it – haven’t done.  And with good reason.  It’s 1,097 pages long – and has to be read with a copy of the current tax code available as a great deal of the new tax bill is just references to the existing tax code.  Reading the bill alone is like trying to read a Thomas Pynchon novel without a massive dictionary nearby.

For those tuning up slings and arrows – here’s my agenda:

I am not a Trump Supporter.

I was not a Hillary supporter.

I was not a Bernie Supporter.

In fact my belief is that there is not a single member of the federal government, in all branches, that hasn’t been fucked, bought and paid for by the business powers that be.

As for the mass media – don’t make me laugh.  It’s all pure horseshit – every network, every news show , every newspaper.  Garbage.

So – here we go – I spent a few hours and am happy to say I made my way through about 5% of the text – just scratching the surface I know, but here’s what I read – so far – and the news is not all bad – I’m sure there are plot twists to come.

Tax brackets –

I ran an excel sheet comparing the current tax brackets to the proposed new plan for 2018.

For those  married filing jointly, if your taxable income is under $500,000, the amount of taxes you owe will DECREASE 14-15%.  Over $500K, the amount of taxes you owe will DECREASE 9-12%.  These are pre-deduction, pre-tax credit numbers so the bottom line will change based on how you’ve got your finances set up.

From my reading I was able to glom the following – again, remember I’m on page 66 of 1097 pages – still a long way to go.

Basic standard deduction increased from $4,400 to 18,000.
Any other case deduction increased from $3,000 to $12,000.
Adjustments for inflation to standard deduction updated to use current calendar year data.
Child tax credit gets a boost raising the threshold amount from $110,000 to $400,000 for joint returns ($200,000 for 55-75,000 for other types of returns).   The reduction rate is raised to $50 per $2,000 over the threshold instead of $1,000 over the threshold.
Cap imposed of $1,400 credit per child.  Extensive cap formula in place today.
Charitable cash contribution base raised from 50% to 60% of adjusted gross income, with any excess eligible  to be carried over to future years.
An increase in the ALBE account cash contribution amount – currently $10K, now $10K plus formula.
An amendment to treat, for tax purposes, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt as a Hazardous Duty Area and therefore subject to Combat Zone tax laws.
Extension into 2018 of the medical 7.5 percent rule (as opposed to 10%) as the base for people 65 and over.

This is kind of a hoot –

Section 56(b)(1)(B) of the current tax code, in reference to computing an Alternative Minimum Tax, reads as follows: “In determining the amount allowable as a deduction under section 213, subsection (a) of section 213 shall be applied without regard to subsection (f) of such section.”  Your tax dollars paid many people to write, approve and vote for this sentence. Anyway – whatever it means, it’s being amended to say it’s not applicable for the tax years 2016 through and including 2019.

to be continued….

 

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Return

Two returns here.  Me, to this blog (I really do need to update it though) and more importantly, Mike Oldfield released an album earlier this year entitled Return to Ommadawn.  If, like me, you were a fan of his long format, multi-instrumental works (Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn), then this album is a treat and a half.  It isn’t often that an album leaves me smiling after an initial listen, but this one did.  If, on the other hand, your musical tastes lean toward dueling chainsaws, this may not be your cup of gruel. Go listen to Witch Vomit or Fetal Disgorge.  (yes those are actual death metal band names).

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Foamy to the rescue

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Be Prepared

If Donald Trump is elected President, and he could easily pull it off because the Clinton campaign is in total disarray and Johnson’s campaign just doesn’t have the steam, there will be a revolution in the streets of the United States that will make the February and October Russian Revolutions of 1917/1918 look like popping into a chalk pavement picture in Mary Poppins.

Don’t think so?  Look at what Anonymous has been able to pull off in recent years.  One would hope the american people would take to the streets prior to the damage being done, but that’s not going to happen in any significant numbers.

The people voting for Trump believe that America should be the international schoolyard bully.  That America has the right to go into any country, pillage their resources to maintain a slothful way of life and murder a few thousand people along the way – including our own sons and daughters.

I am certain there are a significant number of people voting for Trump ONLY because of Hillary (and Bill) Clinton’s shenanigans going all the way back to Whitewater.  I’m not pushing Hillary, god knows, but that will be a large block of people.

The people voting for Trump believe America can be made great again – what that really means is that they believe America can have the clock turned back to early 20th century white male dominance in all matters, and that women and minorities should be “put back into their place” as chattel.

The people voting for Trump have no qualms whatsoever about using nuclear arms.  Anywhere.  Against anyone.  Including the US or any allies (if we have any left after November).

Neither candidate carries anything close to the moral compass needed to be the head of state.

It is true that the moral consciousness of the world must recognize the importance of removing injustices and well-founded grievances; but at the same time it must be aroused to the cardinal necessity of honoring sanctity of treaties, of respecting the rights and liberties of others, and of putting an end to acts of international aggression. – FDR

FDR’s words speak to the need of ending terrorism, but they also speak to ANY nation who plays the aggressor. Our glass houses will not withstand much scrutiny.

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men. – Confucius 

Haven’t seen much of any of those qualities in our candidates.

The battle has yet to begin.  The race to November is the preamble.

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Good point

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What has happened to Apple???

Jesus.  I switched from windows to OS X years ago because of reliability and OS excellence.  Now, on top of getting as many security updates as windows, every single release has dumb glitches.   Additionally, trying to get help has become a PITA.

Example – new 12.5 version of iTunes for iMac.  The shuffle buttons won’t appear, even if turning shuffle on and off in the controls menu and restarting the app.  So I head for the community boards to see if this is a widespread issue, and I get…

untiapple-community

 

It’s a small detail I know, but avoiding this type of runaround is why I switched in the first place – it rarely happened because the software releases were largely bug-free and coded to a higher standard than windows could ever achieve. Disappointed.

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