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Archive for the ‘taxes’ Category

        A man, Denis Beaudoin,  who donated sperm for Nayda Suleman during a 3 year relationship, that they shared 10-12 years ago, suspects that he maybe the father of ,at least, her older six children; not to mention the possiblity of being the father of her 8 newborn babies.    Nayda has been the focus of much speculation and news reporting since giving birth to the babies; she has been referred to as the Octo-mom in the press.  All 14 of her children have been conceived by invitro fertilization.  Nayda says that all of her children are the product of invitro-fertilization from the same sperm donor.  Denis Beaudoin says that he knew Nayda Suleman when their friends nicknamed her giggles for her infectious laugh.  (more…)

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      This past week’s political temperature has left me feeling a bit feverish.  The final Presidential debate was held on Wednesday evening.  The debate finally covered some topics that helped to clarify the Presidential candidate’s political positions.  This was good.  It is too bad that it took 3 debates for us to get to the nitty gritty.  In this election… having a clear understanding of those positions is very important.

       During the debate, John McCain brought up a reference to a question that was asked of Barack Obama earlier in the week, in Holland-Ohio, while campaigning.  Sen. McCain nicknamed the questioner “Joe the plumber”.  Well, needless to say…Joe the plumber became a focal point of this back and forth between Obama-McCain.  “Joe” became an instant celebrity…much to his surprise!  His question to Sen. Obama was to the heart of taxation…a topic of contention in this election. 

       Well, Joe the plumber’s real name is Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher.  He asked Sen. Obama, when he showed up in his neighborhood stumping for the campaign; “Your new tax plan is going to cost me more money, isn’t it”?  He told him he wanted to buy the business that he worked for; in the future and would hope to make 250,000 dollars or more in business. 

       To make a long story short….Joe the plumber has taken on the personna of every-man.  This ignited a firestorm of interest in Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, which amazed him and triggered some natural curiosity about him.  However, since that time…he has become the focus of some real background, investigative work.

       Whether this is from the media…or both campaigns…who knows.  The problem is…that Mr. Wurzelbacher has been put through a ringer.  He is not a public person…nor is he a candidate.  Is it fair for him to be put under a microscope?  Somehow the information has come to light that he is not a licensed plumber; even though he works for one.  He is about to receive chastisement for working without a license from the city of Toledo.  There could be repercussions for his employer i would think.  Information about his income was reported on.  As well as personal information such as a lien because of owing back taxes.  All of this attention has turned public focus on a private citizen. 

        Just by asking a candidate a question in this election, “Joe the plumber” has become an unwitting political pawn.  This reminds me a bit of the old political tactics called McCarthyism; where thousands of Americans were very aggressively investigated and put under suspicion…many loosing their jobs, some careers were negatively impacted and some were even imprisioned after the investigations.  This should be considered unacceptable!

       Is this the kind of America that we want to live in?   Why can’t political campaigns run on issues and political stances alone and skip all of the negativity?  Why can’t they spend their advertising dollars on more important things and do good with that money.  They just might find the American voters more receptive to those tactics and avenues than they are to all of this destructive negativity!!!  What’s your opinion on this subject?

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      Here we go, the Republican party is gearing up for next weeks Republican National Convention.  Sen. John McCain is ready to announce his running mate.  Conservative supporters are warning that funding and advertising support can, and will, be withdrawn if he chooses a running mate that is pro-abortion.  Two of the people he is considering as a running mate are pro-choice…that is Sen. Joe Lieberman and former Pennsylvania Govenor Tom Ridge. 

       Of course, abortion is only one issue.  There are many issues to consider such as gay rights, health care, the war and bringing home the military men and women, economy, bank failures, terrorism,foreign policy, housing market, joblessness, federal bailouts in the lending and in transportation, education, cost of living and social security issues…but, with many Democrats unhappy with the elimination of Hillary Clinton as a running mate for Sen. Barack Obama…many of her supporters have pledged their support over to John McCain.  All of these issues is important to voters; but the Republican party is typically conservative.  Conservatives are looking for leadership that is going to reinforce the party’s basic standards as well as provide some economic stability in the country; while at the same time, correcting some of the perceived errors in the present administration.

         Also in the realm of possibility is Minnesota Govenor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Mitt Romney…both anti-abortion proponents.  With all of the difficulties since the last election, it is a little frightening to be standing on the edge of the unknown this time around.

         Sen. John McCain has to be very careful about who he announces as his pick.  He doesn’t want to exchange many of his supporters, with deep pockets, for those unhappy Democratic supporters.  If he is wise in his choosing of a running mate…those Democrats will be additional voters not replacements for those who were supporters in the first place; it could have a big impact.  

          I guess we are about to find out…as it has been announced that Sen. John McCain has picked his running mate and will announce it to the American public on Friday at noon in Ohio.  His running mate will get the word on Thursday!  I don’t think that people have been this anxious about the political arena as they are this year…but then, most people agree…the climate in the American culture hasn’t been as critical as it seems, at this time…for a great many years.  The outcome is terribly important.  Let’s hope that the running mate is a pick that many can get behind without controversy taking away from the issues at hand.        

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       What if you were convicted of a crime and you knew you were innocent; but, no one else knew or cared once you were convicted?  Worse yet, what if you were wasting away in prison for a crime you didn’t commit; while the real criminal was free to continue doing what you were accused of doing?  Wouldn’t you want someone to dig until they found proof of your innocence?

       Many people think that is the job of the defense attorneys of the accused; but that is unrealistic.  Oh, they do their job in court to protect your rights, best way that they can…but, for the most part…once you are convicted…you are there until your time is served. They have so many people to represent…unless your case sticks in their craw and they believe in you; and, they have powerful, political connections to movers and shakers…you will sit in prison until your time is up!

        What if someone dared to believe in your innocence and was willing to investigate until irrefutible proof was found that proved your innocence?  That would be a gift…a miracle.    That type of commitment costs money and lots of time.  Most people don’t have an unending supply of wealth.  By the time they have gone through the court system and paid to defend themselves…they have nothing left.  Often, even family and friends have moved on with their lives…not ALWAYS…but, by the time that the person has sat in prison a few years…family and friends have been forced to go back to work, finish growing up, getting married, having children, going off to college; you get the idea…life keeps moving on.  (more…)

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     This is a controversial issue.  I heard that starting in September (at least here in Michigan); custodial parents will be charged a yearly, one time fee of $25.  This is in relation to parents of children who have been receiving child support.  This fee is being charged as a matter of federal law to help offset the amount of money the government has to spend finding deadbeat parents who skip out on supporting their children.  At least that is the way that i understood the news report. (more…)

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        It should have been a fairly local news story…however, a mayor from a fairly large metropolitan city in America who is being accused of felony charges of perjury and other assorted charges; throw in some secret behind the scene deal, allegedly made with lawyers regarding the officers who had recordings showing alleged proof of his salacious, sexual text messages between him and his alleged former (female) chief of staff; as well as, a formal legal proceedings (initiated by the City Council and signed into motion by Govenor Granholm) trying to forcibly remove him from office…and you have a national news story worthy of a tabloid newspaper.  Still, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is basically saying, Heck No…I won’t Go.

         His basic legal argument is that the council doesn’t have legal standing to remove him from office because he says the law states that the only legal grounds a council has to remove him is a felony conviction or for a lack of qualifications. 

          So, when the council formally asked the Governor to remove Kilpatrick from office and went through the formalities….Mayor Kilpatrick vetoed the Council’s vote requesting his ouster by Governor Granholm. Wow!!!  There is some fancy footwork going on.

          No, I won’t leave office…because I haven’t been “convicted of a felony” even though i am being charged with felony charges…i haven’t been convicted yet…therefore…i don’t have to leave office (yet).   

            Can you imagine having to try to work together effectively to run a city as large as Detroit with such opposite agenda’s?  Is this fair to the citizen’s of Detroit to have this kind of standoff going on in their city’s governing body?  I wonder how long of a process this will take, to get a decision that is definate in whether he will be allowed to stay or forced out of office. 

          Some of the allegations are downright embarassing.  His wife appears to be still standing behind him.  After all, if the texts truly represent that he had an ongoing relationship with his female former chief of staff…that is damaging to a marriage and will take some major time and energy to repair (if the people involved are truly repentent for their actions…which doesn’t appear to be the case based on this ongoing legal defiance). 

           Then you get into the legal stuff and it would seem that his professional hands would be bound so tight that he would not be able to perform his duties as Mayor.   Is he in denial about the situation; or, is it just a delaying technique?  If he is going to end up removed…who is paying for all of this legal wrangling…are our tax dollars going into this legal battle?  Is there such a thing as being sued for political malpractice?  If so, this situation seems to invite such a suit.  Do you think Mayor Kilpatrick should stay or go?

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         With all of the hype in the news; many taxpayers expected to be at least $600 dollars richer this past week.  Even though the government sent out the direct deposit payments ahead of schedule…some people are asking Uncle Sam…where is my money…show me the money!

           There may be a few explanations about the delay for why some people have not received their stimulus checks.  If you had to pay in taxes…you won’t be getting your check right away…your check will come later in the summer.  If you owe back child support or student loans…your stimulus rebate check will be reduced by the amount you owe!   Ouch, that hurts!   If you filed a RAL or Refund Anticipation Loan, then your stimulus rebate check will be mailed to you, instead of direct deposit.

          Sad but true, some people went out and spent their money before they even got it…thinking, it would just be there in their account when they needed it.  Never, ever, ever make that mistake…don’t ya know…things happen?  

          I know, I know…everyone is doing their very best to tempt you to spend what you got coming, at their place of business.   All i am saying is…don’t spend a penny until you have that check in your hot little hands…no matter how much you want to!  It could get ugly; some people are frustrated, it is just going to take a little time.

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      Great news…those tax incentive rebate checks that the government is promising will be on their way in a matter of days, to those who requested direct deposit.   For others…it will be here by the middle of summer.   Isn’t that great?  

       Curiously, while the announcement that the checks were going out a week ahead of schedule was being announced in the media; the news was plastered with the bad news that rice sales are being limited, by some chain stores, due to rising costs; as well as, fear of food hoarding.   Other troubling financial concerns are highlighted on the evening news at a frightening rate.

        The gasoline prices keep increasing.  Farmers are in distress because of the cost to produce our nation’s food supply.  Grocery shopping is becoming a lesson in financial management.  Heating our homes is equal, for some families, to planning a major household purchase.  Homes are being foreclosed on in record numbers; and now, the latest news is that even rental homes are being foreclosed on causing more homelessness.  Food banks can’t stay stocked in basic necessities; charities are in need themselves.  People are dying for lack of medical insurance to cover their physical well-being. 

          Is this country trying to recreate the Great Depression?   Where is Franklin Delano Roosevelt when we need him?   Our national economy is taking a nose dive.  Corporations are moving outside of our country’s borders.  Layoffs are at an all-time high.  Schools can’t get enough funding to keep quality teachers and tools.  School violence is making education a joke; our future leaders are not going to be competitive with other nation’s leaders if these trends continue.  The children in our country are filled with hoplessness.   All around our country, the morale is beyond the typical hysterical feeling one achieves when riding a roller coaster. 

           Does anyone seriously think that these $300.00-$600.00 checks are going to ignite tax payers to run out and make purchases to stimulate our economy?  No way, people are going to use that money (for the most part) to survive!  I love what I read on one online forum….the writer said something to the effect of, “Yippeee…that is three tanks of gasoline for me!!!”   Sad isn’t it?  A van or large truck can take up to $100.00 to fill.  Some people still have not received their checks…here is a number you can call to check on the status of your rebate check if you have not yet received it:  I don’t work for the IRS so i wouldn’t know about when someone would be receiving their rebate; however, here is a toll free phone number to check on the status of someone’s rebate and whether they will be receiving one or not. 1-866-234-2942 Good luck to you.

  Let’s at least be honest here…that money will come in handy…but, if anyone expects it to change the economy’s health…they are fooling themselves.  So…really, what are you going to do with your check?  

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         Yesterday, Wesley Snipes was sentenced for 3 years for tax fraud; for not filing his tax returns for approximately three years.  Wow, they are really making an example of him.  I am sure…Joe Smoe will think twice about it if they are tempted not to file; or, not to pay when they owe taxes.   This conviction will have a huge IMPACT on those tempted not to pay.   No-one wants to, willingly, go through this kind of trauma, if they can avoid it…unless they got screws loose.

         On the radio this morning, i heard that Mr. Snipes allegedly paid the court 5 million dollars in back taxes….with something like 30 million, or so to go!  Wowee, how many zillions of dollars does a person have to make to OWE that kind of money in taxes and penalties?  I, for one, don’t want to ever be in that position.  Maybe it isn’t so bad being a middle class Joe Smoe!  🙂 

         I am sure that Mr. Snipes’ lawyers will appeal this sentence; but, more than likely, that will only delay the event.  There was plenty of star power personal references presented to the court, attesting to Mr. Snipes character…but, it didn’t seem to make a difference.  The government is going to hold up this conviction so that the public will pay close attention to the consequences.

        I feel badly for Mr. Snipe’s family.  The stress of paying that kind of money plus, worry over their loved one going to prison has to be overwhelming.  If Mr. Snipes was a victim of poor tax advice…that is bad enough.  However, if he choose to put himself in this position, rebelling against having to part with his money…then the sentence is deserved.   It was alleged, in court, that he not only willfully was rebelling, he was hiding money overseas and through friends and family.  Understand that the prosecution presented evidence that this was not just a whim or a mistake…they alledged that this went on for a decade.  In that case, three years of prison time, should allow for enough time to reflect on the error of his ways.

          None of us have the ability to read his mind and determine his actions; thankfully, that responsibility was up to the judge and jury.  If nothing else, this conviction just reinforces the old saying…there is nothing sure about life, except death and taxes!!!

         

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         I was reading a news story today about a disturbing situation in South Carolina; two videos surfaced that showed officers chasing suspects with their police cars and “bumping them”  in two seperate incidents.  What about safety?

        The officers were white, the news report stated; and the suspects black.  Now, personally, i don’t think that ANY police officer white or black  should be “bumping” any suspect, white or black!  Yes, i understand that the “suspects” are exactly that…”suspected criminals” . 

        However, when they are suspects…they haven’t yet, been convicted of anything…and also, i feel that it is dangerous for the suspects, the officers, as well as the general public to be chasing and “bumping” people. 

           Obviously, what happens if the suspect gets rolled under the vehicle and gets serious hurt or killed?  Then, the suspect is not only injured or killed, but, the officer will have to go through an investigation; it will cause him or her, to possibly not only loose their job; but, also could send them to prison for manslaughter.  

            The situation could allow whatever community the officer represents to be rightfully sued, costing tax payers not only money; but, also fan the flames of another huge racial conflict.  We need to work on identifying and healing racial divisions not  creating new reasons to deepen the wounds in our communities.

          No, i just think it is wrong to allow these types of situations to occur without challenging them legally.  Yes, if someone is doing something illegal they deserve to, not only be arrested; but, also convicted.  

           The two officers who are on the video tapes have set an awful precedent by “bumping” their suspects.  Not to mention, at least one other incident of another officer, in a different situation allegedly shouting out racial slurs about a suspect in South Carolina.  This is definately something that should never be allowed. 

           Human beings are to be treated with respect by people we entrust to represent us in law enforcement.  The federal investigation that could come out of this situation is needed; not only in one state, but in all 50 states and we need to set a standard in how things are to be handled.

        I respect officers and most of them do a wonderful job; they have a passion and a commitment to uphold the law.  They have very difficult jobs.  We need to recognize the good officers and hold them up as an example to follow.  Upright and honest citizens can help officers to do their jobs better by setting standards that weed out the officers that abuse their power.  

            Officers are out there every day risking their lives to uphold the law; and truthfully, often they see the worst our nation has to offer in regards to human behavior.   It must be difficult to keep a positive view point of humanity when you constantly see the horrible things that people do to one another. 

           Lift up and encourage officers that you know in your neighborhood, your family, your churches, your schools, and even on the street corners.  It is one of those jobs that gets very few thank yous.  I am sure that they dis-like the bad officers as much as we do because it makes their jobs more difficult.

             We need to teach our children once again to respect authority in the home, in our schools, and in our communities and in law enforcement.  To  accomplish this, we must act responcibly and respectfully even when dealing with the criminal elements in our society.  We want our children to respect officers, not fear them. 

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