Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: January 2016


We think of seasons as changes in the weather according to the earth, sun and moon positions as the earth rotates. Election season is a bit different. The election season brings some of the same elements as the natural seasons in that there is light, dark ,warm ,cold and many things in between. We have many people jockeying for the position of candidate of one party or another. Since we don’t or can’t remember the last election season, here are some tips to help: all of aspirants have skeletons in their closets, dirt under their beds and made poor choices at some point. This just shows that they are human. The key is how honest are they? Honesty is measured by their ability to recognize and correct or own their mistakes. Consider their prior lives before it became public, what did they accomplish or try to accomplish? What about their finances , are they above board or as normal as yours? Some of the issues that come out as “dirt” is not as bad as it is made out to be but out of context they seem awful. Your Aunt Minnie’s underwear on the clothesline was just as shocking in her day! To get through the election season just look at the debates if you want but understand that debates are like trials, you have proof and you have conjecture. Unfortunately conjecture often sounds better than the truth. Debates and political speeches have more conjecture than truth as conjecture sells and the truth is dull. We seem to relish the idea of a verbal fight but often miss the messages of those verbal battles and there is a problem. What is said to great applause is usually not a viable solution to anything until it completely laid out and even then sometimes marginal at best. It is good to remember running for office and running an office are as different as night and day. Where we (voters) need to be mentally is that what’s openly said is not necessarily what is intended.

Please Donate

Please Donate


The recent movements specifically called “Black Lives Matter” has apparently not resonated in Springfield, Illinois. The Springfield Urban league has systematically reduced and removed staffing to the barest minimum seemingly in the hope of breaking the back of a duly elected Union. The overall effect has been Black on Black crime as Head Start program in Springfield is predominantly African American. This unfortunate circumstance has affected the Non African American  clients of the Head Start programs  and are recipients of this less than stellar administration as well. The overall enrollment has dropped due to poor decisions by an administration. There is no route to management that allows ground force managers to work effectively for improvement without hands on from upper management who have idea of the real workings of the programs and appear to be against knowing or wanting to know. The Urban League is a National Organization whose purpose is to serve the people and in Springfield that service has become no more than a “buzz word”.

Please Donate

Please Donate


Just a little laugh- The Dupublican pundits ( Rush, Ann & Charles) have pounded Governor Nikki Haley for her reasonable rebuttal to the State of the Union address, just shows how irrational the Dupublicans and their backers are and have no good plans for us all. Stay independent. My political leanings: I have no particular attachment to the Scamocrats or Dupublicans as they both have failings that have and can hurt us.  The party’s themselves have great aspirations but their members do not. If they (the party’s) had our best interests in mind then why gave we not made more progress at home in Race relations, earning parity and true cohesiveness as a nation?  In writing I look to point out what I see with as much information and introspection as I can . The real power here is with the voters but to vote correctly requires carefully listening and reading as the media just shows a portion of the real story while the truth lies elsewhere.  We  view the debates as a  way to make decisions  and in  my  opinion  these debates are no more than schoolyard fights televised for entertainment. The pundits who so readily weigh in on all things political are out to sell themselves and their publications while often obscuring the truth with their blankets of innuendo and half truths. A recent conversation with one of the Koch brothers points out that he is not a big fan of either party but he is a Conservative and leans towards the Dupublican agenda  (the overall party line). That being said some mad lib pundits do no service to the Dupublican party or anyone else for that matter.

Please Donate

Please Donate


Now that the Federal court in Texas has cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing in the “selling” of fetal tissue and indicted the “secret videographers”, the clamor has not dies down (see Blue line at the end of this post). It appears that modern politics has fallen to the depths of “yellow” journalism and outright lies. Do you suppose people in Texas will change their minds about Planned Parenthood and the valuable work they do? Probably not. The astounding thing about people is, once a seed of information  (or misinformation) is planted in the fertile soils of their bias, it is really hard to alter the thought output. As a thought, is wrong to think that people can ( or should) accept  an issue that or service that has value in spite of their personal beliefs?

 

Planned Parenthood cleared by Texas jury over videos, activists indicted

By Jon Herskovitz

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A Texas grand jury has indicted two anti-abortion activists in a case involving covert videos on fetal tissue procurement talks with Planned Parenthood and found there was no wrongdoing on the part of the health group, a district attorney said on Monday.

The grand jury decision was a result of a probe launched last year under Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, who accused Planned Parenthood of the “gruesome harvesting of baby body parts.” No evidence was provided by Texas to back the claim.

The videos released last summer led Texas and several other Republican-controlled states to try to halt funding for local Planned Parenthood operations.

“After a lengthy and thorough investigation by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Rangers, and the Houston Police Department, a Harris County grand jury took no action Monday against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast,” the Harris County District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

Planned Parenthood has denied the accusation and called the probe politically motivated.

David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt have been indicted by the grand jury for tampering with a governmental record, said prosecutors for the county in which Houston is located.

The two were involved in covert videos last year in which a discussion was held with a Planned Parenthood official on the procurement of fetal tissue.

Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress that released the videos, was also charged with violating a prohibition on the purchase and sale of human organs, a misdemeanor, the Harris County District Attorney said.

The videos purported to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to negotiate prices for aborted fetal tissue. Under federal law, donated human fetal tissue may be used for research, but profiting from its sale is prohibited.

Shortly after the release, Texas, the most populous Republican-controlled U.S. state, said it would launch a probe of Planned Parenthood.

“These people broke the law to spread malicious lies about Planned Parenthood in order to advance their extreme anti-abortion political agenda,” said Eric Ferrero, vice president of Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“As the dust settles and the truth comes out, it’s become totally clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the criminals behind this fraud, and we’re glad they’re being held accountable,” he said.

The Texas governor said: “Nothing about today’s announcement in Harris County impacts the state’s ongoing investigation.”

In October, Texas raided several Planned Parenthood facilities in the state.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Matthew Lewis, Bernard Orr

Please Donate

Please Donate


Where we have been and where we are going are questions that need answers. Getting the answers requires conversations and reading. Each of us has an opinion on many things according to our personal beliefs, backgrounds and experience yet we still form opinions based on someone else’s view even if that view is off-center of our own. The current political arena has many of us  forming opinions based more in innuendo and misinformation than fact. I have heard and still hear views that are so outrageous as to be scary. If a larger portion of people actually followed the extremes , we could quickly descend into the black hole of anarchy creating a  wasteland. Example the recent accord with Iran has met so much pushback from people who do not see or want to see the bigger picture. For instance the uproar over the current Iran Nuclear deal-enter the previous Reagan Russia nuclear deal with “evil empire”. This rehash is no more than Obama bashing which serves no purpose other than gaining points for  talking and crowd pleasing. Looking at the minimum wage, it has proposed to raise it to $15.00 per hour, what will be gained is a higher base wage which will result in higher spending (possibly) but the offset is some higher prices in consumer goods, higher tax brackets with tax deduction offsets and a certain amount of growth in durable goods. Overall the economy will pickup because of increased spending and if we (the people) are smart we will save more and become smarter financially. With all of this we still need to pay attention to who we elect with the thought in mind that we will have to live with our choices for 2 to 4 years at a time. We will still have the opportunity to replace those we elect with others who we hope will do better. The thing to keep in mind is whoever is the President will have the opportunity to select Supreme court Judges who are in office for life and that a have a longer lasting effect than anyone we elect. So we need to be as informed as we can be but not according any specific ideology or political theme. Information is gained by listening and reading everything available with a rational mind. How do we accomplish this state of mind. Think about the difference between being religious and being spiritual, once you figure that out for yourself, you will have the answer.

Please Donate

Please Donate

 


This election season has brought several tax reform speeches from candidates but many of outside the accounting world understand what they are talking about and some omissions of details cause the raising of hackles and railing against  taxes. Just remember that without taxes this country or any others could not function. If the government were to access each of us our fair share for the amount needed to run the country, would it be more or less than the existing taxing system? We would be better served understanding the tax brackets and then looking at anything that “reform” the tax code so that it works better and  pressuring our Congress to make rational (reasonable) reforms. These reforms should consider the many European countries whose taxing system allows for free (mostly) education K-through college. If this works in smaller countries (by size and population) then why can’t the USA, being one of (if not the) the wealthiest countries in the world? The consideration is that we have people speaking for us (and we allow it) but using buzzwords and sound bites that will not stand close scrutiny. The information below is not a complete explanation but it will allow you to see what the taxing standards are.These figires provided by Credit.Com.

How Many Tax Brackets Are There?

How Tax Brackets Work

How much you pay in federal income taxes depends on how much you make, whether you are married or single and whether you are head of household.

There are seven major tax brackets – 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% 35% and 39.6% — and there are separate sets of brackets for single tax filers, married tax filers who file jointly, married tax filers who file separately and tax filers who are single and file as head of household.

You will find tax brackets for 2014 and 2015 below.

Let’s say you are single and had $30,000 of taxable income in 2014, after your deductions.

For the first $9,075, you are in the 10% tax bracket and would pay $907.50, a 10% tax on this portion of your taxable income.

For the remainder of your taxable income, $20,925, you would fall into the 15% tax bracket ($9,076 to $36,900)
 and you would pay $3,138.75, a 15% tax on this portion of your taxable income.

This holds true for the other tax brackets as well. So you only pay the higher tax rates on the portion of your income that falls into that particular tax bracket. And you pay the lower rates associated with the lower tax brackets for those sections of your taxable income.

Am I the Head of Household?

To file as head of household, you must meet certain requirements.

You must be single on the last day of 2014

You have to have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for a year.

A qualifying person, such as a child, stepchild or foster child, has lived with you in your home for more than half a year.

If you are divorced by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and if you had a child live with you for more than half a year, you may be able to file your taxes as head of household.

If you do, your tax rate will usually be lower than the tax rate for a single filer or if you are married and filing separately.

I’m Married. Should We File Jointly?

When you file a joint tax return with your spouse, you report your combined income, deductions and exemptions. Both you and your spouse are held responsible for the payment of the taxes that you owe.

So with a joint return, if your spouse fails to pay his or her share of the taxes due, you may be required to.

If you don’t wish to be held responsible for any taxes due if a spouse fails to pay, you may wish to file your taxes separately. For tax year 2014, there are seven major tax brackets –10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35% and 39.6% — and how much you pay in taxes depends on your income and whether you are single, married or the head of your own household.

Which Tax Bracket Are You In?

For single filers, the 2014 tax brackets are:

10% – up to $9,075

15% – $9,075 to $36,900

25% – $36,901 to $89,350

28% – $89,351 to $186,350

33% – $186,351 to $405,100

35% – $405,101 to $406,750

39.6% – more than $406,751

For married couples who file their taxes jointly, the 2014 tax brackets are:

10% – up to $18,150

15% – $18,151 to $73,800

25% – $73,801 to $148,850

28% – $148,851 to $226,850

33% – $226,851 to $405,100

35% – $405,101 to $457,600

39.6% – more than $457,601

For married couples who choose to file their taxes separately, the 2014 tax brackets are:

10% – up to $9,075

15% – $9,076 to $36,900

25% – $36,901 to $74,425

28% – $74,426 to $113,425

33% – $113,426 to $202,550

35% – $202,551 to $228,800

39.6% – more than $228,801

If you were single and the head of your household at the end of the year, your 2014 tax brackets are:

10% – up to $12,950

15% – $12,951 to $49,400

25% – $49,401 to $127,550

28% – $127,551 to $206,600

33% – $206,601 to $405,100

35% – $405,101 to $432,200

39.6% – more than $432,201

The Tax Year 2015 Brackets

For single filers, the 2015 tax brackets are:

10% – up to $9,2255

15% – $9,226 to $37,450

25% – $37,451 to $90,750

28% – $90,751 to $189,300

33% – $189,301 to $411,500

35% – $411,501 to $413,200

39.6% – more than $413,201

For married couples who file their taxes jointly, the 2015 tax brackets are:

10% – up to $18,450

15% – $18,451 to $74,900

25% – $74,901 to $151,200

28% – $151,201 to $230,450

33% – $230,451 to $411,500

35% – $411,501 to $464,850

39.6% – more than $464,851

For married couples who choose to file their taxes separately, the 2015 tax brackets are:

10% – up to $9,225

15% – $9,226 to $37,450

25% – $37,451 to $75,600

28% – $75,601 to $115,225

33% – $115,226 to $205,750

35% – $205,751 to $232,425

39.6% – more than $232,426

If you were single and the head of your household at the end of the year, your 2015 tax brackets are:

10% – up to $13,150

15% – $13,151 to $50,200

25% – $50,201 to $129,600

28% – $129,601 to $209,850

33% – $209,851 to $411,500

35% – $411,501 to $439,000

39.6% – more than $439,001

Please Donate

Please Donate

 


This in from Huffington Post:

 

We Obtained Sarah Palin’s Notes From Her Trump Endorsement Speech

“SQUIRMISH!”

01/20/2016 03:57 pm ET

On Tuesday, the question that had been keeping you up all hours of the night — “Who is Sarah Palin endorsing for president?” — was finally answered.

Palin appeared alongside with — drum roooooollllllllll — Donald Trump to officially endorse the business-man-turned-reality-star-turned-waster-of-precious-oxygen for president.

Her speech was groundbreaking in that it was clearly the first she’d ever written. We got hold of her speech notes so that you could see how it all came together as it journeyed from brain, to paper, and then on the tiresome trek back up to her brain. See for yourself:

HuffPost Comedy

Please Donate

Please Donate

 


 

Sarah Palin has joined forces with Donald Trump to help in the effort to confuse, confound and anger the public . Sarah is now blaming her son’s arrest  on PTSD and the President. Here is a person who said the president was weak in his handling of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when The President was trying to get the troops out of those wars. Now her son is in trouble with the law, she is blaming someone else. It is highly possible that her son has PTSD but what does the President have to do with it and why would the President single out her child? Is it possible , given the historic issues of her family that there is or was a previous undiagnosed issue? With all of the rhetoric in a presidential campaign, do we need another voice pouring out innuendo , speculation and outright lies? If the innuendo, lies and speculation had physical shapes we would possibly have a greater threat than global warming.
Please Donate

Please Donate

 


Either way the State of Illinois is preparing for some serious stoppage. The Gubernor apparently has no qualms in definitively crushing Unions by reducing services to the entire State population including the most vulnerable. I think there is fault on both sides but the refusal to negotiate at all on the Governors side except on his terms is not leading us in a good direction. The anger and vitriolic speeches, sound bites and buzzwords are not the same as honest negotiations. If the voters are smart , election time will tell the story. In politics the campaign speeches and declarations are no more than ways to get votes. When elected the reality kicks in and those high sounding words become an Albatross. Right now the Albatross(s) weigh heavy on the states residents and not the elected seat fillers. I do not imagine any of our elected officials or their immediate families and associates are suffering any inconvenience in this situation. Point being we need to be careful who we vote for in the future as we have been persuaded  more by “correct sounding” words than facts. Fact is that anyone who spends  obscene amounts of cash to win an office  that pays so little is not a great choice for our welfare. Where did the idea of spending millions of dollars to get a thousand dollar job start?

Please Donate

Please Donate

 


Beware of “Dave”! There are folks calling and telling people that they are “windows Technicians”, windows and Microsoft (along with other companies do not call people about computer problems, they will typically send a mailed notice or announce over the airwaves, post a statement in the news media. If you get a call from someone with a foreign accent and an American name purporting to be from Windows, just hang up. You should just be aware of any unsolicited calls of this kind, especially if you do not recognize the number or if it’s unknown. Rule to follow just don’t answer or hang up immediately. I use a funny but pointed message which usually ends the call quickly. After ” Dave” several days later I receive another call from a caller with a distinct Asian (Indian) accent trying to sell me a new Dell computer. The message stated as ambiguous as possible that I could trade my old unit in for a new one with 1 terabyte of RAM and a 1 terabyte hard drive all for only $250.00 down, when I asked for clarification, there was no trade in so I did the usual and hung up. The phone rang again from the same phone number and I let it go to the answering machine, there was no message left. I fully expect this call will come again at some point. For you few readers listen carefully – if you dare to answer your phone from unrecognized phone numbers or names. I attempted to contact Dell to make them aware of this scam but could not find a link within their system to pass it on (they were too busy trying to sell something, not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Please Donate

Please Donate

%d bloggers like this: