Archive for February 28, 2014

How General Electric Dodges Taxes

General Electric doesn’t pay taxes.  If you were steamed by my posting about the NFL being classified as a non-profit and not paying their taxes, this should rile you up, as well.

The corporate giant GE has been taking advantage of “active financing,” a big tax loophole that lets them put off paying their taxes until…forever.  In fact, they haven’t paid any federal taxes for the past four years.  Because that loophole expired recently, you’d think they’d finally pay up and keep paying their fair share.  Not if Senate Minority Leader Mitch MConnell has his way.  He wants the active financing loophole renewed, and he doesn’t think that any of the so-far lost taxes should be recovered.

I’ve signed the petition at Credo’s website, asking that the “active financing” loophole be closed.  If the situation bothers you, go there and sign the petition yourself.



Don’t Talk About Your Religion…Unless

Cory Booker is spot-on in what he says in this Thoughtful Thursday quote: 

Expendable Dolphins and Whales

My husband, who served two tours as a submarine sailor, fondly talks about his experiences with dolphins at sea: escorting the sub back into port and playfully doing jumps across the sub’s bow.  We read stories about dolphins saving human lives, protecting them and leading people out of danger.  I often wonder if these peaceful animals don’t have an ocean-full of lessons to teach us humans.

But we’re putting dolphins, whales, and fish in danger so we can easily search for new gas and oil deposits in the Atlantic. We blast areas with super-noisy air guns to get at deposits that are estimated to yield far less (some say nine times) than reserves off the coast of Alaska. These seismic blasts, 100,000 times more intense than a jet engine, can cause death and injury to those creatures.  Meanwhile, the Navy’s use of sonar and explosives may, according to their own estimates, kill more than 200 marine mammals a year.

What the &%@#! are we doing?!  Surely the great minds in government and science can find a better, non-harmful, less selfish way to co-exist on our planet.


This New Virus Scares Me

Polio-like symptoms in California (and Asian and Australian) children…that’s scary, for two reasons.

First, as a polio survivor, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  I’ve had a good life but with a good dollop of struggles.  I’m not complaining, just saying that I wish all children to be healthy and free of pain and encumbrances to their daily lives.

Second, I fear for another type of virus that will likely spread–the virus of misinformation.  I can foresee parents learning that all of these California kids had been immunized against polio, then, as often happens, making the illogical leap to say that the immunization caused the disease. From there they’ll refuse to immunize their next child and convince other parents to do the same.  Soon polio (which isn’t really wiped off the face of the Earth) has returned full force, in epidemic form.  Impossible? I wish it were.

That’s why I’m frightened.



Hotels for the Homeless?!

The City of San Jose, CA is planning to house as many of its homeless as they can in local hotel/motel rooms, and some people are furious!  Why waste money on these people who prefer to live on the streets and are too lazy or drunk to get a job?

It would be a waste of money–if that stereotype were true.  However, many men, women, and children became homeless during the recession when they were laid off from their jobs and could no longer afford their mortgage or rent.  Many women (yes, and their children) discovered that their divorce settlement left them with no funds and that their main job as stay-at-home mom (which, often, was what hubby wanted) paid nothing and made them look like they had nothing to offer to companies who were hiring.  A good portion are veterans who, when coming home from the battlefield, had illnesses (mental and physical) that kept them from earning a living that would house and feed them.  So, let’s set aside the faulty stereotype of the “typical” homeless person.

On the financial side, taxpayers should save some money: in emergency room visits for people who have become ill or hurt on the streets; from police who spend time rounding up homeless; from crews who clean up homeless encampments, only to return in a few months to do it all over again; in aid given to charities to help the homeless. Then there’s the gain in taxes once these people get jobs and back on their feet, which can happen only after they have safe, healthy shelter.  And don’t forget the hotel/motel owners, with all the rooms that have been standing empty–more income for them means more tax money in the coffers.

Then there’s the fact that these people are part of our human family and, as such, deserve our efforts to help them help themselves.

Sounds like a reasonable deal to me.



Flush for our Planet

Do you need a new toilet?  Consider the new dual-flush type.  Half the water is used to get rid of the easy stuff, while a full flush sends the rest on its merry way.  Conserving water in the toilet will go a long way toward surviving the drought if you live in the Western part of the U.S. Elsewhere in the U.S.–it’s just the right thing to do for our planet.

Leaf 6


[For more easy, money-saving, Eco-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to view/7000, choose a format, and download to your computer or e-book device. Or download a free copy from your favorite e-tailer.]


Cost an Arm and a Leg—Fault of Artists

With so much bad stuff going on in the news, from possible corruption in Olympic skating judging to Ukrainian politics and rioting to the ever-present Justin Bieber (will he please go away?!), I thought a diversion was in order for today’s posting.  Therefore, I give you…the history behind the old American saying “It will cost an arm and a leg.

Blame it on the artists.  When it was time to do a likeness of George Washington, it had to be painted or sculpted because there were no cameras back then.  No problem.  Bring in an artist.  Then negotiate a fee.  Such a fee was determined not by, say, the number of people to be painted but by how many arms and legs would be included, because they’re harder to paint.  That’s why the Father of Our Country was depicted as sometimes with an arm held behind him, his lower half hidden behind a desk, or showing both arms and legs, depending on how much was in the budget.  When a fuller portrait was desired, the artist would say, “Okay, but it will cost you an arm and a leg.”
Flexed ArmKnee



Do I Use Rain or Thunder?

I’ll remember this Thoughtful Thursday tidbit in the future when my anger boils up.



Great Heart-Rescue Video

We never know when we’ll be in this situation, when we see someone suffering a heart attack.  Until I saw this video, the  AED was a mysterious machine that I wouldn’t even try to use.  Take a few minutes to view this informative video.



Spanking is Good and Should Hurt

Spank that misbehaving kid 10 times, and be sure to leave some bruising and redness.  That’s what would be allowed under a proposed Kansas  House bill if it passes.  Its author says it would restore children’s respect for authority and the rights of parents who currently can spank their children as long as they don’t leave any marks.  It would apply to teachers, as well as any caregivers.

It doesn’t matter that research has shown that time out is more effective than spanking, or that it would still be illegal to use fists or belt on a child, or that 30 other states ban spanking altogether.  Personally, I subscribe to the theory that violence begets violence–that spanking or hitting a child teaches him or her that violence is appropriate.  I think there’s enough violence in the world without laws that perpetuate it.