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    Simplified Explanation Of Income Taxation In The United States March 31st, 2006

    I received the following in an email. Feel free to accept it or reject it, but at least think about it.

    The TAX system Explained IN SIMPLE TERMS!

    Sometimes politicians, journalists and others exclaim; “It’s just a tax cut for the rich!” and it is just accepted to be fact.

    But what does that really mean?

    Just in case you are not completely clear on this issue, I hope the following will help. Please read it carefully. Let’s put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our
    taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that’s what they decided to do.

    The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

    “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20.” Dinner for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to eat their meal.

    So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so:

    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
    The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men
    began to compare their savings.

    “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,” but he got $10!”

    “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than me!”

    “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

    “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for
    being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start eating overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D
    Professor of Economics
    University of Georgia

    Nice story and it may even be true, but Dr. Kamerschen who is a UGA Professor of Economics didn’t write it. Upon a little online investigation via the real author of this piece is actually unknown at this point.

    You never know what you’ll find on the ‘net.

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    Gastric Bypass Surgery Update March 28th, 2006

    I don’t have a huge amount of time to give a detailed update but here’s the straight skinny: I had my second followup with my surgeon and rather than the anticipated 4-8 pound loss, I actually lost 15 more pounds for a grand total of 36 pounds since the surgery back on March 2nd. Good news all around. He was very pleased with my results. More news as it happens. Or soon thereafter.

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    Buck Owens 1929-2006 R.I.P. March 25th, 2006

    Buck Owens
    Buck Owens

    Early today, the great Buck Owens passed away in his home in Bakersfield, California. I, along with millions of other fans, remember him being the co-host of Hee-Haw as well as the originator of “the Bakersfield sound” in country music. He, along with his band “the Buckeroos” had many hits as “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail” and “Act Naturally” in the 1960’s. He had a resurgence in 1988 when he released the song “Streets of Bakersfield” with Dwight Yoakam. He was 76.

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    Second Gastric Bypass Surgery Followup March 24th, 2006

    This is my last weekend of recovery (as ordered by my doctor following the surgery) before I have my second followup and report back to work. It’s going to be strange going back to work because they will have moved into a new building and I will be using new equipment. So basically I will be doing much of the same things as before but with new methods. I’m kind of anxious about that. Excited, but anxious at the same time.

    Anyway Monday morning before I report to work, I have my second followup with my surgeon. He cautioned me not to me overly optimistic on subsequent weight loss following the initial 21-pound loss after only one week. He told me to expect about a 4-8 pound loss but I’ve been ahead of the curve on just about everything else so far so maybe I’ve exceeded that by a couple of pounds. I’ll definitely post the Monday morning results.

    On a related note, my wife and I ran some errands this afternoon (she has Friday’s off teaching this semester) which took about 4 hours. I thought my stamina would be close to 100% but boy was I wrong! By the time we finished with the main errands and were planning on getting dinner, I was completely tuckered out. We were planning on going out to eat together for the first time since the surgery but decided to cancel that. We ended up going through a Zaxby’s drive-thru where she got a chicken club sandwich and I got some mild BBQ wings (and I only ate about half). We went home and watched Dr. Who on the Sci-Fi Network (yeah, I love science fiction and Dr. Who is one of my favorites – it’s funny…when we both were in college and dating each other, we’d watch Dr. Who together and now we’re watching new episodes over 20 years later). Well, I shouldn’t be surprised that I got pooped…my surgeon told me it would wax and wane. I think I’ll ask him Monday when it will stop and become more stable.

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    Marriage: Simpsons Style March 22nd, 2006

    Sometimes a picture just says it all.

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    3 Minute Warning AIN’T Back! March 21st, 2006

    Jamal & Rosey: 3 Minute Warning

    I just found out that Matt Anoai, better known to wrestling fans as Rosey (on the right in the picture above), has been released from his WWE contract as of today. The WWE rehired Jamal a couple of months back and they worked some house shows as “3 Minute Warning” but hadn’t appeared on WWE TV shows together. I was expecting them to work off the ring rust and eventually be brought in on Smackdown but with the announcement of releasing Rosey from his contract, that possibility is moot. I even wrote an optimistic entry about the reuniting of 3 Minute Warning. It really makes no sense to rehire Jamal only to release Rosey a few months later. There’s got to be more to this than has been made public.

    Code Pink Leader: Offering No Real Solutions [Typical] March 21st, 2006

    Code Pink's Medea Benjamin

    I happened to catch portions of The O’Reilly Factor last night. In one segment, O’Reilly had Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin and frankly I have not seen a more clueless individual in a long, long time. She wants to pressure Iran not to make nuclear weapons but refuses to condone sanctions (she says it hurts only the citizenry). However she never offers any specific method of pressure other than to say the international community should pressue Iran. This sort of unintelligent claptrap spewed forth from Benjamin’s mouth the entire segment. O’Reilly actually didn’t interrupt that often I assume to allow her own words to condemn her stance. Wise move. I have heard and read the term “moonbat” and “moonbattery” often on conservative blogs, but frankly Benjamin’s appearance on The O’Reilly Factor seemed to be a prime example of it. The bottom line is that Benjamin had no real answers and no real solutions to any of the problems put forth and as a leader of Code Pink only further proves the organization as a whole offers no real solutions either. Expose The Left has links to the segment.

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    Tagliabue Retiring March 21st, 2006

    Paul Tagliabue

    Paul Tagliabue announced that he will retire this upcoming July. I am afraid this is going to allow Tom Benson to move the Saints to either San Antonio or Los Angeles like he has been implying for a while. Even though Benson has stated he would not move the team on WWL and also the N.O. Times-Picayune, it was heavily rumored that Paul Tagliabue made it clear that he would not allow Benson to move the team. Now with Tagliabue retiring, I can’t see Benson sticking around in New Orleans. I honestly hope I am wrong about this, but more and more signs seem to indicate Benson moving the team. Probably not for the 2006 season, but more likely the 2007 season.

    New Orleans Saints
    San Antonio Saints?

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    Terrell Owens Goes To Cowboys March 20th, 2006

    Terrell Owens is now a Dallas Cowboy. Let’s see how long it takes before the blowhard ticks off teammates and management much less the fan. Actually he’s already got a headstart with the fans. Remember this…?

    Terrell Owens taking a bow on the 50-yardline star at the Dallas Cowboys' home field

    That’s Owens taking a “bow” on the 50-yardline star on the Cowboys’ home field. It got him clobbered by one of the Cowboys players and also a fine by the NFL. I wonder if Cowboy fans have forgotten this. The Cowboys can have the loser for all I care.

    Fullmetal Alchemist Finale March 19th, 2006

    Earlier this evening, Cartoon Network‘s Adult Swim aired the last episode of the anime series “Fullmetal Alchemist.” My wife got me hooked on the series and we purchased the DVD sets that have been released so far. It’s amazing to me how complex Japanese animated series can be and in the case of “Fullmetal Alchemist” just how well written. I’m not new to anime. I first was introduced to anime back when I was a college student in the 1980’s and the earliest anime productions I remember watching were the “Captain Harlock” series and “Vampire Hunter D.” I remember watching those and subsequent others on grainy VHS tapes that were 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation home dubs, some with subtitles some without. It was a new and fascinating thing for me and for a time, I immersed myself in it.

    It’s come a long way now with a cable network devoting several hours a day to anime, theatrical releases of anime movies, DVD’s (with extras) of anime available in most any video store, etc.

    Although I no longer am as interested in anime as I once was, I come across something that does interest me and thanks to my wife, “Fullmetal Alchemist” is one of those. I enjoyed joining the series in mid-stream and enjoyed playing “catch-up” by watching earlier episodes via DVD. So my wife and I watched the final episode of the series earlier this evening. It wrapped up a lot of loose ends and to me was somewhat disappointing. However, my wife said it screamed “sequel” and I agree. Supposedly there is a “Fullmetal Alchemist” movie that has been made, but I have no clue as to whether this will be a sequel or a different story altogether. Either way, I have a feeling my wife and I will go see it when it’s released in this country.

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    The Stagemaster Project March 18th, 2006

    Fender Squier Stagemaster guitar before and after

    Several months ago, December 2005 actually, a blogger using the nick “Crispy” undertook a project of blogging his progress of upgrading an inexpensive guitar he purchased (Fender Squier Stagemaster). This sort of project is something I had contemplated from time to time and was very curious as to how easy or difficult it would be. I decided not only to follow Crispy’s progress personally but include the link to the blog so others might follow along as well.

    Crispy has completed his task and I must say it sounds like the guitar he wound up creating (or rather altering) has exceeded his expectations. This has encouraged me to undertake a similar project someday.

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    St. Patrick’s Day Food March 17th, 2006

    It’s too early due to my surgery, but due to it being St. Patrick’s Day and some cooking segments I caught on TV highlighting it, I’ve been craving some good home-cooked corned beef. I’ll skip the cabbage however.

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    Happy St. Patrick’s Day March 17th, 2006

    Happy St. Patrick's Day

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    Republicans vs. Democrats March 15th, 2006

    The Bullwinkle Blog has a very funny take on a Republican vs. Democrat moment.

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    Feingold…Did Anyone Catch THIS? March 15th, 2006

    Feingold gets the finger
    Feingold Gets “The Finger”

    As you may or may not know, Russ Feingold put forth his censure resolution (S.Res. 398) and uber-libs across the country rejoiced. However the congresscritters knew this was just grandstanding and voted it away. Thanks to “Uncle Jimbo” over at BlackFive, you can see the subtle opinion given by the unknown person circled in red above. Nice.

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