Showing posts from April, 2011

Amazon tells South Carolina to Go Pound Sand

I usually have a well formed opinion about just about everything, but this one vexes me.

This week, the South Carolina legislature voted to not allow a sales tax exemption to Amazon for Internet sales to South Carolina residents. Amazon promptly halted construction on their 500,000 sq. ft. facility already in progress and removed the hiring notices from their web site.

Yes, there are states that have no sales tax, but have income tax. And some states have no income tax, but have a high sales tax. As much as most of us hate taxes (well, at least we all hate paying taxes), the states have to make money somehow.

I am actually pro-FAIR Tax, where we all pay a consumption tax of 20-something percent but have no corporate or personal income tax liability. This way, we all pay our "fair" share. If we purchase $10k per year our tax is $2500 dollars. If we purchase $1Million per year, our tax is $250K The more you make (and spend) the more you pay taxes. If you don't spend it (a…

The Case for Trump

"Here a Trump, there a Trump, everywhere a Trump Trump."

I feel like singing that "Old MacDonald" tune. Donald Trump is everywhere these days. He is even back on Doonesbury.

Sunday, I was sitting in an airport waiting for my flight with the ubiquitous CNN on all the screens and Candy Crowley was interviewing "The Donald" for the umpteenth time. Fortunately, he was not being drawn into the birther discussion. Rather, he was talking about Aretha Franklin's favorite subject: R.E.S.P.E.C.T., and how the US gets none.

This morning I was thinking about Trump and why he is picking up so much interest. His detractors say that he is just upping his brand and promoting his TV show. This weak argument is like saying that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt do their thing to up their brand so that people will watch their movies. Nah. Don't think so. Then it hit me, like a two ton heavy thing: It's just business.

Mr. Trump claims that he could negotiate with the …

The Great CFL Lie

Turned on the light in the bathroom and one of the two bulbs in recessed fixtures was out. Both are CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps). I reached up and unscrewed the unlit lamp. On it, written in Sharpie, is "8/19/2009 5yr fm GE".

Well, it went out on 4/07/2011, so we didn't even make it to year two. I noticed this tendancy, so several years ago I started writing the in-service date on all CFLs that we use. I have found that none of them last very long and the ALL tout their long life as part of their ROI (return on investment)

Will I send this off to GE and fight them to get a coupon for a new bulb? Probably not. My time is more valuable than that. But hopefully this blog post will put light onto the lie.

You save energy but waste money.

(Hmmmm. If this tendancy is true, then maybe I CAN sell solar panels.)

Open letter to the Republicans and Rep. Paul Ryan

Open letter to Rep. Paul Ryan and the House Republicans


There, I said it. If you want to have even a shred of dignity and a snowball's chance of getting your much-needed budget-cutting ideas through the House, the Senate and then signed by the President, you need to remove the most egregious and hypocritical-appearing part of our current spending regimen.

Is there some good done by corporate welfare, AKA "Targeted Tax Policy"? Sure. Every tax law (except some by Barney Frank, Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel) started out as a sincere attempt to cause something beneficial to happen. Same with welfare and entitlements. But as so often occurs, the Law of Unintended Consequences trumps all other laws and no good deed goes unpunished.

If the Federal Government wants to cause things to happen, why don't we come up with a better way than bribing corporate entities or people by allowing them to keep more of their own money if they do what you want them…

Electrical work: an antique profession.

I am pretty handy. I can do plumbing, light carpentry, lay carpet glue-based tiles, repair walls and then paint them, put up crown molding with mitre joints and do just about anything around the house that needs fixing. I can also do electrical work.

I understand electricity, wire gauge, amperage, breaker sizes, GFI and how to choose the right size of wire nut. Having said all of that, I really don't like doing electrical work. As a computer professional, I feel a little hypocritical by doing this work myself instead of hiring someone to do it, but in reality, the way I plan/do my jobs, I could never get a realistic up-front bid. Plus... if I can do it myself, I do it. (I do make an exception for yard work, though.)

Today I was in my detached garage which is probably 40-50 years old. I needed to hook up a quartz light that I had mounted above the driveway about 10 years ago, plus I needed to run an outlet for my old refrigerator that we moved into the garage, so that I didn't …