Friday, April 15, 2005

Yet another reason to SIMPLIFY THE TAX CODE

People scurrying to meet tonight's tax deadline might consider this: It's taking you and your fellow Americans 6.6 billion hours to do all that paperwork. The basic tax return - the Form 1040 filed by most people every year - accounts for 1.6 billion hours.

The Internal Revenue Service furnished those statistics to the White House budget office, which keeps tabs on the government's bureaucratic demands. The budget office notes that tax work "towers over the entire paperwork burden for the rest of the federal government" and accounts for some 80 percent.

"If anything, those numbers are probably understated," said David Keating, president of the National Taxpayers Union, which reports annually on the increasing complexity and demands of tax returns.

"A lot more of the cost is just planning to do the tax-smart thing. That can actually take a lot more time than reporting what you've done," he said.

So at least it isn't a hassle. If only Steve Forbes' flat tax postcard came in the mail this year instead. Hell a guy can dream.

Gas Tax Outrage

No one would accept an automatic tax increase for any other purpose or at any other level. School taxes go up, but school board members vote for that increase, and voters can decide to boot them out at the next election. The same applies to municipal officials.

I tend to agree, however I was out of town during the Annual Milwaukee April Fools Joke so I don't know how big a stink our radio commentators made, but it does seem that most politicians have been relatively silent about an issue that the masses would back: repeal the auto increase. It seems so simple to me.

XM Radio

Freaking awesome, that's all I have to say, it's freaking awesome. I work in a cookie cutter office building and it comes in perfect.

Every baseball game, every NASCAR race, tons of talk, ESPNNews broadcast (that means 5 oclock PTI!!) just incredible.

I got the Delphi MyFi with XM2Go, simply perfect.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Finally, the UN comes to its senses

How I missed this story yesterday I have no idea. It seems that the UN, being such a powerful and potent organization, has decided to make it illegal for terrorists to possess/threaten to use nuclear weapons.

The U.N. General Assembly approved a global treaty Wednesday aimed at
preventing nuclear terrorism by making it a crime for would-be terrorists to
possess or threaten to use nuclear weapons or radioactive material.

"By its action today, the General Assembly has shown that it can, when it
has the political will, play an important role in the global fight again
terrorism," U.S. deputy ambassador Stuart Holliday told delegates after the
vote. "The nuclear terrorism convention, when it enters into force, will
strengthen the international legal framework to combat terrorism."

Yes, in much the same way as making it illegal to carry a hand gun in Wisconsin has led to the erradication of hand gun crime and murder. This is so truely absurd. THESE PEOPLE ARE TERRORISTS! Their very existence is illegal, yet the UN thinks making it a crime for them to posess nukes will have some significant and profound effect?

"Well, I was going to nuke Chicago, but now I'll just use a car bomb. And crap, I had better get rid of these nukes before the UN passes a resoultion against me."

Adding teeth to the bill, they committee added this:

The treaty makes it a crime for any person to possess radioactive material
or a radioactive device with the intent to cause death or injury, or damage
property or the environment. It would also be a crime to damage a nuclear

When I ask, was it ever not a crime to damage a nuclear facility? When is it not a crime to damage any property that doesn't belong to you? God I hope Bolton goes in there and beats the living crap out of these brilliant ambassadors.

Firefox PSA

About a week ago we were discussing the Firefox connection and had a few posts about the fantastic browser. While I can't figure out how to get it to work at work, I do use it exclusively at home. Anyway, Lifehacker linked to a really great article in Linux Journal about tweaking and using about:config to make Firefox as amazing as possible.

Basically a must read if you're a Firefox user.

Great Day

Nothing can upset me today, except maybe an Astros win.

The Crew is legit in first, they are #5 in ESPN's power rankings, a jump of almost 20 spots thanks to their quality starting pitching and monster run production.

Jay Mariotti is predicting a Dusty Baker early exit and Wood got absolutely LIT UP yesterday.

I moved my alarm clock into my bathroom, which finally allowed me to get up early and get dialed (work out) before work.

And I finally have a bit of time to blog. Hopefully this lull will continue throughout the day so I can really make up for a few lost weeks. I guess taking off over two weeks to go West, followed by two days to watch the Crew is not incredibly conducive to blogging.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Digital Camera Plunge...Casio Exilim EXZ55

So I took the plune and got myself a digital camera with those tax returns that finally showed up and I have to say I am incredibly please with the results. The thing is beautiful and perfect for my needs. Fit in the pocket of my favorite jeans, huge screen (2.5"!) and 5 megapixels (what do I need more for?)

If anyone is looking for a camera to take to bars and parties, this is it. I am stunned by how great it is. The only drawback is the sub-par video performance, but that wasn't reallyh a big deal in my decision making.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Greatest Holliday of the Year!

Ladies and gentlemen it is 7 am, and I am waking up to the greatest day of the year. In less than an hour I will be at my favorite watering hole where drinks will be free until 11, when we will travel to the Park for the North Ave. cook out (and more free drinks). Around 1 we'll enter the hallowed ground and watch a sacred ritual. Not even the first game of the year at Lambeau are this beloved or looked forward to.

I need to shower and call a cab and get this day started right, go Brewers!!