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11 April 2017


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I propose---

Transfer employer all withholding to employees. Make everyone write a check every two weeks.

Make voting day April 16.

Peter AU

Re Syrian gas attack and Orient news.

Orient news is owned by Ghassan Aboud, Born Idlib, based in Dubai.
From wikipedia - Muhammed Ghassan Aboud (Arabic: غسان عبود‎‎; born 1967) is a Dubai based Syrian entrepreneur, philanthropist,[1] and a founding member of the Syrian Business Council.[2] He is mainly known as the founder of Orient Media which runs the largest pro-opposition television, radio, and online media network in Syria

Orient media is part of the Gahssan Aboud Group.

Ghassan Aboud Cars http://aboudcar.com/
Specialises in re-export of new cars. Looking at the website, appears to specialise in by new Toyota's in various countries for re-export to where?

Orient Television http://www.orient-news.net/
Focuses on Syria and other Arab countries though looking at the site, it seems to focus on Syria and the defeat of the Syrian government.

Orient Radio
The blurb - Orient Radio-Station is based on Syrian collective values, and it is particularly concerned with the privacy
of the Syrian diverse culture which is based on mutual respect and preserving civil rights before the law.

This is an interesting one. Orient Humanitarian Services. http://www.orienths.net/
From this page at the Humanitarian Services site ..
http://www.orienths.net/index.php?part=medical Google translate ...
"It expanded the work of "humanitarian Orient" medical relief and projects during the year to create an amazing .. and grown strong and creative ability to lend a helping hand to the Syrians in one of the darkest periods passing by ...
In the medical field Taatua facilities in Turkey and in the Syrian interior, especially in the liberated northern areas that are not subject to the influence of the system, and includes Aladdid of hospitals and the role of hospitalization and outpatient clinics and field hospital"

There is a graphic on the webpage showing location of Aboud hospitals. Mostly in Idlib, one in west Aleppo, one in Homs, one in Hama

The "Foundation" page at the Humanitarian site makes interesting reading

Livepoint Art Production http://gagroup.net/divisions/live-point-art-production/
The blurb - "A new touch in the world of art and TV production where artistic and creative endeavors are offered.
Live Point Art Production brings an ambitious vision of creativity in the field of art and media production in the Middle East.
With our strategically located branches in the UAE, Jordan and Syria, we can provide quality media and production services across the Middle East."

The combination of Live Point Art Production and hospitals makes me think of videos of people in a hospital setting, some dressed as doctors, others wearing white helmets, all looking like they are trying to find something to do.
Generally the scene has bomb damage, damaged medical equipment and very few or no patients.

Ghassan Aboud Group with major financial and perhaps political backing/cover appears to be a front for ..?

Priam's Crazy Daughter

One of the advantages of not being very wealthy is that tax time, while always a little tense, is just something to get over. I have a great accountant. My taxes are filed. As usually, I get a little back from the feds, but also as usual, I have to pay a little to the state.

The opening verses of St. Luke 2, Chapter 2 always come to mind. It's the Christmas story that starts with an explanation of why exactly Christ was born in Bethlehem.

"It came to pass in those days that a decree went out of Caesar Augustus that ALL THE WORLD SHOULD BE TAXED. (My caps)"

With world events now it's a bit interesting in light of current events. The next line is this: "And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of SYRIA."

I wish peace and serenity to all who are dealing with taxes.

Bill Herschel

Saying that the dollar has been debased over the 20th century have to take into account the increase in wages over that period.

Specifically, how long did it take to earn enough money to buy a loaf of bread, a new house, or a new car in 1910 versus 2010?

If wages have kept pace with inflation then the dollar has not been debased.

Do the math. Always. Do the math.


Yes indeed, do the math.

Money is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value. If you need more units of it to buy the same thing at some later date, it has been devalued. Or from the opposite perspective, if the some number of units of money will purchase less of something at a later date, it has been devalued.

Your example compares the standard of living at two points in time. That would be a separate topic.

Thought experiment: Copy a ruler onto a sheet of Shrinky-Dink. Measure something. Heat Shrinky-Dink to 350F. Remeasure. The new measurement will be larger. The item has not changed. The ruler has been devalued...

different clue

Bill Herschel,

If the dollar is worth half as much as it was at past timepoint X, then the dollar has been debased from X to now. So if we are now paid in twice as many dollars of half the value of before, then we are still being paid only as much exchangeable value as before. 2 half-X-dollars is the same worth as 1 X-dollars.

There. I did the math.

And if taxes are based on "number" of dollars earned, paying me twice the number of half-value dollars puts me in a higher bracket, which means more of those dollars are owed. Which means I pay more value-equivalent-taxes than before. This was truer in the past when there were more brackets.

Now . . . if the taxes go to things I approve of, then I feel that what I have lost in "my-own-dollars" I have gained in "more collective value" of the sort I approve of. But if the taxes go to something I gain no benefit from, either personally or collectively in terms of a stronger society for me to live in, then I have dead-lost from the process of dollar debasement.

scott s.

The core problem is that "income" is an accounting concept. Reducing that concept into black-and-white rules requires 1000s of pages of tax code, CFR regs, Tax Bulletins, and Revenue Rulings, not to mention decisions of the Article I administrative law Tax Court.

By virtue of both myself and my wife having served careers in the Navy, we accumulated real estate which now are rentals meaning we get to file state returns in three states. Each state likes to have its own twist on "income" (California by far the worst).

SAC Brat

I would have suggested letting employees take home their whole paycheck and then send the taxes in themselves. Writing the check every month (or two weeks) in theory would make people more concerned where their tax money got spent and more interested in civics.

In the past when you had to go to the union hall and pay your dues more people were at the union meetings and concerned with what the local was doing. The members could also organize and withhold their dues to the union in protest if the union wasn't taking care of the membership. Withholding dues would get the union's attention. When automatic dues check off came in meeting attendance dropped off and the union had less oversight by the membership.

Does having the taxes automatically deducted benefit the government or the taxpayer?


Thanks to the post. It reminds me that I have to do my taxes as well. Yet another thing to do.

As for my time atm, when not recovering at my Reha, I'll likely spend my easter days with 'coming back home'.

Originally, I wanted to go to nearby Düsseldorf (a city with deep relations to japan, and a lot of good japanese restaurants) with my friend and her daughter to eat japanese, and probably go to an anime shop. Alas, sadly the daugther is sick today and so we'll do that in a week or two.

The daughter is a bright anime fan. Impressively she even learned some japanese ... from reading untranslated animes ... and there I foolishly thought I was hardcore in terms of comics (which in original are just in english, dutch of french).

Yesterday I searched through a bag of stuff that the police gave to my sister after my accident last january as 'my property'. It was a bundle of stuff I had in my bag during my accident. I found surprising things:

* two pocket knives (SOG Twitch II - a small, fabulous knife, works well, excellently designed) and a swiss knife (nice and handy, nice to have).

To get my swiss back is nice, but I'm actually quite happy to have gotten my SOG back. It's not just robust and handy (can be easily openend with just one hand) and pretty, it's also by design and its good quality one of the best folding knives I own. I can recommend it.


* some medication I had with my at the time (half of which was expired by now, and is part of the real garbage by now).

* amusingly, a lock that I used to lock up my stuff in lockers in university. Perhaps even more amusingly is that I still had the key for it.

* a pair of light gloves (well, I had my accident in winter).

* a discrete, small and nice notebook, nicely with sensible and useful entries.

* a golden (just in colour) 16 GB USB stick that I thought to be lost forever. It contained some useful data.

* A LED Lenser P5 pocket light. Small, quite handy and quite bright. Nice to have. A descent lamp, but, sadly, without a processor that controlls performance, so, a source of too short lived if quite bright light. Nice, but could be better.


etc pp

In the next days I'll have to redo my computer whichs software got quite rotten over not having been seriously used for one and a half year. My sister did use it in the time, what didn't help.

When I started the machine last I needed to update software and games and it was utterly boring since it took some 18 hours to do that. While at it, I did a computer scan, found some virusses and removed them.

In essence that means to me complete redoing, not just repairing.

Redoing will cost me a day for the OS (+ updates) and basic suff like MS Office (+ updates), anti virus etc. To install the funstuff like games will cost me another day.

I want 'tabula rasa' before I overlook some unwanted software or data crap. Safety goes first.


Bingo. That was my point. Thanks for elaborating as I should have. My typo didn't help either.

People are so glad to get their tax "refund", but never seem to realize (among other things) that they are giving the government an interest free loan.


I never could figure out why anyone would hire an accountant unless they had a really complicated return.

In 1961 my father took me to his accountant who did my return. When I saw what he did, I decided "I can do this myself".

Every year since then I've done my own tax return.

Doing it yourself also lets you understand exactly what is going on.

Priam's Crazy Daughter

This was the first year that I had rental property. I just wanted to make sure. Besides, he's a family friend.

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