What Invisible, Unfair Taxes Are You Paying?

Everyone Complains About Taxes – There Are Some You Might Even Know You Are Paying

First, a word about taxes in general.

The political discourse in this country about taxes is generally a waste of words. Sure, everyone would like to pay less in taxes, but that is only half the question. The other half, what would we want to give up in return for lower taxes, is seldom addressed.

We saw this mindless approach to taxes carried out full scale in Kansas. Governor Sam Brownback came into office on a Trickle Down,

What do Alex Jones, Laura Ingraham – and YOU – have in Common?

You have at least one important thing in common.

Relax, I am not about to compare you to Alex Jones, Laura Ingraham, or their fellow travelers. If you like those folks, you likely are not a reader of this blog. But if you do happen to find them agreeable, you are still welcome to stick around and see what we have to say today.

The last few days have been banner days for showing the ugly side of our species, and some hopeful signs as well.

  • Alex Jones finally is purged from most social media.

History Is About To Come Calling

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Events are About to Catch Up with Trump and Company. History will Not be Kind.

In a sense, many of us alive today have been here before. There came a time in Watergate that the weight of evidence and history would no longer be denied. It was an amazing thing to observe. Two things stood out in particular.

One, when the time came, a handful of people made a difference. In the right place and with the right amount of authority, they stood up and did the right thing.

Worried About Electronic Vulnerability? You Should Be – A Lot

This is WAY Beyond Your Facebook Account

 

By now, we all know about the Russian interference in our elections. Let’s not kid around by calling it meddling. This is an attack of the most fundamental nature.

But an important element of this aggression has gotten lost in the background for many of us. I am referring to the targeting of our electronic infrastructure writ large.

Russia has been probing our utilities infrastructure. They are trying to understand its connectivity and to find its vulnerabilities. This would make sense if one wanted to have a standby capability to disrupt a modern society.

The Congressional Circus was in Town Last Thursday

Welcome to Benghazi II. The sequel was as bad as the original, maybe worse. One thing about this one definitely was worse.

In case you somehow missed it, there was a circus in town last week. The combined House Judiciary and Oversight Committees conducted a “hearing” (or something…). Much was written while the hearing went on, into the early evening, and much immediately after. I decided to let things marinate a bit and see what I thought about all this with a little time for reflection.

To be fair, I did not watch gavel to gavel coverage.

The Unforeseen Consequences and Untapped Potential of Drones

Part of our Hey! Look at That! Technology series

Drones (or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – UAVs) are a prime example of what often happens with developing technologies.

  • First, the new technology appears, and the possibilities seem unlimited. Everyone gets excited, money gets invested, manufacturing begins –
  • Then, the new toy on the block fails to deliver. A lot of people involved at this point get disgusted (or go broke) and drop out.
  • Not much later, the kinks get worked out. The technology takes off further than anyone anticipated.

There are exceptions of course.

The Pruitt Syndrome – What Do You Value?

Scott Pruitt is gone, finally. A lot of people lost bets on this one, figuring about 10 ethics investigations would be his end.It took half again as many. This might be a good time to think about what – or in whom- we invest our support.

There are people who support the policies that Pruitt & Company purveyed. Fair enough; people can argue policy with passion and substance. Challenge reasoning and call out  facts from opinions. Anything less would be downright Un-American.

Some also defend Pruitt and others whose conduct or performance fall short.

We Stand With Four Rivers All Around Us – Sink or Swim, America?

In every period of history, people living at that time feel “We have never had so many challenges.” We are no different today – many of us have that exact feeling right now.

We have had great divisions in our past (we did have a civil war, after all). Still, one could make the case that critical factors are now coming to bear in dangerous ways.

It feels as though we as a nation are standing on a piece of ground surrounded by four mighty “rivers.” Rivers are powerful and full of potential to nourish, clean,

What Have We Learned – So Far – from the Zero Tolerance Policy?

Some lessons clearly jump out – and some old ones are reinforced

Time Cover 2018-06-21 .pngTime Cover 2018-06-21 .pngThere is a key phrase in the title above – “so far.” This sorry saga is far from over; some hard lessons are surely to come for just about everyone. But some useful lessons have already arrived. Let’s look at a few of them.

  1. Grass Roots Resistance has Power:Let’s not kid ourselves. While the executive order is indeed a reversal, it creates new problems and uncertainties, and leaves some old ones in place. But there is little doubt that sustained and spreading repulsion stopped the advancement of a singularly ill-conceived approach.