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Change The Channel

Feb. 24th, 2011 | 06:32 am

I poked around the internet looking for corporations that paid zero taxes in 2009. It's easy to do, just ask Google.

Not only are there many corporations that paid NO federal taxes, but General Electric got a billion dollar REFUND!

I ran across an article featuring Google, stating that their effective tax rate, in the USA, is 2.3 percent. Worse than that, in the same article, it was stated that Facebook is preparing to structure their corporation the very same way in order NOT to pay their fair share.

The reason the corporate tax rate is so high in this country, compared to the UK and China, is because so few are paying their fair share. So lets look at what Obama talked about: let's close those loop-holes and lower the corporate tax rate.

What really pisses me off is that I'm told that I have to pay my fair share when corporations, classified as individuals in this country, are not paying their fair share.

I was asked by someone who thinks I should be forced to pay my fair share of income taxes, what I paid. The person who asked me, is a card carrying democrat who watches Glenn Beck; an oxy-moron.

If I paid anything, it wasn't much.

I'm raising 2 little ones, and have a 19yr old teenager living with me, and make about $35,000 a year. I don't have cable, or a car payment. My truck has 216,000 miles on the odometer.

AND I don't take ANY government assistance.

This is no one's fault, but mine, and I'm not complaining. And I DO get many allowances because of this and I happily take them.

But I don't have a lobbyist, or a PAC, or roving bands of tax lawyers that went out and got those allowances for me. I got online, fired up Turbotax, and whatever is there I take it, but I wasn't looking for a hand out and I wasn't looking for loop-holes.

What you CANNOT DO is look at me and believe that I am the problem. If you DO think I'm the problem and that forcing a guy like me to pay more taxes is going to fix it, then you need to change the channel.

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My Lawyer, Jim

Feb. 20th, 2011 | 04:31 pm

I met my divorce lawyer, Jim, when I’d separated from my first wife.  He was a tall, well groomed and affable man, who, at the time, sported a few dozen extra pounds.  He’s since become a lean, mean legal machine!

I don’t remember how I found him.  It may have been my girlfriend who got his name for me.  She was anxious to have my divorce done, since she’d already divorced her spouse.  (That’s a very long, very embarrassing story, that I’m reluctant to tell.) 

The girlfriend, who eventually became my 2nd wife, went with me on my visits with Jim.  My divorce wasn’t getting done quickly enough to suit her.  (During one of our visits, as a joke, I told her Jim offered me his services for half-price on my second divorce.  If only I’d known then, what I know now.  If only that had been true!)

I wanted sole-custody of my daughter.  He agreed to try, but said it was unlikely, unless my first wife admitted to doing drugs in front of our child.

So Jim went to work, filing documents with the court and setting up meetings with soon-to-be 1st ex-wife’s lawyer.

When the day of the deposition arrived I was nervous.  It didn’t help that soon-to-be 1st ex-wife’s lawyer turned out to be insane.  Her lawyer was a fat woman, with short, straight, straw-colored hair and piggy little eyes.  And she was loud!

The deposition is where all the issues between the 2 parties are brought, literally, to the table, in front of lawyers, with a court reporter to get an accurate record of everything said.  Like a trial without a judge.

While her lawyer grilled me, Jim stood by my side.  When I’d raise my voice he’d place a hand on my shoulder; a signal to keep a cool head and a civil tongue.

He'd told me the deposition would take 2 or 3 hours.  He was off by a smidgen.  When all was said and done, more than 5 hours had passed.

A few hours in, when it was obvious we weren’t going to wrap it up quickly, we took a break.  Outside, Jim asked me where I thought she’d gotten her lawyer.  “I think she drew a pentagram on the floor, lit a few candles and ‘poof!’, there she was.”

In the end, she <span style="font-style:italic;">did</span> admit she’d been doing drugs, in the house, while my daughter was there.  With our lawyers listening.  And a court reporter.

With all the other stuff she’d been doing, I hadn’t suspected she was doing drugs in the house while my kid was there, but Jim got her to say it out loud.

Jim got me custody of my little girl.

Then I got married again and everyone lived happily ever after!


If only . . .

I won’t bore you with the details of my marriage to the woman who helped me end my 1st marriage.  Let’s just say that, when my skills for choosing a life-partner exploded in my face, again, I called Jim to bail me out.

And, again, he got me custody of my kids.

It wasn’t for exactly the same reasons, this time, but, I told him what I wanted and, with his hard work and persistence, (and maybe a pinch of magic) he made it happen.  I don’t think another lawyer would have been able to do that.

He even got me a beautiful piece of furniture that I’d wanted, but X2 said I couldn’t have.

I’m writing this ‘appreciation piece’ about my lawyer, Jim, because I just got the smart-ass paid off.  When he’d received the check he sent me an email saying, “Thanks Elvin, call me when you get divorced again.”

Working with Jim was a good experience, setting aside his sense of humor.  He got me more than I expected to get, out of both divorces.

I didn’t realize how I’d felt until my friends kept asking me about him.  They’d have a friend going through a rough patch in their marriage, and, because of how I talked about my lawyer, they would call and ask for his number.

His secret?  He didn’t sell me pie-in-the-sky promises about what he could do, filing things he knew he couldn’t get done, consequently billing me for a bunch of unnecessary hours.  On many occasions he’d talk me out of things, for that very reason.

I suck at choosing wives, but I know a good lawyer (now) when I see one.

Thanks Jim.

Elvin and family.

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The New World Order IS coming!!!

Feb. 19th, 2011 | 04:09 pm

 Why would I say that? I don't even know what the New World Order is.

It's because Glenn Beck and Alex Jones agree.

On the surface they seem to be on opposite sides of the fence: Beck believes that individuals fighting for the elimination of a dictator will lead to the New World Order.

Alex Jones believes that individuals fighting for the elimination of a dictator will lead to additional layers of government control to prevent such a thing from happening again in other places, such as the United States, which will lead to the New World Order.

And though Beck and Jones might have philosophical differences, they use the same tool to get their points across: fear. Naked, slimy, stinky, mysterious, hot and cold running . . .


The beauty of the New World Order is that NOBODY knows what it is. Nobody knows why it's bad. Like using the bible to prove something, the New World Order is the perfect substitute for something one might really need to fear, such as fear itself.

Fear is dangerous.

Fear caused an asshole in Arizona to kill people. Fear causes irrational people to arm themselves against . . . something, anything that might be coming to get them. Fear causes the irrational to go looking for the bogey-man.

So, before you go running to the nearest K-Mart to arm yourself against the almighty, all consuming fear of an unknown future, take a breath. Walk an old lady across the street. Stick your tongue out at a child. Wave at your neighbors.

Whatever you do, for fuck's sake, calm down.

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Glenn Beck nails one . . . finally.

Feb. 19th, 2011 | 12:24 am

Most of the time, when I see a clip of Glenn Beck spewing some half-baked notion from his facial anus, my first thought is, “What an idiot.”

I'm usually right.

That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw a clip of the aforementioned idiot talking about the events in Egypt: people protesting in the streets and Hosni Mubarik being forced from power.

I didn't see the entire rant: I have a weak stomach, but he concluded the piece by saying the Egyptian revolution was, “the coming of the New World Order.”

Now, I don't know what the New World Order is supposed to be, or what the signs of it's coming are, but my impression from what I'd heard and what I read on Wikipedia, is that it is a conspiracy involving well connected billionaires.

I thought, as I have many times, “Glenn Beck is an idiot.”

Then I realized, if you take the phrase literally, Beck might be correct.

The Egyptian revolution was facilitated by people connected through technology. By cell-phones, Facebook and Twitter. All of which is new technology. And is world wide. And, in an some sort of orderly fashion, is beginning to chip away at the castle walls.

So, Glenn Beck, maybe on that night, you were prescient: receiving signals from the future. Maybe, God forbid, you were right! A New World Order is coming . . . and you said it first.

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Kissing the ASS goodbye, at Knuckleheads

Feb. 18th, 2011 | 11:27 pm

Last night my besty, Gary, took me to see The Asylum Street Spankers (ASS), at a place called "Knuckleheads" that was was once a boarding house for railroad workers, then a motorcycle shop that had a "free beer" day, once a week, to get people to take the extra effort to find them, since they were tucked away in an older, out of the way industrial part of town.

The small clutch of buildings that make up Knuckleheads is set next to several sets of railroad tracks. We were made aware of this several times throughout the evening as trains crawled by, blasting their horns at the crossing.

It's not the most acoustically solid place, considering it was once a boarding house. Nor is it the easiest to navigate when one has had a few of the high octane beverages offered for sale there, with little wooden ramps between rooms indicating the next is at a different elevation than the last one you were in. More than once, I entered the next room stumbling.

Because it's still officially winter, though our current February weather is springy and mild, we saw The Asylum Street Spankers inside. Stepping outside for a smoke I saw that there was an outdoor stage as well, with canned lights hanging from the rafters.

The music The Asylum Street Spankers played was a mix of blues, vaudeville, bluegrass, hillbilly and country, played on traditional instruments. There were several guitars, dobro, ukulele, banjos, a whiskey jug, a double bass, fiddle, a few mandolins, slide whistles, a small drum kit and, something not commonly known as a musical instrument, but used quite well as one: a short length of log chain.

It was a PG13 show, for the blend of adult humor and a blue word bandied about from time to time. I wanted to see the ASS because of one song, in particular; a blue collar anthem from a working musician who might have to get a “real” job, called “Fuck Work,” but the song that's stuck in my head, today, is “Scrotum, scrotum, my wrinkly crinkly bag of skin. Scrotum, scrotum, it's what I keep my testes in.”

Last night we saw them on their “Farewell tour.” The ASS was missing a significant portion of their line-up with the absence of Wammo, one of their founding members. We'll never have a chance to see The ASS at Knuckleheads again.

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Climate change is boring!!!

Feb. 12th, 2011 | 11:34 am

 February 12, 2011 Saturday 9:51am

No other place in the world is climate change a political issue. Climate change is SOOOO boring. Why the hell does anyone but a scientist care about it?!

Okay . . . I know why.

The oil corporations are using ad campaigns and politics to make it hard for us to shift away from using the glurp made from liquefied dinosaurs, to sunshine, wind, water powered . . . well, anything!

I can’t blame ‘em for trying to keep us from switching. The problem is they’re pushing Americans to be willfully ignorant, and that pisses me off. I HATE willfully ignorant people!

If we switch to another way of getting around than in a glurp powered buggy, riding on petrified glurp (rubber tires) farting out chemicals that my children breathe, then the good people at Exxon and British Petroleum would have to find another way to make money.

And I can’t blame ‘em for wanting to make as much money from oil as they can. They’ve already got the machines in place to suck glurp out of the ground no matter WHERE it is.

If you DON’T think there is man-made climate change, is it because you heard a skeptic and decided to read the papers of people trained in the field of climate science?

I didn’t. I leave it to the scientists.

If you think there is a conspiracy to force a dumb-ass like me to believe in man-made climate change, who’s behind it? Who profits?

I’m old enough to remember when there were ash-trays every where you went. There were ashtrays in elevators. Ashtrays in new cars. Everybody smoked cigarettes.

When scientists came out and told us that cigarettes caused cancer, there was a tremendous amount of skepticism.

Does anyone reading this believe for even one second, that cigarettes DON’T cause lung cancer?

Just sayin’


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Only in America

Jan. 23rd, 2011 | 10:43 pm

 Only in America is global warming/climate change a matter of ‘faith’.

Only in America does evolution compete with the bible for how humans arrived on the planet.

Only in America is abortion a political issue.

Only in America is the health of a nation’s citizens wholly controlled by capitalism.

Only in America is a second amendment necessary.

Only in America are drugs so demonized, yet so desired, and so profitable.

Only in America is sex so demonized, yet so desired, and so profitable.

Only in America are we considered an ‘industrialized’ nation.

Only in America was it illegal to serve and die for your country if you were a homosexual.

I’d started out writing an essay on why global warming was a matter of faith, but got derailed by other thoughts about America and it’s fetishes.

I meant to imply, while saying “Only in America”, that I was comparing us to other ‘industrialized’ nations.

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Jan. 22nd, 2011 | 10:47 am

 I read in the New York Times that Keith Olberman is leaving MSNBC. He was the host of a news analysis show called Countdown.

I agreed with a most of what Keith Olberman was promoting, which is a more liberal goverment.

I want to make 2 points about ‘news analysis’ being presented as ‘news’:

First: If you report your facts with emotion, showing an obvious bias on one side of an issue, you are not a ‘news’ reporter.

Second: If you present yourself as ‘news’ but cherry-pick your stories in order to further an agenda, you are not presenting ‘news’.

I’ve included this link to a Wikipedia page succinctly summing up what propaganda is, in the first sentence.


A few months ago Keith Olberman blasted Ted Koppel for having come out against the type of biased news analysis that goes on at MSNBC and Fox News.

At first, I agreed with Olberman after his rant against Ted Koppel, but in time came to realize that, though Keith Olberman might be ballast to what Fox News does, he is not presenting ‘news’, no more than The Daily Show is news.

Don’t get me wrong, we need men like Keith Olberman and channels like MSNBC, considering Fox News is taken so seriously by so many, even though it is well known that Fox News has a right-wing, conservative agenda.

What turned me around is that part of Keith Olberman’s rant attacked Walter Cronkite. Ted Koppel presented Walter Cronkite as a unbiased reporter that we should all aspire to be. Keith Olberman stated that Walter Cronkite wasn’t nuetral.

If Walter Cronkite wasn’t neutral, (I’m too young to remember the general tone of his reporting) he had to be far more neutral than Keith Olberman.

Which is why Walter Cronkite’s statement about the conflict in Vietnam had so much weight. When he said, “the best we can expect is a stalemate,” it meant that much more.

In response to Cronkite’s statement, the president of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost America.”

If your news has an agenda, it isn’t news but propoganda. Propoganda, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing, but it NOT news.

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Here's what I wanna know. . .

Jan. 2nd, 2011 | 02:43 pm

Normally, I won't look at the comments connected to an article, but recently I was sent a link to an article on the Foreign Policy website. It was called “Next Year's Wars,” pointing out places around the globe where wars could erupt.

Because I wanted to make a comment myself, I scrolled down and started reading those of others. I found a few that were well written and reasonable and worth the time I'd spent reading them.

What surprised me was the large percentage of comments directed against the United States. Many of them talked about a looming civil war where citizen militias will be forced to take up arms against the Federal government.

These are people who consider themselves patriots, which defies logic, considering patriotism is supportive of the government.

My question is this, who among you believe we are on the brink of armed conflict with our own government?

One of the comment posters on the “Next Year's Wars” article stated he was “locked and loaded”.


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I'm out!

Mar. 6th, 2010 | 12:20 pm

I've opted out of the health-care reform debate.

I was writing a long answer to a response to one of my blog posts and I froze.

I was 2 pages in when I realized that I'm not arguing with an individual, I'm arguing with Glen Beck and Limbaugh.

I deleted it, wrote a response to the one-millionth person that called me a liberal, posted it on my blog and that's it for me.

I'm out.

Beck and Limbaugh are corporate shills.  Their jobs are to scare the shit out of people; make them believe that corporations are their big-hearted buddies and that government is the problem.  They've done a damn fine job.

Freaked out people are not interested in debating, and I'm not interested in engaging them any more.

Just give me something to vote on, for fuck's sake.

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