Category Archives: News

Got the Turbo Tax Blues

Turbo Tax has pulled the old bait and Switch. Things that we used to for the past 20 years  such as handling Rental  properties,capital gains and  small business deductions are no longer handled by the Basic or Deluxe versions of Turbo TAX. They have pulled the old Bait and Switch and pissed a lot of people off. Long story short. If you need Forms A B or C you will need to get the $75.  Premier Version. If you make deductions at all Basic version will not work.

The changes require customers to upgrade to more expensive versions if reporting investment, self-employment, or rental income — costing an extra $30 to $40 — and surprising many long-time Turbo customers.

“Imagine their surprise when they get halfway through doing their taxes and there is a roadblock in the program that says you have to upgrade,” added Dworsky.

“It can be viewed as a bait and switch, yes,” Prof. Bryan Menk told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Tuesday, “because people were not accustomed to this limitation in a prior year.”

HR Block is helping fight back, They are offering their software for free, to Turbo Tax Users who got screwed.

The Kansas City-based tax preparer (NYSE: HRB) announced it’s new “Switch to Block” program Monday, which offers its Deluxe + State desktop software free to any taxpayers who purchased Intuit’s TurboTax Basic or Deluxe software for 2014.

The offer from H&R Block comes at a time when TurboTax customers who itemize tax deductions through a Schedule A report will find that TurboTax Basic can no longer help them, so in order to file taxes they have to spend an additional $40 on an upgrade to TurboTax Deluxe. H&R Block’s basic software allows those same filers to use its basic software, which typically costs $19.95, but they can transfer for free right now.

While the offer is tempting I think I’m going to run with TaxACT regardless, we will not be using Turbo Tax anymore

Ordering French Fries.

You Let the world down!
You Let the world down!

Seems as though it was just yesterday that we were boycotting France and ordering “Freedom Fries”,  My question; ” Are Freedom Fries or French fries being served at the White House?”  If I were to guess I would say that there were only French Fries served, and that no one showed up in Paris because there is no leadership.

Not as Bad as It Seems.

As we close out the old year and start the new one, it is a good time to get look at  where we are. Most of us tend to think the world  is pretty bad shape. Maybe it’s not as bad as we perceive.

Maybe Bill Gates explains it Best:

200 years ago 40%of all children died before the age of five. People didn’t have a chance to be literate or to read books, average life spans were less than 40 years. And so in a span of not to much time, even compared to human history, we have made unbelievable progress; the things we take for granted, the abilty to go out and learn things, to have air conditioning, tove clothing, to have a toilet is pretty phenomenal. So anyone who looks at capitalism and what it does and says, “Okay it’s been a net loss versus that life we had before.” I think there is a loss of perspective there.

Yeah, Its all about perspective.

There ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Tribal warfare in Africa, Yet things seem to be getting better, Our wars for the most part less deadly. We watch news eith its 24 hour cycle and we see war and the horrors of war, and the world seems to be comming apart at the seems. But is it as bad as it seems?

Judging the world through headlines is like judging a city by spending a night in A&E – you only see the worst problems. This may have felt like the year of Ebola and Isil but in fact, objectively, 2014 has probably been the best year in history. Take war, for example – our lives now are more peaceful than at any time known to the human species. Archaeologists believe that 15 per cent of early mankind met a violent death, a ratio not even matched by the last two world wars. Since they ended, wars have become rarer and less deadly. More British soldiers died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme than in every post-1945 conflict put together.

We face heathcare upheaval, Ebola killing thousands.  Our food is supposedly loaded with pesticides, herbacides and hormones. Genetically modified is gonna kill all of us who can’t afford to pay 4 times as much for Wholefood groceries.  It’s doom and gloom and we are all gonna die.  Would you believe that we actually aren’t doing that bad?

This helps explain why Bob Geldof’s latest Band Aid single now sounds so cringingly out-of-date. Africans certainly do know it’s Christmas – a Nigerian child is almost twice as likely to mark the occasion by attending church than a British one. The Ebola crisis has led to 7,000 deaths, each one a tragedy. But far more lives have been saved by the progress against malaria, HIV and diarrhoea. The World Bank’s rate of extreme poverty (those living on less than $1.25 a day) has more than halved since 1990, mainly thanks to China – where economic growth and the assault on poverty are being unwittingly supported by any parent who put a plastic toy under the tree yesterday.

Britons don’t need to look abroad for signs of progress. The Lancet report showed that, since 1990, life expectancy in Western Europe is up by five years – thanks, mainly, to fewer deaths from cancer and heart disease.

The 24 Hour news cycle brings attention to the violent world that we live in.  According to statistics perhaps there is something to entering the golden age of Aquarious.

Homiciderates

To be sure, adding up corpses and comparing the tallies across different times and places can seem callous, as if it minimized the tragedy of the victims in less violent decades and regions. But a quantitative mindset is in fact the morally enlightened one. It treats every human life as having equal value, rather than privileging the people who are closest to us or most photogenic. And it holds out the hope that we might identify the causes of violence and thereby implement the measures that are most likely to reduce it. Let’s examine the major categories in turn.

Homicide. Worldwide, about five to 10 times as many people die in police-blotter homicides as die in wars. And in most of the world, the rate of homicide has been sinking. The Great American Crime Decline of the 1990s, which flattened out at the start of the new century, resumed in 2006, and, defying the conventional wisdom that hard times lead to violence, proceeded right through the recession of 2008 and up to the present.

Happy New Year everyone!!

Demonstration In Brockton

CAM00496
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CAM00493 CAM00492 CAM00491 CAM00489 CAM00488 CAM00485 CAM00483 CAM00482 CAM00481 CAM00480 CAM00479 CAM00478They had a demonstration in my old home town of Brockton Mass. Despite the concerns of some. The demonstration was peaceful, ordely and well coordinated.  BPD was friendly and kept traffic moving.

 

 

 

 

Lighting Up

Obama lighting up.
Obama lighting up.

Its OK to laugh. You know its funny.  I used to have a thing about Cuban cigars. but these days I think the Nicaragan and Dominican are every bit as good and cheaper.

Has Hell Frozen Over?

The most leftest newspaper in the country, the Boston Globe has endorsed Republican Charlie Baker over the Democrat party favorite Martha, Coakley?

Effective activist government isn’t built on good intentions. To provide consistently good results, especially for the state’s most vulnerable and troubled residents, agencies need to focus on outcomes, learn from their errors, and preserve and replicate approaches that succeed. Baker, a former health care executive, has made a career of doing just that. During this campaign, he has focused principally on making state government work better. The emphasis is warranted. And in that spirit, the Globe endorses Charlie Baker for governor.

Interestingly the endorsement isn’t about political philosophy, but about leadership and experience skills. We haven’t been following the race all that closely, but this has come as somewhat of a surprise to us.

 

Justice New Jersey Style

The video of Ray Rice beating the snot out of his girlfriend was shocking, even more shocking is the light punishment he got with the approval of  Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain and Superior Court Judge Michael Donio.

Following the release of new footage that seems to show now former-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in the face, it’s important to remember that the prosecutor who let Rice off with a slap on the wrist is now trying to throw the book at a young mother of two who tried to protect herself and her family from violence.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain approved an application for admitting Rice into New Jersey’s Pre-Trial Intervention program that allowed the NFL star to avoid jail time. Instead, Rice has to undergo counseling and will be immediately incarcerated if he does something else wrong.

New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael Donio issued the final sentencing, accepting Rice into the program.

In another case 27-year-old mother of two Shaneen Allen is being prosecuted for taking a legally owned and legally carried handgun across the bridge into New Jersey. She should have known better, but at worst case she made an honest mistake.

Meanwhile, McClain is working to put 27-year-old mother of two Shaneen Allen — herself a first-time offender — into jail for at least three years, maybe even a decade.

Allen didn’t punch anyone out in an elevator. She simply didn’t know that her Pennsylvania concealed-carry permit was not valid in New Jersey.

In October 2013, Allen was pulled over for a minor traffic offense. She dutifully informed the officer of her gun and presented her concealed-carry permit. She was arrested.

Allen had a gun because she had been robbed twice in 2013 and feared for her children. Following her arrest, and McClain’s insistence that she face the maximum possible penalty for her oversight, Allen reportedly lost her job.

Judge Donio is also tied to the Allen case. He accepted McClain’s decision to deny Allen entry into the same pre-trial program Rice was allowed to enter.

Yeah the same Donio and McClain that let Ray Rice off so easy refuses to give Shaneen Allen a break and are working hard to get a 3 to 10 year sentence. This is called Justice Jersey style, where the rich and famous get the breaks and the single mom who  who didn’t realize that New Jersey wasn’t one of the 30 states that would be legal for this CHL holder to carry in, she gets the full prosecution

The Great Fisking!

In a great fisking Walmart takes on the New York Times.  It becomes obvious that Timothy Egan of the Times didn’t have a clue about what he was writing about. There are certain Institutions and Corporations the the leftist rally against.  It seems as if there is something they don’y like about the entity, every thing about them must be under attack.

The Great Fisking

Walmart didn’t address the comparison of Walmart with Costco.

What could change Walmart is growing public disdain for the company. A new poll by Lake Research Partners found that 28 percent of consumers surveyed have an unfavorable view of Walmart — almost five times the negative sentiment felt for Costco. Poor treatment of workers was cited most often as the reason not to shop there.

I seems as though It would have been fairer to compare Walmart’s Sam’s opertion to Costco rather than the whole of Walmart. But the New York times isn’t about being fair is it?

The same types of attacks are made against the Koch brothers .  Most are completely off the wall because:

  • They aren’t right wing extremist. They are Libertarians.
  • They have no more influence on elections than George Soros , the Kenedys or George Clooney.
  • They give money to organizations such as PBS’ NOVA and United Negro College Fund

On my Commute

Sign At Pop's Bar
Sign At Pop’s Bar

On the way into work work I’ve noticed this sign at a small bar in Texas City. It looks to me like somebody didn’t pay there bar bill.

For What its Worth

Seems as though lots of people are being rebellious these days, reminds me of the Buffalo Springfield hit For What its Worth:

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
I think it’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, now, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
Stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down

Clive Bundy in Nevada picked up a lot of support in his protest or outright rebellion. Other ranchers and militias from all over arrived not only to support but to fend off the Government forces of the BLM. TThe memories of Waco and Ruby Ridge surface a again.While the Feds have withdrawn from Nevada, the battle continues in Washington.

Arguments have moved from the Nevada desert to the nation’s capital, where Nevada’s two U.S. senators, Republican Dean Heller and Democrat Harry Reid, recently faced off on a television public affairs show in Las Vegas.

Heller described Bundy’s cadre of armed supporters as “patriots” during the show, “What’s the Point,” on KSNV-TV News 3. Reid repeated his claim that the so-called militia men are “domestic terrorists.”

 

Perhaps “revolutionist” would be a term to describe the supporters.

The New York Safe act is getting more than a little resistance.

Arguments have moved from the Nevada desert to the nation’s capital, where Nevada’s two U.S. senators, Republican Dean Heller and Democrat Harry Reid, recently faced off on a television public affairs show in Las Vegas.

The rebellious stance is being taken by a subgroup of Americans who often make a show of being “law-abiding.” But it’s now set off a possible standoff with the New York State Police over registering assault-style weapons – a sore subject in a country simmering with gun-confiscation fears after myriad high-profile shootings.

For now, gun rights experts say, the outcome in New York is uncertain. Will the state take the initiative to seize unregistered weapons? If it doesn’t, will the new gun controls be exposed as toothless, even meaningless?

“The line in the sand has been drawn, and if Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to send state police out on house-to-house searches and put hundreds of thousands of people in prison, they can do that,” says Dave Kopel, research director at the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Denver.

Instead of draft cards the people are shredding their gun registration forms.  Another rebellion? This isn’t just in new York.

They’re burning registration forms! They’re rallying by the thousands. They’re pledging civil disobedience. They’re swearing to resist, to disobey, even if it makes them felons. They’re angry, they’re defiant, they’ve had it and they aren’t going to take it any more.

Who are they? No, they’re not 1960s draft resisters. They’re not anti-nuke activists or scruffy Occupy Wall Street protestors. Heck, chances are some of them actually work on Wall Street.

They are the gun owners of the bluest blue states. They’re the respectable men and women of the mid-Atlantic region. They’re people who have, in the past, submitted to the rules even when they didn’t like them — or at least kept their mouths shut about their non-compliance.

Ok these are mostly white middle class/ Blue collar type People. The younger people are on a roll too.