Thursday, October 20, 2011

Please Explain Herman Cain

I am not a tax expert.  In fact, because I don't own a home and currently only have 2 children (though it will spring to 5 in  a few months) I end up with the standard deduction every time.  That very reason is what I believe truly separates the rich from the poor.  The ability to claim deductions.  I'd never understood why we would tax the wealthy more until recently.  The wealthy have CPAs do their taxes, not TurboTax or H&R Block.  They get every fraudulent deduction possible so they don't have to pay the full amount.  Whereas with poor people, most of the time they are paying out the max and getting the standard deduction.  Or in the case of normal home owning Americans, they get the minimal deductions because they don't have the money to spend on a CPA and the amount of crap to tinker with.

So that leads me to believe, a flat tax without deductions would make more sense.  Again, pure speculation.  I was trying to understand Herman Cain's 999 triple flat tax deal.  There would be a 9.1% income tax with no deductions (maybe one for kids but I think it's only charitable donations), a 9.1% employer tax (so it would affect businesses, not individuals right?), and a 9.1% federal sales tax.  I'm leaving the income alone because it made sense and the employer tax is already being paid, so no sweat.  If I'm wrong, please help me understand these.

I've heard people arguing that the poor pay a higher percentage of their income on new products/services so they would be adversely affected because there would be a tax they never had on all of it.  I heard him say that they would start buying used more often to compensate.  That's just kinda rude, but fine, I'll work with that.  Does that mean there will still be a state/city/county tax on everything too?  That'll get excessive really quickly.

But what about Alcohol, Tobacco, Printed Materials (Newspapers, Books and Magazines) and Gasoline?  Don't those have different taxes than the rest?  I thought gas had a built in tax.  Would that go down?  And if that's the case, would the gas companies just take advantage of the sudden drop and raise it back up to where everyone was used to paying to make a bigger profit?  I know alcohol had a higher tax, like 20% versus the state/city tax on food back when I was bartending.  I assumed part of that was a federal tax.  Again, would it go down?  Tobacco is also part of that whole Sin Tax crap.  Would the tax on cigarettes go down?  Again helping the tobacco company regain customers who didn't quit because of health but for cost.  If they begin taxing Newspapers, won't that just tank a dying industry?

It all just seems to have a bunch of negatives when I thought it sounded like the ideal solution.  Please break it down for me if you can.

After I published it I started thinking about other businesses that would be affected.  New homes and new cars.  Would home builders start renting the houses for a month prior to selling to avoid the sales tax?  Cars probably won't feel much more of a crunch seeing that they're already suffering, but like newspapers, it seems they'd be tanked by this action too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Random Perspectives

I was listening to the radio yesterday when a DJ was giving a Mexican caller a hard time about his song request.  The guy asked for a song buy LFMOA.  The DJ of course tries to break that down "Laughing Effing My Off Ass." the caller just laughs, obviously not getting it as the DJ announces LMFAO "Sexy and I know it." (seen below)

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but what's life without risk? When I was a teenager and AOL Chat Rooms and IMs were huge (not saying they aren't still, I just haven't used them since I got a steady girl friend somwhere in my late teens.) I hated the abbreviations.  You know, LOL = Laugh Out Loud, etc.  It wasn't that I couldn't remember most of them, it just got too complicated the more letters you strung together.  Nonetheless, I used them every time.  However, BRB was the one that tripped me up. 

You'd be IMing someone and they'd BRB you to hold the conversation for a sec.  I always thought BRB was "Bathroom Break." That works right? Nope, it's Be Right Back.  Fine, so maybe I shouldn't have laughed at the little illegal with his jumbling of "Laughing My Effing Ass Off." 

The song he requested is a song I really enjoy.  The beat is fun and fast.  Kinda reminds me of a Prodigy pop song.  The lyrics however made me cringe.  I always picture the douchy cast of Jersey Shore.  With lyrics talking about walking in room and everyone stopping and staring cause he's sexy and he knows it, look at that body, he works out.  Is it any surprise that those douche bags pop in my head?

Well, for this post, I decided to Youtube their video.  Holy hell it was funny.  SOOOOO happy to learn they aren't taking themselves seriously. 

Also, there is a section that repeats the word Wiggle.  This is straight up from Yo Gabba Gabba.  Do the wiggle dance!

Enjoy it.


Yo Gabba Gabba

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy 400th to Me!

Blogger shows that I've published 399 posts, so this is number 400!  Apparently I have a lot of bs out there in the world

I think back about how many posts that I began and scrapped because the ideas didn't fully evolve or the topic was stale after 24 hours.  Let's face it, I'm not breaking any news on this bad boy, but if I'm talking about something that happened a week ago, I might as well move on because a million others have trampled it to death.

I've contemplated many different directions to take this blog over the past couple years.  Nothing really resonates strongly enough beyond just putting my random thoughts out there.  I read about a dozen blogs religiously.  A good majority of them are humor blogs, fewer are tech/web/news type of blogs.  I am drawn to them for a reason and would love to be able to twist my thoughts into the continuous laugh fests they seem to produce.  Sadly, I have a much more subtle or indistinguishable humor. 

So I lean on work and my family at ton for inspiration.  That keeps this more like a journal than anything.  So since we're about to have triplets in addition to our two little hellians, I guess I should stick to what I know.  Every once and a great while, I'll drop my wife and kids' names, but I'd always been paranoid about creepy web stalker crap.  Really, I don't think it's as big of an issue, so let me introduce you to the fam.

So rarely do you find a picture of all four of us!

My beautiful wife, Tina, almost 18 weeks pregnant with our triplets.

Berlin, almost 3 years old.

Declan, 15 months old.

For those of you who do read my little updates to the world, thank you.  For those of you yet to stumble upon it, I hope to see you soon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Makin' Babies

I have several friends who have struggled with fertility issues trying to start a family.  One of my wife's old coworkers went all the way to India to have a treatment done that supposedly, even with the air fare, was cheaper than having it done in The States.  A couple have taken the fertility drugs and another set have had artificial insemination.  My wife's aunt couldn't conceive, so she adopted some wonderful children (now adults). 

All of this makes me feel awkward announcing the joy of triplets after two other kids.  This was 100% natural.  In fact, it's scary how easy this has been for us.  Which is probably why there is a twinge of guilt involved. 

With our first, we had only been married five months before my wife went off birth control.  We figured it would take awhile to conceive.  You know, drugs have to leave the system an all.  The whole routine needs to be auto corrected in her body and what not.  Well we were wrong.  Very wrong.  She had one period after she went off the NuvaRing.  The next month she had a surgery scheduled down there for something she had to take care of.  The day she went in, standard practice, they did a pregnancy test.  She was only 4 weeks along.  We knew before the typical panic of "oops, I missed my period" even hit.

Because she breastfed our daughter for a year, we chose not to do birth control for her so her milk production wouldn't be affected.  That means I threw on a jimmy cap every time we went to town.  I remember the day I was in the mood, but wasn't in the mood for protection.  I mean seriously, condoms suck and when you're married they are even worse!  Just over a month later, about a week after my daughter's one year birthday, she missed and panicked.  Yep, that pregnancy test came back positive. 

You know what they say about the best laid plans.  We wanted 2 years between pregnancies.  So much for that. 

At this point, I should know better than being selfish with our extra curricular activities.  We had a scare at the beginning of the summer when another test had to be used.  I was so happy that came back negative.  It's not that I dont' want more kids, I just need more time to let the ones I already have to grow up.  But when libido is involved, well let's just say that nature has a way of ensuring chemistry and primal urges align. 

One afternoon the kids were down for a nap and I was lucky she was in the mood.  First our daughter woke up early.  This was not going to stop me, I could put on some Dora the Explorer in the living room and have at least half an hour to ourselves.  As my greedy little plan was coming together, our son decided to wake up early as well.  Not to be deterred, I busted out the play pen and locked him in front of another electronic baby sitter.  We jumped in the shower and had some of the best sex in years!

This my friends is where karma is a bitch.  The forces of the universe were trying to prevent the impending doom but I wouldn't hear any of it!  A month later we're chillin' on the couch talking about our new nephew who was born that morning.  You know, cause we're not the only ones making babies.  She says "so I took a test today."  Naive little me thought she was talking about some cheesy Cosmo or email forward joke test.  I said "how'd you score?" "Positive," she said.  "Huh?"

I hate to admit it, but my stomach turned.  Like I said, it's not that I didn't want more kids eventually, but holy crap, three within three years is a bit much.  Fast forward a month to when she told me we are having triplets and five kids in three years becomes the biggest cosmic joke ever!

Am I happy we are fertile, of course.  Should I curtail my joy in front of those less fortunate? Probably.  But then again, who doesn't love babies?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy What?

Occupy Wall Street and my own city's spin off, Occupy Austin have me a bit confused.  I get that people are upset by the giant corporations and wealthy people being wealthy and presumably getting tax breaks.  I get that Greed is NOT Good.  But what exactly is the point?  United front, sure, but what's the goal? Socialism? Because banks and wealthy people aren't going to change because a bunch of broke people don't like them.  They might turn this into a money making marketing ploy.  But that's kinda what got them here to begin with. 

The motto for Austin is "Keep Austin Weird."  There are obvious plays on the fact that we're a "green enthusiastic" city and have a bunch of hippies and hipsters who think they are original and system bucking individuals.  But at its core it is about buying local and supporting small independent businesses.  The funny thing is, most of those small businesses would sell out or gladly become giant corporations if the opportunity presented itself. 

That's is the key to ending the corporate greed stranglehold into which we've found/willingly led ourselves.  The folks being interviewed at the local protest were people who "were taken advantaged of" by banks with their 0% interest mortgage loans with explosive increases afterward.  Others claimed to be hard working folks who couldn't make ends meet.  You know the 99% of us Americans who aren't wealthy. 

What I want to ask is, how many of them are willing to stop shopping at places like Walmart and buy local, American made products at a premium?  How bout Hollywood or the NFL?  Those folks make a fortune off of us and who protests then?  THEY DO!  Do you think people will turn their TVs off?  Everything could go back to the farm days when you lived on what you produced, that'd kill corporate greed.

I also want to know how many of the mortgage foreclosure "victims" actually took any action toward refinancing before their revolving interest rate kicked in.  I know the people who rent cars from my locations don't read the simple contract they sign, let alone the terms and conditions that goes along with it.  I can't imagine them reading, let alone understanding a mortgage. 

At some point people have to take responsibility for decisions and actions they make and do.  You can't cry fraud when you didn't do your part.  I rent a home, if I don't pay my rent, I get evicted that month!  If you don't pay your mortgage, you get to live rent free for many times over a year!  That's worth protesting.

But fine, if we must blame someone for our money woes, how bout we point the finger at the oil speculators in 2008.  When they doubled the price of gas and shut entire businesses and industries down with their greed, hundreds of thousands of people were laid off.  This affected every single job place. 

I'm not saying I don't want more money in life or that we should ignore shady crap that wealthy people do, but staging a protest with no way to judge the amount of change you're making is pointless.  At least when idiots from unions protest they get something, even if it's two steps back from where they started.  They are told that it's a good thing and everyone goes home with a false sense of accomplishment.  What will come of occupying anything with no agenda?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bang Bang Bang, Vamanos Vamanos

Having a super busy week and stressing about all that's going on in my life right now.  Triplets on the way plus my wife and two children as a single income family is weighing heavy on me.  So here's one of my faves.

Clutch - Electric Worry

Rock out the anxiety!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halloween Costumes

Typically we try to coordinate Halloween Costumes, when we were a couple and now that we're a family, you know because we're cute and cliche like that.  Last year we didn't quite pull it off, so it was Father-Daughter pair and Mother-Son pair. I was Lex Luther and my daughter was Super Girl.  My wife was the wicked witch of the west and my son was a flying monkey.

This year I'm on the hunt for pieces of our costumes.  My daughter wants to be a princess, cause what nearly 3 year old doesn't? So to fulfil her desires and keep me out of a beast costume and my wife from being shoved into a giant teapot, we're going to let her be Princess Toadstool from Super Mario Brothers!

I'll be Luigi and my wife who'll be giantly pregnant by the end of the month will be Mario.  Ours is entirely contingent on finding a little dinosaur costume so my son can be Yoshi.  Shouldn't be impossible.  Then again, if I find a giant mushroom costume, bam, he's in! 

My daughter gets to just be a pink princess, there's not a whole lot of restrictions as most people won't recall what she looked know the whole point of the game and all.

Gots to get us some overalls and bushy mustaches yo!

Yup, that'd be Mario riding Yoshi.
In the Oedipal reincarnation that's my wife on my son.
Shame on us.