Friday, April 18, 2014

Gazing Up At Saturn

I am not smart enough to be a scientist. These guys are really Smart Fellas. They see things where there are not things to be seen.

My newspaper has educated me about what scientists are now saying they are seeing about a Saturn Moon named Enceladus which is orbiting that big ringed planet 850 Million Miles away from me as I peck out this blog posting.

I believe everything the scientific community tells me but I just wish they would not be so wishy-washy when they are telling me what they say they have discovered. Here are the some of the terms they used in the article about Enceladus...

  • “ is believed to be”
  • “is likely sandwiched between”
  • “it likely formed”
  • “provides one possible story to explain”
  • “raises the likelihood that”
  • “likely to contain oceans”
  • “most likely cause”

Why can’t scientists be more specific? Why can’t they come out and say something like, “This is undeniable proof that the cumquat is directly related to the elephant!”

Maybe they can’t be as specific as I want because they have to base their finding on such infinitesimally small happenings. Here is how they have made the determination about Enceladus which I am toying with you about in this Foolishness...Or Is It?...

To get Enceladus’ gravity maps, however, scientists had to tease out signals in Cassini’s radio transmissions that changed by a fraction of a millimeter per second.

After observing a fraction of a millimeter per second they came to this determination...

There is likely (there is one of those words again) a large underground ocean on Enceladus about 6 miles deep that is covered by 19 to 25 miles of ice.

Wow! Fractions of millimeters are really big!

OK, I accept that they know what they are talking about because they are Smart Fellas. Now that we have zeroed in on all that water, we ought to do something about all those farmers in California that can’t use the water in California to irrigate their crops because there is a Snail or a Darter or a Little Fish of Some Sort in the water that they can’t use.

Since we have all those pipeline workers collecting unemployment because they are not allowed to build that oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, we ought to get them working on building a pipeline from Enceladus to California.

Once completed, that pipeline would get California back feeding the world instead of going out of business because they can’t get the water they need to feed the world.

I sure hope they do not find a Snail or a Darter or a Little Fish of Some Sort in the water on Enceladus’ Under Ice Ocean (that possibly may or possibly may not be somewhere around 6 miles deep covered by about 19 to as much as 25 miles of ice).

Would I kid u?



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Evil Laugh Identified


If you are like me you were awoken this morning by a loud evil laugh that sounded like it came straight from one of those 1950s Horror Movies. The Smartfella is here to identify that laugh for you. That was the Internal Revenue Service.

Yesterday was Tax Day and all the barrooms around IRS Offices all over the Good Ole USofA where overflowing during Happy Hour with IRS Public Servants toasting a job well done.

When Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) were first considered by Congress they intended to allow us Taxpaying Minions to set aside some of our income and not pay taxes on those annual set asides. It was a great idea. It would have been a super way to allow us to supplement our future Social Security Income and have a more comfortable retirement.

Congress realized that what they were about to do was to create a Dastardly Tax Loophole so they “fixed” it. With a wave of their collective fiscal wands they made IRA Savings not a vehicle for Tax Avoidance but only Tax Deferred until we took the money out.

A member of Congress upon being questioned about the change reacted in a very aggressive way by saying, “We did it because that’s our money!”

Then they went one step further and dictated that the money had to start being taken out when and if any of us lived to 70.5 years. I only recently became age eligible for this Minimum Required Distribution (MRD).

I knew it was coming and, silly me, I looked at it from the point of view of... Well they got me. Just accept the fact that you are going to have your taxable income bumped up every year and you are going to have to pay taxes on that bump.

With this year’s tax return I heard the other shoe drop and it was a very loud drop.

Our MRD added enough taxable income to put us over an IRS Got Ya Point and we had to pay taxes on our Social Security Income.

If you are thinking to yourself that I am just not being very patriotic by not wanting Congress to get back Their Money, try this on for Patriotic Giving...

We had to pay taxes on 64% of our social security income.

If you are not old enough yet to experience the sheer pleasure of paying taxes on 64% of your Social Security Income, be sure to write and tell me how you like it when you get old enough to be as Patriotic as I am.

Would I kid u?



A Tax History Lesson…

The Income Tax established in 1913 was sort of an afterthought tax. The major piece of legislation it was part of was a Tariff Reform Bill. The income tax was put in there to compensate for anticipated loss of revenue due to the tariffs being lowered.

It was not much of a burden on us taxpayers…

Less than 1% of the population paid federal income tax at the time.

Next time you hear your 9% Approval Rate Congress tell you not to worry about this or that because it is so small you will never notice it you better start worrying. That is known as a Congressional Foot in the Door.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who Is More Foolish … Smartfella Or The IRS?

Our country came into existence because we were being taxed unjustly by Great Britain. It was called, Taxation Without Representation. Each day we are finding out that Taxation With Representation is quite a taxing problem.

Today is April 15th otherwise known as Tax Day clip_image002. Today is the day that you must give to the Federal Government their just due... Or is that unjust due?

The Smartfella is known far and wide as one who will exaggerate and even make things up to convey what he considers to be a valid point. Below is the text of the IRS Form that is used to determine how much of our Social Security Income is to be taxed.

I have it from reliable sources that this set of instructions was written in a small windowless room by Bozo the Clown, Tinker Bell and Attila the Hun. George Washington, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson were not present.

I hope you will preserver and carefully read all the way to the end to get the full flavor of what the IRS is capable of. Notice the confusion. Notice the mind boggling just-do-it-don’t-try-and-understand-it flavor of it all. When you get to the end you will either be crying or laughing. If you come to the point where you realize that you are helpless and there is nothing you can do about it, you will be crying.


I Did Not Make This Up

Here is the IRS’s idea of a “Helpful” Example Calculation...

George White is single and files Form 1040 for 2013. In addition to receiving social security payments, he received a fully taxable pension of $18,600, wages from a part-time job of $9,400, and taxable interest income of $990, for a total of $28,990. He received a Form SSA-1099 in January 2014 that shows his net social security benefits of $5,980 in box 5.

To figure his taxable benefits, George completes Worksheet 1, shown below. On line 20a of his Form 1040, George enters his net benefits of $5,980. On line 20b, he enters his taxable benefits of $2,990.

Before you begin:

If you are married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 2013, enter “D” to the right of the word “benefits” on Form 1040, line 20a, or Form 1040A, line 14a.

Do not use this worksheet if you repaid benefits in 2013 and your total repayments (box 4 of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099) were more than your gross benefits for 2013 (box 3 of Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099). None of your benefits are taxable for 2013. For more information, see Repayments More Than Gross Benefits.

If you are filing Form 8815, Exclusion of Interest from Series EE and I U.S. Savings Bonds Issued After 1989, do not include the amount from line 8a of Form 1040 or Form 1040A on line 3 of this worksheet. Instead, include the amount from Schedule B (Form 1040A or 1040), line 2.

1. Enter the total amount from box 5 of ALL your Forms SSA-1099 and RRB-1099. Also enter this amount on Form 1040, line 20a, or Form 1040A, line 14a..1. 5,980

2. Enter one-half of line 1………………………..2. 2,990

3. Combine the amounts from:

Form 1040: Lines 7, 8a, 9a, 10 through 14, 15b, 16b, 17 through 19, and 21 Form 1040A: Lines 7, 8a, 9a, 10, 11b, 12b, and 13………………………………………..3. 28,990

4. Enter the amount, if any, from Form 1040 or 1040A, line 8b……………………………………………..4. -0-

5. Enter the total of any exclusions/adjustments for:

Adoption benefits (Form 8839, line 28), Foreign earned income or housing (Form 2555, lines 45 and 50, or Form 2555-EZ, line 18), and certain income of bona fide residents of American Samoa (Form 4563, line 15) or Puerto Rico……………………………………….5. -0-

6. Combine lines 2, 3, 4, and 5…………………..6. 31,980

7. Form 1040 filers: Enter the amounts from Form 1040, lines 23 through 32, and any write-in adjustments you entered on the dotted line next to line 36. Form 1040A filers: Enter the amounts from Form 1040A, lines 16 and 17………………………………………………….7. -0-

8. Is the amount on line 7 less than the amount on line 6?

No. STOP None of your social security benefits are taxable. Enter -0- on Form 1040, line 20b, or Form 1040A, line 14b.

Yes. Subtract line 7 from line 6………………….8. 31,980

9. If you are:

Married filing jointly, enter $32,000

Single, head of household, qualifying widow(er), or married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 2013, enter $25,000……………..9. 25,000

Note. If you are married filing separately and you lived with your spouse at any time in 2013, skip lines 9 through 16; multiply line 8 by 85% (.85) and enter the result on line 17. Then go to line 18.

10. Is the amount on line 9 less than the amount on line 8?

No. STOP None of your benefits are taxable. Enter -0- on Form 1040, line 20b, or on Form 1040A, line 14b.

If you are married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 2013, be sure you entered “D” to the right of the word “benefits” on Form 1040, line 20a, or on Form 1040A, line 14a.

Yes. Subtract line 9 from line 8………………….10. 6,980

11. Enter $12,000 if married filing jointly; $9,000 if single, head of household, qualifying widow(er), or married filing separately and you lived apart from your spouse for all of 2013……………………………..11. 9,000

12. Subtract line 11 from line 10. If zero or less, enter -0-…………………………………………………….12. -0-

13. Enter the smaller of line 10 or line 11………..13. 6,980

14. Enter one-half of line 13……………….…..…14. 3,490

15. Enter the smaller of line 2 or line 14…………15. 2,990

16. Multiply line 12 by 85% (.85). If line 12 is zero, enter -0-…………………………………………………..16. -0-

17. Add lines 15 and 16…………………….……..17. 2,990

18. Multiply line 1 by 85% (.85)………………….18. 5,083

19. Taxable benefits. Enter the smaller of line 17 or line 18. Also enter this amount on Form 1040, line 20b, or Form 1040A, line 14b……………………………..19. 2,990

TIP: If you received a lump-sum payment in 2013 that was for an earlier year, also complete Worksheet 2 or 3 and Worksheet 4 to see if you can report a lower taxable benefit.


“IRS” comes from” Internal Revenue Service”. It is also interesting to note that “irs” is an integral part of the word “theirs”.

Would I kid you?



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Give This Guy A Job

My newspaper tells me that there is a guy in San Francisco that has made more than 30,000 bogus calls to the 911 Emergency Service since 2007.

Here is a good example of the magnitude of the problem as taken from my newspaper...

During a 24-hour period on Thanksgiving Day 2012, dispatchers at the city's Department of Emergency Management reported 1,527 false 911 calls—more than one a minute. They believed all the calls came from just five phones, based in part on the cell phone towers from which the calls were connected. Police were unable to make any arrests.

Many cities all over the Good Ole USofA are being flooded with this problem. It will become even more widespread now that my newspaper has given it exposure by publishing this article that I am blogging about.

At the root of the problem is a 1997 FCC requirement that all carriers include emergency-dialing capability on cell phones whether they have working service or not. Back then, 911 centers supported the feature as a potential lifeline.

I do not blame Congress for trying to protect the poor among us but the experiment has proven to be an uncontrollable disaster that is being abused and cannot be stopped.

What I do blame Congress for its inability to see this (or any problem) and then taking action to fix the now-seen problem. Once regulations are imposed, they live forever.

The fix is to cancel this emergency use provision.

That is not going to happen because not one of our elected Representative/Senators is going to stand up and say something like, “I am sorry that there are some of the folks back home that may suffer harm but that’s the way it has to be”.

If such a logical thinking person were in Congress and that person actually did stand up and say those heartless words above, the whole proposal will go up (or down) in flames when another member of Congress stands up and says, “If one single person’s life is saved, this program is justified and must continue”.

That would do it. We will keep this uncontrollable regulation and we will keep spending all the dollars that have to be spent sending out our emergency people to investigate bogus 911 calls all over the Good Ole USofA.

As an aside, have you ever noticed that, when discussing Regulations, the word “imposed” is always used? For example: A regulation has been imposed whereby people with gaps between their front teeth must wear hockey masks so that their fellow Americans who are opposed to gaps between front teeth will not have to look at their front teeth gaps.

We never hear, “a new regulation has been bestowed”. It is always imposed but, come to think of it, “imposed” sort of fits, does it not?


Why don’t our authorities go out and grab these evil people by the collar, take their phones away from them, put the phones on the ground and hit them with big hammers and send the evil people to jail for a very long time?

My wish expressed in the above paragraph is not going to happen because, since there is no phone number associated with these phones, our law enforcement people say they can’t find the phones.

I understand how hard it is for Congress to get their arms wrapped around this dilemma but, as usual, the Smartfella has a recommendation to fix this thorny problem. It is simply this, why not go get one of those Computer Experts from one our many TV Cop Shows and have them find the bad guys for the police? They do it every week on TV...

  • Good morning, Homer, may I say I sure like that new propeller on the top of your hat.
  • We need you to help us find this week’s bad guy.
  • The only information we have is that his name starts with an “M” and he lives is Los Angeles.

Homer seems to be oblivious to the complement directed at his new propeller but immediately he turns around and starts entering information into his computer with its 3 massive computer screens behind the keyboard. Within 15 second he says, “My data base is a little sketchy on this guy but I will give you what I do see here and it may help you capture this dastardly fellow before the end of this hour and prevent us from having to turn this one into a two-part episode”...

  • His name is Milton.
  • He is 5’ 10” tall.
  • His family emigrated from Bulgaria in 1975.
  • He was once a cab driver for Circle Cab Company but threw his cap at his dispatcher one day and said as he stormed out the door, “I’m tired of going around in circles”.
  • He is very fond of pastrami.
  • His is a Baptist but he has not been to services since August 17, 2011.
  • He lives at 2387 Bogus Street in Anaheim next to the Dunkin Donuts.

Homer apologizes again for the sketchy information and returns to his Words With Friends game.


How good is your memory? Remember the Subject of this blog posting? It was, “Give this guy a job”. I was referring to that San Francisco guy who punched in more than 30,000 bogus calls to San Francisco’s 911 Emergency Service since 2007. He could not possibly have a job. If he had a job, he would not have had time enough to make more than 3,000 bogus calls.

I apologize and must admit that my call to get him a job was not well thought out. Can’t you just see this guy in court in front of a judge after being told the Justice Department had found him a job saying, “Your honor, I thank the court for thinking about me but I don’t want a job. If I had a job, I would not have time to do what I really love to do and that is, of course, make bogus calls to 911 Emergency Service”.

The saddest part is, the judge will probably say, “I see you have a valid point. Case Dismissed”.

Would I kid u?



Lagniappe: If you got this far, you have just read my longest blog posting ever. If you did, and you wish you had not, go back to the beginning and not read what you just read. Use the time saved to do something else. I hope that something else is not making bogus calls to 911.

Monday, April 07, 2014

No More Unidentified Bodies

There was a time when the Law Enforcement Authorities were constantly befuddled about dead bodies they found lying around the Good Ole USofA where they could not determine who the body used to be when the body was a live body. Those days are behind us.

No more need for Fingerprint Identification. Nor will we be forced to depend on DNA Identification. Now we have Tattoo Identification.

Here is an excerpt from my local newspaper to begin to prove my point...

Identification was made using tattoo descriptions provided by family.

No more will we see descriptions like these on the nightly news...

Police are asking the public’s help in identifying the body found in the wooded area behind Acme Widget Manufacturing. The poor thing was a female, 5 feet 7 inches tall, clad in a Palooka Football Jersey and clutching a small figuring of Yoda in her left hand.

For now on the police can expedite positive identification by broadcasting a description along these lines...

Police are asking the public’s help in identifying the body found in the wooded area behind Acme Widget Manufacturing. The poor thing had an eagle tattooed on her left arm above an Asian Letter that looked like an upside down mushroom. There are tattoos on her neck of red lips that looked like they came from a 5 foot 11 inch Brazilian left handed bus driver. Her right arm is emblazoned with a lizard with its tongue out of its mouth licking its left eyelid.

Anyone with information about the identity of this person should contact the police at 1-800-IKidYou.

See I told you we are making progress in fighting crime in the Good Ole USofA.

Would I kid u?



Friday, April 04, 2014

A Sign Of The Times In China

This posting is not funny but it is interesting with a bit of humor at the end.

I just had my teeth cleaned. My Dental Hygienist told me that she has been on several mission trips to China where her group of fellow hygienists cleaned the teeth of Chinese Children.

She said their teeth were awful. They were full of cavities. On the other hand the teeth of the Chinese teenagers who acted as their interpreters were in very good shape with hardly any cavities.

Do you see the problem? I do and so did my hygienists. In the last 15 years or so the children’s diet has changed (become westernized) from whatever it was to Sugary Cereal, Soda Pops, Candy, Donuts, etc. That’s progress!...?

Some people in the Good Ole USofA are worried about the growing military capability and evil intent of the Chinese Government. The Smartfella is here to tell you that they may drop a big bomb on us and turn us into little scattered pieces but we won’t have to worry about them biting us.

Would I kid u?



Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Tattoos ... Give Up The Ghost (Whatever That Means)

Do you not understand Tattoos? Do you wish they would go away? Do you hate Tattoos? Do you think people who get Tattoos are nuts?

The Smartfella is here to tell you to start worrying about something else. This battle is lost. Tattoos (including basketball players who are hard to look at) are here to stay and will continue to permeate the very fabric of our society for the foreseeable future.

See the picture below...


On my trip to New Orleans I saw my first Tattooed Mannequin!

Does the above picture fill you with despair? Do you think it can’t get any worse?

The Smartfella is also here to tell you that the worst is yet to come. As I peck out this blog posting, there is legislation pending in our 9% Approval Rating Congress full to the brim with Tattoo Related Legislation...

  • In order to be eligible to receive a Tax Refund, tax payers must have at least one tattoo.
  • Basketball players who have a minimum of 5 tattoos will have 10 Points added to their Points Per Game Scoring Average.
  • In order to demonstrate that he is one with the American People, a future Presidential Candidate must have at least 10 tattoos. Seven may be of his own choosing but he must have at least one of George Washington on Horseback, the Gettysburg Address and Angelina Jolie posing at that awards ceremony last year with her leg sticking out of her long dress.

You think I made up the 3 bullet points above up, do you not?... Or do you not?

Would I kid u?