Saturday, January 30, 2016

Guaranteed To Be Silvact Free

Below is a Blog I sent out 2 years ago. I know you are excited to have the opportunity to read it again (below) but, before you do, I am adding this Gluten Update from Consumer Reports...

Beware Of: Gluten Myths. Unless you are one of just 7% of Americans who have a reaction to gluten, there is no reason to avoid it. In fact, gluten may be good for you, by helping blood pressure and inflammation. Gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthier. Gluten-free foods often have more fat, more sugar and are more expensive than other foods.


Here Is the Blog from February 2013…


In America today we are worried about lots of things attacking us. One of our new fears has gotten to be one of our biggest fears…

We Are All Afraid Of Gluten

We lie awake at night hoping that the Gluten that is already in us will not clog something up, make our hearts attack us, stop something from functioning properly or start something like pimples functioning that ought to be lying dormant.

Millions of Americans are now feeling comfortable with themselves because they are on a Gluten Free Diet.

However, research has shown that 87.4% of Americans are on a Gluten free Diet & 72.7% of that 87.4% do not know what Gluten is.

I wonder how much frenzy could be created if someone with a morbid sense of humor made up a mysterious word that sounded like something Americans ought to be worried about and spread fear about all the evils it can do to the human body.

This type of Information Dissemination is one of the “benefits” of the Internet

A word like Silvact ought to do the trick. Who in the heck wants to get all clogged up with Silvact?

Actually it would not be a lie to advertise that your product is Silvact Free because your product is Silvact Free because there is no such thing as Silvact.

Back To Gluten...

The real shock to Glutenless Americans is going to be when National Enquirer reveals that “Gluten Free” does not mean there is no Gluten in there. It only means they just do not charge you for the Gluten that is in there.

Would I kid u?


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Passing Of A Legend

Every time I pass through a checkout line in any darn near any kind of store I see on the Impulse Purchase Rack a huge glamorous picture of Oprah emblazoned on the cover of Oprah Magazine.

I’m sorry to say that the Oprah Federation of All Things Having To Do With Anything & Everything About Oprah has just announced that Oprah Magazine will terminate publication immediately.

They have run out of pictures of The Oprah for the cover.

It’s a sad day indeed.

Would I kid u?


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Is anybody listening to me?

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson announced recently that he is pursuing legislation that will stop the Internal Revenue Service from rehiring employees that it previously fired for poor performance and bad conduct.

Isakson is a co-sponsor on the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2016. His office said the legislation is a response to a recent report that accused the IRS of frequently rehiring employees it had previously fired, including ones whose personnel file was marked “Do Not Rehire”.

The Fella first became aware of this silliness in April of last year. Now, in January of 2016, Congress is still poking holes in the air with their fingers about this silly practice because the IRS continues to say, “What problem?”

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Here is the link to my April 20, 2015 Foolishness...Or Is It? Posting...

Would I kid u?


Thursday, January 21, 2016

That Idea Is So Stupid We Just Have To Do It Again!

Once upon a time the Good Ole USofA (actually it was our 9% pproval Rated Congress) decided all breathing Americans “deserved” to have a Home of Their Own, regardless of whether or not they could afford to pay for a Home of Their Own.

The end result was the Financial Crisis of 2008 which led to The Great Recession of 2008. The passing of time has proven we are truly stupid because we are setting ourselves up for what could turn out to be The Great Recession-Part 2.

Why is it we think, if we change the terms we use to describe Silly, it is no longer Silliness?

If we decided that the word “Murder” had too negative a connotation & we changed the Act of Murdering to the Act of Flower Sniffing is the dead person not still dead?

Community Reinvestment Act was a Federal Law passed to “encourage” commercial banks and saving associations to help meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities. Congress passed the Act in 1977 to reduce discriminatory credit practices against low-income neighborhoods, a practice known as Redlining.

The term "Redlining" was coined in the late 1960s by John McKnight, a sociologist and community activist. It refers to the practice of marking a red line on a map to delineate the area where banks would not invest; later the term was applied to discrimination against a particular group of people (usually by race or sex) irrespective of geography.

I certainly agree that it ought to be against the law to deny a mortgage to a person who has worked hard, saved money & accumulated the financial where-with-all to afford to buy a particular house simply because that hard working, money saving & financially sound person is a minority or is of a certain race or is of a certain sex.

I would, however, contend that it is the height of foolishness to give a mortgage to a person who has demonstrated that he cannot afford to pay for that mortgage. This is not helping the going-to-default-for-sure person. This is actually doing a disservice to that person. I am not swayed in this belief by an apologist who says, after the bankruptcy, “Yea but he really enjoyed living in that nice house for 14 months before he went bankrupt”.

Changing Things For The Sake Of Changing Things...

  • The Community Reinvestment Act has evolved into the HomeReady Program.
  • “Subprime” is a word that we all know to be a bad thing (actually most of us only know it is a bad thing but do not know what it means). The Word Changing Department of the Federal Government is changing “Subprime” to “Alternative” Mortgages.

Changing Things In Order To Trick the Folks Back Home (that’s us) Into Thinking That Congress Is Really Doing Something That Is Not Silly...

  • Community Reinvestment was directed at Minorities but HomeReady (aks: DefaultReady) is going to be directed at High-Risk Immigrants.
  • In order to qualify for the mortgage, instead of counting only the income of the person who is signing on the mortgage the HomeReady Program counts the incomes of all persons living in the house (non-borrowers).
  • The Fella wonders if there is going to be an expansion of this law that prevents the non-borrowers from moving out of the house until the mortgage is paid off.
  • To add stupidity to crazy, it is also going to be permissible to count the income of people not living in the house, like the borrower’s parents.
  • What mental midget up in D.C. really thinks that non-borrowers are legally required to pay or will pay anything toward the mortgage?


What me worry?

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are not going to pay when this all comes tumbling down. They benefited from the Community Reinvestment Act & they are now pushing the HomeReady Program...

CNNMoney reported in 2011, "Mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received the biggest federal bailout of the financial crisis. And nearly $100 million of those tax dollars went to lucrative pay packages for top executives, filings show."

Wasn’t this the type on silliness that led to the last housing market collapse? Could it happen again? Sure it could. Do politicians care? It doesn't appear so.

Would politicians kid u?


Lagniappe: Much of the research for this posting was done by Cal Thomas...

Monday, January 18, 2016

When Push Comes To Shove In The House Of Representatives

The new Speaker of the House has his House upset at him. He is trying to get the members to pay attention to what is going on in the House. It has become apparent that these Dedicated Long Serving Public Servants are pushing back.

Many have started calling him (behind his back) “Pushy” after he delivered a memo to the House entitled, “Enough with the lollygagging”.

One of the most often spoken words in the House for some time now has been “Sanctions”. Putting Sanctions on Iran is something that will certainly get their attention...Or will it?

The Speaker last week started nudging the chamber to get a bit more efficient when voting. His message must not have sunk in, because so many lawmakers missed the vote on the high-profile Iran Sanctions Legislation that the voting ended up being scrapped because of lack of interest & had to be rescheduled for later this month.

I got into my car & drove to Washington, D.C. a few days ago to see this situation played out for myself. Yes I get in my car & drive up to Washington a lot. Actually my car has started to rebel against these frequent trips. As I neared Washington on this trip a message popped up on my GPS Screen that said, “Why don’t you just move to D.C.? It would be a lot easier on me!”

I talked to many members of the House who were really upset with Pushy Ryan...

Ø Representative Leghorn was very open with his opposition to what the Speaker is trying to do. He told me that when Ryan first arrived in Congress he had gone out of his way to take him under his wing. On several occasions he took Ryan with him on Coffee Breaks & showed him how to turn a 20 minute Coffee Break into a 75 minute discussion about Football.

Ø Representative Whiplash told me how he tried to educate Ryan about how long one could sit absolutely still at his desk before cobwebs started to form between his arms & his upper body.

Ø Representative Swindle told me how he had once hoped that Ryan might have what it took to break his long-standing record of missing more votes than anyone else in the House but Ryan disappointed him by not showing any interest in going after this milestone.

Representative Igotmine (has been in up there so long that he can’t remember which State originally sent him to Congress) was not bothered in the least by what the new Speaker was trying to do. He said he intended to be present on the floor of the House whenever Pushy directed he should be there because he has developed the ability to sit at his desk with his eyes wide open while being sound asleep. He seemed particularly proud as he explained to me how he had even developed the sleep mannerism where he periodically scratched his nose while still being in Deep REM Sleep.

Would I kid u?


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Taxation Without Representation Was Worth Fighting A Revolutionary War Over. Taxation With Representation Is A Wonderful Thing...Or Is It?

I could have modified the above Subject & written it this way...

Taxation With Representation Is A Wonderful Thing Because It Is So Easy To Understand...Or is it?

The Powerball Lottery is upon us again. Today there are a whole bunch of people in the Good Ole USofA saying to themselves...

“I’m sure glad I did not bother going to High School or College because I’m about to be rich & I did not have to bother doing all that studying stuff. I always thought that was a big waste of time & my winning this lottery is going to prove me right!”

I’m going to list for you all the problems you will face if you win the Powerball Lottery. I will do it in Bullet Format because it will be easier to understand...Or will it be?

Don’t think that this Billion Dollar Jackpot is a rare occurrence. Well it has been but it’s not going to be. The people who run the lottery recently changed how it works to prevent winning as often as in the past. This was done so that it will grow big as this one has done. This way more people will become infatuated, become greedy, become interested, etc. & more money will come rolling in.

You do not have to read each bullet to get the flavor of the chaos that will engulf you if you win. Just skim through the bullets. Actually, reading & trying to understand each bullet, is guaranteed to give you a headache.

My source for all of this confusion below...


© Mike Kemp/Getty Images

The next Powerball drawing is worth an estimated $1.4 billion (it may be even higher by the time you read this), and the odds are good that there will be a winner this time.

If there’s only one winner, we will have a new member of the Billionaire Club. Right? Wrong, because your friendly tax collectors are silent partners in the deal.

Here’s the story on all the tax hits on a huge payout.

Annuity Versus Cash Option

· The Jan. 13 Powerball drawing is a whopping $1.4 billion.

· That number is based on the winner taking his or her money in the form of a 29-year annuity.

· You get the first payment right away, and then one annual payment for the next 29 years.

· On the other hand, if you choose the cash option, you get all the money right away, but you get less.

· The projected cash-option jackpot is “only” $868 million.

· What’s the biggest reason to choose one option or the other?

· You guessed it: Taxes.

· If you choose the annuity option and then die before collecting all your rightful proceeds (a distinct possibility if you are not a youngster), the present value of the remaining payments will be included in your taxable estate for federal estate tax purposes.

· The first $5.45 million (indexed for inflation in future years) will be sheltered by your federal estate tax exemption.

· Anything in excess of that amount will be taxed at a 40% rate.

· Depending on where you live, there may be a state death tax hit, too.

· Your heirs would have to figure out how to pay the tax hit(s) on money they have not yet received.

· I’m sure there are ways to borrow what’s needed to pay death taxes, but I doubt those ways are cheap.

· So if you’re not a healthy millennial, the cash option could be the better choice.

· If you’re a youngster in robust good health, and choose the annuity option — but you live in a high-tax state like New York, Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Oregon (oddly enough, California does not tax lottery winnings) — can you move to Florida or Nevada or Texas, which have no personal income taxes, and thereby avoid any state income tax hit on your future lottery annuity payments?

· It depends on the laws of the state where you currently reside.

· This is a question to be researched by your newly hired tax professional (more on that later).

Federal Income Tax

· Lottery jackpots are fully taxable.

· Big jackpots are taxed at the maximum federal rate of 39.6%.

· On an $868 million cash payout, the federal income tax hit would be about $344 million.

· Federal income tax will automatically be withheld from your prize, but only at a 25% rate.

· So on an $868 million payout; you would still owe the federal government almost $127 million.

· You have the same underpaid tax issue if you receive big lottery annuity payments, but the underpaid amount for each year is much smaller.

· In any case, failure to recognize that additional tax is still owed on lottery winnings is one big reason why some winners wind up in bankruptcy court a few years later.

State & Local Income Tax

· Here’s what could happen if a big lottery winner is “unlucky” enough to live in a state with a personal income tax.

· In most states, the tax rates on high-income individuals range from 5% to 10%.

· If the rate is 7%, the winner of an $868 million cash payout will owe the friendly state tax collector about $61 million.

· If you live in New York City, you face an 8.82% state income tax rate plus another 3.876% for city income tax.

· The state income tax rate in Massachusetts is an oppressive 12%.

· The 11% rate in Hawaii is no bargain.

· Depending on where you live, automatic withholding of state and local income taxes may or may not occur.

· This is another big reason why some lottery winners wind up bankrupt is failure to plan ahead for these tax hits.

Federal Gift Tax

· Despite having already lost many millions to the Feds (and maybe to your friendly state and city tax collectors, too), your tax situation can quickly deteriorate even further if you share your newfound wealth generously with friends and loved ones.

· That’s because you’ll owe the 40% federal gift tax after you’ve given away more than the $5.45 million federal gift tax exemption (adjusted for inflation in future years).

· If you give away $25 million to siblings, children, parents, aunts, uncles, and friends, the gift tax bill would be about $7.8 million.

· Don’t give away anything until you’ve talked to your newly hired tax pro.

Death Taxes

· Let’s assume that you don’t give away any of your $868 million cash jackpot.

· You just pay your $344 million tax bill to the Feds and your $61 million state tax bill.

· You then have $463 million left ($868 million - $344 million – $61 million).

· That should be more than enough to at least last for the rest of your life.

· However, if you massively overindulge and die of a heart attack later this year, your estate will owe a $183 million federal estate tax bill [40% x ($463 million – the $5.45 million exemption)].

· Of the $868 million you started off with, $280 million is left.

· That means almost 68% has been lost to taxes.

· If your state income tax rate is higher than 7% or if your state charges a death tax, it could be even worse.

The Bottom Line

If you’re lucky enough to become a really big lottery winner, the next day after you win, please take my advice...

· Hire a super-competent tax pro.

· Hire a super-competent attorney.

· Hire a super-competent financial adviser.

Then don’t do anything with your money until you’ve talked to all three. That way, your big jackpot will be a blessing instead of a curse...Or will it be?

Would I kid u?


Friday, January 08, 2016

One More Time...What Was It I Did That Was So Bad?

Years ago I latched onto a Charge that had been filed against a Vandal for spray painting a column on our local City Hall.

Did your logical mind just race ahead & say to you, “That’s Vandalism!” If so, your Racing Mind just proved that it is stuck in the Logical Past.

In Modern America, the Vandal is not a Vandal anymore. This Vandal’s crime was that he was an Interferer because he was actually charged with “Interfering with Government Property”.

This charge makes one think that the Column wanted to move around to the other side of City Hall to get out of the sun & the Interferer got in its way & prevented it from moving where it longed to go.


All of the above is a lead-in to today’s silliness. My newspaper tells me that one of the officers who is charged with the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore is charged with “Second-Degree Depraved-Heart Murder” which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Making the assumption that the officer is found guilty of “Second-Degree Depraved-Heart Murder”, one almost has to feel sorry for the officer. Try & get your mind’s eye (whatever that is) to picture this scene...

The “Second-Degree Depraved-Heart Murder” Found Guilty & Incarcerated Officer is in year 27 of his 30 year sentence. He is sitting across from his attorney talking through that little hole in that bullet-proof glass in the prison’s visiting room & as he says to his attorney, “You know how I hate to be repetitious & I know I have asked this question 317 times before but can you please explain to me one more time what Second-Degree Depraved-Heart Murder is?”

Would I kid u?


Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Am I Being Too Picky...Again?

On December 7, 2015 Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced he was changing the National Terrorism Warning System.

I have faith that these people in Homeland Security know what they are doing...Or do I?...Or do they?

In my reading of an article about the new National Terrorism Warning System there were two parts that caught my picky eye.

Me Being Picky, Part 1:

Jeh Johnson said the changes to the system allow Homeland Security to post a bulletin that does not depend on a Specific Credible Threat.


For years now, whenever we are being warned about a Terrorist Threat, being assured about a Terrorist Threat not really being a Terrorist Threat or lied to about a Terrorist Threat the phrase “Credible Threat” is replete throughout the Warning, the Assurance or the Lie. We expect to see the phrase “Credible Threat” to know for certain that we need to be worried.

Actually “Credible Threat” it is being used so often that is approaching the gargantuan volumes of some of our nightly news all time great Catch Phrases like...

Ø “Boots on the Ground”

Ø “Bipartisan”

Ø “Transparency”

Ø “My Good Friend” (used constantly in the Senate as a substitute for “That Complete Idiot Across the Aisle”).

My thinking is, if we are not going to depend on the use of the phrase “Credible Threat” to start worrying, what are going to depend on?

Ø Are we going to jump under the table because of Not-Credible Rumors?

Ø Are going to go back to making plans to move to New Zealand because Jeh Johnson’s barber, who was high on cocaine during Jeh’s last haircut, whispered in Jeh’s ear that his brother-in-law told him about his wild guess about a terrorist attack coming on Thursday?

Ø Are we going to despair because the New York Times took a survey of Mulberry Creek’s Fourth Grade Class during recess?

Me Being Picky, Part 2:

The Alert issued on Wednesday under the new system, which expires on 16 June, reads: “We are in a new phase in the global threat environment, which has implications on the homeland”.

My thinking is, what the heck does “Implications on the Homeland” even mean?

My confusion continues... “Expires June 16, 2016”. Why June 16? Have the Terrorists told us that June 16 is the start of their Vacation Season, so we can stop worrying for awhile?

If that’s true, I hope they will have the common decency to tell us when their Vacation Season comes to an end, so we can crank up another warning to worry about.

If it all makes sense to you, email me & tell me it makes sense to you & I will personally pay to have your head examined.

Would I kid u?


Friday, January 01, 2016

Old Guy Tries To Help Out The Young Guy & The Young Guy’s Response

The Old Guy Has Been Around For A Long Time & Knows Quite A Few Things

The Old Guy uses a quote from The Noticer (yea, there is another Noticer out there) to make a potentially life changing point to the Young Guy...

“Remember, young man, experience is not the best teacher. Other people's experience is the best teacher. By reading about the lives of great people, you can unlock the secrets to what made them great.”
Andy Andrews, The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective

The Young Guy Has Been Around For Only A Short Time & Knows Everything

The Young Guy (aka: The Dude) says to the Old Guy, “I don’t have time to do that. I’ve got a busy schedule today. I’ve got to hang out with my friends, catch up on my tweeting & take a lot of selfies. I take a lot of selfies every day.”

The Old Guy says to the Young Guy, “Is that really important?”

The Young Guy says to the Old Guy, “You bet, ya. These things are very important!”

The Old Guy thinks to himself, “That’s the problem. He really believes those things are important.”

Would I kid u?