The focus is red wine and to get right to it without distraction, click The Wine Commonsewer Speaks. The rest of the enchilada is just enough of an
eclectic mix of commentary on culture, food, tax, and econ 101 to
distract from the focus on red wine.
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Tax & Accounting Offices of Michael R Snell
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Self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four
other Guantanamo Bay detainees will be brought to trial in a civilian
federal courthouse in New York, blocks from site of the devastating
2001 terror attacks. Prosecutors expect to seek the death penalty.
This kind of stuff may seem especially egregious to you, Gentle Reader, but it is really just the Soup de Jour for most government bureaucracies.
Everything was fine until the city started running out of money in
2007. Suddenly, the city announced that it was going to ignore its own
ruling and reclassify us in the higher tax category. Even more
incredible is the fact that the new classification was to be imposed
retroactively to 2004 with interest and penalties. No explanation was
given for the new classification, or for the city's decision to ignore
its 1994 ruling.
Their official position is that the city is not bound by past
rulings -- only taxpayers are. (emphasis TWC's) This is why we have been forced to file
a lawsuit. We will let the courts decide whether it is legal for
adverse rulings to apply only to taxpayers and not to the city.
And when LA wins, they lose, because Creator's Syndicate will leave town, taking their jobs, revenue, and tax base with them.
As long as City Hall operates like a banana republic, why is anyone
surprised that jobs have left the city in droves and Los Angeles is
teetering on the brink of bankruptcy?
Californicate is so desperate for cash that the state is relentlessly hammering on dead horses with dead trees.
We have not received your entity's Form 199.....You must take one of the following actions within thirty days.....If you do not respond to this notice.....
It's actually pretty annoying that the state drones are wasting paper, postage, and man hours to demand three years of Exempt Organization Annual Information Returns* from organizations that were dissolved years to decades ago.
The state knows that the dunned organizations have been dissolved because that information is readily available from the Secretary of State. But looking it up would require effort. The state also knows that because of the relative small size of these organizations, that even if the organization still exists it isn't likely to have a filing requirement.
But it might, and that would mean penalties and interest. Consequently, blizzards of useless paperwork emanate from Sacramento only to end up in my fax machine, followed closely by tense voices at the other end of my telephone. You see, ordinary Californians get a bit of a wrench in the gut any time they see the return address on an envelope from the Franchise Tax Board.
*An Exempt Organization is the entity that is set up to handle your 401(k) or other retirement program. Generally, there must be more than $30,000.00 in earnings (dividends, cap gains, interest) per year in order to trigger a filing requirement. The rule is in place so that the guy with the 1400 square foot machine shop and a two person retirement plan doesn't have to deal with the annual paperwork burden that is required of larger companies with scores of employees.
From: President Barack
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:33 PM
To: Lisa Snell
Subject: A big first step-- thank you
Today, I signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law.
This is a historic step -- the first of many as we work together to climb out
of this crisis -- and I want to thank you for your resolve and your support.
You organized thousands of house meetings. You shared your ideas and personal
stories. And you informed your friends and neighbors about the need for
immediate action. You continue to be a powerful voice for change throughout
The recovery plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs, provide tax cuts for
working and middle-class families, and invest in health care and clean
It's a bold plan to address a huge problem, and it will require my vigilance
and yours to make sure it's done right.
I've assigned a team of managers to oversee the implementation of the
recovery act. We are committed to making sure no dollar is wasted. But
accountability begins with you.
That's why my administration has created Recovery.gov,
a new website where citizens can track every dollar spent and every job
created. We'll invite you and your neighbors to weigh in with comments and
Our progress will also be measured by the tens of thousands of personal
stories submitted by people who are struggling to make ends meet. If you
haven't already, you can read stories from families all across the country:
Your stories are the heart of this recovery plan, and that's what I'll focus
on every day as President.
With your continued support, we'll emerge a stronger and more prosperous
President Barack Obama
UPDATE & DISCLAIMER: I've already received many emails questioning the meaning of this posted email. I should have clarified it but assumed it would be understood.
Mrs TWC received this email unsolicited. My assumption is that she is on the email list because she works in public policy and that the President is peddling influence. Mrs TWC did not vote for the president and did not participate in the promotion of the president's misguided policy of throwing another trillion dollars at a problem that was largely created by government policy.
Harford Springs was once a working cattle ranch. Now it's a county wilderness park. Several hundred acres of land, as it was, open to hikers and horses. No OHV's, thank God for small favors. Took the kids for a three hour hike a couple of weeks ago on a chilly Sunday morning. Took a nap Sunday afternoon.
The county doesn't care for it like they should and seriously bungled by paving a road through the most beautiful part of it, violating the terms of the gift. Now the trust is threatening to revoke the deed, a condition of which was, no roads. Duh.
The solution? Force a developer with no connection to the road or the park to move the road as a condition of granting a permit to develop the plateau where the orange trees used to grow. Of course, that's a moot point in today's market. After seven years of running the permit process gauntlet, the market has turned and there'll not be any development. I guess they call that slow growth.
The lesson here is don't give stuff to the government. The Nature Conservancy woulda been a better bet.
After several days of no internet I'm happy to say that we're back on the air.
Got my state tax refund today. I know, I know, the cobbler's kids go barefoot and the tax guy files his return the day the extension runs out (and all that). For those of you who went to school in California, a cobbler is an old timey shoemaker. Or if it's my family, a Shuemaker. Except Old Man Shuemaker (see photo) was a printer. Musta been an actual Shuemaker in the wood pile somewhere.
The check came with a little note, exactly the same size as the check, imploring yours truly to file electronically next time and have the refund direct deposited. Ahh, the security of knowing that the state has your checking account number stored in its digital archives. All the better to inadvertantly levy your bank account when that other Mike Snell doesn't ante up.
This bit of green thought comes courtesy of a state that requires taxpayers to prepare a complete state tax return, which is made ever more difficult because Ca don't conform to federal law on so many issues. All done, Pilgrim? Then please attach an entire copy of your federal return. Thankee Muchacho.
Wonder how many check-size pieces of paper were mailed at taxpayer expense to go along with all that extra paper that you mailed in last April.
Shaddup Old Man, if you'd just e-file the dang thing.....
TWC is a fortunate soul in that I am in the prayers and thoughts of many lovely people, including the Fairy Godmother of Wine. I am the beneficiary of the kindness and generosity of many and to that end, care packages occasionally arrive at my door. Often enough that the UPS guy is jealous.
What is up with that stupid label?
What? We've been partying down for days and it's a good thing we ordered the wine last week and, whoa, look at the timing! The kegger of Bud Lite is too pooped to pop, and Boy Howdy, there's Big Brown with a case of that fifty buck a bottle red wine. Just in the nic-o-tine!