Archive | May, 2013

TAX DODGING IS NOT CHARITABLE

19 May

LEGALIZED STUPIDITY
Johann Wagener 5-19-13

 

Here is another example of  how stupid our politicians think American voters are. You are being asked to believe that 501(c) 4 organizations are not “political” but educational charities. UH?

 

Just like Citizens United took the word “people” to new levels so does this take the word “charity” into the crazy zone. 

 

6 Key Takeaways From the Stupidity and Reality of IRS ‘Scandal’

MONEY CAN’T BUY HAPPINESS

19 May

HAPPINESS 101

Johann Wagener 5-19-13

 

Here’s a course that the 1% ought to take because, as it turns out, those $50,000 Rolex clocks, $150,000

gas engines on 4 wheels, 7 bathrooms (one for each day of the week) and an elevator for that car doesn’t guarantee everlasting happiness or a first class ticket to Heaven.

 

 

Changing how you spend as little as $5 can lead to measurable increases in your happiness.

 

 

 

(The following is an oped piece out of today’s LA TIMES)

 

 

Buying happiness

Want contentment? Try taking a good hard look at how you spend your money.

 

By Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton

 

 IMAGINE THAT YOU woke up tomorrow morning to discover $1 million under your mattress. Leaving aside the obvious lumpiness issue, take a moment to think: What would you do with that cash?

If you’re like many people, contemplating your newfound wealth would probably make you think about one thing above all else: yourself. A growing body of research shows that the mere whiff of money draws out our selfish sides, focusing us on what that money can do for us, and us alone. Perhaps you imagined buying a raft of new possessions: a faster car, a high-end gas grill with rear rotisserie or even a new house, with a fancy rain shower in your commodious bathroom.

 

It’s hard to imagine anything nicer than shampooing in your private tropical rain forest. But studies by a generation of behavioral scientists show that material goods often fail to deliver lasting happiness. Fortunately, our ongoing research offers a host of ways to wring more happiness out of every dollar you spend. And what’s more, you don’t need to be a millionaire to reap the benefits of happy money. Changing how you spend as little as $5 can lead to measurable increases in your happiness.

But making these changes requires challenging some of our fundamental assumptions about spending. It’s hard not to view buying a house — which most Americans continue to see as a central part of the American dream — as a sensible investment. But new research shows that purchasing a home buys very little happiness.

 

A study of women in the United States found that homeowners were no happier than renters, on average. And even if you’re currently living in a cramped basement suite, you may find that moving to a nicer home has surprisingly little impact on your overall happiness. Researchers followed thousands of people in Germany who moved to a new home because there was something they didn’t like about their old home. In the five years after relocating, the residents reported a significant increase in satisfaction with their housing, but their overall satisfaction with their lives didn’t budge.

 

So, diligently saving up for a down payment might not be such a good idea if it means skipping after-work beers withfriends or your annual Valentine’s Day celebration at a favorite restaurant.

 

And dozens of studies show that people get more happiness from buying experiences than from buying material things. Experiential purchases — such as trips, concerts and special meals — are more deeply connected to our sense of self, making us who we are. And while it’s anyone’s guess where the American housing market is headed, the value of experiences tends to grow over time, becoming rosier in the rearview mirror of memory.

 

And experiences come with one more benefit: They tend to bring us closer to other people, whereas material things are more often enjoyed alone. (We tend to watch our new television alone on the couch, but we rarely head to a wonderful restaurant or jet off to Thailand solo.) Decades of research point to the importance of social contact for improving mental and physical health.

So, doing things with other people makes a difference for happiness, and our research suggests that doing things for other people can provide an additional boost. In experiments we’ve conducted around the world, including in Canada, the United States, Uganda and South Africa, we find that people are happier if they spend money on others. And we’ve found that spending even just a few dollars on someone else provides more happiness than using the cash to treat yourself.

 

If experiences increase happiness and giving increases happiness, can we combine them to create the perfect happiness intervention? We tried this in a recent experiment, in which we handed out Starbucks gift cards on a university campus.

 

We told some people to head to Starbucks and buy something for themselves. We told others to pass their gift card along to someone else. And we told a third group of people to use the gift card to buy something for someone else — with the additional requirement that they actually hang out with that person at Starbucks.

Who was happiest? Those who treated someone else and shared in that experience with them. So the cost of increasing your happiness may be as cheap as two cups of coffee.

 

Taken together, the new science of spending points to a surprising conclusion: How we use our money may matter as much or more than how much of it we’ve got. Which means that rather than waiting to see whether you find $1million under your mattress tomorrow, you can make yourself happier today. Switching your spending to buying experiences — for both yourself and others — can lead to more happiness than even the most amazingly Amazonian rain shower.

 

ELIZABETH DUNN and MICHAEL NORTON are the authors of “Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.”

 

 

 

http://eedition2.latimes.com/Olive/ODE/LATimes/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=TEFULzIwMTMvMDUvMTk.&pageno=MzE.&entity=QXIwMzEwMA..&view=ZW50aXR5

APPLES and ORANGES

15 May

APPLES and ORANGES

 
9/11 vs BENGAZI
Johann Wagener 5-12-13

Politicians are either the dumbest people on the planet or they believe that the American people are.

Obama haters are huffing and puffing about an incident that is one of many that have occurred throughout the world in which Americans were attacked and lost their lives. A good number of these attacks were unforeseen and, though things might have been done differently, chances are the results would have been the same.

For politicians or other critics of the Obama administration to draw comparisons to any of these incidents to 9/11 (short of Pearl Harbor)  is idiotic at best and crazy at worst.

The first thing these uninformed crazies should do is “read” a little history and do a little “math” both of which one would assume they are capable of doing;

9/11 attack on US soil left 2,960 (mostly Americans) dead.LARGEST ATTACK ON US SOIL SINCE PEARL HARBOR

When did we know?  2 months or more before the attack BUSH IGNORES WARNING MEMO

Who knew? Every security agency all the way up to Bush himself. A DISASTER IN THE MAKING

Benghazi attack on foreign soil (Libya) 4 Americans killed. NO COMPARISON TO 9/11

When did we know? The day it happened! NOTHING IS BEING HIDDEN

Who knew? The Secretary of State at 10PM on the day of the attack. BENGHAZI ATTACK TIMELINE

This reads like Don Quixote with Republicans chasing windmills rather than doing the business of the people which is what they get paid to do. Unfortunately these are also the same people who were on watch on 9/11.

 
 

DO THE CRIME – DO NO TIME

12 May

TOO BIG TO JAIL
Johann Wagener 5-10-13

Rather than jail the criminals we sue the company for money that should go to investors and services.

The suit alleges that Chase engaged in widespread, illegal robo-signing, among other unlawful practices, to commit debt-collection abuses against approximately 100,000 California credit card borrowers over at least a three-year period.

“Chase abused the judicial process and engaged in serious misconduct against California credit card borrowers,” Attorney General Harris said. “This enforcement action seeks to hold Chase accountable for systematically using illegal tactics to flood California’s courts with specious lawsuits against consumers. My office will demand a permanent halt to these practices and redress for borrowers who have been harmed.”

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Suit Against JPMorgan Chase for Fraudulent and Unlawful Debt-Collection Practices | State of California – Department of Justice – Kamala D. Harris Attorney General

THE MOTHER OF ALL LEAKS

11 May

The Fall of the 1%
Johann Wagener 5-10-13

 

 

They can run but there’s fewer places to hide. What good is having all the money in the world and no place to spend it without being scorned?

 

You are not going to read about this or hear it on cable news in the USA because the people who own the media are the same people who are being called out; along with all those who pander to them. 

 

 

The U.S., British and Australian authorities are working with a gigantic cache of leaked data that may be the beginnings of one of the largest tax investigations in history.

The secret records are believed to include those obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that lay bare the individuals behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, Singapore and other offshore hideaways.

The hoard of documents obtained by ICIJ represents the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever gathered by a media organization.

But the British tax authority claims it has even more data.

The total size of the ICIJ files, measured in gigabytes, is more than 160 times larger than the leak of U.S. State Department documents by Wikileaks in 2010.

A statement from the British tax office puts the size of the data obtained by the three tax authorities at 400 gigabytes, compared to the 260 gigabytes gathered by the ICIJ.

“The 400 gigabytes of data is still being analyzed but early results show the use of companies and trusts in a number of territories around the world including Singapore, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Cook Islands,” the British tax office statement said.

“The data also exposes information that may be shared with other tax administrations as part of the global fight against tax evasion.”

 

 

Tax Authorities Move on Leaked Offshore Documents

A BOY AND HIS DOG

8 May

Guardian Angels Do Exist
Johann Wagener 5-7-13

CATHEDRAL CITY – Monday night a service dog is presumed stolen as he would never leave his owner’s side. Missing Service Dog lost in Cathedral City – www.kmir6.com

Dominic Cumo is a nine year old boy diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. His companion, Kipper, and medical dog of three years went missing at 7:30 p.m. on Avenida Juarez in Cathedral City. Kipper has saved Dominic’s life three times.

A police report was filed and police went door to door in the neighborhood looking for Kipper. Kipper is blind in one eye and is a white Shih-tzu with clipped short hair.

Here is a link to Dominic’s facebook page with more photos of Kipper. 

A HAPPY ENDING
 

MY FIRST KILL

6 May

CHILD ENDANGERMENT
Johann Wagener 5-5-13

 

 

What is child endangerment?

Child endangerment is the act of causing any harm to the child’s well being mentally and/or physically. Examples of child endangerment include the use of drugs where a child lives, handguns not locked-up and left within the reach of children, being exposed to unsafe environments can all be considered child endangerment. 

Adults that give children under 18 liquor or cigarettes are guilty of a criminal act of abuse. 

Children under 15 can not drive an automobile

Children under 18 are not allowed to see R-rated movies and children under 13 can not see PG-13 rated movies.

Pornography showing children under 18 is illegal. 

And yet manufacturing, marketing, and selling guns and ammunition that are made for children as young as 4 years old is legal and parents or other adults are legally allowed to give these weapons to children. 

A single bullet to the chest killed the 2-year-old Kentucky girl shot by her 5-year-old brother clutching a “My First Rifle” — a tragic accident that could lead to charges.

Kristian Sparks shot his sister, Caroline, with a .22-caliber rifle around 1 p.m. Tuesday inside the family’s mobile home in rural Burkesville, Cumberland County. Their mother, Stephanie Sparks, was outside on the porch pouring grease out of a frying pan when she heard the gun go off, Kentucky State Police said.

Cumberland County resident Jeff Booher, 53, said learning how to use a gun is a rite of passage for many children who live in this area of southern Kentucky near the Tennessee border.

Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said the family had not realized a shell was left inside the gun, which was kept in a corner of the house.

The pair’s mom was at home when the shot was fired, he added.

Revealing the shooting would be ruled accidental, White added: “It’s just one of those crazy accidents.”

Read more: Kentucky girl, 2, fatally shot in chest by 5-year-old brother: police

Video; Crickett rifles from the “My First Rifle” collection for kids on the website of Keystone Sporting Arms

Video; It’s just one of those crazy accidents.”