Cry me a river (or listening to the “poor” wealthy folk whine about taxes)

Some whiny wealthy law professor by the name of  Todd Henderson writes for a blog hosted here on wordpress.com (as is the one you’re reading now). He recently posted an apology for a post he had made a few days prior.

The blog post he was apologizing for was titled We are the Super Rich and was located here.  But (per the above mentioned apology) he took it down.  But thanks to the friendly folks over at Google. You can still view it via Google Cache.

But just for shits and giggles, I copied the text from the cache of the original and have posted it below for you to mock along with the rest of us “poor folks”.

We are the Super Rich

The rhetoric in Washington about taxes is about millionaires and the super rich, but the relevant dividing line between millionaires and the middle class is pegged at family income of $250,000. (I’m not a math professor, but last time I checked $250,000 is less than $1 million.) That makes me super rich and subject to a big tax hike if the president has his way.
I’m the president’s neighbor in Chicago, but we’ve never met. I wish we could, because I would introduce him to my family and our lifestyle, one he believes is capable of financing the vast expansion of government he is planning. A quick look at our family budget, which I will happily share with the White House, will show him that like many Americans, we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich. We aren’t.
I, like the president before me, am a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School, and my wife, like the first lady before her, works at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she is a doctor who treats children with cancer. Our combined income exceeds the $250,000 threshold for the super rich (but not by that much), and the president plans on raising my taxes. After all, we can afford it, and the world we are now living in has that familiar Marxian tone of those who need take and those who can afford it pay. The problem is, we can’t afford it. Here is why.
The biggest expense for us is financing government. Last year, my wife and I paid nearly $100,000 in federal and state taxes, not even including sales and other taxes. This amount is so high because we can’t afford fancy accountants and lawyers to help us evade taxes and we are penalized by the tax code because we choose to be married and we both work outside the home. (If my wife and I divorced or were never married, the government would write us a check for tens of thousands of dollars. Talk about perverse incentives.)
Our next biggest expense, like most people, is our mortgage. Homes near our work in Chicago aren’t cheap and we do not have friends who were willing to help us finance the deal. We chose to invest in the University community and renovate and old property, but we did so at an inopportune time.
We pay about $15,000 in property taxes, about half of which goes to fund public education in Chicago. Since we care the education of our three children, this means we also have to pay to send them to private school. My wife has school loans of nearly $250,000 and I do too, although becoming a lawyer is significantly cheaper. We try to invest in our retirement by putting some money in the stock market, something that these days sounds like a patriotic act. Our account isn’t worth much, and is worth a lot less than it used to be.
Like most working Americans, insurance, doctors’ bills, utilities, two cars, daycare, groceries, gasoline, cell phones, and cable TV (no movie channels) round out our monthly expenses. We also have someone who cuts our grass, cleans our house, and watches our new baby so we can both work outside the home. At the end of all this, we have less than a few hundred dollars per month of discretionary income. We occasionally eat out but with a baby sitter, these nights take a toll on our budget. Life in America is wonderful, but expensive.
If our taxes rise significantly, as they seem likely to, we can cut back on some things. The (legal) immigrant from Mexico who owns the lawn service we employ will suffer, as will the (legal) immigrant from Poland who cleans our house a few times a month. We can cancel our cell phones and some cable channels, as well as take our daughter from her art class at the community art center, but these are only a few hundred dollars per month in total. But more importantly, what is the theory under which collecting this money in taxes and deciding in Washington how to spend it is superior to our decisions? Ask the entrepreneurs we employ and the new arrivals they employ in turn whether they prefer to work for us or get a government handout.
I’ll let you decide for yourself what to think.  I rather liked how it was picked apart over at the Daily Kos, myself.
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My thoughts on the 9th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001

My heart and thoughts go out to the families and friends of those who were victims of 9/11.  I’ll never forget that day (or the whole week that followed).

I was on my way to work when I learned of the attacks.  I was at a bus stop, waiting for the bus, when I called my mom about something on my cell phone.  She just assumed I was calling about the attacks.  Then she told me. It was about 90 minutes after the 2nd plane had hit the World Trade Center.  I remember thinking and saying that it was  like something out of a movie.

When I arrived at work (was working a 11-7 shift), they had TVs on and tuned to CNN. The office was unusually quiet.

I was a Travel Agent in a call center then and it was weird not getting any calls for days.   I remember a group of us in the office (about 15 of the 80 or so that worked there) gathering to pray (I’m agnostic, but joined them anyway). We were all crying.

I also had a preplanned flight (several days later) for myself that was almost canceled (well all flights had been canceled but the question was, would mine be reinstated – it was for the Saturday following 9/11).  I got a call the night before from the airline stating it was and to arrive at the airport 2 hours early.

There were armed national guard troops walking on the tarmac and standing on the roof of the concourses and terminal.

I remember the captain thanking us for flying @ that time. And saying a few words about 9/11.  The cabin was 3/4 empty and deathly quiet for it’s 2 1/2 hour duration.

I also had no TV at home that week. I couldn’t afford to pay my cable bill at the time so my cable had been cut off.  I lived in an apartment where rabbit ears would not work.  So I missed most all of the TV coverage for days.  It was 2 weeks later that I got my cable back.   I had to wait a year for the first anniversary, when networks replayed the tape of several hours of coverage that day.  I remember crying all over again.  It was just amazing to me that this all happened.

With that said, the next person who says “never forget” is gonna get bitch slapped! Trust me, I won’t forget!

I’m Sorry Firefox

….but it’s over.

 

Out with the old. In with the new
firefox chrome

 

We had a good long run (I’d been with you longer than anyone else), but I’ve found someone new.  She’s younger and faster and has most of what you had to offer me (even the really geeky stuff).

Most of all, I’m impressed with how fast she is (no matter how I try to slow her down)

So Firefox, we can still be friends, but it’s just not gonna be the same any more..

 

All my love,

Scott

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Google’s Brilliant Super Bowl Ad

I’m taking this opportunity to write my first blog post in many months.  I guess I’ve not had much to say (at least not that anyone would find interesting anyway).

I’m one of a handful of Americans that did not watch the Super Bowl yesterday. But one of ads from the game caught my attention even before it aired..

Google had he most brilliant (yet simp0le and heartwarming) ad of all. 

I first heard about it by accident the day before the game and decided to check it out.

It turns out it’s an ad that was first Internet-only and had been up since November as part of Google’s Internet Only marketing campaign known as “Search Stories”.

I must have watched the ad 20 times by now. I’m a sucker for romance, what can I say (yes I’ve been known to watch chick flicks and like it)?

It actually made me cry.

Romance aside though, it does a great job of demonstrating what that little search box can do.  I’ll be a lot of people who watched had no idea that they could use Google to quickly translate, get flight arrival/departure information or it’s use it a a combined Yellow Page/mapping function (and all from the home page).

Overall a very effective ad. 

Tom Maurstad of The Dallas Morning News summed it up best when he named it the best of the Super bowl and wrote:

….No flash, no special effects, just a love story told (and told really well) through a procession of search questions, The arc from the unentangled beginning (student questions about programs in France) to the final "how to assemble a crib" is just beautifully, sweetly done. It deepens your appreciation of the Google brand and what it does. You know, like advertising is supposed to and Super Bowl ads almost never do.

Anyway, enough already. As of this writing, I’ve been gushing about it for hours.

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My Sleep Clinic Visit (followed by the mashed up car).

My doctor thinks I may have sleep apena.  I sleep 2-4 hours at a time around the clock (I’m up 4-8 hours in-between).

She sent me to a sleep clinic. I was there last night.  It’s a very interesting procedure.

They hook you up to lots of wires (EEG, EKG, blood oxygen level, REM, breathing rate) and monitor your sleep for 5-6 hours.

It’s too bad it doesn’t last longer.  They actually let me sleep in an extra hour (I arrived at 10:00 pm and left just after 6:00 am).

I found it very difficult to fall asleep as I’m normally either already up, or just waking up from one of my many daily naps.

I estimate it took 2 hours to fall asleep.  During the night I managed to pull one of the sensors off one of my legs (EKG) and they came in and put it back on.  I also woke up twice during the night and I guesstimate it took me around 20 minutes to fall asleep afterwards.

Nevertheless, the experience was very interesting.

When you check in they give you a notice on the risks of driving while you are tired. Unfortunately it’s geared toward someone heading out on a long trip and not just 2 miles away.

After leaving the clinic, I stopped at a Sonic that was just a few doors down the street for breakfast.

As I was pulling in to the parking spot I managed to scrape the front driver’s side door against the menu stand. I heard this combined scraping and crunching sound as I did so.

I then backed the car (borrowed from my mom) out and noticed three vertical scratches that were (more or less) parallel to one another on the door.

But the worst part is, that when I got back into the car I found that it was very difficult to roll up the window and that I could only get it up to the point where it was still a 1/4 inch open.

The side mirror also needed to be re-adjusted and I fond that when I did so, it lurched at one point as it was moving around (it is power operated).

So I pulled back into the space, ate my breakfast and headed home.

I went straight to bed as I was still quite tired and slept till about 11:00 am.

Now I have to figure out how to break the news to my Mom (she will go apeshit I’m sure – not that I blame her). 

Apparently the door is also bent. I hope to god it’s just the door and not the frame.  You would never know it’s bent by looking at it.  It otherwise seems normal (save for the scratches). I was barely moving when this happened. I can’t believe the fame itself would be bent.

I suppose she can say she was driving the car for insurance purposes. I have no idea what this will cost, but I’m also flat broke at this point.

I’ll try to post some pictures here at some point.

I’m a nervous wreck right now.

UPDATE: She was surprisingly cool about the whole thing. She’s not sure if she’s going to live with it for now or not.

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Geek Shop-O-Rama!

I’m broke now, but I’m Happy!

Amazon.com is happy with me too. :0)

I got me two of these:

& one of these:
http://bit.ly/New-2TB-Hard-Drive

& one of these:

http://bit.ly/new-video-card

& because I’m all thumbs when it comes to tinkering with electronic hardware, I’m gonna have thsese guys open up my computer and put it all in. (well actually, the old Video Card is being replaced with the new one). :0)

Ooops almost forgot.  A month ago I bought this:

http://bit.ly/TV-Card

But I never got around to getting it put in the computer, so that will be done when the other stuff mentioend above is also.

I’ll have a total of 4 hard drives in the computer (5TB of storage – up from 1) when this is all done.

It’s almost like I got a new computer!😀

Posted in Computers, Hardware, Shopping, Tech, Technology. Comments Off on Geek Shop-O-Rama!

Michael Jackson Tribute Song

Apparently I (@angrykeyboarder) was the only person on Twitter (who obviously doesn’t spend all day there like many do – I prefer FriendFeed) who wasn’t aware of this.

Diddy (@iamdiddy) got a group (The Game featuring Chris Brown, Diddy, Polow Da Don, Mario Winans, Usher and Boyz II Men) together and quickly wrote and recorded a tribute song to Michael Jackson and posted it on the Web for all to download.

I just (approximately 11:00 PM, Pacific Time) read about it here.  You can download the song from this page.

Very impressive work by all parties concerned.

I can’t believe I was so late to the party. I live on these Internets.

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