Saturday, February 28, 2015

GOP Cave on DHS: One Week Funding Approved

President Obama is head of the executive branch of the Federal government. He has, like it or not, pretty expansive powers to direct or change the enforcement priorities of the executive branch. Arguably he has exceeded those powers in his latest executive immigration policy. The courts will end up making that decision. However the legislative branch, has, like it or not, the authority to determine what the budget is and on what it may be spent. In its own way this power is just as awesome as that of the President. Reckless or not, Congress has the ability to defund executive actions that it does not like. Ultimately this is what happened with the Vietnam War. However for either the President or Congress to effectively wield those powers which they possess they must be willing to say "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" and ignore objections to valid use of those powers. For all the criticism which President Obama has received, some valid, some not, for being a weak vacillating mouse of a man who is too eager to find common ground where there isn't any, on this executive action on illegal immigration, it turns out that at least to this point he's the one with the intestinal fortitude. Faced with the reality of what a DHS shutdown would mean to the country, DHS employees, and to their poll numbers Senate and House Republicans blinked, approving a one week DHS funding bill. President Obama signed the legislation last night.


The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted today to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the budget year — without any restrictions on immigration. The vote is a victory for President Obama as Republicans had wanted to strip funding for the president's executive actions on immigration from the bill.

The measure now heads to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.

Movie Reviews: Heat Wave, The Phantom of The Opera

Heat Wave
directed by Ken Hughes
This is another of Hammer's film noirs. Heat Wave was in the package my brother sent me. Like many other genre movies Heat Wave owes a lot to The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity. The movie looks grand. It's shot in black and white. It has the typical use of shadow and staging that one expects from such films. Everyone and their mama is smoking a cigarette and throwing down scotch and bourbon. There is the light filtered through the Venetian blinds. There's a fair share of tough guy and tough gal dialogue. I like film noir and usually enjoy watching genre flicks. Yet for all that the story ended up not being top tier. In my opinion, the two leads didn't really have much chemistry together. And the femme fatale was a bit too hard bitten. Camera closeups didn't exactly do her any favors in my view. Instead of being able to easily understand or take for granted how and why the male lead fell so hard and fast for this married blonde I was constantly wondering why he just didn't pursue her much friendlier, prettier and apparently unattached stepdaughter, who apparently had a fancy to him anyway. So that took me out of the film a bit. If you want me to believe that a man will risk everything for lust because if making love to that woman is wrong he doesn't want to be right then you should show the passion more than Heat Wave did. Nevertheless older movies remain interesting time capsule documents of how human nature doesn't change that much over the decades or even the centuries. Lust, selfishness, loneliness, and cunning are constant elements of the human emotional stew. People will risk a lot to get their needs met.

HBO Game of Thrones: New Season Five Trailers

Here are two new snippets from the upcoming Season Five of Game of Thrones. In the first clip Brienne seems to be a bit down emotionally while talking to Podrick. In the second Jon Snow is trying to convince Mance to do something. Brienne probably has a lot to be down about. Her first Lord, Renly Baratheon, was murdered. Her next Lady, Catelyn Stark, was murdered. And she has so far failed to save Arya or Sansa Stark. Additionally as you can no doubt infer from the poster this season could see a serious departure from the books insofar as Tyrion will meet up with Daenerys. In the books this hasn't happened yet. Books Four and Five were both the middle of the series. Martin spent more time moving characters around for yet to be determined end games or in some cases feints at end games. When Tyrion does meet up with Daenerys and her dragons (and based both on this poster and previously released trailers it seems almost certain), Season Five of Game of Thrones could wind up cutting out a lot of the more leisurely moments from Books Four and Five. I certainly hope that this turns out to be the case. Some of that was tough reading and probably wouldn't translate well to television. Although I appreciated that Martin spent some time showing the aftermath of war and the impact of war on the common man and woman, I still thought overall that Book Four was a disappointment. It may be that Benioff and Weiss have extracted all of the good parts from Books Four and Five, created some of their own story lines and mixed it all up with yet to be published insights from Martin to create a really good Season Five. This season should reveal many surprises for book readers and show watchers alike as we have heard from the Word of God (Martin) that more characters will die this season who are still very much alive and kicking in the books. We shall see. This is the first year that I am not 100% certain of what will happen or if the story will continue to exist at a high level of excellence. It all goes down on Sunday April 12 at 9 PM.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Federal Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against Al Sharpton and Comcast

The Reverend Al Sharpton, whatever his other gifts may be, is not a particularly adept television host. His cadence grates. To this Midwesterner he usually sounds as if he's about to punch someone in the mouth. Sharpton mispronounces words and misses cues to open or close segments. He yells all the time. Sharpton's only two emotions are surprise or outrage. He seems to be in a perennial search for the teleprompter. We posted about all this before but Sharpton's shortcomings are obvious to anyone that watches his show for longer than five minutes. For these reasons and many others, Sharpton's ratings on MSNBC have mostly been bad. I can't blame him too much for this. If someone offered to pay me many multiples of my current salary to do something for which I was poorly qualified I might well take the money and cry all the way to the bank. Sharpton has to this point survived the latest reshuffling of talent at MSNBC which saw Joy Reid and Ronan Farrow lose their even less popular shows. This ability to survive purges and even the ability to get hired in the first place had some people shaking their heads and muttering about conspiracy theories. Others laughed at the sheer audacity and tenacity of Sharpton. It takes a lot to survive as a public figure in this world and Sharpton has it. Although his television show is an ongoing dumpster fire I appreciate that Sharpton brings attention to some situations that would otherwise go unnoticed. However someone just recently revealed his belief that Sharpton's hiring and survival at MSNBC was more about corporate payoffs and hiring a spook to sit by the door than it was about Sharpton's hosting talents. So this man filed a $20 billion dollar federal lawsuit.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Best Moment of the 87th Annual Academy Awards: John Legend and Common's Performance of Glory (Video)

Congratulations to Common and John Legend on their Oscar win!

The performance in case you missed it:

Their acceptance speech:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Politeness takes a beating

We've talked previously about how politeness and chivalry are wasted on some people. Case in point, recently I went to a doctor's appointment. The admitting nurse took notes and asked me questions as nurses are wont to do. Now it's important to point out for reasons that become important later in the paragraph that this nurse was obviously significantly older than I am. She might not have been of an age with my mother's or father's generation but she wasn't that far from it either. As most people who know me offline would tell you I am normally nothing if not polite. When I was raised I was trained and expected to ALWAYS say sir and ma'am to my parents. Not doing so was a sign of grave disrespect. And if you were a child in their house you did not want to disrespect my parents. Outside the house I might occasionally throw in a sir or ma'am to an older person with whom I was interacting but unlike with my parents THAT honorific was optional. It depended on if I was in a good mood or the older person was being polite or if I knew their last name and could instead call them Mr. or Mrs. so-n-so or a million other reasons or no reason at all. Spending time down south with my maternal relatives made me even more polite because my grandfather usually said sir or ma'am to everyone, old or young. So being the polite man that I am I answered one of the nurse's questions with "no ma'am".

Book Reviews: Quarry's Choice

Quarry's Choice
by Max Allan Collins
Max Allan Collins is an Iowa based writer of various mystery stories and graphic novels. He's probably best known for Road to Perdition. His Quarry series is also popular. Each book stands alone. This isn't a series in which it's essential to start from the beginning because Collins provides the same sketchy origin details in the first few pages of each book. As you might surmise from the slightly risque cover of Quarry's Choice, this story is a detective/gangster novel written with a nod to the style of the pulp fiction dime store novels from the 30s thru the 70s. For lack of a better word the writing style and themes which Collins uses in Quarry's Choice are unabashedly masculine. You may be intrigued, excited, unimpressed, disgusted or bored by that. I can't call it. But Collins' prose is miles apart from that of say something like Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey. Collins was influenced by pulp fiction godfather Mickey Spillane, creator of the Mike Hammer character. Collins worked with Spillane and even finished a few Spillane stories. That Spillane sway suffuses the text. Sex is integral to the story. The protagonist likes sex. He likes women. And he's not shy about trying to determine a woman's interest or availability. There's a lot of sex in Quarry's Choice, tender and otherwise. The story is set in the early seventies. The titular hero is not really a hero in the classic sense of the word. He's a hitman who's not too particular about his employers provided he's paid on time and in full. He is particular about rules though. His word is usually his bond. If he ever takes altruistic steps he'll probably look back on them as a mistake. Quarry is a former Marine sniper and Vietnam veteran, who upon returning home and dealing harshly and permanently with his wife's lover, discovered that the only thing he was really good at was killing people. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Creepy Joe Biden and Mrs. Carter

Who's your Daddy?
Once a year I have to take and pass an online course that covers inappropriate personal behavior in a corporate environment. A big part of this is just reading how not to harass, intimidate, insult or discriminate against your fellow workers. It's mostly pretty insanely freaking obvious stuff that can basically be boiled down to "Don't tell me no lies and keep your hands to yourself". The Company probably wants to make sure that no would be player can do anything stupid, get caught and try to blame the company by claiming that no one ever told them that their actions were wrong. Because that could end up costing the Company money and bad publicity. Sadly it looks like Vice-President Joe Biden could do well to take a similar course that shows him the right way and wrong way to act. Over the years I've seen more than a few people retire, get promoted or be otherwise honored in the workplace. Sometimes they even bring their spouse or significant other along for the announcement or celebration. Generally though, unless specifically invited to do so, it's usually a good idea for the boss of the person being honored to refrain from pawing, grabbing, kissing, stroking, fondling, hugging, patting or otherwise engaging in intimate touching with someone else's spouse. Such things are reserved for (obviously) the spouse or in some cases relatives or in-laws. Not bosses. Bosses get a lot of perks but pawing other people's spouses shouldn't be one of them. I learned that in a 45 minute online course. Biden hasn't learned that in 45 years of political service. Interesting.

There are always people who are more touchy-feely than others of course. I happen to be a person who believes that physical contact has little if any place in the workplace. Not everyone feels that way. I doubt that Biden meant anything but the optics just aren't good. The risks of giving offense are too high. If Biden were anyone else and/or if the lady got upset Biden might be looking for a new job next week. If Biden really just had to touch Mrs. Stephanie Carter, wife of the new Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, perhaps a firm vigorous handshake would have sufficed. Because in some circles I frequent, Vice-President or not, putting your hands like that on someone else's wife can initiate some negative feelings or even start a fight. I'm just saying.

What do you think?

Doctor refuses to treat baby of lesbian parents

We posted before on how some business owners have come under pressure to serve same sex clients in what they see as expressive and more personal services such as renting a wedding suite to a same sex couple, creating photographs or video for a same sex wedding or providing a cake celebrating the same. To the extent that some extremely religious or extremely bigoted people have balked at customers requesting such services they have usually lost their case in court IF their state happens to have laws forbidding such discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. However not every state has such laws. Michigan for example does not. A local lesbian couple found that out the hard way when a pediatrician refused to see their child and referred the family to another doctor in her practice. Now medical coverage is just a wee bit more important than buying a cake or photographs from someone but the principle remains the same. I'm not sure there is a logically consistent method by which the state government could say we will allow market discrimination in that sector but not this one. Or is there? Is this an all or nothing sort of situation?

Dinesh D'Souza, President Obama and Racism

As we discussed previously there is a certain type of person, often but by no means always, non-black, who feels qualified to circumscribe and negatively judge what blackness is. This is an ongoing theme in American society. It arises from slavery, Jim Crow and the resulting American tradition of policing what is "white" and what is "black". Some people once criticized Spike Lee movies because they felt he wasn't focusing enough on black drug addiction. Others blasted The Cosby Show for showing two upper-middle class black people happily married to each other and presiding over achieving children. Occasionally people criticize out of ignorance or even well-meaning condescension. However some other people question or insult someone's blackness from pure malevolence, racism and fear. Such men or women are threatened, confused and ultimately angered by any Black person who doesn't fit their stereotypes. For them Blackness means always and only to be the permanent outsider, to be less than, to be impoverished, to be criminal, to be unworthy of respect, to speak incoherently and act ridiculously, to dress in a loud fashion, to be the grinning, shucking, jiving, spear chucking, incompetent, sex obsessed, perpetually late, lazy, dumb, Mandingo/Mammy/Jezebel/Uncle Ben/Nat Turner/Sapphire who haunts their worst nightmares or fevered fantasies. 

Dinesh D'Souza is such a racist. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Obama's Immigration Plans

Earlier this week on Monday, a federal judge in the Southern District of Texas issued an order in the case of State of Texas, et al., v. United States which pushes the pause button on the Obama Administration's plans to use the prosecutorial discretion of the executive branch (namely, the Department of Homeland Security) in order to implement the "Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents" program ("DAPA").  Although not at issue in this case, the injunction also temporarily prevents the Obama Administration from implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program ("DACA").  These are programs aimed at giving relief to undocumented immigrants who arrived in this country as children, as well as relief to their parents.  All told, the programs were estimated to affect approximately 4-5 million people living here in the United States. 

The question squarely before the district court was this:

Do the laws of the United States, including the Constitution, give the Secretary of Homeland Security the power to take the action at issue in this case?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Are the Producers of Top Chef Racist?


Last Wednesday Bravo's hit culinary reality television series "Top Chef" concluded its 12th season, crowning Mei Lin with the coveted top prize. Coming in runner up, for the second year in a row was a high performing African-American chef. This year's cheated chef was none other than Gregory Gourdet. The producers made sure to properly edit the finale and comments of the judges to ensure we didn't have a full out catastrophic repeat of last years egregious titling of "Top Chef" to Nicholas Elmi. If you are unfamiliar with the show and the catastrophe I just mentioned, let me fill you in. "Top Chef" fans, I'm sorry we must rehash season 11 to fully understand what's going on here....

Saturday, February 14, 2015

McDonald's Meltdowns and Wal-Mart Head Butts

I work in a white-collar office environment. It's air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter. I don't have to punch a time clock upon arrival, when I go to the bathroom, or upon leaving for the day. There is not a lot of cursing and yelling going on most days. Not every white-collar environment I've been in has been like this. A boss with a reputation for bullying once yelled something nasty at me. I had a very short, direct, and serious discussion with him where the upshot was he apologized. I later heard that he expressed admiration that I was willing to stand up to him. Whatever. Some former co-workers were quite passionate about their job and would routinely get into very LOUD profane nasty shouting matches with each other. They once got into it in front of a visiting company director. I don't know if they were disciplined or not but I do know that neither one was ever promoted. They're doing the same job today for close to the same pay that they were doing fifteen years ago. So you can connect the dots there I guess. I do not usually work with outside customers. I'm more adept with the written word than with verbal communication so this is probably for the best. There are many angry, frustrated customers who are eager to vent their spleen to an easy target, like say an employee who has certain rules to follow lest he or she lose his job. Having to take this sort of abuse coupled with just the normal problems and issues of work can cause some employees to lose it. The three below videos show some examples of what's really going on the front lines of customer-employee interaction. 

Movie Reviews: Fury, Rob The Mob, The Raid: Redemption

directed by David Ayer
"Better a Russian on your belly than an American on your head".
If American Sniper depicted the true life tale of a righteous soldier in what many Americans thought was a bad war, Fury tells a fictional story of flawed soldiers in what most Americans, Patrick Buchanan aside , still think of as the good war. People beatify the Greatest Generation and tend to overlook their foibles. They had the same flaws as any other human who must adapt to killing and other forms of brutality exercised in the cause of "good". Only someone who has actually been there or has studied what war does to people can speak authoritatively about what actually happens but humans are very observant. Since the times of the ancients, people have noticed that war changes people. War can take a mental toll on the surviving participants. Every veteran deals with this in different ways. Many have no issues reintegrating themselves into society. Others struggle. And a minority are never quite the same. 

There may be glory in war. But there is also fear, cowardice, viciousness, savagery, rape and any number of ways for soldiers or civilians to die slowly, painfully or suddenly. It's a sudden death which opens Fury. A German officer rides a horse through a smoking battlefield littered with debris, wreckage, shell casings and corpses. He is set upon from above and quickly and coldly dispatched by an American soldier who was playing dead. This soldier is Staff Sergeant Don "WarDaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt in high testosterone mode), commander of the Sherman Tank named Fury. It's early 1945 and much to WarDaddy's chagrin the Germans won't stop fighting. He's been killing them in North Africa, Italy, France, The Netherlands and now Germany but those slimy SOB's just won't quit. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Janet Malone case: why I despise the IRS

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
Cos I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman

Taxman-The Beatles
My problem with many federal regulatory agencies in general and the IRS in particular is that they tend to operate under Lavrentiy Beria's proscription of "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime". When both by regulation and by law the list of crimes ever expands then everyone, innocent or not, can be found guilty of something. I have read (and experienced?) that if a police officer really wants to stop you he can find a esoteric traffic violation of some sort before you've driven three blocks. The IRS operates under the same principle. When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. This society is supposed to endorse the principle of innocent until proven guilty. The IRS doesn't really operate under those rules. For too long Congress has given the IRS a free hand to seize people's assets and property before any sort of proceeding has really established guilt. I believe in paying the taxes that I owe and following the law. But I don't believe that Congress (which is to say we the people) should be giving the IRS and other regulatory or law enforcement agencies wide swaths of poorly defined authority, particularly when it comes to putting people in jail and taking their money. Too often such authority is wielded with a vengeance against relatively powerless individuals who don't have the connections or funds to fight back. It's rare that we hear about a banker or other financial big shot going to prison for money laundering in drug or arms dealing crimes. Such banks and individuals are often thought to be too big to fail. No one has gone to prison for the mortgage meltdown that almost destroyed the US economy.
To combat tax evasion, drug trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, and other crimes, the IRS requires your bank or other financial institution to report to the IRS any deposits you make that are over $10,000. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

60 Minutes Correspondent Bob Simon Dead at Age 73


Bob Simon, the longtime "60 Minutes" correspondent and legendary CBS News foreign reporter died suddenly Wednesday night in a car accident in New York City.
The award-winning newsman was 73.
"Bob Simon was a giant of broadcast journalism, and a dear friend to everyone in the CBS News family. We are all shocked by this tragic, sudden loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob's extended family and especially with our colleague Tanya Simon," said CBS News President David Rhodes.
"It's a terrible loss for all of us at CBS News," 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager said in a statement. "It is such a tragedy made worse because we lost him in a car accident, a man who has escaped more difficult situations than almost any journalist in modern times.
Simon was riding in the backseat of a livery cab around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday on New York City's West Side Highway when the car rear-ended another vehicle and crashed into barriers separating north- and southbound traffic, the New York Police Department said in a statement. Unconscious with head and torso injuries, Simon was transported to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital where he died. The livery cab driver was taken to another hospital with injuries to his arms and legs. Police were investigating but made no arrests.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Brian Williams Out at NBC?

One of my favorite museums on the planet is the Newseum in Washington, DC. I can go there from open to close and get lost in the history of the press while learning about our first amendment rights. The very first time I visited The Newseum I was very intrigued by a story about a reporter named Janet Cooke. Janet Cooke was an African-American female journalist who was awarded a "Pulitzer Prize" in 1981 for her Washington Post feature piece, "Jimmy's World."

The story was a profile of an 8-year old heroin addict named Jimmy. Cooke graphically described an encounter she had with the boy, where she detailed his physical condition due to his drug use. This story captivated and touched the hearts of the general public, especially the residents of Washington, DC. 1981 was the height of the drug epidemic that plagued communities of color in the United States, so it wasn't difficult to believe that such a child could exist. The story angered many and even caused concern from the mayors office and local citizens. Then mayor of Washington, DC Marion Barry enlisted local law enforcement to find this young boy and get him the help he so desperately needed. All the attention that this story generated led to a serious fact checking quest that resulted in a series of lies by the Barry Administration, an embarrassed Bob Woodward (Assistant Managing Editor of Washington Post at the time) and Cooke resigning from The Washington Post and returning her "Pulitzer Prize." The world learned that the entire story was fabricated and Jimmy did not exist. Cooke's credentials were also discredited when it was discovered that she lied about receiving her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and did not hold a Masters Degree in Journalism.

Janet Cooke was banished from journalism and most people today don't know who she is.

Fast forward to 2015.......  Brian Williams

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alabama - With All Deliberate (Lack Of) Speed

Defiance.  Sometimes it is a virtue.  Other times, it's just plain stubbornness to adapt to the world around us.  When the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling in Brown v. Board of Topeka Education in 1954, there were many southern states and localities that refused to honor the new law of the land that found "separate but equal" unconstitutional.  Even the president of the United States at the time, President Eisenhower, did not agree with the ruling. But despite his personal feelings, he publicly came out and said "The Supreme Court has spoken, and I am sworn to uphold their - the constitutional process in this country, and I am trying.  I will obey."  The following year, after many southern schools refused to racially integrate, the Supreme Court was forced to issue a second ruling in the re-argument of Brown v. Board of Topeka Education in which the Court told the south to remove all roadblocks to integration "with all deliberate speed."  That was 1955.  By 1962 state-sanctioned segregation still existed in public schools which then finally opted to shut their doors for good rather than allow black students to be educated in their classrooms.

Fast forward to 2015:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Despite a federal judge’s rulings legalizing same-sex marriage, most probate judges in Alabama on Monday refused to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, escalating a legal showdown that echoed the battles over desegregation here in the 1960s.

Although court officials in some of the state’s largest cities — including Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery — quickly issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, up to 52 of Alabama’s 67 counties, according to the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, declined to process the required paperwork.

It was unclear how many of the judges were acting out of overt defiance and how many were simply weighing how to navigate a freshly jumbled legal landscape after Chief Justice Roy S. Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court on Sunday ordered the judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Book Reviews: The Devil's Hatband, The World of Ice and Fire, Gotti's Rules

The Devil's Hatband
by Robert Greer
This was Greer's first novel and the beginning of his C.J. Floyd series which we earlier discussed here. The title refers to the barbed wire that ranchers use. There were lengthy and magnificent descriptions of the great western outdoors in all of its glory. I guess that if you are a person who enjoys being outside all the time then these vivid portrayals might be right up your alley. I found a few of them slightly overdone, like a sweet potato pie left in the oven too long. Speaking of food though I did appreciate the culinary accounts, as they reminded me of many family dishes or other kitchen creations found in traditional African-American restaurants. So there was that. Floyd can't always or at least openly enjoy much of this food as he is on a diet. Or at least he is supposed to be. When you cheat on a diet you're only cheating yourself but Floyd is okay with that.

Although C.J. Floyd is a lowly Denver bail bondsman and occasional bounty hunter he's really effectively a private eye in this story. He's a Vietnam Vet who's done his share and then some of killing. Back in the US, he's inherited his uncle's business. It's not much of a business but it is his. He always makes payroll but rarely has enough left over for profit. One of Floyd's fellow bondsmen is a bigoted white man who works Floyd's nerves but always stops just short of anything that would require fisticuffs. Still given Floyd's internal nationalist critiques I was surprised that there were not more verbal confrontations between Floyd and this man. After all it's not like Floyd works for him. The bond business is color coded. 

It's rare that Floyd gets the opportunity to work with wealthier or white criminals. Many of the black criminals either try to play on his nascent nationalistic feelings to avoid paying him back or literally just don't have the money. So when two shady black corporate executives enter his office and promise Floyd big money plus expenses and cash up front to find a young woman named Brenda Mathison and the documents she stole from their company, Floyd isn't exactly in a place where he can say no. He hems and haws to make it look like he isn't desperate but we all know, the bills must be paid no matter what.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Corporate Tax Deductions for Settlements, Fines and Damages

When you do something wrong and are punished for it by having money taken from you the purpose of that little exercise is to convince you not to break the law or violate the rules again. The size of the fine may vary depending on how serious the offense is, whether the person who is being fined is a first time offender, how much money the person who is being fined has, whether or not the person or institution levying the fine is in a bad mood that day or is looking to make an public example of some schmuck or a million other reasons. But the purpose of the fine remains the same regardless of whether you are an NFL player who doesn't like to talk to the media, an NBA player who publicly questions the integrity of the league or its referees, or a taxpayer who simply doesn't like paying his taxes when the city, state or country says that he must. For example, in my younger days (i.e four years ago) I used to consider posted speed limits on expressways as something more akin to suggestions than hard and fast rules. I certainly wasn't the only motorist inclined to do this. On some local expressways if you aren't doing at least 80 mph you just aren't trying. However, four years ago a friendly police officer stopped me to let me know that no, he for one really did take those speed limits seriously. He thought I should as well. To assist me in reaching this future goal he wrote out a ticket that had a fine which I found to be entirely too high. Well I suppose it had the desired effect. I got a radar detector and kept a closer lookout for cops. Most days I rarely drive more than 3-4 mph over the posted speed limit. I simply don't have the money to give away to a podunk municipality over nonsense like that.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Warren Sapp Arrested for Assault and Soliciting a Prostitute During Super Bowl Weekend in Phoenix (Video)

Warren Sapp Arrested for Assault and Soliciting a Prostitute in Phoenix (Video)

Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp was arrested in Arizona on Monday on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute and accused of assaulting two women, according to a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Phoenix police arrested the 42-year-old Sapp at 7 a.m. MT Monday at a downtown Phoenix hotel, Lt. Brandon Jones said.

Alex Riethmiller, a spokesman for the NFL network, told The Hollywood Reporter that Sapp's contract has been terminated.

Sapp, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013, played in the NFL from 1995-2007 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders after a collegiate career at the University of Miami (Fla.)