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Tax Day

Friday Cat Blogging

Property and Excise are 10 today.

The traditional theme music for the day on YouTube.

April 15, 2016   No Comments

The Political Variety Show

Dissolve, a Calgary stock photo company, has used its resources to create a generic campaign ad. It makes no difference whether the candidate is left, center, or right a version of this ad will be used. The CBC reporter gets into the spirit of the ad pointing out all of the obvious, well obvious after they are pointed out, tricks and stylistic flourishes used to keep you reading or watching the article or ad.

Meanwhile a bit further to the North in Iceland, Birgitta Jonsdottir, leader of Iceland’s Pirate Party, could become the next Prime Minister. She has my primary requirement for the job, she doesn’t want it. The Pirate Party [yes, that is its name and it is a common political party in Northern Europe] has a 43% approval rating by Icelandic voters, the highest of any of the parties,

April 13, 2016   3 Comments

More Graphics Fun

Now that the New Zealand flag debate has faded from the scene, the redesign of the Australian $5 dollar bill has risen to take its place.

I think the CBC has played against type when they include “clown puke” in the headline for their article. The yellow things on the bill are not trilobites or paramecia as I had initially thought, but prickly-leaved wattle, a SCHRUBBERY!, for all you NI sayers.

As with the New Zealand flags, people are quick to offer their own designs.

April 12, 2016   8 Comments

Murphy’s Law

There is a version of Murphy’s Law that goes: Nothing can be made foolproof – fools are just too ingenious.

This ability is measured on the Drumpf Scale, which begins at infinity times the square root of -1 [∞i] and goes up to 0. A politician who has three children, but only one of the three is registered to vote has to be on the lower end of the scale.

You have to check out this story to see the mayor of Geelong in the state of Victoria in Australia. Kind of a cross between Mad Max and Hello Kitty…

April 11, 2016   4 Comments

You Knew They Were Lying

The Feds said: It was a one off request; only Apple could do it; it was a terrorism case; it was for the victims; … Except: US pushes Apple for access to iPhones in criminal cases.

This phone is using an older version of IOS, but is a different phone. Oh, yes, the case is over – the suspect pleaded guilty to drug charges and if they wanted the phone unlocked they could have made it part of the plea deal. It isn’t Apple’s problem if the DoJ can’t do a decent job of plea bargaining.

Call the Israelis and pay the price. If it’s as important a case as claimed $90K is cheap. Maybe DoJ should find a lawyer to negotiate a volume discount.

April 8, 2016   8 Comments

Define The Terms

French MPs outlaw paying for sex. What is the definition of ‘paying for sex’? Is it strictly a quid pro quo cash transaction? What about jewelry, a car, an apartment? How about dinner and a movie, a few drinks in a nice bar, a few beers at a beach?

I realize that politicians believe that the cash and presents should always flow in their direction, but they need to be careful. People might stop sending wedding presents based on uncertainty about the law. A law like this could be the death of St. Valentines Day, but is there any other benefit to society?

April 7, 2016   5 Comments

The Initials Are Important

After World War II the US reorganized the military combining the War Department with the Department of the Navy into what was initially named “the National Military Establishment”. It wasn’t long before the name was changed to the Department of Defense.

George Mason University had renamed its law school “the Antonin Scalia School of Law” until Twitter got hold of it, and the university decided “the Antonin Scalia Law School” was a better choice.

There may be truth in acronyms, but it’s usually unintended.

April 6, 2016   3 Comments

I Am Not A Crook, But …

Having failed in an attempt to get a dissolution of Parliament, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland resigned after saying he really didn’t do anything wrong … he just forgot … it was mostly his wife’s inheritance … the dog did it …

When you have a total population of around 325,000 people, having 22,000 of them gathering in the capitol and demanding your resignation, it is not good news for a politician. The people of Iceland were punished for refusing to bail out the private banks of Iceland. It made a lot of wealthy crooks very nervous that Iceland let capitalism take its course, and the ‘invisible hand of the market’ imprisoned bankers. Icelanders are not apt to forget the hard times, nor forgive any fiscal game playing by their government officials.

Update: UK Prime Minister, David Cameron says it’s OK because he really isn’t making money from his off shore accounts. The Russian government is saying “Old news, nothing to see here, move along.” The Chinese government is detaining anyone asking about the reports. The Panamanian law firm says it is an attack on the right to privacy. FIFA is saying “Oh, crap, we haven’t finished up from the last scandal…”

Of course, all of the spoilsports who have been complaining about the system being rigged are being annoying and pointing out they were right.

April 5, 2016   2 Comments

Follow The Money

Let the fun begin The Panama Papers:

The financial secrets of heads of state, athletes, billionaires and drug lords have been exposed in the latest — and biggest ever — leak of records from an offshore tax haven.

The leak includes 11.5 million confidential documents shedding light on the assets and murky fiscal dealings of everyone from the prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan to soccer player Leo Messi, movie star Jackie Chan and associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The hot, new job prospect is forensic accounting as news organizations parse these records and some people discover they really can’t go home again … unless they want to be arrested.

April 3, 2016   7 Comments

On Average

There is still a chance that April will only have an average amount of rain, rather than the two or three times normal amounts that we have been experiencing. Of course doing that requires that there won’t be any more rain this month because we had the average amount of rain for the entire month yesterday.

April 2, 2016   4 Comments

April Fools

Atrios has: The Best Major Media Joke Ever.

The BBC covered several stories that are not April Fools jokes, although they sound like it.

Then there are the best jokes in the opinion of the ABC [Australian Broadcasting].

The CBC really covers the day with a separate category for politicians, they have more practice as fools, after all, and for amateurs.

In Florida it isn’t an annual event, but our daily reality.

April 1, 2016   5 Comments

Not Much Happening

More rain down here, but the nasty stuff is about 100 miles inland along the northern Gulf Coast.

The Belgians are leaning towards the possibility that the real target of the Brussels attacks was the Prime Minister. The majority of the people involved in the Paris & Brussels attacks seem to have met at school and/or prison. The Belgian authorities have decided to extradite Salah Abdeslam to France and concentrate on the other members of the Brussels gang.

As I continue to use it, I get more and more annoyed with Windows 10. It has all of the disadvantages of IOS, and none of the features. They have even managed to screw up Solitaire …

March 31, 2016   2 Comments

News?

The FBI claims they have cracked the iPhone from San Bernardino with the assistance of an Israeli company. They have dropped their complaint against Apple.

Also of interest: Easter egg hunt at PEZ Visitor Centre descends into chaos as competitive parents run riot. Parents, adults, were mugging 4-year-olds to get the most Easter eggs while their children observed their parents stealing from small children.

At another Easter related event, over 60 people were killed by a bomb in a park in Lahore, Pakistan.

There is nothing like a religious holiday to bring out the worst in people.

March 28, 2016   89 Comments

Happy Easter

Easter Eggs

This is what happens when you have small children – you dye your kitchen.

Yes, the festival of Easter, goddess of the Spring, is celebrated this time of year with the traditional symbols of fertility, the egg and the rabbit, by the people who settled around the Baltic Sea – the Teutons, Slavs, Finns, Prussians, Letts, et al. It is a festival of plenty after the hardships of winter, with the promise of new growth.

Of course, later groups took the celebration and turned it to other purposes, but I doubt Easter minds.

March 27, 2016   5 Comments