Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sisters in Crime Loves the Pineville, KY library!

During 2010, Sisters in Crime is conducting a "We Love Libraries" lottery. U.S. libraries nominated at the SinC website become eligible to win a check for $1000. This may not mean much in large cities, but for smaller libraries it's pretty nice.

The Ohio River Valley chapter is celebrating this year, because March's winner was the Pineville-Bell County Public Library in Pineville, Kentucky! Our chapter has received the check and is making arrangements for presentation. The ceremony will probably take place in May. There's a good chance I'll be out of the state when it happens, so I hope someone takes pictures.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Advice for the Civically Handicapped

Sometimes it seems like U.S. citizens either don't know or have conveniently forgotten information that is common knowledge for everyone else. Since today is Tax Day, I thought I'd bring up one that seems obvious but apparently bears repeating:

You have to file a tax return.

You may have heard somewhere or read somewhere that tax collection is voluntary, but and the IRS disagree. That second one is especially important, because they can throw your ass in jail whether you think you're supposed to pay taxes or not.

If you're not into Snopes, try USA Today. The tenth myth they listed? That paying taxes is voluntary. It's not. 'Voluntary' refers to us citizens sending the IRS our information, rather than the government having to tot up all our transactions and making its best guess on our deductions.

Okay, now you're saying that the government has the mainstream media issuing the party line. You'll get no arguments from me about that. This doesn't mean, though, that the IRS has no power to stuff you into the can for a few years. Even Wesley Snipes had to do time, and he's a well-liked celebrity who had prominent people pleading his case, plus some proof that his financial advisers had deceived him.

The income tax was first established during the Civil War to support war costs. It was dropped in 1872, but in 1913 the 16th Amendment gave Congress the legal authority to tax income. And the government doesn't balk at exercising that authority. When even Elliot Ness couldn't get Al Capone into prison, the IRS did.

Plus, give it a moment's thought. Do you really think that there's a secret group of wealthy cognoscenti that don't pay taxes because they have this special knowledge? You heard of it, didn't you? Do you think that they hire highly skilled lawyers who can beat the IRS at its own game? No, the wealthy cognoscenti are using offshore accounts to hide assets or buying their own congressmen to put loopholes in the tax law.

So... YES, you must file a tax return. You may not need to pay anything, but you should file. Just saying.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Victory is mine!

As of last night, I am the winner of the office pool. Duke beat West Virginia, and everyone in the pool has advanced as far as they could. I won the prize over much wiser heads, and I know it... heh, heh.

I was sorry, though, to hear about Da'Sean Butler being so seriously injured. I hope it is not a career-ending injury, but anything involving torn ligaments is pretty ominous. He seems like a really nice guy. I hope he graduates and finds a good career if he can't progress along his original path.