Where do they come from … and why do they all come here?

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Have you ever noticed that the folks who see Bigfoot, or spaceships, or the Loch Ness Monster, are never the folks with cameras in their cell phones?  The Sasquatch never wanders anywhere near the research biologist who’s hiking through the woods with the high-rez digital camera with zoom lens.  He always wanders into the rural backyard of the self-proclaimed ‘mountain man’.

Money Quote:  “He had beeeeee-u-ti-ful hair”.

Cleveland County man reports encounter with Bigfoot – CharlotteObserver.com.

I’m So Glad I Was Never A Teenaged Boy

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Sometimes, I read stuff and I just have to wonder “What in the hell were they thinking?”

Remember “Discount for Cash” ?

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A Wall Street Journal story highlights one potential amendment to credit card reform legislation, which could allow vendors to charge different prices depending on how you make your purchase. Under the Durbin-Bond amendment, if you pay with a credit card, you’ll also have to fork over the fee the business will have to pay for accepting your transaction that way. Pay by cash or debit card and you’d get a discount.

A business executive interviewed in the story says as things now stand, businesses are forced to pass credit card fees on to all customers.

As part of a sweeping bill to change the rules for credit cards, a pair of senators are pushing to lift constraints that Visa, MasterCard and other credit card networks impose on merchants’ ability to offer discounts for paying by cash or check.

Retailers have long chafed under the restrictions, which make it burdensome for them to make transparent to consumers the fees they pay to credit card companies. Those fees amount to tens of billions of dollars a year. The result, they complain, is that cash-paying customers unfairly end up sharing the cost of letting other customers buy on credit.

“Cash customers pay a penalty because we take credit cards,” said Jeff Miller, president of Miller Oil Co.

The Norfolk, Va., company, which runs 44 Miller’s Neighborhood Market stores in Virginia and Florida, says 60% of its transactions involve credit cards.

“It’s just a weird thing that a vendor like that can dictate to us how we’re allowed to sell our product,” Mr. Miller said.

What goes unaddressed is whether businesses that try a tiered pricing system will drive credit card users away rather than coaxing them into paying differently.

Paying With Cash Could Soon Pay Off [Wall Street Journal]

via Credit Card Reform: Credit Card Reform Act Could Let You Pay Less If You Use Cash Or Debit.

Procrastination

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Class of 1938 2009

unc gradWhen Dillard Griffin started classes as a freshman at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, he had every intention of graduating in 1938, with the rest of his class.  However, when graduation day came around, he was short one class to qualify to receive a degree.

Today, Mother’s Day 2009, Mr. Griffin finally received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business … at the age of 92.  When asked what took him so long, he said he’d been “distracted” by a woman…who later became his wife.

I thought I was a late bloomer.  It only took me 23 years to finish college!

On property taxes …

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Let me start this by saying I completely agree with Hammer on this issue.  When my property value increases, my property taxes increase, proportionately [allegedly].  Why is it that when my property value goes down, my property taxes don’t also go down?  Or as Hammer puts it,

Property taxes..yeah they pay for public schools and other various socialist indoctrination /FEMA death camps. I’ve been paying about $5000 per year based on the value of my home and property…it’s about a third of my house payment. Ok fine I’ve grabbed my ankles and paid it all these years. So the bottom falls out of the housing market, my home is worth half what it was 2 years ago..so why have my taxes not gone down to reflect this? So I lose a huge chunk of my net worth and the government keeps taxing me like I still have it….I call complete and utter BULLSHIT!

via When your only tool is a hammer….

Here in NC, there was a great big fuss in the affluent (and very liberal) college town of Chapel Hill (home of UNC).  There was even a Tea Party over the issue.  It seems that the recent reassessment by the County resulted in an INCREASE in property value, at a time when the bottom is falling out of the market in general and property values are actually declining.

On April 15, hundreds of Orange County residents gathered in downtown Hillsborough to revisit the Sons of Liberty with a ceremonial emptying of bottled tea on the courthouse lawn. It was the latest in a succession of local protests sparked by the 2008 Orange County property revaluations, which, despite the tepid national housing market, raised the average county home’s taxable value by nearly 25 percent. [emphasis mine] Though the Orange County Board of Commissioners has been adamant that it will maintain a “revenue neutral” tax structure, many homeowners will likely see significant increases in next year’s tax bill.

That had many of the tea party’s attendees steaming. At the rally, hundreds of residents gathered to wave signs, listen to speakers and attack all forms of “big government,” from the county board all the way up to the bank bailout. Former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer, a candidate for the chairmanship of the state G.O.P., railed against big spenders in Hillsborough, Raleigh and Washington, claiming a need for a new revolution in American government. Former Orange County Commissioner Ben Lloyd, a Democrat, blasted the county’s leadership for profligate spending on unnecessary projects which he said led directly to the looming property tax increase.

“Where is the money supposed to come from?” he said. “[It’s] coming from the money tree which happens to be your pocketbook.”

The “Orange Tax Revolt,” as the movement is known, started early this year, after the county announced the results of its property revaluations, which occur every four years.

Via Indyweek.com

There has been no reassessment in Lee County (where I live).  I do know that the value of my property has decreased, although possibly not as much as in other parts of the state, due to the current economic climate.  But will I see a decrease in my property taxes?  Yeah, when donkeys nest in the trees.

Prophecy

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pigs-flySome years ago, someone said “There’ll be a black man in the White House when pigs fly”.  Sure enough, 100 days into Obama’s presidency … Swine Flu!

Wile E. Coyote Government

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Thanks to my son, who sent me the link to this video.  So simple.  So bloody simple.

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