Unlike fellow tech leaders Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, he did not sign the Giving Pledge, the effort under which the nation’s richest individuals commit to giving at least half their wealth to philanthropy.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Friday, October 07, 2011
It's sticker shock in the mail. Tax bills went out to Cook County homeowners this week and the big jump in the amount due to many homeowners has some wondering if they can keep their house.
CBS 2′s Dana Kozlov takes a look at how the dramatic jump in property tax bills is affecting people and what you can do about it.
According to the Cook County Clerk's office, tax rates are up for schools, park districts, municipalities and other government bodies. Some of those tax levies have made double-digit increases in tax rates.
The property tax reality was setting in with Markham homeowner Patricia Taylor on Wednesday.
Asked if she can keep her house after receiving an $8,100 property tax bill, Taylor said, "I don't know right now. It's bad right now, it's really bad."
For the record, the Gekko household has one Apple product in it; Mrs. Gekko's iPod. With that said, it would be foolish for someone like me to deny the impact Apple has had on the technology business over the past ten years.
And if Steve Jobs wants to bank all of his 8 billion dollar fortune, give it all to charity or hand it to his garbage man is really of no concern of mine. He earned it.
But that's not enough for the do-gooder media...........
For one of the nation’s most famous billionaires, Steve Jobs kept a low profile as a charitable donor.How about the societal benefits he's provided to the average American that made him rich? I think I should be worth 8 billion but somehow society hasn't found my contributions to society worth that much.His name is absent from the list of gifts of $1 million or more maintained by Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy.
And it wasn’t until after an unflattering media report about Jobs on the subject over the summer, that Apple in September initiated a “matching gifts” program, under which donations to philanthropies made by employees are matched by the company.
Now what will happen to Jobs’s fortune — Forbes has estimated his net worth at $8.3 billion — is a matter of speculation that is provoking discussion both about Jobs and the societal obligations of the very rich.
Kind of funny how they specified Gates and Zuckerman who have had a nice history of burying totally legitimate businesses to maintain their dominance in the technology sector. But it's all good if you give to charity afterwards.
Doris Silber enrolled in a clinical trial excited about a potential new cancer medicine but ended up frustrated over an old drug.
The trial combined something experimental, tacotanib, with Doxil, an established chemotherapy treatment. Silber, a Belle Meade resident fighting ovarian cancer, can’t get the Doxil. It’s one of many medicines on an ever-growing list of drug shortages. The number of drug shortages tripled from 2005 to 2010 in the U.S. Despite meetings last year among government officials, physicians, pharmacists and manufacturers to address the problem, the shortages continue. Another meeting occurred last week with no magic answer.My first treatment with the Doxil was on Aug. 3,” Silber said. “I was supposed to get the next cycle, which would start on Aug. 31. But it was not available.”
She is still waiting.
Doxil is one of 74 currently on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s drug shortage list because of manufacturing delays, increased demand or a company ceasing to make it. The drugs range from the sedative lorazepam to an injectable form of Vitamin D called calcitriol.
Many of the drugs are old-line treatments with low profit margins for their makers.
A liberal organizer told the Daily Caller on Thursday afternoon that he paid some Hispanics to attend “Occupy DC” protests happening in the nation’s capital.
TheDC attended the protest event, an expansion of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that began in New York City. Some aspects of the protest, it turned out, are more Astroturf than grassroots.
One group of about ten Hispanic protesters marched behind a Caucasian individual from the DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting rent control in Washington, D.C.
Asked why they were there, some Hispanic protesters holding up English protest signs could not articulate what their signs said.
Interviewed in Spanish, the protesters told conflicting stories about how their group was organized. Some said it was organized at their church, and that they were there as volunteers. Others, however, referred to the man from the DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition — the only Caucasian in the group — as their “boss.”
TheDC asked that organizer whether he was paying the group to attend the protest, and he conceded that some protesters “aren’t” volunteers.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
First, I was stunned that you could buy a Red Bull with food stamps. Does anyone else find that infuriating?
Second, I decided to check out her tax return for her income information. This person is a single mom who made $20,000 last year. She paid no income tax last year and, in fact, received nearly $4,000 in earned income credit and additional child credit. That makes her income roughly $24,000 tax free.
Third, I don't know about other government programs but I do know that she would qualify for free school lunches and probably some type of housing subsidy.
Fourth, anyone who has money for smokes doesn't need food stamps PERIOD.
I am one of five kids. My wife is one of ten.
Counting spouses and partners, we currently have 27 in that group. Our unemployment rate is currently 0.0%. To my knowledge, none of us receive government assistance. Since the 2008 recession started, we've had three people lose jobs in that group. All of them have found other jobs.
Now if you believe that somehow we had advantages that others didn't, keep in mind the following. My father delivered beer and owned a bar for most of my life. Mrs. Gekko's father worked at GM as a mid level engineer. While I'm sure he made decent money, he also had 10 freakin' kids. None of us have jobs as a result of connections lined up by our parents.
So how is it that all of us are taxpayers and not food stamp recipients buying Red Bulls?
1) I believe that an intact family unit helped. While my parents are now divorced, they were married throughout most of our formative years.
2) I think nearly all of us had paper routes at some point in time. The point being that we started good work habits early and often. I think at least three in my family also worked at my aunt's pizza shack. Mrs. Gekko's family nearly all worked at the local Ponderosa.
3) If I were to rank the net worth's of everyone in our families you will probably notice that the siblings with masters degrees litter the top and the bottom of the bell curve. What's interesting is that the people on the high end got their masters part time, kept working and their employers picked up some of the tab (one of those benefits those corporate a-holes provide their employees). The ones on the bottom, quit jobs and went back to school full time, racking up huge student loans all along the way.
4) Illegitimate children - 1
5) Convicted criminals - 0
6) Drug users - 0 (although I'm pretty sure there may be one pot head in the bunch)
In my family, none of us were exceptional students. Mrs Gekko did have a couple of valedictorians in the family. The point being that nothing we did was really all that exceptional.
Only three kids between the two families live in our home towns, meaning we were willing to sacrifice proximity to family for job security.
We currently have an in law who's lived his entire life in Seattle. He recently took a position at the University of Alabama. Do you think that's a culture shock? I'm willing to bet that when he was 18, if he could have listed his top ten destinations in his life, Tuscaloosa would not have been on the list.
Frankly, there's just too many examples in our immediate family and others I know to believe that we're just lucky.
But then again luck is where opportunity meets preparation. And apparently, we have an entire population of people where luck is when Red Bull meets food stamps.
After reading all those self pitying auto biographies, I decided to note those things that make me one of the 1%. As you can see, it's really not all that hard. Unless you are a total fuck up.
But here's a hint to all you 99%'ers, if your lifestyle makes you a candidate for an MTV reality show, you will probably always be a screw up..........
I am 48 years old and my wife is 45.
We have both done what we told we were supposed to in life.
We both graduated from high school and went on to colleges that we could afford. My degree was in accounting her’s was in graphic arts.
When her degree didn’t result in any decent job prospects, she moved home and went back to get another bachelors; this time in nursing.
When I finished my degree, I moved to a city I couldn’t stand because frankly, it was my only decent job offer.
During our years, neither of us have been arrested. We’ve never done drugs (at least in adulthood), had children out of wedlock or job hopped. We simply clock in every day and do our work and live with all the bullshit and dingleberries that come with it.
We live in a $140,000, 1300 sq. ft. palatial estate that we could afford if either of us lost our jobs. I’ll challenge Sheryl Crow to a carbon footprint contest any damn day of the year.
We contribute to our retirement accounts and pay our bills.
Despite our late starts in saving, we’ve accumulated a net worth of around $400,000.
Apparently, we are the 1%.
We’re the fucking greedy, conservative, Wall St. capitalists who have something simply because we delayed gratification and built a sturdy foundation for our lives so they wouldn’t crumble during the slightest of windstorms.
We the 1% who are sick and tired of being cast as predators in our society. We’re the people who fund all of your government subsidies so you can get high and breed babies with no hopes of supporting them.
So to all of you occupywallst.org derelicts……. kiss my ass.
Sorry I don't have this handwritten with a self portrait photo from my iphone. We still have old fashion flip phones. Another reason we have money today.
I ran across this site where all these protesters are posting their woes for all to see.
What's interesting is that it seems like half of all those photos note student loans in excess of $80k.
My question. How in the hell is that Wall Street's fault?
In fact, let's face it. When it comes to secondary education you'd be hard pressed to find a conservative in the lot. From the admissions office to the bursar to the professors you might find one closeted person with a Wall Street Journal in his/her possession and even that's probably wrapped up inside of a Mother Jones or a New Republic.
Dog the Bounty Hunter couldn't track a republican in this mess.
But yet that's what has most of these people have their shorts in a bunch over.
I consider myself fortunate, I graduated with about $3,000 in student loans helped by a partial track scholarship and a good summer job...... oh....... provided by one of those rich guys these jackoffs want to condemn to hell or the atheistic equivalent. (BTW I wouldn't have had that debt had I managed my major more appropriately).
Since I left school, federal and state money as well as tax credits have become more and more available to students and parent and yet cost of secondary ed has more than doubled the rate of inflation.
Have any of these idiots asked why?
What these guys should be doing is taking their damn protests to the local college campus and talk to kids about boycotting these bogus women's studies degrees that prepare you for nothing more than a fine career as a local Starbucks barista.
Maybe the schools will take the hint and start running their business like a Wall Street firm.
On another note. This ding dong in the photo above. How is it Corporate America's fault that while you were unemployed, you decided to get knocked up? I see nothing in your note about a baby daddy so can we assume that some corporate CEO came into your house in the middle of the night and planted his evil demon seed in your womb while you were asleep?
But at least you're now able to share your immense pity party with a baby. That kid is off to a great start.
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
If you owe the bank money on your house. Don't fear. The Big O has you back. But you better not owe that guy anything......
To the dismay of consumer groups and the discomfort of Democrats, President Barack Obama wants Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call the cellphones of consumers delinquent on student loans and other billions owed the federal government.
The change "is expected to provide substantial increases in collections, particularly as an increasing share of households no longer have landlines and rely instead on cellphones," the administration wrote recently. The little-noticed recommendation would apply only to cases in which money is owed the government, and is tucked into the mammoth $3 trillion deficit-reduction plan the president submitted to Congress.
President Barack Obama’s “green jobs” initiatives suffered another major blow late Monday, as the nonprofit National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado, announced a plan to lay off roughly 10 percent of its staff through a voluntary buy-out plan.
According to the Denver Post, the lab plans to eliminate between 100 and 150 of its 1,350 jobs. The Obama administration supported the NREL in 2009 with roughly $200 million in stimulus grants. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu visited Golden in May 2009 to promote the NREL as a beneficiary of those funds.
At the time, the Associated Press reported that the stimulus grants included $68 million to build a demonstration model of an energy-efficient office building; $19.2 million for solar, geothermal and fuel cell equipment; $10 million for testing and evaluation of wind technology; and $45 million to research and test drive-train systems for wind turbines.
Monday, October 03, 2011
People in a small U.S. community close to the New Brunswick border say they've scored a victory against what they viewed as out-of-control spending on national security, after a proposed customs building was dramatically downsized.
Americans are preparing to honour the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. In the decade since the attacks on the U.S., there has been a construction boom along the Canada-U.S. border.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which was created in the aftermath of the attacks, is still building expensive new customs buildings along the boundary between Canada and the United States. The new facilities are even popping up in remote communities along the border.
Forest City, Maine, is directly across the St. Croix River from Forest City, N.B., and the two communities have a year-round population of about 15 people. Forest City is in western New Brunswick, roughly 70 kilometres south of Woodstock.
Canadians and Americans living in the border communities were used to walking across the bridge to meet each other, and if the local customs guard was not in the office, Forest City residents would walk over and visit his house.
When the Department of Homeland Security decided to beef up its facilities along the border, Forest City was slated for a new building.
The department originally planned for a new $16-million office at the Forest City border crossing, which sees roughly six cars pass by each day.
read the rest......