Local Stories, Events
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Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
Thinking About Fees
Fees are charges made by agencies of the state to fluff their cash flow. New ones spring up like fungi in the night.
I’ve been thinking about fees. Actually I’ve been thinking about the current Illinois situation, state income taxes, politics, Questions, Inc. (my personal corporation); corporate annual reports, and eternal vigilance. Last Friday, I was doing one of the many State of Illinois forms which, as a CPA, I should be used to filing. I had gotten the form almost a month ago via snail mail. It was due by March 1st or there would be a penalty of $1 per month of lateness. I knew I could file it on-line for an extra $3.50 charge based upon last year’s filing and it would only take a couple of minutes before I logged in the necessary info and clicked ... enter/send. No Biggie... What I forgot was that I was dealing with the “broke(n)” State of Illinois. This was a huge mistake!
You see while Illinois may not be “THE” most broke(n) state in the union right now, it is certainly right up there with California, Michigan, New York, and Florida. Right now all but 4 or 5 states are in deficit situations. Illinois has roughly $118 BILLION in unpaid bills presently. Since the state is on a cash basis of accounting and the Illinois constitution requires a “balanced budget” when the cash in the treasury has run out, the Land of Lincoln doesn’t pay its bills. The “unbooked” accounts payable grow, and there is the appearance that all is well is Springfield. AU CONTRAIRE MON AMI!!!
We have known that our state is as buoyant as the S.S. Titanic since former Governor Ryan (a Republican) kept the locals happy by pushing for a lot of “member initiatives,” monies, and grants for the local communities This was basically money that Illinois didn’t have, but (what the heck...) the state legislature was only too happy to approve the spending; besides it took the pressure off of putting Ryan on trial and sending him to the clink (until after his term was up at least). Ryan is now in jail and his indicted successor, Rod Blagojevich (a Democrat), is awaiting his debut on Donald Trump’s TV show, The Apprentice.” Rod was already impeached. He will come to trial for his financial escapades in the Fall of 2010. Ah yes... Illinois politics!
Illinois has one of the lowest state income taxes in the nation. The rate hasn’t gone up since (then) Governor Ogilvie (a Republican) instituted it in the early 1970s. It is basically a flat 3%. Now with the wolves at the door, increasing the tax rates is once again under consideration. Those pushing the income tax rate increase to 5% or 5.5% (basically the Democrats) say it is only a 2% to 2.5% increase. Those opposing the tax increase (basically the Republicans) say this is a 0.666 % to 0.833% increase. Both groups are correct: it is just a matter of how you “fondle” the numbers. This is an election year so the bipartisan solution is to wait until after the election to stick it to us here. Meanwhile, there are the fees.
Fees are charges made by agencies of the state to fluff their cash flow. New ones spring up like fungi in the night. A couple of years ago, my FWC17 car license plates became “personal plates” and I got dinged for a premium fee. It wasn’t as bad as the fees levied on vanity plates (like QTPIE1), but they were an increase in revenues to the state and increase in expense for me. Fees are politically correct, or at the very least political. A few bucks here, a few bucks there, and soon you are talking real money.
When I send anything to the state, I need to mail it by certified mail with a return request green postal card. This will prove that: “yes I sent it,” and “yes, they got it.” Such precautions cost money, but are worth it. I learned this the hard way years back.
Every year those businesses incorporated in a state must update their information in the domiciles which granted their incorporation. Was there a change in President? Was there a change in Secretary? Was their a change in the directorship? Was there a change in address? Were there any changes in outstanding shares of stock? Roughly... what are the gross assets and revenues of the corporation and how much occurs in Illinois? My Questions, Inc. is a small corporation --- so I pay the minimum. The Franchise Tax is now a minimum of $25.00 and the filing fee is a flat $75.00. A decade ago these combined charges were $50.00. I learned a long time ago that when I sent anything to the state, I need to mail it by certified mail with a return request green postal card. This will prove that: “yes I sent it,” and “yes, they got it.” Such precautions cost money, but are worth it. I learned this the hard way years back.
A few years ago, I could do the filing on-line. At first there were no extra charges for this service, AND you got an emailed receipt! Last year I was dinged with a “processing charge” of $3.50 which was still cheaper than certified mail. This year I learned that THE “processing charge” was $5.00 and there was a new “super expedite” charge of another $50.00. Nothing had really changed except that I NOW had to pay $155.00 for what should have been a $100.00 filing! Next year, it’s certified snail mail.
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Read more: Click on our map to check taxes in your state
Copyright 2009 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This story was published on March 1, 2010.