Wednesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. de stijl says:

    What is weird is that I am anxiety prone but used the thrust myself into public view often, repeatedly.

    I was a very bad actor and I heartily apologize to all of South parents who witnessed my awfulness. I am truly sorry. You know how Peewee Herman was bad as an actor in his one shot at fame late in the movie? I was nearly that bad.

    I was also bad in a Hamm’s beer commercial as swanky lad. I again apologize.

    People considered me good looking when I was youthful.

    I did a shitty new employee vid as plucky employee #1. And a Dayton’s ad where I just stood in place for awhile looking dramatic.

    A photo series actually.

    Look for me in The Suburbs Tape My Wife To Ceiling vid. Easy gig – it was three blocks from where I lived. Actually don’t – I sucked. That area of St. Paul is weird because robber baron railroad dude’s mansion is three blocks away from where idiots like me could afford a studio crap apartment.

    Directly behind W.A. Frost bar and restaurant.

    I was such a smarmy little shit.

    I love The Suburbs then and now. We thought they were gonna be the breakout band. In 1981 they were going to be the guys that went national. Didn’t work, unfortunately.

    Boo!

    I was friends with Chan.

    True story, beej bonked me on the forehead with a broken guitar pick mid-set.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Madeyousmile
    @Thund3rB0lt

    This guy spotted the exact same type of car he has a hotweels for… goes out and puts it on his windshield as a gift

    It’s the little things

    That little dance at the end is sure to make you smile.

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  3. JohnSF says:

    Under professor Joyner’s post on Sunday “G-7 Approves Corporate Tax Floor” I commented about this being a potential issue for the UK as “…most of the world’s tax havens today are little more than nameplates for the “wealth funds” run out of the City of London.”

    We’ll THAT didn’t take long: FT today

    “Sunak presses for City exemption from G7’s global taxation regime”

    UK govt. agreement was IMO due to recent years controversy about US tech and other firms operations in the UK avoiding tax; it would look bad if they passed an obvious way to rectify this.
    But I wondered when the City and treasury would start pushback.
    Question now is, will Johnson (quietly?) back Sunak or uphold the agreement, due to domestic politics and desire not to rock boat ahead of G7 summit?
    And how will other countries, and Tory MP’s, react.
    (Also possible that this is a deliberate bluff?)

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  4. de stijl says:

    Love Is The Law

    Music For Boys

    Cows

    Rattle My Bones

    Life Is Like

    Fuck yeah.

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  5. JohnSF says:

    Hey de Stijl, saw your ref to Aztec Camera the other day, but a day after you posted (twas past my bedtime over here in Cispondia).
    In return, from a year later, I give you the thunderous, magnificent wall of noise that was Curve: “Ten Little Girls”

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  6. de stijl says:

    Ya gotta give it up for 1981 dance moves. Dudes were going for it.

    Poorly and jankily, but focused.

    On what exactly, who bloody knows?

    I used to dance like that. I was such a weirdo. Dance like no one pays attention if you want to live free.

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  7. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Dude, I got “the uploader has not made this video available in your country” message. Boo! I will seek an alternate route to. Promise.

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  8. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    I got it by a go around. Eff that nonsense bs.

    This is way into the aughts, but that Curve song reminded me of Crystal Castles Not in Love.

    There are two versions. The original with Alice and then a re-do with Robert Smith from The Cure. Both are awesome.

    Everybody loves the Robert Smith version, but Alice rocks it hard too.

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  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

    In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world’s richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes.

    Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row.

    ProPublica has obtained a vast trove of Internal Revenue Service data on the tax returns of thousands of the nation’s wealthiest people, covering more than 15 years. The data provides an unprecedented look inside the financial lives of America’s titans, including Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg. It shows not just their income and taxes, but also their investments, stock trades, gambling winnings and even the results of audits.

    Taken together, it demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most. The IRS records show that the wealthiest can — perfectly legally — pay income taxes that are only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of millions, if not billions, their fortunes grow each year.

    No comment because anything I might say would probably get me banned.

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  10. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    Frankly, I do not believe Robert Smith when he says he is not in love but I totally believe Alice Glass when she does the same lyric.

    Distrusting the narrator changes that song entirely. Brilliant.

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  11. de stijl says:

    Given the way Crystal Castles fractured I sure as fuck trust her version.

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  12. JohnSF says:

    @de stijl:
    Never come across them before. Perhaps more a US than UK thing? Excellent stuff.
    Prefer the Alice version, though; I’m a bit allergic to Robert Smith’s vocals.

    For a more recent rocking female fronted band, with an Alice linkage, LOL, you familiar with the excellent Wolf Alice?
    Moaning Lisa Smile live at Glastonbury 2014
    (Hope this link isn’t allergic to the USA!)

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  13. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “Only little people pay taxes.” Leona Helmsley, convicted felon

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  14. de stijl says:

    When I was a wee lad of 18 or 19 I could recite the lyrics to Cows verbatim. Often I did. Especially if drunk. I was late teens. I was drunk fairly often.

    Some idiot thought I was into cows in an inappropriate way. I was stymied as to how to dispel that notion then it was easy – it’s a song. Play it at every party. Do a shitty cover version with your dudes (we did). Flood the space with song and lyrics. Drown the nonsense. It was from an ex.

    I just a song I liked you idiot.

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  15. de stijl says:

    @JohnSF:

    I can respect someone not down for Robert Smith vocals. He is not everyone’s cup of tea. It is not my notion, but it is not a radical strange notion. He conjures strong reactions, surely.

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  16. Teve says:

    That list I put up the other day of the 12 people whose social media accounts spread 2/3 of the vaccine miss information? Here’s one of them:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/06/09/sherri-tenpenny-magnetized-vaccine-ohio/

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  17. Teve says:
  18. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’ve known this a long time. The super-rich don’t pay taxes, or at least not nearly to the degree everyone else does. The reason John Kerry fought so hard to keep his and Teresa’s tax returns in hidden before the 2004 election was that, on an income of 100 million, THK paid only $75,000 in taxes. Ninety-five million was tax-exempt, and the remaining 5 million was taxed at 12%.

    Whenever the super-wealthy advocate for tax increases, it’s because they know they won’t be affected by them.

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  19. de stijl says:

    @de stijl:

    I love Alice. She has a haunting voice. Ephemeral, although a lot is how her vocals were mixed.

    Unless you enjoy ugly things do not probe too hard into how Crystal Castles broke. Dude is / was a bad man. Not Robert Smith, the other guy. Ethan I believe is his name.

    I am glad she is rid of him but I miss that sound and beat they did. It is one of those situations where you love the work and not one of the contributers.

    Through The Hosiery

    Got me into EDM. Damn shame.

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  20. charon says:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/06/individualism-still-spoiling-pandemic-response/619133/

    During a pandemic, no one’s health is fully in their own hands. No field should understand that more deeply than public health, a discipline distinct from medicine. Whereas doctors and nurses treat sick individuals in front of them, public-health practitioners work to prevent sickness in entire populations. They are expected to think big. They know that infectious diseases are always collective problems because they are infectious. An individual’s choices can ripple outward to affect cities, countries, and continents; one sick person can seed a hemisphere’s worth of cases. In turn, each person’s odds of falling ill depend on the choices of everyone around them—and on societal factors, such as poverty and discrimination, that lie beyond their control.

    Across 15 agonizing months, the COVID-19 pandemic repeatedly confirmed these central concepts. Many essential workers, who held hourly-wage jobs with no paid sick leave, were unable to isolate themselves for fear of losing their livelihood. Prisons and nursing homes, whose residents have little autonomy, became hot spots for the worst outbreaks. Black and Latino communities that were underserved by the existing health system were disproportionately infected and killed by the new coronavirus, and now have among the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

    Perhaps that’s why so many public-health experts were disquieted when, on May 13, the CDC announced that fully vaccinated Americans no longer needed to wear masks in most indoor places. “The move today was really to talk about individuals and what individuals are safe doing,” Rochelle Walensky, the agency’s director, told PBS NewsHour. “We really want to empower people to take this responsibility into their own hands.” Walensky later used similar language on Twitter: “Your health is in your hands,” she wrote.

    Framing one’s health as a matter of personal choice “is fundamentally against the very notion of public health,” Aparna Nair, a historian and anthropologist of public health at the University of Oklahoma, told me. “For that to come from one of the most powerful voices in public health today … I was taken aback.” (The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.) It was especially surprising coming from a new administration. Donald Trump was a manifestation of America’s id—an unempathetic narcissist who talked about dominating the virus through personal strength while leaving states and citizens to fend for themselves. Joe Biden, by contrast, took COVID-19 seriously from the off, committed to ensuring an equitable pandemic response, and promised to invest $7.4 billion in strengthening America’s chronically underfunded public-health workforce. And yet, the same peal of individualism that rang in his predecessor’s words still echoes in his. “The rule is very simple: Get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do,” Biden said after the CDC announced its new guidance. “The choice is yours.”

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  21. charon says:

    @CSK:

    That is why the IRS is so underfunded, unable to do complex audits so they concentrate on little people – richies do not like being audited.

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  22. charon says:

    @charon:

    Nothing would deliver more bang for a buck than increased funding of the IRS audit capability.

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  23. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: I’ve always thought the way we will get to driverless cars is the opposite of the way Tesla is pursuing. Let’s say GM came out with a technology that was split between the cars themselves and, say, the parking infrastructure of a mall. Once a mall had installed the appropriate sensors and electronic markers, someone driving a GM car could pull up to the covered entranceway, get out of the car, and it would park itself. Would you pay extra for that? I would. And would a mall have an incentive? Sure would. The first ones to install it would become the got0 destinations on rainy or snowy days.

    From there it could expand to other businesses and then to congested downtown areas. Rather than drive around for a half hour adding to the congestion while looking for a parking space in Manhattan and then finally giving up and paying $70, you could drive to one of hundreds of dedicated drop off points, get out of the car and it would drive itself to Queens or New Jersey to park for $10. Once in place, the same technology could be used by the elderly who aren’t interested in speed but would be happy to be able to live independently a few years longer. The pressure on other, lower population, municipalities to add such technology to specific streets would come from both the elderly and those who wanted to go into town for a drink without worrying about the smokies.

    This idea that driverless technology can only occur without any modifications of the roadway flies in the face of 100 years of experience. Paved roads, stop signs, street lights, traffic lights, banked turns, reflectors in the pavement, turn lane sensors in the pavement, synchronized traffic lights, and a thousand other things allow our current traffic speeds and densities. If all our roads reverted to where they were in 1901 traffic would grind to a halt.

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  24. Teve says:

    @CSK: I read years ago about one scheme that Bezos was using. He doesn’t live off of salary from Amazon, which would be taxed adequately, he doesn’t live off of money from selling shares of Amazon, which would be taxed at probably at least 20 or 25%. No, he uses his Amazon shares as collateral to go to Wall Street and borrow hundreds of millions of dollars at low interest rates, and that money, untaxed, is what he lives on.

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  25. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: schemes like you’re describing are entirely possible, so will have driverless technology for limited preplanned routes in some places. But level five driverless technology, where the car is figuring out “I should slow down because that’s a rabbit but I’m not gonna slow down too much because of the car behind me and yeah it’s raining torrentially but I can still see the yield sign…” that is far off. Everything that big tech is labeling as Artificial Intelligence these days, really isn’t, in the general sense.

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  26. JohnSF says:

    @CSK:
    @charon:
    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @Kathy:
    I don’t know if they use the same methods over there, but in the UK one nifty little work-round (this variant more for very highly paid execs etc than for owners) is to have the the person concerned as an employee of a “personal service company”, so any payments are made to said company. Often said company is in turn set up as owned by a family trust, which books the company return as investment return. Gets even more fiddly from there. Similar structures can be set up for owners, of course.

    Essentially the actual earner lives on tax-deductible “expenses” and “services in kind” from the “employer”.
    “What, that Rolls Royce? No, of course it’s not mine, my employer loans it to me for essential use.”

    An extension of the older system of senior execs getting a lot of their rewards in kind rather than as salary.

    Why a wealth tax is necessary, basically.

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  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    An amorous cicada, one of billions to emerge from the ground across a swath of the US, has been blamed for a car crash in Ohio.

    The insect, part of a brood that emerges once every 17 years to mate, terrify residents then die, flew through an open car window, according to police, and struck the driver in the face. That caused the motorist to veer off the road in Cincinnati on Monday, striking a utility pole and causing extensive damage to the vehicle.

    The motorist sustained minor injuries, police said. The cicada was declared dead on the scene.

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  28. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: It’s not news that this is the way things are and just how little they pay, but the article goes into the hows and wherefors of it.

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  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: The article goes there. And no, he ain’t the only one.

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  30. Mu Yixiao says:

    @JohnSF:

    I don’t know if they use the same methods over there, but in the UK one nifty little work-round (this variant more for very highly paid execs etc than for owners) is to have the the person concerned as an employee of a “personal service company”, so any payments are made to said company.

    There are more reasons than just taxes to do that. I have a good friend who’s a writer who works extensively with licensed IP (Marvel, Matel, etc.). He created a company when he was in college, and publishers pay that company. The company pays him. He is the only member of the company.

    He does this to protect himself and his family. If he ever gets sued (e.g., for breaking an NDA) and loses, they can only take company assets. They can’t take his house or anything from his wife (Wisconsin is a community-property state, so it’s “their” money, not his and hers).

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  31. de stijl says:

    Regardless of what you think about The Cure the Southpark dudes love them and Smith in particular. I thought it was pretty adorable when they invited him and the other dudes on as a featured guests.

    They love Disintegration which is pretty cool.

    You do not have to love it yourself to enjoy fanbois getting closure. I enjoyed that.

    The mecha-Barbarustreisandu seemed a bit egregiously mysogynistic.

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  32. CSK says:

    Trump congratulated Nigeria on banning Twitter, and muses that perhaps he should have done the same with Twitter and Facebook. (Side question: How did he think he could manage that?)

    He claims that the reason he went easy on Facebook was that Zuckerberg kissed his ass. So this is Trump basically admitting that “Yeah, I’ll do whatever you want if you flatter me.”

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  33. Mu Yixiao says:
  34. George says:

    @charon:

    Wouldn’t that depend on whether or not the tax loopholes are closed? If the loopholes are legal, then increased IRS funding won’t make much difference. And closing them would take political will (ie legislation), is it there?

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  35. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Trump congratulated Nigeria on banning Twitter, and muses that perhaps he should have done the same with Twitter and Facebook. (Side question: How did he think he could manage that?)

    The same way he successfully shut down TikTok. Oh wait…

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  36. becca says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The epigraph for “The Godfather” is Balzac’s quote Behind Great Fortune Lies a Crime. Hmm.

    There’s also the old saying that “money makes you funny” and not in the good way.

    An embarrasssment of riches, stinking rich, filthy lucre, etc.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.

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  37. charon says:

    @George:

    It is not only legal loopholes, there is lots of envelope pushing on asset valuations, asset hiding, all sorts of stuff – e.g., some of the stuff TFG is getting investigated for only because he is such a public figure.

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Right. I expect the first application to be over the road trucks on Interstates, depot to depot, and decent weather. That alone would screw a lot of people out of jobs.

    If AI were really very I cars would learn to drive the way we do. Program some rules and guidelines and principles, then let them drive, first in more controlled condition, then free range. Being A, then Tesla could copy the memory of the first one into the rest.

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  39. George says:

    @charon:

    Good point, but is there the political will to chase after billionaires on those pushing-the-boundaries cases? My guess is there isn’t for various reasons, everything from billionaires moving everything to tax havens to campaign contributions to those billionaires having armies of lawyers to fight every step of the way.

    I’m cynical enough to think many of the tax laws are intentionally vague, just to allow the rich their workarounds (ie designed to stop average tax payers while letting rich ones carry on).

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  40. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, I’m less alarmed by that than you seem to be. Having lots of investments is going to be like that. Sometimes they go down instead of up, and the Tax Code runs off of realized gains.

    I think the more important thing to make in the tax code is a bulletproof inheritance tax.

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  41. gVOR08 says:

    I have a couple of times here bitched about car paint. Nobody buys colors anymore. You can look down a row in a parking lot and it’s all white, through gray, to black, with the odd dull silver with just the odd blue or red. Doesn’t anybody like color in their lives? I see it as saying something disquieting about our national psyche. Here’s vaccumslayer at LGM talking about this sort of thing.

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  42. Stormy Dragon says:

    My idea for fixing the IRS auditing problem: a national escheat law

    Right now we start at people and try to figure out what they own and then tax them on it. We should go the other way around: if there’s property that doesn’t have an obvious owner, it’s abandoned property and the government should hold it in escrow until the rightful owner comes forward to claim it (at which point they can be held responsible for any unclaimed taxes since we now definitively know they own it).

    This would be invisible to most people (it’s easy to tell who owns all my accounts because my name is directly on them), but would create cost for running byzantine corporate structures solely to make it hard to tell who the ultimate owner of some highrise in Manhattan is.

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  43. Teve says:

    Over near Jacksonville some bread Baker put out a statement about STRAIGHT PRIDE and a sub shop that used their bread announced that they were going with a different Baker now. Predictably, conservatives on Facebook are losing their shit. Get a load of this comment I just saw on a friend’s thread by some rando

    Everyone has choices to make. If you want to succeed then you make the choice to choose a path that helps you succeed. The problem with people today is that they think they are entitled to succeed and do not work to succeed. Woke is not a path to success and if believe that 1% of the population dictates what the other 99% should think or do then you are part of the problem today.

    this guy actually thinks that rural White anti gay people like him are in the VAST majority. Fox news viewers truly live in an alternate reality.

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  44. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Funny you should mention Trump and Tiktok. Biden just signed an executive order revoking Trump’s attempted (but failed) ban on the app.

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  45. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: I happen to be looking out across a Publix parking lot right now and I’m going to read off the colors of the cars as I see them.

    Black, black, pale green, taupe, taupe, pale green, white, dark gray, black, beige, dark gray, light gray, black, black, bright blue, taupe, maroon, white, medium brown, white, medium brown, white, bright red, white, white, gray, gray, white, hunter green, white.

    But you know, when I think of bright primary colors like red and yellow I think Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Miata, etc. Outside of sports cars was there ever a period where people bought sharp bright colors, or did they always mostly buy dull colors? The first three cars I ever bought in the ’80s were brown, black, and dark navy.

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  46. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Jay L Gischer: And strengthened IRS audits are a good thing, but won’t change this. Like defense contracting, the scandal isn’t what’s illegal, the scandal is that most of this is perfectly legal. As is that GE and many very profitable companies pay little or no, or even negative, corporate income tax.

    Pro Publica seems to have confused even Kevin Drum (in his bend over backwards to seem reasonable mode) by talking about change of wealth as equivalent to income. Which it is. As Jay L. says, an effective inheritance tax would help. Much of this wealth passes generation to generation without ever being taxed. And a wealth tax, as proposed by Piketty and many others, would help.

    A wealth tax would have to be essentially world wide to work, but Janet Yellen just got the G7 to agree to a minimum corporate income tax. It’s an a agreement in principle, and there’s many a slip, and a lot of lobbying, between agreement in principle and implementation. But it’s a start. We have a world economy without boundaries, maybe our tax codes should follow suit.

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  47. charon says:

    @George:

    Exactly.

    That is why the IRS sticks to straightforward unambiguous things like unreported income and sketchy deductions – the kind of stuff little people can be caught doing, people who do not have fancy lawyers and accountants.

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  48. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: FWIW, here in B’more, I’ve been noticing more and more colors. Some pretty wild ones too. There is hope for humanity.

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  49. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    Funny you should mention Trump and Tiktok. Biden just signed an executive order revoking Trump’s attempted (but failed) ban on the app.

    The timing is interesting, since I posted that comment shortly before I read the headline about Biden revoking the Trump order. It’s a reminder of how weak and impotent (while still dangerous and destructive) an authoritarian Trump often is. Even before his failed coup attempt, throughout his presidency he was unable to do the vast majority of dictatorial things he clearly wanted to do.

    For the past several years, I feel like half the time I’m trying to warn people against complacency about the great danger Trump poses to our democracy, and the other half I’m trying to reassure the more Eeyorish, doomsaying liberals who think Trump and the Republicans are some kind of omnipotent force the Dems are powerless in the face of.

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  50. Teve says:

    @JohnFugelsang

    Rich people
    pay FOX people
    to make middle class people
    blame poor people.

    11:42 AM · Jun 9, 2021·Twitter

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  51. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: You’re reminding me that these things are faddish and there was an equally depressing period about a decade ago when taupe, of all things, was the hot color.

    I don’t have any numbers, but dealers used to offer a huge variety of colors. Two tone was common once upon a time. The intertubes tell me Ford is offering fifteen color choices on an F-150, ten of which are grayscale. Honda offers seven choices on a CR-V, one red, two blues, and four grayscale. Are they offering what people want, or are people buying what they can get? Yes. It’s a vicious cycle. The reduced pallettes allow more efficient manufacturing and reduced inventory, but jeez.

    If you wanted to camouflage a car on a misty gray rainy day, what color would you paint it?

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  52. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    There’s an interesting article in today’s http://www.nymag.com by Ed Kilgore entitled “Is Trump Going to Fade Like Sarah Palin?”

    You might also want to read George Packer’s “How America Fractured into Four Parts” in today’s Atlantic.

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  53. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: okay I just found an article at consumer reports you would like called a brief history of car colors and why we are so boring now. I’d paste it but I’m using two machines right now and it’s on the other one

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  54. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Lewis Black had a line about the Koch Bros and the Tea Party. They got thousands of people too poor to have a pot to piss in to take to the streets in support of low taxes for billionaires. Now that’s leadership.

    Jane Mayer has a piece at New Yorker on Koch funded efforts in WV to pressure Manchin on the For the People Act. Apparently it’s working.

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  55. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Thanks, I’ll look for it.

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  56. KM says:

    Speaking of byzantine business decisions and extra layers designed to complicate things for tax & money reasons, the Coke ban has been rescinded because the idiots wanting to punish the mega-corp for daring to speak about voting rights got it confused with a local distributor / bottler. Long story short, Coca-Cola Consolidated is *not* The Coca-Cola Co. and no, it’s not just all “Coke”. There’s a system wherein the parent company can send concentrate and syrups to local companies to bottle and own/manage some local machines. In this case, all the affected machines and product fall solely with the local Coca-Cola Consolidated and the right-wing reactionary Big Lie idiocy heavily harmed a small business. They got excoriated by their voters for not knowing what they were doing and nearly tanking a bunch of local jobs just to please their Orange Master on high.

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  57. flat earth luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @

    No comment because anything I might say would probably get me banned.

    Oh, I don’t know… I really enjoyed the punchline from today’s First Dog On The Moon.
    snark away, young Hillbilly, snark away!
    (No, I’m not gonna link it. As Dana Carvey used to say on SNL, “Not gonna go there. Wouldn’t be prudent.”)

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  58. Stormy Dragon says:

    @KM:

    Similar story: the Texas legislature was so busy “owning the libs” that they forgot to renew a key tax subsidy for business that move to the state and because of the way the Texas legislature works, it may take two years to replace it and everyone is worried it’s going to scuttle a bunch of deals that were in the middle of being negotiated.

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  59. Mu Yixiao says:

    El Salvador adopts Bitcoin as a legal tender.

    Here’s the bit* that got me.

    President Nayib Bukele said the new law would make it easier for Salvadorans living abroad to send remittances back to friends and family in the country. Some $6 billion in remittances flowed into the Salvadoran economy last year, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product.

    (emphasis added)
    ===
    Damn. Didn’t catch that when I wrote it. 😛

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  60. Stormy Dragon says:

    @gVOR08:

    I actually paid $400 extra on my current car for this cool iridescent red color (I believe the Ford name for it was “burgundy velvet metallic” or something like that) that changes shade anywhere from black to bright red depending on what angle the ambient light is shining on it.

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  61. Jen says:

    My absolute favorite car color is what I guess is considered British racing green (dark green) with tan leather interior. Very few cars come in this color scheme, it seems.

    Add to that the fact that I prefer manual shift over automatic and it’s no wonder I detest car shopping, as I’m frequently looking for a unicorn.

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  62. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jen:
    A friend in Seattle maintains her late 50’s Mercedes has the latest anti-theft device installed. Manual 4-speed column shift transmission.

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  63. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I too love British racing green. I seem to recall it being far more popular when I was a teen than it is now.

    Fads come and go. Now every car in the Market Basket parking lot seems to be a black or dark gray SUV.

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  64. Mister Bluster says:

    I learned how to drive in my dads new 1960 Dodge Dart. A full size car that model year. It had a clutch as he was convinced that automatic transmissions used too much gas. Maybe they did. He also didn’t want to pay the extra cost. He didn’t even pay for a radio.
    When I was 13 I had a summer job at the donut shop that my dad had sold to one of his employees. Start at 3:30-4:oo am. My mom would let me drive the car as long as we took the side streets. Three on the tree. Learned how to shift as there were stop signs at almost every block
    ……..
    EDIT key!!! Gotta use it.
    The car in the link is the same color as the one my dad bought. The radio antenna is a sure giveaway that it’s not the same car.

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  65. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Tail fins!!

    ReplyReply
  66. Jen says:

    @flat earth luddite: That is 100% accurate. I think there’s even some YouTube videos of people trying to steal cars and getting befuddled at the manual transmission.

    Both of our vehicles are stick-shift. I think we should get an insurance discount.

    ReplyReply
  67. sam says:

    On this day 106 years ago, the greatest gift to popular music and jazz was born: Les Paul. The first thing I remember hearing by him (and his wife, Mary Ford): How High the Moon.

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  68. Pete S says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    My dad said essentially the same thing, he figured the automatic transmission cost you about 10% of your gas consumption. He was a mechanic his whole life so I assumed he knew what he was talking about. He and my mother never bought an automatic in their lives, although when he was travelling for work his company car was automatic.

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  69. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “I have a good friend who’s a writer who works extensively with licensed IP (Marvel, Matel, etc.). ”

    Just about every writer, director, producer or actor in Hollywood works through a loan-out company. It does provide some insulation as you mention here — although few of us need it — and allows for deductions of things that the IRS frowns on in individual returns but that really are (at least kind of) business expenses for us.

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  70. Mu Yixiao says:

    I’ve been talking with a number of people about how ridiculous the housing market is right now, and the sort of houses that people are buying–and, of course, selling. To waste time on my break I went to Zillow and looked in the Madison area.

    Winner’s Circle

    Be sure to scroll through the photos.

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  71. Jen says:

    I don’t know what my favorite news story of the day is, the Coca-Cola one @KM posted, the failure to reauthorize the tax subsidy @Stormy Dragon referenced, or this one, wherein a Member of Congress suggests that perhaps the Bureau of Land Management can adjust either the moon’s or earth’s orbit to address climate change. Louie Gohmert, of course.

    Republicans really just aren’t very good at governing.

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  72. JohnSF says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    @Pete S:
    Torque converter automatics are inherently less efficient, due to the power loss in the viscous clutch.
    Though modern ones with better design, smart engine management and quicker shifts are better, they still have an issue, and likely always will. (It’s one reason for turbo diesels being arguably the best fit for a hydraulic clutch box, as they are inherently more efficient engines, and the auto keeps them close to optimum rpm)

    CV autos are more efficient but horrid.
    Auto-manuals are efficient but temperamental and expensive, and often prone to being nastily jerky.
    DCT/DSG types are efficient, and can be fine to drive once you are used to their ways, but have had some reliability issues.
    I drive one, and quite like it; but mainly chose one because I often had to drive in multi-mile queues on my commutes that made a manual a real chore.
    I still prefer manuals otherwise.

    Though I grew up accustomed to both automatics manuals; my father usually had an auto due to his leg injury.
    Cars I learnt to drive in: manual (’cause was mothers) and rear engined Hillman Imp and Dad’s Triumph Acclaim (among others; Dad worked for BL/Austin Rover so had a lot of different cars.
    The Triumph TR8 he had for a couple of months was a particular hoot.
    Only drove it once. 3.5 litre V8. Eek!

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  73. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I mean it’s fine as far as McMansions go I guess, but the decor is really basic. A lot of the bedding doesn’t seem to fit, and the cheap folding chair by the tiny desk in one room looks strange.

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  74. Kurtz says:

    So, @Gustopher used this phrase that’s been around for a bit now.

    We live in the stupidest timeline.

    Reading it just now, the image I got in my head was Biff Tannen, not 50s bully Biff, nor 80s car accident Biff, nor 80s emasculated Biff. And of course, not decrepit 2015 Biff who presumably crawled off and died after breaking his cane.

    No, alt. 85 Casino Biff. That’s Trump, right?

    Am I inadvertently plagiarizing someone? Has someone raised this similarity before?

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  75. de stijl says:

    I did my first instance of home-made chicken stock last week.

    It was really quite good. It’s hard to mess up roasting bones and throwing them in water with some chopped veg.

    But the time and effort to marginal quality increase did not knock my socks off.

    For 99% of what I use stocks and broths for – usually for sauces where I have a crap ton of other savory ingredients, awesome home-made stock would just get covered up by other flavors.

    The effort to benefit ratio didn’t make the cut for me. Even though the effort is pretty minimal. Store-bought is fine for what I usually use it for.

    Maybe I’ll try to do beef as a new experiment. No harm in that.

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  76. Kylopod says:

    @Kurtz:

    Am I inadvertently plagiarizing someone? Has someone raised this similarity before?

    The writers have admitted that ’85 Casino Biff was indeed intended as a Trump clone. There were a lot of Trump parodies around that time (that same year Sesame Street debuted its character Ronald Grump). It’s also kind of interesting that “the future” in that series was 2015, the year Trump actually entered the presidential race.

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  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    So how do megabillionaires pay their megabills while opting for $1 salaries and hanging onto their stock? According to public documents and experts, the answer for some is borrowing money — lots of it.

    For regular people, borrowing money is often something done out of necessity, say for a car or a home. But for the ultrawealthy, it can be a way to access billions without producing income, and thus, income tax.

    The tax math provides a clear incentive for this. If you own a company and take a huge salary, you’ll pay 37% in income tax on the bulk of it. Sell stock and you’ll pay 20% in capital gains tax — and lose some control over your company. But take out a loan, and these days you’ll pay a single-digit interest rate and no tax; since loans must be paid back, the IRS doesn’t consider them income. Banks typically require collateral, but the wealthy have plenty of that.

    The vast majority of the ultrawealthy’s loans do not appear in the tax records obtained by ProPublica since they are generally not disclosed to the IRS. But occasionally, the loans are disclosed in securities filings. In 2014, for example, Oracle revealed that its CEO, Ellison, had a credit line secured by about $10 billion of his shares.

    Last year Tesla reported that Musk had pledged some 92 million shares, which were worth about $57.7 billion as of May 29, 2021, as collateral for personal loans.

    With the exception of one year when he exercised more than a billion dollars in stock options, Musk’s tax bills in no way reflect the fortune he has at his disposal. In 2015, he paid $68,000 in federal income tax. In 2017, it was $65,000, and in 2018 he paid no federal income tax. Between 2014 and 2018, he had a true tax rate of 3.27%.

    The IRS records provide glimpses of other massive loans. In both 2016 and 2017, investor Carl Icahn, who ranks as the 40th-wealthiest American on the Forbes list, paid no federal income taxes despite reporting a total of $544 million in adjusted gross income (which the IRS defines as earnings minus items like student loan interest payments or alimony). Icahn had an outstanding loan of $1.2 billion with Bank of America among other loans, according to the IRS data. It was technically a mortgage because it was secured, at least in part, by Manhattan penthouse apartments and other properties.

    Borrowing offers multiple benefits to Icahn: He gets huge tranches of cash to turbocharge his investment returns. Then he gets to deduct the interest from his taxes. In an interview, Icahn explained that he reports the profits and losses of his business empire on his personal taxes.

    But hey, it’s all OK if we get it when they die… Except of course, we don’t. And we won’t.

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  78. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Jen:

    There was an interesting site I read a while ago that was basically an architect going through some terrible designs and pointing out what specifically makes them bad designs.

    Three I noticed on that Winner Circle house:
    1. The house has at least nine! different rooflines
    2. It looks like two completely different buildings from the front and back; there’s no common design language for the entire structure
    3. Each room has a different style of window, none of which line up with each other horizontal or vertically (this last has become the bane of my existence, once it’s pointed out you start noticing it everywhere and it drives me crazy now).

    It’s not a “building” in any cohesive architectural sense, it’s a random collection of rooms with a shell over it.

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  79. de stijl says:

    @Kurtz:

    Even Biff is not as grossly crude as Trump.

    I cannot think of an archetype-like figure that matches Trump well.

    Joffrey from GOT / ASOIAF kinda works with the petulance, cruelty, and disdain, but Trump has this entire knot of maladaptive character traits that defies a true comparison.

    Steven King had a character in Under The Dome that was pretty close. – Big Bill or somesuch who was a small-town version. But even then way savvier and much more likely to tamp down his vengeful thorny bits when it suited his purposes to sweet-talk and cajole.

    Played by Dean Norris in the TV version. He rocks.

    Ignorant, stupid, cruel, petulant, disdainful, vengeful, narcissistic, petty, abusive, megalomanic …. I need a new thesaurus.

    For an idiot, Trump is a pretty complex guy.

    Roughly 50% of eligible voters chose him. Smh.

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  80. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: that site is called McMansion Hell and it is run by an architectural student. I like that site but I seldom go there because it only updates once every few months

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  81. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Literally every other employee of Amazon, Google, Microsoft – any company has a higher marginal tax rate if they did their W-4 properly.

    This madness must end.

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  82. Mikey says:

    @Teve:

    @JohnFugelsang

    Rich people
    pay FOX people
    to make middle class people
    blame poor people.

    Another good one I saw recently (can’t remember where):

    A rich man, an American, and an undocumented immigrant are sitting around a table that has 100 cookies on it. The rich man takes 99 cookies, then leans over to the American and says “that illegal over there is trying to steal your cookie.”

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  83. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    The character who struck me as Trumpish: Hugh Panetta from The Riches; just a chicken-fried, substance-addicted version.

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  84. de stijl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    A couple I knew over-bought by huge margin when the were relatively fairly young.

    A McMansion in the toniest ‘burb. Honkin’ huge yard with a few just-planted trees. Eight feet tall, maybe.

    It struck me as the loneliest place imaginable. Starkly ugly. Perhaps overstating that – I do not like the suburbs as a general rule. Put in side-walks, god damn it!

    To a normal person, a place of limited appeal, but the zip code, and the street name, and the address said “I am a winner, damn it!”

    The underwriter who approved that loan should be fired. They couldn’t even furnish it all – it was too big. Empty rooms where no one goes into ever. It was spooky. 18 months later they sold and moved to a townhouse.

    Still ugly, but a way more practical fit.

    I just do not get why people like pre-fab suburbs. At all. Do not get it. There is no there there. By design. I would rather live in a SRO hotel than there.

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  85. Mimai says:

    @sam:

    Thank you!!! I too am pouring one out today in honor of this legend. On my short-list of dream guitars is this beauty. Hello lover.

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  86. Jen says:

    @Stormy Dragon: It’s certainly not to my taste…agreed on all of that. The exterior is confused and looks like a Toll Brothers special.

    My tastes run more to something like this place.

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  87. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    John Fugelsang the actor / comedian?

    If so, his stock just shot up in my book.

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  88. de stijl says:

    @sam:

    Nice. I heartily approve.

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  89. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Once in place, the same technology could be used by the elderly who aren’t interested in speed but would be happy to be able to live independently a few years longer.

    When I drag out my old technology forecasting hat, this is what I think will be the “killer app” for self-driving cars: getting the oldsters around. So they can just say, “Take me to the rec center please.” And the car, “knowing” that today is Thursday and that’s water exercise day, can respond with, “Did you remember to bring your towel?” The car has to know things within a ten-mile radius. No high-speed roads. Maybe the most important aspect is that the car can drop Grandma off at the rec center door, than go park itself without bumping into other vehicles. I also think electric, with wireless recharging, so there’s never a need to go to the gas station.

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  90. Michael Cain says:

    Re car colors… A state patrol officer once told me, “I only radar check the bright-colored cars, especially the red ones. Experience tells me that the personality that will choose a bright red car is often the personality that thinks speed limit signs are just suggestions.”

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  91. de stijl says:

    @Mimai:

    I concur on taste and style. A house needs hominess.

    Why are we “friends” with people we know we dislike? The anecdote above about the couple who overbought – the woman was attached to our circle. Known her for years. Routinely unpleasant and often just plain rude. I did not like her. Her hubby apparently chose Anthony Scarramucci as his spirit animal way back in the early ninties.

    I actively disliked both and went to their house – warming anyway. Why? In a shitty part of town I avoid on principal.

    I believe, please correct me, that a friend circle means you are extremely dissuaded from criticizing a circle member publicly. You can, but you might get banned.

    I have no idea why she got added to the circle. She did hang out a lot, I guess. It was very clear after 10 minutes of conversation that she was not a positive contributer and semi-poisonous. Her beau was a fucking joke. I avoided them as is they had active plague pustules, generally.

    Still, I went to their house-warming. Not sure why. Brought a gift.

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  92. becca says:

    @Jen: I had a 1959 Morris Minor I had painted British racing green, which is funny because the speedometer topped out at 80. I loved that car, but restoration is expensive and something always needed something…

    Also, I can barely drive an automatic transmission. I’m a reflexive clutcher.

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  93. Michael Cain says:

    @Jen:

    wherein a Member of Congress suggests that perhaps the Bureau of Land Management can adjust either the moon’s or earth’s orbit to address climate change.

    I missed that one. It would certainly add some variety to the complaints that invoke the unofficial motto at the Western Governors Association, which is “Did you hear what those d*ckheads at BLM have done now?”

    I assume that the woman from the US Forest Service was too polite to say, “Rep. Gohmert, it’s still the first third of June and the national forests are f*cking burning down already. Of course we want to try to address climate change.” The two bigger fires in Arizona had burned almost 140,000 acres as of yesterday. The InciWeb map is starting to look like a typical August.

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  94. EddieInCA says:

    @gVOR08:

    I was looking at buying a new Tesla recently. Found out white is standard. Any color costs about $2K more. So if you see a Blue Tesla, know they paid extra for that color Blue.

    I would have been find with a white one.

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  95. Stormy Dragon says:
  96. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:…I graduated from High School in 1966 not 1956.

    No Edit key when I need it.
    ……
    Now there is an EDIT key.
    Might as well be on a snipe hunt instead of looking for an EDIT key.

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  97. Mimai says:

    @de stijl:

    I believe you meant to reply to @Jen:

    Nevertheless, since you “invited” me to this discussion, I will be polite and give some semblance of a reply.

    Re hominess, I keep my guitars out. Am I displaying them….as a signal of sorts? Sure, I suppose I am. But there are at least two other stories I tell myself.

    1. Keeping them out reduces the friction of getting them out to play. Result: I play them more often. And more playing is good for the soul.

    2. Keeping them out brings hominess to the home. This is also good for the soul.

    Now, as to your question about keeping “friends” with dislikable people….. I suppose some/most of that is just being prosocial. What the Japanese call wa (和). As a friend of mine says, “don’t fuck with the wa!”

    But when it comes to a “real” friend circle, in my world you are being a good friend when you criticize publicly that which deserves to be criticized publicly. The rub is the manner in which you criticize. Productively, constructively, humbly….. these are just as valued as a hug. Their opposites are just as despised as a punch.

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  98. Mister Bluster says:

    NOTICE: This post has disappeared 3 times so far. I post it. I can see it. I check the links to see if they work. It is there. In the thread. Then I move to another thread and come back to this thread and this post is gone. Last time I typed it out I made a copy to my text edit. That’s what is here now.
    Let’s see what happens this time.
    ——————-
    @Mu Yixiao:..Tail fins!!

    Before the 1960 Dodge Dart my dad bought a new 1956 Plymouth like this one although it did not have the PowerFlite Pushbutton drive transmission. No radio either. I was too young to drive it. However my Aunt Ruth (dad’s sister) bought a new 1956 Plymouth that did have push button drive. Probably just to get one up on him. She gave me that car after I graduated from High School in 1956. Ten years after it was new.

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  99. Mimai says:

    @gVOR08:

    Cars aren’t really my thing, but BMW released a vantablack model recently that had me nodding my head in appreciation.

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  100. JohnMcC says:

    @Jen: Had a brand-new 1967 MG-G roadster with that color scheme. A love affair that lasted 5yrs and 120K miles.

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  101. JohnMcC says:

    @EddieInCA: Henry Ford was the last major Detroit auto makers to offer his cars in colors. His famous remark on the matter was, ‘people can have their Ford any color they want. As long as it’s black.’

    That attitude comes with what they call ‘Gilded Era’.

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  102. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Yeah. Sending money back to family is a huge thing.

    It is semi-expected. We sent you into the wide world for a purpose.

    Remittance to Mexico and Central America is a huge business. Has been forever too.

    If you do not speak enough Spanish it is easy to miss the signs on a lot of stores that are designed around or capable to accommodate easy remittance.

    This is an expected bit of the journey. Pay mom and dad and siblings, etc.

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  103. de stijl says:

    @Mimai:

    Sorry!

    Sorry, @Jen

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  104. EddieInCA says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @wr:

    Yep. As wr states, in Film and TV production, almost everyone above the line works through an LLC or Inc. I get paid through my Chapter S Corporation, not as an individual. It’s nice to be able to legally write off certain dinners, movies, plays, concerts, travel.

    I pay all the taxes I’m obligated to play, plus a bit extra as I don’t take all the deductions that are due me, mostly because I’m terrified of the IRS, and if I ever do get audited, I want to be able to say “I didn’t even take all the deductions I could.”.

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  105. Mister Bluster says:

    @Mister Bluster:…One more time.

    I graduated from High School in 1966 not 1956.

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  106. de stijl says:

    @Mimai:

    How do you humbly criticize someone you think is unworthy in an honorable manner?

    I do not trust them or value them. I have been polite to them, they have been dicks to me.

    Thus far, my behavior is to disengage as far as the circle allows. Nod. Say “hello” to her and her fella. Move on.

    I happened upon a strategy in a different circumstance.

    I stated exactly why I was displeased. You said x. X is not not a path I’m gonna take with you or anyone else. Hard boundary for me.

    I’d appreciate it if you did not x again, please.

    It totally worked. Unexpectedly, it fucking worked. I established boundaries.

    I was so psyched. It worked!

    Seriously, no frets about the above anectdotal couple. Been outta my life for years now. Not a salient issue anymore.

    I was wondering about past interactions so I could improve future ones. Trying to figure out general rules from specific cases (which may not be totally prudent).

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  107. flat earth luddite says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Fwk! just FWK! not no how. It may be pretty but fwk that’s , that’s, that’s…
    Certainly they’ve priced me out of my old neighborhood. Well, not quite the neighborhood…but I used to ride my bike there.

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  108. de stijl says:

    @sam:

    Les Paul basically invented the soundtrack of the last half of the twentieth century.

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  109. de stijl says:

    @EddieInCA:

    While a notable and worthy thing to not take every last deduction available, if you forgot to carry the one, the IRS is gonna ding you anyway.

    It is not an honor system. A=A.

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  110. Mimai says:

    @de stijl:

    How do you humbly criticize someone you think is unworthy in an honorable manner?

    To clarify, I was referring to a “real” friend circle………..that is, the circle to whom you say “anytime, anywhere.”

    To the other type of circle, disengagement is often the wise play. However, I do think it is possible (and even more important) to criticize humbly. This has nothing to do with trust, value, liking them. Indeed, fundamentally, it’s about you, not them.

    Your approach re “x” is good. Straightforward, factual, non-punitive. Sometimes it works, like it did for you.

    When I say humbly, I’m referring to one’s own thinking and perceived understanding of the other person and their motives/situation. The fundamental attribution error is pervasive and it is pernicious.

    Relatedly, there’s the issue of believing that WYSIATI. This is a major blind spot for all of us. It is humble to be aware of it and to actively course correct. This is hard, and it takes intent, which makes it all the harder when dealing with “other” people.

    The less you know, the easier it is to fit everything you know into a simple (often ugly) story.

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  111. Teve says:

    @de stijl: I forgot to take a credit I was eligible for many years ago and they sent me a return deposit, and a few weeks later they sent me a letter that said you’re qualified for this credit that you didn’t take, fill out this form and return it, and I did and a few weeks later I got an extra deposit in my account.

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  112. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl:

    Look for me in The Suburbs Tape My Wife To Ceiling vid.

    That wasn’t helpful at all! There are way too many randos/extras in that video to allow us to single out which one was you. 🙁

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  113. Stormy Dragon says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    I’ve reached the stage in life where I’m genetically obligated to lust after houses I could never possibly afford. =D

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  114. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    In my case, that’s pretty much anything that’s not a single wide on the rez. Zillow and bring a trailer are laugh-or-cry sites. But I’m still glad I opted out of joining the recreational pharmaceutical industry in 70s. Society is ultimately better off too.

    But Fwk! Seattle got ugly expensive after 81, didn’t it?

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  115. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Your comment caused me to think back on my cars. Here goes (and in order): Metallic Blue, Saddle Bronze (according to FMC–also metallic), Lime Green, White, Silver, Burgundy, Forest Green, Black, Metallic Bronze (convertible), White (convertible), Metallic Blue, Silver Grey. Four GMs, 2 VWs, 2 Chryslers (both short lived), one Fiat, two Fords, and one Renault.

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  116. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: For 12,000+ sq.ft., the price is not completely outlandish. To compare apples with oranges, a house in suburban Seattle a few years back was 4,000 sq. ft., on the lake with a 50 foot dock and 200 linear feet of level beach front for a mere $28 million.

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  117. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: Yeah, the decor was pretty pedestrian, all right. I think both desk chairs were tubular steel, but the second could have been a folding chair. The bedrooms seemed to dwarf the furniture (especially what seemed to be the master bedroom), but that might have been perspective based on camera angle.

    Maybe after building, they didn’t have enough money left for really nice furniture? If it’s a model, the furniture choices were specifically generic and intended to pass a 30 feet at 30 mph test.

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  118. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve: This is actually something I’ve been watching closely for my day job. If you look, it turns out that all of the major wins for machine learning have been in contexts where the benefits of being slightly better than average good, but the costs for being wrong are negligible. If your web page puts up slightly more successful ads on average, nobody cares when it advertises shaving equipment to teenage girls. But if your self-driving car occasionally runs over a pedestrian, that’s a different matter entirely.

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  119. DrDaveT says:

    @charon:

    Nothing would deliver more bang for a buck than increased funding of the IRS audit capability.

    Depending on whose analysis you believe, the returns on investment in tax collection would be somewhere between 8:1 and 20:1. So of course we don’t do that, because Republicans.

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  120. DrDaveT says:

    @gVOR08:

    Nobody buys colors anymore.

    Actually, I adore my 2007 Toyota “sea foam” — greenish-gray metallic, looks different colors in different lights, doesn’t show dirt much. I much prefer it to any Lego(tm) colors.

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  121. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Flat Earth Luddite: I found myself trying to remember what house they knocked down to build that one. I’m not sure that I’ll ever know though. Wasn’t that address on the part of Beach Drive that was a private road? Atlas was where I used to have to turn off Beach when I was young.

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  122. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: https://www.consumerreports.org/consumerist/a-brief-history-of-car-colors-and-why-are-we-so-boring-now/ Interesting stuff. Cars started out being painted like carriages, which took weeks to dry. Henry Ford found an asphalt based enamel that dried fast, but apparently only worked in black. I always assumed it was just because he didn’t want to deal with more than one color. Their expert, a woman who did a PhD thesis on early 20th century car finishes, attributes the current grayscale cars to a recession mindset rather than any economic or manufacturing constraint.

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  123. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: If you had to guess, which one would you peg as de Stijl? I’d say the tallish blond guy leaning against the wall as the woman blows smoke across at :25 in the video.

    Or the guy on the bike in the beginning.

    Or the guy with the very large wine glass. 😛

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  124. Kurtz says:

    @Jax: @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    So he gave us enough info to crack the case. The key is to watch the Hamm’s commercials first. Look for anyone who could be described as swanky.

    Then look for a similar looking dude in The Suburbs video.

    Happy Hunting.

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  125. Jax says:

    @Kurtz: Sooooo many Hamm’s commercials! Not sure how much more of the theme song I can handle before it becomes an earworm. 😉

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