Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wings' Brian Rafalski slams Tennessee's new 'jock tax'

Associated Press

Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski says Tennessee is unfairly taxing professional athletes to play in the state.

The Red Wings star has been running the numbers, and he estimates 17 teammates will be paying more money in taxes to face off against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night than they will earn for playing the game.

"My complaint with it is ... 17 teammates will be paying money out of their own pocket to play in Tennessee. It's a tax rate of over 100 percent," Rafalski said Friday.

Paying taxes isn't his issue. A total of 18 states now charge what's commonly called a "jock tax" to make money off highly paid pro athletes visiting their teams. But Tennessee's tax, which took effect July 1, 2009, is different from the other 17 because the visitors cannot get any relief through a deduction when filing taxes back home.

Tennessee, which does not have a state income tax, joined a handful of states in taxing professional athletes with what it calls a "privilege" tax that took effect July 1, 2009.

The tax was designed to tap into the wallet of anyone playing for an NHL or NBA team for more than 10 days in a tax period and within the state's boundaries -- the same way the other 17 states hit up pros who play for Tennessee teams. The NFL's Tennessee Titans, based in Nashville, aren't mentioned in the law. And this money heads back to the city of Nashville, home of the Predators, and Memphis, where the NBA's Grizzlies play.

A spokesman with the NHLPA told The Associated Press on Friday that the players union has retained a tax expert to review the legal options in regards to Tennessee's tax.

NBA and NHL players are hit for $2,500 per game with a limit of $7,500 for a maximum of three games. With Rafalski playing in the Central Division, his Red Wings visit Nashville three times a season. Western Conference teams in the NBA visit Memphis only two games per season.

So Rafalski and his teammates wind up paying as much in Tennessee's privilege tax -- $7,500 per season -- as any member of the NHL's Predators or NBA's Grizzlies even though they play up to 41 home games in the regular season alone. Rafalski said he has discussed the tax with Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter.

"It's just not a fair tax," Rafalski said.

The defenseman, who played for the U.S. Olympic team in February, said he estimated he pays taxes in up to 15 different states. Seeing the Tennessee tax withheld from his most recent paycheck didn't help, and Rafalski said he thinks it pushes the limits of constitutionality because visiting athletes, at least from the NHL, wind up being taxed for income not earned in Tennessee.

He would like to see the Tennessee tax challenged legally and said he felt driven to speak up for his teammates, especially since he feels it hits younger NHL players the hardest.

"I am appalled you could have over 100 percent tax rate on anyone. I understand times are tough. The power tax is the power to kill something. I feel strongly about it. It's just the burden.'"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lookin' Out My Front Door

My neighbor was trying to get in her front door so threw snowballs at them. One of them took offense and charged her. Fortunately she was able to hop back in her car in time. I believe these are twin one or two year olds.

Monday, March 22, 2010

On Yesterday's Congressional Decision

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! Patrick Henry

They passed a bill that mandates that I purchase health insurance. If I choose not to do so, I face fines. If I am unwilling or unable financially to pay the fines, I could go to jail.

This cannot happen in a democracy. Making health care compulsory cannot happen.

Postings far more articulate than anything I can come up with.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Healthy Lifestyle

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart only good for so many beats, and that it...don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiency. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So steak is nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable) And pork chop can give you 100% of recommended daily allowance of vegetable product.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain...good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you?!?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming good for your figure, explain whale to me..

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
AND.....For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More on Health Care Reform

House Dems on track for vote on $940B health bill

Nine hundred forty BILLION dollars.

Title of this post is also a link to a different article.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Onions - Fact or Myth?

Another ubiquitous e-mail:

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it and many died. The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion.. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ. She said that several years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. (And no, she is not in the onion business.) The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. If you work at a desk, place one or two in your office or under your desk or even on top somewhere. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu. If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better. If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild case. Whatever, what have you to lose? Just a few bucks on onions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions: Weldon, thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmers story......but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia and needless to say I was very ill...I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put one end on a fork and then place the forked end into an empty jar....placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs...sure enough it happened just like that.....the onion was a mess and I began to feel better. Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties. This is the other note. LEFT OVER ONIONS ARE POISONOUS! have used an onion which has been left in the fridge, and sometimes I don't use a whole one at one time, so save the other half for later. Now with this info, I have changed my mind....will buy smaller onions in the future.

I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Mullins is huge, and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family. My friend, Jeanne, is the CEO..Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of the brothers Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula. He's even developed sauce formula for McDonald's. Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially- made Mayo is completely safe."It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quaint essential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.Ed says that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors... It's probably the onions, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES..He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit,that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!)Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

So, how's that for news? Take it for what you will. I (the author) am going to be very careful about my onions from now on. For some reason, I see a lot of credibility coming from a chemist and a company that produces millions of pounds of mayonnaise every year.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut onions and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Somebody Please Explain This

We're sitting here watching a hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames. There is a big telethon drive going on for Canucks for Kids. Doesn't Canada have socialized medicine that takes care of their health issues? Why do they need charities for this?

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's That Time of Year Again

I know the expression, "Only in America" doesn't really apply nowadays, but that's what came to mind. An entire store dedicated to Peeps.

I remember when Saturday Night Live did a skit about a store that sold nothing but Scotch tape. Doesn't seem like such a remote possibility now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Did My Part

Today I e-mailed both of my Senators about how I would like them to vote regarding health care. Probably a futile gesture but at least now I can claim that I let my voice be heard. I suggest everyone do this in this age of instant communication. It's not like our opinions get there by carrier pigeon long after the decision is made. Pro or con, let them know what their constituents want.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

On Aging

My husband and I love the character of Miss Marple as played by Joan Hickson and have all of the DVDs. I suggested we watch one last night as it had been a couple of years since the last viewing. Neither of us remembered the story so it was as entertaining as the first time. Afterwards we discussed how as our memories fade that soon we'll be able to watch them every week as if we'd never seen them before.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I've Been Deleted!

Wow, I made what I thought was a comparatively mild comment on PW's blog about the kerfuffle (love that word) caused by Mrs. G.'s article. I didn't attack anyone. I did point out to another commenter (#192 if I remember correctly) that the conversation had stayed civil only because Ree had deleted negative comments. Guess mine was one of them. Whoa.

Just keeping it real...

I bet the Bears pay for his health insurance too

Anxious all week, Julius Peppers was finally getting some sleep at home in Charlotte when he found out just how serious the Chicago Bears were about acquiring him.

The five-time Pro Bowl defensive end and top free agent prize agreed Friday to a six-year deal worth potentially $91.5 million.


Stayed up until 1:00 in the morning watching Multiplicity. Hadn't seen it in years so it was like watching for the first time. Cute movie and I went to bed in good spirits. Stayed awake until 2:30 reading. I'm currently muddling through Diana Gabaldon's latest in the Outlander series. Confess I went to to read some reviews as I am just not loving this book. Kind of sad to find out that this will not be the last one. I was hoping it would be as the storyline is getting very tedious. But I will soldier on and will probably read the next one also. Maybe that will have closure.

Anyway, it was one of those nights where it seemed like I woke up every 30 minutes or so. I attribute it to my having taken a nap the previous afternoon.

The phone rang at 7:00 a.m. Nothing good can come from early morning calls on a Saturday. Sure enough, it was my dear friend's husband calling to say that the doctor is giving her only another week before she succumbs to lung cancer. This woman never smoked, so I don't want any censuring thoughts headed in her direction. There is so much support for those suffering from breast cancer and so little for lung cancer victims. Personal rant, sorry.

I'm not very articulate at the best of times and am really not a morning person, ever. So I hope that whatever I said to this poor soul was not too stupid and that I was able to convey my deep sorrow at the news.

The dogs, of course, decided that since I was awake I should let them outside and then feed them breakfast. I went along with their desire, thinking I would go back to bed and sleep after they were taken care of. Unfortunately my craving for coffee won out and I've been up for three hours now.

Bad news always makes me cranky. I noticed when my sister-in-law died in late January that I was more prone to argue with other commenters on some of the blogs I read. Normally I can take the high road and just ignore people I disagree with. I was able to avoid commenting on yesterday's attacks on Mrs. G. at both The Pioneer Woman and The Women's Colony. You know, least said soonest mended philosophy.

So, today has started off kind of shitty. I hope it improves. Think I'll go read some comments and see if I can stir the pot since I'm going to be in a mood. First, more coffee...

Two Legends

I've gotta stop reading

On socialism:
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” Thomas Jefferson

As the late Adrian Rogers said, "you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.
The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class". All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.
After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.
As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.
All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

On Taxes:
It seemed that 10 men decided to have a business lunch once a week. They always met in the same restaurant and the bill was always, $100.00, for all 10 men. If each man was responsible for his share of the bill that would be, $10.00, each. The men decided to divide the bill based upon their ability to pay (using the progressive structure of the tax code). Using this formula the following payment arrangement was worked out based upon income.

Men 1-4 who made the least amount of money paid nothing.

Man 5 paid $ 1.00

Man 6 paid $ 3.00

Man 7 paid $ 7.00

Man 8 paid $12.00

Man 9 paid $18.00

Man 10 paid $59.00

After several weeks the owner of the restaurant told the men that because they were such good customers he was reducing the bill by $20.00. Their dilemma was how to divide up the, $20.00. If each person got the same amount then the first 4 men would be getting money back but they never paid anything for the dinners. After much discussion and no resolve the owner offered the following suggestion which they all agreed to.

Original Payment-New Payment-$ Amount Saved-% Saved

Men 1-4 paid $ 0.00 $ 0.00 $0.00 0%

Man 5 paid $ 1.00 $ 0.00 $1.00 100%

Man 6 paid $ 3.00 $ 2.00 $1.00 33%

Man 7 paid $ 7.00 $ 5.00 $2.00 28%

Man 8 paid $12.00 $ 9.00 $3.00 25%

Man 9 paid $18.00 $14.00 $4.00 22%

Man 10 paid $59.00 $50.00 $9.00 15%

Once outside the men began to argue about the settlement. Man 5 said he only got, $1.00, while Man 10 received, $9.00. Men 1-4 were upset because the received nothing. They said that the cut only benefited the rich and the poor got nothing. They were upset so they beat up Man 10 and left him. The next week they met for lunch as usual except man 10 did not show up. When the new bill arrived the men discovered that between them they did not have enough money to pay even half of the bill.

In this story we see a simplified version of the Federal Income Tax. According to an article in the “New York Times” 80% of the taxes are paid by 20% of the highest earning income people. Any time you have a tax cut the people who are carrying the tax burden are going to get the money. The next time you hear of a tax cut and the media tells you that the wealthy are getting all the money, remember they are the ones paying the taxes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Really Good News

Ree Drummond, AKA The Pioneer Woman, has once again proven that sometimes nice gals really do finish first. The voters at the 2010 Bloggies have spoken. She has won the 2010 awards for Best Writing of a Weblog, Best-Designed Weblog, and, trumpets please, Weblog of the Year for the second year in a row. Congratulations, Ree!