Keep what you have; the known evil is best.
- Plautus, Roman Comic Poet (B.C. 254-184)
If you’re still scrambling to get your taxes out by tomorrow’s deadline, instead of cursing yourself, perhaps you should be congratulating yourself.
Most tax advisors say the later you file, the less likely your chances of an audit. Some go one step further and say you should even file for extensions as most returns are already selected for auditing in a given tax year by the latest extension deadline of October 15th.
Remember, though, that if you owe taxes, you are still expected to pay by April 15th or face penalties. Even if you’re not sure of the amount you’ll owe or if you don’t have the money to pay, send along a check for a small amount, even $10, with your promptly-filed return to show good faith on your part and lower future tax penalties.
Wouldn’t you know the one year I push aside my procrastinating ways and do my taxes well ahead of time, I come across this bit of information?
Now the Good Lord knows that I have nothing to hide, but even if you do feel confident that you have all your ducks in a row, an audit by the IRS has got to rank as more trying and invasive than a proctology exam.
There aren’t many things humans are better equipped to do than making excuses for procrastinating. If you’re expecting a refund, go ahead and file early, but for those who are going to owe, no excuse making needed here, now you’ve got a totally legit reason to put off filing until the very last minute.
Derrick Gordon has become the latest athlete that no one had ever heard of until he announced to the world that he’s gay.
Like his rainbow Nike hashtag shirt proudly proclaims, this is all about a man’s desire to be true to who he is.
Gordon explained it this way: “I just didn’t want to hide anymore, in any way. I didn’t want to have to lie or sneak. I’ve been waiting and watching for the last few months, wondering when a Division I player would come out, and finally I just said, ‘Why not me?’”
It must be difficult to know that you’re gay but feel like you have to act straight just to try to fit in with your teammates. So good for him, Derrick Gordon can now #betrue to who he is. Now can we as a society please just fast forward to the point where this is no longer a big deal?
So he likes the penis. Big deal. I don’t like the penis myself, but I do like women and most women like the penis so how can I look down at someone just because they like the penis?
You know what I’m looking forward to? I’m looking forward to the time when this is no longer a big deal. I have a dream that all of us will one day live in a nation where a college or pro athlete can come out of the closet and it won’t even merit a headline.
Seriously, I’m tired of all these coming out stories clogging up my newsfeed.
Steven Colbert? Seriously? They went with a guy whose entire body of work on TV consists of a lame O’Reilly impersonation – night after night after night. They say immitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but what do you call it when take your flattery to the point of beating a dead horse for thirteen-hundred episodes? (Tiresome and unimaginative are two words that spring to mind.)
CBS’ Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler tried to explain the decision this way:
He’s done some limited speaking engagements [as himself]. When you really have such admiration for somebody’s talent, intelligence, and satiric ability, you know there’s a gifted performer there. Dave’s shoes are very big to fill, and we believe Stephen will honor Dave’s legacy in terms of his ability and intellect.
source: Entertainment Weekly
WOW! So it was on the strength of “some limited speaking engagements” that CBS figured Colbert could be something more than just a one-note Stevie?
It’s no shocker that CBS continues the leftward march alongside all the rest of the Obama State Media, picking yet another talking head as liberal as Lauer and as kooky as Couric. What is surprising though, is that after so many years perfecting the art of selling propaganda as something unbiased, CBS is finally taking off the mask.
Poor New Jersey. That state is the Rodney Dangerfield of the fifty states. I have never witnessed a state so slighted and ignored in the way that New Jersey has been treated in the run up to the Super Bowl. As just one brief example, check out Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carrol during a Super Bowl press conference referring to his days as the coach of the Jets:
“I’ve always loved to play in New York,” he said. “To have a chance to be a head coach in New York is an extraordinary honor, because of the history and the following and that goes along with that.”
Minutes later, however, a retired Jersey City cop, in a distinctive “r”-less Jersey voice, piped up from the back: “Coach, I just want to say something. I’m Rich Boggiano with the city council. You said yowah glad to be back in New Yawk. I just want to remind you, yowah in New Jersey. Awlright?”
“You’re right, my bad,” Coach Carroll sheepishly replied. “I’m talking to all the people on the West Coast who don’t care about that. But you’re right.”
Uh no, Coach Carroll, that’s the same New York bias that’s being transmitted from coast to coast. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard people in the media talking about the “Super Bowl in New York”, I could probably afford front-row tickets to the game, especially when you consider how ticket prices are dropping as steadily as the plunging temperatures.
Part of me wants to laugh at New Jersey as the poor, neglected stepchild to New York’s fraternal grand eminence, especially when I think of the kind of blue collar rock Jersey has belched onto the American scene through acts like Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen – especially Bruce Springsteen – God, how I despise that kind of Joe Six-Pack working class rock, but to be fair, the Garden State was also the fertile soil which sprung forth Count Basie and Frank Sinatra.
Music aside, I can identify with the people of New Jersey having to suffer insult from the sports world because as a lifelong resident of Orange County, I witnessed in my own backyard the most ridiculous name change in the history of sports when the Anaheim Angels became The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim? Seriously, Arte Moreno? You can slap the label of L.A. on the team all you want, you’re not fooling anyone. No one in L.A. considers the Angeles a Los Angeles team and for the people of the O.C., the snub is undeniable, for both the people who have supported the team to a guy like me who’s not even a fan. So I know what it’s like to see a city insulted by it’s very own sports team.
When it comes to New Jersey, it was the Giants and the Jets who, in 1976 and 1984 respectively, chose to flee the oppressive taxation of New York to have their teams play just across the border in New Jersey. The fact that both teams decided to move but still keep the New York in their names? That to me is like giving their new home state a backhand, year after year after year.
The Jersey Giants? The Jersey Jets? Even the names had a ring that lent themselves to adopting the name of the new home state. Heck, New York Mayor Ed Koch was so upset with the teams moving that he threatened to force them to drop the New York from their names, but still the teams managed to keep pretending they were from New York, denying New Jersey any credit for hosting their games.
Poor New Jersey . . . when it comes to Ellis Island, the historic entry point for 40% of our nation’s ancestors, even that great landmark was commonly known by almost everyone outside of Jersey as a New York landmark for nearly one-hundred years until the Supreme Court finally set things right in accordance with an 1834 compact between the two states and still, even today, most people still think of Ellis Island as being in New York.
In what would be a proud moment for most states, when New Jersey lands a Super Bowl, the entire NFL and the media apparatus have endlessly spoke of the big game as being played in New York. Even the artwork on the program cover and the tickets for Super Bowl XLVIII is bordering false advertisement, enough to lead someone who didn’t know any better to believe that the game is actually being played in Downtown Manhattan.
Poor, poor New Jersey. That state just can’t catch a break. No respect, I tell ya, no respect.
Now for the obligatory Super Bowl prediction – everything is the first of my 2014 predictions to come true so I’ll double-down on it and tell you that Peyton Manning will lead the Denver Broncos to victory this Sunday. It’s kind of weird for a lifelong Raider fan to find himself rooting for the Blue and Orange of the Broncos but honestly, I could never root for a football team that dresses in neon green. Sorry Seahawks fans, but that day glow green just has to go, there’s nothing manly about wearing neon colors.
I think there is a special place in hell reserved for people who build their entire careers profiting on peddling grievances to different ethnic groups, pushing people into adopting a victimhood mentality and serving to widen the racial divide all the while.
Thankfully, a book like Thomas Sowell’s collection of six essays entitled, Black Rednecks and White Liberals does a wonderful job in bringing balance to the skewed perspectives and in obliterating the lies the race hucksters have managed to push into popular circulation.
Allow me to share just a few small samples from the preface and the first essay in the book. I hope it inspires you to read and learn from what Mr. Sowell has to teach.
First, from the preface: . . .
Race and rhetoric have gone together for so long that it is easy to forget that facts also matter – and these facts often contradict many widely held beliefs… The purpose of this book is to expose some of the more blatant misconceptions poisoning race relations in our time. The reasons for these misconceptions range from simple, innocent ignorance to reasons that are far from simple and far from innocent.
From the opening lines of the very first essay, I was completely drawn in:
‘These people are creating a terrible problem in our cities. They can’t or won’t hold a job, they flout the law constantly and neglect their children, they drink too much and their moral standards would shame an alley cat. For some reason or other, they absolutely refuse to accommodate themselves to any kind of decent, civilized life.’ This was said in 1956 in Indianapolis, not about blacks or other minorities, but about poor whites from the South. Nor was Indianapolis unique in this respect. A 1951 survey in Detroit found that white Southerners living there were considered “undesirable” by 21 percent of those surveyed, compared to 13 percent who ranked blacks the same way.
You hope that every person gets a chance to be judged on their own merits as an individual, but in the common practice of judging groups of people, it is interesting to note from these examples that most people are far more concerned with the reputation a group earns by its behaviors than by any difference that might exist in skin color.
Sowell shares this, however, as a flash forward before beginning an exposition on the origins of common white American southerners:
Most of the common white people of the South came from the northern borderlands of England — for centuries a no-man’s land between Scotland and England — as well as from the Scottish highlands and from Ulster County, Ireland. All these fringe areas were turbulent, if not lawless, regions, where none of the contending forces was able to establish full control and create a stable order. Whether called a “Celtic fringe” or “north Britons,” these were people from outside the cultural heartland of England, as their behavior on both sides of the Atlantic showed. Before the era of modern transportation and communication, sharp regional differences were both common and persistent.
Now had Sowell been a white man describing blacks in the following passage, the charges of racism would be unending. Thank goodness that as a black man, Sowell has the freedom to paint an honest picture here:
The cultural values and social patterns prevalent among Southern whites included an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery.
My favorite part in that passage is that when you see it written in print or in the ebook, you’ll see that every single descriptive phrase is cross referenced to historical sources for a total of ten footnotes in just this one sentence alone. The book is meticulously researched and you can rest assured that Mr. Sowell is not just pulling these characterizations from thin air.
Centuries before “black pride” became a fashionable phrase, there was cracker pride — and it was very much the same kind of pride. It was not pride in any particular achievement or set of behavioral standards or moral principles adhered to. It was instead a touchiness about anything that might be even remotely construed as a personal slight, much less an insult, combined with a willingness to erupt into violence over it. New Englanders were baffled about this kind of pride among crackers. Observing such people, the Yankees “could not understand what they had to feel proud about.”
Can’t you just imagine northerners encountering these southerners all puffed up with pride and the Yankees just shaking their heads trying to figure out what the heck these crackers have to feel so proud about in the first place? (Note: if you’ve ever read William Faulkner, his stories abound with vivid portraits of just these kinds of redneck southerners.)
As in the previous passage, Sowell proceeds to back up his characterizations with many recorded observations from then and now. It’s amazing to me though, imagining that all that false bravado and boasting you hear in the typical rap song could really have come from the influence white southern rednecks, a centuries old rehash of braggarts trying to compensate for feelings of inferiority stretching back to their origins as the downtrodden fleeing England.
Cue the white liberals:
Those who provide black rednecks with alibis do no favor to them, to other blacks, or to the larger society in which we all live. In American society, achievement is what ultimately brings respect, including self-respect. Only for those who have written off blacks’ potential for achievement will alibis be an acceptable substitute. The liberal vision of blacks’ fate as being almost wholly in the hands of whites is a debilitating message for those blacks who take it seriously, however convenient it may be for those who are receptive to an alibi.
We’re just scratching the surface here, that’s just half-a-dozen quotes from the very first essay and as you get to know him, you’ll find that Sowell’s real genius is how he elaborates and expounds upon his assertations. After the essay, Black Rednecks and White Liberals from which the book is named, the book continues with five more essays on race and history:
- Are Jews Generic?
- The Real History of Slavery
- Germans and History
- Black Education: Achievements, Myths, and Tragedies
- History Versus Visions
I can’t even do the rest of the essays justice with a quick one or two line summary (the Wikipedia page does an admirable job at that) so I’ll suffice it to say that not a single essay among them isn’t thought provoking and most of them will challenge what you thought you knew about race relations and history. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.