Outward Bound Ideas

Ideas from Bookgleaner@gmail.com - Also: http://Inwardboundpoetry.blogspot.com - http://Onwardboundhumor.blogspot.com - http://Homewardboundphotos.blogspot.com - And http://davidthemaker.blogspot.com/

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Location: The City, On the edge

Monday, January 30, 2006

42. Death Tax

With `Death Tax' Issue, Super-Rich Are Just Putting On Heirs
Few Americans need need to worry about inheritance taxes

JANE BRYANT QUINN, Washington Post Writers Group
Saturday, August 12, 2000

I'm trying really hard to feel sorry for the rich. When they die, their estates have to pay a ``death'' tax, which means less for their heirs.
Poor kids. All that heavy lifting in the stock market by mom and dad, and the kids don't get to keep it all. Where's the justice? Who will stand up for the rights of the descendants of multimillionaires?
As it turns out, Congress will. Compassionately, conservatives voted en masse to phase out the tax on all estates, even those of billionaires.
The hearts of many a liberal bleed for big-money voters, too. President Clinton says he will veto the Republican bill, but the Democrats remain open to deals that would slash the tax substantially.
How astonishing that it's so cool to worry about the rich.
Not that rich kids were mentioned aloud, in the speeches touting this first big tax-cut bill of the election season. Instead, Congress held itself out as the champion of small businesses and farms that otherwise might be sold to pay the taxes due.
Rep. Jennifer Dunn, R-Wash., who co-sponsored the House bill, claims that ``almost every family business and farm'' pays a ``compliance tax,'' in the form of billions of dollars spent ``to ensure that loved ones will have enough cash on hand to pay the death tax.''
Almost every family? Is she kidding, or what?
You may or may not be among the wealthy or feel their pain. But at least let me clear up who pays this tax, and when.
--It is not a death tax. That's just a politically clever name. No one is taxed automatically upon death. Almost every inheritance in America (98 percent of them) is received entirely estate-tax-free.
You'll owe zero on money left to a spouse or charity, and zero on estates of modest size. Taxes don't click in until your assets (minus debts and certain expenses) exceed a certain sum. Singles pay on net worth in excess of $675,000 (rising to $1 million by 2006). With planning, a married couple can exempt $1.35 million (rising to $2 million in 2006). Far more can be sheltered in other ways.
--Estate taxes are not breaking up family farms. Economist Neil Harl of Iowa State University, who specializes in tax law for farmers, says he has never seen a farm sold for this reason. Farmers, he says, are being used as shills for people who've grown rich on stocks.
Family farms already enjoy generous estate-tax breaks. Farms can be valued at perhaps only half of their fair market price. Any taxes due can be paid over nearly 15 years, at interest rates as low as 2 percent. And unlike most couples, farm couples can shelter up to $2.6 million from tax.
Almost all farms already pass estate-tax-free, Harl says. Of the properties taxed, a significant portion belongs to absentee owners -- say, a Wall Street guy with an Idaho ranch.
--Estate taxes aren't destroying small businesses, either. The small-business sector is healthier than ever (although you'd never know it when heirs weep to Congress about the burdens they face).
Like farms, family firms get special breaks. With good planning, a couple can actually pass to the next generation some $5 million in business assets or $8 million in farm assets, says law Professor Charles Davenport of Rutgers University.
Fewer than 48,000 estates paid any federal estate tax in 1998. Of these, just 1,200 were made up primarily of small businesses and farms. This is a crisis?
Phasing out the estate tax over the next 10 years would save $105 billion for America's wealthiest people (almost all of them not in small farms or businesses).
--When part or all of a small firm is sold because of a death, family is usually the reason, not tax. Maybe none of the kids wants to run the business. Maybe one of them does but the others want to be bought out. They'd be selling, estate tax or no.
I can think of plenty of important social issues on the public plate, from drug benefits for seniors, to care for the children of women leaving welfare for work, to crumbling schools. Yet Congress has paid more attention to the whining of multimillionaires.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

41. Confessions Of An Un-Common Attorney

From Confessions Of An Un-Common Attorney by Reginald L. Hine
A Conversation with Gabriele d'Annunzio

We agreed for more ascetic writers the ideal, surely,
was the monastic cell, from the narrow window of which,
every ninth year or so, the scribe would lean out
to discover if ordinary sinful, slothful mortals were
yet alive. Solitude, a room to oneself, a place for
rumination, a haunt in which to find that final peace,
the quiet of the heart; those were the essentials.
But, as d'Annunzio remarked, though solitude is a
fine thing, there is a pleasure in having someone
who can respond; to whom one can say from time
to time that solitude is a fine thing.
Like everything else, we concluded, it was a question
of degree. The words of friends were precious, but let
those friends and let those words be few -- 'five or six
ingeniose companions which is enough.' It was important
insisted the poet, to change them frequently and he
found nothing cynical in my comment: 'You must not
become attached to animals: they do not last long
enough. You must not become attached to men: they last
too long.'

Monday, January 16, 2006

40. Message From Robbie Robertson

THE NAME OF THE MASK - N. Scott Momaday
And all the while he dances to the high, hectic rattle of the drum,
virtually in place, his motion translated into the pure illusion...
sometimes you look at a thing and see only that it is opaque,
that it can not be looked into, and this opacity is its essence,
the very truth of the matter. So it was for me with the...mask.
The man inside was merely motion and he had no face,
and his name was the name of the mask itself.
Hid I lifted...(it), there should have been no one and nothing
to see.

ANCESTOR SONG - Pura Fe, Soni, Jen,
To our elders who teach us of our creation and
our past
So we may preserve mother earth for ancestors
yet to come
We are the land
To our brothers and sisters and all living things
across mother earth
Her beauty we've destroyed
And denied the honor the Creator has given
each individual
The truth lies in our hands
All my relations

IT IS A GOOD DAY TO DIE - Robbie Robertson
The general rode for sixteen days
The horses were thirsty and tired
On the trail of a renegade chief
One he'd come to admire
The solders hid behind the hills
That surrounded the village
and he rode down to warn the chief
They'd come to conquer and pillage

Lay down your arms
Lay down your spear
The chief's eyes were sad
But showed no sign of fear

It is a good day to die
Oh my children dry your eyes
It is a good day to die

He spoke of the days before the white man came
With his guns and whisky
He told of a time a long time ago
Before what you call history
The general couldn't believe his words
Nor the look on his face
But he knew these people would rather die
Then have to live in this disgrace

What law have I broken
What wrong have I done
That makes you want to bury me
Upon this trail of blood

We cared for the land and the land cared
for us
And that's the way it's always been
Never asked for more never asked too much
And now you tell me this is the end

I laid down my weapon
Laid down my bow
Now you want to drive me out
With no place left to go

And he turned to his people and said dry
your eyes
We've been blessed and we are thankful
Raise your voices to the sky
It is a good day to die

When the last red man shall have become a
myth among the white men,
when your children's children think themselves alone
in the field, upon the highway,
or in the silence of the pathless woods,
they will not be alone.
In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude.
At night when the streets of your cities are silent,
and you think them deserted,
they will throng with the returning hosts
that once filled them and still love
this beautiful land.
The white man will never be alone.

WORDS OF FIRE, DEEDS OF BLOOD - Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Nation
(Song written by Robbie Robertson)
Perhaps you think the Creator sent you
here to dispose of us as you see fit.
If I thought you were sent by the Creator
I might be induced to think you had a
right to dispose of me.
Do not misunderstand me
but understand me fully with reference
to my affection for the land.
I never said the land was mine to do with
as I choose.
The one who has a right to dispose of it
is the one who created it.
I claim a right to live on my land
And accord you the privilege to return
to yours.

Brother we have listened to your talk
Coming from our father the great White
Chief at Washington
And my people have called upon me to
reply to you

And in the winds which pass through
these aged pines
We hear the moanings of their departed
And if the voice of our people could have
been heard
That act would have never been done
But alas though they stood around they
could neither be seen or heard
Their tears fell like drops of rain

I hear my voice in the depths of the forest
But no answering voice comes back to me
All is silent around me
My words must therefore be few
I can now say no more

He is silent for he has nothing to answer
when the sun goes down

A HUNDRED YEARS - Shirley Daniels
A hundred years have passed
Yet I hear the distant beat of my father's drums.
I hear his drums throughout the land.
His Beat I feel within my heart.

The drum shall beat
so my heart shall beat,
And I shall live a hundred thousand years.

PRAYER - Sandy Kewanhaptewa
And now, grandfather, I ask you to bless the white man.
He needs your wisdom, your guidance. You see for so long
he has tried to destroy my people and only feels comfortable
when given power. Bless them, show them the peace we
understand, teach them humility. for I fear they will destroy
themselves and their children as they have done so with
mother earth. I plead, I cry,
after all they are my brothers.

Monday, January 09, 2006

39. From John Curtis

From John Curtis
I thought, given we're now entering a holiday period, I'd share something a friend once gave to me before she vanished on 9/11. Happy holidays folks!
I've learned - that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.
I've learned - that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
I've learned - that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
I've learned - that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I've learned - that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I've learned - that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I've learned - that you can keep going long after you can't.
I've learned - that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I've learned - that either you control your attitude or it controls you.
I've learned - that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I've learned - that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
I've learned - that money is a lousy way of keeping score.
I've learned - that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
I've learned - that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
I've learned - that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.
I've learned - that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I've learned - that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
I've learned - that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.
I've learned - that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
I've learned - that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
I've learned - that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
I've learned - that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you you will find the strength to help.
I've learned - that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
I've learned - that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon

Monday, January 02, 2006

38. Politics As Usual

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. -- George Bernard Shaw

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer from poor people in rich
countries to rich people in poor countries. -- Douglas Casey (1992)

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live
at the expense of everybody else. -- Frederic Bastiat

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops
moving, subsidize it. -- Ronald Reagan (1986)

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. -- Will

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics
won't take an interest in you. -- Pericles (430 B. C.)

No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in
session. -- Mark Twain (1866)

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. -- Mark Twain

Talk is cheap -- except when Congress does it. The government is like a
baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. -- Ronald Reagan

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The
inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. -- Winston

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the
taxidermist leaves the skin. -- Mark Twain

We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a
man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. --
Winston Churchill

To announce that there be no criticism of the President, or to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt