Tuesday, September 25, 2012

HOW TO AVOID FAMILY ESTATE QUARRELS

Nothing avoids family estate quarrels like a Living Trust Estate Plan. With no need to file with or process in the court, equal shares to all children, and a provision dis-inheriting anyone who files in court to contest the trust. Further “pour over” wills can be written to assure that assets pass as the Trust directed even, if the trust is defeated so that the probate court process must be used.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Will IRS enforce law against Planned Parenthood?

PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND TAX EXEMPT STATUS The U. S. Tax law of charities provides section 501(c)(3) charity status to nonprofit educational organizations.Recent news reports indicate Planned Parenthood has this charity status, but that it recently endorsed President Obama for President in the next election. IRS Code Section 501(c)(3) expressly prohibits any such charity from campaigning for any candidate for public office. Apparently we will soon see whether the IRS under President Obama will enforce this law as it has done strictly in the past and revoke the exempt status of Planned Parenthood, or whether Obama’s people will cause the IRS to wink at this violation – abusing the IRS powers as President Nixon was properly denounced for doing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

DOES PRISON DECREASE CRIME? In “Mass Incarceration Hasn’t Made Us Safer” [DesNews Apr 22, 2012] Jess Rigelhaupt: a) – claims incarceration does not decrease crime, but his only evidence is that crime in America rose steadily with incarceration, while some European nations saw incarcerations and crime rates rise less. No allowance for possibly laxer laws in Europe, poorer enforcement, or unreliable statistics. Legalized marijuana, heroin, etc. automatically decreases crime and incarceration. He further: a) – cites disproportionate numbers of blacks and Latinos in prison as proof they are being discriminated against. No mention of actual crime rates per race, or any studies of same; b) – claims illegal drug problems in rural areas exceed those in large cities, with no numbers to support that c) – claims because bigger proportionate numbers of whites than blacks sell illegal drugs as proof that more whites use them, proportionately; and without authority for the first “fact”. Much of his article seems prejudice, that is opinion without visible means of support.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

DON'T RE-LAUNCH ASTRONAUTS PROGRAM

DON'T RE-LAUNCH ASTRONAUTS PROGRAM Charles Krauthammer and former moon astronauts believe (DesNews 4/22/12) America can’t afford discontinue manned space flights. We can understand hero astronauts over-stating their own importance but pundit Krauthammer gives little reason for his claim that America becomes a third rate nation because the shuttles quit flying. Why do we need to re-discover that the moon has sand and rocks just like the earth. Talk about colonies on the moon and sending someone to Mars simply lacks reason beyond the explanation of the mountain climber – it’s because "they are there". But those climbers didn’t cost the rest of us $billions. How many tens of thousands of babies’ lives in the third world could be saved by that kind of money added for their inoculations and medical health? I’m no Obama fan, but he got this one right. Krauthammer seems to welcome any limb out on which to climb to take shots at Obama.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rhine castles, Nuremburg, Dachau

Anne and I had just returned day before from our 3 –day train tour beginning with the BD Shipping boat ride on the Rhine from _____ to Bacharach with a wonderful stop at Marksburg Castle for 3 hours -- the only medieval ages castle in Germany that is still as it was when built and improved over those years. It sits atop a high, wooded hill commanding a long curve in the river. Its floors, ramps, and multi-stairways are mostly carved right out of the rock of the mountain. One room has a collection of some eighteen full suits of armor used from 400 BC to 1500 AD and the guide popped one can-shaped helmet on the head of a boy and asked how he would like to fight from that.

The castle has a knights dining hall where a whole ox can be roasted with a notched wheel to turn it with – giving rise to the German expression “turn it up a notch”. It never suffered was capture, Napoleon and other armies passing it by rather than try to attack such a well-fortified castle on a high hill. The dungeon has a torture room with all the old devices you have nightmares about, including neck/wrist clamps, stretching bed with weights and chains, an iron mask and stocks, The toilet jutted out from the wall near the chapel, had a lock-able iron door because it was open beneath for the sewage to fall into the woods and was a weak spot for attacks. One could get stuck in there for some time if enemies were around, and they had a special knock signal to unlock the door.

The Rhine was the chief center of all commerce, and the multi-castles built along it testify to the greed of the various families contesting control. The city of Pfalz laid a huge chain across the river which prevented ships passing until they had paid the taxes. They became very wealthy from the taxes, Pope Pius the II demanded they be destroyed and inspired army to try, but Pfalz prevailed. We stayed the 1st night at Bacharach which has a seven tower Roman wall and vineyards on the steep hill surrounding it. Wine making and transporting dominated their economy then and now.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How different does Germany appear? Stuttgart stay.

GERMANY: most populous, largest economy of all the Eruo nations; What differences manifest in shor stay getting acquainted with the place & people:

a) not so friendly/outgoing as the Italians & Spanish

b) asking directions: some simply ignore you. Und ich spreche Deutsch fur fragen.

b) absence of chlldren and presence of smokers

c) highways better designed, maikntained -- more needful, more densely populated
Surprising when so many eschew auto owning, and bike.

d) subways/trains likewise generally superior.

e) restaurants: more pricey, smaller portions, rely on long stays many drinks

f) traffic, pedestrians more heavily regulatedm e,g.fines for standing w/ motor going, more tickets for not getting out of fast lane.

g) recycling like a religion. More critical w/ dense population.

h) houses (private, this neighborhood) sturdier, tighter, securer. Not nearly so convenient, many stairs - due to high land values.

i) racial diversity -- much more than formerly, still not approaching U.S.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Visiting Solitude Schloss, Ludwigsburg, Germany

Carl Eugen's hunting lodge-become-palace circa 1750, overflows with real gold filigree, trim, brocade & furbelos. Huge; housed hundreds of guests, stabled 300 horses with hounds; separate ornate bedrooms for mistresses and for wife; heroic size paintings of family members, busts, ornate vases filling every room, wall and ceiling. Special rooms for gaming, sculpture, vases, throne, ladies' powder, balls, concerts, receptions, rallying the hunt, banquets. Duke Carl no doubt proud of his multi-million mark patronizing the arts. Notorious diletante, philanderer, horseman, dandy, who essentially bankrupted the dukedom with his extravagance. He had hidden passages opening inside the fireplace to hide the servants from view of the anointed.

This one of the largest and most famous roccocco style palaces in the German countries. Breathtaking its exterior beauty and setting atop a high hill; sweeping grounds and then the deep, luxuriant German woods. But not a room in which one could relax or feel comfortable -- too busy, bright, mirrored, golden, for the eye or spirit to find rest. For solitude, the woods alone far superior.

How would such an one report back to his maker -- what he did with what he was given, considering the poverty, disease, and starvation suffered regularly by thousands of his subjects.