Can You Hear Me Now? IRS to Refund $15 Billion of Telephone Taxes to Consumers
The Treasury Department and IRS announced this morning that after losing in five circuit courts of appeals, the Government is throwing in the towel and will no longer seek to enforce the 3% excise tax on long-distance telephone calls enacted during the Spanish-American War of 1898 as a "luxury" tax on wealthy Americans who owned telephones. The IRS will will issue $15 billion in refunds to consumers for long-distance telephone service taxes paid over the past three years:
No immediate action is required by taxpayers.
Refunds will be a part of 2006 tax returns filed in 2007.
Refund claims will cover all excise tax paid on long-distance service over the last three years (time allowed given statute of limitations).
Interest will be paid on refunds.
The IRS is working on a simplified method for individuals to use to claim a refund on their 2006 tax returns.
Refunds will not include tax paid on local telephone service, which was not involved in the litigation.
"Congratulations! You've created your very own Darkly Gothic Poem! Just cut and paste your emotionally rent composition into your Web page, and savor the envious droolings of your noncreative poseur compatriots!"Enjoy Your Darkly Gothic Poem
Yahoo and eBay Team Up, Offer to Clean Out Your Garage
"Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc. on Thursday announced plans for a multiyear advertising partnership to extend customer reach on the Web, sending shares of both companies up in morning trading.
The agreement calls for Yahoo to become a provider of all graphic advertisements on eBay's Web site, as well as a sponsored search for complementary products on numerous eBay search results pages..." (more) WhoDigs - Yahoo and eBay Team Up
The companies also said PayPal Inc. -- a company that enables online money transfers and is owned by eBay -- will be integrated and promoted to Yahoo's customers, merchants and publishers."
"I am starting this blog the month my brother, an Air Force officer, begins his tour of duty in Iraq. I will post messages about his experiences to the blog for his family, our family, and all to see. While I support my brother in all his endeavors and particularly when he is about to enter a very dangerous and trying period, I cannot conceal my contempt for the administration that has recklessly and ineptly put our brave soldiers; our brothers, fathers, sons and daughters, in the path of grave harm. email posts to: firstname.lastname@example.org"
I was walking towards work this evening after dinner, listening to the sounds of a firefight outside the east wall.This one was a bit closer than those I’d heard before, but still not too close.It’s not that uncommon to hear firing, and often it’s just a wedding or some other celebration, so I didn’t think too much of it.
I couldn’t hear any Americans firing.Then all at once you hear a roar as we opened up, just like on the range,Pop pop pop, BAM! Pop pop.BAM!!Then the humvees of the base QRT (Quick Reaction Team) shot past, spreading dust everywhere. Another humvee pulled up next to me & the driver said “Get in, Major!Rounds are impacting over here!!” And although I didn’t see anything, from the sound of it all this was entirely possible.So I got in for a quick ride to the palace where we almost screeched to a halt, jumped out and ducked behind the sandbags barricading the front door.In a minute we were ushered inside by the guard.
As the palace is probable the safest place on the base, no one was allowed out until the shooting died down, which was about 15 minutes later.I heard afterwards that one American had been slightly wounded, but it turns out there were actually three soldiers wounded, including a female from my building who was cut by flying glass.And so that was my big adventure – and I didn’t see a thing. (more) My Brother's Year In Iraq
That is an awesome idea. I bet it will freak the security at airports out, though. :>
Lots of companies will talk about their designs as being "natural" and "organic," but they've never been as true as with these Wooden Memory Sticks (starting at $60). Available in 256MB, 512MB, and 1GB capacities, these sticks also feature USB 2.0 connections and work with Macs as well as Windows. Best of all, they're manually selected on their natural beauty, so you won't end up with something that looks like what your dog would bring in from the backyard.
"An interview with some guy in a Joss Whedon costume... who turns out to actually be Joss Whedon! From the popular podcast at http://www.Geek-Week.net and the dorks that brought you 'The Secret Wars Re-Enactment Society'"
Wooster Collective: Harrods Billboard Liberation (pic)
Click the pic or visit the link to see the repurposing of this billboard.
"'This was just begging to be tampered with. Harrods the self proclaimed 'world's most famous department store' situated in the rich West end of London decides to put up a billboard in Hackney Wick, one of the poorest parts of the East end of London with a question for us. I figured I would give them a more local answer.'"
"Sir Bentley inherited the Baronetcy from his late Father in 1959 (after a rather unfortunate incident involving a revolving door, a debutante, a car battery, a watermelon and four Troopers of the Household Division). His time in the Diplomatic Service ended in 1971, although charges were never actually brought, and his later career has been largely in the administration of major cultural Institutions, and generally being Great and Good."
One of the silent demographic trends is the growth in the number of Mormons. Mormons just have bigger families than other white people, plus they put a lot of effort into proselytizing for conversions. I never thought much about Mormon demographic growth until I went to a screening for this little low-budget comedy called "Napoleon Dynamite," which was an odd experience. Most of the people invited to the screening, with the exception of scrungy film critics, were the usual bright young things who work for the studios, except they were all so wholesome. And they just roared with laughter at all the jokes in the movie that I didn't get. That was my introduction to Mormon Hollywood.
Well, it turned out that "Napoleon Dynamite" was one of the most profitable films of 2004. My younger son has modeled his laugh ever since on actor Jon Heder's. A whole lot of teenagers across the country, it seems, get Mormon humor even though I don't. (more at link)