Re: Putting the "u" in Revenue.

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No fair doing yours before I do mine. I'm desperate enough that I'm about to go out and do yard work. Also, Thomas Becket died for my right to not file taxes on time.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 9:50 AM
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I did mine months ago and got a ridiculous refund- apparently the gov't keeps paying me to have more and more kids.
As for budgeting, money is fungible, of course- if they want to give $2 to guns and $2 to butter, you and your neighbor could each give $1 to each, but if you opt out they'll use $2 of his for the guns and use $2 of yours for butter. It only really works if 1) you make the deduction large enough and 2) enough people do it that the entire remaining tax base is less than what they want to allocate to the excluded item.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 9:58 AM
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Does anybody sell anything called "Gun Butter?" Because that could make a better name for K-Y. It's all about market segmentation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 10:11 AM
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3. Don't know about Gun Butter, but here's a recipe for Gun Bacon.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 10:25 AM
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No more masturbating to the kid on the left or to the top six Polish military officers, head of the Polish central bank, several deputy speakers in the Polish parliament, all the top Polish presidential aides, several of the most senior figures in the main Polish opposition party, the post-communist presidential candidate, the labour activist whose firing sparked the strike at the Gdansk shipyards in 1980, etc, etc, fucking etc.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 10:30 AM
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Teraz, I was going to ask what kind of impact this'll have on Poland. Horrible news - my condolences.


Posted by: Mike d | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 10:42 AM
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I think it's very astute of Stanley to point out that this is a very silly idea.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 10:42 AM
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5/6: Yeah, I was wondering about teraz's thoughts, too. So, so awful.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 10:44 AM
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5:Unimaginably tragic. My condolences.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 10:53 AM
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Right now everyone seems to be shocked and stunned. If it were just the president it would be a big deal, but huge numbers of prominent people died with him. And near Katyn of all places, during a period of commemoration of the seventieth anniversary of the massacre(s). Of course there were also large numbers of relatives of the Katyn families. Fucking hell. (If you are confused because you sometimes see 4000, 15,000, and 20,000 cited as the numbers of victims of the massacre it's because the first refers to the numbers killed specifically in Katyn, 15,000 to the number of officers killed at that time in several locations near POW camps, and there were another 5,000 civilian officials killed at the same time as a result of that specific order by Stalin. It does not include those killed by the NKVD at other points in 1939-41.)


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:00 AM
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3: There's also this.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:08 AM
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Kwasniewski's quote about "this tragic, cursed Katyn" was enormously affecting. Just ugh.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:09 AM
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Stanley's idea would presumably lead to more military funding and less funding for everything else.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:13 AM
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http://www.gunbutter.com/


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:14 AM
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There is also something called Gun Oil which is for a different purpose.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:19 AM
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Butter Gun.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:20 AM
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Also.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:24 AM
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I didn't like either of the twins, but always preferred Lech to Jaroslaw. He was more principled, less machiavellian, and firmly tied to the interwar Pilsudskist tradition, unlike his brother who happily flirted with the tradition of the fascist National Democracy movement which is the dominant one among his party's base. Lech on the other hand occasionally let slip his approving awareness of the fact that Pilsudski hated the Endecja's guts, that he had tried to get his old Socialist comrades to exterminate the Endek leadership after the Endeks killed his handpicked successor in the early twenties, and that Pilsudski's 1926 coup was aimed to preempt a feared Endek one and succeeded due to the backing of the Socialist trade unions. So there's the extra irony that the Polish politician who most closely identified himself with the Second Republic died on his way to commemorate the massacre of its elite (most of the victims were reserve officers, i.e. younger university graduates called up on the eve of WWII)


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:27 AM
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Oh my god. Condolences to all of Poland.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 11:41 AM
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No matter how much I disliked the Kaczynskis, there was always a kernel of admiration and gratitude for their long years of work in the opposition under communism. When they got involved as local adjuncts in Gdansk to KOR in the late seventies, the likely outcome of their activities was jail and blacklisting for themselves and their families, not power, prestige, and wealth. And when you see the reactions of senior figures in the current ruling party, or longtime bitter opponents like Lech Walesa, remember that they all know each other very well. Not in the way that politicians in a normal democracy will, but as ex-members of an organized opposition movement in a dictatorship do. They conspired together, did time together, got police beatdowns together. That's something very different from a Hatch-Kennedy relationship. This also explains much of the bitterness between the twins and those of their opponents who come from that background - both feel the others are betraying what they fought for.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 12:30 PM
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So am I a bad Pole for spending the past couple hours listening to Vladimir Vysotsky while obsessively reading multiple iterations of the same damn thing, or is it just a natural reflection of my Polish side taking over in a time like this, cause Poles, particularly those of an intelligentsia sure love themselves some Russian 'bard' music.
Anyways Moja Cyganskaja (Моя цыганская) seems to fit my mood right now. This is a nice version of his best known song, plus it has an English translation of the lyrics for the Russian impaired.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 12:49 PM
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This is pretty overwhelming in the sheer extent of people tragically involved. (Reminds me of the 2001 Nepal incident.)

On the OP, why not go farther and have people elect what government purposes to spend taxes on? Show in the ballot what the existing percentages are, so they will know what is and isn't a cut. Sum everything up (not weighted by taxes paid, of course), and very possibly the radicals on various issues will cancel each other out. My economics professor said this idea has been batted around academically and it could well be better than our current system, at least.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 1:00 PM
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21 reminds me that, when I was in Budapest, I found that a lot of the people my age would say they were "cousins" or that their friend's father was their "uncle," and it took me a long time to realize that these folks weren't actually related, just that their fathers had been beaten and jailed together (repeatedly).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 1:10 PM
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I saw the news of the plane crash just before I went to bed at night. It's just shocking, and on the way to Katyn of all places.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 3:12 PM
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At night s/b last night, of course.

On the original post, if you are not required to file anywhere, but filed federally for the refund, you still don't have to file for the states, right? Turbo tax indicated that I owe nothing and get nothing from DC, and then they wanted to charge me some huge amount to print out the forms because you can't efile in DC as a non-resident (I did not establish residency, or live there for more than 183 days).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 3:15 PM
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On the original post, if you are not required to file anywhere, but filed federally for the refund, you still don't have to file for the states, right?

I sure hope not, because I didn't file for NM and don't intend to.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 3:46 PM
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|| At the bagel shop on campus, a guy ordered, then stood to wait by the table with all the napkins, straws and stirrers, and had a sneezing fit. To the extent that he covered his mouth, he used his hand. That same hand picked up his orange juice from the counter, set it down on the table, and fiddled with the straws as he picked one up. |>


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 3:54 PM
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That's why you need to carry a purifying flame with you at all times, fa.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 3:57 PM
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Further on the twins, their political appeal rests in part on nationalism and social conservatism, but also on their opposition to right wing economic policies. That reflects the fact that they personally don't/didn't care about economic issues, and their electorate is heavily made up of the losers of the capitalist transition, i.e. older and more rural. The irony of some western left critiques of Polish shock therapy (e.g. Naomi Klein) is that the industrial working class has done great over the past decade. Which is what you'd expect given that they're disproportionately in the booming cities of a country with very large structural barriers to labour mobility.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 4:01 PM
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Fortunately, I had already ordered and taken napkins, so I probably will catch a cold from someone else, like everyon sneezing in the library. Actually, it's not so much me not wanting to get sick that made it stand out, but the completely unselfconscious way he went about sneezing.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 4:02 PM
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very large structural barriers to labour mobility

Such as what?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 4:07 PM
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31: Poland has 561,000 miles of chain-link fence arranged in 7 more or less concentric circles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 4:10 PM
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Housing costs. As part of easing the transition to a market economy apartment residents were either offered the right to buy their homes for a nominal sum, given permanent strict rent control status, or both. That meant that places where people wanted to move to suffer from huge housing shortages and correspondingly crazy prices relative to wage levels. If you're a destitute peasant or unemployed small town resident, you have a choice - you can live in extreme poverty where your are, move to the domestic big city and get un/semi-skilled work at several times the average national wage and spend it all on housing, or move to the UK where the earnings/housing cost ration is much more appealing. The same factors mean that if you're a un/semi-skilled worker who does have cheap housing in a place like Warsaw or Poznan you get the benefit of a very tight labour market.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 4:18 PM
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Pittsburgh has a shitload of cheap houses. Tell them to move here. There is even a place called Polish Hill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 5:01 PM
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Polish Hill

That's just an instructional sign the city put there as part of a city-wide beautification initiative. Back in the day, that hill was so shiny, it could be seen from Ohio.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 5:09 PM
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Now I know how they get so many people to go to Gobbler's Knob.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 5:17 PM
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So, guess what I didn't actually end up doing today.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 5:47 PM
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Gobbling a knob?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 5:48 PM
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Shit, I gobbled like thirty goddamn knobs.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 5:50 PM
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How long does it take to get coffee? There's still time!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 5:50 PM
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It's a little late in the day for coffee, isn't it?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 5:58 PM
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That's just an instructional sign the city put there as part of a city-wide beautification initiative. Back in the day, that hill was so shiny, it could be seen from Ohio.

How do you explain the "Witamy Do" that begins the sign?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 6:13 PM
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You're supposed to do the polishing with someone named Amy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 6:17 PM
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42: The original sign had a question mark after that part. It said "Witamy Do? Polish Hill."

It meant, in more conventional English, "What am I to do? Polish the Hill" but was written in a more Yinz-friendly dialect to encourage broader participation.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 6:17 PM
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Well, at the very least, ned, you can see there's a myriad of explanations.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 6:18 PM
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A polished consistency is the knob gobbling of little minds.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 6:20 PM
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Witamy do ? It should be 'Witamy w' Somebody doing a bit of literal (mis)translation here, 'do' means 'to' and 'w' means 'in' but prepositions are not necessarily consistent from one language to another.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 6:34 PM
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What act of procrastination was supposed to come after the coffee, by the way?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 6:39 PM
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48: Apparently, going to brunch with a friend who called. It's like I didn't even know it but secretly did know it when (mis)writing that!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 6:43 PM
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Yes, it says "Witamy do". I know there's at least one person here who actually speaks some Polish, but obviously there was no need to consult him or her.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 7:06 PM
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37: So, guess what I didn't actually end up doing today.

Same here. It's a race!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-10-10 8:03 PM
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A press secretary for Mr. Antufiyev, the governor of Smolensk, said the landing took place under very bad visibility, and Russian air traffic controllers advised the crew to land in Minsk, but the crew decided to land anyway.
Oh, shit.
Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04-11-10 7:02 AM
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re: 52

One news source I read yesterday said the pilot tried to land 4 times, and was told by the controllers he was descending below the glide path and should abort. On the 4th attempt, he clipped the trees.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-11-10 7:07 AM
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According to the most recent accounts I've read, the pilot didn't make actual landing attempts, just low level circles that put the plane in place for one which he then chose not to do. On the actual attempt, he seems to have clipped a 50m communication tower first and then the trees. The conditions apparently sucked, and the airport did not have the equipment for instrument landings. I wonder if the pilot was remembering the situation two years ago when Kaczynski ordered his then pilot to land in Tbilisi rather than Baku during the Georgian-Russian war. The pilot refused, as he was legally entitled to, in spite of Kaczynski going off on him as a coward and as an officer refusing the orders of his commander in chief. The president went on a further rant after they landed and promptly ordered him dismissed. On the other hand the commander of the air force gave the pilot an official commendation for his actions.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-11-10 12:12 PM
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On the day after I'm struck by two things. First of all the relative lack of Russian conspiracy theory type stuff among Poles. I've even browsed comment sections of sites where right wing nationalist types hang out, and there's very little of it. On the other hand there seems to be quite a bit of it among Americans. Perhaps a function of the exhaustive coverage in Poland which makes it pretty clear that this looks like pilot error.

The second interesting development is that this might actually improve Polish-Russian relations. Putin is handling the disaster perfectly. Live tearful speeches immediately afterwards, declaring a national day of mourning, encouraging Muscovites to go to the Polish embassy to place flowers and sign condolence books and getting his rather creepy youth movement (Nashi) to make sure people do and remain on message (apparently there's now a shortage of red and white flowers in Moscow), making sure that the Poles are fully involved in the investigation, quickly intervening on the Polish side in bureaucratic tussles between Poles and Russians, and ordering the showing of Wajda's Katyn on the main Russian state TV channel in prime time tomorrow. I'm impressed.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-11-10 12:25 PM
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Ya know, when you're writing obituaries, you should maybe avoid using negative ethnic stereotypes. From Die Zeit on Kaczynski mit seiner Mischung aus Provinzialität, Unberechenbarkeit und Bauernschläue. Peasant cunning? That as a description of a law prof son of an engineering prof father and lit prof mother. Christ. It makes about as much sense as it would to describe a child of MIT and Harvard profs from upper middle class backgrounds who spent his entire life in the UMC suburbs as having 'inner city smarts'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-11-10 3:33 PM
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56: that "Bauernschläue" is very much a part of how the twins were seen in western Europe (or at least the Netherlands) though, because surely if they were intelligent, educated poeple "like us" they wouldn't lead an xenophobic party mistrustful of the west/EU...

One bit of background the Dutch television obituary had that I didn't know about them is that they were famous even as children, having been actors in a famous Polish children's movie.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-11-10 11:53 PM
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On the original post; not an original idea of course, might even have been part of a Heinlein story iirc (but don't ask me which one).

Democracy is fine, but letting the average voter have any say in the budget is as sensible in letting toddlers decide the household budget.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 04-11-10 11:55 PM
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Democracy is fine, but letting the average voter have any say in the budget is as sensible in letting toddlers decide the household budget.

See: California.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-12-10 12:03 AM
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56 Because there are no intelligent educated nationalist politicians with authoritarian streaks from educated bourgeois backgrounds in Western European right wing parties? And while right wing politicians who are simultaneously deeply hostile to neoliberalism are rather rare these days, that wasn't true a generation earlier. His specific form of provincialism, which combined a deep immersion in the high culture tradition of his own country with a complete lack of interest in anything foreign was also more common among Western conservative elites back then. I'll grant that the combination of homophobia and strong support for feminism (ex-abortion, albeit he was fairly moderate by present day Polish political on that) isn't too common , though that's true in Poland as well.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-12-10 11:45 AM
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