Tuesday's Rambling Thoughts – January 13, 2009

Guess what state had more people leaving than coming in to live? Michigan? Nope, despite dire job losses there, that isn't the one. New York? Nope. California? Yes indeed, the golden state had more net loss of people than any other state. Why? According to the article it is due to higher taxes, unchecked illegal immigration, and a traffic situation that is getting worse with time. For decades people went to California in search of a better way of life. During the Great Depression, men rode to California in search of work. It appears that won't be the case during this Great Recession we are now experiencing. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger keeps calling for higher taxes, relaxed enforcement of illegal immigration, increased social services with no way to pay for them. Now, he is paying the price. I don't understand why Arnold just doesn't go a head and join the Democratic Party. He espouses all they believe in anyway.

Speaking of taxes...it appears the days of avoiding taxes by buying online are about to end. It seems one of the big advantages of buying products online (beside avoiding big crowds) was you didn't have to pay any state sales taxes. But, with the economy in the shape as it is, state governments are desperate to find new revenue any way they can. One of the states pursuing taxes this way is New York. Amazon.com is suing the state in court over this action. Other online companies, such as Overstock.com are also suing state governments over collection of taxes. I don't see state governments gaining a foothold on tax revenue as quickly as they would like. There are many different tax jurisdictions they will have to overcome in order to collect taxes on citizens of their states. But, the day of wine and roses of buying online will be over eventually. This was the main reason I bought online. Initially, I was worried about buying online for security reasons. I now probably do at least 50% of my buying online due to the convenience and, of course, to avoid paying taxes.

In what will certainly go down as one of the more bizarre stories of 2009 (at least in my neck of the woods), a man wanted on fraud charges bailed out of his plane over Alabama and allowed the plane to crash near Milton, FL. Marcus Schrenker managed to convince police in Harpersville, AL he had been in a canoe accident and need assistance. The police, unknowing that he was wanted for fraud, helped him to a motel. When they found out who he was, he had already left the motel. I imagine once he is caught the FAA is going to want to tack on additional charges as well. It's a miracle that plane didn't crash into a neighborhood.

Finally, I was clearing out my hall closet yesterday when a book fell down and nearly creamed me on the head. When the book hit the floor, a letter popped out. It was an old letter from an old, dear friend. It was a letter from my old friend Barry who passed away not long after I started this blog last year. I won't rehash his story. You can read my eulogy to him HERE. It was a letter he had sent to me while I was boot camp in the U.S. Navy. It was dated July 7th, 1970. Barry and I had both gone into the Navy on the buddy plan. But, Barry couldn't handle the day to day routine for various reasons (most of which I blame on his mother). Barry lacked self-confidence. It hurt him his entire life. Barry was given a medical discharge from the U.S. Navy and sent home. But, back to the letter...Barry told me how proud he was of me and how much he looked forward to seeing me when I got home to Pensacola (where my family lived at the time). Being told he couldn't hack it in the military devastated Barry. He never really recovered from that. I sat down, read the letter and realized how much I miss my old friend. Most people are blessed with that one good friend in their life. Barry was that friend to me. I'll always miss him.


Hi. passing by here. you have a nice blog.

Good articles. gives nice infos and tips

nanaybelen and /med, thanks for coming by. I appreciate the kind words.

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