Sunday Toon

Sunday Toon

Stilton’s Place

Stilton’s Place

Many Unhappy Returns

Let joy be unconfined.

Bells are ringing, birds are singing, and nubile maidens frolic and gambol while tossing rose petals into the air! And that’s only a short list of the wonderful things that aren’t happening (but should) now that we’ve finally finished and filed our blankety-blanking federal taxes.

Instead, we simply feel a sense of weary and melancholy accomplishment, in much the same way we’d feel if we survived a gangbang in a prison shower and knew that it wasn’t for the last time.

As mentioned here on Monday, there was no way the 2016 Turbotax program was going to run on our ancient (2008) Mac this year, so we ended up having to do everything using Turbotax’s online site. Which was actually fine, as long as you don’t mind spending $115 to wade through the government’s indecipherable crap, put all of your most sensitive personal information online, and end up having no idea whatsoever if the final result is anything even marginally like correct.

Fortunately, the IRS provides a free service to help you sort everything out later. It’s called an “audit.”

Owing to this time (and sanity) consuming activity, we don’t really have any trenchant political commentary for you today, other than to once again express our disgust with the whole system…and the legal requirement that we have to fund this madness.Bells are ringing, birds are singing, and nubile maidens frolic and gambol while tossing rose petals into the air! And that’s only a short list of the wonderful things that aren’t happening (but should) now that we’ve finally finished and filed our blankety-blanking federal taxes.

Instead, we simply feel a sense of weary and melancholy accomplishment, in much the same way we’d feel if we survived a gangbang in a prison shower and knew that it wasn’t for the last time.

As mentioned here on Monday, there was no way the 2016 Turbotax program was going to run on our ancient (2008) Mac this year, so we ended up having to do everything using Turbotax’s online site. Which was actually fine, as long as you don’t mind spending $115 to wade through the government’s indecipherable crap, put all of your most sensitive personal information online, and end up having no idea whatsoever if the final result is anything even marginally like correct.

Fortunately, the IRS provides a free service to help you sort everything out later. It’s called an “audit.”

Owing to this time (and sanity) consuming activity, we don’t really have any trenchant political commentary for you today, other than to once again express our disgust with the whole system…and the legal requirement that we have to fund this madness.

Stilton’s Place

Stilton’s Place

Uncomfortably Numbers

There are plenty of newsworthy things to talk about today, including radical Islamic terror, the impending (or not) House vote on Obamacare repeal, Trump’s surveillance accusations, mainstream media burying the story of illegal aliens raping a 14 year-old girl in a school bathroom, and Chuck Schumer declaring that the Democrats will filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for Supreme Court Justice in hopes of being rewarded with 72 virgins in the afterlife.

And why aren’t we talking about these juicy topics? Because instead of keeping up with the news, we’ve spent the entire day working on our freaking taxes.

And we aren’t even up to working on the actual, impenetrably baffling tax forms yet – a task which must be postponed until we’ve made a run to the liquor store. Rather, we’re still at the beginning of the process, doing our once-a-year data entry of receipts into an ancient accounting program that we don’t clearly remember how to use anymore.

As Life’s grand parade passes us by, we’re sitting scrunched at a desk squinting at every credit card charge, cancelled check, and crumpled receipt which passed through our underpaid hands in 2016…then peck-peck-pecking the numbers on a keyboard, hands cramping, until we want to scream.

The whole process is a white hot pain in the rear, but it’s very important to make sure that everything in our tax return is completely accurate and above board. Because 12 years from now it’s entirely possible that an older but no wiser Rachel Maddow may be waving our returns at a TV camera. [snip]

This is for your protection, snowflakes

“I first found out about this big change in October,” Pelkey said. “I went to a Montpelier workshop for auto service station owners like me to learn more about it. Meanwhile, I had to pay to get an internet connection at my garage, then pay $1,500 for this equipment which I can’t open yet. I was told my business will be charged $2.41 each time I use the smart pad to do a vehicle inspection.”

We of the noble State Poobahs, cannot let some low grade Granolas and Woodchucks get away with stealing some inspection stickers or shopping the beater around so that it will pass inspection to save on the fee. No sir we cannot and will not allow that. Here’s our solution; Massive oppression.
From the literate pens at:watchdog-logo-lou

Big Brother will be watching Vermont’s motor vehicle inspections

After decades of using ink pens and carbon-paper record books for vehicle inspection work, the Green Mountain State is going digital and adopting the Automated Vehicle Inspection Program.

The move away from paper inspection records to centralized internet-based data collecting is part of the state’s attempt to reduce inspection fraud and so-called sticker shopping by some vehicle owners.

Following a competitive bidding process in 2016, Vermont contracted California-based Parsons, an international engineering services firm, to provide AVIP administration services, maintenance and support, inspection equipment and a technical support hotline for participating Vermont auto service centers.

According to Parsons’ website, the company inspects 2.3 million vehicles annually and maintains 121 inspection lanes at 29 state-owned inspection facilities.

Using AVIP, as a vehicle is inspected, diagnostic data and digital images of the vehicle will be immediately sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles computer database via the internet. [snip]

Stolen inspection stickers

Approximately 970 of Vermont’s 1,400 official state inspection stations have signed up for AVIP, Pelkey told Watchdog. However, he is aware of only 21 smaller inspections stations, so far, opting out of doing vehicle inspections entirely. “They probably don’t want to pay to connect to the internet (and pay a monthly connection fee) as well as out-of-pocket expenses for the equipment,” he surmised.

“This is supposed to cut down on inspection fraud,” Pelkey said, “but I am not so sure. This might end up being counterproductive by increasing sticker theft in the long run. I also think it’s going to hurt Vermonters on fixed incomes as well as struggling working people.”

Pelkey noted that the Vermont State Police and DMV last month began investigating the theft of inspection tickets at two Rutland-area automobile dealerships, Brileya Jeep-Chrysler and Shearer Honda. “It’s starting already,” he said.

The AVIP smart pad will record everything about a vehicle when the owner brings it for an inspection, from a check-engine light to an underinflated tire sensor warning.

“It used to be that some inspectors let very minor things go to help out a cash-strapped customer,” he said. “Not anymore. The smart pad will record everything and then that’s all uploaded to Montpelier.”

Looks like Vermont has another source of money that isn’t called a tax but burns the pocket just like a tax. Current cost of an inspection is $45; with the cost of new equipment, internet hookup, state charge for each inspection connection, you can believe those fees will go up to $60-$65.
For the amount of work in doing an inspection, there isn’t very much money in it.

Interesting, South Carolina doesn’t inspect motor vehicles for safety. You are required to keep your vehicle in a safe operating condition.
If you get stopped for a traffic violation, the officer can do a safety check on the vehicle. If it fails, the summons will be issued and the vehicle must be brought to a safe condition. The fines are not cheap; one wold wish they took care of the vehicle. In case of an accident, an unsafe vehicle is considered to be at fault and the law deals with that in court and more problems arise for the operator.

Change we Hope for soon

Cancel this card, clean up the Jackass voter rolls. Help Mexico regain their youthful workers and future political class.

It’s simple. Trump can make this change with the stroke of his pen; he doesn’t even need Obama’s old phone. Make this real!
amnesty-card

Fear of education over indoctrination rampant in Vermont

The terror of school choice in Vermont is reaching new levels with the election of “The Donald” to high office.
A realization reached into those dark recesses of even the slowest of the Bernie myrmidons, that the change in the air isn’t a new dose of Soma, but the fracture of the dome which has sealed Vermont from reality and sanity for the last eight years will touch the mutable minds of the tykes of the faux Vermonters. Life on the Liberal Plantation is not going to be the same.
vermont-progs
You may read the entire text at Watchdog.org

Proposed rule changes could threaten Vermont’s school choice

Proposed rule changes that affect independent schools caused an uproar at two well-attended public events last month, but opposing parties say they are aware of each other’s viewpoints and are continuing talks.

The controversial changes, which were proposed by the Vermont Board of Education and would impact over 80 private schools, will require more school financial accountability, a demonstration of open admission policies and wider special education opportunities for students with those needs.

Vermont’s four largest private academies — St. Johnsbury Academy, Burr and Burton Academy, Lyndon Institute and Thetford Academy — would be affected by the rules, as well as smaller schools such as the Compass School in Westminster, which enrolls 70 students. [snip]

At the two public hearings in December — one at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, and the other St. Johnsbury Academy in St. Johnsbury — state board members got an earful regarding the perceived threat to local school choice.

Angelique McAlpine, founder of School Choice Vermont, a volunteer organization supporting tuitioning and school choice laws, said that the public reaction in choice towns is understandable.

“Tuitioning in Vermont has been part of the educational landscape for about 140 years,” McAlpine told Watchdog. [snip]

McAlpine said that there are approximately 90 choice towns with students who are tuitioned with public dollars to attend a school of their choice.

According to Mark Tashjian, headmaster of Burr and Burton Academy, approximately 800 people attended the second rule-change meeting at his school. Over 400 people attended the first meeting at St. Johnsbury Academy.

“Everyone involved is trying to do what’s best for Vermont and for the kids. The problem is really different perspectives,” Tashjian told Watchdog.

“I consider the proposed rules to be devastating, but we’re moving productively. The proposed changes would have a profound impact on Vermont’s choice towns — so that’s why this is a school choice issue. The effect would be reducing the choices that are available.” [snip]

With the Federal government sticking it’s nose into every crevice of local education; under a Progressive boot on neck governance form, the rule of money, not sanity and reason becomes the driver since debt accrues faster than the taxed can be soaked. Therefore any dollars that flow to something other than public education is more than frowned upon with fulmination.