Monday, November 6, 2017

Hike, Dermatology, Madera Canyon

We’ve had some cloudy days, one night we had the almost full moon with some moody atmospherics.  I wish I had a camera that would do better with the night sky.

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Sunday we hiked.  We took a flattish route out to the Stone Hut.  Jim’s not quite as fast he was, but it’s to be expected, given how long he was beached.  Of course, I’m not either! 

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The Stone Hut.  It was a gorgeous day. It was just wonderful to be outside and warm.

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This morning we were up and out early for a dermatologist appointment for Jim.  He had another squamous removed.  The dermo dude here does the scrape and burn, which is a procedure we like better than excision, which tends to leave divots and scars.  Jim was also sprayed with a lot of liquid nitrogen for spots on his head.  There was one bump behind the ear that required extra attention.  As is always the case, he looks like he was attacked by a cheese grater.

Afterwards we drove out to Madera Canyon.  We were there in February of this year and it was very cold and windy.  Today was better.  It’s a gorgeous area.  Since it was a spur of the moment trip, we didn’t have boots or packs, so we didn’t walk very far.

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There are a lot of sycamore trees in the area.  I like the bark.

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Look at the size of the boulders in the creek.  This must be something to see during monsoon.

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Look dead center.  That is a giant turkey.  Unfortunately she proceeded to jump off that wall, so I couldn’t get a photo of her head.

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Have you been reading about what’s in the Paradise Papers?  Fourteen some odd terabytes of documents about off shore banking have been leaked and shared with journalists.  The papers detail the shady underworld of who is hiding money off shore and not paying taxes.  It’s pretty shocking how much money is hidden.  New York Times did an article whose focus is Apple and their efforts to not pay taxes in the US.

The documents reveal how big law firms help clients weave their way through the gaps between different countries’ tax rules. Appleby clients have transferred trademarks, patent rights and other valuable assets into offshore shell companies, avoiding billions of dollars in taxes. The rights to Nike’s Swoosh trademark, Uber’s taxi-hailing app, Allergan’s Botox patents and Facebook’s social media technology have all resided in shell companies that listed as their headquarters Appleby offices in Bermuda and Grand Cayman, the records show.

“U.S. multinational firms are the global grandmasters of tax avoidance schemes that deplete not just U.S. tax collection but the tax collection of most every large economy in the world,” said Edward D. Kleinbard, a former corporate tax adviser to such companies who is now a law professor at the University of Southern California.

Indeed, tax strategies like the ones used by Apple — as well as Amazon, Google, Starbucks and others — cost governments around the world as much as $240 billion a year in lost revenue, according to a 2015 estimate by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The disclosures come on the heels of last week’s proposals by Republican lawmakers to provide several new tax benefits for multinational companies, including cutting the federal corporate income tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent. President Trump has said that American businesses are getting a bad deal under current rules.

But the documents show how major American companies find creative ways to avoid paying anything close to 35 percent.

The last paragraph I cut and pasted from the article (with full attribution) is particularly annoying.  The proposed tax plan will shower the uber rich and tax avoiding corporations with tax benefits.  To pay for them, the plan takes away deductions for mortgage interest, medical expenses, state income tax, school supplies bought by teachers for their class rooms and moving relocation fees.  That’s not a complete list, but these are things that hurt real people.  I think the one percenters are doing well enough, thank you.  There is a good thread on Twitter written by Senator Casey that talks about this.  INHO it’s a really mean spirited bill.

Tomorrow we are off to the Social Security Office.  After waiting on hold for 57 minutes I was able to talk to a human and confirm that I do have an appointment with them.  With any luck I will leave there with a myssa account.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see Jim looking so well and actually able to do some light hiking! Keeps the mind off all the other insanity going on in the country right now. At least we're getting some excellent election news tonight, especially from Virginia. Karma, bay-bee!

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