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CSotD: Monday Roundup

Not sure I should lead with Joe Heller’s reminder. I don’t want people freaking out and leaving before they’re enjoyed my pearls of wisdom.

Still, the new, improved tax deadline is Wednesday, so if you haven’t filed yet, you’d better get hopping.

I was just re-reading a Sunday business feature I wrote years ago about truckers, a three-story section cover that included a plain vanilla story about local vs. long-haul companies, a profile of a woman who became a long-haul trucker in her 30s because she wanted to travel, and then the best part, an interview with an independent husband-and-wife team who hauled produce from Florida to Montreal.

They listed all the ways they could get screwed, starting with the number of fees, commissions, rentals and so forth that came out of the money they got for each load, as well as the fact that they couldn’t possibly obey ICC regulations and still get the produce to the Maxi warehouse in time for it to be accepted as fresh.

Working for a long-haul company would have taken all those hassles off their shoulders, they admitted, but they liked being independent.

Which I bring up because I had a few years where I could file a 1040-EZ over the phone, just reading off numbers from my W2 and knowing my employer had withheld enough to cover my taxes.

When you compare that to the hoops and horrors of filing as self-employed, it seems like working for The Man would be a whole lot easier.

But only when you’re doing your taxes. Not on the other 364 days of the year.

 

Though, Pearls Before Swine brings up the other part, which is that, as a freelancer, you pay your entire FICA in the form of a self-employment tax, which greatly adds to the cost of doing business and, unless you’ve been a good little taxpayer and sent in your quarterly payments, requires you to come up with a big chunk of change at the end.

Doesn’t diminish my preference for freelancing.

And I’d feel like a jerk if that were all I took away from the timing of this strip.

A lot of people are about to be evicted from their apartments or have foreclosures begin on their mortgages, if they’ve been forced out of work by the lockdown and unable to meet their bills.

There’s talk of a “second wave” in this pandemic, but there’s your second wave right there, pal.

And it’s going to be a lot easier for people to pretend the second pandemic wave isn’t really happening than it will be for them to pretend that all their stuff isn’t sitting out on the curb.

And that the next time their old car breaks down, that will be the end of them owning a car.

What it won’t be the end of is self-serving lies from the people whose job it is to protect us all, which leads us to this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Peter Schrank)

 

(Ed Wexler)

In this case, the Juxtaposition is in how the rest of the world — Schrank is UK based — sees us, and how our own government attempts to cover up the irresponsibility that makes us stand out among the nations of the world.

 

Granted, we’re not the only country struggling, and this Kal Kallaugher piece points out Brazil’s infestation, which began with their leader’s refusal to confront the pandemic but now includes his having contracted the virus himself.

Christian ethics do not allow for gloating, but it’s impossible not to feel a certain sense of chickens having come home to roost, as well as a grim suspicion that, if he recovers, there will have been no lesson learned.

Meanwhile, India is in deep trouble and the reasons are diverse enough that, however you parse the government’s response, this wasn’t going to be a good situation anyway.

The US, however, hasn’t got the crowded poverty of either country to blame for the way its statistics stand out, and a large part of the problem stems from the Trump administration’s insisting on treating it as a political, rather than a medical, problem.

Yesterday, while the Trump administration was busily trashing Anthony Fauci’s alleged “errors,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams went on “Face the Nation” and performed a disgraceful demonstration of ducking and weaving and denying his own changing recommendations.

We follow the science and when we learn more, our recommendations change. But it’s hard when people are continuing to talk about things from three, four months ago. 

It sure is, your generalship. Thank god nobody in the White House is holding you accountable for your prior recommendations, like telling people to stop buying masks because they don’t help.

And be grateful you continue to spout the party line, because Dear Leader and the Ministry of Truth only throw people under the bus for revealing uncomfortable facts.

Honesty and ethics are not only less important than loyalty, but can be career-killers.

 

Department of Unintentional Timing

Joe Martin likely had some political commentary in mind, but he couldn’t possibly have timed this Mr. Boffo to come out just as Tucker Carlson was firing his head writer for saying things out loud that were only supposed to be released as on-air dog-whistles.

 

 

And Clay Jones provides the f’rinstance, comparing Trump’s casual dismissal of former POW John McCain with Carlson’s deliberate insults towards Tammy Duckworth, who lost two legs in Iraq but still has the ability to level Carlson with a devastating response to his prep school snark.

Which I’m sorry is buried behind a NYTimes paywall, not because some of my readers won’t see it — many of them maintain that information source — but because Carlson’s followers have been trained to view ethical media as “Lügenpresse.”

Though they might get a taste of the issue through TV coverage.

 

Meanwhile, we devoted a couple of decades to setting things up for entitled Ivy League slackers to rule the world.

Perhaps some of the Deplorables will wake up after they’ve been evicted and their parents have died of Covid-19 …

 

Community Comments

#1 Mike Corrado
July/13/2020
@ 7:29 am

Oh, and tomorrow is Bastille Day.

#2 Edward Lipe
July/13/2020
@ 9:50 am

I’m thinking and hoping the parents are the deplorables.

#3 David Reaves
July/13/2020
@ 12:47 pm

“Perhaps some of the Deplorables will wake up after they’ve been evicted and their parents have died of Covid-19 …”

Speaking from the heart of deplorable land in Texas, I don’t think waking up is possible. The jobs are being lost and the bills unpaid clearly “because the liberals are pushing the pandemic and quarantine to defeat President Trump in November.” Any elderly parents that may die are just supporting Lt Gov Dan Patrick’s desire to save the economy “for the children.”

For some people, he could kill 200,000 people on 5th Avenue and it wouldn’t matter.

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