Was Spinoza Wrong?

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I saw a wonderful play the other day. “New Jerusalem” performed at the Theater J.   (Kudos to Ari Roth, the creative Artistic Director, who is often attacked for taking non-traditional stands.)   This is a retelling (of sorts) of the interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza (1656) that led to his excommunication; a discourse between traditional belief and modern thought, faith and philosophy- in other words, a very modern dilemna. Continue reading Was Spinoza Wrong?

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What? You won’t sell me one???

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There seems to be a new precedent.  Instead of trying to have everyone use your new product, we have a company that is deciding who can use this already approved product.  Is that because the product is harder to install that we think- or because the manufacturer is trying really hard to control any potential negative publicity?

Continue reading What? You won’t sell me one???

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A Kosher Company?

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Many of my friends wonder what this kosher thing is all about.  Some think the beef is better than regular meat, others think some rabbi waves a magic wand to make the meat kosher.   Let’s get real. Kosher “meat” (as opposed to dairy; all vegetables are kosher) is pretty simple- there are prescribed birds and proscribed animals.  Four legged animals must have a cleft hoof and be ruminants (‘chew their cud’ is the more common term).  Fish (anything from the sea) must have fins AND scales.  And, there’s a list of birds we can have (chicken, duck, etc.).   The animals have to be killed immediately and have their blood drained. Those are the basic rules.  There’s action afoot to include some other rules, but, to be honest, I doubt they’ll truly catch on.  But, that does not mean there haven’t changes.

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It’s not the ides of April this year

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Well, if you own a business (C corporation, S corporation, LLC operating as an S), then your corporate tax return should already have been filed.  The rest of you have until the 17th of April (only this year) to file.  And, there are two new IRS provisions that may make your file submission a little easier. Form 1040 (Income Tax) Many of you do not understand that an unincorporated business have a hidden provision that causes you to have a big tax bill.  It’s easier to explain this with a simple example.  Paul Naïve has a wife and two kids.  Paul runs a business that grossed $ 50K  and had expenses of $ 30K, leaving him with $ 20K profit.  His wife works for SmallCo, making $20K, and claims 0 dependents on her paycheck.  (Paul and his wife are sure that this choice, which takes out the most taxes, will save them from a big IRS bill at the end of the year.)   They know that, given the income taxes on $ 40K of income, with their four dependents ,  her withholding tax will cover their entire income tax. The answer is that’s correct- but the wrong consideration.  You see, Paul is self-employed, and his $ 20K of net profit is also subject to social security and medicare taxes- to the tune of almost $ 2500.  Meaning that the Naïve’s will still owe about $ 2500 in taxes to the IRS.   And, they don’t have it.  (Paul should have come to us in January and September- at the least- to help him with his tax planning, and maybe even make some changes in his operations to keep more of his money- but that’s NOT the topic of this discussion, today.) The worst thing the Naïve’s can do (and many do it) is to NOT file taxes, because they owe money.  That means  they will owe penalties and interest.   A failure-to-file penalty (5% of the unpaid taxes each month your filing is late, up to 25% of the total unpaid taxes due) and a failure-to-pay penalty of ½ % monthly (also up to 25%).

Continue reading It’s not the ides of April this year

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We interrupt this message…

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I’ve broken into my queue for this message.  This Sunday (25 March 2012) is a special day.  Good Deeds Day.  You have probably never heard of it- yet.  It began in Israel in 2007.  As the brainchild of Shari Arison.  Who, you say?  The scion of Ted Arison and Mina Sapir; the two founders of the Carnival Cruise Line.  A British-American cruise line now, but not when it was founded in 1972.  It has now become the world’s largest cruise line with 21+% of all cruise passengers travelling on one of their lines.  (Carnival not only includes Carnival, but Holland America, Seabourn, Princess, Costa, Aida, and Ibero- plus an airline.) Continue reading We interrupt this message…

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Go with the flow?

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Yesterday, we spoke about DBS (deep brain stimulation).  Today, we’ll talk about a different kind of brain stimulation- tCDS (trans-cranial direct current stimulation).  The goal of tCDS is to develop a feeling of “effortless” concentration, associated with outstanding performance.  This feeling is called the “flow” in the vernacular.  Before you decide to “go with the flow”, you have to understand that we don’t quite have it “nailed down”, either.

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