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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 34,331

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'A new set of wings' Dr. Forrest Bird * 1921-2015

Source: Coeur d'Alene Press

At 8, he met Henry Ford at a party hosted by his father; as a teen, he visited with Orville Wright at the 1937 Cleveland Air Show.
And before his passing early Sunday morning at age 94 at his home in Sagle, Forrest Morton Bird would become a renowned pilot and a legendary inventor, and earn his medical degree. He also was a veteran, serving in World War II; a philanthropist and an author, becoming a sought-after lecturer.
"Forrest received a new set of wings in the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, as he passed away at home peacefully," said Pamela Riddle Bird, announcing her husband's passing in an email to friends and supporters. "God has a new angel and his name is Forrest Morton Bird."

Read more: http://cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_e9305ff6-a971-541c-a313-0545009eeee0.html

Dr. Bird invented, among other things, hospital respirators like these ones.

One of these is the Bird Mark 7 - introduced in 1955 and manufactured to this day.

He also created the "Baby Bird" infant respirator, which reduced breathing-related infant mortality rates from 70 percent to 10. A very incredible man.


Thinking about Cecil and the dentist who shot him

Am I the only person who's noticed that for many Americans the only hope they have of dental care is an occasional "get your teeth yanked out free" day in a church parking lot somewhere (and even then it's a crapshoot whether you'll get any yanking done thanks to the sheer number of people who need it) because the price of dental care is so outrageous, but a dentist can afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a hobby?

I have a pretty complex tax reform, but one that might work

Any workable tax reform plan has to meet two seemingly contradictory goals:

Goal 1: It has to increase revenues to the federal government
Goal 2: It can't leave the poor any more fucked than they already are. It should, ideally, leave them less fucked.

No tax plan extended by the Republicans meets either goal; most of them meet neither. The perfect GOP plan would be to exempt anyone who makes over $1 million per year from taxation of any kind, eliminate all social programs and dump the entire tax burden on the shoulders of the middle class. They'll never get there but they can dream.

Here is my plan. Read the whole thing before telling me how full of shit I am, please.

1. ALL income will be subject to Social Security tax at its current rate. The "let's raise/eliminate the cap but lower the rate" thing a lot of people fall into is a form of revenue neutrality - a process through which we try to make sure a new tax rate collects exactly the same amount of money as the old one did. Now hold on there Hoss: Social Security's problem isn't that every dollar earned in America isn't evenly levied for Social Security but that there's not enough money coming in. If we eliminate the cap but leave the rate the hell alone, more money will come in and that is the desired result.

2. Tax rates must go up. Simple as that. The new rates will be:

10% becomes 11%
15% becomes 17%
25% becomes 28%
28% becomes 32%
33% becomes 38%
35% becomes 41%
39.6% becomes 50%

3. The beginning and ending points of each bracket will be even numbers in $5000 increments - rather than a bracket running from $148,851 to $226,850, that bracket will run from $150,001 to $225,000. This one is not for changing the amount of taxes we'll collect, but to make it easier for the taxpayer to figure out how much tax he owes.

4. The standard deduction will be increased to 125 percent of the federal poverty level for your family size (FPLF) as of October 15 of the tax year. This date is to give the feds sufficient time to issue tax publications with the number in them because you can't print fifty million of ANYTHING, especially if it has to be proofread by lawyers, and ship it all across the country in two weeks.

5. Allow anyone in the current 10 or 15 percent tax brackets to take both standard and itemized deductions.

6. Anyone in the current 35 percent bracket must itemize, regardless of tax impact.

7. Anyone in the current 39.6 percent bracket can only deduct charitable contributions.

8. Anyone who makes over $1 million in gross income pays a flat 25 percent on 95 percent of his or her income.

9. Any business with less than $1 million in taxable profits will pay taxes using Individual tax rates, and those with more will pay Corporate rates.

10. Tax legislation may only be proposed once every 10 years.

Cell phones will never replace the landline for CERTAIN things

I have a landline because DSL comes in over a phone line, so I have a voice phone plugged into it. Mine just rang.

(Background: obvious boiler-room call center. Man with very heavy Indian accent comes on...)

"Hello, this is the Microsoft technical services center. We are calling you about..."

That's as far as I let him get. I started screaming into the phone: "I don't have a computer. I never had a computer. This is a fucking scam. You are a piece of shit thief. Go fuck yourself!" And then I did what you poor landline-less schmoes will never be able to do: I hung up on the bastard so hard he's probably filing a workman's comp claim for hearing loss right now.

Is there a "hang up on someone really, really hard?" app? Well, they need one.

So NBC kicked The Donald to the curb...

...well, now we know how he's going to get out of his television contracts before he pretends to run for president.

Dear NRA

Cut the shit. America has HAD IT with a gun massacre every day. Either you solve the problem of gun violence or we will.

Sincerely, the Gun Grabbers of Merica.

Do white supremacists like to add the word "storm" to their names?

I've been studying the sovereign citizens pretty closely, and a lot of them like to change their names: African-American sovereigns who have embraced the Moors will add "el Bey" or just one of the two words in it to their names, and Caucasian sovereigns may change their last names to "Freeman." This lets like-minded souls recognize them immediately - if you're a sovereign who calls himself "Frank Freeman" and someone introduces himself as "John Freeman" you immediately know it's safe to talk about running stop signs and getting away with it by bamboozling the cops or whatever in the hell they talk about.

I haven't been so diligent with white supremacists. Is adding "Storm" to their names popular in that world?

New twist in the Dolezal story: Her brother is an alleged child molester

In case you were wondering why Rachel Dolezal's parents waited many years after she started representing herself as black to start talking about it...well, there's a reason.


Since The Press reported the news, Dolezal has made several statements to various media outlets indicating that her parents' motivation to come forward about her ethnic identity was motivated by family legal matters playing out in Colorado. Court records show that Dolezal's older biological brother, Joshua, was arrested in 2014 on four counts of child sexual assault.
The charges were filed in Clear Creek County, Colorado. The case is scheduled to go to trial this summer.
The New York Daily News reported Sunday that Rachel Dolezal is assisting the alleged victim in the case. The New York publication did not release the name of the victim and it was not immediately available in court records.

Speaking of 2016, let's have a "what-if" exercise

For the purposes of discussion, let's pretend our next president has a Congress that will work with him or her to achieve whatever he or she wants to do. This is a two-parter.

Part 1: If a person running on the Democratic ticket wins the election, what is the first thing you'd like them to do?

Part 2: If a person running on the Republican ticket wins, what is the first thing you expect them to do?

My answers first:
Part 1: $1 trillion in infrastructure spending - specifically, roads, bridges, ocean ports and airports - without one cent in tax reduction.
Part 2: National right-to-work law.

Argentina Introduces New Job Opportunity for GOP Presidential Candidates

A new law in Argentina will require public hospitals in its largest province to keep a steady supply of specially trained clowns to help treat child patients, reports The Associated Press.

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