Friday, January 25, 2008


How I hate the govt part N

Just spent 40 minutes on hold to register my business with the Social Security registration so I could file my annual W2s. Turns out that the registration webpage is wrong and I should not register first over the phone. It should all be done online, so there's an hour lost.

After about a week, I can expect to get an ID mailed to my home address (?!?!? why not business address???) at which point I can actually file my company's W2 information. At least when I got a Federal Tax Payer ID, they read off my assigned number to me over the phone (an official form showed up a week later).

Quick summary - if you think filing a 1040 is a gigantic time suck (which I still have to do, cept this year it'll be more complicated), keep in mind I've lost at least a couple weeks in 2007 filing my business's state/federal taxes between all the registrations (one for Fed unemployment, one for Federal withholding, one for federal deposit online, one for a federal ID, one for Fed W2 statements, one for a state ID, one for a state unemployment ID, one for online state payments) and payments (about 1/2 day each month for calculating deposits - each employee has different rules because of Fed classifications - and I don't just mean different formulas), and a 1/2 day every quarter to file reports. That's not counting the time lost to read the hundreds of pages of tax regulations which apply and the day I lost to city taxes (had to go downtown). Sure next year should be shorter, so maybe I'll only lose 1.5 weeks.

I'm still trying to send in the fax as the number I was given by the website appears to be inoperable. Back on hold with SS. Wheee.... A half day already gone just trying to register so I can give the government the information it requires me to by force.

Got ahold of a different lady who listened to me complain about taking all day to try and register. 2 minutes later - I was signed up, which is how long I thought it should've taken. Now I just have an hour of accounting work ahead of me to actually fill out the reports....


Thursday, January 24, 2008


In the local paper from a planning meeting

I'm "quoted" in today's News and Advance (that's the Lynchburg paper) lead article.

My actual points for which I'm being "quoted" (Among other things, I said "vetted" not "imbedded"; embedded doesn't even make sense in the context.) were responses to the argument that the townhouses would make the neighborhood unsafe because of the planned occupants (H2B workers) and their proximity to local schools by saying this didn't make sense because:
  1. These same tenants are already living in townhouses closer to schools (like my townhouse development) and the commission had approved a larger townhouse complex in the same vicinity (perhaps closer to the schools) just minutes before where these same tenants would likely be located if this development were not approved and nary a peep on the subject of safety (with regard to tenants) was raised.
  2. Unlike typical tenants, they've had background checks performed on them as part of the H2B process which means, ceteris paribus, they're safer than a typical tenant and certainly far preferable to illegal immigrants (on whom no check is performed) with whom I felt the tenants were erroneously conflated.
I had a few other points (and Preethi commented too) and I found the experience interesting, so I'll post more on last night's planning commission meeting later tonight.

Also for the record, while the meeting took on a very racial undercurrent, I thought the complaints were primarily borne out of NIMBYism and not racism.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Sitemeter amusement

A little bit ago there was a visitor to my company's website from menloventures. I read this as

men love ntures

and thought "hmmm... must've been a robot from a gay porn nature website... I knew the blog got those, but didn't think the main site did too..."

Then the light went on...


Sunday, January 20, 2008


South Carolina Fall Out (Updated)

Based on his speech last night, it looks like Fred is going to be out soon. I don't see much difference between the remaining candidates (I'm still discounting Paul) and the Democrat candidates. So I don't know who I'll end up supporting. Maybe this guy.

I've changed my mind (in a very short period). If I'm voting for someone who has no chance to win, I might as well vote for my first choice.

So F it. I'm still voting for Fred.


Thursday, January 10, 2008


Voter ID Amusement

Via QandO comes this story. In brief, Indiana has a voter ID law. It's being challenged by the usual suspects and the US Supreme Court has is hearing the case.

To challenge a law in the court system, you generally need an aggrieved party (someone who claims they've been wronged) and in this case it's Faye Buis-Ewing a 72-yr old woman who showed up to vote in Indiana in 2006, but was not allowed to vote because she did not have proper ID (though under the law she did get to vote provisionally). Here's the nut graphs from the article.

On the eve of a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Indiana Voter ID law has become a story with a twist: One of the individuals used by opponents to the law as an example of how the law hurts older Hoosiers is registered to vote in two states.

Faye Buis-Ewing, 72, who has been telling the media she is a 50-year
resident of Indiana, at one point in the past few years also claimed two states
as her primary residence and received a homestead exemption on her property
taxes in both states.

Monday night from her Florida home, Ewing said she and her husband Kenneth
“winter in Florida and summer in Indiana.” She admitted to registering to vote
in both states, but stressed that she¹s never voted in Florida. She also has a
Florida driver’s license, but when she tried to use it as her photo ID in the
Indiana elections in November 2006, poll workers wouldn’t accept it.


According to Ewing and Ann Nucatola, public information director for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Ewing surrendered her Indiana driver's license in 2000, when she moved to Florida and obtained her Florida license. Nucatola said that a driver must have a Florida address to obtain a Florida driver's license.

Ewing confirmed that she is registered in both states to vote, but at first said the Florida registration came automatically with her driver’s license. She repeatedly denied signing the oath on the Florida application. She also said Indiana mailed her an absentee ballot, but she didn’t use it or vote that year.

However, Heather Maddox, co-director of election registration in Tippecanoe County, said Ewing voted in Indiana in 2002, 2003 and 2004, before the Indiana ID law took effect in 2005. When informed that the Florida voter office said she’d registered personally in 2002 for a Florida voter card, and that this newspaper had a copy of her application, Ewing said, “Well, why did I do that? I'm confused. I can’t recall.” She reiterated that, even though she’s registered in two states, she only votes in Indiana, adding that she does have a car plated in Florida.


A check with Charlotte County, Fla.’s online property tax records shows that Ewing owns property there. One requirement in Florida to claim homestead [ed - this gives residents a break on property taxes] is to show a valid voter ID or sign an affidavit of residency – which she did when she applied for her voter card there. She claimed a homestead exemption on the Florida property in 2003 – the same time she was claiming a homestead exemption on property she owned in Indiana, according to Tippecanoe deputy auditor Heather Satler. Satler said that Ewing’s Indiana exemption began in 1994 and ended in 2004, when the exemption was removed because the state discovered she wasn't living there.

So in short, by requiring proper ID to vote, it was discovered that Faye was engaging in voter fraud (by simultaneously registering in two states) and tax fraud (by claiming to locations as her primary residence to receive tax benefits for two properties). I can't imagine a less sympathetic plaintiff and I can't believe the legal team didn't exclude her because she obliterates the argument that there's no compelling state interest for the law.


Friday, January 04, 2008


Making the Boston media

h/t to Big Jeremy, who runs Jeremy's Status Message. Surf on over and check it out - it's a good read.


Speaking personally, Dan's a good guy and a good champion. He'll do well come Tournament of Champions time.


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