NEED MORE TIME TO FILE YOUR TAXES?

Form 4868.

 

FIRST QUARTERLY ESTIMATED TAX DUE

Form 1040ES, if you’ve had appreciable income in 2012 (like capital gains or freelance fees) on which tax was not withheld.

 

TOUCHY, TOUCHY

What are we to make of an email like this?

Hi Andrew –

I’ve been reading your books and columns faithfully for the last 30-some years. I used to buy copies of The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need for both myself and friends, although I stopped doing that lately since it’s equivalent to making a donation to the DNC now.

I’m writing today because I was trying to assemble a model in my home office and needed more light. I reached over to bump up the three-way lamp to its 250W setting, and remembered, it’s not there anymore. And won’t ever be again thanks to you and your meddlesome nanny-state ilk, who think nothing of substituting your own judgement for mine, with the force of law behind it.

I’ll be buying a second lamp for that room now (how much energy goes into production of a lamp anyway?), and a 150W bulb for it, with lots of backup bulbs. And I won’t be nearly as careful as I used to be about shutting it off when I leave the room. And I’ll be a lot less concerned about putting my thermostat at a comfortable setting as well.

Why? Because fuck you, that’s why.

Disgruntled

I replied:

Thanks. Here’s a simple cheap source for the bulbs you want.  Let me know if you need more help.

I thought of adding: “But as to your larger point (and leaving aside that none of my book royalty would go to the DNC, I’m already federally maxed): you are not the only one on the planet.  For all 7 billion of us to make a go of it, headed for 9 billion, up from 2.5 billion when I was born — and for the generations that may follow — we may need to make some slight accommodations.  Just as you blame me for the inconvenience of someday having to switch light bulbs, so someone else might blame you for, say, their family being killed in one of the increasingly frequent and violent tornadoes meteorologists believe our impact on the environment may be causing.”

And so on.

My guess is that he’s probably a nice guy with a good sense of humor — he did make me laugh — and that eventually he may come around.  But in the meantime, do you see what we’re up against?  If the Republicans tell him that climate change is a hoax and tax cuts are the way to balance the budget — that the sacrifice he is called upon to make is to go shopping — well, he’s primed to buy that message.  If the Republicans tell him that people shouldn’t be allowed to freeload off the current health insurance system — if they can afford it, they need to chip something in (a Republican idea called “the individual mandate”), he’ll say, “HELL yes.”  But once the Democrats adopt the idea and the Republicans tell him it threatens his “last shred of freedom,” he’ll say, “HELL no.”

 

A REPUBLICAN METEOROLOGIST

Paul Douglas writes, in small part:

Acknowledging Climate Change Doesn’t Make You A Liberal

 The root of the word conservative is “conserve.”  A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed.

 My climate epiphany wasn’t overnight, and it had nothing to do with Al Gore. In the mid-90s I noticed gradual changes in the weather patterns floating over Minnesota. Curious, I began investigating climate science, and, over time, began to see the thumbprint of climate change, along with 97% of published, peer-reviewed PhD’s, who link a 40% spike in greenhouse gases with a warmer, stormier atmosphere.

Bill O’Reilly, whom I respect, talks of a “no-spin zone.” Yet today there’s a very concerted, well-funded effort to spin climate science. Some companies, institutes and think tanks are cherry-picking data, planting dubious seeds of doubt, arming professional deniers, scientists-for-hire and skeptical bloggers with the ammunition necessary to keep climate confusion alive. It’s the “you can’t prove smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer!” argument, times 100, with many of the same players. Amazing.

Schopenhauer said “All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally it is accepted as self-evident.” We are now well into Stage 2. It’s getting bloody out there. Climate scientists are receiving death threats and many Americans don’t know what to believe. Some turn to talk radio or denial-blogs for their climate information. No wonder they’re confused.

 

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