‘Lung Cancer to Change Its Name to Philip Morris’ — recent headline from SatireWire

SPEAK OF THE DEVIL . . .

Dave Kline: ‘My daughter has a calico cat. It climbs all over her apartment and has now three times jumped on her computer keyboard, its paw striking only the ‘6’ key and repeatedly typing 66666666. Hmm….’

AND YOU THOUGHT CHRISTMAS TREES WERE DANGEROUS

Trisha: ‘Just a note of caution … Be very careful with the toaster oven. I am not sure where I remember this from, but I believe that toaster ovens are one of the most dangerous household appliances regarding accidental fires. I recently got a chance to use a fire extinguisher, and saw a demo of people trying to put out a fire. Most people, me included, even though I was aware of the problem, aim at the wrong place — too high … so if you love your toaster oven, I recommend not a fire extinguisher, but keeping a fire blanket at hand for dealing with any black smoke issues. Oh yes, and a nice safe means of unplugging the unit from its source of electricity. In the demo, you wouldn’t believe how many people tried to put out the fire without remembering to turn the appliance/heat source off.’

BUT CAN I SELL MY TOASTER OVEN THIS WAY?

Michael White: ‘Do you know that we can now sell our used books, CDs & DVDs on Amazon’s website? It has to be something that they sell new. You have to give them your bank account # (payment is wired to your bank), credit card # and phone #, but you wind up with more money than you would ever get otherwise (college students take note). You have to promise to mail the item within 2 business days of being notified by Amazon that your item is sold. The e-mail that Amazon sends includes a bill of lading and a shipping label.’

IF THE CIGARETTES OR THE TOASTER OVEN KILL YOU

Joe Devney: ‘One important point is often missed by people who claim that the ‘confiscatory’ estate tax in some ways punishes hard work and ambition: the tax doesn’t take anything from the person who earned his own fortune, because he is already dead. The people affected are those who ‘earned’ the money only by choosing their parents carefully. One lesson I took from The Millionaire Next Door is that being overly generous to your children can rob them of ambition. In order to illustrate a point that their broader research had borne out, the authors told the story of one couple and their grown daughter. The parents were anxious that the daughter be successful in life without struggling as they had done, and so paved the way for her. They gave the daughter an annual stipend of $50,000 and set her up in her own business. Since she was taking no risks on her own, the daughter paid little attention to the business; her greatest achievement was spending $20,000 a year on clothes.’

☞ Of course, the decision of how much or little to leave to your daughter is yours alone to make. ‘But [Joe continues] to say that the estate tax penalizes good American capitalist values like inventiveness and ambition is wrong. Shrinking the size of a million-dollar inheritance may even encourage ambition in the new generation.’

 

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