Wednesday, April 16, 2014
On the morning of August 6, 1945, all the Yamaki family members were inside their home. The bomb exploded about three kilometers (less than two miles) from the family compound. The blast blew out all the glass windows in the home, and each member of the family was cut from the flying glass fragments. Miraculously, none of them suffered any permanent injury.
The great old Japanese white pine and a large number of other bonsai were sitting on benches in the garden. Amazingly, none of these bonsai were harmed by the blast either, as the nursery was protected by a tall wall. The bonsai originally came from Miyajima Island which is just south of Hiroshima. Japanese white pine bonsai from Miyajima are considered very valuable because they are so rare.
In 1976 as part of Japan’s Bicentennial gift to the American people, bonsai master Masaru Yamaki donated this tree to the United States National Arboretum.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
2. In its quest to find and audit tax dodgers, the IRS is said to use online activity trackers to sift through the mass amounts of data available on the Internet, according to Marketplace. This data is then added to the information the agency already has on people, such as Social Security numbers, health records, banking statements, and property." It seems they may be using predictive analytics," University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communication Professor Joseph Turow told Marketplace. "That takes a huge amount of data and puts it together in a big pot to see if they can predict which individuals don't pay their taxes."
3. Ron Paul's nonprofit Campaign for Liberty will fight the Internal Revenue Service's demand that it reveal its donor list to the agency, despite having already been fined for refusing to do so.
"There is no legitimate reason for the IRS to know who donates to Campaign for Liberty," Megan Stiles, the communications director at Campaign for Liberty, told the Washington Examiner in an email on Tuesday. "We believe the First Amendment is on our side as evidenced by cases such as NAACP v. Alabama and International Union UAW v. National Right to Work. Many 501(c)(4) organizations protect the privacy of their donors in the very same way as Campaign for Liberty. For some reason the IRS has now chosen to single out Campaign for Liberty for special attention. We plan to fight this all the way."
4. And finally, a final comment:
Including tasers, snipers, stun grenades and snarling dogs. God knows I'm paying my share, and also the share of the 47% who pay nothing.
Who Pays Income Taxes and How Much?
Tax Year 2009
Percentiles Ranked by AGI
AGI Threshold on Percentiles
Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid
Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
Source: Internal Revenue Service