Thursday 20 December 2012

Working in Montréal --The Grand Trine

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

I am sure that at least a few readers will have tomorrow on their mind and concerned with what December 21, 2012 will bring?

The conscious realization of our full psychic and spiritual capacity!
I will buy a cup of coffee to anyone that can really explain what the hell that even means.

The reemergence of the lost planet Nibiru, planet X, the 12th planet and our lost brothers, the Anunnaki!   Unfortunately when Nibiru re-emerges it is predicted to collide with our favourite planet and destroy it and all that we know.  Yes –now is the time to watch any TiVo recordings of The Big Bang that you have.  A bombardment of asteroids? A solar flare that engulfs the earth? A rise of the lost city state of Atlantis?

Others, like the heavily armed guy in Arkansas with the 10 year supply of toilet paper state that tomorrow will bring the fall of civilization and he has his bunker ready, all part of God's plan he says.  I ask, If it's God's plan then who are we to screw with it?   I mean if this is the giant invisible guy's method of separating the righteous from those that decidedly aren't, where does arming myself with an AR-15, 3500 rounds of hollow point and 1000 gallons of water and dried food put me?  Righteous armed dude, or a member of the great unwashed poised for a firefight with some indeed righteous dude whose barrel is guided by the divine hand of God? 

This morning I thought I would turn towards the astrologers as they are usually concerned with the alignment of planets, particularly conjunctions, squares, tines, sextiles, and oppositions and what we are experiencing (and have been since the mid 1980s or so) is a grand trine, an alignment of the axis of the sun, earth and Milky Way, surely such an event would be notable?  Interesting, horoscope for this week reads: "Rework a financial plan and focus on one important area where you want to make progress. You might be willing to take a risk or gamble. There's even a chance of a small windfall or an opportunity to close a lucrative deal. Listen to your intuition for the best results. Conflicts could cause trouble in romance. Do your best to deal with difficult or restless personalities. An upbeat outlook helps you keep your cool and come out smiling."

I figured it would have mentioned something like, ".. Do your best to deal with elevated temperatures, a stripped away atmosphere, and flesh searing solar radiation, an upbeat outlook helps you keep cool and come out smiling."

Don't be concerned with the trouble in the romance department, I have always cooked a turkey for Christmas and yesterday Sharlene announced that she and Jenny want game hens instead.  I kept a brave face "don't they like my turkey?", I asked myself.  Worry not, will will get through this even though I died a bit inside.

Surely the market would have bundled the end of the world into its predictions? "CIBC predicts “very mediocre” growth for Canada next year, blaming a weak world economy and an absence of key economic drivers at home.  The bank expects economic growth of 1.7 per cent in 2013. That’s down from the 2 per cent rate it predicted in its previous forecast.  While oil and gas production is set to rise next year, those gains will be offset by weaker activity in mining, fertilizer, and natural gas output."
Yawn.. nothing like, "Invest now in sunscream lotions and End Of The World insurance?  Very mediocre? Does mediocre ever need an intensifying emphasizing adverb?  Yes, it's an adverb, to invoke the adjective state of very, one uses it to denote precision of a noun, such as "the very same place".  I apologize for being so very pedantic first thing this very early morning of our very last day on this very planet.

I have more questions but I think the best thing we can do is settle on the theme some for the end of the world.  This past evening I heard a commercial for an EOTW docufarce that featured The End of The World (Skeeter Davis, 1963).  This is a great pick!  Skeeter was a country/pop singer that had moderate successes in the early 50's, had a #1 country tune and #20 pop tune with the Davis Sisters, but her solo The End of The World was her most notable, and only slightly more upbeat than Patsy Kline's songs for the depressed and suicidal.

You've heard it, you liked it.
Has a simple G – D, Em – Bm, verse, and then a Am – Bm, C – Am – D7 2 line chorus

THE END OF THE WORLD Skeeter Davis  (1963)

Why does the sun go on shining
Why does the sea rush to shore

Don't they know it's the end of the world
'Cause you don't love me any more

Why do the birds go on singing
Why do the stars glow above
Don't they know it's the end of the world
It ended when I lost your love

I wake up in the morning and I wonder
Why everything's the same as it was
I can't understand, no, I can't understand
How life goes on the way it does

Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don't they know it's the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye

(Talk part)
Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
(resume singing)
Don't they know it's the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye

If you have nothing better to do in the next 24 hours or so, grab guitar or a piano and teach yourself how to play it, then as the world ends we can all play out the end.

Have a good day --See you on the other side.

Thursday 6 December 2012

Working in Montréal today --tax the bastards!

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today, and a heads up -next week I will be in Ottawa on Wednesday instead of Thursday as I will be taking Thursday and Friday to help my grandson Ethan celebrate his 1st birthday!

Ever hear of a movie named Recoil?  I hadn't before last week.  What I also don't known is what the movie is valued at.  But I do know that the owners of the film pay no continuing taxes on the simple ownership of it.  You may think to yourself, "That seems fair, I don't pay continuing taxes on the simple ownership of my sofa either."

I live in Mississauga.  I pay property tax in Mississauga. 24% of my property tax pays for education, I'm good with that, an educated population benefits us all.  And around 18% of my property tax pays for police services.  I'm also good with that.  I have property, the city taxes me, and they provide some muscle to protect my real property and the people that may live in it, and the articles that I may store in it.

That's the way police services are suppose to work.  The more real property that exists to tax, this includes houses, apartment buildings, office buildings, shops, car dealers, theatres, and donut shops.  More of those, and you have more cops.  Less and you have less.  That's why out where Don lives in a rural area, there just are not many cops driving around trying to figure out where to buy a donut.  Like cops, donut shops exist where the people are.

Now just in case you missed it, above I also included protection of the articles that I may store at my real property.  But what if my articles had no substance, took no space, and I could store an infinite number of these articles in my garage?


Yeah, work with me here.  I think I pay around $4.5k annually in property tax, so around $820 a year available for my local police department to give me assistance.  It is Sharlene and I living in the house, have a few-three cars, a couple bicycles, too many TVs that can be justified, a pool, some furniture and a cute dog that Dennis claims is too small to be a dog.  $820 is a pretty good deal for the commensurate level of protection.

I called the police the other evening to come to one of my neighbours' house and two cops showed up with two cruisers within a few minutes, and remedied my particular concern.  Good job.

But what if I was running a movie distribution business out of my house, and had $4 billion in Intellectual Property on a few hard drives?  That would be fairly easy to do, IP takes no real space, occupies no real property.   What if I published that IP where any and all persons could see it, hear it, and make copies?

And I wanted the cops to stop them? Whining that my delivery mechanism doesn't stop people from watching without paying me, would my $820 go very far? No, it wouldn't, if the cops helped me, they would use up $ that came from my neighbours, and their neighbours and also from you.

You probably see where this is going and you may be formulating an argument that if I am successful with my film business, I will make a profit and need to pay taxes on that profit.  Sure, but two flaws with that. Property taxes pay for cops, not income tax.  Second, have you ever heard of a film making a profit?  Never happens, that's why actors negotiate on the box office sales, not the profit after expenses, and why should the legitimate protection of property be tied to the profitability?  The city is not burdened with proving that I can make a profit on my house, rather they declare a value and tax me. Period.

We have moved copyright enforcement to our criminal courts and police.  Now we have cops that need to worry about protecting Louis Vuitton's design and Lucas Film's images of C3PO, but we don't tax these things as real property and while the Vuitton office is in a building that does have property tax, that building is filled with desks computers and sofas that also need police protection, effectively 'using up' the protection associated with the building's property tax --moreover, that property tax doesn't make its way to Mayor Hazel's finest.

Let's change the tune here, let's tax IP as real property.  If we don't, then your taxes will need to increase in order to pay for the police to protect interests of those that quite frankly already are much more wealthy than you or I.  Either that or watch the police protection of your property diminish, your real property, your family, your articles will suffer.

Let's go back to the film Recoil, what is it worth?  I really have no idea, did a quick search before the flight took off but could not come up with a formula, and this captain just stated that we have started our descent into YUL, do we look at its revenue potential, what it cost to make.. ? Lets say it's worth $1,000,000 (it was a made-for-video movie after all), let's tax it as real property, if the owners would like to cough up 1-5% for each film that they have, each and every year, in every jurisdiction that they seek protection, a 1% property tax on all IP, 1% on the value of Louis Vuitton's purse designs, 1% of the value of Sony's music collection to Canadian authorities, I would be happy to provide a commensurate level of policing for them.

Yes EACH,ALL movies that they have (unless they release it to the public domain), we don't get to pick and choose to pay tax on real property, can't tell city hall, no don't tax that house, I promise not to call the cops.  How about our gov't consider that instead of asking you the tax paying citizens to provide the protection?

Have a good day.