>>>ITEM 1: We're Back-Taxing You for the Good of our Teens.
NYC has officially become the worst place to live. Our new tax laws state that if you buy something out of state or over the internet, you're supposed to declare it at tax time. (They once took down the numbers of NY license plates they spotted in a NJ Ikea parking lot.)
Many people have been buying cigarettes online, trying to avoid the combined NYC and NYS tax of $3. So, knowing this was going on, did the city say anything? No. They waited until people accumulated $900 in taxes PLUS INTEREST & PENALTIES UP TO $200 A CARTON before they sent them a "pay now or loose everything" letter. (This is the same terror tactic the music industry used to sue people who were downloading songs off Kazaa.) This proves that they're not so much interested in getting their money as they are in scaring the citizens of the city into line.
So, you people out in the civilized US ask, why is the cig tax so high here? Finance Commissioner Martha Stark says, "The tax was increased because we wanted to keep young people from starting to smoke. Going on the Internet and purchasing packs without the tax evades the strategy around saving people's lives." That's nice, but they haven't targeted any teens with the latest blitz. And they probably won't, because most teens don't have a pack-a-day addiction that would rack up the big bucks. Come to think of it, most teens don't have credit cards, so they wouldn't be able to order ciggies off the internet anyway.
Now, before you anti-smokers shake your spears in the air and scream, "Victory!" think to yourselves- what kind of door does this open? As I said before, NYC citizens are supposed to declare ANYTHING bought out of state. What happens when the city starts sending threatening letters to every city dweller who has purchased gas while on a road trip (or had an emergency water pump fix,) or ordered things off the internet? Unless you've paid by cash or MO, you've left an electronic trail. They'll wait for a few years until you've accumulated a whopping fine, then they'll smack you.
And if you're somewhere in the rest of the country laughing at us, just wait. Once your elected officials realize they're getting away with it, our City Elders will show them the way.
>>>ITEM 2: Thank You for Saving Us- Now Get the f**k out!
After all we have done for Indonesia, after we've poured millions of dollars and given them our military to help them after the tsunami destroyed their country- the Indonesian government has said that it wants us out by the end of March.
"Three months are enough," Vice President Jusuf Kalla told the official Antara news agency. "In fact, the sooner [they leave] the better."
Kalla's government also forced the Abraham Lincoln, from which Navy pilots have flown dozens of food supply missions to the hard-hit Aceh Province, to steam out of Indonesian waters because they refused to let U.S. pilots fly training missions in their air space.
The Indonesians also refused to let the Marines coming ashore rebuild roads, establish a base camp or carry arms. (from the NY Daily News.)
Fine. Let's just pack it up and go home NOW. Evict the Indonesian ambassador from the UN, cut off ALL further funding, and just put a big imaginary wall around their country. Sorry, Indonesians, but you're better off without us anyway. While you're at it, get Michael Moore to come down there with a camera crew, so he can show the world how our evil conquering army is really intending to take over your country instead of rebuilding it. Best of luck to you. I'm sure France, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Syria, or some other less "stingy" nation will rush in to help you. I'm sure the only reason they're not doing it now is because we're there, and we smell.
(I'm including this in every post until the end of the auction- even if some of the $ does go to Indonesia.) The beautiful and multitalented French Toast Girl has placed one of her paintings on Ebay to raise money for the victims of the Asian Tsunami. Please check it out here.