jokah.com

31Dec/040

China's 'Haves' Stir the 'Have Nots' to Violence.

Minor street quarrel provokes mass riot. The Communist Party, obsessed with enforcing social stability, has few worse fears. Yet the Wanzhou uprising, which occurred on Oct. 18, is one of nearly a dozen such incidents in the past three months, many touched off by government corruption, police abuse and the inequality of the riches accruing to the powerful and well connected.

"People can see how corrupt the government is while they barely have enough to eat," said Mr. Yu, reflecting on the uprising that made him an instant proletarian hero - and later forced him into seclusion. "Our society has a short fuse, just waiting for a spark."

Though it is experiencing one of the most spectacular economic expansions in history, China is having more trouble maintaining social order than at any time since the Tiananmen Square democracy movement in 1989.

Filed under: Politics/War No Comments
25Dec/040

Town Sees 1st White Christmas in 86 Years. White Christmas in Houston as well. Pales in comparison to a northeastern snow, but it's pretty impressive for a city that hasn't seen snow in decades... Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Houston No Comments
17Dec/040

IRS Releases Tax Tables for New Deduction. The tables can be found in IRS publication 600. Whatever.

Interestingly, the sales tax deduction was added to the tax code as part of the ridiculously named Jobs Creation Act or Jumpstart Our Business Strength (JOBS) Act. Taxpayers in high income tax states (California, New York, etc.) won't benefit from the new deduction since it cannot be combined with the state and local income tax deduction. Also, the rules for deferred compensation seem to have changed to the extent that if there are no restrictions on withdrawing the deferred income, then it is considered taxable. If you fail to report that income, income deferred in prior years also becomes taxable.

And over $140B in corporate tax breaks was doled out in a pork barrel frenzy approved by both Dems and Repubs. Looks like the only jobs that will be created by this act are in the field of tax preparation and law.

2Dec/040

Satrapi follows up Iran picture book. Took me a while to figure out that there is no third book. The French "Persepolis tome 3" listed in Amazon is apparently the same as the second volume released in the US. In any case, I loved both Persepolis novels and highly recommend them.

But she added that there would be no Persepolis 3, as she was now permanently based in Paris.

Filed under: Books No Comments