Just noticed that Cingular prepaid (KIC has been rebranded as GoPhone: Pay As You Go) now requires a $25 refill (up from $20) to extend account expiration by 90 days.


Earlier this week, the House passed the bankruptcy reform bill, which now goes to the President. Consider it a done deal. Perhaps of even greater interest, however, is the fact that in this same session, the House approved a bill to permanently repeal the estate tax, cleverly named the "Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2005."

Erosion of Estate Tax Is a Lesson in Politics. Hopefully, this bill won't pass the Senate as it is a direct attack on the progressivity of our tax system. Under current estate tax law (which sunsets in 2010), you can pass $1.5M to your heirs without their owing any estate tax. Anything above the exclusion amount is taxed at a rate that tops out at just under 50%. Barring a repeal, the exclusion amount drops back to $1M in 2011.

Filed under: Politics/War No Comments

Videos Challenge Accounts of Convention Unrest. A lot of false arrests and perhaps a hint of perjury. Does anyone still believe the RNC was good for NYC?

Seven months after the convention at Madison Square Garden, criminal charges have fallen against all but a handful of people arrested that week. Of the 1,670 cases that have run their full course, 91 percent ended with the charges dismissed or with a verdict of not guilty after trial. Many were dropped without any finding of wrongdoing, but also without any serious inquiry into the circumstances of the arrests, with the Manhattan district attorney's office agreeing that the cases should be "adjourned in contemplation of dismissal."

Filed under: NYC, Politics/War No Comments

New Order considering a 2nd show in New York City. Just noticed this today. Mm, mm, mm.

Filed under: Music No Comments

Found a pretty good map of Rio de Janeiro while trying to locate Nova IguaƧu. The killings of 30 people in this city just last week were attributed to rogue policemen, but the incident was largely overshadowed by the death of the pope.

Filed under: Travel No Comments

I must scream now. This story is so painful that hopefully others will learn from my folly. Yesterday I missed the chance to buy tickets for New Order during the pre-sale, and they are already going for just under $100 on ebay.

11:00am on sale today. I have already postponed a meeting so I can buy tickets at the first chance and have pre-registered my personal info on the Ticketmaster web site. 11:00 comes and goes, and the site link is giving me zip. I'm wondering whether I should run down to the nearest ticket outlet (it's pretty far away). A few stressful minutes later, I'm in. I pick four tickets, the limit. They are set aside for me. I reconsider whether I'm really gonna need four and decide two is fine so I return the tickets to the pool...

Do not ever do this for a concert in New York City. I manage to get through eventually to a phone operator who confirms that no tickets are currently available. The event has sold out within minutes of the general on sale.

Filed under: Music No Comments