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Piece Of The Dream

2007-08-09 - 12:47 p.m.

It was thirty-eight years ago today...

Today is the anniversary of one of the most horrific mass murders in recent history.

Personally, I hope they never get out.

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Lifted this from Neil Boortz' blog:

The [guy] I'm referring to here is the poor sap from New York who caught that Barry Bonds home run ball in San Francisco earlier this week. The ball is reputed to be worth in the neighborhood of a half-million dollars.

Here's the rub. Accountants certainly aren't in agreement on this, but some are saying that this character owes the IRS about $200,000.

Think about it. If someone gives you a car worth $500,000, you must include that car as income on your tax return. The extra income shoves you into a higher bracket, and you're going to fork over at least $200,000. Well, what's the big difference between someone giving you a half-million dollar car and a half-million dollar baseball?

New York tax lawyer John Barrie says: "It's an expensive catch. Once he took possession of the ball and it was his ball, it was income to him based on its value as of yesterday."

Some tax experts say that no, you don't have to pay the tax until you actually sell the ball. Sell, that's not the way it would work for the car, so why would the government treat that ball any differently?

Isn't this just grand? Our wonderful tax system at work. Does anyone out there have any suggestions as to how we might change things?

In previous years in California, I've received cars as gifts - my grandmother gave me her car because she wasn't driving anymore due to health problems - and I didn't have to pay taxes on it. I would consider the ball a gift and, subsequently, non-taxable. Besides - who would decide its monetary value? A car is easy, because there was an actual sales price. If the car is old and/or famous, its value could be different based on what different people are willing to pay for it.

Case in point: I have the original issues of the Watchmen comic, all signed by the author. They are well-read and battered, so a collector might not give me much for it. On the other hand someone who loves the artist's work might say they're worth substantially more. To me, they are priceless - because I remember what I went through to get those autographs.

I'd call it a gift, up to and until the moment he sells it. But then, I don't work for the government.

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A huge number of stars - sixty-one, all told - are going into rehab...but this time, it's a good thing:

LOS ANGELES (AP) It's another story of stoned celebrities in rehab. Only these are real stars.

Sixty-one stars from the Hollywood Walk of Fame including those of Charlton Heston, Cary Grant, Clark Gable and Frank Sinatra have been removed and stored while a $500-million hotel-shopping-housing project is built on Vine Street near Hollywood Boulevard.

Eight of the terrazzo star squares crumbled as they were removed from the walkway.

"We saved the brass. They'll be rebuilt," said Tim Maxwell, project manager for Webcor Builders, which is involved in the construction project.

The stars were placed in a secure warehouse, where they'll remain until the project is completed in 2009.

Some of these folks had more class than all of today's "stars" put together. But then (I think) it was a different Hollywood back then - not the crotch-flashing, party-till-you-die, paparazzi-in-your-bathroom Hollywood.

I think Sinatra would have had some choice words for today's Hollywood. But he'd have the class NOT to say them in a public forum.

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And now, your Moments of Stupidity.

I don't know what it is about Family Feud, but the possibility for foolish answers abound. There's this one, these, this one, and this classic.

It's always harder under the lights.

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Day off. Laundry and housework.

May your day be as quiet.

Be seeing you.



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2 comments so far

Smed - 2007-08-09 17:47:53 - http://smedindy.diaryland.com
There is no value on that ball, except for the retail price of an official major league baseball, until he puts it up for auction. Have you heard "Krautmeyer" by Dan Bern? Great stuff!

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Dave - 2007-08-09 18:34:18 -
Smed: YOU know that, and *I* know that - but since when did facts ever matter to the government...especially when it comes to taxes? :)

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