It isn't just the guys. . .

Ok, so this could so easily be me. . .It’s a detailed and funny (especially if you can relate) tale of a lady dining out of her class. I can relate; totally. Nearly nothing can make me feel so uncomfortable as dining out of my class, and I completely agree with this statement:

I am so out of place. I am beneath… contendedly so. And I’m fine that way. I will never get use to food I can’t recognize in a glance. I will never understand silence at a dinner table, talking only of surface subjects – everything being wonderful and beautiful – instead of talking wildly or debating the latest subject, laughing hilariously about something that happened that day, cutting back and forth in between bites, each sharing their part of a story, finishing off each others sentences – disagreeing and just agreeing to disagree, moving right along to the next topic – dinner time being the best part of our day, feeling so close and connected. That’s where we formed our beliefs, our loves, our memories.

I’ll never quite understand why there is five eating utensils and two glasses, and a napkin that looks more like something you would frame.

I don’t want to spoil the story and ruin all the build-up and such, but I will say that it involves taking food that appears to be safe (some type of potato), and only finding out after it’s in her mouth that it’s really a sea urchin!

Go read it.

Maybe you might even begin to understand why I avoid all formal occasions like the plague. Actually, I might have an easier time dealing with the plague. . .

Essay of the Week: 8/26/07-9/1/07

One of the biggest errors of modern time is a misplaced faith in laws. It is thought that the right laws can do everything from taming the power of the US to improving the status of woman. But the truth is that laws do not create society, society creates laws. The power of a law nessearly stems from the values that make up a society. As a consequence, laws that are not based on values common to a society will only create widespread lawlessness. In other words, without a society based on common values, laws are useless.

This truth is ignored by many people who think that if they can only get the right laws passed, then society will be so much better. Such people would do well to read this essay from the Belmont Club exploring the consequences of trying to make enforce a common law were there is no common society.

Pennsylvania Income Taxes vs New York State Income Taxes

Pennsylvania Income Tax rate is this….

Pennsylvania has a flat tax rate of 3.07 percent on individual income, with no personal exemptions.

County, municipal and school district taxes also are collected. Those rates can be found at the Department of Community and Economic Development Web site.

Pennsylvanians who live on a modest income may qualify for the state’s Tax Forgiveness Credit.

New York State Income Tax is this….

New York collects state income taxes using a progressive, five-bracket system.

For single taxpayers:
— 4% on the first $8,000 of taxable income
— 4.5% on taxable income between $8,001 and $11,000
— 5.25% on taxable income between $11,001 and $13,000
— 5.9% on taxable income between $13,001 and $20,000
— 6.85% on taxable income of $20,001 and above.

For married persons filing joint returns, the rates remain the same but the income brackets are doubled.

New York City has its own tax rates and brackets. The state’s earned income credit has increased to 30 percent of the federal credit. The credit helps taxpayers offset increases in living expenses and Social Security taxes, reduces taxes owed and in some cases can even provide a refund to filers who do not owe any tax. File Form IT-215, Claim for Earned Income Credit.

Obviously, Pennsylvanian income taxes are far lower then they are in New York. But the really disgusting thing is how ridicules the income brackets are in New York State. I mean, I can see making below 20, 000 a different tax bracket. But making between $8 grand and 11 grand a separate tax bracket? Simply absurd.

Information taken from this site.

A heads up for the readers of Opus…..

Berkeley Breathed is being censored by many news papers. From his web site….

Note to Opus readers: The Opus strips for August 26 and September 2 have been withheld from publication by a large number of client newspapers across the country, including Opus’ host paper The Washington Post. The strips may be viewed in a large format on their respective dates at

According to the website Little Green Footballs this censorship is happing because the newspapers feel that these comics are offensive to Muslims. I don’t think that they know this for a fact. I think they are just saying because of the sample panel that Berkeley Breathed posted on his website.

But the sample frame does support their theory…..