Announcing “Ancient Finances”, my newest blog

June 16, 2017, 8:38 am

Silver Roman denarius. Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Ancient Finances will explore finances and money during the Viking age and Roman Empire. Lots of posts on other blogs addressing those topics have been cross-posted to the new blog. This includes lots of discussion of the loot Alexander the Great lifted during his rampaging world tour.

I’ve been having loads of fun reading about the Viking age and am intrigued by finances and money during the Roman Empire.

Why a new blog?

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Do some research on the Executive Order addressing religious freedom

May 5, 2017, 8:07 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

I don’t do politics on my blogs.

I do pay attention to issues affecting non-profits.

So when the president issues an Executive Order addressing religious freedom, it is worth discussing even though it is a politically loaded EO.

On May 4, the president issued an EO which reportedly pulls back on the ban against churches getting involved in political campaigns.

In a one sentence overstatement, under current law 501(c)(3) exempt organizations may not involve themselves in political campaigns and may only get involved in very limited ways in legislative efforts. Ok, I’ll add a second sentence – That means churches and other exempt organizations may not endorse or favor a political candidate but may exert some effort addressing matters before a legislative body.

Based only on initial reports, the EO appears to contain several major items. First, telling the IRS to use maximum discretion in applying the rules on the political ban. Second, telling the Attorney General to develop guidelines for federal agencies on how they apply their rules in terms of religious freedom. Third, asking federal agencies to make certain changes in health care requirements regarding contraceptive coverage.

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Justice grinds slow, but it does grind: Guilty plea for shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston.

May 4, 2017, 10:38 am

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In April 2015, an officer with the North Charleston, S.C. police department shot a man in the back as the citizen slowly ran away from the officer after an altercation.

In December 2016 the officer achieved a hung verdict in his murder trial after claiming he feared for his life after a struggle for his taser. He was facing a retrial at state level.

On May 3, 2017, the officer plead guilty to the federal crime of violating the man’s civil rights. He will be sentenced later.

Justice takes time, sometimes.

After you watch the video below and read my description of the incident, you will appreciate two questions that come to mind. For background, consider I am a middle-class, middle-age, white male, who runs my own business.

Here are the two distressing questions I’ve been pondering for the past two years:

  • How often did this type of incident take place in the past, when nobody had a video recorder in their pocket?
  • How often does this type of incident take place today?

A Wall Street Journal article provides background on the plea and the case:  Former S.C. Policeman Pleads Guilty in Shooting of Walter Scott. The officer was fired immediately after the incident. The city apologized and reached a $6.5M settlement with the family.

If you have the stomach for it, feel free to watch the following video:

Please know in advance it is upsetting.

 

 

My observations:

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He is risen!

April 16, 2017, 5:00 am

Death on a cross Friday isn’t the end of the story. The tomb is empty on Sunday, because HE IS RISEN! Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

 

Here’s a selection of videos to help your Easter celebration:

 

Jesus Christ is risen today!

 

The following is a repost of my comment four years ago on Easter morning. (Update: A few additions for more of the traditional hymns describing the blessings to us of the resurrection.)

 

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

This morning my wife and I attended a sunrise service. Haven’t done that for many years. A wonderful way to celebrate this day. On our way to celebrate with our church family momentarily.

 

 

 

I know that my Redeemer lives:

 

Up from the grave He arose.

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In case you hadn’t hear, those telephone calls claiming to be from the IRS demanding you immediately pay back taxes are a scam.

January 9, 2017, 10:34 am
Wouldn't it be nice if the  phone id actually was that accurate for every call? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the caller ID was actually that accurate for every call? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The most frequent scam in 2016 was the phone calls saying “This is the IRS and if you don’t pay your past due taxes this instant we will send someone to your house to arrest you right now.”

There are many things wrong with those calls.

As a starter, your first contact with the IRS will never be by phone. You will instead get a letter explaining what the IRS thinks you messed up.

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Postage rates changing 1/22/17

December 28, 2016, 7:48 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Postal rates will change again effective January 22, 2017.

Chronicle of Philanthropy reports New Postal Rates Will Boost Costs for Charities. Article says increase for charities will range from 2.8% up to 4.3%.

A significant change is that mail which was previously marked as “standard” will now be categorized and marked as “marketing mail.” That is a concern for an industry representative who said that may reduce the likelihood of recipients actually opening such items, which would obviously reduce the effectiveness of a mailing.

You can find the new rates at the USPS site: January 2017 Price Change.

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Podcast on turmoil involving Wounded Warrior Project

October 1, 2016, 11:44 am
Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

If you’ve been following the media turmoil surrounding Wounded Warrior Project, you will want to check out a podcast from The Contributing Factor (that is Bill O’Reilly’s website):  Podcast: Ousted Wounded Warrior Project Executives Speak Out.

There are interviews with the two departed senior executives.

That page also has written responses from the board denying the specifics in the Doug White report.

The board asserts that giving dropped as soon as the media reports surfaced. Mr. Nardizzi asserts that he was watching the giving until the day he was released and noticed the giving was only 1.7% below the projected income.

Check out the podcast. I’ll try to have more comments later.