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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Tips for churches on how not to mess up your payroll taxes

February 14, 2017, 8:30 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Church Law & Tax, site for Richard Hammar’s writing on issues affecting churches, recently tweeted about their presentation of Five Common Payroll Issues Ministries Face Slideshow.

If you are in a church, or any parachurch ministry for that matter, it would be worth your time to read through the slide deck.

I’ll guess this is old news for most people. However, if you see something that you don’t understand or seems contrary to how you are doing things, you might want to take that as a warning you ought to do some research. I’ll mention just a few highlights.

Remember to report the following as income (see slides 8 and 9): Read the rest of this entry »


Another scam to beware: phishing for W-2 info

February 7, 2017, 7:26 am
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Ok, so you know it is a scam if you get a call from “the IRS” saying you have to pay your tax bill right this instant because the local cops are on the way to arrest you.

If you get one of those calls, hang up. Don’t even talk.

Here’s the newest phishing scam now starting to hit charities.

Kelly Phillips Erb explains the new scheme: IRS Issues Urgent Alert as W-2 Phishing Scam Spreads During Tax Season.

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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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Standard IRS mileage rates for 2017

December 13, 2016, 7:29 pm
Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The IRS announced the standard mileage rates for 2017 today. New rate for transportation and reimbursements is 53.5 cents. That is down from 54 cents in 2016.

According to IRS comments in Notice 2016-79:

The standard mileage rate for transportation or travel expenses is 53.5 cents per mile for all miles of business use (business standard mileage rate). See section 4 of Rev. Proc. 2010-51.

The standard mileage rate is 14 cents per mile for use of an automobile in rendering gratuitous services to a charitable organization under § 170. See section 5 of Rev. Proc. 2010-51.

The standard mileage rate is 17 cents per mile for use of an automobile (1) for medical care described in § 213, or (2) as part of a move for which the expenses are deductible under § 217.

Standard rates for the last few years: