30 March 2010

family values

these militia types are a little skeery, especially the latest in michigan, the hutaree, who were planning on doing some killing so that they could get it started ahead of the anti-christ --- this is the woman's wedding picture---awesome, don't you think?


i got home from work to my office filled with the stench of coconut: the maxillaria tenuifolia is blooming! i don't much like coconut, but the smell is really delicious --- actually if your nose is pointed the right way or whatever, it smells like crayons

and one of my epidendrums is blooming, too (god knows what specie, what with over 1100 from which to choose) --- it don't smell

furthermore, i have another crassula ovata in the house, courtesy of robert, for whose space it had outgrown --- it is the offspring of one that i had for over 30 years, but that was too big to bring over here when i moved and so  is now being enjoyed by mr. hasty

28 March 2010


i've been wondering what the small-business types were thinking about it all --- here's from a couple of my friends who are just that --- she sez:

as one of you asked how the new bill will impact our business, thought you might be interested in this (as most of you are self-employed or close to it or a small shop)

i'm pleased on both counts - finally, SOMETHING was done, and that for us as a company, it's good for us too; after being the person picking the health care plans for 8 yrs now... every year we've had to change plans to dodge massive rate increases (one year was 36%), and trim down coverage, to get to something we can afford (we cover our employees AND family, rare for our size). Being able to FINALLY join a buying pool - yippee! We've always been penalized for being a company w/less than 25 warm bodies.

Oh, the quip about raising rates before 2014 - that's been happening to us all along (see above) so i see no changes in industry practice

and he sez, at somewhat greater length:

What's in it for me? If you run a small business or are self-employed, you probably want to know what's in the health care legislation for you personally. Let's get beyond the rhetoric and the partisanship and look into the details.

The good news: For the first time, there's real help for entrepreneurs. If you can't afford or can't qualify for insurance, you'll have new options starting in 2014. If you're struggling financially – as many self-employed do – you may qualify for a government subsidy or Medicaid. If you have a pre-existing condition, you can't be denied insurance. And – whoopee! — I'm personally going to get a tax credit starting this year. If you offer health insurance to your employees, it's likely you will too.

The downsides: There are no caps on health insurance premiums, so I expect insurance companies to hike rates significantly before they have competition in 2014. If you have more than 50 employees, you'll have to provide coverage or pay a fine beginning 2014. As of 2013, there'll be new taxes on some types of income typically received by successful small business owners.

Bottom line: If you're self-employed or have a business with fewer than 25 employees, it's probably going to be financially advantageous for you to be incorporated or an LLC (limited liability company), provide coverage through the business (rather than buy it individually), and, most likely, purchase through a state-established exchange set up beginning 2014.

So what's in the legislation for your small business or for the self-employed?
•Tax Credit. Starting with 2010 taxes, small businesses with fewer than 25 employees that pay at least 50% of the health care premiums for their employees qualify for a tax credit up to 35% of your premiums (50% after 2014 if you purchase insurance through an exchange). How much of a credit you'll get depends on the number of employees you have and their average wage. Gotcha alert: The tax deduction is not available to sole proprietors, so you may want a different corporate legal form.

•Exchanges. Starting 2014, the biggest potential benefit may kick in with the establishment of Small Business Health Options Programs – or SHOP exchanges. These will enable small companies (up to 100 employees) to pool together to have greater buying power. Theoretically, this should result in lower premium costs.
•Subsidies. Starting 2014, many self-employed will qualify for a federal subsidy to help them afford the cost of purchasing health care. Those earning up to 400% of the poverty level will get assistance, or up to $88,200 for a family of four (at today's poverty level).

•Medicaid. Starting 2014, more lower-income individuals and childless adults would be covered by Medicaid, the federal health insurance plan for the poor. This can be a big help, especially for those just starting a business, without much income.
•Mandatory employer-provided coverage. Small businesses – with fewer than 50 employees – are exempt from mandatory requirements. Businesses with more than 50 employees will be required to provide coverage as of 2014 or pay a fine. That means those of us who provide health care coverage will no longer, in effect, be subsidizing our competitors (whose employees rely on public health services) who don't.

•Mandatory personal coverage. Also as of 2014, you'll be required to have health insurance or pay a fine. If you have to pay more than 8% of your income for the cheapest plan, you're not penalized.

•Pre-existing conditions. Starting June 2010, individuals who have not been able to get insurance because of pre-existing conditions can join a high risk insurance pool. As of 2014, insurance companies can not deny insurance to adults based on pre-existing conditions.

•Adult children. Starting in September 2010, dependent children up to age 26 can be covered on parent's policy

•Lifetime limits. Starting September 2010, there can be no lifetime maximum limits on policies. Also, companies can not rescind policies except for fraud.
•Preventive care. Starting September 2010, coverage must include basic preventive care. As many small businesses can now only afford catastrophic coverage, this may mean additional benefits.

•Taxes. Starting January 2013, if you make over $200,000 (individual) or $250,00 (family), your Medicare tax rate will increase from 1.45% to 2.35%. A bigger potential tax bite may hit small business owners who receive capital gains, dividend, or interest income with an additional 3.8% tax on that income.;

•"Cadillac" plans. Starting 2018, employers who provide insurance costing more than $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 per family must pay a 40% tax on the excess cost of the premium. This could be a big burden on small businesses, as many premiums are already at that rate for even basic coverage.

midtown's greening

27 March 2010


i know two women that have been together for thirty years now --- and that's not dog years either --- i am, at some level, impressed with that accomplishment --- rock on, cv and ah

and happy birthday to cousin cathi, who remains younger than me

spring spring spring

gaudy colors on the landscape and the stench of spring in the air
--- even the bradford pears are acceptable, although it will rain on them tomorrow, ruining the blossoms, after which they all should be cut down

golgotha fun park redux

robert has now researched the site and uncovered additional information on " America's #1 Shaded Biblical Mini-Golf." 

24 March 2010

the natchez trace

i drove part of the north end of the natchez trace parkway on the way this evening --- parts of the trace are still there along with some excellent views --- and quiet

natural wonders

mammoth cave is the country's second-oldest tourist attraction (after niagra falls) and quite the amazing place --- my camera couldn't capture the really large chambers, the sheer hugeness of parts of the cave --- great historic artifacts from the salt-peter works that supplied gunpowder for the war of 1812, including 200 yr old water pipe made of poplar logs, and early nineteenth century graffiti --- and one of the best guides i've ever had for any kind of tour

exotic places

western kentucky is a very wierd place --- aside from the caves and sinkholes, there is an unusual array of religious signage interspersed with adult video stores surrounded by cow pastures --- i am still not sure what to make of that --- and what to make of a "golgotha fun park" i really do not know

23 March 2010

out into the hinterlands

519 miles in the car yesterday, which was pretty much torture for me, although it took me to the wilds of western tennessee and kentucky, which i hadn't seen before --- first stop was ft. donalson natl. military park on the cumberland river, mainly to check out their 1962 visitors center, which every body mostly hates and wishes would go away --- got to elizabethtown, kentucky, at dark and spent most of today at the abraham lincoln birthplace national historic site --- checked out the restoration of pope's memorial building and sinking spring, which is one of my favorite park sites in the region --- the trees are still a sad site from last year's ice storm ---

quote, unquote

"This is a big fucking deal," - vice president Joe Biden, on HCR.
don't you just love the v.p.?

20 March 2010

the tea partiers in all their glory

during a protest on capitol hill, calling john lewis and nigger and barney frank a faggot --- that's what the tea party has basically been about from the beginning

19 March 2010

the tulips are coming

the slight stench of spring was smelt on peachtree this afternoon --- certainly it was toasty at 70 degrees for the first time since november

godless democracy

"They intend to vote on the Sabbath, during Lent, to take away the liberty that we have right from God," King said.

it leaves one sorta speechless

15 March 2010


"suffer the little children. . . "

The priest at the center of a German sex-abuse scandal that has embroiled Pope Benedict XVI was suspended Monday, more than 30 years after the church first heard allegations that he had molested children.. . . . "If you get divorced and remarry you can’t take communion, but someone convicted of molesting children can hold mass for the rest of his life,” Ms. Wankerl said.
the catholic church has a lot of issues from my point of view, but this is just the worst ---- 30 years they wait!!!

always a different sky

well, almost always

defining an age?

i guess i had not picked up on the fact that it's a concrete structure---makes it all the more amazing

From a technological standpoint, it’s profoundly impressive that a reinforced concrete frame has outperformed the steel of Taipei 101 — the previous record holder for height — by 1,050 feet. This achievement suggests a new era in structural engineering: the compressive strength of concrete has tripled in the last four decades, allowing concrete structures to be thinner, lighter and far, far taller.

the ides of march

for what it's worth, the first post on the view here was four years ago today ---

13 March 2010

wasted architecture

the ga dot bldg, 1956-57 --- i'm a little surprised that they haven't knocked down the old archives building yet

plum purty

the plums will not be any more beautiful than they are right now----

12 March 2010

the sky king

that last squall line was great!!! just shades of gray as the sun set but then this long, thin, peach-colored line across the horizon, followed just before the rain by this amazing rosy pearl gray that i don't think i've seen before----not at all flashy, almost monotone, but really great

11 March 2010

fog town

broadcast towers

towers have been a feature on the midtown skyline since the twin towers went up on the biltmore in the 1920s --- this is the one most in my line of view, at 8th and cypress --- 500 feet, but fortunately nearly 600 from my place ---- all the towers are free-standing, which in the case of the 1,000+ foot turner broadcasting tower at spring and 10th, is a little scary --- i think it's actually been abandoned

mexico, this afternoon

first under new law

peachtree repairs

the peachtree lofts building was completed in 1952 --- they've got some deterioration of the concrete canopies but are doing thorough repairs --- it's still nothing like what's happened to some of the early 20th c. concrete that's really had some time to deteriorate --- what will metropolis concrete look like in 50 or 60 years?

09 March 2010

reconstructing college park

college park's hotel indigo was supposed to have opened in a new building at washington and harvard last year, but construction was suspended when the economy went to hell --- now john sez work has resumed --- it ought to be really good for downtown c.p.

atlanner changing

i like it better with the sound off --- some great images anyway

thnx cathi

07 March 2010

uma grande idéia

the world's fourth-largest city has no outdoor advertising! wonderland . . . .

lights on

definitive signs of spring

a new era in historic architecture

these are the houses that i grew up in --- gah!

destroying community

As I've said before, what's been obvious from the debate over health care is that Democrats are committed to building community while Republicans just want to be left alone.. . . "Pay their own way" is a perfect metaphor for the Republican Party's idea of community, says Chait, an ugly place where the law of the jungle holds sway, survival of the fittest prevails and the very idea of insurance is attacked as a corrupting force that undermines "personal responsibility." . . . Conservatism is supposed to be about conserving those values and practices which promote peaceful, harmonious and stable communities. Instead, much of what currently passes for conservatism seems dedicated to their dissolution, as community ties are weakened, the softer virtues like empathy and compassion which act as a society's connective tissue are dislocated, and any sense of common destiny is carpet-bombed out of existence by FOX, by Rush and by harpies like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter who tell their audiences that it's not only okay to hate -- it's righteous!
that is what makes me so angry with those people --- it's not "just politics" --- and it explains why they went after acorn the way they did

06 March 2010