Notes from around the Human Experience…
WHO HAD NINE MONTHS IN THE POOL?: In fairness to President Trump – President Trump! – none of the three people indicted in the Mueller investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election involved current members of his Administration. They do involve a former campaign director, his aide and a past advisor.
And while we couldn’t be bothered to do the seminal research on the matter, considering the cesspool Washington is, nine months between inauguration and indictments seem to be pretty good time. The investigation, of course, is far from over, it’s ultimate destination unknown.
Dry, Technical Matter: Paul Manafort, a lobbyist and former Trump campaign director and an aide have been arraigned on assorted money laundering, fraud and conspiracy charges as part of a scheme to conceal more than $75 million overseas to avoid paying the taxes on them. A former Trump advisor has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
All right. We don’t approve of lying to the FBI anymore than you do, but let’s take a big-picture look at the tax evasion indictments.
Ladies And Gentlemen Of The Jury: What if the crimes Manafort and his aide were indicted for weren’t crimes? Or, more accurately, what if nobody felt compelled to break these laws because America had a tax code that encouraged people to keep their money here, instead of shipping overseas?
Glad You Asked: Well, one, they probably wouldn’t be under arraignment right now and, two, the American economy would have benefited from having that money here, instead of the money doing us some zero good overseas.
Gaylon For Congress…Vote Early, Vote Often: While running for the United States Senate in 2014 and the United States House of Representatives last year we talked often about the benefits a flat tax would have for our country.
One, it would simplify our tax code, currently nine million words long and incomprehensible to everyone, including the IRS which gives out incorrect information 25 percent of the time.
Two, it would produce a flourishing economy. More money would be in the economy instead of being given to the government. We would have more money to spend and businesses would have more money for expansion and paying better wages. In a low tax environment, people would have a reason to keep their money here, instead of hiding it overseas.
The Bottom Line: Liberated from the need to hide money overseas to avoid paying taxes, people wouldn’t be conspiring to launder money and the Mueller investigators would be able to focus on more important things.
SLOW NEWS DAY: Future English monarchs William III and Mary II get married on this date in 1677. At the time, Mary was the 15-year-old daughter of James, the Duke of York, who would become King James II in 1685. William was Dutch, the Prince of Orange, however, his mother Mary Stuart was James’ sister, which made William and Mary cousins.
William and Mary, both Protestants, ascended the throne in 1689 following what History refers to as the Glorious Revolution, where King James, who was Catholic, was chased to France. William and Mary were declared co-monarchs by Parliament and ruled jointly until Mary’s death 1694, after which William ruled until he died in 1702.
Can You Milk This Item Anymore?: One of their legacies is William and Mary University in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693, it is the second oldest university in the United States.
Well, Lookie Here: An expedition led by British archaeologist Howard Carter discovers the entrance to the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun on this date in 1922. The discovery culminated work Carter had been doing in the Valley of the Kings since 1907.
FunFact: The Valley of the Kings is the burial ground of many Egyptian rulers, royals and nobles who flourished from 16th to 11th century BC. It is located in central Egypt, a bit west of the Nile River and north of Luxor and is known to contain 63 tombs.
Dry, Technical Matter: Tutankhamun had a brief life. He was born around 1341 BC, became pharaoh around 1332 and is believed to have died in 1323. Exactly how King Tut died is not clear, though people smarter than us generally believe his death was from natural causes.
Analysis of his skeleton showed the vertebrae in his neck were fused together so he was unable to move his head and he had problems with his left foot, which would explain the presence of numerous canes in his tomb, because those who survived him wanted to ensure their ruler would be able to get around in the afterlife. He also suffered from malaria.
A Warm, Personal Remembrance: We can remember seeing the King Tut exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with Dad, who had been able to scam two tickets, although why yours truly was chosen over Mom and my brother will forever remain a family secret because all three are dead now.
Oh Yeah: Some research showed the exhibit was in Los Angeles in the first half of 1978, and we still remember our tickets were for the 10 pm viewing, and on a school night, no less.
Quotebook: This species could have been so great, and now everybody just wants a new Salad Shooter or sneakers with lights in them. This is what we’ve settled for. – George Carlin
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Andy Brown was the last NHL goalie to play without a mask, doing so through his last game in April 1974. Brown then played three seasons in the World Hockey Association, also without a mask.
Today’s Stumper: What is the oldest university in the United States? – Answer next time!