tagged w/ Galveston
What a great title and a great song!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If5kfe8x6p0&feature=player_embeddedWhat a great title and a great song!... more
Have you ever wondered what America would be like if Income Taxes were NOT the main source of revenue used to finance our State and Federal Government, or if Social Security could be provided without taxing wages? What would your life be like if you were able to spend 100% of your income on your family and both you and your spouse could save for retirement?
It's time to replace the antiquated practice of collecting taxes from income every year with one that is designed for the 21st century! A tax plan that will take advantage of technology, the power of investing in American business and saving for retirement!
This concept "Life Without Income Taxes" would:
Provide money to:
Pay for health care.
• Buy a home.
• Send our children to college.
• Give to charities.
• Investment in business.
• Buy U.S. Government Bonds and T-Bills.
• Finance home loans.
1. Lower Individual Income Taxes to Zero.
2. Lower Employment Taxes to 2%.
3. Lower State Income Taxes to Zero.
4. Lower Corporation Taxes to Zero.
5. Lower Estate and Excise Taxes to Zero.
6. Give retirees more money each month than Social Security.
7. Allow “stay at home” moms to have a retirement account.
8. Raise the minimum wage.
9. Lower the trade deficit.
10. Simplify the IRS tax code.
11. Lower the cost of goods and services.
This is how it works:
1. Individuals would save 5% of their income each year in their own Individual Retirement Account. (IRA)
2. At retirement, the assets in your account will be converted to income producing instruments that will pay interest only payments each month. The principal is never spent and is left in the account until death.
3. After death the assets in the account are converted to cash and paid to the U.S. Treasury.
After 40 years, with all Americans participating, this concept would generate more income to the U.S. Treasury than the present Individual Income Tax system. The "Tax" would not be collected until the death of both husband and wife, leaving both retirement accounts for the use of the surviving spouse.
How would this concept be phased in and what effect would it have on revenue going to the U.S. Treasury?
1. Individuals would pay into their self-directed account allocated to the State in which they live. There could be multiple States’ in a person’s retirement account. The assets in each State account, after the death of both husband and wife, would be used to lower State Income Tax rates to ZERO. A percentage based on the population of the State would be paid to the Federal government and would lower income, employment and corporate tax rates to ZERO. After these taxes are replaced by the retirement savings accounts, only constitutionally enumerated programs will be funded by the States. Money left in the State accounts could go to fund medicaid/medicare health care insurance for the State or reduce property taxes.
2. Young people would be allowed to opt out of the retirement part of Social Security (disability would still be provided) and 2.5% of their employment tax would go to their self directed retirement account.
3. Employers would be encouraged to contribute $1,000 to each employee's spouses’ IRA each year in exchange for a two for one tax credit. This would have the effect of lowering business/corporate tax rates from 25% to 15% which will stimulate the economy, create jobs, and lower the cost of goods and services.
4. Income tax rates would be reduced .25% to start and would increase to .5% in the later years of the 40 year phase-in period as the unused retirement savings accounts replace taxes on income.
5. Employment Taxes would be the last tax to be reduced because of the "One Life Time" lag of replacing social security retirement benefits with Individual Retirement Accounts.
6. Existing Individual Retirement Accounts could be converted to this concept if desired.
7. Social Security retirement benefits would be pro-rated by ratio of years payments were made into the Social Security system vs. payments into retirement accounts with a guarantee that combined retirement income will be no less than Social Security retirement.
8. Because all individuals will have a retirement account, married retirees will have the benefit of two retirement incomes. (Estimated income for a couple will be greater than $10,000 per month) This income will be generated by retirees converting some of their “working years” investments from the stock market to mortgage backed securities which will finance the homes of young people. This monthly income will give the economy a big boost and will allow retirees to pay for increasing medical bills caused by old age or a $100,000 hip replacement could be paid for in one year. The income will NOT be taken away when one spouse dies. It will continue until the death of BOTH husband and wife. If this money is not needed for medical bills, just think of all of the good things that can be done with the money; going out to dinner, taking vacations, giving to charities, helping our children/grandchildren.
please visit www.NoTaxUntilDeath.com
Don Lloyd, concept authorHave you ever wondered what America would be like if Income Taxes were NOT the main... more
Barrier Island tackles the nature of a fearless community that chooses to stake their lives on the strength of the historic Galveston seawall -- built to protect the island from natural disasters -- as they await the arrival of one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the United States since Katrina, Hurricane Ike. Nominated for the 2009 Weissberger Award (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Barrier Island is the first play in “The Galveston Cycle.”
The production features Alex Bond* (Flamingo Court), David L. Carson* (Nixon’s Nixon), Anthony Crep, Mark Emerson*, Anne Clare Gibbons-Brown, Carol Hickey* (Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge; Original cast of Urinetown), Stu Richel* (Mortal Decisions: a diary of the Donner Party), Frankie Seratch and Jennifer Laine Williams*.
BARRIER ISLAND will play a 4-week limited engagement at Center Stage NY (48 West 21st Street, 4th Floor, Buzzer 401#). Performances begin Friday, April 30th through Saturday, May 22nd.
Visit http://www.MTWorks.org for more information.Barrier Island tackles the nature of a fearless community that chooses to stake their... more
Here is a sentence with so many strange and wonderful parts in it that it's best just to let it speak for itself:
A Lufkin man drove his $2 million Bugatti sportscar into a Galveston-area lagoon after being distracted by a pelican.
First, who spends $2 million on a car? And second, of all the places you'd expect such a person to be from, Lufkin would be right behind oh, say, La Porte. Third, you've got the whole aspect of the vengeful, possibly jealous, pelican. It's pretty much the signature bird of the island, of course, so it's symbolically lots better than if the driver had been distracted by a grackle shitting on his precious windshield.
Finally, there's the lagoon. Ain't got no lagoons in Lufkin.
The driver, who was uninjured but no doubt very pissed, refused to give his name (or probably much else information besides "Goddamn bird"), but the Galveston County Daily News was able to piece together the story.
The man, who was on the island looking for real estate that we'll guessing he will now never buy, was driving along the frontage road of I-45 just south of the levee near Omega Bay in La Marque.
He was driving a Bugatti Veyron, a very limited-edition car that has 16 cylinders, four turbo-chargers (but only two seats!! Come on!), a car that can do more than 250 mph when it's not being attacked by pelicans.
The driver told police the bird distracted him, and he "dropped his cell phone" (good move using a cell phone; you don't want to be paying close attention when you're driving a $2 million car), went across a patch of dirt and into about two feet of a saltwater lagoon.
We're thinking of the line in Risky Business, as the Porsche repairman looks at the recently submerged Dad's car Tom Cruise is desperate to get fixed: "Who's the U-Boat captain?"
Saddest line ever written about the semi-demise of a $2 million car:
The Veyron's powerful engine gurgled like an outboard motor for about 15 minutes before it died.
As Jimmy Webb once almost wrote: "Galveston, oh Galveston -- I can see your seabirds flying / While I steer the car I'm driving / Into a lagoon / And I curse you, Galveston."
http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2009/11/bugatti_pelican_crash.phpHere is a sentence with so many strange and wonderful parts in it that it's best... more
Many have claimed that the lawsuit filed in the case of Dymond Milburn, a 12-year-old Galveston girl accosted from her front yard by plainclothes officers, beaten, and accused of prostitution, was actually a hoax.
BoingBoing reports that Radley Balko, senior editor at Reason, has posted evidence that this is a factual lawsuit, backing the update up with a .pdf of the complaint, hospital records, and records of the court filings.
The question remains, even if this 12-year-old were a prostitute, would that constitute the excessive use of force resulting in hospitalization considering that her parents were home. Did they have evidence that she was a flight risk? Didn't this warrant a knock at the front door?
Thoughts?Many have claimed that the lawsuit filed in the case of Dymond Milburn, a 12-year-old... more
I've been living (and working) in Galveston TX for the past two weeks. I'm too tired now to put together much of a blog post, I just wanted to say hi and to let the folk at Current know what I've been up to (since I left New Orleans, soon after hurricane Gustav).
I update in near real-time using Twitter, and I use a range of social media tools/sites (Flickr, Utterli, etc) to try to give people that are outside Galveston an accurate picture as to how the rebuilding is coming along.
Please follow me on Twitter if you are interested, and I'll try to update here on Current more often.
(the accompanying pic is of a friend, Randall/Rainbow, a Hurricane Ike survivor/Galveston resident that I met here, and am sharing his apartment with. The Galveston Seawall is the background)I've been living (and working) in Galveston TX for the past two weeks. I'm... more
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- The final hours brought the awful realization to victims of Hurricane Ike that they had waited too long. This storm wasn't like the others, the ones that left nothing worse than a harrowing tale to tell.
George Helmond, a hardy Galveston salt, watched the water rise and told a buddy: I was born on this island and I'll die on this island.
Gail Ettenger, a free spirit who adopted the Bolivar Peninsula as her home 15 years ago, told a friend in a last phone call: I really messed up this time.
Within hours, the old salt and the free spirit were gone as the powerful Category 2 hurricane wracked the Texas Gulf Coast on Sept. 13, flattening houses, obliterating entire towns and claiming at least 33 lives.
The dead - as young as 4, as old as 79 - included lifelong Galvestonians firmly rooted on the island and transplants drawn by the quiet of coastal living.
Seven people drowned in a storm surge that moved in earlier and with more ferocity than expected. Nine others died in the grimy, sweaty aftermath, when lack of power and medicine exacted its toll. Eleven people were poisoned by carbon monoxide or killed in fires from the generators they used in their own attempts to survive.
Hundreds of people remain missing three weeks after Ike's assault on Texas. Local and city officials are no longer keeping their own count of missing residents, and the estimate varies wildly from one agency to another.
According to the nonprofit Laura Recovery Center, about 300 people are missing. Of those, about 200 from Galveston. However, the number "goes up and down by the minute" as people call in to remove or add names, cautioned executive director Bob Walcutt.GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- The final hours brought the awful realization to victims of... more
Now they've been given a new warning: Going home won't be easy
GALVESTON, Texas - Shrimpers and oystermen lost their boats to the muck. Tourist areas on the coast that should be bustling at the start of convention season are flattened. Lingering power outages are keeping offices empty and restaurants closed from Texas through the Midwest.
It will take months or more to tally Hurricane Ike's financial toll, but one thing is clear: Almost nobody in its path escaped unscathed.
GALVESTON, Texas - Shrimpers and oystermen lost their boats to the muck. Tourist areas... more
"Shrimpers and oystermen are dredging their boats from the muck. Tourist areas on the coast that should be bustling at the start of convention season are flattened. Lingering power outages are keeping offices empty and restaurants closed from Texas through the Midwest.
"It will take months or more to tally Hurricane Ike's financial toll, but one thing is clear: Almost nobody in its path escaped unscathed.
"'Every industry has been impacted by this storm,' said Jeff Sjostrom, president of the Galveston Economic Development Partnership.
"The storm carried hurricane-force winds as far north as Kentucky — which suffered its widest power outage in history — and driving rain clear into New England. More than 500,000 people remained without power Friday in Kentucky and Ohio; schools in Louisville, Ky., were to open Monday after Ike closed them for a week.
"Risk Management Assessment Inc., which quantifies risks for insurance companies, estimated Ike's impact would land in the low end of the $6 billion to $16 billion in insured losses that the firm initially predicted.
"In Houston, where the booming energy industry has kept the nation's fourth-largest city economically stable in a nationwide slump, the outlook was downright positive. The city's port survived with minimal damage, and the Gulf of Mexico's oil and gas production barely took a dent.
"'I'd rather be in Houston right now than Wall Street,' said Leo Linbeck III, a Rice University professor."
[Click link to read more]"Shrimpers and oystermen are dredging their boats from the muck. Tourist areas on... more
GALVESTON, Texas - The barrier island community of Galveston just "isn't ready" for residents to return even briefly to the city thrashed by Hurricane Ike, officials said Thursday as they pleaded for at least another week to make repairs.
"By staying away and being patient, you are making it possible for us to get you home in a week or so, instead of the months it would take if the city's infrastructure were more overwhelmed at this point," Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas said.
Many of the city's services — including water, sewer and power — are recovering but remain several days away from returning to full function, City Manager Steve LeBlanc said. The only hospital on the island is getting some power, but not enough to care for the 60,000 residents of Galveston Island.
The extra strain placed on the city by the return of residents would only slow the recovery effort, LeBlanc said.
"We don't have adequate water at this point for just taking a shower, flushing a toilet," he said. "We're not there yet."
Authorities let residents and business owners back onto the island briefly Tuesday to "look and leave," but quickly reversed course after the decision created traffic jams that backed up for miles Tuesday and Wednesday on Interstate 45, the only road onto the island.
Officials ruled out a resumption of that policy Thursday.
"It's more confusing," the mayor said. "We just want to bring everyone home, and we'll try to do it next week."
Roughly 15,000 residents defied forecasters' warning of "certain death" to ride out the storm on the barrier island, and many remained there despite the repeated urgings of officials — worried about threats that include mosquito-borne disease — to get out.
Cell phones work, market re-opens
There are clear signs of life returning to Galveston. Cell phone service had largely returned, and for the second day since the storm hit, a Kroger store on Seawall Boulevard was open. The scene was almost festive, as workers grilled fajitas for employees who had removed enough spoiled food to fill 16 dump trucks. No meat or dairy products were available, but most other items were.
Galveston Police Chief Charles Wiley said since Ike hit, authorities have seen only 11 cases of looting — a rate he called "phenomenally low."
"It's really some young people who've probably been left on the island or been located on the island and have very little to do," he said.
Ike's death toll in the U.S. stood at 56, with 22 in Texas. A utility worker clearing downed lines in north of Houston was crushed by a falling tree Wednesday, the Montgomery County sheriff's office said.
There are fears there are more victims yet to be found. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, bodies continued to turn up for more than a year.
---more at linkGALVESTON, Texas - The barrier island community of Galveston just "isn't... more
HOUSTON (AP) -- Rescuers in boats, helicopters and high-water trucks set out across the flood-stricken Texas coast Saturday in a monumental effort to reach tens of thousands of people who stubbornly ignored warnings of "certain death" and tried to ride out Hurricane Ike.
The storm roared ashore hours before daybreak with 110 mph winds and towering waves, smashing houses, flooding thousands of homes, blowing out windows in Houston's skyscrapers, and cutting off power to more than 3 million people, perhaps for weeks.
By evening, it appeared that Ike was not the single calamitous stroke that forecasters had feared. But the full extent of the damage - or even a rough sense of how many people may have perished - was still unclear, in part because many roads were impassable.
Some authorities feared that this could instead become a slow-motion disaster, with thousands of victims trapped in their homes, waiting for days to be rescued.
"We will be doing this probably for the next week or more. We hope it doesn't turn into a recovery," said Sheriff's Sgt. Dennis Marlow in Orange County, where more than 300 people had to be rescued from flooded homes. He said that was only "a drop in the bucket" compared with the number still stranded.
By some estimates, more than 140,000 of the 1 million or so people who had been ordered to evacuate the coast as Ike drew near may have tried to tough it out. Many of them evidently realized the mistake too late, and pleaded with authorities in vain to save them overnight.HOUSTON (AP) -- Rescuers in boats, helicopters and high-water trucks set out across... more
(CNN) -- The worst weather disaster in American history took place in Galveston, Texas, in 1900 when a hurricane estimated as a Category 4 intensity blew ashore, killing thousands of residents and obliterating the town.
The unnamed storm was first detected in the Atlantic on August 27, reaching Cuba as a tropical storm on September 3. Like Ike, the hurricane crossed Cuba and entered the Gulf of Mexico, crashing ashore just south of Galveston on September 8.
Galveston Island was completely covered by 8- to 16-foot storm tides. Estimates of the death toll range from 6,000 to 12,000, and property damage was estimated at $30 million.
Galveston in 1900 was a rich shipping city, home to nearly 40,000 people, many of them made wealthy by Galveston's position as Texas' chief port. But they weren't prepared for September 8.
The flood waters began rising before dawn that morning, and initially the people of Galveston thought nothing of it. For the most part, they even ignored the warnings of U.S. Weather Service meteorologist Isaac Cline, who took to his horse and rode up and down the beach warning people to seek higher ground, an urging that ultimately meant little to a city 8 to 9 feet above sea level at its highest point.
"In reality, there was no island, just the ocean with houses standing out of the waves which rolled between them," Cline wrote in his 1945 memoirs.
Ironically, Cline had argued against building a sea wall in Galveston, saying it was unnecessary and that a storm of any significant strength, in any event, would never strike the island.
The gargantuan storm tides collapsed houses along the beach front and turned them into a wall of debris that pushed further inland on the island. At its final stopping point, the debris kept buildings beyond it from collapse, but not from damage. In the aftermath, everything was bulldozed for 15 blocks from the beach.
Story continued at link...(CNN) -- The worst weather disaster in American history took place in Galveston,... more
A freighter has broken down about 120 miles southeast of Galveston, TX and is directly in the path of Hurricane Ike. But high winds and waves have thwarted all coast guard efforts at a rescue for the 22 crew members on board. Another rescue attempt will be made later, but for now, the plan is for the 22 to try and ride out the storm on the ship.A freighter has broken down about 120 miles southeast of Galveston, TX and is directly... more
HOUSTON - Gleaming skyscrapers, the nation's biggest refinery and NASA's Johnson Space Center lie in areas that could be vulnerable to wind and damaging floodwaters if Hurricane Ike crashes ashore as a major hurricane.
Forecasters expect the storm to make landfall this weekend somewhere between Corpus Christi and Houston, creating the potential for heavy punishment for Houston even if it's not hit directly.
Some forecasts say Ike could strengthen to a fearsome Category 4 hurricane with winds of at least 131 mph over the Gulf of Mexico, and emergency officials warned it could drive a storm surge as high as 18 feet.
If current projections of the storm's path hold up, the area surrounding Houston — home to about 4 million people — would be lashed by the eastern or "dirty" side of the storm, said meteorologist Jeff Masters, co-founder of San Francisco-based Weather Underground. This stronger side of the storm often packs heavy rains, walloping storm surge and tornadoes.
"I expect a lot of damage in Houston from this storm," said Masters, adding that Ike could cause a "huge storm surge" affecting at least 100 miles of the Texas coast.
Houston officials were expecting some flooding, the question is how much.
Patrick Trahan, spokesman for the city of Houston, told The Associated Press early Thursday that "based on the current forecast (we) would expect to see some flooding based solely on the surge in some low-lying areas."
Four counties south and east of Houston have announced mandatory or voluntary evacuations, and authorities began moving weak and chronically ill patients by bus to San Antonio, about 190 miles from Houston. About 1 million people live in the coastal counties between Corpus Christi and Galveston.
But no immediate evacuations were ordered in Harris County, which includes Houston.
The Galveston-Houston area could be on the edge of hurricane-force wind gusts, even if the storm makes land 100 miles to the southwest as some forecasts say is likely, said forecaster Joe Bartosik. Storm surges in the Houston-Galveston area could reach 10 to 14 feet in a Category 3 storm, and as much as 20 feet for a Category 4, said Bartosik, senior meteorologist with WeatherBug, a private weather company with 1,500 weather stations along the Gulf Coast.
The surge in Galveston Bay could push floodwaters into Houston, damaging areas that include the nation's biggest refinery and NASA's Johnson Space Center.
Diana Rangel, a lifelong resident of Freeport, which is under a mandatory evacuation order in Brazoria County, said it is better that she, her family and other residents on the Texas coast, leave.
"We don't want to get stuck out here (in flood waters)," she said Wednesday as she filled her car with gasoline at a convenience store in Freeport overrun with other vehicles waiting in line to fill up.
The oil and gas industry also watched the storm closely, fearing damage to the very heart of its operations.
Texas is home to 26 refineries that account for one-fourth of U.S. refining capacity, and most are clustered along the Gulf Coast in such places as Houston, Port Arthur and Corpus Christi. Exxon Mobil Corp.'s plant in Baytown, outside Houston, is the nation's largest refinery. Dow Chemical has a huge operation just north of Corpus Christi.
Refineries are built to withstand high winds, but flooding can disrupt operations and — as happened in Louisiana after Hurricane Gustav — power outages can shut down equipment for days or weeks. An extended shutdown could lead to higher gasoline prices.
At 5 a.m. EDT, Ike was a Category 2 storm with winds near 100 mph. It was about 620 miles east of Brownsville, Texas, and was moving west-northwest near 9 mph, after ravaging homes in Cuba and killing dozens of people in the Caribbean. HOUSTON - Gleaming skyscrapers, the nation's biggest refinery and NASA's... more
A non-profit organization for the promotion of the Texas film industry and production incentives for producers that bring business to the Lone Star State.
For over 80 years Texas has been in the production business. Unfortunately, in recent years we've watched our healthy industry erode as other states began to offer production incentives, such as tax rebates, making it cheaper for productions to shoot elsewhere. Subsequently, Texas production declined and many of our crew and talent moved to work in those other states. Our state's unique tax structure prevented us from duplicating other state's incentives. On June 7, 2007 industry history was made. Governor Rick Perry signed our new production incentives into law.
Watch out world, things are definitely about to change!
A non-profit organization for the promotion of the Texas film industry and production... more
An interesting collection of videos and films about America's 4th largest city. Everything from travel films to news coverage of this burgeoning urban powerhouse. Fresh content added regularly and the site is maintained by The Greater Houston Convention and Visitor's Bureau.An interesting collection of videos and films about America's 4th largest city.... more